This sounds very superficial and childish in simplicity... But...
I told two women in AA, they were amazed that I was not mad at my perp. That struck a bell. I heard them, I saw their rage.
I started working out and taking better care of myself. I started to feel better about me. I started to feel more like a man. I stopped being obsessed with the approval of others and gradually, I mean gradually, started thinking of what I want.
At some point, not sure when, I actually started to believe I was lovable to a woman. I started to think I look ok. It was a nice ego boost to be noticed and chatted up by other women at the gym. I started to feel like, it sounds silly to say, but I felt like a teenage boy little. Feelings that were there but never really there in the right way.. It dawned on me that I have a woman very much wanting to have sex with me at home.
At times I just wanted to fuck her. Like a younger normal guy would. Not some metro sensitive crap. I wanted to hit that! Ha! Ha!
She felt it and loved it.
Now I talk trash o my wife sometimes. Send her sexy text messages. I would be lying if I left out that once in a while something triggers a memory that is bad. I don't do anal for reasons of memories.
I know I have a few weak spots, and try to work with them.
It has been strange to be more expressive of my desires. Physical ones. Not feeling guilty or weird. It was uncomfortable and strange to say it face to face. Texting with her was step one. Then the face to face.
It feels like it just takes time to be comfortable being a man. The things that we did, that happened to us tear away at everything society tells us a man is. So taking charge sexually and giving it good to a woman is more of a huge leap than you can imagine. To be 'The Man'. Used to be a pressure packed, terrifying proposition. In the past I would feel guilt or shame in saying it, but it does feel good in a primal way to have that great screaming sex. Not he physical sensation, the emotional feeling of being that guy... The one that can satisfy his woman. What is more key to self esteem? I admit it, it makes me feel awesome!
But it can happen in time, with dedication and courage to take steps in fear, on faith.
We are damaged but not destroyed. Hope is not lost.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.