Do I just need Ice cream or is my buddy Depression paying me a visit?

I keep crying. I can’t find the root of it.
Is it leftover emotions from the weekend with the musician? Is it the fact that my half sister contacted me asking about our biological father whom I haven’t spoken to in years? The potential mistake I made in sleeping with the other guy in order to run away from the feeling of longing? The fact that I’ve been taking adderall every other day? The stress that I have no upcoming work? Simply PMS? All of it?

Oftentimes I wonder if other people look into their emotions as much as I do. I’ve always felt a need to analyze them and figure out where they’re coming from – and why. Sometimes its maddening. Sometimes, like now – when I have no idea. and it truly could be early PMS (I’ve cried because I dropped cereal while PMSing so…gauging the reality of my emotions during these periods of time is difficult). But its always terrifying when I start to feel this way because I find myself asking “Is my depression coming back?”
I’ve struggled with depression since I was about 13. Not only do I have a genetic predisposition from both sides of my family I also had survived a lot of abuse by the time I hit 13. I grew accustomed to the cycle and learned to cope, at first in unhealthy ways. Then as I entered my 20s I coped more with art, travel, exercise. But sometimes there was nothing to do.
Sometimes I just lay in bed crying for days at a time.
Its difficult to admit because only those closest to me know how much I struggle. To everyone else I’m always put together, smiling, charming. Usually I don’t want to let my loved ones know. I feel like a burden – a bummer. And especially after my double depression in 2015 I know showing an ounce of depression coming back would have most of them jump to their feet worrying I’d off myself.
I don’t really have suicidal ideations anymore. Which is a big deal for me. from 13-20 then at again when A died I frequently thought about it. And attempted a couple times. I was constantly tired. It was all I could say to describe how I felt. Tired of living, tired of fighting, tired of trying to cope, tired of the abuse, tired of feeling trapped, tired of my own mind sabotaging itself. Tired.
This isn’t that anymore now my depression has changed into some strange form of apathy toward life. When it creeps up I have to fight like hell to get myself out of the house and do something, anything, that might snap me back to “me”.
But I always worry what if it doesn’t work? It doesn’t always work. What if this time I fall again. What if this is the time I don’t make it out.

And so sitting with a feeling of sadness and crying for days for no reason -terrifies me. Its a good sign that I am terrified, it means I’m still me and I can try to pull myself out of it. Once I stop being scared is when the real trouble hits.
Some people have bad days and can let themselves feel all these emotions then know it’ll pass. I have these bad days and spend half the time wondering if this is it. I’ve lost several people to depression and its a lifelong battle more often than not. Loved ones get used to it and say its just a phase and you’ll get out of it in time like you always have! But thats not true, not everyone does. I know that feeling. Standing on the ledge feeling nothing but pain, feeling like a burden, a failure, an open wound thinking “itll stop if I jump” and meaning it. Having to find yourself there time and time again is hard. And not everyone makes it out.

I can’t do anything but ask myself is it PMS? Do I just need to cry and lay in bed for a day or two? Or is my gloomy best friend back to pull me under?
I breathe in and get ready to fill up my schedule as much as I possibly can with work, research, friends, projects, travel – while thats the last thing I want to do. What I want to do is lay and not move, but thats giving it in, making it easy for depression to swaddle me in a blanket of darkness. The least I can do is keep busy and try to outrun it. Sometimes it works.

Maybe I’ll be back in two days writing about how I feel completely fine and it was a false alarm I just needed some ice cream and cuddles from my dog. Which would be great! I’ll feel dramatic and ashamed of this post, but I’ll leave it up. Its part of my reality. Not all of me is beautiful.

“Where Are You Going? Please Stay.”

Re: Short lived, but enriching

I’ll truly jump through hoops in order to not feel longing and I know thats why I initially replied to his text yesterday. I can feel loss, anger, pain, rage, fear – I can sit with them all, have a full on discussion and ask what they’d like from me…but not if the core of those feelings is longing. Longing is like swallowing my tongue whole. Not being able to breathe. Not being able to speak. Standing there paralyzed. Dying unable to ask for what I need.
Its something I grew up with every day since the day I was born. Longing for security, safety, love, stability…and never getting it. As I grew older I grew to run as fast as I could I’d rather feel anything else; drunk, high, full of adrenalin, near death, fucking strangers – anything but the yearning of that which I can’t have. Some people who grew up with an extreme longing throughout their childhood grow to be very good at longing – almost to a fault. The others end up like me. Its funny how quickly our minds will run to an extreme in order to avoid the one feeling we’ve grown to abhor more than any other.

