Category Archives: relationships

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.

Rainy autumn mornings, how I love thee

It’s Monday morning and I just finished my breakfast, now sipping coffee whilst watching the Queen’s funeral. I did not, get up at 3 am in the morning like some of my family members did to watch the affair. But if my mum were still alive, you know she’d be watching with tears streaming down her cheeks.

I kind of like watching replays for a few reasons. You can pause it and not miss anything. You can watch it without getting up at 3 am like I did for the Olympic ceremonies. And you can skip over the boring BBC commentary that lasts for like two hours. For me, I’m watching for the music and to see who all attended the ceremony.

As a musician, I’m no stranger to funerals. I volunteer as a community musician and have played for them often. I did one a couple of weeks ago that had nearly 100 people. The most impressive funeral I played for though was probably my aunt’s. There were over 300 people in the church. People were lined up against the walls and even standing in the hall. It was packed. I remember looking up from the piano at the end of my solo and seeing how many people were seated in the upper balcony. Man. That was a hard day. Even my mum’s funeral didn’t have that many people and that was a really tough day.


I woke up this morning in a great mood. For a few reasons.

I realized the other night that it will be six months in October that my long distance man and I have been together. It started with some flirting over one of my writings on Fetlife. Then he commented on a few pictures. Then out of boredom and being the flirt that I am, I hit him up in his DM’s.

And the rest is history. We’ve talked every day since.

Some days, only a few texts if he’s busy. But he makes sure to check in with me daily. We usually finish the night off talking to each other and say goodnight. During the week, we chat while he’s at work and on breaks and sometimes finish the late night with a phone call which are my favorite things to do.

He let me pick out a few necklaces last night on Etsy that I could wear during the day and around family. A simple silver chain with a D-ring that ties them together. It’s to symbolize that I’m his and he owns me which he does.

The relationship has changed and he’s really putting in time and effort to make things work. I don’t know why the change but I’m not complaining. Maybe it’s because I wanted to go on coffee dates with local men here. Which I still hope to do. But honestly, this dynamic is more important to me than finding an in person partner.

It’s messed up, right? But I need that level of control in my life. He’s helped me in many ways. I wouldn’t have the friends I have now if it weren’t for him pushing me to get out to community events. I feel like my confidence has changed, and my moods are becoming more and more stable too as time goes on.

Now, I just need to focus on weight loss and getting into shape. So that if he ever does fly or drive up here – I can be in better shape for whatever we have planned. Giggles.

I made a soup last week that I need to freeze. Last night, I prepped food for the week including fresh fruit and veggie slices. Today, is rainy and cold, so a good day to do some baking. I’ll make some oatmeal treats for breakfast. And I’ve even started batch cooking scrambled eggs and storing them for the next day. Protein for breakfast is important.

I say this after a weekend of binge eating pizza and junk food. It was fun though and worth it. But I’m afraid to step on the scale today. So, back to healthy eating and daily exercise.

I’ll probably see my dad later, once my Amazon order comes through. I ordered some stuffies to help with those lonely feelings at night time and they will get here today along with some other supplies. Including a face roller and makeup.

Anyway. That’s about it. I woke up in a good mood. Tired, but rested. I’ll do a bit of cleaning and cooking before heading out later. And I need to take out the recycling finally to get ready for a party in a couple of weeks.

Life is pretty good right now. My only complaint is: why does Minnesota have to be so far? Someone needs to invent teleportation. Stat.

All the things I’m grateful for

It’s nearly 4 am and I’m supposed to be in bed sleeping and dreaming away. But as usual, my brain is being a Sadist and refuses to listen to anyone. I just popped some sleeping meds so I will be sold out tomorrow. Which kind of sucks – I have a lot to do to get ready for the weekend.

I feel a little giddy when I think about it.

It’s been so long since I’ve had lifestyle friends that I can just hang out with and be myself. Yes, I have my long-term friends who I cherish and hope to see often this fall and winter. But it’s these connections and dynamics where I can just be my silly, goofy and perverted self without worry or judgment.

Years ago, when I was active in the community, I had a few girlfriends I could have sleepovers with. They were fairly benign. We’d watch movies. Pig out on pizza or Chinese food. Then sleep in the same bed. Some friends would cuddle – because that’s fun to do. And once, I curled up in bed with one of my best buds and his girlfriend. Yes. You read that right. Shocking, I know. But – back then, I was less inhibited and freer than I am now. I’m slowly getting back to my old self though.

