I have a bunch of blog posts, articles, pictures, and projects on the verge of being shared, but before I do that, I want to ask one thing: How are you doing?
For me, it has been 6 weeks of my partner and I against the
world. We alternate going grocery
shopping every 10 days or so, and go out to pick up a new keg of beer every two
weeks. The sunshine has been shining for
the last 2 days which as certainly helped, but let me be completely honest, I now
have days in a row where I do nothing. I
love my projects, and my writing grounds me, but for one reason or another, I
just do nothing! Many days I feel just
like I am in a state of limbo. That’s
me, now, how are you doing? Feel free to answer in the comments, social media,
or even share a post you have written about your current state of mind.
Check-In’s are important.
At the end of this isolation, having a strong network of support will
make shifting out easier. We had no say as
to when the distancing would begin, and that can be incredibly challenging for
many of us. Being told what to do is not
an easy thing. We are adults after all,
with autonomy, and yet, here we all sit choosing the collective good of society,
rather than our own selfish needs. And that needs to be acknowledged and
celebrated. I thank each and everyone of
you who are doing your part to distance, and minimize contact with your fellow
humans. Again though, this is not easy,
so, how are you doing?
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If you are not Ok, please comment. Reach out! Let us all help each other get through this. Alternatively,
if there is something that you are doing that is working really well, could you
please share? Maybe something as simple
as smiling at yourself in the mirror, or taking 5 minutes to stretch your whole
body helps. Wherever you are with this
check in, let us work together by helping, or sharing. The whole social media community has a real
opportunity to prove its real value in our society. So, let us pause, reflect, and use the tools
we have on hand.
Being in a good dating state of mind is the foundation of my non-monogamous dating and relationship coaching. And if you have been following along in the last few years, you may have noticed that I took a step back when it came to dating, because I recognized that I was in a bad state of mind. I had lost something very dear to me, and that was hope. And as a result, I took a step back, and focused on healing, and basically tackling only those things that were already within my grasp. I took the time to rebuild my own confidence, and sort a few things out. In essence, I put myself into survival mode. And then, with the help of therapy, an incredible network of friends, and my partner I slowly found my inner strength again.
But when I had just accepted that this was my life now, something miraculous happened, I found a glimmer of hope. Without realizing it, that had been what I stopped believing in. I shut the part of me down that was the eternal optimist, and just lived for the few moments that fueled me. Slowly those moments grew into hours, then a full day, and then a few days at a time. And suddenly, I felt my confidence and power come back. It wasn’t the goal. But it was a delightful result. And, as an added bonus, my sexual fantasies, and erotic imagination are starting to rebuild as well.
Over the past few years, I have started dabbling in erotica writing, and honestly, it was a muscle that felt incredible to finally put down on paper. But it always felt a little out of my grasp. If inspiration struck, I would have to drop everything and write that specific fantasy down. It was not something that I had any control over. And what’s worse, is that the fantasies, were so far beyond what I had experienced in person that they actually made me a little sad. Here were sexy interludes, crisscrossing my brain, but fully intangible. And yes, I know that many erotica writers are primarily doing so in the fiction realm, but what I wanted to write, I also want as a real part of my life. And well, without hope, I buried that, deep into the depths of my imagination.
I actually did something that I learned as a very young
girl, and that was to compartmentalize.
But here I sit, with a growing clarity and a slowing re-merging
confidence realizing that these fantasies could become realities. And if I was brave enough to take some
action… wow! Would I ever be in for some
fun times and sexy adventures. I am
flushed just thinking of the possibilities.
Of putting down the guard that always says no, until I have weighed out
all the pros and cons, and just opening up, a little bit more than I have in
And finally, just writing this post, my brain has been awash with a few percolating fantasies. While the majority will simply exist on paper, there are a few that I might try and make reality. And that is both terrifying and deeply erotic. It is a place I want to grow more comfortable with exploring, and all of that was made possible by the tiny little word… hope.
If you’re curious what fantasies I am working on, check out my Patreon page for the latest!
Over the past year, I placed a big carrot in front of me. I wanted to achieve something I have never had in my adult life, and I focused my attention on that one thing. At the age of 36, I was finally going to be debt free, by making a huge life change, and sacrificing home ownership for the removal of this mental burden. Why am I sharing this with you? Because, it hasn’t happened yet. And in the interim of this will it, or won’t it scenario, I am learning a whole bunch about myself, and my mental health.
It turns out, having a carrot to work towards, is not
something that gives me peace. It is
just too big a goal, and far beyond my direct control. Thus, I placed my mental happiness on
something in the future, and one that was not a sure thing. I am going to tell you with complete honesty,
that it came close to destroying me. I
forgot to find joy in the day to day. I
became consumed with this idea, that my happiness depended on this far off
event, and if I just held out for a few more days, weeks, months, then I could
finally smile again. Then, I could breath
a huge sigh of relief.