Its not that I don’t like this guy I do, he’s a good guy, but its purely physical. I also get ridiculously horny once I sleep with someone its hard for me to shut it off again especially if I’m not committed. If I am I committed I control myself easily as I’ve an extremely monogamous heart. But I have to be honest with myself and realize no matter whether I wanted to sleep with him before or not – this time it stemmed from my desire to escape the original feeling of longing.

“You need to learn to sit with this feeling. It is going to be painful, you will cry, and you may go a little crazy…but at some point its a lesson you need to learn in order to be the healthiest version of yourself you say you’d like to be”
I sat there frustrated staring at my therapist…I didn’t want more pain I wanted to feel happy. Did that mean I wasn’t ready for all the changes I said I wanted to make? What the fuck was my problem.
To see a clear fork in the road and one that says “OLD COPING MECHANISMS” and the other “PATH TOWARD GROWTH” and take the former….thats how much I evidently hate longing.

So off I went. He kept complimenting me and touching the small of the back. I was short because I could be. After all, he said I was too nurturing when we were dating. Colds what he wanted so colds what he’ll get. Once I move someone out of the “romantic interest” compartment in my brain there’s truly no making your way back. Not to say I’m mean thats not really in my nature, but I’ll grow distant because I’ll know they’ll always come back..perhaps not because they want all of me but simply because they’re craving my energy or want someone to warm their bed. Thats ok with me.
He put his arm around me. I let him. This part felt familiar. We engaged in mindless smalltalk then he mentioned that he saw that I moved into my own apartment recently. He asked how I could afford it. I laughed. His eyes widened “So how do you afford all this?” I laughed more. He joked and asked “can I buy some cocaine off you?!” I pushed his shoulder and said absolutely not. I just said “We come from different worlds and the way we survive is very different just leave it at that.” I know he’d never accept me being a SW much less an escort. He’s too young, too arrogant, too unaware of what it feels like to not know whether you’ll eat the next day or if you’ll have a home next week. In retrospect I wish I had said I was a drug dealer – its more accepted than being a hooker. Now I’ll have to come up with a lie if I see him again.
I changed the subject and feigned interest I was merely waiting to see how he’d make his move.

Finally he did. We hadn’t slept together when we did date so I could sense his hesitation as he tried to gauge if I was going to let it happen. He lifted me and took me to the bed. Firmly put his hands around my throat and kissed me. This wasn’t gentle. It was animalistic, it was hunger. Perhaps even more so my own than his. So much so that for the first time in my life I tore – blood splattered out toward his chest, all over his torso, and forearms. He stopped and my immediate reaction was to laugh because in my mind it was such a vivid visual of the choice I’d made coming to fruition. Then I realized that probably made me look crazy so I acted concerned, which I started to be considering just how much blood there was. He carried me to the shower so we could get cleaned up.

Afterwards we lay on his bed, cuddling him was okay when we dated but it took me a while to warm up. This time I lay stiff trying my best to breathe deeply and normally. I decided to leave because I needed sleep and sleepovers are saved for a select few. I started crawling over him to leave.
He grabbed me by the waist and lay me back down “I have to go!” he looked shocked that I would even say such a thing I asked why he was making that face, “I thought you’d stay, you always would before”
I scoffed “Yeah thats when we were trying to build something emotional” I rolled my eyes and crawled over him again and slid toward the other side of his California King bed. He grabbed my forearm “I’d really like it if you stayed. Please stay. I want to cuddle and fall asleep holding you.”
I froze. I didn’t want to. I wanted to go home and fall asleep sprawled out alone in my bed. I’m so bad at saying no to men when they’re being vulnerable like this: aching for some companionship. I rolled my eyes again and went back to my spot in his bed he kissed my forehead “don’t do that. this isn’t that” he looked confused and said “lets just take it a day at a time” I didn’t want to talk so I agreed and turned over.

Would I do it again? Maybe. But I’d prefer it not be as a method of escapism.

Society Leads to a Deep Insecurity When it Comes to Sex Workers

“Are you only dating me because I have money?”
“Do you ever fake with me like you do with clients?”
“How do I know you actually have feelings for me?”