I’m so looking forward to this. Just hanging out in pajama pants, watching stupid Halloween movies and just having a good time.

Of course… the men are trying to turn this into something more than it is. You know how men can be. They get ideas in their heads about what sleepovers are. Like us dressing up in lingerie and having pillow fights. I mean, I’m sure some people do that – but come on.

I’m excited to wear my favorite pair of fuzzy pants and pork out on pizza while watching movies like Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus for the fun of it.

I was supposed to have a couple of coffee dates in the next bit, but COVID happened at a recent community event, and half the guests are in isolation. I was supposed to go to one of the park meets and I’m glad I didn’t. Pretty much everyone there got sick. I have the sniffles, but I think it’s allergy related. Otherwise, I feel fine. The smoke from the wildfires has been bad this week resulting in wicked migraines.

As for the coffee dates. Yes, I’m excited and nervous? I’m trying to meet people in person to break out of my shell and just get out there. As friends. I know one person really likes me – and that’s exciting too. We’ve met several times at various events over the summer. I like him too. There’s chemistry. But what that chemistry is, I haven’t figured that part out yet.

The world of poly relationships or ethical non-monogamy isn’t new to me, but it’s been so long that I forgot how much fun it can be.

My long-distance relationship is still going strong but not without complications. It’s fucking hard. The distance. The nights are lonely. I wish he were closer so we could be together in person. But I know that’s not possible with his schedule and family commitments right now.

Why does it seem like the people you connect most with, are half a world away? He’s not even that far, but travel for a weekend doesn’t seem likely any time soon when it’s a 19 hour drive!

But alas. The man has my heart and as he said. We don’t know what could happen in four or six months. And it’s weird to think he’s been a part of my life for nearly six months. Longer than some of my in person relationships.

For now, I’m trying to keep myself busy and distracted. Been getting back into cooking. I made some delicious zucchini and cheese loaves this week. Some chocolate raisin cookies. And yesterday, I made a delicious and spicy tomato and vegetable soup. So, my diet is back on track and I’m making the most of my time at home.

Weight loss is slow progress. Migraines are making it hard to do much and same with the insomnia. I also have limited mobility these days with my arms and shoulders. Probably will need physio therapy at some point soon.

That’s life in a nutshell. Trying to weave my way through the ways of the ENM lifestyle. Making new friends and sharing some laughs along the way. I have my own little tribe. A small group of friends that chat almost every day.

I also recently saw one of my oldest friends and we sat in a coffee shop until almost midnight just catching up and chatting, eating Timbits and having a good time. I need more of that in my life please.

And that – is the most precious thing to me right now that I hold close to my heart.

Otherwise, life is moving along as it should be. And while I struggle with anxiety and sometimes the depression, I know I should be fucking grateful for all the good I have now. And with it being autumn, I can breathe a little easier, and sleep when it finally comes.

G’night world. For now.

How to tell if a person is a narcissist

A discussion popped up on Reddit today and it got me thinking about my most recent ex-love Trigger. That’s not my nickname for him. That’s what he called himself online if you can believe that.

The discussion was about a certain politician that many of us in Alberta have come to loathe. On the day that was meant for celebration for many people, this guy goes ahead and picks a fight with the newly inaugurated president. On the DAY OF inauguration. Who the heck does that?

But politics isn’t the point of this post. What I did recognize right away with this most recent news is that this person is likely a narcissist. He displays all the classic behaviours that a narcissist would. And oddly enough, it just clued in that my ex was indeed a narcissist.

What are narcissistic behaviours to watch out for?

That’s a good question. And there are a lot of different answers for this. I’ll give you some examples that I saw in my ex. Only not at the time I was dating him because you know. Love makes you stupid, deaf and dumb. Here are some key signs to look for when entering a new relationship – whatever that might relationship be.


It’s more than just arrogance or self-entitlement with narcissists. These people often display a sense of superiority – that they are better than people who are “beneath” them. Narcissists fully believe that they are better than others and only want to associate with people of the same class or higher. They often will do anything to become successful often harming others along the way.

The self-entitlement my ex displayed at times was astonishing. He thought that because I was single and lived alone at home, that he could come and go as he pleased. He thought my requirements for him to call at least once a week were “too demanding” and that he shouldn’t have to cater to my every need. Yet, whenever he called – he expected me to drop everything for him. And sadly, I did. I made myself TOO available for him. And that can be a bad thing when it’s abused.

