Dating After an Assault

 So I was sexually assaulted by my ex boyfriend and a few men before him- this is public knowledge and I make it public knowledge because it's a part of who I am. It is my way with taking the label of "victim" and making it my own and allowing me to control how it's seen, which I never want to be negatively. But the thing is, many people hear the words "sexually assaulted" and instantly feel bad for you. Which yes, of course, that's totally normal and understandable and I don't think that's bad. But that sticks. That pitying look sometimes sticks with you, and they continue to give it to you. Sometimes they don't even notice.
 But when it comes to dating- for me- that pitying look is what ends what could have been good relationships. I've been going on a few dates here and there and recently one of the guys I am dating for a few weeks wanted me to come over and see him. It was a harmless invite with some more adult intentions in mind. I said that I couldn't come over that night because I knew, after a few drinks with friends that my inhibitions would be lowered and with both of us being tipsy and/or drunk we shouldn't do anything at all as so not to wind up regretting anything the next day. I'm huge on consent. I don't care if we've been dating for six weeks or six years but if one of us is drunk, nothing is happening unless stated otherwise while stone cold sober. Anyways- told him that me coming over and spending the night whether anything happened or not went against a few rules of mine that I have when dating. Cue the upset text about "I'm not one of those fuckboys you dated in the past" (word for word copy of said text).
 Now I never know when to discuss to the person I'm dating about my past traumas. My first boyfriend sorta just found out when I had a panic attack and a freak out when my PTSD kicked in. My second one I sat down and told what happened to me most recently that mostly effected me and during the middle of me opening up to him- he literally walked out of the room and went to bed. I sat crying on the couch for a few minutes trying to compose myself. I walked into the bedroom and asked what was wrong and he said he didn't want to hear it, he had an early morning the next day, and he was tired. So I climbed in bed, laid as far away from him as I could, and silently cried myself to sleep.
 After those two experiences I don't know how to discuss what my triggers are and what happened to the person I'm dating. After those texts from- lets call him Parker because he lives by that street. I mean so do I but whatever. Anyways- Parker sort of forced my hand after his text. He messaged me back saying "I have nothing to do with it. I don't treat girls like that so it sucks that a precedent set by them puts these rules you have on me." Which yes I whole heartedly agree with him. I hate that I have to have these rules. I hate that I don't want to kiss on a first date or spend a night at a guys' house even though we are literally just staying up late and talking all night. But I have these rules because they keep me safe- mentally, physically, and emotionally. With my hand being forced after a few more texts from Parker I had to tell him why I made those rules. Because two weeks into my relationship my ex tried to rape me. I was ready to throw him out of my apartment and end it all at that very second after I confronted him about what he was trying to do. But then he flipped it on me and said I seemed like I wanted it and I was teasing him and how it was my fault. I then stayed in the relationship and after bruises, a bloody nose, a bloody lip, and a bloody mouth it finally ended about three months later. Parker instantly apologized after I told him that and I didn't respond to his messages.
 I don't like feeling forced to announce my label of "victim" so I don't know if I'll see him again. Part of me knows there is never a perfect time to tell your partner, "hey, babe, I was assaulted by someone so I'll probably freak out on you a lot until I trust you when we're in bed or even just making out with our eyes closed". So I shouldn't be too upset that I had to tell what happened to me so early because then hey, he knows. But at the same time now I get the pity treatment. I know if I see him again the next time I see him he will apologize again for what happened, which is fine. Though at the same time that is now public information between us if a relationship forms. If I get into a relationship with Parker, he knows the bare minimum of what happened with my ex and will do things in the relationship differently. I've seen it before after I tell someone about it, like the pitying look- you get treated like you're fragile too.
 What was the point of this blog post? Well, honestly not too sure. Part rant, part vent... and partly to tell other people who are like me with a traumatic assault in their past that still effects their everyday life that- I really don't know when the right time to discuss this is. Maybe when you feel like it's right. And even then, if it is the right time for you to tell your partner, it doesn't mean the way they react to your news will be perfect. And if it isn't- and they leave you crying all curled up on the couch- they aren't the right person for you. They may also be a crap human being but that's just my opinion.

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