I’ve gotten all these questions several times if I tell the person I’m involved with that I do some form of SW. I can’t blame them for feeling insecure, but logic behind the questions is lacking.
If I wanted to date someone just because of the money they better be giving me money. The irony of it is that most of the wealthy men who’ve asked me this never gave me cash whereas those who did never asked and simply saw it as an extension of affection, sort of like a “hey I know you need it and I want you to do well, don’t stress about rent here you go!”. Either way I don’t really have it in me to date someone I don’t actually like, rich or not. If I’m being honest some days I wish I could because being a spoiled GF looks pretty sweet. Its just not my thing and won’t make me feel fulfilled.
The all too common are you faking because you fake with clients….ugh. This makes me want to roll my eyes so far back they create a damn orbit of their own.
Clients pay me. Its my job to make them believe and feel whatever they want to. If they want to feel like Gods in bed, I’ll do it. If they want me to insult them and tell them they’re shitty in bed, I’ll do it. Its my job – end of story. In my personal life why would I ever fake with anyone? What could I possibly get out of that? If I’m having sex with you in my personal life its because I want you, because I want mutual pleasure, because I want authenticity. So no I’m not going to fake just to boost your confidence – I’m not working – faking won’t really let you get to know what gets me off. Its an all around loose loose.
And finally the last question kind of ties into both. My work is exhausting. Men are draining. Being charming is draining. Walking into a room and figuring out what that person needs for the next X hours and becoming that is tiring. If I’m spending time with anyone in my personal life it is only because I want to. If anything sometimes I wonder why the men who ask this don’t feel a little bit more lucky that I am spending time with them instead of worrying if I like them. Yes! I’m here and happily using the last bit of energy I have to be in your company for free that is how much I like you.
I understand the insecurity and confusion. If the tables were turned I know I’d have a hard time so I do have patience. But I think part of the lack of logic in these questions is the fact that sex work still isn’t seen as work. I feel as though people think I just walk down the street a man hands me 2k and I just lay down and spread my legs open…that would be so great!
But its websites, persona, ads/marketing, professional photos, reviews, reputation. I spend about 10k a year on keeping up with all this and making sure my persona’s image is maintained. And thats just the behind the scenes work it doesn’t include emotional and physical labor. Its hard to know and embody what someone you’ve just met wants and no I don’t just mean sexually I mean energetically and personality wise you change and mold into what they need, not everyone can do it despite the constant whorephobic jokes people make of “Im so broke i’ll just be a stripper/hooker/cam girl” whenever I hear these jokes and people don’t know I’m a SW my blood boils. My soul will cringe, I bite my tongue and smile. Usually these comments are made by people who could never harness the energy needed to be a successful SW. If society saw SW as work I believe the people I romantically get involved with wouldn’t ask these questions as frequently…If only.

What Kind of Clients Do You Have?

I feel as though people usually assume creepy/gross men are the ones who hire sex workers (SW) and sure I get some creeps. It’s rare though. Never gross (showers are mandatory you guys). Most of my male clients are just lonely. We all need affection and companionship its truly that basic.
Living in tech central theres an abundance of young men with more money than they know what to do with. They’re overworked, overstressed, in need of companionship..friendship – half of the time these sessions are spent mainly talking and trying to get them to laugh and open up. Not to mention the fact that being young and in this position can have a huge impact on your mental health. As someone whose been a confidant to a plethora of successful men the past 6 years whether they be clients or sugar daddies I can say – it truly is lonely at the top for some.
I get older men who are widowed or in messy marriages- again lonely. I click well with these clients because my services have never been just walk in, get it on, and leave.
I offer something more than that. I connect to their pain and try to create a space where they can talk about it openly and freely if I’m doing my job well I’ll also channel their energy and turn it into happiness if only for a couple hours and thats the way I like it.
On the other end of the spectrum I also get hired by people who just want something fun to do on a business trip. I also get a lot of couples. This always seems to surprise people. Couples are in my top favorites, I’ve been lucky to never have any issues with jealousy as I’ve heard horror stories from friends. They’ve all been mid 20s to 40s and they’ve each been unique and wonderful in their own way. I bask in their connection and affection during our sessions because I can feel how much these people love each other, I find myself feeling lucky to be able to be part of that for an evening.
Most of my work is run on regulars I started in 2015 and about 50% of the clients I see regularly now I met then and a lot are from 2016. I prefer working with people who already know me it also means I’m good at what I do if people come back!
I wish there wasn’t all this stigma surrounding SW and the people who hire SW truth is we’re all just people – just like you and everyone you know.