Needs constant attention

As I’m writing this article out, I’m beginning to worry that I may be a narcissist myself. I think in some cases, artists can be seen as narcissistic. But it comes with the territory. When you’re constantly marketing and “pimping” out your products on a daily basis, it can be difficult to talk about anything else. When you run a blog like this – a “daily diary” sort of blog – it can seem like the writer is in love with themselves. But anyone who has read any of my posts will know that’s not the case.

A narcissist will constantly talk about themselves without asking how the other person is doing. Or they will constantly interrupt you to talk about themselves. Or better yet – any time you have good news or something important that you want to talk about – they will turn around and make the conversation all about them.

I try and make a point with every email or text to ask how the other person is doing. And not only that, but I make it a point to actually listen and provide feedback. Relationships can’t be a one way street.

I’ve been accused of doing this in some discussions. But something I’ve learned is that in order to give advice on situations, I often pull from my own experiences. I’ll share my story or experience and follow that up with some advice – but only if asked for it. Narcissists love to give unsolicited advice to make themselves feel better about a situation.

The narcissist will often seek constant praise. And I mean constant. Again, I’m worried as an artist that I just might be what I fear the most.

The Hot Headed Bully

A narcissist will often bully others to make themselves feel better about their lives. From my experience, I often feel that these people either loathe themselves or are really insecure about something and they use narcissistic behaviours to hide their insecurites.

Woah. That just sounded like something a therapist would have said. I think I missed my calling as a life coach.

My ex had a temper on him. I remember one day we were bickering by text. And I admit, I was acting a bit bratty. Sometimes I liked to poke the bear as we called it. But one day we both crossed the line.

He called me and SCREAMED at me over the phone as I was getting into a cab to go home from work. I had to hold the phone away from my ear he was so loud. That was uncalled for. I don’t even remember what I said to him for him to react that way. But wow.

He also once threatened me. He came barging into my old condo, slammed the door. Threw my key card onto my table so hard it chipped the glass. He was physically vibrating and his face turned a shade of red I had only seen in cartoons.

For the first time in our four year relationship, I actually feared him and for my safety. And the worst part of it was – I had contributed to it. We broke up not long after that. We realized we were toxic for each other and it was a vicious cycle of abuse. Some relationships are just like that.

Never takes responsibility

When I make a mistake, I learned it’s better to own up to it rather than deflecting blame onto someone else. Even if it was someone else’s fault, I will explain what happened that led up to the mistake, and will usually follow up with a “I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.” My ex on the other hand – never took responsibility for anything.

“I lost my phone again. It’s not my fault you need constant contact,” he once said to me.

“It’s my fault you lost your phone for the third time while pig hunting? You know that’s statistically impossible right?” I quipped back.

And then he would go radio silent until I apologized. That guy had me wrapped around his stubby pinky finger. He knew exactly what buttons to push to get me to do anything he wanted.

Narcissists will never admit when they are wrong. They will always deflect the blame onto someone else. Always. I can’t tell you how many times my ex would blame me for him not being able to show up for a day or canceling last minute. It really did a number on my psyche.

Emotional Blackmail

This is what I’ve noticed about narcissistic people. They will often use emotional blackmail to make you feel bad about something they did wrong. This comes in part with not being able to take responsibility for their actions.

When you hear statements like, “I work so hard for my business and my family, the least you could do is accept that I can’t call you for weeks at a time. Maybe even months.”

They have a way of making their demands seem reasonable in turn, making you feel selfish for asking. They will often make you feel like you’re crazy in an effort to manipulate you. And then, the icing on the cake – they’ll make you feel guilty about it until you apologize!

“You’re over thinking it way too much,” my ex would often tell me. “I’m not shutting you out personally, I shut out everyone for weeks at a time.”

Of course it turns out he was lying about this. But that’s just one of many examples.

Cutting the cord on toxic relationships

This topic deserves a blog post of its own and I will work on that soon. When it comes to having a narcissist in your life, whether they are a family member, friend or coworker – it’s important to establish healthy boundaries. You have every right to say what you’re comfortable and what you’re not comfortable with.

For example, I confided in my therapist during our last session that I felt I was reaching out to a certain friend who reads this blog way too much. I thought she might feel overwhelmed with how needy I was being through all of the drama that was happening in my life. That’s part of living with anxiety from day to day.

