Tag 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.

Match energy given to you, or let it go

Something has been bugging me lately about communication and I’m going to try an experiment over the next while.

Do you ever feel like you are always the one reaching out to certain people to keep conversations going? Like you’re the only one in certain relationships making all the effort?

Some friends reach out daily to me and I love them for it. I’m definitely not used to it. And I make every effort to respond to them, chat throughout the day and let them know if I’m having a bad day and not feeling up to chatting. But the girls can’t seem to go more than a few hours without saying something and it’s a lot of fun.

But it’s the men that I notice that I’m often the one reaches out. There are a couple of males friends that will send a message to check on me. And then a week or so will go by and we don’t talk at all. And that’s okay. There are no rules when it comes to friendship. I have lots of friends where we come and go after a few months or even a couple of years and just pick up like no time has passed.

My Minnesota man is pretty good at communication. Not long ago, I was keeping busy and he messaged me about 7 hours later and was like, “You’re being uncomfortably quiet today.” It made me laugh. Other times, we might not talk until later in the evening or after he’s done work. And that’s okay too.

For the next week or so, I’m conducting an experiment.

I’m going to see how many friends reach out to me first if I go radio silent for a few days. I’m pretty sure I know who will reach out. But it begs the question….

Are they really interested in me? Or do these guys just love the chase?

I guess I’ll find out.

Communication in all relationships is a two way street. If one person is doing all the reaching out – it gets tiresome. If that person stops reaching out then what? Does the friendship just stop all together?

I get we all have bad days and I don’t demand ANYONE to message me daily. I even told the Man that early on and he was the one who insisted on daily communication. And there hasn’t been a day we haven’t sent a few texts back and forth in six months.

So…tonight starts a 7 day streak of no contact.

Well. It’s not no contact. It’s just to see who is willing to reach out and reciprocate the energy given.

Two things I’ve learned recently.

I don’t chase. I attract. I refuse to chase anyone who isn’t interested in being with me. If for any reason, they lose interest – so be it. I’m not going to put any energy into that person.


Match the energy given to you. If your person starts to distance themselves from you, try and find out why. If they refuse to talk, then do your own thing.

Sometimes they come back. And sometimes, it’s just better to let go.

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.

Finding love again after forty. Is it possible in today’s world?

It’s late as I sit down to write this post. It’s been an eventful couple of weeks and I haven’t written much in the blog. That’s being done on purpose. I’ve found that when I post daily, people don’t engage. If I post every few days, I’ll get more interaction. And so, I’m trying to cut back.

But the other part is I’m struggling these days. Emotionally. I’ve lived with this illness all my life and I’ve come to accept that it’s a permanent disability with no cure. That’s just part of my life now. How can I meet someone new and let them into my life, when some days, I can’t even get out of bed? What kind of life could I offer someone?

Lately, I’m finding that I’m angry and resentful about my choices in life. I stopped dating back in 2015 after Greg and I broke up. The relationship was so toxic that I couldn’t ever see myself being with another man. Or woman. I’m straight in that sense. That’s not to say that I didn’t experiment when I was younger. I mean, that’s what your early 20’s are for.

There were men over the years. I dated a lot in my teens and early 20’s. There were a few steady relationships over the years. Cory, we dated for almost three years until I was 21. Then Ken came along for a year. Then Greg and I met for the first time and fell in love. It was a short and rocky six months. But there was love there. We reconnected later in life and would get involved off and on for nearly five years.

I dated other men in between our breaks. It was his idea, saying he couldn’t give me what I wanted. James came back over the years. We got closer than ever in 2012. Then the man who told me he never wanted to marry, got married and has a family of his own. After giving him nearly 19 years of my life.

Love is stupid sometimes. And blind. Turns out, I was just an option to him. Never making the top list. I was never marriage material.

I found great love early in life when I wasn’t ready to make a commitment. By the time I was ready to offer my love to someone, I had either gotten too old or the men weren’t interested in me in the same way. Perhaps it’s my fault for dating the wrong kind of men.

But here we are. March 2022 and I just realized I haven’t been with a partner since 2015. That’s a long time to be single. At first, I thought this is what I wanted. Now… I guess I feel lonely and cut off. I see my friends and family happy in their marriages and I wonder if I missed out.

People tell me that it’s never too late. In some ways it is. I’ve lived alone far too long to even know how to let someone in. I’m still trying desperately to lose weight. To get to a place where I feel comfortable in my own skin and maybe, at some point, let myself be intimate with someone.

