Captain Blue Steel (III) + Dating Bullshit + Fucking Vanilla Cake


Yeah I know right?

This guy, AGAIN?

You might have read about how I met Captain Blue Steel, and the ensuing cluster-fuck after we parted ways.

And you might have thought (as I did), that that was the poetic end to it all right?

Well it turns out we were wrong.

Now before I go on, I want to say one thing: I'm not the same person I was when I wrote both of those posts. As recently mentioned, my growth game is strong, and I will need to re-introduce myself.

The woman who met Captain Blue Steel was unaware of her relationship patterns; she was someone who put up with a lot of BULLSHIT, and regularly settled for less than she deserved. She knew somewhere in the back of her mind that something was going on, that there was something she was failing to see, but she didn't know what it was or how to fix it.

And then she read a book.

The GREATEST BOOK EVER (once you get over the cheesy tittle) for seeing through our destructive relationship patterns. To be clear, this is not a 'relationship advice' book. This book is for anyone (yes, men included although the book is written by a man for women) who seems to have the same type of relationship over and over again and isn't sure why things never seem to work out. In the book, these people are called "Relationship Repeaters."

Why am I telling you all this up front?

Because the first two posts about Captain Blue Steel were written from the perspective of the woman I was who didn't understand her relationship patterns, and so she behaved and thought in a certain way.

The woman I am now, after having read this book, is not the same woman. The book opened my eyes, and once we SEE, we cannot UNSEE.

IMAGE CREDIT: Mental Floss

As I write the narrative of what happened, I know I will cringe inwardly at my behaviour, and at my acceptance of his behaviour. And I will be inserting facepalms (images and/or comments) accordingly.

If I had written this piece a month ago, it would have been very different. Now as I write, I won't be able to keep myself from commenting on everything that was wrong with every step of the entire situation. Because while it was happening, I didn't know, so I didn't see.

Now that I know, I can't unsee.

I'm working on forgiving myself for not knowing all of these things.

When we know better, we do better, and belittling ourselves for not knowing better is a waste of energy.

We need to take the time to review what we've done so that we can learn from it for the future, but then we need forgive ourselves, let go, and move on.

One thing you might be wondering: "Why even bother sharing all of this Jasmin? Why not leave the story as it is; with the romantic fantasy perfectly intact? Why open yourself up and expose your behaviour and make yourself look somewhat foolish?"

Because I know I'm not the only one who's done some version of what I did: acting irrationally because of someone I was dating. Giving way more than I should have to someone who hasn't earned the right to that much of my effort.

I'm hoping that by calling myself out on my own behaviour, I might help others see the patterns of behaviour in themselves so that they too can change. That's why I'm here writing, and being vulnerable.

I cannot change the world. I can only change myself and share my journey in the hope that others will use my experiences as a launching pad for their own changes.

Why do we want to change?

So that we can be happier. Because if we're unhappy and struggling with something which is caused by our lack of awareness, then awareness is the key to unlocking our emotional chains, and to becoming happier.

So here we go...again.

Captain Blue Steel: Part III

Ok, so where did we leave off last time?

Oh right, I sent him a text asking him how he was after I had creeped his girlfriend's Instagram page and saw that she'd posted a very break-up-ish meme. My message was read, but he did not respond to it.

Fast forward about five or six weeks...and out of the blue, on a Saturday, in the middle of the afternoon, I got a series of text messages on my work phone from him.

(I will need to summarize some of the things said over text, because I handed in my work phone when I left my job, and I also upgraded my personal phone and didn't remember to keep the message thread.)

I normally didn't leave my work phone on during the weekend (that's why it's called a week-END) but it happened to be on and there he was, again.

I had assumed that he would do what most everyone else would do in his situation (aka - in an unhappy relationship) - stick it out because the pain of dealing with the growing anger and resentment towards the person he was sharing his life with was easier to bear than the pain of breaking up, and being alone, and having to really face himself.

His message:

Hey. I know you've probably forgotten about me by now, but I can't stop thinking about you.

The woman I was with, her and I have ended things, and I'm selling our house.

I'm trying to get my life in order, and get everything settled, and I...

Well, you showed me what was possible.

Aww hell, I'm wondering if there's any chance that you and I might have a shot?

Holy shit.

I did not see that one coming. Seriously, I thought they were going to live miserably ever after like most everyone else.

I answered right away.

(FACEPALM: Jesus Jasmin! You don't hear from the man in a month and a half and then you answer him IMMEDIATELY? The guy GHOSTED you! You shouldn't have answered AT ALL, because you deserve better than some man-child who doesn't know what the fuck he wants, but if you had to answer, you should AT LEAST have made his sorry ass WAIT.)

In my text I told him that if a gentleman had a question to ask a lady, then he best pick-up the phone and do so.

(FACEPALM: If the dude was thinking about you that hard, and wanted you that bad, you wouldn't need to tell his sorry ass to pick up the G-D phone; he would have done that all on his own.)