My therapist gave me some great advice and said: “That’s why it’s healthy to set boundaries. And that’s why you have me. Try not to reach out to her everyday. Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts at night time. Keep a journal next to your bed and write down your concerns.”

It was great advice – and it’s why I’m back to writing almost daily here in this blog. This is my very public daily journal. I figure at the very least, if it’s not entertaining, perhaps some people can learn from my mistakes.

To Summarize

The main take aways from this article on how to spot a narcissistic person are:

  • They never take responsibility for their mistakes and will deflect blame onto everyone else.
  • They need constant attention and constant praise (yay social media!)
  • They believe they are superior over most people and have unrealistic expectations of others who do not meet their demands
  • They often will use emotional blackmail or will bully others to feel better about themselves
  • They make EVERYTHING about them – even when it’s your special day

Learn to set boundaries in your relationships. Distance yourself from these people if necessary. Only communicate when you have to. And keep conversation to a minimum responding with only the details that they need to know. The less you share about your personal life with these people, the less ammo they have to use on your later on.

If a person is relying on you too much – you can tell them in a kind way that it’s too much pressure for you. Doing this is sometimes kinder than just stopping communication all together.

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Thoughts on unconventional relationships

It’s quiet in my building tonight. And it’s dark outside – even by 5 pm, it was already pitch black. I had a pretty good day until I started working on my Christmas tree. It’s just a tiny little tree from Michaels. A 4 foot prelit tree. It’s kind of like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. But I can’t complain for $40. It’s perfect for what I need at the moment.

As I was unpacking the ornaments from dad’s house, I got nostalgic for my mum. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She loved entertaining and having family and friends over for dinner parties. The Christmas tree was her favorite part of decorating the house. Dad would help her set up the tree and the lights. And she would do the rest herself.

Or she would “instruct” us on where to put ornaments, so it looked like how she wanted it. She somehow made it seem like we were helping her out a lot. The more I think about things like that, the more I think – man, kids are dumb.

And as I was lifting boxes from my closet, and got winded after the third load, I couldn’t help but think.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone around to help with day to day stuff?

But is that really a reason to get involved in a relationship? Just to have extra help around the house? I know there are all kinds of unconventional relationships out there. From polyamorous (I speak from experience), to open relationships (been there too).

Romantic connections are a difficult thing for me at this time in my life. My thoughts are weighted down with my dad’s health as it worsens over time. And then there is my own health which impacts my, ahem, sexual drive. Is it even fair to get in a relationship when there’s no desire for intimate – no scratch that – no desire for a sexual relationship?

I’m not saying I never think about it. It’s just with weight, migraines and the hormones, most days – it’s very far from my mind. And my weight is a good reason I’ve stayed single all this time. It’s slowly coming off – painfully, slow.

Would it be too much to ask for a platonic boyfriend? Is that a thing? Someone I can share house responsibilities with. Someone who could pay the bills and let me work from home on my art and music projects. I could even teach music if I had a partner to split the bills with. I could do so much more than I am now.

Plus, I’m an amazing cook. There would be that benefit to sharing a living space with me.

That’s the other thing. I love coming home to an empty home. If I lived with someone, it would have to be a house. And I would need my own space. My own room. A basement to work out in and work on various projects. I need that.

But…I sure do miss having a tall partner around to help with the day to day things that I physically can’t do anymore. And I think about what I’m going to do when I’m over 50 and there’s no one to take care of me. Maybe I’d have to go for a younger guy?

These are thoughts that are plaguing my mind tonight.

But I sure do like the shimmering lights and sparkly ornaments in the background.

For just a little while, it felt like mum was right here with me.

Never make someone a priority, when you are just an option.

After I wrote my piece this morning on emotional abuse, I got thinking about my relationship with James. It was an on and off relationship that went on for many years. Too many years. 19 years to be exact.

Now first off – we didn’t date all that time. We met when I was 20 and dated casually for a couple of months. But he worked in the oil patch and was out of town a lot. He would disappear sometimes without communication – yes I know. I sure know how to pick these guys, right? Like a moth to a flame, someone said to me recently. I’m working on this.

While dating James, I met Cory who I connected with quickly. Cory was a nice guy, lived at home – but he was dependable and we communicated daily. It was a nice change.

