This entry is incredibly difficult for me to write. It’s not very triggering (at least I don’t think so), but I won’t be offended if you need to stop.
I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. I was going to have to tell a potential romantic interest what happened to me and how it might have an impact things going forward. I just didn’t think it would be this “sooner”.
I don’t remember exactly how much detail, or not, I’ve put in here. So here’s the crash course. I went on a date 2 weeks ago with Very Nice Guy. We’d been chatting for a few weeks online & over text and decided to finally meet. The tattoos came up in conversation, as they do. Instead of dodging the question, I asked him if he wanted to really know what they meant or the bullshit answer I usually give to people. He asked for the truth. I made sure he was ready to hear something unpleasant, then told him they were my self injury scars. I gave him a two sentence explanation about where they came from. This was all of an hour after we met face to face. We ended the date with a hug because it was more than a handshake, but less than a kiss. It was also 3 in the morning. That’s another story for another time.
This past weekend was Date #2. He’d been feeling sick, but felt up to going out anyway. As with last time, we ended with a hug. I told him (half joking) that if he’d been sick I didn’t want to kiss him. Awkward, party of 2. I told him later that I felt like I’d really flubbed it. He agreed that it was awkward, but I hadn’t totally screwed it up. He told me that he wanted to make a move, but he wasn’t sure what to do given what I’d told him. After thinking about it, I told him that I’d need him to be patient with me and err on the side of explicit communication (“You put your left foot in, you take your left foot out…”). He said that was fine and left it at that. While there is no official Date #3, it would appear that’s where this is going.
With all that in mind, Hailey started SCREAMING.
“What do you think you’re doing?! You can’t let him touch you! He’s lying! He’ll go too far and you won’t stop him! You can’t stop him! You’re such a slut, you’ll just let him do whatever he wants!”
No, I won’t. I know how wildly unhealthy it would be for me to revert back to judging myself based on who will sleep with me. I could easily undo months of progress. I don’t want that. While sometimes it can be hard to remember something like that in the heat of the moment, I know if I say “stop”, that will be respected. No, not all men. I am worth, and deserve, more than just who will sleep with me.
It kind of felt like having a giant scab ripped off my chest. It’s not a theory any more. I said it out loud. That made it real. I really told someone what happened and he really listened. It was absolutely terrifying. I think I would have been less anxious trying to jump out of a plane. Even if he drops off the face of the earth tomorrow and I never speak to him again, I survived the first time. I did it. In spite of Hailey’s incessant screaming, it’s done. The next time will be a tiny bit easier. I would like to think there won’t be too many more “next times”, but that’s another blog post in and of itself.
Now I’ve put it out there for you, faithful readers. Now it’s real for you, too. I promise I’ll put a funny / uplifting / ridiculous post up here soon. Pinky promise.