Category Archives: relationships

Things I learned about dating in my forties

As I got back into dating this past year, there were a few hard lessons I learned about myself. The first one is newer to me – I’m an anxious-fearful-attachment style because of my past history with ex boyfriends who would just leave without warning. They’d disappear for weeks on end and I would take them back. Not just once – but over, and over again, falling for their lies. This would result in years worth of trauma that I never really faced.

Something else I learned about being an anxious attachment is that the best friendships or relationships I had over the years, were with people who provided me the things I needed most.

  • Consistent communication.
  • Reassurance.
  • Following through with plans.

Not so much to ask for, right? You would be surprised.

Today, as part of my mental health awareness series, I’m going to share some other lessons I learned this past year, that I wish I had known in my twenties.

If a person says they need space:

Give it to them, but with a couple of measures to protect yourself. Ask why they need it, what the rules are for your relationship and ask them for a timeline. If they cannot give you a timeline, use that space to do your own thing and work on yourself. I don’t mean to start dating right away or replace them – take the time YOU need, for YOU.

Anxiety can make this hard. But with a deadline in place, you are looking out for you. And if that person doesn’t respect your need for a date or plan, then you are not a good match. Be prepared to move on.

If a person says they want “no commitment” or a “serious relationship” – translation:

Run. Run far, run fast.

In my experience, this leads to a “situationship”. The other person may be seeing or flirting with multiple people. You are just an option. Until this person makes you a priority, you deserve so much better. Do not chase the bare minimum. Offer platonic friendship in return. Create a list of core values for yourself. State your boundaries and stick to them. In my experiences, you will wind up with the most heartache with these kinds of relationships.

They will bail when you start to admit you have feelings, or the moment life stops being fun. I’ve even lost friends because of this.

If you are a people pleaser:

Don’t sacrifice your boundaries and core values for someone who clearly doesn’t make you a priority in their life. Do things because you enjoy doing them, not for the sole purpose of pleasing your partner.

If you only have one thing in common:

For me, many of my friends and partners – the only thing we really had in common was the kink side of things. When life got in the way, or someone got sick, we ran out of things to talk about. And when you need to take a break or leave the community for a while, then a lot of those close friendships you once had, start to drift apart.

Find people you have lots in common with.

When you aren’t looking for a relationship, that’s usually when things will happen:

This happened to me both times. I wasn’t looking for anything really long-term or serious. Then my dynamic came to be, and another “ship” happened. Both times, I just wanted to be friends. Now, I’m sticking to my boundaries and only offering friendship. No more situationships.

I also know what red flags to look out for, and I’ll post that in a separate one. But those flags might not always be red flags. It depends on what you’re looking for and what your core values are.

Don’t chase for the bare minimum:

I really wish younger me would have known this – but in my day, we didn’t talk about attachment styles. Only people who were really ill went to therapy. And we didn’t have social media until later. The amount of things I learn daily on Tik-Tok about relationships – mind-blowing. And it gives me inspiration for daily posts here.

Don’t chase for the bare minimum. Stick to what your needs are, and work with your partner to offer them what they need in return. Sometimes life gets in the way or problems arise, but again, it’s a two way street. Work and commitment is needed on both sides.

You deserve more than the bare minimum. You deserve to be treated as a priority in someone’s life and not just an option.

You are not TOO much for the RIGHT person.

The hardest lesson of all. The right person for you, will be understanding about your attachment styles. They will work with you and not against you. They will listen to you and value your thoughts. They will offer reassurance when needed about your insecurities. They will love you for who you are, and not what you do for them. Well, maybe there is a little bit of both there.

All relationships are two way streets and they take work. Even in friendships. Both parties need to reach out every once in a while.

The right person will stick by you during your low points. And they won’t rush your healing. They’ll just “be there” for you.

What have you learned from relationships over the years? I sure wish I had known this when I was younger, perhaps life would have been very different.

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Saying goodbye to a community I once loved (kink edition)

It’s Saturday afternoon and I slept in late today, sipping my first cup of coffee for the day and watching witchy videos on YouTube. This is my happy place. This is how I start off most of my days.

It’s been a while since I did an update post and I thought it was about time. Things have changed. Heck, I have changed – I’m not the same person I was last year, let alone six weeks ago.

Having two relationships that meant a lot to me end around the same time after exploring the poly-am world (multiple partners who were aware of each other), it forced me to take a step back from dating and kink in general. I needed to heal and learn to let go of things that were no longer working for me.

Unfortunately in this process, I noticed that some of my friends were starting to distance themselves from me. Some things I’ve heard recently: “you need to move on, get out there and date” or from others, “positive vibes only.” It seems like if you don’t heal within a specific timeline, you aren’t a stable person to be around.

Depression and anxiety isn’t something you can just shut off and hearing these comments hurt. I realized that the common denominator here was that I was just with the wrong people. Other than kink, we had nothing in common.

While I realize, that I made some mistakes – and could have handled things differently, telling someone they need to “get over it” – isn’t cool either. People need to heal in their own time, in their own way.

And I realized a few things.

Writing out all my thoughts or struggles for all to see in a journal entry – not a good move. People talk. People blocked. And some people refuse to have anything to do with me. Which makes me question their motives even more. Writing is something I’ve ALWAYS done on that site. It’s how most of them MET me. And now it’s a problem? It wasn’t a problem before with other relationships. Hell, they encouraged me to write about those relationships. So, that’s why I’m focusing on my books and this blog. Pouring out my frustration here in the form of spreading information about healing and spiritual vibes.

