Hey, everyone! I have a wild ride of a story to share. I'm turning to forums I suppose because I just need to know if there are others that I can connect with that can relate/understand how this feels. Back in 2015, I met this woman though a mutual class at University. I didn't really notice her at first because she was so quiet and shy. Later on in the semester, I began to become apparent of her because here and there she would talk to me and at one point returned something to me I had forgotten at class. We became acquainted with one another and would talk here and there about all sorts of things. The semester ended and we said goodbye to one another on a good note. I gave her a copy of a one of the art works I had done in class that she liked and that was it. I was always curious about her because sometimes I would catch her watching me or looking at me in a way that we all know signals a little deeper than friendship but I didn't get too involved in the idea. Fast forward to 2017, I am walking through the halls of my school one day and I see her working on something. I do up to her and we start chatting. It's really friendly and normal. We end descending into the basement of the university where they have these movie screens. We are both into film and I wanted to show her the theatre. We end up talking about everything but for two hours. She told me about her life and growing up and what her family is like. She revealed a lot about herself and I feel it was the first time I really got to see who she was and how funny, smart, and interesting she was. She asked me if I was still in contact with a friend of mine who took the same class with us. It was coincidental because I had seen that friend the day before and we had gone to a gay bar. I told her this and suddenly were talking about sexuality. She asked me if I was gay and I said yes (I don't have any internal issues with that) and she told me that she was as well. We ended up chatting a bit more and then eventually parted ways. I invited her to hang out with my friends and I sometime (In retrospect I knew in my heart that I'd always been curious about her and just getting an insight into who she was as a person and feeling her energy I knew I was attracted to her. So I was trying to get a little closer to her). I remember leaving the conversation feeling happy to have run into her. Fast forward through the months and I would see her here and there. Every time we talked it seemed that we always ended up talking about our sexualities. She would flirt with me. I would take extra time getting to my class just so I could talk to her. It was obvious without being said that we liked one another. One day, I'm walking in the street and outta the blue she put her hand on my shoulder and says hello. We end up walking towards the main university building and stand outside talking for a bit. She says this and that until she finally says in response to one of my questions "I don't know I just get so nervous around you". At this point I was like okay, this bitch likes me. I like her. Let's do this (haha a little humour before the sad part) So I tell her that she should come visit me in the studio later tonight while I work on my project with my best friends whom one of she is mildly familiar with (she has class with them but they are nothing more than acquaintances). She says yes and we part ways for the moment. Later on, I'm in the class doing my work, hoping that she comes by. My plan is to ask her out. Eventually, she pops in to say hello to me. We talk a bit and then she starts to leave. I go after her in the hallway and I just say it "Would you like to go out on a date with me". I give her ample room to respond and I don't push it. She responses happily and says yes and even suggests what to do. We decide that were going to do something after spring break. We walk away and that it. I continue my evening and go home smiling. A few weeks later, the day of the date comes. I call her and she doesn't pick up. I send her a text, no response. I am hurt but a part of me believes that she wouldn't just ignore me. Perhaps something happened? A few weeks go by and I do see her anywhere at school. Eventually one day I am talking to my friends (same one's who know of her) and I tell them what happened. Turns out they know already. Turns out that evening, minutes after I left the room, she went into the room and told them that she didn't want to go out with me and that she felt that I was coming on to her. They tell me this as their experience of her actions. I am shocked. I literally remember leaving the room and walking in the street. Not knowing where I was going, just walking for what must have been a few hours. I couldn't understand where I went wrong. Where I was "aggressive" or "coming on to her" as I felt we were on the same page. We all know how gay people are already made out to be this way and I was so hurt she had inferred that when I felt I was always considerate with her. I felt like I was made out to be preying on her. I couldn't understand why she was suddenly saying she wasn't gay when she told me otherwise. Weeks, went on and I didn't see her. Eventually, one day I was walking and I saw her sitting on a chair in a relatively empty area. It was like one of those moments in the movies where you see someone they see you and there's no where else to go (lol). I walked up and sat down next to her. I asked her how she was doing and if she was okay. Honestly, she didn't look okay. She looked tired and overwhelmed and out of it. Eventually, I asked her