I know. People tell me weight shouldn’t matter. I should just find someone that loves me for me. But .. it’s fucking hard. There are wars going on in the world. People are struggling financially. Some people have lost hope. And then you have me, living with a disability and not even able to much due to constant pain.

I saw a geneticist this week and it was a life changing appointment. He got more work done in one appointment, than most of my GP’s have all my life. I’m being referred to the right care team. At least, I hope they’re the right ones. If they tell me to just lose weight, I might fucking scream and punch them in the face.

How do you let someone in when you’ve closed yourself off to the world for this long? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. There’s so much mistrust, so much hurt and pain. Still even after all these years.

There’s a saying that you only get three great loves in your life. Well, if that’s true, then maybe I’ve used up all my great loves. Soul mates? I thought I had found that in Greg. Turns out he was just another dud in the saddle feeding me all the right lines I wanted to hear.

I know some of you come to this blog for uplifting messages, and to read stories of my life. I’m sorry to disappoint you with this all tonight.

For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling a little lonely. Maybe a little sorry for myself.

I often wonder what life would have been like had I married young, when I had been asked. There were two men, that if I stuck with them, I could have been married. But I wasn’t ready. One of the men even turned to me later and said, “I got married right after you. That could have been you.”

And so.. I sit here. With pensive and negative thoughts. But I’m all right. There’s a plan. A course of action to get me on the road to improving quality of life.

Maybe one day in the near future. I can find love again too.

To the man who still calls me an attention seeking whore: I’ve been single for seven years. You’re delusional.

That’s enough wallowing for now.

One year closer to 50

It’s Saturday morning and I’ve just sat down for my first cup of coffee for the day. The sky is clear outside and the sun is shining. It’s early for me, I woke up out of a deep sleep around 7:30 am and decided to get up for the day.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was pretty low key. I was overly emotional and I don’t know why. I think part of it is what’s going on in Europe. My family is from Europe and so, it’s hitting pretty hard. It brings up a lot of feelings about why my family moved to Canada. I wrote about it yesterday and then deleted it because it’s not my story to share.

I decided to say “screw it” for eating healthy for the weekend. I deserved a treat. I ordered a small grocery order in from Walmart and bought a small black forest cake. It’s a cake that we used to eat often at family dinners.

I lazed around all day, did some writing and then headed to my dad’s at six pm. We had a nice visit. His memory goes in and out. Towards the end of the visit he asked me what day it was. “Is it the 25th today?” he asked me. I nodded, and had already told him it was my birthday. “Your sister told me it was the 25th. Happy birthday.” And that made me tear up.

It was close to 8:30 by the time I got home but I wanted to wait until he fell asleep. I told him I loved him, over and over again so he would remember. At one point he said, “Thanks, I needed that.” They lost his hearing aids, so I don’t know how much he got out of the conversation. But he knew he missed me. I couldn’t get to him for two weeks because of my knee.

I ordered in some McD’s, which of course, made me feel sick after. Had a piece of cake. Responded to a slew of texts and messages on Facebook. This time I just did a generic message because I’ve been feeling pretty down. The cake was delicious. I’m going to have another piece. It’s a tiny personal cake which is just fine for one person.

Being single means buying your own food and cake. This was the first time I had done something like that, and it felt good. I’m 45 now, I can do whatever the fuck I want to do.

As for disability benefits, I had a follow up call on Thursday with my case manager. The good thing is she realizes the gravity of my illness. She said we’ll see how your appointment goes. If you eventually can get to a place where you can return to work, or if it comes down to improving quality of life, we can help you with that too. I admitted to her that it was more about quality of life. I’ve given up the notion of finding any employer who would hire me given my absence history. I can’t go back to government work. Nor do I want to.

And so, this birthday, felt a little heavier. I’m missing my mother terribly. I’m missing my dad. He’s still here, but it’s not him anymore. And for the first time last night in a long time, I questioned my decision about living alone and staying single. Sometimes I just miss having someone to talk to everyday.

So, here’s to me. At 45. One year closer to 50.


Friday Feeling – today’s word is “squall”

It’s Friday again! Does it really matter though? The days have all blended together and it doesn’t seem to matter what the day is. They all feel the same lately. That’s the effect isolation has had on us all.