Oh you have synesthesia – thats a psychic gift!

“People with synesthesia see the world in a different way. Often they go insane.”

Thats the first line of the first article I’ve looked into, it sounds about right. Whenever I smoke too much weed or have an edible my synesthesia gets activated and more often than not I curl into a ball and wait it out as my brain creates flashes of imagery for each sound I hear. Some cars are purple blocks moving west while others are orange balls moving east music swirls into a constellation of colors I don’t understand I can see exactly what people are doing in the other rooms based on the sounds they’re making. Hand gestures, body language, lips, doors opening and closing. And if I hear multiple things at once I do start to feel crazy… needless to say when that happens I run for the Xanax if there’s any nearby.
When I tell people I get one of three reactions 1. That sounds so fun! you’re so lucky!! 2. I don’t think weed can do that…are you sure? 3. Thats a psychic ability you should look into that!

“The main causes of synesthesia are genetics and trauma. Some people are born synesthetes, others become synesthetic after experiencing trauma.  Many other things can cause synesthesia if they can alter neural pathways.  Examples include deep meditation and mind-altering drugs. Not suprisingly, the way to becoming psychic seems the same as the way to become synesthetic.  Some people are born psychic, usually because they have psychic relatives (i.e. it’s genetic). Some people have a sudden awakening after some trauma or near-death experience. Finally, deep meditation, mind-altering drugs and certain spiritual practices can “awaken” psychic abilities. ”
Well, I know my mother had the same things happen when she smoked weed its why she stopped. In a way that saved her life, my aunts loved weed and unfortunately that was their gateway drug that led to a lifetime of drug addiction. So it seems this is genetic…I’ll be asking my grandma next time I see her (my grandma is very cool you guys).

Maybe this is something I’ll look into, if there’s anything I do know is that I don’t really know anything and that there’s a lot of different ways of knowing in this world.

Becoming Her

As I apply to grad programs I find myself smiling.
I always knew from a young age I’d either kill myself or if I didn’t, if I somehow made it out of the woods and away from all my abusers, I’d become an incredible woman.
That probably sounds morbid to a lot of people, but it was my reality and even at 13 I knew that.
My therapist once said to me “Its kind of a miracle that you don’t have a personality disorder, that you’re not more of a wreck, and that you’re not only functional in the world – but that you’re successful because most people who have lives like the one you had don’t get out or they end up locked up in mental hospitals rocking back and forth…your gift of resiliency is astounding”
I cried when she said that. While I’m so often told how strong I am rarely does the fact that I’m not a mess and that I’ve grown into the woman I am get validated. I’ve worked so hard to be who I now am. To have what I have. To know what I do. To survive and make something out of it. To stop perpetuating cycles of abuse that were placed onto me. To be better than the darkness that raised me.
My soul feels such a strong pull on the path I’m on. Knowing I’m doing it and knowing I’m becoming the woman I’m meant to be feels phenomenal as it does terrifying.
The most important part of overcoming trauma in my case has been making meaning out of it and gaining wisdom in order to support others. I feel triumph. I feel proud. I feel stronger than ever. Some days my feet hurt from walking a path covered in glass and flames. I keep my head high, I inhale and remember her.
I massage my own feet
heal my wounds
and keep walking
I have somewhere I need to get.

I refuse to water myself down in order to make others comfortable

“Do you ever feel like you’ll never be enough?”
My friend looked at me with puffy eyes, a red nose, and messy hair. She’d just been cheated on and had stayed with me a couple nights.

Her question stuck with me because I know its one most people grapple with when it comes to dating. Truth is I usually worry I’m too much.
Too emotional, too outspoken, too ambitious, too sensitive, too critical in my thinking, too feminist, too complicated, too quiet,  too honest, too vain, too loyal, too reactive, too this too that.
The thing is I refuse to water myself down in order to make others comfortable.

In some ways I know am too much. Some days I’m even too much for myself. I’m too much from experience and with that experience comes wisdom and love that not many people can hold especially not in someone as young as me.
What one person finds overwhelming and terrifying the next may find illuminating and comforting.

