The No One Told Me Series: The “I” Word

The No One Told Me Series: The “I” Word

 

INTIMACY

This is the topic I have been dreading since my first day as a WYR Blogger. There is no word I hate more in the entire English language. My friends tease me about it & try to fit it into a sentence multiple times. For example, this text from my friend Pam:

FullSizeRender (3)

No one talks about this as an issue. I think people just assume that you either “get back to normal”, or that you are now celibate and never going to date again. In reality there are a million different scenarios that could play out and they all have their advantages and drawbacks. I think the above text describes which scenario has played out in my life pretty well.

The dating question came up during taping for my CTV segment, and my response was so awkward that they edited it out.

I haven’t had a boyfriend in almost 5 years. I’ve started telling friends & family that I’ll find one next year to get them to stop questioning my sexuality and buy me some time. But “next year” keeps coming and going and they are starting to catch on to the fact that I’m not trying THAT hard to start dating.

I’ve downloaded and deleted dating apps & websites probably a thousand times. I feel like I’ve been on a hundred first dates. And I’ve been on a couple of second dates. Best case scenario – they try to kiss me and I bolt so fast I bash my forehead right into a door. It’s funny and I can laugh about it pretty quick after.  Worst case – I go home sobbing to my roommate that I’m broken forever, or lie awake all night with flashbacks and nightmares. It’s not funny and I can’t really laugh about it.

There’s been a couple of guys who I’ve let in a little closer but I always make damn sure they are emotionally unavailable. They eventually ghost on me, and I feel bad about it (and myself) until I remember that I orchestrated it this way and this is exactly what I wanted to happen. Or worse, I ghost on them and then spend weeks or months wracked with guilt.

My motto these days is “I can fix this”. I take pride in figuring out little things around the house, I love coming up with solutions at work & detangling logistical nightmares. But this is one area of my life that I haven’t been able to fix.

I could probably go to therapy and talk it out. I could definitely research it online and find a step by step guide to tackle it head on. I could actually talk to a dude that I like about all of this. There’s a lot of things I could theoretically do to fix this.
But why rush? All of these problems will still be here tomorrow when I’m still not ready to address them.

So, for those of you who are having trouble in this area:
1. You’re not the only one! It’s OK!
2. How do I fix this? Any tips or tricks?

The cover photo for this post is an excerpt from Sheldon Kennedy’s book, “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”. It inspired this post & a previous post on our Facebook page. 

PS if you’re wondering how the date turned out:
12746406_10156546287000034_547954789_n

And if you’re ready to “get back in the saddle” so to speak, here is a resource that’s been passed along to me:
12 Things No One Told Me About Sex After Rape”

Author

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Hi! I'm Elizabeth, a blogger on When You're Ready.org I spent 2 years struggling with PTSD and panic attacks following a violent attack. I want to use my experience and my voice to raise support for others. I desperately want to make the world a safer place for girls and women, especially my two little sisters. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.

Related