We’re still in lockdown here. Most restaurants and bars are closed. I haven’t had a haircut in months. I finally cut my own hair out of frustration yesterday. Just an inch off the bottom. I’m afraid to cut it anymore than that for making a mess out of it. I just keep cutting and cutting because I think it looks crooked. So, I need to get into a salon the minute they open up again.

My niece is taking beauty culture classes or whatever they call it now so I really might have to visit my sister one of these nights. The kids are all growing up so fast. Her brother got accepted into business school and I’m just so darned proud of him. They’re amazing kids. Even if they are taller than me.

I just got off the phone with my therapist. Appointments have been via the phone or video conference because of the pandemic. We meet bi-weekly. And it feels amazing to have someone to talk to who isn’t family or a friend. It’s someone who doesn’t know my world and can give advice without judgment. I always feel better after our chats. I really like her too. Very easy to get along with.

For some people therapy is a four letter word. There are people who are ashamed to even admit they are in therapy. But one thing I realized in the last year with isolation and the pandemic, sometimes we need that extra support. Just having someone to talk to can help.

That’s why I’m stoked for my new service page where you can book consultations and coaching sessions with me. I told my therapist that I’m ready to retire from government work and move onto something else. I’m still looking for work I can do from home but jobs are limited these days. I’m still also waiting for medical appointments – it’s going to be about a year before I can get into see a neurologist for the migraines. I also want to chat about Parkinsons. It’s hereditary. And I just want to be on top of things for when I get older.

The search for a new place continues. Rent is so insane here. I’ve paid $1200 for years for 2 bedrooms since 2008. People are now charging that for what they think are “luxury” condos — for a ONE bedroom! It’ s freaking insane. I ranted about this on Facebook and a friend just sent me a link to a rental for like $1500 without utilities. I was like, um, thanks, but did you even read my post? I’ve seen condos as high as $2500 monthly. People call them luxury condos but they’re tiny.

And what’s with kitchens in new condos? They are so little. Some people still like to cook! I need a full sized kitchen above anything else.

That would mean more than 50% of my income goes to rent. I’m tired of being broke all the time. While I have some savings, it isn’t much. Luckily, I managed to pay off a good chunk of credit debt this year. So, that’s a bonus. I have stellar credit now. That’s an amazing feeling but took a long time to get there.

And so, this is where I am on this Friday afternoon. It snowed last night and it’s a dreary kind of day. It’s supposed to get really cold this weekend but I can’t complain. We’ve been spoiled with above average temperatures.

Except for that “squall” that we experienced two nights ago. No one even knew what a “Squall” was. I kind of like the term. “squall”. Want to know what a squall is? Check this video out. It was surreal. Lots of people lost power. Because things couldn’t get any weirder. People lost entire sheds and trampolines. Roofs were torn off houses.

It’s like a hurricane- but with snow.

On that note – I will wish you a happy Friday. What are you up to this weekend? It’s another big fun isolation weekend here. I think I will get back into baking and work on some recipe cards for you all.

Happy Friday!

Friday Promos

Still looking for that first review of my Etsy shop. Prices of art have been reduced. I’m also giving away artwork to customers who leave a review. You can also get a hand-signed piece of your choice from me. Don’t miss out! Only a week left.


Check out my new “services” page – it’s a work in progress as I come up with a list of services I can offer. If you’re looking for online companionship or coaching sessions, get in touch. We can work out something.

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How to know if you’re being “gaslighted”

Gaslighting. We’ve all heard this term mentioned in social media – but what is it exactly? There are so many new terms to learn that it can be hard to keep them all straight. I admit, being the age I am, I had to look this one up before writing about it. But after seeing multiple political posts online today about politicians “gaslighting” the public – I figured that I should do some more research on the subject.

According to one of my favorite resources, Urban Dictionary, gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse. It’s also referred to as ambient abuse – where information is purposely falsified to the victim. The purpose of this is to make the victim doubt their own memory.

There is however a more clinical definition of gaslighting.

🅱️ 25+ Best Memes About Abuse Gaslighting | Abuse Gaslighting Memes

What are some examples of gaslighting?

There are many examples of gaslighting that can occur in your daily life. Some key signs to watch out for are: the feeling of being emotionally manipulated, being made to feel like you’re going crazy, being signalled out of a group of people to pick on you over your worst fears, or receiving constant negative feedback or criticism. These are also signs of an emotionally abusive relationship that can leave you feeling depressed.