what happened about our date. She was very vague and didn't say much outside that she had an incident while on vacation and that was struggling finishing up school etc. I felt pain coming from her. I didn't even mention that I knew she had gone to my friends, I could only live in the moment and in that moment I felt so bad for her. I told her that I hoped things were okay and we parted ways. After that I saw her everywhere (of course). It was torture. She would avoid me like the plague. But somehow were always in the same room lol. At one point we were in the same elevator heading outside with my friends and her friends in it and it was dead silent because everyone knew what was up. She exited and I went after her saying how we didn't have to be like this and we could just talk and I forgave her. For a split second she seemed about to open up and then told me she couldn't and walked away. The last I saw her that year was at graduation. We ended up in the same line but weren't saying much. There was a little small talk but she eventually said she had to go to the bathroom and never came back. After graduation, I was struggling with the whole thing but eventually as it happens life moves on and so did mine. I got a job, moved (in the same city), dated some other people, I got over it, but for some reason she was always in the corner of mind. I could never understand what happened. Fast forward to 2020, I'm out of the country. I quit my job because I hated it and realized I could do better for myself. I move to Europe for a contract job for 6 months. I'm enjoying it and trying to live my life. Out of the blue one day I get a notification on my phone that she followed me on social media. I'm surprised. Really surprised. She doesn't message me nor does she say anything but as I post pictures of what I'm doing or the new experiences I'm having, see starts liking everyone. One day, she replies to a post of mine in a private message. She says that it's amazing. I'm honestly kinda annoyed but I am kind to her as always and say thank you and leave it at that. Suddenly covid hits and we all know how that is going. Fast forward around six months and I'm back in CA. I have a new apartment with a garden and I tend to post videos of me gardening and how my plants are doing. One day she replies to it and says something like "You're so cool!". I read this and I'm like "what the fuck". Why is she talking to me??? I'm surprised but if I'm being completely honest relieved almost happy because I say to myself will I finally get closure and be able to move on from this completely? I talk to a friend of mine on advice on what I should do. She tells me I should bite and figure out why she's talking to me. So I do. We start a conversation and everything I say I am 100% genuine with. We catch up a bit and then she says to me if I ever need anything to reach out to her and let her know. I'm like wtf, why I need anything from you? That statement makes me feel weird so I just get direct with her and say that's very kind of you and I appreciate it but I felt like before you were very avoidant of me in the past so why are you reaching out to me now? She goes in to talk about how she was struggling with something at the time and sort of gives a half apology about things. At this point I kinda just grow numb. I don't know why. I respond and tell her it all good and I wish her the best, which I mean, but I don't really talk about how I felt. A part of me just wants to move on. She replies and says thanks and wishes me the best. I think after that I will feel better. I don't. I never got a chance to tell her why I was actually upset and it was that she went behind my back to my best friends, people she barley knew, and made it out to be that I was aggressively coming on to her. Later on that week, I'm at one of my friends (that she approached). I tell her what happened an I end up crying in frustration of the whole situation. She tells me I should tell her how she made me feel. Eventually I decide to do it. I write out a long message to her explaining my feels and why I was actually upset. I'm not mean in any way and I try to be as kind as possible. I wrestle sending it. But after having my close friend look it over and my therapist, I decide to send it. A few hours later she gets back to me with this long message. A total apology. She's finally open about everything and admits that she is so sorry about it all. She tells me that she has been thinking about it for years and how she has been drafting me emails she wanted to send and liking my photos to try and talk to me. She tells me at the time that she was struggling with her sexuality and that she all was going through a traumatic experience. At the end she says that she would really like the chance to meet and explain herself in person. I am so shocked to hear this I take a minute to respond. At first I am unsure if I want to meet her but then with time I realize it could help me too. We meet up and we talk about it and I forgive her. She gets me flowers and for a moment it's like we are friends again. She tells me that on her vacation she went through a sexual assault and my heart just leaves my chest. She tells me that she was so out of it and in a very dark place. She takes full reasonability for everything and I gain much more respect for her. I feel so bad for her and her trauma and I feel like we were repairing this old thing (disclaimer: I am totally over this part of the story now and when I forgave her I never even thought about it again, but I need to explain it