When I went back to therapy a few months ago now I heard myself saying words I didn’t know I had in me:
I want to get back my life. I want to get back my sexuality. I want to get back my ability to trust.
Even as I was saying it, I knew it was true. I’d given my rapist too many months of my life, living in fear of meeting new people, of venturing outside my apartment and beyond work.
I’d lost so much that night.
Deciding to date was a big step.
First up the British Guy. I remember wanting to throw up as I was getting ready. I was worried I was going to send myself into a panic attack because I was getting so wound up. After quite a few deep breaths (and reassuring and supportive tweets, texts and emails) I made my way to the cute little French bistro we’d agreed on.
I was early, as always, and as I sat waiting for him to show up, I thought about leaving. Just going home and calling the whole thing off. I didn’t. He showed up, looking quite attractive and I’ll admit I was wooed by his accent. *swoons*
I normally don’t drink on first dates for all the obvious reasons but this time, I shared a bottle of wine with BG. It was delicious and it helped to loosen me up. I was far more relaxed after the first glass…and then it was all good from there.
He was quite eager to talk about himself and I have the uncanny ability to listen and sometimes even talk without revealing anything about me. This was one of those nights. It wasn’t until dessert was ordered that he actually stopped talking and pointed out that he didn’t know anything about me. I asked what he wanted to know. He decided to start with the one thing I wasn’t really prepared to answer – why I hadn’t dated in months. I could have said anything at that point but since he had just launched into his, “I’m-never-getting-married-again-don’t-know-if-I-want-to-make-space-for-anyone-in-my-life” speech, I told the truth. I said I’d had a bad experience where someone I dated took advantage of me. For the next 10 minutes he kept saying, “oh dear”. That was awkward and I realised I’d said too much. It was an unfortunate way to end the evening but over all it was a win.
We left the restaurant. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, which didn’t cause me to meltdown or freak out. It was actually lovely.
I went out, with a relative stranger, and it was ok. I was ok. I was safe and secure. It allowed me to gain more confidence and to try again. So while we haven’t seen or really spoken to each other since then BG has played a big part in my trying to be social again.