Dating an abuser

My ex Trigger, I’ve written about him before, was a professional gaslighter. I knew what he was doing was wrong but I had no idea what it meant at the time. I just accepted as part of who he was.

Him: “I lost my phone. I couldn’t call you for days.”

Me: “You lost your phone again? What’s this, the third time?”

Him: “I can’t help it. I went pig hunting. And it fell out of my pocket.

Me: “The first or second time I can believe, but a third time, really? How do you expect me to believe this?”

Him: “It’s not my fault I lost my phone. You are the one who wants regular contact.”

The man lost his phone on a regular basis. It became his go to excuse for not calling me for weeks at a time. He either lost his phone or forgot it at home. He was a business owner, I found this hard to believe. He was addicted to that thing.

Dating a narcissist

James, the Mr. Big in my life, was also notorious for gaslighting. Going back to the argument we had about what we were to each other back in 2011:

Him: “What do you want from me? I’m at best a part-time lover. We’re friends.”

Me: “I don’t sleep with friends. I don’t have lovers. There’s exactly one person I sleep with. You.”

Him: “I don’t believe in friendship with rules. You expect too much of me.”

Me: “Asking you to stick with plans and actually call me is expecting too much?”

Him: “We’re friends. What more do you want from me? This is all your fault anyway.”

Conversations like this just messed with my head and my heart. From one day to the next, I never knew what I was to James. When we were together in person – he was a totally different person. He made promises and talked about planning trips together. He told me he loved me. But then when we talked in between seeing each other – he was cold and distant. Like a totally different person. Everything was my fault.

The one thing about James I couldn’t put my finger on – I knew he had some feelings for me but he was using me at the same time. I couldn’t figure out why. Or what his end game was. Was it the manipulation he enjoyed? Was he in it just for the sex? But that couldn’t be it – because we didn’t always have sex when we were together. It’s a question that still bothers me today.

Gaslighting in the workplace

I’ve experienced gaslighting in the workplace too. Whether it’s constant complaints about your performance or negative gossip – these can all have a serious impact on your overall health. And as I learned recently, the constant badgering and harassment can leave you feeling burned out, or can even cripple your confidence.

I worked for an engineering firm many years ago for a few months. The economy was in the “shitter” and there weren’t many jobs available. I had applied for a job of an office manager which I was qualified for but was offered the job as a reception instead. I took it because the pay was good. It turns out that I was replacing the newly hired office manager who had worked as the receptionist for a few years.

From very early on, “Jenny” had a problem with me. I think she saw that I was a good worker- perhaps even better than she was. She complained that I didn’t do anything at all during the day. Which was partly true – it was because she never gave me work to do. I sat there waiting for the phone to ring most days.

I had to take some time off for funerals – two family members died in one week. When I came back to work, I was pretty emotional. She gave me a hug and acted all sweet but things fell apart quickly then.

“You look like you’ve been crying all night” she said. I told her well yeah, I just lost two family members in like five days. “I knew it,” she said and walked away.

Like, wtf? Who does that?

I remember walking in one morning and sat down at the desk.

“You forgot to unload the dishwasher last night,” she said and started to walk away. She came back, “Oh, and good morning.”

Or… “Don’t you see how dirty the wall is here?” she wipes it with a rag. “Why didn’t you clean it?”

Me: “Because they have cleaners for that — if it’s something I should be doing, then it should be in my job description.”

She walked away in a huff. It was after that exchange that she started making up reasons why I sucked at my job.

There was one order that I was to place for $1500 for printing. I tried the best I could do for the order, but the manager changed his mind SO MANY times. His order was scribbled all over and I did my best to make sense of it.

And who got blamed for the wrong order? It was me. I was then put on probation because “I didn’t do my job correctly.”

This is the very definition of gaslighting. I can’t go into details of what happened after that as I signed a “non disclosure” document prohibiting me from naming the company. But… let’s just say, it worked out in my favour. I got a little extra money out of the deal, quit – and went back to government contracting.

Sometimes you just have to get out of a bad “relationship” – otherwise the constant negative nitpicking will cripple you.

How to stop gaslighting?

Stopping someone from gaslighting you is a tricky thing to do. You can’t change how a person is, but you can change how you react to them.

What I’ve found is that these people are looking for a reaction. Their main purpose is to inflict pain on you. Or to blame you for their misgivings.


