I was in my second year of college here. I had made many friends over the past couple of years. I was living in a four bedroom house with two guys and another gal. The guys  were like my brothers. I had a rule, no dating housemates. Too complicated if it didn’t work out. For the most part, my housemates and I were very different but, for the most part, we got along real well. We had the scholarly, the bicyclist, the stoner and me, the theater/science nerd. We all lived very separate lives most of the time but sometimes, we would actually hang out together. House parties, movie nights, watch sports on TV, even a theater party here and there. Over all it was a great living situation and I was very happy there. Across the street lived another college guy that we all knew someway or another. He would occasionally hang out with us and sometimes we would hang out at his place.

One night, a couple of my housemates and I were over at this guys house to watch The Fly. It was such a good movie and we thought it would be a good night. For some reason, my roommates went back home for the night. The movie was about over and I wanted to see the end. I had no reason to not trust the guy that lived there. I had hung out with him many times before. I was wrong. Shortly after my roommate left, the guy was on top of me. He had me pinned to the sofa and was trying to convince me to go further. I kept telling him no and he kept going, touching, kissing, groping, touching, kissing. I had no chance of getting away from him and he would not stop no matter how much I told him no. I was scared and couldn’t get away. He was so big and I was at such a disadvantage as I was pinned under him on the sofa in an empty house. He was at least 200 pounds. A BIG guy. At the time, I was barely over 100 pounds and 5’5″ and had no skills for defense. I had never been so happy to hear a knock on the door until that night. One of my roommates came back. I have no idea why but I have been so grateful for it. The guy jumped off of me and I sped home. I did tell my roommate what happened and thanked him so much for coming back. I never spoke to the neighbor again and avoided him the rest of the time I was in school.

I never reported the incident. I only spoke of it to a few people. I knew it would be his word against mine. I didn’t want to go through the hassle or any of the shit that goes with it. I didn’t want to have people say that I shouldn’t have put myself in that position. I didn’t want to hear how it was my fault. I didn’t want my sexual promiscuity to be used against me. I knew I had no proof. My roommate didn’t see anything, he just knew how glad I was to see him and what I told him. I did share with a couple of female friends and found out that he had done the same with a couple of friends of mine but they chose not to report either. Being a reporting female, especially back then was so bad but I do not know if it has gotten any better.

I blocked out so much of the event. I do not remember his name, I just remember that he was a lot bigger than I was. I remember the house. When I drive by it, I always remember it. I don’t remember what he looked like but I remember the layout of the room. I remember the smells. Would I remember his name if I heard it? Would I remember his face if I saw it? I do not know but I do know that it happened. I have shared with very few people in my life. Why share it? It does no good. I often have guilt for not reporting it as I am sure he has done it again but would my coming forward have stopped it or just ruined my life? I am just glad I got away before he raped me and it was “just a sexual assault”. It still traumatized me. It still made me very leery of men and trusting a man when I am getting to know them. I thought he was my friend.

I am Fifty One now.

#metoo

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When I was talking to Broncos Fan the other day, he was asking a little bit about my dating history. I have noticed that often times men do this. I am not sure why. I eventually want to know if they understand why previous relationships have failed but I do not want to know who they have dated, how many they have slept with or any details like that. I want to know if they have learned from their mistakes or if they only blame the ex for the break ups (red flag). If I meet an ex of theirs, I assume that they at least tried to have sex. I don’t need to know details. I don’t care how many women they have slept with as long as it was consensual and not cheating on someone else. I wonder if most men feel the same way. I will admit that I have had sex with more than the average woman has. Before I was married, it was how I was looking for love. I had horrible self esteem and thought it was the only way a man would ever love me. In turn, I often felt used and ended up feeling worse about myself. I didn’t enjoy sex. I thought it was gross. I was raised Catholic. Sex was something you had to do with your husband to have kids but you aren’t supposed to enjoy it. I never did. I was a prude. I had sex to be loved but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t play. I didn’t do much, definitely not blow jobs.

I got married and had an okay sex life at the beginning but then he got heavy and quit taking care of himself. He could go days without brushing his teeth and even with hard sweaty labor, rarely took a shower on the weekends. Now sex was not only a gross chore but it was with someone gross. Our sex life became nil. I remember crying myself to sleep after sex many times as I felt so empty afterwords. I felt from early in our marriage that he didn’t care who he was with as long as he was getting sex. By the time we got divorced, I never thought I would have sex again and didn’t care. I eventually had sex about six months later. It was fun but I still had my hangups about sex but then I met BFF/ex-bf.