I knew I had to make a decision on what guy I wanted to stick with – and wound up seeing both guys on the same day!

James and I went for a quick lunch date before he dropped me off at work. And Cory stopped by MOMENTS later to say hi. I mean, the guys just barely missed each other.

My supervisor at the time who turned into a good friend, because we worked the late shifts together – he laughed his ass off, literally – when Cory walked in the door. He shook his head and went into the cooler and told me later on….

“You need to make a decision”

And so. I picked Cory. And we dated for three years. It was at a time in my life that I wanted to settle down – but he wasn’t ready.

In the third year of our relationship, James contacted me again and wanted to hang out. He always seemed to know when I was emotionally unstable. It’s like he had radar.

We hooked up after Cory and I broke up. Dated for a couple of more months. Then he disappeared. And this was a repitive pattern for many years.

I dated other people when he disappeared. But I always felt like I loved him and he was the one I was meant to be with. I was just “waiting for him to grow up” which he never did.

We became really close in 2012 for about six months. Probably the closest we had ever come to an actual relationship. He was over on the weekends. We had dinners together. We even talked about a hiking trip.

But that’s all it ever was – talk. He would bail last minute every damn time we had plans. I finally caught him later in 2012 when he was texting me from Hawaii.

I did a search for his name – this is around the time Instagram became popular. I found out that yes he was in Hawaii – and he wasn’t alone – he didn’t need hugs – he was traveling with his GIRLFRIEND.

Who would become his wife a few years later. And mother of his child. Something he swore to me for 19 years of our friendship – something he didn’t want. He swore he would never marry and he never wanted kids.

But what he was really saying – was that he didn’t want to me marry ME. It was me. He was never serious about me like I was about him. And that destroyed me for a while.

At least until I reconnected with Trigger – whom I dated off an on for four years.

I’m still thinking of writing a book about this romance. If you can call it that. I think he loved me in his way. But James was a pathological liar and serial cheater. And it took me a long time to accept that I would be nothing more than his “side chick.”

And so, today – I’m going to share some warning signs that I ignored so I can spare you some grief I put myself through. I knew deep down what was going on – but I refused to see it.

See, the one thing about James that confused was he would often spend the night when he came to see me. When most guys are looking for a “side piece” (I hate that term, for the record) — they will text or call you and ask to hook up late at night.

Signs that you are just a “side piece”

In my experience, like with Trigger, he would often stop by after his shop closed. He would stay for a couple of hours and then leave. I always suspected he had someone waiting for him – but I never wanted to admit it. I’m stupid when it comes to men. It’s partly why I’m single now.

With James, he would stay overnight – make plans with me for the following day. We’d have breakfast and coffee together in the morning. He’d check his phone – and then he’d find some excuse to bail on me.

I wouldn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks. This was a vicious cycle.

So, if a guy comes to visit you late at night and bails the next day – or leaves right after sex – there’s a good chance he’s rushing home to someone else.

He’s protective of his phone

James almost never took his cell phone out when we were together. This is why it was so hard for me to believe that I was just his side piece. When we were together – we were together. We talked. Watched movies. Cuddled. And then spent the night together.

He was caring. Kind. And attentive. And let’s face it – the sex was good too. I mean, there’s a reason I kept going back to him.

Trigger on the other hand – was very protective of his phone. He would leave the room to respond to texts. He almost never took calls in the same room. And he never let me see his phone.

That should have been a huge red flag and it was. I just – ignored it like all the other red flags.

Because again. Love makes me do stupid things.

Dropped Conversations

James was terrible for this. We’d have a nice conversation via texting and I’d ask him a serious question. And then boom. Radio silence. It seemed like every time I asked him a question or if the conversation got intense, he’d drop the conversation.

I once outright asked him if he had someone with him which he denied. We got into a huge argument one day while I was at work when he finally responded to me.

He said he didn’t think that he should have to maintain regular contact with me to “be my friend”. I told him I didn’t sleep with friends – I slept with partners. And if he wasn’t my partner – then what the hell was he?

He told me he “at best a part-time lover”.

And that’s when it hit me – I would never be more to him than just someone he could call when he wanted “companionship”.

You never meet his family or friends

This one bothered me with James. When we dated early on – when I was 18-19, I met his parents. He was renting the basement from them and I met his mom first, then his dad.

