I’m opening up, slowly, to all of my bullshit.
Owning how I have kept myself in dangerous patterns and playing the scrappy victim.
Then there are days like today, when I realize just how far I have come and just how much I have been lying to myself.
So here’s the truth: I have never been in a committed relationship with a man that I was not financially dependent upon.
My relationship model was of course my parents. My mom never worked and my dad had control of all the money. We had to “act right” for him to give us an allowance for things like clothes or the snacks we wanted or weekend money.
Leaving me with a lasting impression that I had to act a certain way to get the things I wanted or needed. My parents also taught me that expressing emotions got you into trouble. I learned to express opinions, not emotions.
As an adult, I crave connection and intimacy. I just had no idea how to get there. My baggage was really heavy. Anxiety, depression and self doubt are not the sexiest companions.
After my divorce I was so done with the ways of the past. I wanted a partnership, I wanted to make my own money and I wanted to do so in a really authentic way.
When you pray for things, God sends you the right people to polish you.
I no longer asked for a large lump sum of money to appear “just in time”. I began praying for a career path that allowed me to help people and be successful. Opportunities for work and progress to appear. Learning how to make money for myself and trust it. Trust myself with it. Also to get over the old story that if I made money I wouldn’t be able to have a man.
At this point, I was terrified of becoming dependent upon a man again.
My type is definitely the model with a six pack. Which is fine, there is nothing wrong with being healthy. I just went through men only calling when they were free. Texting for me to come over in the middle of the night. Taking me on “non dates”.
I didn’t know they were reflecting my emotional capacity.
There was Christopher. We could talk for hours about anything. I would keep my emotions tempered, but I craved his to be expressed. The best parts were the moments without words, we could just be peaceful together. Which I have never had before. Yet, it was always around his schedule. It was never enough. Something in me wasn’t being satisfied. I would erase his number, but I had it memorized. I’d text him then tear myself apart. That kind of turmoil I know he could feel, even if he couldn’t put his finger on it. I got honest with myself. What did I really want from him?
I wanted him to choose me. To love me. To date me. I also knew that this wasn’t my relationship.
There was an engineer and a politician thrown into the mix- not supermodels, but handsome. And emotionally unavailable.
I became the woman that “can do it herself”. I reveled that I wouldn’t let men pay for my drinks or my food, but I noticed the right kind of man didn’t appreciate that. It created a distance physically and emotionally that took me a while to figure out.
Then one night I went out for some fun. I quite literally ran into the chest of a wild man. It was one of those soul level connections. My brain couldn’t catch up fast enough to shut down emotionally or block him. We stayed up all night breathing together, meditating, sharing our dreams and fears.
He saw parts of me I had never shown a man, and I instantly kind of hated him for it. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was growing me. Showing me the parts of myself that I hadn’t healed.
I would go through periods of contraction and expansion, with and without him.
His unabashed expression of emotion made me really uncomfortable at first. I had never seen a man cry so freely, show rage and joy so powerfully. The wounded part of me tried to push him far, far away. But I always stayed curious. Wanting to know more. Wanting to talk to him and touch him.
I had a moment in a meditation that showed me my bliss. In this vision I was at my studio teaching a sacred sexuality workshop and my wild man was teaching with me. Hot tears ran down my face as I tried to block this vision. It couldn’t come true. It couldn’t be real. “He’s too big for me” were the exact words I used to push away this desire.
I sat in his room, chatting with him about the universe and past lives and our bodies. I opened up to him that I had been pushing away my desire for a relationship because I didn’t think the one I wanted existed. He asked me again that night, as he usually did, “Is there anyway I can help you? Give you what you want?”. I’d normally say
“No”, and brush off his offers. Instead I said “I want to teach with you. I want to help people, together.” And he didn’t say no. He wanted to have a meeting about it and talk more.
I went home completely calm and satisfied, without physical intimacy. Something in me had healed. I had spoken up.
I was no longer the “I can do it myself” girl. I was becoming the “I know I can do it myself, I’d love your help.” I had never felt more like a woman.
I began dating again.
My first date was extremely honest. I held nothing back. All of my desires, my big dreams, my fears. It was solid and easy.
The next was a hot mess. I was tired and cranky for one. I was also nervous as hell. This man was successful, handsome, and….handsome.
He was also Catholic. In my mind I equated that me teaching tantra didn’t fit within his faith. Even though HE never said that. When I get nervous, I don’t get shy. I get aggressive and defensive. I talk too much, too loud. I poke and prod. It’s not cute.
I was so uncomfortable on this date that I ended it early and hopped in a cab.
What happened next really surprised me. Normally, I’d take control and try to goad him into showing his hand. Asking direct questions so that I would know where I stood. Or I would get super sexual and try to take back control of the situation.
I didn’t do any of that. I let it lie. I also admitted that I really liked him. We’ve texted lightly since. If we see each other again, great. I am no longer afraid to look in and ask the heavy hitting questions “How am I feeling and why?”, “Am I reacting out of old wound?”, “Does this person really have the qualities that match with what I want, or do I just want the satisfaction of being wanted?”.
Self discovery is painful. Peeling back these layers behind my self sabotage and emotionless dating is rough. However, it’s better than living with a dull, aching question of “What if I could really have the things I desire?”.