He called, and we talked.

I don't remember the details of that conversation, but I do remember that it raised more questions than it answered. In spite of that, I made it clear that I would welcome him with open arms should he come to visit, which he said he would. (He invited himself to come and stay on my sofa...and when I shared this with my friend Mr. Gold, he started laughing his head off: "The sofa...right....")

When words fail, there's the FACEPALM.

The next day though, there were ALL kinds of questions floating around in my head about things he'd said and hadn't said, and they were really bothering me. So, I wrote him an email.

(Can we pre-facepalm this shit? Because I'm CRINGING HARD as I read this now...)

July 7, 2019

There were things nagging at the back of my mind. Questions that were bothering me since we spoke yesterday.

They're questions that I thought I wanted the answers to. I realize I don't.

I'm going to tell you what they were though, because I want you to understand how much what I'm going to say later is worth.

I wonder how come you didn't have my personal number in your personal phone anymore. I imagine some sort of ugly scene where you were made to delete it in front of your ex as some sort of proof that I meant nothing to you.

I wonder if we had slept together, would you have gone home and lied to her? And if so, is that the kind of man you are?

I wonder why you called me in such a panic when she found my texts. If you were really in such a bad place in your relationship, then why fight so hard to defend it? Why try to prove yourself?

You told me that she made you feel as though you were constantly under a microscope. Why? Was she an incredibly insecure person, or did you give her reasons to question you?

And who really pulled the plug on the relationship? Did you do it, in order to make a play for your own happiness? Or did she get fed-up and kick you to the curb, and that's why you're here now talking to me?

There are two reasons I don't want answers to these questions now, or ever.

1 - It is beneath me to question anyone and their honesty, integrity, and respect for me. You're a very smart man, I know this about you, and you're old enough to have had a lot of life experience and to have met a lot of people in that life. And since this is true, then I take it to mean that you understand fully that I am not like the other girls. That I am not like any woman you have ever met or are likely to ever meet again. Based on that, I know that you know what I am worth, and what I deserve.

If you and I decide to be "together" for any length of time, know that you have all the freedom in the world to be you, do whatever you like, and to spend time with whoever you wish. Men, women, dogs, cats, goldfish, whatever. If you want to be friends with other women, fine. If you want to go out with other women, text other women, fine.

Because I know that you know what I am worth. I do not believe that - if we get to a point where we have something real and special together - that you will do anything to jeopardize that.

If you ever made me question your honesty, integrity, or respect for me, I would not cry, or scream, or make you show me your phone and delete contacts or any other such crazy nonsense. Because it would be beneath me. I would calmly and quietly walk away, head held high with my dignity intact. I will never again fight for someone who shows me with their actions that they don't value me.

2 - The other reason I don't want you to answer any of the above questions is that I'm giving you a gift: a clean slate. I don't care who you were yesterday, what you did or didn't do in the past, the mistakes you might have made, none of it matters. The past is the past. If any of us were judged on some our past behaviours, I think most of us wouldn't come out looking so great.

When we met, I saw a man who has a big heart, a lot of tenderness, a lot of love and caring. A man who is intelligent, dedicated, and hard working. A man who can be serious but who can also laugh and make me laugh. A man who is young at heart and still so full of life (although he's forgotten that). A man who truly wants to give of himself and who wants to share his heart authentically with a good woman. A man who is willing to be vulnerable. A man who wants to be seen for all of himself.

Prove me right about you Captain.

I hesitated about saying all of this. I thought "Maybe it's too much, we just started talking again, maybe this will scare him..."

But I dismissed my doubts because if I cannot tell you what I'm feeling when I'm feeling it, if you are unable to hear and respect me when I present my feelings in a calm and rational manner (as all intelligent adults ought to be able to do) then I don't want this and I don't want you in my life. Because it means that this isn't real. And I deserve real because it's what I give in spades.

Authenticity or bust. If this is all too much for you, then I am too much for you, and it's a really good thing we found out now.

But if this has the potential to be as real as I think it does, then me saying all of this will be the beginning of breaking down any barriers between us that might prevent us from being ourselves with each other. (Thank you Jasmin for being brave enough to share your feelings with me. You're welcome Captain, the door is open for you to do the same, whenever you are ready.)

I am done lying about who I am. I've done that for a really long time, just to make other people comfortable. And that's bullshit.

If me being me is good with you, great. And if it's not, also great.

Either way, I'm keeping the button. Because magic is magic. :)

You wanna know what I can't believe? I mean seriously?

That I wrote that four months ago.

My disbelief centers around two things:
  • Who the FUCK was that chick who was willing to get into a relationship with a man who raised so many red flags for her from day one?!
  • How fast our perspective can change when we're ready for it.
Aside from reading that relationship book, I've been watching videos by Pastor RC Blakes. I watch at least one video every single day, some days two or three. When I'm getting ready in the morning, when I'm cooking, when I'm painting my nails: whenever I'm engaged in an activity where my body is occupied with something but where my mind is free, then I listen to Pastor Blakes. I'm allowing the words of female-empowerment that he preaches - QUEENOLOGY as he calls it - to resonate through my life, my mind, my heart.

