(after an abusive relationship. aka how the hell do healthy people act? Because I don’t know. How the hell do you try again? tw abusive relationship and all the things that go with it)

I decided to give speeding dating a whirl. It was free and I had spare time. Part of me wanted the confidence boost. I was also terrified I end up empty handed and terrified I’d get numbers too. I got so overwhelmed, there was not even a 5 second break before the next person starting talking to me that I forgot to look at people’s badges and write down who I wanted to talk to again. 3 minutes isn’t enough to decide if the conversation should go on longer.

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I ended up with 6 numbers. I was kinda excited, thought “Oh maybe I should contact the people that wanted to keep talking to me” I sorta remember 3 or 4 of them.

I waffled and realized I mostly work or I’m in the hospital. Maybe it isn’t time to date again. I’m enjoying being single. It’s been almost 2 years.

I actually haven’t casually dated. Both times I dated, I’ve ended up in relationships. One about 8 years long, the other 6 months. The 6 month-er was a Nice Guy TM, even used terms like ‘mi-lady’. Understandably, probably why I tried to end it at six months, he saved it, and then ended it, I think he couldn’t deal with me rejecting him. I don’t know how to date. I also don’t know how to have fights or do any couple-y things.

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Guys I’ve dated have been abusive and manipulative. They do the thing where they hold themselves hostage in a fight. Or they start crying the moment things get rough when I express my needs. The second one sent my angry email to a colleague to shame me, but it really only proved he was a bully. But guys stick together, so clearly his actions where okay, but me yelling at him was not. (what a load of shit)

I’ve been ignored for days for wanting to visit internet friends in a different city. So much gaslighting. They tell me things like “they are worried about me” or “They are doing this for my own good.” Sometimes with a shred of truth that it feels real and believable. The whole goal to make me feel like I am so incompetent I can’t function.

I learned very quickly to use sex as a defense mechanism, to protect myself from further psychological harm. I have some very negative attitudes about my own sexuality because of these relationships. (as well as a lot of negative assumptions about men and their inability to control themselves or their emotions) I am proud of myself for the second relationship, because I never had sex when I didn’t want it. I felt that I should because of what he might do later, but I didn’t. It hard to shake the build-in walking on egg shells mentality. I didn’t realize that the feeling I felt for years 2 hours before he got home was fear. I spent years trying to please someone that could never be pleased. They said it was me, they could never please me, and I was the one in control. I started to believe that too, because I was distant. But I was distant because being present was too hard. I spent years trying because I thought it was my responsibility save them.

My second therapist, took his side because my of ex’s history and he made me believe I was being the stronger better person. That if I understood what he was going through, that would make it better. It is my natural curio Not until later that I’d discover that my second therapist was also an abusive asshole, just like my first therapist. I trusted him, and now I feel betrayed. He convinced me of so many things, but largely those where to deal with his own guilt about his behaviours. In addition in getting me to stay in a bad relationship, he also convinced me of I should be more understanding of doctor’s errors. Yes, because that’s what I needed when I was traumatize, was to be sympathetic to a doctor who has ruined hundreds of women’s lives. I was happy and disappointed when his licence was revoked.

So how do you date again? Or how do you trust again? I have a 100% success ratio finding assholes. I look at the sheet with those numbers from the speed dating and realize every single one of them is Schrodinger’s abusive boyfriend. Each have the potential to be horrible, and I don’t want to open the box and find out. I don’t think I can deal with the personal failure of finding another asshole. Even though it’s not my fault, it feels like it is because it’s two in a row. I’ve never had a good boyfriend. The second one wasn’t as terrible, but still bad. There must be something wrong with me. I’d never say that to a person in the same situation. Everyone else around me seems to find people who make them better and make them happy, and I find the ones that destroy me.

I use to be so confident and not take people’s shit, but it was such a slow process I didn’t notice at first. Of course, that comes with the shame of being blind sided. People who haven’t been there don’t understand how you can’t see it. How it comes in waves of happiness and then destruction. That you really honestly believe that you can save them. That make you believe that they aren’t doing anything wrong. That by staying you are doing what every protagonist has done in a movie stay in the bad relationship and it will get better.

But you can’t save them. You can’t change them. Hope is the mind killer.

New therapist asks me if I dated in high school or university. I explain I didn’t because everyone thought I was a lesbian and a trans man. So no, I’ve never had a good boyfriend or a good relationship. I’m suppose to think about what I am. I’m straight, and probably a non-binary probably riddled with internalized misogyny that I barely know anymore what gender means, so I’d rather not be gendered at all.

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I look again at the sheet of numbers and email addresses and I keep thinking maybe I could do this. Maybe I could try again. I can make friends, and keep them. Maybe relationships are like friendships, but I rarely fight with my friends either. So I still don’t know how to fight. None of my friends behave that way. We listen and respect each other if someone crosses a boundary. None of my friends expect me to give more of myself. The friends I have reciprocate and those who don’t, I dump after three chances. Maybe it could work that way.

I kinda feel like Kirk in the Undiscovered Country.

Captain James T. Kirk: Captain’s log, stardate 9522.6: I’ve never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I could never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I’d like to believe him, but how on earth can history get past people like me?”

Except for change it to

“I use to trust men and humans in general. I can never forgive them for the death of myself. It seems my mission to find a decent man is problematic at best. My friends say this could be a wonderful opportunity, and I’d like to believe them, but how on earth can I get past a history of men like that?”

For now, I’ll take a pass at those numbers. After writing this, I’m realizing it’s not time yet.

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Yes, I am aware there is nothing wrong with being single. Yes, I know not all men. It’s super hard to trust yourself and other people when you’ve been betrayed in ways you don’t want to talk about.

As silly as it sounds, I just always wanted a life companion with similar values to go on adventures and have sexy times. I never thought it would be this disastrous. I never thought I’d hit a point in my life where I’d look at a man and think, “Yup, you are all nice now and that’s probably bullshit” “what are you like when times are tough?” “when are you gonna start trying to control me?” “when I cry are you gonna tell me I’m ugly?” and worry if I was gonna have to stab the asshole.