Although I haven't engaged in really harmful behaviour the fact of the matter is it could have been. I noticed the fact in the begining that I started to drink and stopped that right away. I realized I was trying to numb myself to the pain and get some relaxation. I did however start to engage in some sexual behaviours that have been hurtful to myself. I enjoyed the sex but what it was doing to me mentally was another story.
I have this thought process that the only expectations men have from me are sex. I learned this thought process through my 20yr marriage with my ex-partner. I dreaded the thought of the day ending. I knew what that would mean. The coercion that would occurr behind the bedroom door changed my thoughts forever. It's really been difficult. Therefore this means the newer people I would meet would not usually be healthy for me as I've set myself up so to speak. I thought that was an expectation and I gave it to them wether they wanted it or not. I was not able to work on real intimacy and emotional bonding.
I have since ended most of the contacts I have with these people. I allowed myself to be used and it makes me hurt everytime. I feel the shame everytime I speak with them. It's like scratching a scab everytime and bleeding all over again.
I've since reconnected with an old high school friend. He is great. Basically we had kissed once back in high school and we belonged to the same Air Cadet group. We call it having a history as opposing being strangers. The very first time I saw him again I slept with him. I beat myself up so badly afterwards. I really degraded my experience with him. I could have ruined our reconnection right there.
I also had a triggering moment during our being intimate which he was really good with at the time but he really questioned what happened afterwards. I did not tell him prior about the S/A and didn't want to tell him right in the middle either. So I waited until I was at a safe place back at my home the next day (poor guy) and we talked over the phone. I was reluctant to share my past yet again but he was good no great.
This friend has also helped me see where in his opinion that I have been strong where I think I have failed or have been weak. It really is helping to boost my self confidence. I have been able to tell him everything. You name it he knows it all. All the men and the thoughts of being with a woman. He has never asked anything of me. I think, no I know I'm falling in love with him.