My brain and I

I am frustrated with my brain. I feel like it’s one of my most defective organs and it infuriates me often. I re-read some of my past blog posts from a few years ago and I realized I’m still dealing with the same issues. It’s rather disheartening to have such a realization. It makes me feel like I’m a completely broken human being and I have very little chance of healing myself. I don’t know how to get past abandonment issues or how to get past my fear of failure/never feeling like I’m enough. I still overachieve and for some reason, it’s been deeply programed in my psyche that I must “do” in order to earn or deserve love. I do and do and anticipate, just so whomever I’m serving or assisting is pleased. I’m still trying to gain the approval of parents and I’m 47 years old.

I am aware that this sort of response to the would and MO in relationships is due to childhood abuse. Abused kids either act out with anger or withdraw and turn their anger inside, towards themselves. I am definitely the latter. I didn’t deserve to be treated as I was when I was young. No abused kid does. Instead of developing anger at the world, I developed a deep hatred for myself because I felt the way I was treated was deserved on some level. In my kid brain, I survived by minimizing myself, my needs and tried to not be a bother to anyone or need anything. I remember vividly, crying at night, asking God why was I born, because nobody wanted me around in the first place. I had thoughts of harming myself from about age 10 and was very depressed. I dreamed of someone taking me and freeing me from my surroundings. I dreamed about being a prostitute because at least I’d be wanted by someone (one of those beggars can’t be choosers situations?). In my 10 year old brain, this dream was a reprieve from the negative loop of constant self hate.

Why did I decide to write about all of this tonight?? My beloved husband shared his counselling workbook that he wrote when he counseled people at his church. He wrote a 6 week, deep dive course into one’s core wounds and it helps folks identify the areas they need to heal. Last night, I received a 2 hour condensed version of his course. I have always wanted someone to focus on and help me with the icky childhood shit I can’t seem to get past. I hate that I’m 47 and this stuff still holds me back. I still react as I did as a kid, in survival mode. I shrink still and I hate that I do. I’m not seen as confident in those moments and I know confidence is attractive. When I’m deep in a trigger, I withdraw and get very quiet. I’m not myself anymore in those moments. I thought I was past all of this, but apparently not!

Healing isn’t linear. I am still a work in progress. I suppose we all are on some level. Thanks for reading. Wish me luck.

A Banner Week

Well, it’s been a little bit and much has transpired since my last post!

This week, so far, I’ve had 3 interview in Tucson, I’ve applied for a phlebotomy program in Tucson and I ended a relationship which needed to end for a long time. Fortunately, he made it very easy. But, let me back up! I decided to relocate to Tucson. The cost of living were I am is increasing and if my rent goes up, I’ll be in a very bad position financially. I’m already working as much as I can. I’m tired much of the time and I don’t know how else to get ahead, so it felt like a good time to leave Prescott Valley and embark on some big change.

So much of change involves the clearing out of the old to make room for the new and bright things ahead. No one wants to drag old energy, old ideas or unfulfilling relationships into the “new”. This week, I finally ended something that’s been dragging on for several years (I am embarrassed to say).

I met J.B. in 2018, when I was still in massage school. He was the first person who I “dated” after separating from my ex. When we met, I was very vulnerable, recently separated and going through a huge life change (massage school). We tried to dating (which consisted of texting to try and hook up) for a while. I started to have feelings for him, he got nervous and became very distant. I also felt he wasn’t being straight with me somehow. I felt he was hiding stuff in his life or past, so I went looking for anything I could find on him.

After a background check, I found it. A police charge, for solicitation. Apparently there was a prostitution sting in PV, back in 2017 (I believe) and he was tangled up in all of that. We’d stopped texting when I discovered this. I felt for him and this situation he was in so I wrote him a heartfelt letter, stating I’d found his secret. I let him know I could relate to having needs and ending up in such a scenario. I did not think less of him as a person and I wished him well. We decided to not still see each other, but we kept in touch. I felt somehow bonded over compassion and an understanding of a difficult time in his life.

