No strings attached

I’m starting to feel more comfortable with intimacy and sexual contact. I discovered this earlier this summer, after a lovely weekend away with a very attractive male friend.

To give you a bit of background about my friend, we met on Tinder a few years back. Our friendship was never platonic but it was never romantic either. One thing is for sure it has been entirely uncomplicated from the beginning.

I like uncomplicated.

There is comfort in knowing we can enjoy each others company, and then go our separate ways. It could be months before we make contact again and this how we like it.

I consider this weekend away, a major milestone in my recovery from domestic abuse, but I have ways to go yet.

I’m still incredibly tetchy around men. So much so that on the drive to meet him I found myself catastrophising and getting anxious, but it was fine. He was an absolute gentleman and we had a lovely time.

But I still have ZERO self-confidence at the moment.

My abusive relationship ended in February, just 6 months ago and it still feels like yesterday. As a result of the abuse I’m struggling with PTSD (chronic anxiety, inability to sleep, etc.), and severe self-esteem issues.

I know I need to cut myself some slack but I feel really shit about myself right now. My old hang ups about things like body image are now tenfold.

I feel utterly undesirable and unlovable.

On top of this I have discovered all kinds of new baggage that I didn’t have before. Baggage that is causing me to arrange a “first date” with someone from a dating site and then cancel it at the very last minute.

Right now I have ZERO faith that I’ll ever be happy in a loving relationship.

I need to be brave now. I’m trying to be brave.

I have identified that I have unhealthy coping and avoidance mechanisms, where I deny myself physical contact.

I’ve taken a bold step and I’m trying not to shut myself away from the world. I’m trying to be more sociable but it’s so hard.

Im finding that spending time with people, even friends – is either boring or emotionally exhausting.

All things considered I know it will be sometime before I can embrace a new relationship – but I can take baby steps.

I am taking baby steps.

My weekend away has shown me that maybe I should start “seeing” someone regularly, BUT there are so many caveats to this.

First of all it would need to be very clear that I would not be looking for anything serious right now.

In my case of being Autistic, having PTSD and recovering from an abusive relationship – I think I’m asking for too much.

He needs to be laid back, reliable and predictable. I need to be in control of the pace and he can’t make and any emotional or sexual demands from me.

So, last weekend was major milestone in my recovery – but I still have ways to go when it comes to intimacy and relationships.

Life update: cuddles n stuff

Just a quick update as I haven’t been posting much lately.

Home

Leo is settling in nicely. He’s so affectionate, sleeps beside me at night and follows me around the house. It’s so endearing.

He’s looking really well, much better since he was first rescued. I’ve spent lots of time grooming and pampering him. I had to buy some interesting contraptions that deal with long hair and managed to get all the knots and dreads out. He’s so beautiful.

For some reason he has gone off wet food. I’ve now tried every “high quality” veterinary brand available and he seems to prefer the dry food. Very confusing, but he’s is eating lots, drinking lots of water and looks happy so I’ll try not to obsess about it.

Work

I had a serious wobbler at work on Friday, sent some angry emails, etc. It was not as bad as it could have been but I felt so sad / angry / frustrated that I was close to packing it all in. If you read my last post then this wouldn’t be surprising to you…I was definitely ready to burst.

I’m glad that there was a couple of days build-up and I didn’t just “snap”. I was passive aggressive as fuck which is perversely, preferable in a corporate environment. 

What else can I say. I was in a bit of a state but I don’t really want to write about it just now because I’ll get upset again.

I know I need to find a way to address some things that are bothering me, but I probably won’t. Not in a healthy way – it will escalate and I’ll have to be forced before I can have those difficult conversations with people.

For now I’m going to bury my head in the sand and wait to be pushed.

Social Life

I’m still not feeling particularly sociable moment. I have a select few trusted people that I want to be around. Everyone else seems like hard work at the moment, particularly those who are opinionated or come with their own issues that they want to project on to me. I just don’t have the energy for any kind of toxic bullshit at the moment.

Love Life

Non-existent.

I decided not to go on that “third date” because something didn’t sit right with me. He has since informed me that he’s found my blog, made a weird comment implying I have gender privilege because I can talk about being a victim of domestic abuse.