I’ve made this mistake in the past. I put all my eggs into a basket, that seems
like a sure thing, and allow my mental well being to just kind of simmer, until
this goal is achieved. I’ve done this
with my career, with my past relationships (maybe even my current one, but that
is too close to home to analyze right now), and I just snapped myself out of
doing this for a moment longer with my debt.
The thing is, I do have to make sacrifices right now. I have put the exploration of my sexual
fluidity on hold. I was so excited to have
a first date with a female, but the reality is, dating is expensive and very
time consuming. I know this. And it would not be fair or even rational to
put myself out there right now. But, as
I am figuring out, not everything I do has to feel like I am giving something
up. I can enjoy my 20 minutes of yoga a
day, with clarity. I can take breaks to
play video games because it makes me happy, and my brain needs mental breaks throughout
the day. And yes, I feel proud of all
the writing and progress I am making working from home part time.
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In the past little while, I have resisted posting pity me social media status’s and it has been difficult. I cried out loud to my partner, that I just wished someone would finally feel sorry for me, and tell me that I have come so far after such a difficult journey. Let me just have one person feel sorry for me, I sobbed. And you know what? He did the complete opposite. He told me that I could be proud of what I had done, and reminded me, that it is OK to take breaks and not work so hard. I don’t have to prove to myself that I work 80 hours a week, to feel good about myself. I can work half that, and enjoy my breaks and the little things. And that my friends, is when I realized that I was using this carrot as my permission slip to be happy. And, well, that is change I am making in my life. I may never be out of debt, and I may never enjoy the financial freedom that I believe I would as a child. And you know what? I very well still could. This isn’t that I am giving up on achieving a goal. Instead, I am trying to be more aware and conscious that I can be proud of myself right now. That I can celebrate small victories with as much intensity as the big ones. And well, just writing that, the lump in my throat went down. I breathed a sigh of relief, and the tears that were brimming as I typed, slowly just went away. I don’t need to spell out all my obstacles and hurdles to you all to elicit sympathy. Instead, I can let that go, and focus on the joy and the smaller moments. Life is what you make of it right?
Thank you for all the love, support, and a special thanks to all the people who have bought me a beer on Patreon!
I can be an intense, and passionate person. I articulate my thoughts and feelings in a way that for most new people in my life seems attractive, confident, and refreshing. I approach people and their relationships in a thoughtful, attentive, and what comes across as a well-balanced way that gives off the impression that it just comes naturally to me. The truth is, it took me decades to reach this point. To understand myself, and articulate my thoughts and feelings in such a way that I know exactly when to ask for a hug, ask for space, or just break down and say I have no idea what I need and require help or support.
Now, having this personality is refreshing to people. I blossom in one on one conversations, and usually, I can get a persons life story or deepest secrets within a first meeting. And the range of people I meet this way is fascinating and incredible. But for purposes of this post, I need to shed light on a specific personality type that has plagued me, over and over again, the nice guy.
When I meet a nice guy I usually steer clear of them, because I will admit, I know the pattern our friendship will take, and I never like the final outcome. First, we will become super fast friends. He will feel an incredible high knowing I shared something intimate about my life, and will cling onto that. He will share, what he feels is similar information and create this overly powerful bond in his head. Instead of feeling that we are equals, he will start to idolize or fantasize that what we have is special and unique. And it is. But… there is a catch. Men like this, do not recognize that the are getting a high from this. And that they crave this feeling of being special. So they start asking more intimate questions. They start to delve deeper into your world, in an almost invasive way. Not out of malice but to re-play that initial feeling. And they poke, and prod into your relationship looking for cracks and dirt so that they can “return the favor” and help you solve some monumental moment in your life.
They, in short, feed off of your negative situation and crave it more and more. They want to feel special, and the problem is that it is not in your accomplishments but in your failures. That’s where their emotional boost comes through most strongly. That’s the role they have found in your life, and the experience that they want to relive.
Now, as I mentioned, I avoid these people whenever possible because the reality for me, is I hate having the confrontations with these people. A few more noteworthy ones include, telling a guy exactly what he has been doing and watching him just melt. It was gut wrenching and I couldn’t handle it. Or the guy who got so angry that he called me a tease, and bitch, and well… it got really messy. Then there was the guy that I tried to coach and deal with more gently. For this particular guy I ended up having to finally end the friendship because I got so sick and tired of calling out his bad behaviour because he was incapable of breaking this cycle. And the more I write these the reactions the more I solidify why I just am not equipped to handle this personality type. It’s icky for me, and I would rather just close the door from the onset.
