Impromptu Second Date

I was busy from the time my feet hit the floor this morning.  I cooked bacon and pancakes, baked two loaves of bread, and made homemade chicken noodle soup.  I was hoping to be done with everything by 2:00 pm so that I could shower and get the grocery shopping done.

The kids were at each others’ throats.  I was going out of my mind because they would not stop!  They were even threatening to beat each other up.  Liam was complaining about me making him do too many chores because he didn’t want to wash dishes.  And he doesn’t just complain, he kicks things and yells.  It’s like having a giant-sized three year old in the house.  I’m so ready for him to be done with puberty and for the testosterone to ease up a bit.

Quentin called while I was in my bedroom folding clothes.  I’d shut the door to chat with him but I could hear the children getting more and more ready to kill each other so I told him I had to go and asked if I could call him back.  I got the kids settled down and called him back.  Two minutes later, the kids were at it again.  Quentin got an earful of my kids at their finest.  I had to get off the phone again so Quentin and I stuck to texting.

To my great delight, I got done with everything an hour early.  I hopped in the shower and enjoyed a nice, long, hot shower.  When I got out, I was drying my hair and decided to ask Quentin if he’d ever taken his dog to our local dog park.  He said he was there the day before.  I texted, “I was thinking…..”  He said, “Wanna go?”  We decided to meet in 30 minutes.

His dog is adorable!!!!  We talked while his dog played with the other dogs.  Then he put the leash on him and we went walking around the park.

At one point, he reached over, put his arm around my shoulder, and gave me a side hug.  Damnit, I froze again!  I could feel everything in me tense up.  He immediately let go and said, “That wasn’t a handshake.”  I said, “No, it wasn’t.”  He apologized, then I quickly changed the subject.  I was busy, in my head, berating myself for freezing again.  How can I ever hope to protect myself if I simply freeze when someone touches me?

We were in the dog park for about 45 minutes when I decided I really should get going and get my grocery shopping done.  I’d told the kids I was going to the grocery store and snuck over to meet him first.  When he walked me to my car, he said, “So no hugs?  Just a handshake?”  I said, “Yes.”  He said, “That over there wasn’t ok, was it?”  I said, “It really wasn’t.”  He apologized again.  I told him that I have strong body boundaries but didn’t explain further than that.  I gave him the two pieces of homemade bread I’d brought for him and we said good-bye.

As I was walking around the grocery store, he texted to apologize again and to say that he hadn’t realized how important it was to me.  I told him it really is important to me and he replied that he was sure there was a reason.  I told him we could talk about it a bit when we have lunch next Saturday.

I had to call a friend to talk about it.  I don’t know what is a red-flag and what is normal.  I know that I was feeling that I just wanted to cut and run but I know my reactions are anything but normal where this type of stuff is concerned.  People aren’t perfect.  She said that she has no body boundaries so she could easily see herself doing the exact same thing then apologizing profusely just like Quentin did.  I felt a lot better about it after talking to her and getting an outside perspective on it.

What also impressed me was that he was paying enough attention that he felt me tense up.  He immediately withdrew his arm from me.  Bubba was never that aware of me or simply didn’t care, I don’t know which.  Quentin was aware and he cared.

I’m still interested in getting to know him.  I’m still interested in him getting to know me.  I know I’m going to have to figure out what to tell him next weekend.  I know coming out with, “Well my ex raped me for 15 years and never let me say no,” would not go over very well.  I think I’ll simply say, “You probably got the idea that I’ve been physically hurt in the past.  It is very important to me to be asked before being touched.  I need to give active consent by saying, ‘Yes,’ or feel free to say, ‘No,’ before I’m touched.”  I also figured if he asks about it I can tell him that it is something that I’m actively working through, I know that once people feel safe to me then I gradually accept and encourage touching but it just takes time and patience.

We’ll see.

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