Having seen a couple of passive aggressive posts and hashtags on Instagram, (presumably because I don’t want to see him again), I think I might have dodged some kind of bullet there.

Not that I’m losing sleep over this but I’m really fucking tetchy right now but if I’m honest, it doesn’t take much for me to feel harassed.

Moving on!

So, I’m not officially dating anyone but I’m getting plenty of affection from the opposite sex. I’ve taken the next step in my recovery and allowed myself some intimacy with a few people that I trust.

I’ve said this before, I’m incredibly lucky for all the lovely gentlemen in my life, for all the ways they have helped me whilst I’ve been at my lowest.

I have amazing bonds with most of my exes and a few of them have been taking care of me since leaving my abusive relationship. For those that are geographically close to me, we’ve been able to spend quality time together…no agenda, a home cooked meal, cuddles and kisses on the sofa. I’ve felt cared for and safe enough to fall asleep in their arms.

I can’t think of anything more tender and healing than this. Exactly what I need right now and I’m so grateful. I’m more than happy with how things are at the moment.

Of course I want nothing more than to fall madly in love with someone amazing…but I’ve accepted that healing from domestic abuse will be a long and painful journey.

I’m in a much better place and I can afford to be patient with myself.

Hobbies n Activities

I’m appreciating my freedom and how I don’t have to ask for persmission to do the things that I love.

I’ve had a action filled bank holiday weekend full of surfing, hiking and managed to squeeze in a bike ride in the forest. 

I really can’t complain.

I’m not gaming as much now that the weather has improved but last weekend I did buy the DLC for The Division 2 and spent a whole day gaming (which was amazing).

Health and Well-being

My overall health and well-being is improving. My energy levels are good and with the warmer weather I’m getting outdoors to do lots of fun stuff.

I am still not eating well or cooking proper meals for myself. Unless someone else feeds me I will just resort to microwave meals, cerials, nuts fruit and tinned soup.

It doesn’t sound so bad but the reason it pains me is because I have never lived on microwaves meals before. It’s just not me – I am half Iranian and was brought up to cook my meals from scratch. if I find the motivation to eat well and cook for myself again then I’ll feel more like myself. My routines will be back to where they were before the abuse started. Before my system of living was taken away from me. 

To conclude, I’m okay right now, things are “up and down”.

I am still trying to find my way back to normality.

I know there’s some difficult times ahead with work and my PTSD. I’m very much reliant on my support network but I’m feeling hopeful, and that’s the best I can do right now.

I feel like I’m drowning again

Im having a PTSD episode as I write this. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well but but the last three days have been awful.

The most visible physical symptom is that I’m crying all the time.

I’m having waves of anxiety where it’s hard to breathe and it feels like my heart is going to explode.

I’ve just messaged my friend (my guardian angel). I hate worrying him, he’s stressed enough as it is as he is touring at the moment and it’s been a rough one for him.

He’s going to ring me back in an hour or so. I just have to wait.

Breathe.

Calm down.

He’s just sent me a link to a song On YouTube, Lola by the Kinks , because we would listen to that song when we were sixteen and it always makes me smile.

I’m calming down a little bit but the tears are still streaming down my face as I write. I don’t think it’s helping but I’m going to keep writing.

I look over to my little man, Leo who is sleeping beside me on the sofa. He’s making funny noises and I think he’s having a nightmare.

Apart from Leo and I, the house is empty.

As I sit here weeping uncontrollably, I’m recognising that yes I have PTSD but I’m also depressed and feeling so alone right now. I wish I had a boyfriend who loves me and cares for me.

I want to be in love with someone with the security that nothing bad is going to happen.

I want to feel safe but I’m asking too much because for me, feeling safe is to be in a loving relationship. Maybe this is part of my Iranian upbringing but I want to be held every night, to feel cherished and looked after by a man who loves me, and I love him back.

All I feel now is emotional turmoil, anguish and heart ache from what is missing from my life.

What’s worse is the that deep down I think I’m going to be alone forever.

I’m remortgaging my house to pay for cosmetic work to be done on my teeth and face. Im doing this because the last time I was in a committed relationship, I was made to feel like I was ugly and worthless.