When it comes to relationships, you can set boundaries. I learned this after splitting up from James for the last time. I learned to be vocal about my needs without being clingy. I learned that we weren’t compatible and that’s okay too.

Work Place Relationships

When it comes to work relationships – the best thing to do is get everything in writing. Document everything. Keep track of emails. If you have a verbal conversation with someone, write up a summary email of the details, and send it to that person with a cc to your supervisor if necessary. If you’re asked to do something that isn’t in your scope of work – get it in writing.

Family Relationships

Yes, family can gaslight too. I have one relative who often makes me feel guilty for not wanting to attend social gatherings. Parties just aren’t my thing. I’ve chosen to ignore these little remarks. How? I just stop responding to the conversation. Eventually, the person will learn to correct their behaviour – or at the very least, you get a break from toxic relationship.

Have you been gaslighted before at work? If so, let me know in the comments.

To learn more on gaslighting, here’s a good youtube video from Psych2Go.

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On sabbatical from love

Since no one stepped in and told me to stop- I am still chatting with an ex. I could blame the booze. But I only had one glass of wine last night. So, it’s not that. Maybe it’s COVID and isolation. Being cut off from my usual group of friends and acquaintances. You all know I’ve been struggling with this.

The dreaded question came up. Well, not so much of a question but a statement.

“That’s fine if is works for you. Unless you’ve dated since we last talked.”

The last time we talked was over a year ago. Maybe more? Like two years? I’d have to go back in my Facebook history. I know I’ve only seen him once since moving into this place. We got together and caught up for lunch not long after I moved here. And that was six years ago now.

Wow. Time flies.

So, who is this guy and why am I talking to him again? Well, because love is blind, deaf and extremely dumb.

And let’s be real. You never really fall out of love with someone you really loved at one point. You can let them go. You can get over it. You can move onto someone new. But part of you remembers that love. For all the good things. And love, as stupid as it can be, trumps logic.

Don and I met when I was 18 and living at home. Or 19. I can’t remember the specifics. It wasn’t too long after James and I broke up and I was dating like – well, what do you call a 19 year old who dates a different guy every week?

I remember sneaking out of the house to meet him at the mall. My mother was very strict and didn’t approve of me meeting random single guys “online”. I used a party phone back then. Cell phones were still really expensive back then. This is like, over twenty years ago. I’m dating myself.

So, I had to sneak out and lie to my parents when I was meeting up with someone. Which for like a year there, it was a lot of random someones. To be honest, I was trying to find myself through various men. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to be on my own to find out who I really was.

Don was in his early 20s – 24 I think. We went for a beer and shot some pool. Which is what we all did back in the 90’s. Pool halls and bowling alleys were our key source entertainment after the drive in theatres closed.

Without getting into intimate details, we had a nice “relationship” for a few months. He was easy to talk to. We had chemistry. There was a spark there from the moment we met. It went deeper beyond friendship. We just – clicked.

So, what went wrong you asked?

The Marriage

Don had been in a long-time relationship with his high school sweetheart. They had a young child together and split up after a year or so realizing how hard it was to be a parent at a young age. One day Don called me on the phone and said that he really enjoyed our time together but he and the ex had been talking a lot. And he wanted to marry her and try and work things out.

Now at that age, I had no idea what real love was. I thanked him for calling – like wtf? Hung up the phone and cried for like a minute. A WHOLE minute. And then shrugged it off and called another guy I had been seeing off and on — Steve the trucker. Who I have written about before.

Don’s marriage was a rocky one. We lost touch over the years until Facebook was invented. His name popped into my head and I looked him up. We started chatting and he not only remembered me – but he wanted to get together for coffee.

Coffee. It’s a harmless get together right? An excuse to catch up with someone and have a visit. No big deal. Oh, how wrong I was.


When chemistry is real, it never really fades away. There’s a natural spark that happens with two people. Whether they’re good for each other or not. Whether they can make it work or not. Chemistry makes it impossible for two people to stay away from each other. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Don had been married since we the year that we broke up. He said that they were in an open marriage and he was free to do what he wanted. I had just lost a bunch of weight, was feeling great about myself and was just in the mood to have some fun. James and I had parted ways again. And I don’t know what I was looking for at the time. Maybe I just wanted to show off. This was back in 2008 – I had just moved to my old condo.