In 2019, I tried dating other people. The were all bad matches and it never lasted past a few months of wishy washy behavior and excuses from these guys. One wanted me to commit very early. One said I had “too much going on” as I was still working on getting divorced. One went back to his ex wife after the one night we hung out, got drunk and I stayed over. J.B was in touch, waiting in the wings ready to be that shoulder to cry on when things went wrong. This back an forth contact continued and J.B came back in my life after the last bad break up I endured at the end of 2019.

At this point, we decide we could be “friends with benefits” because we were two adults with needs, and no one wanted a commitment. If ever either of us wanted to discontinue this FWB thing, or wanted to start dating someone else, we could do that. In my very hurt heart, this seemed perfect. J.B. was someone I felt I knew well, someone I felt I could trust and someone who seemed to care about me as a person. We continued this FWB through 2019/2020 until my former roommate arrived back in the picture.

Fast forward through to August 2021 when I finally kicked out my roommate in August of 2021. J.B. was there to comfort me, tell me how rotten of a guy my roommate was and we hooked back up where we left off. I had tried to break off this FWB thing a few times but he always caught me at a weak moment and we’d resume.

November 2021 was the last time we had any physical contact. In October, J.B.’s mom died from complications and preexisting conditions when contracted Covid. J.B had been living with her all of this time and this was a big blow. Communication had dwindled significantly and I knew he was going through a lot and I tried to stay in contact to be of support if he needed it.

Our texts became fewer and further between. He wouldn’t answer for days and pop back up with a “Hey stranger, how are you?”, only to not respond for several days after I answered him and asked how he was. Then there was the odd “sexy” text were he asked about my masturbation habits/was I being a naughty girl with my toys/ect. This seemed to be the only time he was enthusiastic about talking to me. It was becoming clear that our “friendship” wasn’t a true friendship at all. In my mind, I kept making excuses for him. “He’s busy” or “He’s grieving and maybe he needs time to process”. But then he’d pop up again and try to start with the sexy texting. I stopped responding to the sexy texts and had decided in December that our arrangement needed to end for good. Thing of it was, how do you ditch a man when he’s grieving?! What kind of monster would do that? Fortunately, he did all of the heavy lifting for me, thus showing his true colors.

Since I was not responding to the sexy texts, he decided last Tuesday, to kick it up a notch. He said “Hey, we should get together for a massage…..” and proceeded to then describe explicit acts he wanted me to perform and painted the scene he wanted to play out, added “I’d be willing to pay good money for it. Just saying”. So there it was. This person I’ve know for 4 years. Someone who I trusted and confided in, someone who I let see me at my most vulnerable and who I presumed saw me as a valued person in their life, had just straight up solicited sex from me, for money. He was not joking either. He back tracked, apologized for asking for that from me and tried to say the reason he didn’t schedule a massage at my job is because he thought he’d just pay me directly because my job takes a cut of what I make. I was not buying this at all. I was so stunned and numb, I had no words. I did not know how to respond so I sent him back two thumbs up. He texted back, saying he hoped I wasn’t mad, he was sorry, ect. I told him I needed some time, I didn’t know what I was feeling and he said he’d leave me be. We said goodnight and I tried to process this for the rest of the evening.

I felt sick when I woke up and my stomach was not going to play nice. I only worked the morning and asked the boss to cancel my afternoon because I was not feeling well. I went home and I knew my upset stomach would not resolve until I faced this and ended it. I crafted a very calm and clear text, pointing out the lies in his back tracking, pointed out that he treated me like a prostitute and stated our dynamic ends here, wishing him well and stating we no longer have a reason to be in contact. I sent the text and waited nervously for him to respond. About 3 hours later, I received a text with a small dig (because he couldn’t dispute anything else I said), him saying he understands what I’m saying and wished me well. This happened two days ago and it’s finally hitting me. I’ve cried several times today at work, during massage sessions when people were face down (thankfully). I still do not feel completely OK either, but I’m getting there. I said exactly what I needed to say, I didn’t lose my cool, I stood up for myself and I am very proud of myself for this.

Listen to Your Rage

Listen to your rage, because it’s trying to tell you something.