And so, I realized – the problem was me and the community as a whole. I realized there are way too many rules and expectations that people have of you. People often tend to mirror you and put on a false charade early on. But once you see and recognize patterns, you can’t unsee them. And even pillars of the community, you find out are nothing more than predators. And all the things you were warned of early on – turns out – were actually the GOOD people that I should have gone with initially.

People often cry: “you crossed a boundary” when you really didn’t. Or you didn’t know there WAS a boundary to cross. The responsibility falls on both parties. Boundaries must be clearly communicated. And if they are crossed, then the appropriate thing to do is tell that person. Don’t shy around it. Just tell them.

How can they right a wrong, they didn’t know they committed? So, I call bullshit on that. “Boundaries” is feeling more like a buzzword in that community and thrown around too much. While boundaries are healthy, people should be able to talk freely about them.

Things I learned:

Some things I learned recently, that I wish I could unlearn. But now having seen patterns, I know better. This is the same in many smaller communities.

  • Predators are in leadership roles and they will groom newcomers to the scene. They will try and play with you. And once they are finished or problems arise, you are easily discarded and replaced.
  • People will play with as many people as they want to. They won’t bother to inform you of when they add new play partners to the mix because you aren’t “committed” to them. And they will talk about you to other play partners, but expect you not to talk about them.
  • There is so much secrecy around who is playing with who. You are discouraged from approaching other partners or even attending the same events. And forget being listed on their profile as a primary partner. You won’t ever be.
  • Once you spot the patterns of an abuser or predator — you can’t UNSEE them. You try and warn the next person? You get ousted as being the problem person, trying to stir up drama.
  • Don’t ever go through depression or a bad spell. People will drop you if your healing doesn’t happen within their timeline.
  • Don’t sacrifice your boundaries because you are a people pleaser or natural submissive. Fuck that. Fuck them. Stick to your boundaries. Look after you – because NO one will.
  • You WILL be branded as a trouble maker or problem person because you refuse to conform to their rules or cultish ways. I am no longer their vessel for them to use and abuse. And that pisses them off the most.

These are not just things I’ve learned for myself – but through observations in general. Talking to friends and hearing about their experiences. Having friends call me and cry to me on the phone about being treated like crap by their play partners. And yet…you speak up about it, or try and talk about the abusive situations, and you’re told NOT to write anymore.

Just writing this could land me in hot water, but I no longer care. I’ll make my own groups. Stick with my own friends. Play long-distance if I have to. The community has far too many predators and I speak from experience as someone who was physically assaulted by more than one over the years.

So, that’s where I am this Saturday. Single. Finally in a good head space. Feeling STRONGER than ever. And doing my own damned thing and starting to thrive and shine.

The thing they don’t tell you:

The ones who really love you for who you are will stand by you, no matter what you go through. Those are the friends you hold dear. They don’t enforce timelines. They don’t gaslight you. They don’t manipulate you. And they certainly, don’t use you. And you will lose them (the players), as you start to heal yourself.

What is mirroring in relationships?

A discussion came up today during a therapy session when I explained a situation that I was faced with. Without giving details here, she said:

“It sounds like this person mirrored your behavior and when you hit a depression and life stopped being fun, they moved on.”

Have you ever met someone who was so much like you in early stages of the relationships that you couldn’t help but feel like you were soul mates? Or maybe it seemed too good to be true.

Some people you click with naturally, but sometimes – people are mirroring your behaviors.

Why do people do this?

That’s a good question. It may be that people lack confidence or awareness into who they are. Or they admire you and want to be like you. Or the darker aspect of mirroring – it can be a manipulation tactic to win you over. To gain your trust. And then a few months down the road, the flip will switch and you start to see that they aren’t the person you once knew at all.

On the toxic side of mirroring, it may be that the person is so miserable with their life that they can’t help it. They might not be aware of what they are doing. While others are very aware and use this to “infiltrate” the other person’s life. And sometimes, they are so good at what they do – it works.

I’ve lost friends over this. But I’m also fiercely protective over those long-term relationships and friendships and will do what I can to keep them safe.

What is mirroring?

Mirroring is matching the other’s persons behavior. Whether it is the way they speak, their mannerisms, they way they dress, the things they’re interested in, even down to body posture when together in person.

Sometimes mirroring happens when you spend a lot of time together. I’ve noticed, that sometimes I will adopt phrases that a partner or friend uses. Or we repeat the same jokes. You get the drill. Or you start loving their hobbies and interests, just to spend time with them.

This is also why I stayed in relationships that weren’t good for me, for far too long and often wound up hurt when they ended.

Is mirroring a toxic behavior?

Not always. The other person may not be aware of what they are doing. While other times, mirroring can be a way to gain your trust early on and make you feel as though you are the most important person. That you’re a rare bird and a rare catch. That your connection is like nothing else they have ever experienced before.

This is a form of manipulation that often presents itself months down the road. It may be easy to catch early on, but some people are good at masking and hiding who they really are.

I know I’ve done this in the past with people. I don’t think it was intentional. I would change myself for partners. Until I did some shadow work to determine core values and started imposing boundaries and limits that were for me.

