After 6 months without working, I was running through my nest egg. Truthfully, I was really surprised how much money I was able to drum up during those months. It was impressive.
Plus there was the dating scene. After a short break to get myself under control, I jumped in head first. But the numbness pervaded everything. But that may have helped me logically look for a partner. And it was a good thing because the guys I was meeting were looking like models.
At the age of 30, it feels weird to start dating for the first time. All of my relationships had been long term. Dating was a new concept. But here is what I knew: you attract people with the issues you like- or the issues that compliment your issues. That should be noted as not necessarily a positive. For instance, I had had a fear of abandonment when I was 19. Lo and behold I unwittingly got with a meth addict whose worst trait was going missing for days. Naive wasn't even the word. We tend to look for partners whose traits feed into our insecurities, blindspots, and shortcomings.
Starting out dating after such a core-shattering experience (the rape) was hard enough, but I had to make sure I was "healed" from my previous shortcomings also. My top priority was that the people I attracted did not mirror the unresolved issues I had with intimacy.
As I dated, I gauged who I was attracted to and why. After being married to my selfish ex-husband, I looked for people that wanted to meet my needs. Guys that were known for sticking around. Loyal men. It was a great feeling when I realized I was not attracted to the "bad boys" anymore. Not only were they not attractive, but they repulsed me. This encouraged me.
Successful men found me attractive, and I had quite the list of suitors. But I was very open with what I was going through, since I was never sure I would be able to hold composure if they triggered me. Luckily no one ever did. The companionship was exactly what I needed. But I was looking for a companion to be my lover, so after a date or two, I would usually end it, saying that I couldn't lead them on and I had decided they were not who I was looking for. This was a very disappointing and sexually frustrating process. The more sexually frustrated I became, the more scared I became out in public, as if I could not drink even a glass of water without worrying about being drugged. I dared not meet at a bar or drink any alcohol during a date. Instead I would meet for coffee..... Who does that?
Having men, successful attractive men, take an interest in me to the point they would fight for my attention and not just take what they wanted from me..... it was exactly what I needed. They showered me with gifts and extravagant dates. Me. The rape wreck. They did not see me as an object, I was a person to be respected and charmed
But I needed to move and start over. So I went to be near my father. If I didn't have a father figure in my son's life, I could at least give him a grandfather. Some things are more important than an awesome dating scene.
I had not seen my father in 13 years. Seeing him was like salve to the soul. My father had a conscience, so I did not need any penance from him for the things that happened half my life ago. More than anything I wanted my family back. So we made peace before I moved to be near him. Losing time with your children has to be punishment enough. After a few weeks near him, I had cheered up enough to get a job and start returning to normal.
I love my father. You do not always appreciate what you have, so I swore to appreciate my time with him. And I do. He didn't need to do anything to "fix" me. Him being near was enough. And he was patient with me when I struggled. I will be forever grateful.