That virus that is going around really knocked me on my kazoo. Anyway, I'm back and I'm going to add a few more things.
Scot, you posted
Would I want to respond to genuine affection? Do I want to just be held? Or will I always be afraid because of what the @$$hole did to me?
Amen, brother. Even assuming I want to just be held, I react fearfully and defensively. Just being touched can evoke a flinch. Often when another guy just attempts to squeeze my shoulder in encouragement, I find myself jumping or evading the touch. Talk about fear!
But there does seem to be room for hope. The reactions have become somewhat less severe in the last few months. Maybe that has something to do with a greater understanding of the roots of the fear, i.e., conscious memories of my abuse, and a better image of myself. Still, I would love, just once
, to be able to express affection or even just regard for another person male or female, without having to deal with the intrusions of coitally suggestive overtones. And for these intrusions, I have my perp to thank :p .