This also changed relationships for me. While there are still things I struggle with – like trust and anxiety, I’m getting better at recognizing toxic traits early on. But some people can still fool you. I also really recognize toxic traits in myself, that I am trying to unlearn.

What about mirroring in romantic relationships?

Sometimes in romantic partnerships or connections, you can mirror each other’s feelings. This is especially true if you are an empathetic person. I know that for me, my emotional state often depends on how the other person is feeling. Or how they interact with me.

Relationships are harder for me, because I notice everything. Even if communication changes in the slightest, I need more reassurance more than the average person. It can honestly be exhausting. I’m learning as much as I miss things like intimacy, I’m often better off single.

If my moods are that dependent on the way someone else treats me, then maybe that person or relationship isn’t the right one for me.

New relationship energy or mirroring?

New relationships energy can also complicate things. Some call it the honeymoon stage. Everything is shiny and new. You want things to be perfect. But relationships aren’t perfect. They’re meant to have challenges and lessons so that we can all learn and grow from them.

While mirroring early on in relationships can be a useful tool, over time, learning to recognize your partner’s needs and emotions should come naturally to you.

You’re allowed to feel what you want in the present moment. You’re allowed to have a difference of opinions. You don’t have to match or agree on every subject or challenge that might come along.

This is part of life. Part of what being in a relationship is. The best connections are those that you can learn from and help each other grow. And also, when you’re there for each other during low points in life.

Something I really learned this year is:

Be wary of people who seem too good to be true early on. If they use language like “you’re important to me” in the first weeks of conversation, this is a red flag for me.

It’s one thing to click naturally and have a lot in common, but trust me when I say – you won’t match on everything. And if you do, maybe it’s time to step back and figure out who you really are and what makes you tick.

Because copying someone, making friends with all of their friends, and then ditching that initial relationship? That’s just hurtful to the ones you leave behind. And yes, I’ve had this happen a few times.

One person just ghosted me without an explanation, after chatting for months on end. All day. Every day. I wound up blocking her on all platforms when I learned she was hitting up my partner at the time. That’s not cool. That’s taking mirroring TOO far.

Some people do this. They see you living the life they want for themselves, and try and take yours over, while pushing you out. I’ve lost some friends to this over the years. And sometimes, you just drift apart as new people come in.

Good relationships take time to develop. Build on them. Go slowly.

Have you ever been mirrored by someone? Or have you caught yourself mirroring someone else? If so, let me know in the comments what happened.

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What is toxic positivity?

In follow up to my rant on Sunday about those people who demand positivity from others – I had someone mention Toxic Positivity to me in a discussion on Twitter – so I thought I would write a separate post for that.

Who knew. They have terms for everything these days whether it’s toxic or not.

In spiritual practices such as Wicca, we all know that what you send out to the universe comes back at you. Some call this karma. Others believe in the Law of Attraction and how sending out positive vibes to the universe will bring positive things your way.

While that can be true, it’s not always the case. Sometimes in life, things just happen whether you manifested them or not. And while having a positive outlook on life, can result in you being a happier and energetic person, there are downsides to it too.

What is toxic positivity?

Reciting positive quotes about hard situations – obsessively, as if you are trying to convince yourself and others everything is okay.

Experiencing guilt for being sad and angry or experiencing confusing feelings or situations.

Hiding or masking painful emotions, putting up a false front or a shield that makes it seem like you are happier than you are.

Ignoring your problems, dismissing others’ problems, instead of working on them or yourself to help make things better.

The image above was saved from Dr. Bryan Pearlman’s website. Reading it makes me cringe. I have heard so many of these phrases from people in my life. “Just smile and plug through the day!” Or “Just get out there and meet new people!” Or “Just stay positive! I need to be around positive people only!”

We all experience painful emotions from time to time. Some people are better at hiding or masking their emotions from friends or loved ones. For me, I’m a writer. It’s my main form of communication to my networks online. It’s how I share my learnings and experiences. It’s therapeutic for me. And I’m working on myself, doing shadow work, healing, and working hard so that I can be a better person for those people in my life who need me.

I’m also an emotional being. Someone recently said to me, “You’re a walking emotion, how did he not know that about you?” Which is true.

Anyone who has followed my writings for any amount of time, knows that I’m not afraid to share my emotions and put them out there. So, if you get in a relationship with me, you shouldn’t be surprised that yes, I’ll be writing about it from time to time. Especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or confused. Though I’ll keep private details – private.

It’s like the guys that date Taylor Swift and then are surprised she mentions them in her songs. Duh. That’s what writers and artists do. I’ve even modelled fictional book characters around my ex boyfriends. It’s therapeutic.

“Good vibes only!”

When you tell people that you want “good vibes only”, it’s saying that you only want to hang around when it’s beneficial for you. It’s not being a good friend or partner.

What this tells me – is that you’re the type of person who will bail at the first sign of trouble.

We all face hardships in life. We may lose a job. Or get heartbroken when a relationship that meant a lot to us ends. Or we lose someone very dear to us to illness or an accident. Or just sometimes life gets to be to “too much” and emotions can become overwhelming.

We all handle our emotions differently too. Some people lack the ability to control their emotions. While others, are avoidant and will do whatever they can to shut others out. I’ve dated a few guys like this in my time. Relationships can be tough with those who avoid “serious feelings”.

