Obviously, love, you'll learn a lot scanning these boards...and welcome, btw. I can only speak from my experience as a survivor.

I prefer my "solitude," I'll call it, because I feel completely free to be myself. Some of it comes from being an only child and learning to be my own best company. Some of it comes from physically, verbally and emotionally abusive parenting. When I came out of my bedroom, I knew I was essentially on stage for them and everything would be judged mercilessly. To this day - not that it's necessarily a bad thing for business - I feel I have to be "on" and convincing in most interactions. Plus side of this is I'm often perceived as gregarious, etc. I am. Sometimes, too, I'm genuinely interested in what others are saying in a social situation. But it takes a lot out of me.

My CSA (childhood sex abuse) was my high school guidance counselor to whom I turned in desperation and as my last chance for help. The Sandusky matter was my trigger, so it's been a rough couple of months since the verdict as I finally put all of it together for the first time. I already had issues trusting people who, though I was supposed to be able to trust them, didn't deserve my trust. With the guidance counselor, it was once-and-for-all driven home that I could trust no one, and especially those who I was supposed to be able to trust.

So, yeah, intimacy - scary enuf for most people - feels downright dangerous to me. 40 years later, I keep people at arm's length.

Re HD001's "slings and arrows" comment: If, for example, someone innocently suggests, "Why don't you...?" I can really go off. I really don't want to have to go thru the full explanation of "why not" because they don't have a clue anyway about what I'm feeling, it means more questions and more explanations. It's just more brain clutter to me and I'm already expending all my energy just to keep it together.

She's also right about "uncomfortable". It's more like embarassed almost to the point of humiliation. Hell, no, I don't want anyone to see me when I'm in a funk.