I must say, however, that while I talk a good talk, sometimes it's difficult to walk the walk. Like my friends (in reverse, of course), I have difficulty processing unwelcome male attention--especially such attention as I received on Saturday night. I spent the next two days despising men, in general, young men, in particular. I found myself biting back rude comments, although I wasn't always successful at that. I was sarcastic when my bishop asked to talk to me at church (and I didn't go talk to him). I was unkind to a couple of online friends, and a few in person ones, as well. I told Darrin I needed space. I told my sons to let me be. Then I brooded and despised all men for a couple of days.
It's interesting to me that after years of learning how to control my feelings in a heterosexual world, there are still times when those feelings seem to control me. And it's also interesting that I sought out my lesbian friends for companionship during this time--not that it helped in the least, but that's who I wanted to talk to. One of my best friends, Lydia, has moved to a town an hour away. She commutes to the university daily, but I usually only have phone contact with her, and occasionally we go out to lunch. We talked for about an hour--we didn't spend a lot of time on my recent experience, but we did talk about it. She began a relationship with another woman last year and is very happy in that situation. Lydia shared some of the things that make her happy. Needless to say, this phone conversation didn't help with the feelings I was having--at all.
Finally last night, I talked to Aaron. I still haven't told him what happened. I'll probably do that tonight. I had lunch with David's mom today and I told her. Amazingly, that felt better. When I told Lydia about my experience, she condemned all men in a thoroughly satisfactory manner, complete with graphic expletives and wickedly funny commentary. And it made me feel worse. David's mother listened sympathetically, and expressed how uncomfortable and upset she would have been in a similar situation. I'm not certain why telling the straight person helped more than telling Lydia. I find it very interesting.
So after lunch I went Christmas shopping, and I put my favorite men (and boys, I suppose, because Adam isn't quite a man yet--and maybe DJ isn't either) back on my list and got some fun things for them. Then I went home and gave myself the lecture about treating the opposite sex with respect and love, even when I feel like I want to dig a big hole and shove the lot of them into it. I reminded myself that not every man is disgusting, that some are really quite nice, and that I love them. It started sinking in...so by the time I talked to AtP on the phone, I believe I was actually myself again, and I didn't despise him. In fact, I quite liked him which is a very good thing.
I'm wishing I didn't have to keep rehashing the same miserable reactive emotions, but I'm glad they don't last long anymore. I've also decided that I need to stop believing that I'm safe in any circumstance, and be more aware of possible circumstances that might not be the best for me. Because of my past, because of my orientation, I need to be more careful about my environment and the company I keep. There's nothing wrong with prudence, and I think there are times when it's okay to protect myself.