How toxic positivity makes others feel

For me, I know I felt deep shame for sharing my emotions publicly which is ironic, since my journal writings were how I connected with many of them in the first place. People want to be seen and heard and have their emotions validated. Saying things like “happiness is a choice” – is a bit of a slap in the face to those who experience depression or other mental health issues.

The guilt we feel for not being the person they expect us to be is real. I know for me, during dark times, I tend to isolate and withdraw from friends. This is a trauma response or triggers. I need the time alone to sort through my feelings before I can my game back on. Sometimes it takes longer. The guilt is there for wanting the time alone.

This also prevents growth. If you are the type of person to avoid facing your emotions or learning from them, then you’ll never really grow. Life is about karmic lessons and learning from past experiences and mistakes. It shapes us into who we are meant to be. Toxic positivity is avoiding dealing with those feelings and emotions and situations that may seem difficult to face.

Facing those challenges head on, can be a daunting thing, but worth the work you put into it, in the end.

“Positive vibes only” can also be a sign of gaslighting. And as someone who broke free from a narcissistic abuser, I’m so done with this in my life.

It’s okay, to not be okay

Your feelings and emotions are yours to feel. Don’t let others judge you for that. If you’re feeling sad, angry, or whatever you happen to feel in that moment, your feelings are valid. You don’t need others to validate them, though it can help when you are seen and heard.

Something I’ve learned to do on really low days, is write in my private journal. Or here on this blog where few friends follow and I’m writing my thoughts out to mostly strangers.

You can manage your negative emotions, and keep some to yourself. But don’t feel guilty or shame for thinking them.

Focus instead, on others who have offered support. Read as much as you can and learn about developing healthier habits to incorporate into your daily routine – things like bullet journaling, meditation, making sure you get sleep, exercise and sunshine. These are all things you can do that helps to elevate your moods.

Learn to recognize toxic people and remove from your life. Even if it means cutting out people that you thought were your best friend at one point.

Do reach out for support when needed

I’m learning that friends shouldn’t be used as therapists. I’m learning that I’m not the type of friend who you want to chat with on a daily basis. I’m also the type of friend that won’t sugar coat things and will give honest and real advice.

While I have a few close friends I can turn to for advice, if you’re struggling with a current situation or problem – get support from a licensed therapist or coach. Find someone you can trust who isn’t connected to you personally.

Write daily. I often write here or my private journal. I’m getting back into fiction writing to help with trauma dumping and letting go of things.

Find creative outlets to pour your emotions or anger into.

Get out there. Meet new friends. Find people who are similar to you and understand what you’re going through.

And seriously, just forget those people who say things like “happiness is a choice!” or “failure isn’t an option!” or whatever. These are outdated terms and are now considered gaslighting or toxic.

Do you have people like this in your life? How have you responded to them? Let me know in the comments.

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Boundaries and expectations in new relationships

I’m seeing a lot of posts in my feed about boundaries. And while doing some shadow work, I’ve done a lot of thinking about mine and what I have learned this past year.

Everyone has their own set of boundaries and limits that adhere to their core values. Sometimes core values are a work in progress as people that come into your life will test them. Or sometimes, when you have such a strong chemistry with someone, you may overlook certain values to try and make a connection work. Though, sometimes that is a recipe for a natural disaster.

There is a difference though. Between someone who is a walking red flag, and someone who makes honest mistakes. I said this today on someone else’s post and it really strikes a cord with me.

A person that repeatedly disrespects or ignores your boundaries, does NOT respect or deserve you. However. It’s on you, the other person in the connection, to make it clear from the start what those boundaries are. Relationships, no matter what the dynamic are two way streets.

A person who makes a mistake, or pushes a boundary without knowing it – now that’s different. If the person realizes that they were in the wrong, and does whatever they can to rectify the situation or make amends – it shows that person learned from their errors. In my eyes, that’s a good person. Someone who is willing to do the work and takes lessons away from shitty situations. Someone who strives not to hurt others. That’s a person I’d value as a friend and would be honored to have in my life.

We’re human. We’re all going to make mistakes from time to time. It’s what you take away from the situation that makes you a better person. It’s taking lessons and working hard not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Even if it means taking some time to yourself – to work on yourself. To figure out what your core values are. And what you will and won’t accept in your life.

Some lessons we have to learn the hard way. And in doing so, when one door closes, sometimes it opens another and makes room for new people to come into your life. New friendships form. New opportunities to learn from each other happen. And sometimes you can reconcile with past partners or friends. And sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you just have to learn to let go.

For me. I know what my boundaries are now. I have a clear and set expectation from future partners and connections. It’s up to me – to communicate those clearly to new friends and potential partners.

If I’ve done something wrong, and I’m not told about it, how the hell am I supposed to learn from my mistakes? That’s not fair either.

Communication is key. Without that, all else fails. That’s my #1 boundary and expectation going forward.

How to disarm the narcissist in your life

Do you have a narcissist in your life that is causing you emotional pain? First of all, know that you aren’t alone. Narcs are often wolves in disguise and their tactics are so subtle, that you don’t realize how harmful they are until it’s too late to do anything about.

I’ve recently gone no contact with the narc in my life and honestly, it’s the most liberating feeling in the world. I feel lighter. I’m sleeping again. And with time, I’ll be able to move forward and onto healthier relationships again. That’s the goal with the healing, at least for me at this time.