When someone grows up around family or “friends” who do not treat them well, it colors how a person views themselves and this skewed view can follow a soul into adulthood. The maltreatment someone is exposed to becomes their “normal” because this is all they’ve know. Having been abused in the past makes it more difficult to realize when someone is genuinely being an asshole. The abused person tolerates behavior from others that, until they realize what’s happening, will most likely continue because they aren’t seeing it.

Something I’ve realized about myself is, it takes me a while to pick up on that someone is being disrespectful to me. Feeling like I’m insignificant is a constant state so when someone blatantly (others can see it) is disrespectful to me, it takes me months to finally listen to my rage. What does “listen to your rage” mean? It means, pay attention to how you feel when you are furious about a situation or interaction but you can’t initially figure out why. What wound has been triggered?

I’ve felt rage towards people before. Twice, very recently. The first was when I finally figured out my former roommate was completely using me to support him and he didn’t care for me, even as a person. I snapped and I didn’t handle my rage well that evening. The second was last night. Fortunately I was by myself, at home. I’m thankful I was not at work because I’d probably be in jail. No exaggeration. When that wee drop of Irish blood and the large dollop of German blood kicks in and I scare myself.

My rage kicked in last night and I could not figure out why I was ready to rage quit my job. I’ve enjoyed working there up until after the first of the year. They made some changed “in the interest of lost revenue” and it’s effected a few of my clients. It’s also filled my schedule to the max, which has been exhausting. All of the changes plus this ongoing frustration with the rooms at work, I’ve been irritated at work for quite some time.

To make a very long story short: I was pushed out of the room I’d staked for myself, by one of the new hires. It happened gradually, over the course of about 4 months. I am appalled it took me this long to finally figure out that this new person was disrespecting me, and basically saying “fuck you” by taking my space. I have seniority and I, as a newbie, would not have treated anyone like that. I respected the other’s space and place in the pecking order when I arrived, as one should.ย  But as it’s often said, you can’t expect “you” from other people.

Today, I arrived fully expecting to be shifted to the overflow room. To my surprise and relief, this person was in the overflow room instead, leaving me my old room. I don’t know where she’s going to be tomorrow. Hopefully it’s a good day and I’m left alone. I have a few of my favorite people on the books tomorrow so I am looking forward to that.

If that wasn’t love

How can someone feel happy, relieved and completely heartbroken, all at the same time? How is that allowed? It seems like some sort of cruel joke for all of these emotions to join the party. At the same time!

I discovered my former roommate left town today. I drove past where he was staying and noticed both his vehicles were gone. Then I unblocked his social media and had a look. Sure enough, he’s hit the road. “Good for him”, I said to myself as a wash of relief drenched me. I don’t have to be nervous about running into him around town. I told a few people who knew the situation and they were happy to learn this too.

As I was sitting on the couch, about an hour ago, it finally hit me. It’s really over between us. We can’t even be friends. I know we can’t. He’s not a good person for me to know. He’s not a safe person for me to know. I know all of this in my head and in my heart. I was trauma bonded for Pete’s sake! So why am I feeling heartbroken?! Isn’t that the opposite way of how I “should” be feeling?!

I’ve been reading bits and pieces about attachment theory and how our early bonds with our caregivers shape how we connect with partners. I have been reading how we continue unhelpful coping patterns when we don’t heal from them. I’ve been reading and learning how to shift these early lessons so I can someday have a healthy romantic relationship. I swear, the more I learn, the more I feel really broken and rather fucked. Seriously! Self awareness is great but it kinda sucks because you’re suddenly aware of how your patterns and coping skills have shot you in the foot, for 46 years. All kidding and hyperbole aside, awareness has been good but it’s made me wonder how much I could have avoided if I’d only know!

I read something today which said: (Paraphrasing) Sometimes we confuse love with pity. What we think is love is actually empathy on steroids.

As someone who can’t figure out why I cared for someone so deeply, without any return of affection, this made me question if I felt love or pity. Maybe it was pity for someone who I was certain had fallen on hard times? Maybe it felt good to have attention from this person. Are my insides and my emotions so jacked up that I honestly cannot identify what genuine love feels like?! Am I so fated to repeat this bloody cycle a few more times? It never make sense why I fell so completely for a “down on his luck” guy who was quite content with me taking care of him. That’s not the kind of person I want for myself! I don’t want yet another person to take from me and not return any of the kindness or emotional labor. I don’t want another “just stay positive” sort of person either. I also can’t handle being with someone who is not in touch with their emotions or who can’t communicate and give opinions on things I find important.

