I was asked last night what it is that I want in my life… Now to narrow that down, because that is a huge question…. I was at a gathering of friends when that question was posed to me. During a discussion about relationships and sexuality to give some context.

After a bit of stumbled thought and sentences (some wine had been consumed) it clarified for me very simply. Simple. That’s what I want. Not necessarily easy, because that’s different from simple … But simple. I know what I want and I know what is right for me when it comes to intimacy and closeness and relationships.
I have run into struggles when I have turned away from what I feel and know is right for me in attempts at “should”. Marriages and monogamy that just aren’t for me. Neither are random encounters with strangers to just satisfy base needs of the moment – although that’s not to say that doesn’t or hasn’t happened or won’t again… I’ve learned enough about myself to be honest enough with myself to know not to say never to that.

What I want is simple. I want connection and intimacy. Without the expectations that an evening of wonderful shared time will be anything other than what it is..that maybe that evening is just an evening; or maybe it’s an ongoing, “when we connect and the mood strikes” type of thing; or maybe it’s once a week, established and “us”. I want for what is, to just be allowed to be what it is. I

I want relationships that are open and loving with people who I care for that care for me. I want, and need , communication that is honest and expansive … I am purposely transparent in my needs and wants and in how I “do” relationships; I have spent too much time and effort in years of discovering that and owning my feelings to settle for people in my intimate life that can’t be that way with me. That means me listening and hearing their needs and wants and boundaries just as much as them hearing and listening to mine. I want to see my partners in love and loving others who fill their needs and wants just as they see me expressing mine with others as well.
I want, and need, and am, primary and committed to myself first and before anyone else. Solo poly and not only comfortable that way but happy and right that way.

I want the people who I chose to share my life and my Love with to know that me identifying as single and solo doesn’t mean that they mean less to me but that they are THAT important to me that I DO chose to welcome them to my heart and my life.
I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this doesn’t always translate to easy, but it is simple.

The key to making it work, I have found, is not only honest and open communication but being self-aware and honest enough with yourself to be able to communicate with others what it is that’s in Your heart and mind. Without having that connection and understanding with yourself first, there’s just no way you can relay it to someone else in order to convey what it is you want. YOU have to know what you want and need before you can tell anyone else 😊.

That question last night was a great reminder to me that I DO know and it really is simple.

A love letter, from me… to me… because really, it all starts and ends with how you love yourself.

Closed eyes and a gentle touch
to the heart

arms felt wrapped around
wholly and fully, enveloping in comfort and love

whispered words…why I love You…

it’s Your strength that’s Your beauty
how You stand back up again, every time
it’s not that You never falter or sink down
but that You always rise up
breath in, breath out, move forward

the way You glance back to honour what made You who you are
without having Your gaze locked in the past
a past that holds no grip on Your future
shaped, but not cast in stone by your past
Your belief that who You are now and tomorrow is up to You
not decided by what anyone told You in the past
or by anything that happened to You

the way Your head and Your sight is firmly on the potential
and the silver lining of tomorrow, always visible to You,
even through the fogs that roll in and sometimes settle for a while
the way You run, forcing the fogs to retreat
how You know that You can always make that happen
and You do, over and over again
and that You will… as many times as You need to

I love You for your resilience and Your softness
I love You when You are weak and defeated, in moments of hopelessness
I love You for the way your brokenness hasn’t broken You
and for how it never will
And I love You even when You don’t see any reason to be loved
You are mine and I am Yours
I love You for You

little kiss on the nose and a nibble, cause I love that 😉

I have spent most of my life dealing with and trying to have a normal life despite, anorexia and bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder. But what happens when someone who sees herself as gross and disgusting and fat actually *becomes* truly overweight and “big” and it’s not just in her head?

Even at my worst with starving myself – or when I was “better” and just throwing up the food that I ate – I knew, rationally that I was not the size and shape that my eyes saw and my hands felt. I was logical enough to be aware of my distorted view. It didn’t change how I saw myself or how I felt but there was a sliver of talking myself off the maniacal ledge of self-hate with reason and logic. I am first and foremost a logical person and emotions can, and have been, simply put on hold to listen to reason.

But here I find myself 18 pounds up in the last almost 2 years. Time after time trying to lose the weight and finding myself now heavier every month. A body destroyed from years of abuse of starvation now metabolically messed up. Eating a “normal” amount of food causes weight gain. I have had by basal metabolic rate tested and it is well below “normal” range. A caloric intake that would maintain on most, on me packs weight on fast. A simple fact and one I am trying to change with regular, structured eating but it appears to have no impact. I exercise 6 days a week and workout hard. Sweat dripping off of me. 60 plus minutes of cardio plus weight training… all to simply watch the scale and the measurements slowly go up over the last 2 years. I have had every blood test imaginable to check hormonal function. Nothing. Everything not only normal but , according to my doctor, better than most people in their twenties. So it’s not medical.

A closet full of clothes that no longer fit, no matter how I try to squeeze my ever-growing, disgusting body into them. Mornings filled with shame that I can’t wear my work clothes and seeing another summer come toward me knowing that none of my dresses or skirts fit properly. A week of down 2 pounds followed by one of up 3. Down 3 pounds, up 2. No changes the best I can hope for. Any hope or belief that I can actually make a change seriously faltering and giving way to the realization that no matter how hard I try, I can’t love myself like this.

It’s not all in my head. Clothes don’t lie. Sizes on labels that are up 2 and 3 sizes from what is “normal” show that yes, it’s really me getting fatter and fatter and more and more gross to myself every week. This is not case of me just needing to decide to love myself how I am. I can’t and won’t. I can’t be bigger every week and just shrug it off and declare that I’m beautiful no matter what and I’m fabulous. I shrink from the idea even of anyone being near me physically.

My intimate life non-existent and with no prospect of that changing starting to devastate me. I can’t fathom the idea of anyone touching me or having their eyes on me. It’s not as simple as what people tell me… your body is a vessel etc. Yes, I know that… and I have brief flickering nanoseconds of feeling that… but the actual ability to be naked in front of someone, anyone… is an impossibility to me. The disgust and self-hatred that I have for my body and how it looks and feels trumps any desire to be close or intimate with anyone. Factor in that there is the underlying base feeling of such intense loathing for my body that why in the world would I want to have it feel good when it (and I, by connection) don’t deserve to feel good… and you have a recipe for celibacy and isolation which is where I have been for a very long time now.

There is no happy ending to this. A lifetime of wanting so badly to be free of this and now facing the reality that I am not only no closer, but in fact getting worse almost daily. At 42 years old my potential to finally find the self acceptance that I’ve yearned for is slipping away quickly. I can’t even tell myself that I need to just move past what’s in my head because now, it sure as hell isn’t just in my head anymore… and that isn’t something I can just get past.

So I put people off, I turn down offers and dates and don’t even want to casually socialize most of the time anymore. I can’t explain fully enough that really and honestly, it’s not you, it’s me.