to explain the full story). The day comes to an end and she asks me to keep in touch. I say okay and I learn that her birthday is coming up in a few weeks. I go home and I feel a lot better about everything. I understand and I forgive her. I am a little apprehensive to getting closer to her so I take the time to think about if I want to try to keep in touch and try a friendship. Fast forward to the day of her birthday. I send her a message saying happy birthday and I ask her if she wants to meet up. She says yes and a week later we end up going to a museum. I just wanted to take it easy and see how a friendship could look with her but as soon as I was around her for more than an hour it was so obvious that we were both still attracted to each other and that we go along so well. I couldn't believe I still felt that way for her. I start to shut down. I completely dismiss every soft pass she makes at me and friendzone her. I once or twice flirt back with her and I get so scared I just go right back to friend zoning her. By the end of the day I feel strange I don't know what to do. We laugh, we smile at eachother and we discover such strange nuance similarities and coincidences about each other that are similar that it's so strange. She tells me at one point she feels it's fate me met. I say goodbye to her with a gift I got her and we plan to do something the following weekend. I leave thinking that this is going to be a good "friendship" but I'm lying to myself. I know what just happened and shy away from it to protect myself. Eventually the day we are meant to meet again comes up. I don't hear from her. I am a little hurt. As in college she would always make plans to do something, or I would text her to do something and she would say yes in person but not respond, so I'm like really?? It feels like were in such a fragile place of our relationship so I am like why would she do that again? I eventually reach out to her in a light hearted way. I ask her what happened and she replies and says she had a bad week can we do something different later. I say of course and for her to let me know when she is free. We exchange a few more texts that week but nothing about meeting again in person. Then one day she just stops replying. Three months go by and nothing. She just disappears and I'm so confused. I have so many feelings about it all. I am frustrated and confused. She was the one who pushed to stay in touch so why would she disappear. In retrospect, I admit that I was hurt because our second connection made me realize I still have feelings for her and now she just disappeared again. But I was also just hurt she had me trust her again and then ditches our plans and then leaves me on read for three months. I'm just fed up at this point. I decide to call her and tell her I don't want to set any sort of expectations for relationship because I am always the one reaching out to her, she leaves me with her fleetingness and she doesn't seem interested in being friends. Turns out she isn't. Says to me that she still likes me and it's too hard for her to just be friends. She says when we saw eachother last it was really hard for her because she felt like she was trying and trying to push for more and I wasn't on the same page. She tell me that I am the first girl she's even felt so strongly for and that she doesn't know how to communicate. She also infers that the sexual trauma she has and the ptsd she has from her it makes difficult for her be intimate. I guess I just couldn't accept that she still liked me. My mine was like "no" to protect myself and the fact of her actions were saying otherwise and hearing her saying it was kinda shocking to me. I told her I didn't know what to say and I remember the conversation and me being kinda guarded. It's still happy at times. You can tell me get along and we even laugh here and there. Eventually I tell her I need some time to think and she says she does too. I tell her to call me back. And that's that. I spend the whole week thinking about it and I realize that I still feel for her. I tell her that through a text. I tell her that I was just afraid but I don't want that to get in the way anymore. A week goes by and she doesn't reply, nor has she called back. For the next month every week or so I send her a message just letting her know I'm thinking about her and I care. She doesn't answer. I call her and she doesn't pick up. I even try comedy, nothing and I'm funny as fuck (joke obviously). I try and be so patient but she completely shuts me out. Fast forward to the beginning of Feb and it's been over a month since I've heard from her. I am going crazy. Trying to figure out what the fuck is going on and whats she thinking. I tell her I care and that I do like her and I want to see her and nothing. Eventually I reach my limit. I send her an 10 minute audio voice note saying that I can't do this anymore. I care for you and think of you but it's obvious you can't do this. I tell her that I feel hurt and that I feel like I really tried here but I can't force you and I can't rush you in anyway. I tell her how beautiful I think her mind is and how I think that that's the most special thing about her. I tell her that I want to give her love and compassion and that I am going to step back and let her be. I tell her that I hope she heals and that I wish her nothing but the best and that she should give herself self love. Then I say goodbye. It's been a month now and I am still raw. Why did this happen? I know it's because she's not ready. All I want to do is make her feel safe.