I'm not exactly sure if this is where this would go, but I figure it would be nice to share my recent realizations.

I've been struggling with my sexual identity after coming to grips with my abuse that I kept buried for 12 years. As most know, abuse by the same gender can leave you confused and question your identity.

My abuse experience was for about 10-12 weeks when I was 18 and on my own for the first time in college. This was also my first sexual experience, so in a way, my sexual identity was experimented with during this time. I didn't like it - it didn't feel natural. I think the most traumatic part of the experience was that I was being used and threatened if I did anything about it or told anybody. At 18, besides being of legal age, I was also (mostly) beyond the adolescent stages of trying to figure things out. But what he did still wasn't right. Come to find out, later, that he was the one with the problem, not me. (I didn't put it together that he was divorced because of this. He is now deceased.)

However, I still have the identity issue because I have never really dated, and have never been intimate with ladies. After my experience, I was confused about that, in addition to the lack of self-confidence with being harrased and bullied because of my stature and my talents during high school. Then I read "The Developmental Theory of Homosexuality" - there is a PDF of it somewhere online, can't find it right now.)

I buried myself in my work, and kept an intimate distance from others, being afraid of getting close because I wasn't sure of what would happen, or letting my abuse slip and being called out as gay because of my abuse. (That I know if a farse.)

Now I believe my next step is to start dating. I think that because of my experience, I now know what love is. That's why I couldn't have a casual relationship with someone without knowing and loving them. I now know what it feels like to be used, and I couldn't use someone else for my own selfish thrill for a little while, like he used me for. I learned to believe that sex is a physical expression of love, not a passing fling.

Maybe these years of burying my pain, and secretly dealing with it o my own, this healing time is my time to hit my "reset" button, and start over with relationships. If I AM fooling myself into thinking I'm alright, then I will figure that out when I notice it. But right now, it is time to get on the dating bandwagon and see what all the fuss has been about for so many millennia!

Thanks for listening!
Beat wishes!