Despite all of my progress…

I have Father issues. After my Dad and Mom split up, my Dad went to work in another city for over a year. I was 7 years old, and it felt like forever. I took a plane to visit him once or twice and he wrote me letters.

But despite the relatively short time and connectivity he felt as a grown-up, it was very different for me as a child.

I never really internalized my Father’s love for me until much later in my life. He was the kind of parent who praised me for my good work along with a reminder I could always do better. As a driven professional adult, I appreciate this, but as a child, it doesn’t feel good. It felt like I was never good enough and my Father didn’t love me for who I was.

He had a second child with my stepmother and he became much more overt about his love.

But the damage was done.

Continue reading

The Hail Mary conversation (part 2)

Part One

Maybe I should have written about this right after it happened; much of our dialogue has faded in my brain and only nuances and snippets remain.

It was the best conversation because it actually flowed. There was inquiry and engagement. Back and forth. Some laughs. We were honest with each other.

We spoke for almost three hours.  Continue reading

The Hail Mary conversation (part 1)

First of all, thank you to all of you who have reached out to me offline to see how I’m doing. It’s been a rough 10 days and I appreciate all of the support. It’s been especially amazing to hear from those of you who don’t comment normally; maybe I should password protect posts more often!

Ann
xo


All of the breakup conversation had happened via text; hence the whole story (other than my internal dialogue) can be told in those four posts.

The only exception was a brief and crackly voicemail Fox left me on Sunday afternoon which said (as far as I could tell) “Ann, I love you…I’m so sorry.”

I told him I needed time to think, but on Monday midday he texted to ask if there was “any point to talking and meeting”. I said: Continue reading

I have a therapist and a lawyer. And some real insights.

Does having a therapist and a lawyer make me a real grown-up?

Will and I had our wills and power of attorney done just before we split. And although it’s not as if my divorce hasn’t felt final (our marriage was over before we made the decision, and we both moved on very quickly) there are things that really make it over.

While the piece of paper that formally dissolves a marriage sets the stage, there is nothing like saying “you are no longer the most significant adult in my life” by updating your will, the beneficiary of your life insurance and assets, and your power of attorney over your finances. I think those things are the actual final curtain on a relationship.

I am moving even further away from my marriage, which I didn’t realize was possible.

One thing I retained, however, is Will as the power of attorney over my “personal care”. This is the person that makes the decision whether to pull the plug, basically.  While I trust my Mom more than anyone else in the entire world, I just don’t think she could do it.  So perhaps we are still taking curtain calls in the stage play of our relationship.

While I picked the lawyer in the first place, now it feels like she’s really mine.

And now I can also add a therapist to the people supporting me in life.

Yes, contemplated for a while, urged on by my Mother, and timed with a full preventative and holistic health and wellness assessment, I agreed to meet a Clinical Psychotherapist. We have had two sessions so far. Another is booked for after my no-contact deadline with Tony.

And yes, she knows about this blog and has the link. How else for someone to really get to know me and my story – and for me to ensure I don’t hold anything back? Scary, I know. But the right thing.

(Hi, Doc!)

The core thing I wanted to address with her was a better understanding of how the relationship with my father could impact my actions, and how to break any patterns of behaviour that aren’t good for me. For example, staying in a relationship with someone who has characteristics I like but is emotionally unavailable.

Sound familiar?

Hello, Tony. Hello, Will. Hello, Daddy.

While my father has grown on this front and I now know without a doubt how much he loves me and is proud of me, growing up I never felt good enough. Never felt unconditional love from him.

On the one hand, a drive to constantly improve and satisfy has contributed to my business success. Much has been written about the insecurities and “impostor syndrome” of CEOs. It’s fascinating.

On the other hand,  I seem to have a thing for men like my Dad. Not a surprise. I like men who are highly intelligent, quick-witted, funny, gregarious, curious, communicative, and passionate. But, my most significant relationships were with men who were also self-centered, perhaps narcissistic, hard to please, controlling, and demanding. Ultimately, not providing me with the emotional support I need.

I believe I have to embrace the past and the experiences that got me where I am today. I understand that my relationship with my father, and his characteristics, are both positive and negative forces on my life. I am not the kind of person to remain in stasis, blaming others for my psychological lot in life, and not ever moving forward. Oh, and that characteristic? Definitely my father’s.

What I do want to continue to do, however, is make good choices. Break patterns. And I’m happy to say, I’m doing this. It feels great.

Those of you who have read my early dating stories know quite well I put up with a lot of douchbag behaviour. My primary focus was getting my mojo back, finding my groove, and feeling desired. I also had to learn a lot about dating and relationships again. But ultimately, what I can do at 41 which I couldn’t do at 16, is know that men and how they treat me does not define my self-worth. It does not define my attractiveness, and it does not have to be on their terms.

I now choose what I’m going to put up with.

For example, if I fuck Shenanigans, it’s because I feel like it. Not because his presence makes me feel more valued. Not because I’m craving male attention. As I said in a comment, I’d have to be really bored, and really horny. The latter is pretty much a constant, and I’m not seeing boredom in my near future.

I used to worry my sexual adventures were driven by a need for male attention and acceptance. It was probably true when I was 16, and while there may always be a piece of me that’s driven by it, I know what’s in my heart and mind right now and can honestly say it’s not there.

I’m simply, very very sexual. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.


 

Image Source: http://www.drandrabrosh.com/

I'm not going to keep writing the same post over and over.

That’s a lie: I just might.

I haven’t broken up with Tony. I’m sure some of you are pleased to hear this and some of you just banged your head on your screen in frustration.

I know I don’t want to hang by a thread of hope for something to change. I know I don’t want to live off scraps of communication and affection. I don’t want to be constantly frustrated at wanting more, and not getting it. I know I’m worthy of someone amazing.

I also know Tony and I have a wonderful time together, he cares about me, and makes me laugh. He’s intelligent, passionate, and curious.

My new nickname is Cactus. Continue reading