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The Men of My Life: Reprise

CW: sexual assault

Almost two years ago, I wrote about the men of my life.

I wrote about how a priest told me I was pretty in a confessional booth at age 11.

I wrote about how I was assaulted in a car in my driveway at age 15.

I wrote about how I was raped at 21.

Later on, I touched on how I was sexually abused by a neighbor at age 7.

I wrote about catcalling and slut shaming and how most of my friends & family members have endured the roughness that is the business of being a woman in today's world. (Men, I understand and empathize with the struggles you face... but for all intents & purposes, this post is geared at the women).

These stories were meant for various purposes, but mainly to help me heal, and to in turn maybe help someone else heal, too.

"The Men of My Life" started as a blog post. And then from there, it became a book idea. And from there, the last two years have consisted of writing and writing about each male who has had a profound impact on my l…

Last Step

Hang with me here.

My heart has been broken for so long that I think that just became comfortable; it became the norm. It does not, under any circumstance, mean I am not happy. It just means it has been broken. I believe the two -- happiness and heartbreak -- can coexist. My heart is just taking a bit to recover.
A friend told me the other day that the last step in healing from heartbreak is by allowing your heart to love again. Actively allowing. Actively giving away your love to someone else -- even with the risk, even with the uncertainty that came with love the first time around, even -- and especially -- when it went poorly the first time around.
That’s f*cking terrifying. I can’t think of anything scarier. I can’t think of anything worse than having to do it all again — the possibility of heartbreak happening again alone has been enough to keep me at bay. It has been enough to keep me in misery for far longer than I deserve. It has been enough for me to reject dates, relationsh…

Happy

As I sift through my writing from the last few years, but particularly the last year, I am reminded of where I've been. And today, for probably the first time in more months than I am able to count, I'd like to write about something joyful. 


This time last year, as some of you know or may have gathered, my head was clouded with doubt and life felt like a series of dismal events right after the other. My identity was questioned in every arena of my life; I started and quit a job within two weeks, I gave up on my business, I was mourning the loss of a lifelong dream that failed to come to fruition, and I frantically drove cross country to try and mend what was broken with my former partner. 
Things were... a shitshow. And that's putting it politely. I was, without a doubt, the most unhappy I had ever been.
The months following were filled with despair, frustration, self-pity, depression, anger, resentment, and loss that I had never known. It was the hardest six months of my lif…

The Middle

I booked a one way ticket to New York City on April 13. I was on that plane on May 1. 
Sometimes, we make decisions quickly. Not because we haven't weighed pros or cons, but because timing is right. It's simply time to move on. 
Moving to New York was one of the scariest decisions I have ever made. When people asked me if I had visited here before when I told them where I was moving, I would literally gauge who I was talking to, then adjust my answer accordingly. Were they someone I could be open and honest with? Would they laugh in my face if I told them the reality of the situation? The truth? I had never set foot in this city until I got off the plane at LaGuardia. 
I have, admittedly, been engulfed in a potent wave of fear since I arrived. More often than not, when I consistently hear sirens outside my room at all hours and tourists are everywhere and I think of how I threw myself into the center of Manhattan, I wonder what in the hell I just did. I have lived in New York…

Forgive (Reprise)

I've written about forgiveness before.
I have previously written about what it's like to forgive someone for doing something unthinkable to you. And now, I'm going to do the opposite. I’m going to write about what it's like to not yet forgive someone.
This is a painful topic. Which, I’ve been in pain, so here it goes.
I have said before that I have often felt an immense amount of guilt for not partaking in the forgiveness process, especially in reference to my relationships. I've forgiven most people who have wronged me, from the bullies in middle school to my rapist in college. 
However, this time is different. Forgiveness is gut-wrenchingly hard. It is so deeply challenging that, most days, I cannot even fathom it. My old beliefs that forgiveness equates forgetting sneak into my psyche often these days, as if to forgive means to forget the pain I've endured. And on a lot of days, forgiveness would require a key step -- forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for …

Break

This is a hard post to write.
Today, I’m going to talk about love. It’s funny — I wrote a blog post that is probably painfully similar to this one around this date four years ago. I’m thankful for that period of my life; it’s what started this entire blog in the first place. But to be brutally honest, the pain and exhaustion I had experienced then is a sheer blimp to what I’ve felt in the last few months. 
Today, after finally getting some words down & feeling like I’ve got my footing (slightly) in how I want to express this, I’m going to talk about love, but more so, I’m going to talk about heartbreak. 
I heard once that you have three significant loves in your life: your first love, the one that causes your first heartbreak; your second love, which is the hardest heartbreak, but helps to establish what you’re looking for in a lifelong partner; and your third love, the lifelong partner.
I disagree with this complex intensely because, well, unfortunately, I find that I tend to fall in…

Loathing

Have you ever loathed someone?
I have.
What if that person you loathed was yourself?
And I mean, really loathed. Like, wallow-in-self-pity-for-weeks-type-of-loathing. I’m talking wine coma every night for weeks, even months, skipping obligations, skipping the gym, skipping basic life functions. Skipping everything. 
I have done all of these things. I have really, really loathed myself.
I forgive myself for it, though. Or at least, I’m trying to. I’ve learned something recently:
Without forgiveness, we can’t receive love.
This realization made me understand that there was a reason I was increasingly harder to love as the weeks and months went on. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that love — real love — is unconditional. But when you haven’t forgiven yourself completely, it’s hard to give or receive any kind of love, including the love that matters most... the kind from yourself. You’re too wrapped up in the loneliness of unforgiving self-loathing. I know this because it’s what I’…