As you reemerge into life and you venture into situations, you may feel like the situations you've experienced in the past are now viewed as "before". Now you are trying to experience them in the filter of "after". Your emotional reactions and fears can become overwhelming and confusing. I personally find myself questioning why am I so scared of this?
There comes a point where you just have to hold yourself. When you are alone and all is quiet... Or you have locked yourself in the bathroom and let the iPad be your nanny. Either way, there will be realizations, that are shocking to you. Part of you knows you should cry. You can feel that expanding ball in your chest, you know the tears will be the release you need, but they won't come.
Now, pull your knees up to your chest wrap your arms around yourself, rest your cheek on your shoulder and rock yourself gently. Tell the woman you were that she didn't deserve it. Tell her that you love her and she is a good person. Tell her to forgive herself. Hold her like she is your best friend, comfort her like she is your daughter and just let her sob until everything is spent.
I often think I've got my shit all figured out, because I am generally a very happy person. But I'd be a liar if I told you I don't live in a state of "before" and "after". Everything I try for the first time since feels like my first time all over again but with a lot more hesitation and reaction within myself I don't fully understand. I just need to be patient and loving with myself, and keep on putting myself back out there. It does get easier. Keep going.