I simply, simply can’t repeat what I’ve had in the past. I need emotional depth and emotional support in my next partner. I need to be protected once in a while too. Just because I’m a strong person doesn’t mean I’m unfeeling and should handle everything on my own. I mean, I can but don’t stand in the shadows and watch me do it. I need a partner in crime who actually has my back. One who believes I’m a good person, even if someone is talking bad about me and the backstabber is really convincing. I need someone who is calm and doesn’t have an explosive temper. I can’t live with another person I fear. Three times of doing that is more than enough. I need someone who can appreciate my “squirrel!!” mind and who isn’t annoyed by my quirks. I need someone who will lovingly nudge me out of my comfort zone once in a while. I need someone with a curious mind and who has their own hobbies and friends. I don’t want to lose myself within a relationship again. For once, I want to feel secure, cared for and appreciated. I don’t want to feel from my partner that they’ve “settled” for me either.

So here we are, nearly at the end of another rambling blog and I don’t feel nearly as heartbroken as I did. I do miss the good parts about my former roommate. He’s a charming, interesting, guy who likes movies, disc golf and he is a writer. He also has a good sense of humor and a quick wit. I miss those things when I think about him. I still find him quite attractive too but I hope that feeling fades. It doesn’t make sense to still be attracted to someone who is so bad for me to be around.

I think this is the first time I’ve been so specific about the qualities I need in a person. Before, I’ve written about wants. Wants are negotiable, needs are not. I finally have my list of non-negotiables. See?? Growth!! Thankfully, I have a therapy session coming up. I imagine this one will be another chaotic spewing forth of things I’ve finally processed over the past month, just like our previous session. I am starting to feel like I owe my therapist a bottle of wine after our session last month. She is a gem and a blessing and I am so happy she is in my life! It’s encouraging when I can identify the ways I’ve grown, even within the past few months.

Define Femininity

At my last therapy appointment, we got on the topic of being or feeling feminine. I mentioned I didn’t feel I was very much like what I thought this meant. My homework assignment was to define femininity. I’ve been stumped ever since. I’ve looked at the prompt on my notepad and I don’t know, within myself, what femininity is yet. Perhaps at the end of this post, I’ll have a better idea of what it means to me.

I’ve decided, in my head, to be feminine means to be “attractive”. As a young girl, I learned through osmosis that being desired is highly important. I learned this from my sister as I watched her date young, stupid guys who didn’t even know themselves much less how to be a good boyfriend. I saw my sister spend hours on her makeup and hair every time we went in public. I remember wishing someone would find me desirable and attractive but the only thing anyone ever did was call me “cute”. Cute is for puppies, babies and children, or so it seemed in my head. I have never taken being called “cute” as a complement. Perhaps it’s because my sister and another gal in the youth group told me I wasn’t “pretty” but I was “cute” when I was 13. That fucking word is a dig, every time I hear it. It makes me feel like I’m less than every other female in the room. Certainly not “desirable” or “sexy”. Even now, I still feel like the least attractive person in any group.

I think from early on, I never associated beauty with myself and my appearance. I still don’t think I’m attractive. Only sometimes do I see it in the mirror. Most of the time, I see my gray hairs sprouting at my temples, the bags under my eyes, the extra weight around my middle and my saggy belly and boobs. I think to myself, “Who the hell would every find any of *this* desirable or attractive?!”. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a model. My mom was dead set against this and whenever I brought it up, she always discouraged me. Not once did she explain her negative reaction. Had she told me the modeling industry is cut-throat, often drug ridden and no one cares about you, I might have gotten a different message. Instead, her objections only cemented what I’ve always felt about myself. I’ve always thought I was just ugly, and her reaction to my idea of modeling only “proved” what I felt. “Even my own mother thinks I’m too ugly to be a model. That’s why I’m bullied. I’m ugly, that’s why nobody likes me. Nobody wants to be friends in school because I’m hideous. Everyone is laughing at my big nose and my fat face.” I did get teased about my nose when I was young. I wanted rhinoplasty for the longest time.

