"How do you feel a year on from assault?"

If you'd asked me this a couple of weeks ago, I'd have said I was okay. Then, in the early hours of yesterday morning, I did a live stream. I was feeling an emotion I didn't recognise, and still, I don't recognise or have a name for. It came after days of retracing the events of that night, so naturally, I ended up talking about what happened.

About halfway through, my anger reached boiling point. "F*ck it, I'm just going to say it, I'd never had sexual relations with anyone before". That was it. I cried. I realised that a lot of what I was feeling was anger at having my choice removed from me. I had the choice of sharing those moments for the first time with someone I was attracted to, someone I loved. That's a big deal to me.

So a year on, I'm feeling lots of anger.

That said, some of the anger isn't actually directed at him. Some of it's at me.

You see, for me, what happened took place in two parts. After the first part, I sneaked to the bathroom, locked the door, and curled up on the floor. I cried with my phone held to my chest, before eventually going back, sitting on the sofa he was asleep on, plugging my phone in, and continuing to talk to the people who were messaging me to see if I was okay. I was exhausted and fell asleep sitting up. The next part was worse than the first part.

So, naturally, I still end up kicking myself for going back to the sofa. Some of my anger is directed at myself for being foolish. Then I catch myself on and remind myself that I should be able to fall asleep with the expectation not to be assaulted.

Self-blame is toxic.

So a year on, I've learned to be angry about what happened. I've also learned to spot when I'm falling into the trap of self-blame. So I guess I've made slow progress. Slow or not, though, it's progress, and I'm grateful for it.