I'm currently dealing with a similar situation. 28 y/o CSA & adult intimate partner/domestic violence survivor and haven't had a date in roughly 8 years (except 1 time and it didn't go well). I've been in therapy for 2 years and I'm seeing change but agree - it is soooo slow.
In theory I believe I want a loving healthy relationship and potentially children but any time someone talks to me and seems interested in me or asks me out I get triggered. I read male attention as something to be feared. I'm super avoidant and pretty set in my ways for this.
I'm even having trouble maintaining platonic friendships w folks of any gender. If someone gets too close -emotionally or even just spending too much time together- I feel trapped, I hide from them, and eventually cut and run.
This part you wrote really stood out to me. I experience this in terms of feeling a childish embarrassment towards attraction, crushes or any sexy stuff. I feel like I'm stuck developmentally because I was robbed of my teens/early twenties - a time when many people explore (dating. sexuality, discovering myself in relation to others).
If you'd like to message me directly to talk more, you're welcome to do so.
Thanks for this. A lot of what you said above really resonates with me. I also tend to read male attention as being scary, even if I know the person means no harm. And I also want a relationship in theory but run away at even the slightest bit of attention. It's tough.
Time in therapy doesn't necessarily reflect on the therapist but the damage done to the person in therapy!
What about domestic violence? And all of those very happy unmarried couples living together having very safe and healthy sex? You can be married and be sexually abused (as well as physically and emotionally and verbally) by said spouce and you can be unmarried and have very healthy and safe sex.
Thanks for this; I definitely agree, just didn't reply to the comment because I didn't want the thread to turn into an argument about my therapist. In my case, I know I sound bad, but I've come a long way. You can't see progress without knowing what my starting point was.