Fast forward to me at 17 years old. I started dating my first boyfriend. He was 5 years older and was always worried about what other people would say if they knew we were dating. He always used my age against me, saying I didn’t understand things because I was so young. (I was really sheltered, so that wasn’t completely inaccurate!) He did like my long hair, however, and it a certain light, I was told I looked older. My ex husband liked my long, blonde hair. My hair is thick and heavy. It’s a mop to manage and I recently chopped it off (professionally). I did it because I was tired of all the men who “preferred” long hair on a woman. I did it to look less feminine. I did it as armor, to keep the bullshit spouting charmers away. Surely if I looked uglier and less feminine, nobody will try to ask me out. If they did and I have short hair, I can be certain they must like me for me, because it wouldn’t be my looks that drew them in.

I’ve gotten a lot of complements on my new hair cut but I am going to grow my hair out a little. Shoulder length, I think. In my line of work, I don’t get asked out, regardless of hair length. I work and I go home and I don’t dabble with dating sites anymore, so I’m not actively trying to meet someone new. I’m still trying to recover from the last man who hurt me. I’m in no hurry to jump back in the ring again. So, femininity. How to define it? Somewhere in my psyche, I’ve equated femininity with wearing makeup and doing your hair and dressing well. I’ve equated it with “desirability” and a woman’s ability to be attractive in society. I’ve associated it with being weak (which it isn’t, but somewhere in my brain that message stuck). I’ve associated femininity with needing to be rescued, with gossiping and with cattiness towards other girls. I think I’ve associated the idea of femininity with every negative, toxic behavior women who are not self aware display.

My star sign in Gemini and I’ve always felt there are two sides to my inner self. Female Gemini’s are said to be a bit more masculine. I’ve always identified with the more masculine side and I tap into it when I need to be strong. I wear black when I need to be strong and bold. The feminine side of myself is playful. I wear dresses or skirts when I feel attractive/feminine. I wear pink when I feel playful and want to feel girly. Silly enough, I don’t feel “strong” when I wear pink. I feel more playful and demure in my long skirt and pink lacy top. I don’t know where the disconnect in my brain came from, where I equate femininity as weakness. Perhaps it’s due to being taken advantage of and treated badly within sexual relationships. I know I turned on the feminine energy whenever I was faced with an angry customer when I worked in retail. My thought was, “Maybe if they find me attractive, they won’t yell at me.” Now? With my short hair? I’m itching for a fight. Like a literal, physical fight. I don’t care (in this current moment) if anyone finds me attractive, because I don’t want them to see me as weak and therefore “prey”. I have a lot of anger inside. Especially recently. I’ve been treated badly yet again and my “beauty” didn’t save me from any of it.

This one was a bit of a ramble. If you’ve gotten to the end, thank you for reading. I think my edible is kicking in, so that might explain some of this! Be well, folks.

Just Be

This past week, I attended a massage continuing education workshop. It was taught by Ian Harvey, Massage Sloth! I was so stoked that he was coming to my state to teach and I signed up as soon as I got that email alert. Ian is a lovely fellow and he’s exactly what I expected. His personality shines through in his videos and I was happy to meet this awesome person. It was easy to feel as if I knew him already, so I had to watch coming across to familiar! The class was a lot of fun, the other students were super cool people and I learned some techniques which I will be using in my practice. All in all, it was a great experience.

This morning, I was reflecting back on the class and my time at class. If anyone has read even a little bit of my blog, you’ll already know I have a bit of an issue with social anxiety. I’ve had body issues in the past and they’ve tried to pop up again recently. I’ve put on some weight, or feel like I have, and that doesn’t help my mental state when I’m about to meet new people. About a month ago, I started getting that same old feeling of “I don’t like my face”, which is the exact issue which sent me to therapy the first time. (These thoughts effect everything and make it hard for me to function outside my house, when they’re really strong) All of these things were coming up, just before I am heading into a new social situation! Why my mind is grasping at straws to sabotage my hard work is beyond me. It really makes me angry at my brain, but I digress.