He was clean, he was fun. I still think that he is sexy as hell and sex was GREAT. Funny thing about it is, as a typical over 50 man, things didn’t always work but it was always wonderful and fun. I learned that sex is fun and can be enjoyable for both parties. It is not just a chore. I learned that there are men that really enjoy pleasing the woman. My standards went up and now I love sex. I felt sexy and beautiful for the first time in my life, even while naked.

I am definitely not a prude and I am not going to go without if I am not with anyone. Does a man really want to know who I have slept with or how many? I am brutally honest. I am not going to lie about it so if they ask me, I will answer truthfully. I am not ashamed of my sexuality. It took me to almost fifty before I learned to enjoy one of the most natural things we mammals get to experience. Broncos fan asked a couple of things and I answered truthfully. I don’t even remember what it was but he jokingly said I was a slut. I said, “Yes, I know.” He stopped and said that he didn’t want me to be a slut. I wonder if he will be able to handle the truth if he keeps asking things. I won’t lie or hide things from him but I am also not going to volunteer everything. I told him not to ask anything he doesn’t want to know the answer to.

Tonight was another disastrous first date. I met this one on POF. He actually read my profile and his profile looked hopeful. We chatted for a couple of days and I took the bull by the horns and suggested we meet for coffee or a drink. He said a drink sounded good and we set the day for today. This morning, I wake up with a message from him that he waited for an hour LAST night. Boy did I feel bad though he is the one that messed up. We decided to still meet tonight so after work today, I rushed over to the winery for a nice glass of wine and a date.

He got there early (a plus), he was clean, polite, kind, had his teeth. Not the best looking guy but not bad either. I know opinions of looks can change when you get to know someone. We both ordered a glass of wine and the conversation started. I made the mistake of asking about his kids and how long since he had been divorced about five minutes in. I thought those were simple questions. Tell me about your kids. State a number of years since divorce and then move on to a new subject. Instead, the rest of our ninety minutes was spent learning about his marriage, details of fights in the marriage, and how awful she is. He did ask me one question. What happened to my marriage? I told him that I really didn’t know. I was surprised with the divorce and it didn’t really matter.

He went on to tell me about how she has full custody, he hasn’t seen the two younger kids in years, and there is a restraining order against him from her. These things are all based on lies though. He did nothing wrong. Supposedly, he has been plotting to kill her and the kids.  He went into details about fights they had and how she is turning the kids against him. I think this man needs to take more time before he dates again. He and I got divorced the same year and I do not want to talk about my marriage or ex hardly anymore much less let it monopolize a date. If his ex really is that nuts, I don’t want to be around all that negativity anyway. I think it was another first and last date. I just see too many red flags and negativity

Just before the holiday, I decided to sign back up on the dating sites. I admit that my timing was terrible. I didn’t take the time to do much responding but have been talking to a few guys.

One guy seemed real nice. We chatted quite a bit and I thought that we were hitting it off. We discussed having drinks after work one day and then he disappeared. The day after we were supposed to meet (date had been set but not time or place), I heard from him. He apologized profusely and stated life had been hectic. Since my life can be that way, I understood. I ran into him downtown, we said hi, hugged, had one more text and then I haven’t heard from him for two weeks.  I have no idea why I was ghosted but am getting used to this.

I had a date last night with another guy that I had been chatting with.   I was really looking forward to meeting him.He seemed so personable via chatting BUT, in person, he was so dull and there were some red flags.  He was nice but I have no desire to see him again. Unfortunately, he wants to see me again so I need to find a way to let him down. I hate hurting people’s feelings.

I had a lunch date today with another man that I have been chatting with. To be honest, I wasn’t at all interested in him but have decided to be more open and give more men a chance. I almost cancelled at the last minute but decided that would be rude. He showed up and I immediately noticed he was older looking and heavier than his profile pictures but he was very nice. We had a very nice lunch and I enjoyed my date very much. I do not see anything happening with it but maybe a new friend but it was still a nice time. We had enough in common to enjoy each others company BUT I think we both felt the same after the date.

