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My outward response is to say thanks and change the subject, but inside, I want to curl up into a ball and die. I feel scared, I feel dirty, I feel disgusting, I feel ashamed, I feel lied to and manipulated. I feel terrified and vulnerable. It feels like a pretty extreme place to go, but it is my experience.
I know why the feeling is there. I know where it comes from. I know why. But knowing does not make the feeling go away, knowing does not make it easier.
What I need to do is somehow separate, somehow separate the past from the present, help myself to realize that in these moments I am responding to the past, not the present.
I struggle, so much, with being able to see that I can be seen, that it is okay to be seen, heard, even seen as...a woman, as a sexual person. Even writing those words make me cringe, make me want to disappear. Because part of me believes I cannot feel this, that feeling it is wrong and bad. That is somehow means I wanted what happened to me to happen to me, that it was my fault.
I know this is not true. Logically I get it. But emotionally...not so much.
I am realizing a shift now, now I want to be the kind of person who could enjoy a haircut. Rather then being the person who gets her haircut once a year, if, and practically has a panic attack during it. I would like to be able to let them wash/blow dry my hair. I would like to be the type of person who could imagine a manicure being soothing. I would like to be able to imagine, being pampered.
Before I looked at these with disdain. Saw these as negative, anti-feminist. I still feel this way, but with a longing. That my choice was really a choice.
It feels like one more thing that was taken away from me. I am tired of feeling all of the things that were taken from me, and not being able to fully enjoy what I do have.
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