In the past, I’ve tried to be “on” when I meet new people. I read a description of how people “perform” in relationships/friendships and won’t show their real self for fear of rejection. I saw myself in those words and a light bulb went off. Still remembering my experiences as a bullied kid, in the past I’ve wanted so desperately for people to like me. In past situations I have made a point to be very helpful and step in if something is needed. Be useful so people wouldn’t get angry at me has been something I’ve been conditioned to do when I worked in healthcare. In my CNA class, we were told being a good assistant was anticipating what the doctor needs, before they ask. Awesome. This, being told to an insecure, codependent, people pleaser. I ran with this information and I became a great assistant. Need someone to read minds?? I’m your gal. I’ve been doing that since I was 4 years old.

I’ve been on a personal growth mission for a good long while now and I’m finally coming to this area of my life: How I relate and interact with people. So, this week at the workshop, I didn’t do any of that stuff. I didn’t perform, I didn’t jump in and try to save the day so people would think I’m a good person. I didn’t try to be extra personable and outgoing (which is not who I truly am anyway). I just “was” for the most part. I had to silence the fears in my head and I had to set aside thoughts of not appearing good enough. I found I wasn’t scared to talk to people this time. I wasn’t scared to speak in front of the class (I was asked to share about a client). I didn’t try to do or be anything other than who and what I am. And for that, I’m really proud of myself. Some of my triggers were set off with techniques we were learning (draping someone’s arm over mine, being in potential close bodily contact with a client) but it just showed me those things I thought I’d conquered might need further slaying. I worked through them in massage school, I can do it again. Also, communication is essential with any client and I don’t have to do certain techniques if they make me uncomfortable. I can improvise. That’s part of the joy of being a massage therapist! Their is joy to be found in creativity and finding new ways to tackle obstacles.

A Beautiful Life

This past weekend I was pretty down. That seems to be the case anymore. I drag myself to the work week, looking forward to my 3 days off (yup, my schedule is awesome) and then I do nothing for two of those three days.

I find myself scrolling mindlessly on social media, for hours, when I have time off. I am definitely distracting myself from life. I am moving into a different place within the same town. This is a temporary thing (hopefully) as we can’t afford to live here long term. My lease is starting for a 6 month stretch, then will be month to month thereafter. My goal has been to buy something or move to where I can afford to buy something. I just want a little piece of security in this bloody uncertain world. So far, I’ve signed up for all but one of the utilities for my new address. I’ve done all of that just today. Everything is in place, waiting our move on Nov 1st. Moving is an overwhelming task. Packing the whole house, coordinating services, reserving the Uhaul to transport the large items. I genuinely look like a functioning adult!

However, deep down, I feel like a scared little girl. The feeling of strength and that of fear ebb and subside, depending on the hour. I’m happy my dad will finally be able to sell his house (and pay off the one they bought in NC) and it’s been a good almost 4 years living at Bremont Way. Moving can be exciting but also terrifying, for me. I feel like my safety net has been removed. I’m the little birdie, standing on the edge of the nest while life shouts, “Fly, bitch!” and kicks me in the ass. (See cartoon below)

I suspect to the outsider, it would appear I’ve been quite spoiled and have had it pretty damn easy living in my dad’s house, not having to pay the ridiculous rent everyone else is stuck paying. Truth of the matter is, the past 4 years have been some of the hardest. I’ve changed jobs more in this span of time than ever before. Much of that was due to an inability to fully function and have anxiety. Dealing with anxiety and depression while attending & completing massage school, dating and breakups, filing for divorce, losing my first dog, living alone for the first time ever, living though the pandemic on my own, contracting Covid, getting into and out of a bad roommate situation and now moving to a new place…โ€ฆit’s been a lot.

I guess this post can be a look back on all I’ve accomplished on my own. All the jobs I’ve managed to make it through, all the times my mind almost won but didn’t, all the times I stood up for myself and it mattered. All the tough conversations I had, instead of stuffing down what I needed just to keep everyone happy. I’ve been undoing and unlearning some deeply ingrained stuff. I’ve been unlearning things from my childhood which were unhelpful and damaging. It has been exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to process heavy stuff and I suspect that’s why all I want to do is sleep for days when I have the chance.