Whether you worry you’re too much or not enough…just know its never about you if anyone makes you feel that way its about them and they’re simply not a right match for your energy. Harness your gifts and find those who make them stronger don’t let people dim your light simply because they don’t understand it.

First Generation American Growing Pains

Fuck do they hurt.
They come quickly, without warning, they ache, they feel like they just might rip you apart.

I guess this would be a good time to share how I came to be part of this world and the way my life began:

In spring of 1991 my mom had been living with my biological father for two years. Away from all her family and unable to leave the house without his permission, find a job, or learn more english than what she already knew. She fell into a deep double depression. One day she decided she couldn’t take anymore and so she took all of the pills he had in his medicine cabinet; antidepressants, blood pressure medication, sleeping pills and who knows what else. My biological father had already left for work, he was in the air force and lived about 10 minutes from the base- but on this day he forgot his ID so he couldn’t get on base. He drove back to the house and saw my mom laying on the hallway floor when she didn’t respond he called an ambulance. Doctors pumped her stomach, eventually my mother woke up and felt no relief instead she prayed “Dios por favor dame una razon para vivir porque yo ya no puedo seguir con esto” God please give me a reason to live because I can’t keep going on like this.
A couple minutes the doctor walked in to check on her and in that moment told her she was very lucky my biological father found her when he did because she was pregnant. My mother felt as though her prayers had been answered. I never knew this story until I was older, but once I did everything in my life clicked. Why I was raised in such a way where I held so much responsibility for others, why my mother treated me as if I could carry her problems as a child, why she had instilled a belief in me that I could not only change lives but save them, why she nurtured my already extremely empathetic nature – why I grew up feeling a constant pull towards aiding those going through hard times. I was built to heal from the moment the world discovered me. Its not something I take lightly, its an incredible gift. An honor to be able to have people share their wounds with you and its extraordinary to be part of the process of stopping the bleeding, sucking out the venom, and allowing healing to begin. But its also heavy.

Its no exaggeration when I tell people I was born into darkness and I grew up being the light throughout that darkness. This isn’t to brag or pat myself on the back, this is a fact and this is how my mother and I survived so much, I was born to be light even in the midst of horror. As I’ve gotten older my relationship with my mother has become more strained despite us being incredibly close some days I also grow tired.
I’ve been taking care of her since I was 15 when she first got sick. I was young, confused, angry, dealing with past abuse and present while trying to make sure my mother didn’t die…oh and trying to focus on my studies (its a miracle I passed honestly I was drunk 75% of the time between 15-18). She almost died doctors in the USA didn’t know what to do and kept trying different medications. My mother was no longer my mother. Her memory was gone, her speech was slurred, and she could barely recognize me some days.
My older siblings who live back in her home country suggested we try a homeopathic hospital there…I figured what the hell we’ve got nothing to loose. It worked! She wasn’t 100% back but she was my mom again.
She could no longer work and so I began trying to hustle to pay my bills/rent and have extra for her – this is when I discovered the world of sugar dating. And it was thriving in LA not to mention the fact that at 19 I was prime in this market. I stressed about making enough for the both of us everyday sometimes Id throw up after she called me asking for more money…how could I say no? She needed it, I knew she felt horrible asking but medication was/is expensive.
Eventually sugaring wasn’t cutting it I expended myself emotionally for these men and I wanted more control. So a friend suggested escorting I was reluctant because I had my own internal whorephobia going on, but once I started I never looked back.
So maybe I never would have gone into sex work had my mother been healthy, maybe she would’ve paid for my college, maybe she would’ve bought a house we could live in and I could work a “regular” job and save. But thats not how things went and honestly I’m glad they didn’t I’ve learned so much about myself my instincts, my ability to make something out of nothing, my ability to demand whats mine, and the confidence to know what I deserve.
It is exhausting though. I get tired. I get stressed. My anxiety shoots up if I ever have less than 15k: What if she gets more sick? what if her car breaks down? what if mine does? what if they need me to cover the mortgage back in our home country again? what if my brother has another kid I need to help with?
I feel an immaculate need to have money because life has shown me shit happens and I’m the only one in this family with the privilege to be able to remotely pay for the ‘shit’

My white American friends often say to me “wow you’re so nice!” it makes my skin crawl. Nice? No, I’m doing the right thing. Family helps family it has nothing to do with nice.
But where is the line between doing the right thing and wearing yourself too thin?