When he came over for coffee that first night, that chemistry – it was still there. And it was strong. We chatted most of the night. He finally got up off my couch at three in the morning and went home. That was it. We just talked.

As he left, I felt a twinge of sadness thinking that must have been what I had been missing. That connection. Communication. Just having someone to talk to like that.

The Heartache

I can’t summarize a decade long friendship in one blog post. There was just too much drama to even get into. And to be honest, I’m not comfortable sharing that much information about relationships. But what I learned was — open relationships aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Someone almost ALWAYS gets hurt in the end. And usually, it’s the third person coming into the picture. I’ve been in all kinds of relationships over the years. And this is the only constant thing I learned.

I fell in love. Hard. Head over heels love. Madly, deeply, truly. To quote a cheesy 90’s song. I know that Don had feelings for me – but I don’t think they were as deep.

And when we parted ways for the first time in 2009, it broke my heart. I mean literally. I fell into a deep depression. But I was also struggling with hormones at the time and was on anti-depressants. So, it was a combination of things.

We remained friendly over the years. But I learned to not get romantically involved again. Even though the chemistry is still there. Even over texting – old habits are hard to break and flirting is hard to stop.

But — what’s that quote?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results. And insanity would be giving into those old feelings. And while I can appreciate the friendship and catching up – and even staying in touch this time.

This old heart of mine just can’t take another “break up”. I’ve had one too many and one too many toxic relationships with toxic men who I thought were everything to me.

And so… my response to his casual statement about dating?

“I’m on sabbatical from love. At this point, it might be a permanent thing.”

Him: “So, you’re getting a cat now?”

Me: “Cats eat your face.”

And so, that’s where we are this new year’s day/night. Thoughts on past loves. What could go wrong with that?

Boxing Day Rituals

It’s 8:30 am and I’m wide awake on Boxing Day morning. I always wake up a little sad on Boxing Day. I love Christmas. But it feels you put so much work into Christmas for a few weeks, and then it’s over. Just like that. Boom. You’re done until New Years – at which I never go anywhere for because it’s too hard to get a cab back home.

I seem to recall a few New Year’s Eve nights when I wound up sleeping over at some stranger’s house because I had been invited to a party with friends and couldn’t get a ride home. That was before Uber or rideshare services came along. We didn’t have cell phones or apps to book a ride home.

I remember after one night of drinking with friends, we didn’t have cab fair, and wound up walking home for two hours. We were also highly inebriated and had no idea where we were going. But I just remember it was extremely hilarious. Thank goodness that was during the summer time. This is also why I don’t drink that much now as a mid-forties female. Hangovers are just too painful.

But boy did I have some good times as a young 20’s something. I would meet someone, we’d hang out as a friends. And then suddenly there would be a group of us new people just hanging out on weekends together. Partying. Shifting from one apartment to the next – because we were all too poor to buy an actual house.

Life seemed simpler back then. It was easier to meet people. You just walked to someone at a bar and struck up a conversation. Or you used dating party lines like Lavalife to make a date. Or chat with someone new. Now it seems like people don’t even want to make new friends. Or don’t have time for dating.

Where am I going with this post? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I only had two glasses of wine last night and I’m feeling a little fuzzy this morning. Wine just makes me so sleepy. I enjoyed a nice quiet dinner with my sister and her family. It beat being alone for the day. We felt enormous guilt for not having my dad there. But honestly – dad didn’t even know what day it was when we talked to him. Dementia is a horrible disease and it’s hard watching someone you love go through it. But it is what it is. We talked about Christmas past and did the best we could to enjoy the night.

I woke up from a deep sleep at 8:00 am and a disturbing dream. In the dream, I had been in a relationship with a man I don’t know. I discovered he had been seeing someone else who kissed him right in front of me. The only thing I said during this scene was: “you’ve been dating 20 months? We’ve only been together 12 months. You were with her the whole time?”

I raised my hand up and tried to slap him, which is something I never do – and my hand was jello. I couldn’t hit him. My hand just flopped around while I tried to smack him on the face.

What does that even mean? Really? Dreams are so weird. And why 20 months specifically? Is something special going to happen 20 months from today? I don’t know.

And on that note, I’m going to drink my coffee, eat my bagel and watch some stupid movies. I also have a book to read – my sister bought me the new Michael J Fox book. I’ve always adored him. I’m lookin g forward to it.

How do you spend your Boxing day? I love pj days.