First of all – let’s cover what a narcissist is. You may already know this if you’re on the internet doing research. And yes! That’s part of healing too. Arm yourself with information.

Narcissistic signs and red flags

Love-bombing in early stages of communication. This may be declaring that you are like no one else they have met. A rare unicorn. You make them feel things they have never felt before. This is to hook and reel you in – and trust me, it works. It helps to form the trauma bond.

Often are manipulative and controlling to the point you feel as though you are an emotional slave to them. They may try to isolate you from your support groups. They may want to know everything you are up to. And they may stalk your social media accounts – this is what my ex did. At first, I thought it was because he was invested or being protective. Until it wasn’t.

They believe they are superior to others and that rules or boundaries to not apply to them. They will make everything about themselves.

They will never apologize for their mistakes. Or if they do, they will keep making the same mistakes and hurting you again, then finding some way to blame it on you.

I could go on — but I’ll use a separate post for that.

Here are things you must do, when you’ve severed ties or ended a relationship with a narcissist. It won’t be easy. The longer the relationships are, the harder it will be to let go of. But these are necessary steps to help you move on.

This list isn’t complete by any means, but they are things I’ve done personally to help with my healing.

Go no contact

Going no contact is difficult especially when there is a trauma bond or feelings there for the other person. Trust me, I know. I lived with the abuse for nine months, even after the breakup, I thought we could be friends.

To go fully no contact, you’ll need to do a few things:

Block them on social media – that means, don’t look them up to see their new activity. Seeing them move on with their life, will just make you miserable.

Unless you share a child or other responsibilities with the person, block them all together on mobile devices, or phones. Some abusers will use fake numbers to get in touch with you – just keep blocking their new numbers.

If you can’t block the person, then mute notifications so that you won’t see them. That said, it’s better to fully block them out of your life if you can.

One thing a narcissist hates, is being ignored. They will do what they can to get your attention. Don’t give them that satisfication.

Stop beating yourself up

This was in no way your fault. If anything, you are likely a good person with a big heart that attracts negative people. It happens all the time, especially to empaths who have a large social presence online.

Darkness to light. Dark energies are attracted to light energies and their main goals are to feed off your energy, until they almost break you. Break you down to a point that you will be easy to control and manipulate.

Know this wasn’t your fault. Once you recognize that you are in an abusive situation, that’s the start to a new life for you. If needed, ask for help to get out of the relationship. You don’t have to do it alone.

Get yourself in a good mental and emotional place

This is crucial, and I say this as someone who is coming out of a six week depression that nearly ended my life. Luckily, I managed to keep going. I was determined to stay strong and not let him win.

This may mean practicing mindfulness, or daily acts of gratitude. Or it may mean spending time with your friends and going out and enjoying life. Reconnect with nature. Go for walks. Take a camera and go capture the natural beauty. Go on a trip. Go visit some long distance friends.

It’s important to socialize and maintain those relationships. I’ve found that during your low points, you really find out fast who your friends are. Those who leave you while at your lowest, aren’t friends at all.

Take a hard look at the narcissist’s behavior

You’ll find yourself months after the relationship sitting up in bed one night and going, “Oh! That isn’t right. That makes sense now.” when you realize what was going on in the relationship.

Once you see the pattern of abuse, you can’t unsee it. Once you learn their wicked ways, it will be easier to spot in new relationships or partnerships. And that person will never look the same to you as did once you realize how toxic they were.

A narcissist loves to gaslight their partners. They do this by invalidating your feelings or making you think that you’re going crazy. They’ll deny accusations or straight out lie to you. They will deflect and change the subject or pick fights when you try and talk to them about your feelings. They will do whatever they can to control the situation.

The more you learn to recognize the toxic behavior, the easier it will be to set boundaries and match up with healthier partners who value your worth.

Breaking through the fear and anxiety

Narcissist’s feed off of fear and anxiety. They want to keep you feeling low and confused. They may resort to sleep deprivation tactics. This is something I faced and a lightbulb moment went off in my head after the relationship ended. I understood why he’d message me at 2 or 3 in the morning and ask me to stay up and wait for him to get home. Then texts would never come in.

This was his way of keeping me exhausted so that I wouldn’t have the energy to fight him. And for months – and I mean months – it worked. I’m still catching up on sleep now and feeling the physical effects this had on me.

Learn to stand your ground. Set your boundaries. Be firm. If they do not respect those boundaries – then they do not respect you.

Let go of the fear they have caused for so long, it will help. You need to be strong to move on from this.

Get support – you’ll need it

Join a support group or hire a therapist who is trained with trauma bonds and emotional recovery. You’ll need help from friends and family. Think of narcissists like psychological warfare or cancer.

You will go through the motions. At first, you’ll miss the person so much you’ll want to reach out daily to them. Trust me, when I say, this only makes it worse for you.

You may feel periods of extreme sadness, or you may find you want to sleep all the time. This is especially true if your partner has caused sleep deprivation. This can happen by picking fights when you are trying to sleep, or creating noise during your sleeping hours.

You may feel anger at times. Find a healthy outlet. For me, I turn to artwork, music and other creative outlets. Working with my hands keeps me busy. Reading. Writing – especially in journals or here on the blog definitely helps to keep me motivated.