I had a great time, so why am I crying?

Something some find so wonderful and appealing is a word alone that causes my heart to race and my brain to jump to fight or flight mode. Don’t get me wrong – love is something I crave more deeply than almost anything on this earth. To be held and to hold someone who loves me..who I love? Thats kind of my dream.
More often than not I dislike cuddling – my body tenses up, my senses become heightened, and I become painfully aware of my breathing as I try to breathe at a steady pace so whoever is trying to show me affection doesn’t notice that I feel trapped. But the thing is when I genuinely feel a connection with someone I want nothing more than to hold them and yet letting myself feel that kind of intimacy is a different kind of pain, its a reminder of how much I deny myself what I want.

I don’t feel like I’m allowed to fall in love, for one I’m a sex worker. Now, before I get the “sex workers can have relationships and love!” bit I know that to be true – its just that specifically I can’t. Having another person touch me when I’m in love (or like) with someone is hell for me and in the past I’ve always chosen love over money, right now what my family and I need is money….but where do I draw the line? How long can I deny myself the things I’ve wanted my entire life? How long can I run?
*Cue Moulin Rouge’s Elephant Love Medley*
C: All you need is love.
S: A girl has got to eat.
C: All you need is love.
S: Or she’ll end up on the streets.
C: All you need is love.
S: Love is just a game.
C: I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me.
S: The only way of loving me baby, is to pay a lovely fee
This was one of my favorite movies in middle school…actually several of my favorite movies/novelas/books growing up had a SW as a main character. Perhaps I always knew I’d end up here. But back to my point.

The heavier layer is the fact that when the man I loved killed himself two years ago I almost died. That isn’t an exaggeration. I was on my way out as I’d had a history of depression and PTSD which I’d struggled with managing throughout my life- but I managed, when this happened any desire I had to push through dissipated. I had written letters out to those closest to me while trying my hardest to write in ways that would clear them of any guilt, but who was I kidding? I knew there would always be guilt when you experience that kind of loss. Loved ones would answer the phone in a panic anytime I called and I knew they were half expecting it to be me saying goodbye before offing myself. Friends didn’t want to leave me alone. I cried in public and didn’t care who saw. I got drunk and screamed at strangers, the ocean, the sky. I felt too much while feeling a pit of emptiness in my soul.
For six months I was a shell of myself, the worst version of myself: cold, cruel, with no will to live and no faith in people. Only until a year after his death did I start to see traces of myself coming back. Now I’ve healed, but its left quite a bit scar tissue on my heart.
I barely survived that, I’m terrified that another heartbreak will kill me.I’m aware that isn’t logical but its exactly where my anxiety induced brain runs anytime I feel an ounce of myself want to hold someone who isn’t paying me. Sex work in a way protects me from being able to meet someone I could love its my own twisted form of insurance on top of the money being great I get to have an excuse not to emotionally connect.

But what do I do when it happens anyway?
I met a man on valentine’s day. I was in the mood to get out and explore on my own so I went to Santa Cruz to his show. He came to say hi beforehand, its not often I feel anything for men anymore, but as soon as he spoke to me my body felt pulled toward him. As I watched him perform I realized that he was incredibly talented. One of his songs made me cry which is essentially soul porn for me. We met up afterwards and I immediately felt comfortable with him I wanted to let my guard down, but refused to. My hesitations were completely my own because everything about him told me that he wouldn’t judge me for any of my complicated choices or my heavy life story. His energy felt warm and welcoming if I could bottle that feeling up and carry it with me I absolutely would, I’d probably be a much better person if I could feel that all the time. We made out and that was all I was still doing my celibacy thing and he wanted to wait as well. He left. I felt happy to have met him.
We talked almost every day after that. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel anxious or like running. I didn’t feel like he’d intentionally hurt me. I didn’t feel like he’d ever hit me or lie to me. I didn’t even feel like he’d ghost even though we’d only met once. I felt like I could trust him – what!? We made plans to meet again. Finally the day arrived and I drove out three hours to see a man I’d met once..I still have to laugh just typing it out because its completely out of character for me. I got there and holding him felt different than how most men hold me it felt nervous, unsure, but safe. Usually when men hold me it feels like possession, hunger, and entrapment.