I haven’t written much about the roommate situation because I still feel angry at myself. I am angry at myself for believing anything he ever said and thinking he had my best interests in mind. He didn’t. He only ever thought of himself and his wellbeing and it definitely showed by how he treated me. I feel stupid for believing anything kind he ever said, because it was only another puzzle piece in a delicately crafted faรงade, one that fell eventually. One who lies cannot continue to lie forever. Eventually their true colors shine through. For anyone who see how someone treats other people and you don’t like what you see??? That is how they truly are and they will have zero qualms about treating you with the same distain, loathing and disregard. It’s only a matter of time. Believe what people show you, not what they say. Because there are bullshit spewing masters out there and they definitely have you number. They tell if you have poor boundaries and they can tell if you’re a caring, giving person who puts themselves last. They will use this information against you and use every weakness or insecurity you reveal against you and to their advantage, if possible. This has been my experience, at least. That in itself is a lot to accept and work through. That level of betrayal is very painful, especially if you genuinely cared about them. To finally wake up and see you’ve been played, it does something to a person.

Sometimes you have to live through the most painful things for them to finally become crystal clear. This clarity is golden in the long run, because it ensures you won’t be hoodwinked by this same person again. I’m hoping to never be snowed by this type of person in the future. I’m also hoping that if I do encounter another person wit “use and abuse” tendencies, my subconscious will shout my former roommate’s name so I’ll know it’s time to run.

My two biggest fears are me falling for someone’s lies again OR running off good partners because I’m so guarded and jaded, I won’t be able to see true goodness. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be hard, abrupt and uncaring. I don’t want to put up all the walls I’ve worked so hard over the years to tear down. I feel like after all of this, I don’t know how to be a trusting person anymore, and I don’t like this. I’m still trying to process and separate the cutting things I was told from what I truly believe about myself. I’m still trying to separate the real me from the voices and noise and judgements in my head. Again, it’s exhausting and it makes me cry in frustration and sadness. I am frustrated because I feel unbelievably and completely broken beyond repair. Like I will forever use my unhelpful coping mechanisms out of habit and fear. I feel sad because I want a beautiful life too, and I don’t feel I have one at the moment. Right now, my existence is not social media sharing worthy. I am not bright and sunny and full of joy. I’m not going on trips or adventures or hanging out with family and friends. I’m here, sitting on my couch with my dogs, crying and typing this post. But hey, I’ve made it this far. Who knows? What’s ahead might not actually suck and there could be some great things I have yet to accomplish. Stay tuned.

My Mind is a Weird Place

I started a new medication to hopefully help with anxiety and depression. My therapist suggested I try Oxytocin nasal spray to help with mood. The first two days I was on it, I had the most introspective thoughts. Introspective but yet I was detached from my thoughts too, like an observer watching thoughts happen in real time. Definitely a new experience for me and also a sign I wasn’t quite used to my medication yet. I am still able to witness my thoughts and feel detached from “feeling” them. It’s actually nice. I’ve been able to dig in and be real with what I feel, but not feel the pain of their destructive nature. (If this makes any sense, I will be so pleased)

For once, my internal negative loop was not mindlessly playing. I was able to stop the track and acknowledge what I’ve been telling myself automatically, without scrutiny, for years and years. Today, I was having a conversation with someone I’d reached out to online. She mentioned that how we feel inside is more important than how we present ourselves. Ya know what?? I was finally able articulate what I feel about myself.

I told her, “I feel like the dullest star. I feel like the ugliest girl in the room, especially around other women. I feel like the most boring, most undesirable person in any setting”

In therapy, it was said that telling one’s dark secrets takes away the power of said secret. Being able to articulate how I felt, it brought awareness to the feeling which secretly lived within me. It’s not a secret anymore, and it’s already losing it’s power over me. I was going to share the other epiphany I had about a section of my negative self talk loop, but I genuinely forgot. It’s as if my acknowledging it made it fade from the track, which would be incredible if it genuinely did.