I have been chatting with a few more men that have just baffled me. One yesterday lives a couple of states away. After a couple of texts, he asked it we had a chance. I told him that we knew nothing about each other yet so he sent me photos of his nice body. He wouldn’t answer direct questions about him, his values, beliefs, or anything. He just kept asking if we had a chance. Needless to say, he is now blocked. A guy a shared a couple of messages with today went from hello to sexual innuendos after 3 texts. A third guy a few weeks ago kept telling me about how large he was and how well he could satisfy me. I can’t help but wonder if these guys really have luck with this approach with anyone.

Needless to day, my first few weeks of trying to date again are not going well. It is a good thing that I am not needing a man to be happy. I will trudge on and see what happens.

So many of my male friends are shocked by the #metoo stories and how many women they know with stories. Somany of them are asking what they can or should do, this is a good read regarding this.

 

#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. For men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. On seeing this discomfort as a challenge.

Source: For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies — Courtney Martin | On Being

I’ll never forget April 20th, 1999.

Source: Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This – Be Yourself

This is a real good read on what is going on with men in our society. I highly recommend The Mankind Project to help our men.

I have been spending a bit of time with ex-bf/bff  lately. It has been so nice to have time with him alone. I have missed talking to him so much. I have mentioned that he and his girlfriend broke up the beginning of July and he also lost his dog the same week. I was worried about him for a bit but he seems to be doing well now. He has been going to some personal growth retreats and he is really working on getting over his baggage. I sure hope that someday he can truly find happiness with himself so he can find it with somebody else. I will always love him but, unfortunately, I cannot go back to him, even if he asked. We did fool around on my birthday. It was nice to be back in his arms and kiss him again. It would  have been easy to open my heart back to him but I refuse to. As I have said before, I believe that love is a choice. I won’t give my heart back to him at this point and I have told him that. I choose not to love him like that again unless he is ready to let me in. Even then, it would not be a given. I would have to really think about it. He would have to earn me back.  I love how honest we are with each other. I love that I can tell him these things and he tells me that he still worries about hurting me when he is with someone else.

Last weekend, we went on a hike to a natural hot springs. Yes, we soaked naked. It was so nice sitting next in the hot springs with the cold river flowing by.  We have talked so much about our growth since we split up. I know the things he has done and he asked me what I have done. He also thinks that some of what I say is just words because I still occasionally say that I want a man. I have explained to him that those times are actually few anymore. I like my space. I love my freedom. So many times, I hear couples on the street and think to myself how glad I am not to be in a relationship. Even as few as a few months ago, I would sometimes get sad when I saw a couple holding hands walking down the street. Now, I really feel nothing. Not anger and pity, like I felt right after my divorce. I was such a cynic and was sure that they were all making a mistake in trusting and loving. I also, not longer feel sad because I am alone. I feel happy for them and hope it lasts. I do sometimes wonder if I will ever find that BUT it is truly not a concern anymore.

So, what have I done to grow? I have been thinking about that since he asked. One is that I spend so much time alone that I can think. Most of my workday, I spend thinking about my life and reflecting. I also blog here. This is so good for me. Not only is it journaling but I get feedback and see my feelings are normal and others feel the same way. I read LOTS of books and blogs. I am exercising not just at work but weight lifting again. I have loved that since I was a teen and haven’t done for years. I love how it makes me feel mentally and physically.  I am also spending more time with friends and reconnecting with people. My birthday helped with that. When you are content with your life and yourself, a partner becomes less important.

One of the things that I thought about the other day is WHY am  I so content alone right now? Of course, there is the standard, I can do what I want, when I want, without anyone having any say or worrying about being criticized for my choices and feelings as I did for years. My big AHA moment came the other day though. I had been dwelling on this for days and it just popped into my head. For the first time in my life, I am taking care of ME only. I am 50 years old and don’t need to take care of anyone but me and my puppies. Of course, I am still here for my kids but I am my priority for the first time. It is such a free feeling. I can go hike with my ex-bf, get naked and sit in a hot spring. I can go have beer with a friend. I can sit on my couch naked and blog. I can go to bed at 7 or at midnight. I can have ice cream for breakfast or dinner, if I choose. I am fifty years old and feel better physically and mentally than I did at 35. I am healthier. I am fit. I am sexy. I am beautiful and strong. I am independent. I am not lonely at all. I plan to continue growing and getting better with age. We all should.