Rely on your friends. Support groups can help but do be mindful of the people you accept into your circle. And do be wary of false friends who only stick around during the happier times in your life. And do be careful — choose to write in a private journal rather than a shared journal that your mutual friends can read. This will only make things worse. Share only what you need to. Keep the rest private or to conversations with a professional counselor.

Thank you for reading – what resonated with you most?

I think I’ll stop there. This post is already long and I feel I could break it up into a series of posts about toxic behaviors.

Yes, it’s possible to be a victim of emotional abuse even in long distance relationships. It’s possible to be abused without even realized that you are being abused. Sometimes the abuse is so subtle, you don’t realize it until later. This is why I’m sharing these posts about my experiences. So, that I can help others recognize what isn’t okay and to let them know they aren’t alone.

Thank you for sticking with this blog through it’s many changes, and through my many stages of grief and letting go. It’s been a year full of ups and downs. And I’m working hard on coming back up from a hard fall.

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If you want to know more – please consider following my blog for regular updates.

Note: I am NOT a professional therapist or councilor. I’m just someone who has been through some abuse from a survivor’s perspective.

Meaningful apologies and making amends

This is something that I’ve been really mulling over the past couple of weeks since having a falling out with someone that I felt was important to me. It saddens me how easily relationships can fall apart. But – as everything in life, I acknowledge that I made mistakes in how I handled the situation. I’m going to use this space to share what I learned during this process. And hopefully, if my person sees this post, he will know that I am truly sorry for the way things ended.

And TikTok Tarot is just messing my head with promises that he is missing me just as much as I’m missing him and he is full of regret. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m trying to believe that if it’s meant to be – it will work out. Anyone else tired of these karmic lessons in life? I know I am.

Take ownership of your mistakes

The first step to making amends is to own up to your mistakes. Fully acknowledge what you did wrong. Write it down if you need to. Don’t make it about you – owning up to your mistakes means knowing how it affected the other party involved. Own up. Admit that you were in the wrong. Take responsibility for your actions.

Listen to their side of the story

This is crucial. Don’t make it all about you or how the situation affected you. Listen to them. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid and that you hear what they have to say. Make them feel heard and seen. This is an important step that not everyone remembers to take.

If they ask for time and space, give it to them

Maybe this was my biggest karmic lesson of this year. If someone asks you for space and time, give it to them. We all process news differently. Some people need to take a longer time to deal with their emotions. Sometimes space is needed to figure out what a person really needs in a relationship. And sometimes space is needed when things move too quickly. It’s okay to take a pause.

However. For me, I’m an anxious person and attachment. If someone asks for space, next time, I’ll ask for a timeline. Not only does this confirm that the person plans on coming back, but it also gives me an idea of how much time will be needed. Whether it’s days, or weeks. If it’s any longer than a couple of weeks, than prepare for the fact that the relationship may be over. Don’t make rash decisions. Don’t pull away completely. But just be prepared for whatever outcome that may happen. Don’t put your life on hold for a “maybe”.

Apologies mean nothing if you don’t back it up with action

In order to truly show that you are sorry, you’re going to have to work hard to rebuild trust if it was broken. That means, following through with promises made. Making a list of actions you’ll take going forward to help rectify the problem. That might mean getting counseling or outside help if the problem is a big one. Or just simply by being there for your person.

Find out what they need and do your best to fulfill those needs. And if you can’t, or find that you aren’t compatible in that department – then make an exit plan to let them go. But gently. Be kind about it. Show compassion. Don’t promise to “be friends” if you don’t mean to. Let them go if necessary. Make a clean break if all else fails.

Give them time to heal

Even after you’ve made your apology known and taken all the steps above, your person might need more time to heal. It’s possible that whatever happened, triggered something inside them from past traumas. Or some hurts, like cheating/infidelity, might take longer to “get over” or forgive. And sometimes, the hurt is just too much to let go of.

Practice empathy here. Don’t smother. Don’t love-bomb them. Just be there for them and give space when asked for it.

What NOT to say during an apology

Some things I have learned about what NOT to say during an apology:

“I’m sorry you feel that way” instead try “I’m sorry that I caused you (insert feeling here). It wasn’t my intention.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say” instead say something like, “I’m really sorry. What do you need from me at this time?”

“I’m sorry, but…” – this makes the apology all about you.

“I’m not perfect…” it comes from a good place, but it’s cliché. Again, the apology is not about you. It’s about how they feel.

DO show remorse! This is crucial. Show remorse, and mean it. But don’t exaggerate it. If you feel the need to cry, then let it out. If you’re really hurting, then that is your emotion and you need to manage that. It could be guilt from knowing that you hurt the other person. At least… I know that’s the case for me. I feel a lot of guilt.

Karmic lessons for personal growth

Apologies only mean something if you are truly remorseful for your actions. Without remorse or understanding of how you hurt the other person, then there is no way for you to learn or grow from your mistakes.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a connection can be a frightening thing. Opening up your heart and actually following through with promises, shows that you are willing to make up for your wrongs.

Making mistakes is a very human thing to do. Humans aren’t perfect. I know I’m not. I don’t strive to be. I had someone call me a “perfect diamond” recently, and it made me want to puke in my mouth a little bit. Perfection is too much work.

I believe in karmic lessons and what we put out into this universe comes back to us. If you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, then you’re not giving yourself the chance to grow. By taking ownership of your faults, and working at them, to better yourself – you’re opening yourself up for a world of possibilities and growth.

Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, owning up to your mistakes and doing all you can to make amends is part of the human experience. What I have learned is that you also have to be willing to forgive yourself too. Some hurts might be too much for the other person to let go. And sometimes, relationships can’t survive or end because of the damages you caused.

Healing can only happen, when we learn to forgive ourselves – for when others, cannot.

T’is the season for food and booze

Last night I had some friends over for a Christmas potluck dinner and gift exchange. It was a fun night. I might have had one too many drinks and am feeling a little tired today. But…all honesty, the night with friends was needed and I got to see someone that I had a falling out with.

I made a honey glazed ham and will have so much ham for the next while. I’m going to either have to have more friends over for dinner or freeze some. I might make a ham and potato casserole too to use some up.

We ate so much food.

There was booze. My friend JoRo and I got a little tipsy and the men were making fun of us. And I also have 2 litres of eggnog that I have no idea what I’m going to do with! We played a fun board game that always turns into a competition in this group.

For dinner – there was a 2 pound honey ham. I also made a delicious stuffing mix with dried cranberries, celery and onions. I’ll probably make that again for family dinner on the 25th. There was a big batch of potatoes and cheese. Cornbread. Mashed butternut squash that overcooked on my end. And sausages.

I just ate an entire plate of ham and sausages for breakfast and *belch* it was so good.

My friend even made a pie and the four of us sat around the table like a family. And I think that’s what we’ve become. A dysfunctional family of sorts. It was just nice. I love entertaining and cooking and having friends over.

The clean up on the other hand is surreal today. Lots of dishes. And I made a mess in my oven – spilled honey sauce on the bottom so that will be fun. I might have to hire someone to clean it up for me.

But the evening…

It was what I needed to snap out of this depressive funk I’ve been in. And I realize now, that I have a lot of healing to do from my dynamic that ended in November. I made the mistake of rushing into a new relationship and that fell apart quickly. To the point, the guy won’t even hug me or doesn’t want to be alone with me.

I’m giving him space for now. I’m hoping to make amends. But for now – it is what it is. He needs to process his feelings too. But I really miss him. I miss our coffee morning chats and movie nights. And for a while there – I was happy. Things were good. I forgot how good it felt to be in a relationship and have someone be there for you.

We both made mistakes. And I’ll take this as a life lesson. I know it will take time to repair but. I wish I could take back that entire conversation. What really did it in was the apology message I sent him the next day. So, if I learned anything when dealing with neurodivergent types.

Apologize. Quickly and mean it.

Give them space and time if they ask for it.

Let them make the first move when ready.

I have regrets. I really do. But hopefully in time, things can be salvaged.

In other news, my place is starting to look like Christmas and last night helped put me in the seasonal mood. I got my tree up and some lights on the fireplace. I’ve got the wreath I started making last year that needs finishing. And maybe I’ll make some streamers and stuff before Christmas.

And also. A male friend that was part of my group asked to come over for coffee and hot chocolate next week. We stopped talking while I was seeing the other guy. And now he’s checking in daily again. I missed his friendship. So, I guess there is a silver lining there.

As for me.

I’m taking time to be on my own for a while. Have some healing and growing to do. I don’t regret anything about this year. What I am working on is self-growth and making amends. Trying to salvage those connections that are worth salvaging. And letting go of those that are toxic.

For now, I’m leaving you with this song that helped me through this week. It sums me up perfectly.

I’ll find my spark again.

I wish I had taken a picture of all the food! There was so much for four people. I’ll be eating ham for weeks.

This year’s life lessons

It’s Tuesday morning. I’m sitting in my recliner in my fuzzy pj pants and the fireplace is roaring. I’ve got my first cup of coffee and decided I needed to start writing here again. It’s bitterly cold outside sitting at -33 this morning. No matter where you are in the world, that’s cold. And once again, I’m sitting here feeling confused and wondering – where did the good go?

First off, I did make my blog private for a while. The premium plan expires soon and I’m not sure I’ll renew it. I’ll probably go back to personal plan which means losing some features and having to redesign it. I’m trying to keep a low profile in general online these days. But we’ll see.

My primary long distance dynamic ended last month. The relationship started to get toxic and pretty abusive due to some jealousy issues on his part. Which wasn’t fair. He had a live-in partner and was well aware that I was looking for someone local for me. And I did find that. For a three months, I had someone that I was seeing. Until last week.

The LDR dynamic ended with taking some time apart and going no contact for a few days. Then he called on the Sunday of that week and we talked a long time. He said we could be friends. But people always say that. We talk still just not often. I don’t know how to act with him now. And there are still some bitter feelings on how toxic things got towards the end. I’m embarrassed for how much I chased him, when he seemed to unattach himself to me pretty quickly.

Then I had a wonderful but short-lived relationship with a guy that I had flirted with all summer. Or rather, he flirted with me. I had no idea he was interested in me. We saw each other weekly. He drove me to events and introduced me to his friends. I cooked for him. We had a few movie nights. He came to the few social gatherings I had with friends. And in the last two weeks, we started getting really close.

Like… acting like a couple on Fetlife for two weeks. Daily. And I was pretty happy. I think he was too. In the time that I knew him which was as long as my ex, I had never seen him interact that way with another woman.