I invited James to parties, birthday parties – family events – but he never showed an interest. He never showed an interest in my birthdays at all. Or Christmas. He always seemed to disappear around the holidays too.

I never met a single friend of his. Not one. I did however, meet someone who knew him. Several people actually – it’s a small world in Edmonton.

And they all confirmed what I was suspected – James had three or four women on the go most of the time.

I don’t regret my relationships with James or Trigger. They were the two major loves of my life. At least, I had convinced myself I was in love with them. They both said they loved me.

Our relationships were not conventional. I’ve never been the marrying kind. I can’t even live with people – I need my space. But these two guys – I was head over heels in love with them.

Love blinded me. I felt so stupid in the end for having let the relationships go on as long as they did. And this is a big part of why I’m single now. I don’t trust my judgment when it comes to dating and trusting people.

But I still say — I’m a much healthier and happier person now. I’m getting my life back into place. I have plans and goals. I know where I want to be in the future. And I know what I want out of relationships and friendships. Or even just companionship.

I know now – what warning signs to look for. And I am able to now finally – speak my mind without picking a fight. I can communicate without sending angry texts or emails. I can set boundaries and expectations and follow up with what’s expected of me.

I know when the timing is right – love will find me again.

But never again. Will I allow myself to be the “side piece.” Because I deserve better than that. Everyone does.

So ladies, and guys too – don’t let yourself be a side piece. I’ll leave you with this quote that stuck with me:

And on that note, I’m going to have a rum and coke and order in some pizza.

Never make someone a priority when you are just an option for them.

Thanks for reading.

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How to recognize emotional abuse

Emotional abuse comes in many forms and isn’t always easy to recognize. Sometimes abuse is subtle while in other cases, emotional abuse can leave lasting scars that never fully heal. I speak here, from personal experience and I am going to share some warning signs to look out for.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in my fair share of abusive relationships. Not just emotional abuse, but physically and verbally abusive as well. I’ve learned over the years what are some major red flags early in a relationship.

But emotional abuse is a harder beast to recognize. Sometimes the abuse is so subtle, you don’t even realize it’s happened – until it’s too late. By this point, you’re invested in the relationship.

The worst part of it? The abuser will use tactics to keep you isolated from your support group. And worse – they will at some point, try to blame everything on you – so you’re constantly apologizing for something that isn’t your fault at all.

It’s messed up, isn’t it? And maybe I can’t word this so eloquently as I’d like to, but here are a few warning signals to look out for early on in relationships.


A classic tactic by emotional abusers is to try and isolate their partners. In early stages of the relationship, they will spend as much time with you, getting to know you and wanting to talk to you all the time. It may seem like they are enthralled by you – and they very well may be.

But this is often a tactic abusers use to isolate their victims. In some cases, the victim won’t even realize it until they’re totally cut off from their friends and family.

Some things I’ve heard from former partners:

  • “I don’t want you to see that person, I don’t like how they treat you.”
  • “I want to spend all free time with you, is that so wrong?”

Keeping you isolated from your loved ones is a sign of emotional abuse. This may lead to physical abuse and makes it easier to hide. The abuser also knows that without your support group around, they can get away with more devious behaviour.

Emotional Neglect

My ex, Trigger, used to ignore me for weeks on end. I realized later, that this was extremely unhealthy and it was a form of emotional abuse. He would ignore me – I’d get upset over it. He’d come over and apologize and blame his PTSD. Things would get better for a month, and then he’d go right back to ignoring me. This went on for nearly FOUR years. I won’t even count the last year as a relationship. It really wasn’t – in hindsight.

Some abusers will outright punish their victims by purposefully ignoring them. This is especially terrible when living together. Ignoring someone as punishment after a fight is not only emotionally abusive but it’s also highly manipulative.

In many cases, the victim will apologize for something they didn’t even do or weren’t at fault for – until the abuser speaks to them again.

Shutting someone out for weeks at a time while supposedly in a loving relationship – it’s just so wrong. While I didn’t expect daily contact from my ex – it wasn’t in our arrangement – being ignored for weeks on end without an explanation caused me a lot of pain and I acted out because of it.

Humiliation and bullying

Humiliation is a common tactic used by bullies to intimidate their partners. Name-calling, shaming, derogatory pet-names or character assignations are all examples of how a person can humiliate you.

There was someone in my family who loved doing this to me at every family dinner. When I finally called her out for it, I remember hearing other family members say, “Oh, that’s just the way she is.”