If I’m honest, I really don’t think I will ever find what I’m looking for. I’ll never be truly happy and in love.

I can distract myself with appointments and forking out to fix my teeth and my face. I can lose more weight and feel prettier than I do right now but what does it matter?

I’ve been broken far too many times.

I’m damaged beyond repair.

I can’t procrastinate this weekend

Here in the UK it is officially “May-day” bank holiday weekend. I have had to cancel my camping trip so I can deal with everything that I have neglected at home. I haven’t been keeping up with any housework and there is a mountain of odd jobs that I have been putting off since January.

I still haven’t build the Ikea furniture to replace what my ex smashed up over Xmas and New Year.

The biggest motivator for me now is that someone will be visiting my house to make sure I am worthy of adopting a rescue cat (i.e. I am not a complete savage and there are no other pets in the household).

The lady from the cat rescue charity will visit 1pm on Monday and I don’t want her to see my house in this state. I look around and this not who I am but I haven’t had the strength or will to keep on top of things.

So anyways, I am going to do it this weekend and have put together a massive to do list to finish for before she arrives.

Here’s my to do list:

  • Build ikea wardrobe and drawers (to replace what my ex smashed up)
  • Clear the front driveway of weeds and rubbish
  • Clear the back garden of weeds and rubbish
  • Remove mould and mildew from the bathroom ceiling and tiles
  • Deep clean and vacumm the rest of the house
  • Take all waste (including broken furniture) to the recycling center / local skip

Someone has offered to help me with building the Ikea stuff. This is the guy I went on a couple of dates with. I told him why I have cancelled my camping trip this weekend and since then he has become determined to, in his own words, be “alpha male” and just come over and help me.

I’ve turned down his offer. I have been truthful about it and my reasoning is, my ex is the reason why my life has ended up in such a mess and I should really fix it myself.

It doesn’t feel right for me to let another man, a man who I hardly know – swoop-in and clean up the mess left by the shit-head that abused me.

I am so overwhelmed by how much I need to get done this weekend but I need to take my power back.

I need to do this alone.

 

 

Yesterday.

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Yesterday I did three really cool things that made me happy. I went surfing, met some new friends and went on a date.

How the date transpired was kind of unexpected but in a good way. It wasn’t through a dating app or website. In a nutshell, he had been following me on social media for some time, we didn’t really talk or anything. Last week he messaged me and asked me out on a date.

He is definitely my type so I said yes. My type is outdoorsy, athletic, English (don’t ask me why my men have mostly been English – I think it’s the accent), intelligent, etc.

So we arranged to meet at Mountain Biking park. My dated wanted to cycle but I already planned to surf that day, so we agreed he would go ahead and cycle and I’ll meet him at the park after my surf session.

I surfed for a bit during the day. It was my first time back in the water since before the sea temperature dropped in November. It was fun.

I then decided to check out the local surf hire cafe. I was introduced to the crew and hung out with them for a while. They are such lovely people, gave me the warmest welcome and a free cappuccino because it was my first visit.

I bought a bar of handmade soap and a Sex Wax car freshener (of course), then hugged my new friends goodbye.

I drove to my date straight from the beach with my board still strapped to the roof. I hadn’t showered, sand everywhere, hair was still wet, no makeup – but it didn’t matter. I felt really good about myself.

I turned up on time-ish and as you would expect things were a bit awkward at first. I suddenly had an uncontrollable urge to pee, but it was late and the park toilets were locked. I had to drive out of the park and find a pub before we could resume our date.

I returned, put my walking shoes on and we headed into the park for a walk. The sun came out and the weather was mild.

Perfect.

After about an hour we headed back to our cars. It was quickly obvious that we wanted to continue the date because he asked me to go for food with him and I said yes.

After finishing our meal we decided to go to the cinema to see the new Avengers movie but it was so late that we missed the last show. We went to another bar for a while and agreed a second date in the week for us to see the movie.

He walked me back to my car and gave me a really nice hug.

In other news, today was day one of my two day course. I was out late last night so I was really tired today but the course is really hands on and interactive so I managed to stay awake.

On the way home, I thought I lost my keys and had a little bit of a melt down.

I am hungry but too tired to cook so I am going to have some toast and then get an early night.

Signing off.