Within the month my girlfriend and I will have been together for a year. Right now I've come to her home for a couple of weeks. This visit with her family is thankfully less anxiety ridden than Christmas, which to me is still nightmarish when I think back. I've been in therapy and working on my issues of sexual abuse now for 7 months and I know I have progressed by leaps and bounds. The thing I have trouble with is the understanding and acceptance that with progression comes new challenges.

Here I am, visiting with her family as "the boyfriend" and I still feel that inner guy inside talking me out of believing it. This has felt like a dream to me; at times a fantatic one, others a dream out of reach. I grew up always believing that I could never really be with a girl, I could never be accepted dating a girl, being around other men as a "straight" male. I was abused by two males in my family, closer to my age than an actual adult, but still older. I remember growing feeling such shame about "who I was" and as I've taken baby steps to see that the idea of "who I was" was really "what had happened to me". I still find myself giving in sabatoging my comfort and trust with messages about not being enough of this kind of guy or that kind of guy or like her Dad or like the guy sitting in the chair across the restaurant. My moments of comparing physical appearance and my fantasy idea that every guy I see has large genetalia and is therefore a real man or has a sexual power that I can never have. (I'm getting lost in my thoughts)

I've had a blessed couple of minutes with Loren, my girlfriend, and her family and myself when I realized that what all those boys and now men have that I envy and long for and have had all along (at least in my perception) is trust and security. Trust in their bodies and security in their sexuality. At the least, I envied "normal" people's chance to develope their sexuality on their own. I still have times when I look at men's packages in a desperate attempt to size them up and belittle my own self-image and worth. For all my areas of progress this still occurs and wears me down! Fluctuating between running to masturbate for relief and taking care of myself is frustrating. I feel like I'm not helpless in this, I am feeling like I still have some attatchment to the ideas I held onto about the abuse. They were the make up of my life up until this past year. Whether it really was "who I was" or not, it is still "who I thought I was". Having moments of comfortablitity and true pleasure at my situation, being in love with a girl, getting along like a best friend with her at her home, getting along great with her parents, feeling a real acceptance- its great, but it is also scary at times. I get scared. And I get worried that it will all be taken away. So much was taken away from me! I struggle. ...sometimes I just need to say, read, hear these things for myself.

Here with my girlfriend and her family I have little time to myself it seems. I'm missing two weeks of therapy and group and I do miss them. I have little time with my girlfriend too. That has been a strange thing... we've been living together (me at her place) for almost three months I guess. Coming here and having to sleep apart and not be at all intimate has felt at times like secrecy. I've gotten so compfortable with our relationship, coming here and fighting my ingrained ideas about love and sex and dating has been tough because so often I feel I'm doing it alone. In front of her, but not with her. My resources are not as available it seems. But I know this is what I need- to be thrust into being somewhat on my own to try out these new waters. Our love isn't secretive, though I feel aan invading sense of secrecy about it. We don't need to be physicaly intimate to be together or close, yet I feel threatened and at times lost without those encounters... I have used them as a huge barometer and support for my choice to be with her. To prove my ability to be with a woman. Still approaching it from a childs piint of view It think... not fully trusting my expereince and choices- I feel stifled at times by constantly needing validation. Guys, I love her like I have never loved anyone. She lights me up in a way I have never been lit up before! I use to compare this to my feelings in my dangerous acting out expereinces with men, and would be so lost and confused wondering if it was right since I didn't feel the rush and intense fear/lust/desperation feeling of those times. ...this is upsetting. I searched so long for a way to control the abuse and time and time again, what I thought was my choice, mine to own and carry and control, ended up overtaking me and eating me up.... this is something different and new, always new, and that is scary to trust. I love her, my hardest times are when I doubt myself and my love for her. As she-and-I-together clash with the risidual self-concept I carry of myself from childhood, I guess I just have to be patient and if trusting in myself or my choice is hard, try to at least give my trust and faith to the higher power of the unverse... taht I'm being taken care of in a grand scale. ...and that my anger I have inside needs to come out and will come out in due time. Ahh... I'm a bit numb guys.

I'm gonna end this here, it's a long one. Thanks for listneing.

David