*Warning: naughty language ahead!
As I enter my fourth decade on this planet, there is one thing I am wholeheartedly committed to—my own freedom.
I’m an adult. I am dedicated to life. I’m here to write, to speak, and to hold space with clarity and compassion for the hard, holy, and human.
Would I like some hot, steamy birthday sex? You bet your ass I would!
My body has never felt this alive, sensual, or full of myself. I practice being the lover I want; that means being open and radically honest. The way I am now sharing myself is something I have never done before and it’s maddening and enlivening.
I don’t mean to test my lovers. It’s not about putting them on the spot; it’s about creating the space that I need to open. What does that mean to me? Well, it looks like speaking poetically, playfully, and honestly about sex and commitment. I don’t want one—a committed relationship, I mean.
Wounds awoke when I began seeing a man who spoke about things that I had given up on—monogamy and loyalty. This would have meant exactly shit to me a couple of years ago.
When I first became single—after nearly a decade-long relationship in which I had lulled myself to sleep—I wanted to stay wild, take lovers, dance on tables, and do exactly whatever the fuck I please.
But we communicate so well, dressed or naked, over the phone, into each other’s mouths, and with our bodies that for a minute I started to reconsider.
Then both of our triggers overtook us—scintillating signals to sweetly tend to—neither of us are ready.
I burn with passion. I dance with my desires. I love men and sex and I bore easily with dating. I choose lovers the same way I approach anything in my life—with great discernment. My energy, time, and body is precious.
If we want to love, we need to start with what is broken. That means looking inward and asking:
Why do I feel, want, run toward or from the things that I do?
I know the answer to that question for myself—I want wholeness.
I want to claim every fiber of my being, and that includes my sexuality and creativity. They are inseparable; one wilts and the other follows. Then comes holding my tongue and walking on eggshells. That has, in the past, always marked the edges of commitment for me.
I can’t. I won’t. I’m frankly fucking terrified. Wait, I said that already.
And yet, I live a deeply committed life. Eventually, that will most likely wind up weaving me gently into a man’s world and we will spin something of great beauty—together. But for now, I want to focus on my own web and the net that I am weaving with my community.
Recently, I set the intention to see my value and the value of my work as being coherent with the greater life web. I am partial to the iconography of Spider Woman. She is the cosmic web weaver in many native traditions.
Spider magic is potent. It transverses the liminal space between life and death. She gives and she takes. Spiders do not repair their webs when they get damaged either. They cut the section out and begin again.
I have done this.
My own web had been spun under the heavy influence of narcissistic dysfunction. There was one prominent figure in my life who was actually diagnosed as NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There were several others, in which our shared relational dynamics drove me into the same coping strategies that I had used most of my life. Those are primarily: shrinking, fawning, and over-identifying my own self-worth based on others’ inconsistent level of acceptance.
In the last couple of years, I have done some serious laying down of healthy boundaries. And I’m doing my damn best to mitigate the influence of others’ toxic behaviors in my life.
People aren’t toxic but their choices, behaviors, and the impact of those can be.
I get lonely at times, especially when my nervous system is too raw to deal with being around people. I have always considered myself a people person. I did not consider myself a people pleaser, but that too was deeply ingrained in me.
Often, when we are raised by unstable or emotionally volatile people, we get good at determining what we need to do to try to make sure we are safe, instead of trusting our safety with our caregivers. This can lead to what I call empathetic dysfunction. This is the perfect pairing to narcissistic dysfunction as we wind up trying to make amends for the deficiency that we perceive in them, which is translated through their behaviors toward us.
As children, we do not know that these people have inner worlds, and often trauma motivating their actions. We certainly do not know that their own lack of proper care and building of positive regard for themselves and others leads them to cut themselves off from having any conscious awareness of those internal spaces—and that is what leads them to being devoid of empathy.
We, the empathetically dysfunctional, try with our whole hearts and often, every breath we take, to make up for the fact that they’re cut off from their own feelings and are incapable of meeting ours. This negligence can lead to our needs and feelings being invalidated.
We are often told that we are too sensitive, that we are being irrational. If we are gaslit enough we start to believe it. We learn to effectively internalize the voice of our abuser until it becomes indistinguishable from our own. Hello, hypercriticism and perfectionism. This is why we so often recreate the toxic dynamics that were modeled to us. We have internalized them.
I hate the idea that we are incomplete without another person, yet the tiny person who dwells within my skin—my inner child—is utterly clear that she needs people. We all do.
We cannot survive without each other. We are interdependent beings. But this yearning for others, left immature, is what often gets translated into patterns of codependency.
This is not a dirty word. It’s an unmet need.
It is this need that I am committing to: holding myself where I have been dropped so many times.
Yes, I want to relax and root into the love that I have never known—my own. I want to share that with a man one day, but not yet—first me.
Commitment is more than the relationships we cling to. We need purpose, passion, and a shared vision to which we can devote our hearts.