Tweeting Through It

7/23/21: Okay, I have cried on the subway before, but crying while wearing a paper disposable face mask on the subway is a whole other experience.

7/30/21: pivoting to misandry

8/4/21 (draft): I feel fully vindicated in my belief that men are not to be trusted and I want nothing to do with them professionally, romantically, or sexually.

8/5/21: does Hallmark make a card that says “congratulations on fucking up my mental health”

8/5/21 (draft): i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so angry i’m so

8/5/21 (draft): why do all these men assume I’m trying to fuck and/or marry them when all I want to do is like, nap and be treated with basic human decency

8/7/21: Thelma and Louise totally holds up. The justice system is rigged against survivors, survivors have no one but each other, and any form of justice we create for ourselves typically ends up with us dead.

8/21/21 (draft): lmao I have a hickey

8/24/21 (draft): you ever have sex with a woman and then put your LinkedIn shirt back on

8/26/21: The absolute pleasure of telling someone “hey I don’t think I want to go any further than this” when you’re fooling around and having them agree and not argue!! No cajoling!! No negotiating!! No guilt-tripping!!

8/26/21: Sex should be opt-in, not opt-out.

9/7/21: It’s uncomfortable to talk publicly about distrusting/disliking men because it’s often pathologized as mental illness or some kind of weak-willed trauma response. As opposed to, you know, an informed opinion rooted in gender politics.

9/17/21 (draft): Keep having nightmares that I’m trapped in his apartment and I can’t leave!! Thanks I hate it!!

9/17/21 (draft): I underestimated how difficult it would be to work while processing all this trauma.

9/26/21: that dark feeling of relief when you finally get incontrovertible proof that someone you’ve felt mistreated by is an asshole and it’s not just your insecurity making you assume the worst

10/19/21: men love to be like, your hurt feelings hurt my feelings actually

10/20/21 (draft): oh no it’s a bad brain day for dawson

10/29/21: no greater feeling than when your new therapist’s eyes widen in alarm

11/6/21: I am very bad at setting boundaries with people and I used to beat myself up for it. Now I’m realizing I’m not bad at setting boundaries, men just do not respect them.

12/8/21: you ever tell a new therapist about a traumatic experience from a decade ago and realize how much that grief and fear still lives in your body, informing all of your choices subconsciously??

12/19/21: is it depression or is it reaching the point in therapy where you’ve pulled off the scabs on several years of repressed trauma

12/28/21 (draft): Another day, another nightmare

12/29/21: zoom therapy is so funny because I’ll make a big declaration about my feelings at the end of the session and then awkwardly look for the “end call” button

12/31/21: New Year’s Resolution: I will stop defending the people who have hurt me to my therapist.

1/5/22: telling your therapist about a new crush is like introducing a new character mid-season

1/12/22: I watched Scream to impress a boy and now I genuinely can’t stop watching the Scream franchise

1/14/22 (draft): I bought a tub of two-bite brownies and ate the whole thing in less than 24 hours, where’s my medal

1/23/22: In dark and perilous times rife with isolation, crushes provide a vital source of serotonin and hope. In this essay I will-

1/26/22 (draft): lol when you google sexual coercion and some of the example quotes from healthline are things he said verbatim

1/27/22 (draft): probably a bad sign when you keep googling “sexual coercion definition” “sexual abuse definition” “sexual coercion badgering examples” “coercion PTSD”

1/28/22: I just watched The Invisible Man on a first date and wasn’t triggered at all, I think I won the abuse survivor olympics

1/29/22 (draft): when u have a date with someone who really understands enthusiastic consent and makes you feel lovely and safe and desired, and the next morning ur like oh yeah shit ok it’s true, I was sexually assaulted

1/29/22 (draft): fuckin stoked about how well that date went tho, like that’s what we’re focusing on today and celebrating ty ty

2/2/22 (draft): therapist agrees what happened fits the criteria of sexual assault and I am so comforted by the idea of a checking off a bunch of boxes on a lil rape list

2/3/22: I’ve been quiet lately because I’m processing two very opposite feelings at once (confronting sexual abuse, having a Big Time Simp Crush) and I have no brain cells to spare. Content will resume eventually.

This essay was first published on my Patreon, where I write exclusive essays about intimacy and relationships each month. Subscribe here.

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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.