We went to the party he was playing I mingled while he worked. Anytime I stood by him I felt that pull to touch him and feel close to him, but of course that wouldn’t be appropriate. At one point I was standing with him and he said something along the lines of “you’re really beautiful- like I can’t believe you’re into me…. because I do ok for myself I’m not a bad looking dude but you’re on a whole other level of beauty. Part of me is still like did my friends put her up to this!?” I laughed and felt extremely flattered that he appreciate my beauty so much I joked in return “your friends probably couldn’t afford to hire me for this! its like 5k a night!” he immediately reacted “is that how much it is?” I could feel my expression change – I hated people asking how much I made, I opened my mouth to speak and he said “don’t answer that – that was a stupid question I’m sorry I hate when people ask me that” I smiled again and felt happy to be in the company of a man who openly called himself out. A white man at that. I thought of all the time and energy I’d spent trying to teach defensive white men why the things they said were inappropriate and felt an immense relief when I thought, perhaps this one won’t drain my energy after all.

When we got back to the hotel I broke my celibacy streak and I did so happily. He was gentle, something I wasn’t used to in my personal life. Its odd to say, but I felt inexperienced. I can’t remember the last time I felt that. I couldn’t simply ‘go through the motions’ even if I wanted to. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more.
When it was time to leave in the morning I felt sadness and I couldn’t put my finger on why. We said our goodbyes and as soon as I got to my car I cried. For a few minutes as I drove I was confused, where was this all coming from? I’d had a great time. I was happy!
Then suddenly I realized: I felt something while we made love. No, I’m not saying I’m in love with a man I’ve met twice. I’m saying I felt something as in I let myself feel a connection instead of blocking it out and dissociating. And that alone hasn’t happened to me since A’s death.
I felt overwhelmed and pulled over to sit by a creek. I didn’t know what to do with any of these feelings and I suppose I didn’t need to know. I just sat there overwhelmed. I was unaware of the effect this would have on me it was beautiful, healing, and heartbreaking.
I only know one other person whose ever lost a partner and the first time she experienced this she screamed at the man the next morning and kicked him out, her reaction was anger. I didn’t understand why until now. Its strange enough to watch time pass by as we grieve, heal, and move on with our lives. Its another thing entirely to actually feel something for someone else no matter how small the feeling may be, in these situations it can feel monumental in the timeline of moving forward.
I hadn’t thought of A much these past few weeks perhaps if I had I would’ve been more prepared…then again if I had been thinking of A so much it probably would’ve meant I wasn’t ready.
In a way I feel that this was fate. I could’ve met this man a year ago but the experience would’ve been completely different. I wouldn’t have been ready to feel anything. I probably would’ve gotten too drunk and fucked him out of boredom. I feel as though fate said “You’re ready it won’t be easy, but you’re ready and you deserve to see that. You don’t have to keep denying yourself, at least not because of this. Not anymore.”

Maybe I’ll see him again. Maybe I won’t. I’m enjoying it and taking the moments we do have together as they come, looking beyond that would dilute the present. Destiny has been kind to me this year and I trust that what’s meant to happen will and what isn’t won’t.

Everybody feels like they’ve got something to prove

I feel as though most people in their 20s are wanting to prove that they can do things on their own. They can be independent. Thrive without the support and protection they’ve had most of their lives.
And then theres me: the only thing I want to prove is my asshole ex stepfather wrong – that I will be successful, find love, and be happy. He always said I was too ambitious and my head was in the clouds he’d laugh and say I was too dumb to get into college. Now that I’m doing well and haven’t spoken to him in over two years he evidently won’t stop bragging about his daughter whose just oh so driven and successful, he even tells people he helps me pay for college! That really makes my blood boil, since I moved out six years ago he hasn’t ever given me anything more than a $20 here and there…pay for my college. What a joke. He has no right to claim responsibility for any of my success.
The fact that I’m thriving right now is because of my own merit and resiliency, the love of my mother, support from my friends, and the fact that I got away from that man as soon as I had the chance. Thats it.

I don’t feel like I need to prove that I can survive on my own because I always have and I know I always will. Until I meet my maker of course, but thats an entirely different topic. All I want to prove is that I can be successful AND help people, that I am fucking smart and all those years of him telling me I’m nothing meant nothing.
But is that healthy? To have such a big part of your driving force be wanting to prove someone wrong?
Isn’t that allowing someone have just as much control over you as wanting to do things in order to appease them? I suppose there are worse things in the world.