But, here I sit, realizing that there are situations that I cannot avoid. Co-workers, mutual friends, and the worst of them all, the men who I thought were normal friends, but see opportunity in something I shared and basically preditorially pounce, thereby changing the entire relationship dynamic, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, feigning as the nice guy to get closer to me.
So, let me be clear, I believe that the majority of people can
change their behaviour once they recognize it for what it is and actually see
value in overcoming it. I’m an optimist
and do see overall good in individuals. From what I have seen, people are mostly devastated
when I point out this energy cycle to them, and honestly, I don’t enjoy
crushing people like that, because I do not have the energy, expertise, or
drive to help anyone like this fix themselves.
This is a hard limit for me. And
why, whenever I have full control, I give a hard NOPE to this particular negative
thriving person (again, I know it’s not on purpose, but that doesn’t make it
better!). So, what then do I do with the
unavoidable nice guys? What do I say to
them? Why do I constantly have to be
clear, put them in their place, or worse, re draw lines in our friendship to
ensure I don’t become prey to their need to “just help me”? I am not someone who wants pity. I just want equality in my friendships and authentic
communication. I want to be free to vent
about another person in my life without having a reaction of judgment, and the horrible
“if I were you” or the life draining sentiment of “ I would never treat you
Can we just be there for each other during the rough times, and build each other up on the day to day? Can we find a way to communicate without putting others down? Or better yet, realize that humans have a great capacity to hold more than one soul dear in their lives. We don’t need to always vie for that one coveted spot of primary or best friend, or any other of these titles. Just be a good friend, a good person, and stop the cycle of feeding off of negativity!
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First off, I am a survivor and not a victim. I say that out loud to myself from time to time, because I find it helps me regain my power and control over the situation that I found myself in a few years ago (sorry I cannot give a specific timeline due to circumstance outside of my control). Why did it take me so long to come out and write about it? Because, it was difficult for me to put a label on it, and publicly address what happened to me, especially as, until recently, many of the people I considered extended family read my blog and knew this man. The silly thing is, the fear of not writing this post, is a key reason why I need to. I need to break any and all control that my former mentor, and confident has/had over me, and I need to do it from a place of serenity and autonomy, and try not to let the fear of him getting upset and isolating me any further (I still am keeping his full identity anonymous as this is about healing and not about starting a witch hunt). This is my experience as I am Breaking free from gaslighting.
What is Gaslighting?
When I first read about the term gaslighting, I dismissed it as the latest buzzword. A trend to label behaviour that was most likely a form of abuse and required a person to just get out of the situation. For the most part, I dismiss labels, and by doing that I feel that I can be more fluid and not allow them to define or trap me. However, as I recently discovered, I needed this term in my life, to come to full terms with what was happening to me, and just how bad things were about to get. If you want a fuller description of gaslighting, please check out this link, but for the context of this post it is someone who never apologizes without making you feel guilty. It is someone who makes you feel isolated and that everything wrong is your fault, and claims to love you unconditionally with caveats that are completely unachievable. They lie repeatedly, refuse to take any personal responsibility, and what for me was even worse, they tell everyone that you are the crazy one. Honestly, there were times that the magnitude of how cruel the whole situation was, I could barely catch my breath. And being isolated from all my family friends, and not realizing how deep the isolation actually went, I would naively turn to them for help and end up making an even bigger hole for myself, by proving that I was the crazy one who was off kilter.
All I can say, is that even though he tried numerous times
to turn my partner against me, and drive a wedge between us, my partner has the
most incredible B.S. detector I have ever met and he called him out for exactly
what he was, and what he was doing to me.
Without my partner, I may have crumbled and gone crawling back to this
man because I honestly was left with, a feeling of complete nothingness.
Where Am I Now?
While I still feel the weight from time to time of this person’s years of abuse, and occasionally find myself asking if I am stupid or weak, I have far more good days than bad. I have incredible friends who ensure I do not feel alone, and are happy just to sit in silence sipping a beer with me if I need to, sometimes it’s not enough. There are moments, that I dream about him, and honestly wake up believing that things are back to how I idealized they were when I was younger. I feel this incredible calm, that maybe this nightmare I have lived is over, and I am free. I go back and forth between fantasy and reality, sometimes worried that I will never know the truth. I am not fully free of this man, and for my mental sanity, I have to just accept that for the time being and continue to find peace in what I can control. And that, is how I move forward with my life, and how I can forgive myself for living so long with the mental hell of my past.
And please, out of respect for me, and my families privacy as I continue to work through this difficult time, do not guess who this person is, or try and reach out to that individual. There is zero good that can come from that. And I have learned that the only person that I can control is myself. I am not looking for apologies, answers, or even acknowledgment. I am simply taking care of my own mental health by writing this very painful post out, and continuing to heal with purpose.
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