recovery, and what it's been like trying to date and be open about myself after acknowledging my sexual assault. A lot of it was pretty much stream of consciousness so i'll spare you guys, but here is the gist:

I don't hate men. I really don't. I'm not a misandrist, I'm not a man bashing harpy. But when I'm upset, I get into this place where I am really AFRAID of men. Like, really, really fucking afraid and/or disdainful (which is just fear wearing different clothes) toward men. I hide behind a ton of judgments I have about guys, based on the bad experiences that I have had, because it keeps me from having to get close. On one hand, it feels like I'm looking out for myself, because I'm acknowledging things that concern me and choosing to take a step back from certain people when I see a red flag, instead of ignoring it and going headlong into something I've got fully-developed nervousness about (guess that's what happens when you're raised to ignore your own feelings constantly.) But...on the other hand, I know sometimes I am being hyper-vigilant and actively LOOKING for something to be wrong so I don't have to risk anything. It's really, really hard.

It's like...I'm 26. I'm attractive, I'm smart, I'm motivated, I know (to a degree) what I want out of life. I care deeply about people. I want SO BADLY to let someone in and make a real connection. And I try. I online date, on and off, with varying degrees of success. I made a really long list on my blog of guy friends whom I trust and believe to be good upstanding men...and it turns out, I have a ton of them! And they're all really really good people! People who have seen me cry, people who have helped me move during a crisis, people who would pick up the phone at 3am if I needed them to... So it creates this weird layer of guilt, where I'm like...seeing what's possible, and I know I'm getting in my own way by having some of the fear based attitudes that I have, and by making snap judgments, or judging myself, or not giving people a chance.

But then I see things like rape apologia on that earlier thread from Gawker. Or things pop up on OKC like the fucking leg shaving question, or some guy saying "no fatties/no catfishing" or some guy slamming a fucking door in my face after I caught him staring at my ass for ten minutes at work, or thinking about the guy who I went on 5 dates with and worked up the courage to open up to about what happened to me, and he freaked out and I never heard from him again, and I want to pull way way way way back up into my shell and never come out again.

I don't know. I feel like a lot of this just circles back to thinking I'm not good enough in some way. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Damaged goods. I'm getting better than I was, if nothing else. I don't have an urge to hurt or neglect myself like I used to. It's just when life gets stressful like this and I think "gosh, it would be really nice not to sleep alone tonight" that I get hit in the face with this stuff.

I guess it's just a process.