Every time I opened my mouth up at the dinner table, any ideas or suggestions I brought forward were met with “you’re ridiculous” or “that’s not right” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She loved to publicly embarrass me and tell humiliating stories that happened twenty years ago – she still brings them up every now and then.

I remember one time she tried to tell me I didn’t know what a migraine was – after having been diagnosed with chronic migraines. That’s “just how she was”.

If I left the dinner table or stormed out of the room, I was labelled as childish and in the end – she won. I gave her exactly what she wanted.

Humiliation Tactics

Humiliation can be subtle – things like eye-rolling, smirking, laughing or even exchanging a glance with someone else can also be signs that someone is making fun of you.

Dismissiveness – so many times while speaking up at family dinner parties, I was met with dismissive remarks.

“I remember that – it happened when I was living in the basement. I loved living in the basement. It was like having my own apartment as a kid.” – I said at one family dinner.

“You never lived in the basement,” she said to me.

“Uh, yes I did. In elementary school. For like a year,” I reminded her.

Everyone else at the table nodded and she just rolled her eyes at me.

“I hate the organ music. Why can’t you just play the piano more often? The hymns are so awful,” she would say.

“You don’t have to come to church, you could just, you know, stay home,” I would reply back – and that often shut her up.

If I was in a good mood, she’d often shut it down by saying something like “you look fat in that” or “you shouldn’t wear that colour, it makes you look ugly”.

I know there’s a lot of more that I’m missing – but I think I’ve blocked out a lot of the things she has said to me over the years. I hardly see her now outside of Christmas dinners.

And the family wonders why I don’t want to spend much time with them.

Recognizing emotional abuse and standing up for yourself

As time went on, I learned to accept these people for who they are and that they will never change. I also learned to stick up for myself. And I learned that I didn’t have to call these kinds of people family. Even though we were related – I didn’t need to see them outside of family gatherings. And even then – I could keep attendance to a minimum. Which I have – happily – for quite some time now. I turn down invitations to parties, and even weddings – mostly – because I don’t want to be around these people who think so little of me.

Life is too short. I’d rather be with people who respect me for who I am – and not make a mockery of me behind my back.

I remember my brother in law telling me on the way home, “You should hear what they say behind your back.” And I should have asked for clarification on who was saying these things. I’m guessing it was my immediate family – some of them anyway.

We’ve never seen eye to eye. They look down on me because I’m not married and don’t have a lot of money. They also make fun of me because of my weight. It’s why I very rarely see them on a social level. Why would I constantly subject myself to that?

Just because you’re related to someone – doesn’t mean you have to like them. Or even spend time with them. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are. Not those who are taking advantage of you.

I think I’m going to stop there because I’m getting worked up thinking about past experiences. I’m in a healthier place in my life now. I know what’s right and what’s wrong. I know that I can’t change who people are but I can change how I react to them.

I also know what signs to look out for in relationships. And I also know that even family members can be toxic. It’s why I write this blog under “Wendy” only – because I don’t even want them to read these thoughts here. I know there will be backlash.

If you have someone in your life who is constantly putting you down, they dismiss everything you have to say, they yell at you for no reason or they thrive off making you feel bad —

Then cut your losses. Say your goodbyes. Remove yourself from that person. Even if they’re family.

Because life is just too short to even worth trying to be a people pleaser. The issue isn’t you at all. It’s them.

Learn to stand up for yourself and be your own advocate.

But most of all, know that you are worth so much more than these abusers (and assholes) can give you.

I just want to party on an expensive yacht. Just once. Is that too much to ask for?

My phone buzzed sometime in between loads of laundry, cleaning my kitchen and sitting down at the computer to write my weekly post. I haven’t done the research I promised to do into fitness and weight loss. Things have just been so busy I haven’t had the time to put into it. Yeah, I’m a bad blogger. I’m not sorry though.

When I looked at who texted me, I felt more annoyed than excited – and I immediately felt guilty for it. It was then that it dawned on me. I’ve been single for exactly four years now – almost to the day.

Not long ago, I updated my profile on in the hopes of making some new friends and joining some travel groups. I even found some events that I was interested in – but things have been so busy with the family, I just haven’t the energy to put into meeting new people.

Shortly after updating my profile, I received a couple of messages from random guys. And I thought, what the hell. I’ll respond. After all, I was there to meet new friends, right?