I’ve been acknowledging and processing a lot of old, damaging core beliefs and it’s been exhausting. In a bid to distract myself from all of the processing, I’ve plunged head first into tiktok. It’s an app which one can share a one to three minute video. Creators interact with their followers a lot on this app and I’ve found some interesting communities. The person I had the aforementioned conversation with was someone I found on tiktok. Her name is Gina Hatsis “The Too Much Woman”. She is a motivational speaker, sharing her story and journey to embracing being “too much”. As in, a woman who will not dull herself to make others feel comfortable. She is an amazing woman and I’ve been encouraged by her content.

I am working very hard at becoming the strong, confident woman I see in my mind’s eye. I’ve been in therapy, with my current therapist, for almost two years now. She does a combination of talk and hypnotherapy. I have grown a lot in the time I’ve been doing this type of therapy. I’m heading towards 50 and I’m actually excited about what’s ahead. (Which is a new and encouraging outlook I’ve embraced)

The bold, unfiltered me

Not sure why this train of thought popped into my head tonight, but it did. It’s Friday evening. I’m off work and I am dreading having to cook dinner. This fact got me thinking about me as a person and then me as “dating material” and ya know what? I genuinely feel like no man in his right mind would want me, and here’s why:

1. I don’t want to be a grandma, unless the “children” in question have paws
2. I don’t like other people’s kids, unless they are respectful and well behaved, and then sometimes not even then
3. I’m not looking to be someone’s step mom or looking to jump in to raise your babies.
4. I am 46 and I am past having kids, without scientific intervention. You’d have to be pretty fucking special for me to even consider this at this point in my life.
5. I hate to cook, I’d rather hire a chef or eat out.
6. I don’t like bars or clubs, they’re too loud
7. I don’t like drunk people, unless it’s with my partner and we’re getting silly drunk in the comfort of our own space, just the two of us.
8. I don’t like my partner to drink heavily as a rule. Sometimes it’s ok, not all the time, and no binge drinking either. (Hangover’s are a bitch)
9. I’d rather stay home, unless going out somewhere adds value to my life.
10. I’m not a church goer and have some pretty serious anger towards the church. If you dig religion and it works for you? Great. Don’t expect me to fall in line.
11. I am not an outdoorsy person. I am very sensitive to heat and I sunburn easily and react badly to insect bites.
12. I have struggles with chronic pain, I’m prone to depression and anxiety and these things negatively affect my outlook at times. I do not keep muscle relaxers in the house, for my safety, because I know where my mind goes when I’m really down or struggling.
13. I will not watch horror films or anything gory because it still gives me nightmares (as a 46 yr old woman)

Now, I do have a few perks. There’s not many, but they’re decent.

1. Communication is very important to me and I feel I am quite good at explaining what’s on my mind
2. I give a damn good massage and I will touch your feet
3. I am adventurous and open to new ideas, suggestions and will try most anything at least once.
4. Cuddly, sexy, naughty activities are very important to me and consent is essential on both sides. Communication and respect are absolutely necessary must have components of intimate playtime.
5. I love hard and I have a huge heart, which has gotten me hurt and caused me to be completely blind to red flags. This is a pro and a con, if I’m honest.
6. I have a good sense of humor
7. I appreciate words, their origins and writers who use them correctly
8. I’m a Sapiosexual, intelligence is hella sexy.
9. I love psychology, human behavior and understanding the human condition
10. I am a good listener
11. I am sensitive. Sensitive to your mood, the vibe of a room, anger, light, sounds, smells and basically sensitive to the entire fucking world… (it’s not a pro, but it’s important information to know!)

Just a few things about me. I don’t know what man would consider wanting to get to know me better after reading this, but I’d be happy to meet the brave soul who’d choose to roll the dice. Stay sexy, friends.

This is how you make sane, crazy.

Boundaries are good, and encouraged, unless it effects you.

Your actions and words haven’t match, probably ever.

Continually questioning my sanity, I’m in a thick daze.

My mind lost and questioning my sanity, amongst your wordy hedge maze

Stories manipulated to play in your favor

Something is “off”, but I can’t put a finger on it.

I wished it didn’t come to this. Your gaslighting is a hell of a defense.

You certainly learned and experience it from the best.

Knowing you’ve suffered mental abuse too, makes me sad. And, I know this much is true.

Mental abuse is hell, I should know. I’ve experienced it, thanks to you.