I wish I could write.
The lighting is perfect, it feels like Europe.
I want to explain how good your jaw smells,
how long your legs are.
Every time I grasp for words,
A cloud of dusty chalk,
erased from my brow.
I’ll lie in your arms,
smiling into my pillow.
Wishing one day I’ll write a poem about
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?”.
A deep dive into tantra and intimacy with my favorite dominatrix, Erika Briones from SexySoulMatrix. Xx
The things that have happened are gone.
You don’t have to identify with “Poor Amy” or “Typical Amy”.
You are allowed to be who you really are, not a reaction to your past.
Yes, you’ve been raped.
Yes, you’ve been abandoned.
Yes, you’ve been sabotaged, beaten, isolated and left disparaged.
You are meant to be successful.
Surrounded by people you love and trust.
You can have an exciting and fulfilling life.
Being a martyr doesn’t make you a good woman.
Live your life.
Do what excites you.
You are not your past.
You have permission to be who you are supposed to be.
Take care of your soul today. It takes play a lot deeper.
Feel it in your body.
Feel it for the world.
Let the fire heat it,
Let is upset you.
Then rise with stronger shoulders.
Let your roar echo.
I’ve spent today doing my favorite things: dancing, painting, writing and flirting.
One man in particular sparked my interest on a dating app: “I am a Dom looking for a serious relationship with a Sub.”
Of course I swiped. I’m always ready to learn something new.
Then he asked the question: “What are your no’s?”
I have an entire list of desires and qualities, but where do my boundaries lie?
How can I continue loving myself even if I disappoint others?
I was stumped. I thought I was so open to trying and exploring, and in that moment I realized that I need to set boundaries in and out of a relationship.
I’m really good at saying no to myself. What are my no’s to other people?
After a deep meditation and a run along the Hudson, I came up with a pretty solid list:
I say no to:
Potential. I can either be with the person you show me today, or not.
Settling. There’s no reason I cannot have a glamorous life and relationship.
Shame. It’s a dangerous weapon. I’ve worked hard to be myself.
Comfort. Comfort doesn’t help me grow.
Expectations. I promise to be present and see what happens in each moment.
Not being chosen. Ask me on a date. Call me on the phone. Put in the effort and I will worship you. But no more devotion without me being chosen as well.
The Dom is not my type, but his direct questions had me thinking of my “no’s”. Then I realized he meant sexually. See? I don’t follow directions well. Maybe not the best Sub.
The only way to stop a pattern is to create a new action.
I haven’t been shy about my childhood. It was tough, and painful.
What I haven’t really talked about was how I am still holding on to that pain. There were huge pivotal moments in my life that changed me and my course forever.
When I was 13, I was kidnapped. And I couldn’t tell anyone about it.
It started when I was 12. My mother had just gotten out of the hospital, again. She was being weaned off of her antipsychotics and life was hell. People were shaming me for not being sweet to her. I remember getting yelled at for not giving her an enema. I couldn’t though. To me, my mother was this wild animal that made my life unbearable and she made my skin crawl.
She wouldn’t leave me alone. My mother thought there were men in the attic that were raping me in the night. So she would sit by my bed while I slept, rocking back and forth and staring at me. I had already been to the elders the past year because she told them that I was having sex with my father. After a traumatic pelvic exam I was able to go live with another Jehovah’s Witness family for a bit, but they sent me back.
One man that took interest in my mother’s health was Daniel Ramirez. He was 19 and in pharmacy school. He saw my mother as a case study. Or maybe he saw me as a target and found his in.
I had never felt loved or seen growing up. I was in constant survival mode and couldn’t go to my parents with my baser needs, let alone my emotions.
I remember one night he was over and I was upstairs drawing with oil pastels. He leaned in close, told me I was talented, let his arm brush mine.
I ended up at his house one night with my brother and we were all watching a movie. Daniel began massaging my back, slowly and deeply. His mother came in and gave me the nastiest look. Like I was tarnishing her boy.
The first night Daniel snuck over was strange and exhilarating. He told me to sneak out of my bedroom window and meet him at midnight in my backyard. I tried my best to be good. I followed all the rules and I got nothing in return. So it felt amazing to have a secret and an adventure to myself.
I jumped from the second story to the grass below in my pink tank top and smiley face boxer shorts. I remember when he said “I could see your panties when you jumped.”
My stomach turned and I felt sick. He then forced me to kiss him, I struggled at first and he laughed. Then he shoved his hand down my shorts. It didn’t feel good, it felt strange. My stomach was sour and my heart was racing, but I kept opening my window.
Eventually he would come inside my room. It was this intoxicating torture. I hated him and he made me sick, but I loved when he would come over. Being held felt so good. Kissing wasn’t so bad. I would totally check out when he touched my body. A survival tactic I am learning to undo.
There were times that I fought him and I even drew blood on him, but I didn’t know how to stop it. Then one night my dad came barging in. He picked the lock on my door, threw it open and tore my room apart saying “where is he?”. But my tormentor had just left.
My limited freedom was removed further. I was isolated and my dad would say nasty things to me and hit me. “You’re a liar. It’s all about you all the time.”
Except until that point, I didn’t know my dad knew I existed.
I had to retell in detail what happened with Daniel to a panel of elders at our Kingdom Hall. I was 13, and so uncomfortable. They asked me if I had orgasmed, and I didn’t know what that was. They had to describe it to me and it sounded vile. I denied everything and just wanted to get out of there.
I then had to get interviewed by the police. My dad screamed at me all the way to the police station. He hated me. I broke the perfect facade he worked to create around our sweet family. I was so uncomfortable, and the detective knew I was lying. She asked my dad to leave the room and said “You don’t have to protect him.”
I was so overwhelmed I didn’t realize what really happened to me and the consequences of it.
I ignored all of Daniel’s emails and IMs, he even showed up outside my window one day and I ran from the room.
I was in junior high and was walking to school one morning. I got a weird feeling and turned around to see Daniel’s big black Chevy following me. The details are blurry and intense at the same time. I began to walk faster, then he sped up and parked in front of my path, coercing me to get in.
I ignored him and kept walking. He then grabbed me, threw me across the bench seat and took off. He locked the door and was going way faster than the 30MPH limit.
We ended up at his parent’s house one town over. All I could think was “How do I get out of this?”
He pinned me down and began kissing and touching my body, and I bit him. I could taste his blood in my mouth and I ran outside. Realizing I didn’t know how to get back and I had no one to call, I sat by his truck. Completely numb.
He came out some time later and all I said was “I need to go to school”.
He dropped me off at Bonnett Jr High. I was hours late and no one noticed.
I had more meetings with elders and had to start seeing another therapist. I couldn’t even cry for myself. I didn’t realize I was breathing. The elders removed me from the congregation and my parents were livid. I still couldn’t feel anything.
I never told anyone about that day walking to school. I just asked my brother Jon to take me when he left for High School, so I would show up an hour and a half early for Jr High.
To stop this cycle of not using my voice and shutting off my feelings, I looked Daniel up on Facebook today. I was sweating, my heart racing. Already progress, I was feeling something.
I messaged him that I am angry and hurt and sick at what happened to me when I was 12. And that I had to live with the fear that he would do it to other girls. I’m not sure where that will go. If I will get an apology, silence or denial.
It’s not about him. It’s about me facing my numbness that I got so comfortable with. It helped me survive, but I’m done surviving. I’ve proven that I’m really good at it. What does the other side look like?
Pleasure. Adventure. Passion. Success.