What I love about the website is you can log on whenever you want to and respond to messages whenever you feel like it. With Facebook, I always feel pressured to respond right away. It got to the point I actually turned the chat box off after awhile. Even my family group chat can be tedious to have to respond to every day. But I love seeing photos of my nieces and nephews. And the grandbaby. I love my grand nephew to pieces, even though the little asshole slapped me in the face last night.  He made up for it later by blowing kisses.

Babies can be assholes too. Good thing the little jerk is cute.

When I looked at my phone and saw who was texting, I actually sighed and ignored it. Making small talk is not my favorite thing to do. It feels like a chore at best of times. I’m a bad texter. So texting small talk is just painful. Really painful. I’m all thumbs.

And I turned off my auto-correct so now I can’t type anything.

Related image

It’s been so long since I actually went on a date that I wouldn’t even know how to act, or what to say. Getting to know someone new is painful for me too. Just how much do you let that person in? Ghosting is a real thing. Why go through all that work just for the potential to be ghosted later down the road?

That’s why I joined – for fun and adventurous group outings. I figured the best way to meet new people was just to get out there and try new things and get involved.

The other night, I created a new event for a concert that I’m attending in the fall. I thought a group outing with new friends would be fun. No harm, right?

And this dude that I had met one time in 2012 messages me later that night and says, “Oh, I guess you don’t want to get together, do you?”

I met him one time. ONE time. But for some reason he thought we were going to hook up for coffee or something.

Sometimes I feel like chatting online, is like this conversation on The Family Guy.

How much clearer do I need to be? I already told him twice in previous conversations  that I wasn’t interested in a relationship. I clearly told him I was only interested in meeting new people for group outings. That was it. That is all I want at this point in my life.

And then my phone buzzed again today. As it has several times for the last few days. And rather than being excited at the chance of getting to know someone new – it felt like my personal time was being invaded.

I want to make it clear that this had nothing to do with the person messaging me. This is all on me. Really. It’s all me. And so, I had to be honest with myself – and this new guy that I had been enjoying a friendly banter with.

But I guess there comes a time when even friendly banter gets stale and one person will want more. I’m just not there yet. Dating is hard. There’s pressure on all fronts. And it’s just not a stress I need in my life right now. So, I guess this post can serve as an open letter to all the men that have messaged me recently.

Life is busy right now. I’ve made all kinds of promises to myself and my family. With an upcoming trip to Toronto and plans for more travel – I just don’t have the time or need for a relationship right now.

I’ve been single for so long now, that I’ve found interesting things to fill my time with. I have two blogs to run. I have a full time job. I have a part time gig on the weekends. I have my family commitments. And my dad to see on the weekends. I have a good friend who needs me right now as her partner is going through chemo. I also want to take cooking lessons. Get back into photography. And travel.

I thought I was ready and at a point in my life where I would be able to welcome someone new in. But the pain from my last relationship is still fresh. Even four years later. Maybe I’ll never be able to date again. And that’s something I have to live with. And maybe one day when I least expect it, I’ll run into a handsome millionaire on a singles cruise who wants to spoil me and buy me fancy things like a downtown Toronto condo – or yacht.

I don’t know where I’d use the yacht – I mean, I live downtown Edmonton. But I want a yacht damnit. I deserve a yacht. Just once in my life – I’d love to have an exciting weekend like Leo seems to have. I mean, is it too much to ask for? Is it too much to ask for that I want to do this on my own and experience all that life has to offer – as a happy and single person?

Image result for wolf of wall street yacht

And so, that is where we are today. It’s been a quiet and reflective Monday after a whirlwind of a weekend. It was a busy weekend and I was surrounded by people – people that I love with all my heart. And I’m not ready to give that up just yet.

Nor should I ever have to.

And with that, I’m going back to my frozen yogurt and the sweet sounds of Al Stewart and The Year of the Cat. Because I’m old. And this is what old people listen to.

And I’m not going to make any more promises on future blog posts. But I am super stoked for Toronto and I will be sharing some travel photos with you soon.

Updated January 1, 2021 — because it seems videos were removed from Youtube. Ducking, Youtube. Here’s a clip from the Wolf of Wall Street. Just once. I’d love to have money like this and party on a yacht.


What’s your favorite Leo movie? I’ve updated this in 2022 after watching Don’t Look Up. Highly recommend it.