We clicked. The chemistry when together was hot. But there were issues. Some compatibility issues that made him uncomfortable. And I made the mistake of asking a question about a sore subject for him. And we are now currently in no contact.

Once again, I had a man that I had been intimate with and started developing feelings for – withdraw and ask for space.

Seriously, asking for space is the worst thing to do with an anxious attachment. I pick at things because I want to fix them. I really should have just let him have space, because now we’re no longer together. He just wants to be friends.

And I realize he’s probably right. But I wasn’t ready for the connection to end. We were just starting. But I also realized something else.

I refuse to be with someone I have to chase. I refuse to someone’s option. I refuse to be someone’s last priority in life. I refuse to try and make things work with someone who is questioning whether they want to be with me or not.

I’ve done that for too many men. Too many times. And it always ends in heartache.

If he comes back after this “break” then we’ll see what happens. But I’m not chasing him.

For now – I’m focusing on me. On health. Re-writing some short stories. Working on art. And healing. There’s a lot of healing to do from this past year. THREE connections that I had this year. And my heart just hurts.

I don’t think I’m a bad person. I ask questions because I like to know things and I was getting some pretty mixed signals. Maybe he realized that when he pulled away.

The lesson learned this year?

It’s so easy for some people to pull away from a relationship rather than work on it. If that’s the case, what’s the point anymore? Why try? And how can some people walk away from something like it was nothing?

Because it wasn’t nothing to me. It meant something. And I miss it.

PS: If anyone tells me to “love myself more” and thinks will work out – I will throat punch you. I’m not a violent person but I will make exceptions. That’s gaslighting yourself into thinking that people won’t mistreat you or abuse you if given the chance. Because trust me sweetie, they will. Only some of them are so clever at it, you don’t realize until way too late. And you know what? I have too much self respect to even put up with that crap anymore.

Get out of here with your self-love crap. Setting boundaries IS a form of self-care. And I don’t need that on my page. Or in my comments sections.

Forming new dynamics and shedding lights on toxic behaviours

Thanksgiving came and went and I opted to not do my annual gratitude post. While I have a lot of people in my life that I’m grateful for, I’m not feeling particular thankful right now. My emotions have been all over the map and there are reasons for that.

My LDR connection is still going but it’s becoming really hard at times. I’ve been given permission to go ahead and make other connections locally and have met a couple of men that I am getting to know. Kink is weird sometimes. The Boss in charge has to approve my partners and that’s hard for him too. It’s hard for me waiting for them to chat, feel each other out and get to know each other too. I don’t want to share too much about my LDR as he’s a private person and that would seem disrespectful.

So… just know. It’s still going. Six months in. And it’s still really fucking hard sometimes because of the distance.

There are some in the community that don’t want these connections to happen. Ex partners on both sides for one. Although for me, it wasn’t really an ex partner. It was someone I got to know over the summer, hooked up with a couple of times – and now he’s trying to manipulate me and control me, even though I went no contact with him. And honestly, I’m getting SO fucking tired of it all.

It started off with love bombing my content after going no contact with him. I didn’t hear anything for a couple of months. Then all of a sudden, when I started getting out to events, he showed interest again and started up with the flirting. Which I either shot down, or ignored while still being polite. The last thing I want to do is burn bridges in a somewhat small and sometimes incestuous-like community.

Then the snide remarks started happening. And when I started openly engaging with one man who is a mutual friend, the comments turned spiteful and this person started tagging my new friend in them.

Like wtf? Who does that? We’re not even an official couple of anything like that. It’s just friendship, getting to know each other. Feeling each other out. Having difficult conversations. Spending time together. It’s NOT a full blown relationship and the other thing…

It’s no one else’s fucking business who I’m friends with or invite into my home.

This morning out of the blue, I get a message saying, “I hope you know my posts aren’t about you.” Like what?

I know they probably are. He made some kind of status update about integrity and people bad mouthing him behind is back. I ignored that one too and unfriended him that day.

Then after sending me a message today, he makes another vague post about how people “think they are bigger than they really are.”

This is petty petty little man behaviour here. It’s classic gaslighting and narcissistic tactics to get a reaction out of me. Only he stopped getting a rise out of me a while ago. He’s just making himself look more sad as time goes on.

The one things with narcs is — they HATE being ignored.

They will do anything they can to get your attention. Then when you finally give it to them, they sucker you in and play with your feelings all over again. Only this guy is smart. He’s doing it in such a vague and subtle way – that no one suspects anything.

And I refuse to give him what he’s searching for.


Every post I make, he thinks it’s about him. When it’s not. Like hey. I have more than one relationship in my life. I have problems of my own that have NOTHING to do with you.

But narcs don’t see that. They make everything about themselves.

And so… that’s kind of where I am right now in life.

Learning to recognize abusive behaviours early on. Taking risks and getting to know new people. Healthier people who seem to have it together. Or at least they are wiling to openly discuss their feelings, limits and boundaries in a way that took me by total surprise.

Dinner the other night was fabulous, and it was one of the healthier discussions I’ve had in years with a potential partner. And…. I really like the guy too.

So, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing. Writing daily. Working on art. Keeping busy and active. I have a social I’m going tonight. Both men will be in the same room and that should be…interesting. But I’ll have my friends with me and I know they’ve got my back.

Hope your week is going well. I”ll get back to writing on a more regular basis soon.