Pastor RC Blakes has changed my life, and he's gotten me through a lot of really difficult days in the last few months. My perspective on myself, and my perspective on the shady behaviour I've put up with from people, but especially men, has changed because of him.

Maybe the experience with Captain Blue Steel needed to happen so that I could hear the words of Pastor Blakes properly. And since I do believe that to be the case, no regrets.

Anyhow, back to the matter at hand: Captain BS and his BS.

How about for shits and giggles (alright, and for emotional growth), we analyze everything that was wrong with my thinking in the email I sent, shall we?

But first, let's get past the fact that I sent him that email in the first place ok? I can only feel foolish about it now because I KNOW BETTER.

As I said, when we know better, we do better, and belittling ourselves for not knowing better is a waste of energy. 

We need to take the time to review what we've done so that we can learn from it for the future, but then we need forgive ourselves, let go, and move on.

Let the analysis begin:
  • There were things nagging at the back of my mind. Questions that were bothering me since we spoke yesterday. 
Let's be brutally honest here: if I need to ask any man any of those questions, then I should not consider getting involved with him in any capacity. Listen Captain, the fact that you were willing to cheat on your girlfriend should automatically have caused me to slam an emotional door in your face because of what it told me about your character.
  • I wonder how come you didn't have my personal number in your personal phone anymore. I imagine some sort of ugly scene where you were made to delete it in front of your ex as some sort of proof that I meant nothing to you.
I realize now that it's unlikely that she made you delete anything. I remember that panicked phone call when your girlfriend looked through your phone and found our text messages. You were scared.

I think you deleted my number from your personal phone of your own accord, the same way you deleted our text messages.
  • If you were really in such a bad place in your relationship, then why fight so hard to defend it? Why try to prove yourself?
If you were still fighting for her, there was never any room for me.
  • I wonder if we had slept together, would you have gone home and lied to her? And if so, is that the kind of man you are?
You're the kind of man who would have cheated on your girlfriend because things were not going well between you two. You kept making passes at me. Nothing happened because I didn't let it, but it wasn't because you didn't try. Instead of having the balls to either face what was wrong in the relationship or to leave, you wanted to avoid dealing with anything.

If he'll do it with you, he'll do it to you.

You showed me you were untrustworthy from the day we met and I chose not to see it because I got caught up in some romantic but foolish fantasy.
  • You told me that she made you feel as though you were constantly under a microscope. Why? Was she an incredibly insecure person, or did you give her reasons to question you?
I think both statements are true. I think that she was insecure, but I think you gave her reason to be. I don't believe that what happened between us - the emotional fling - was an isolated incident in your life.
  • And who really pulled the plug on the relationship? Did you do it, in order to make a play for your own happiness? Or did she get fed-up and kick you to the curb, and that's why you're here now talking to me?
I think your pants might be on fire...liar, liar... The one question I did ask you when we talked on the phone was "How come when we met, you told me that you weren't living together, when you were?"

You said something along the lines of "Well it was technically true, because one of us kept moving out."

You're a Spin Doctor Captain. When anyone gives an answer that includes the word "technically" it's because they're working hard to cover up the fact that they're LYING. 

From the beginning, you were dishonest. And when I saw that, it should have been the end of it. A relationship of any kind cannot be built on lies.
  • I know that you know what I am worth, and what I deserve.

Other people's actions are not about OUR worth, they are about THEIR worth.

You couldn't value me, because you didn't value yourself.

And it wasn't your job to show me my value, it was my job to value myself enough to walk away from someone who couldn't see their own value, and therefore couldn't see mine and treat me accordingly.
  • I'm giving you a gift: a clean slate. I don't care who you were yesterday, what you did or didn't do in the past, the mistakes you might have made, none of it matters. 
Hold on a minute though: past behaviour is a really good indicator of future behaviour.

Now if this was a ghost from an event long past, and that you as a person had truly changed, then a clean slate would be warranted.

But this was CURRENT and UNACCEPTABLE behaviour.

You were dishonest from day one and I let that shit slide.
  • If this has the potential to be as real as I think it does...

There was never any potential.

Any seed sown in dishonest ground cannot help but to bear rotten fruit.

You and I would never have been anything real.

What happened after I sent that email?


For two days I heard nothing from him.

Any man who had sincerely been thinking about a woman for an extended period of time - as he said he had been - well that man when given the opportunity to have a shot with her again, and having received an email like that, should have - AT THE VERY LEAST - picked up the phone and called her, or done SOMETHING.

Instead, silence for two days.

And then a response, via email.

I tried to respond to this email but I just can’t find the words. All I can think to say is thank you for your openness.

Please call me when you can.

. . . 

Pause for Reflection

. . .


This was - in your opinion - THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION?!

"I don't know what to say, but how about you call me."?!

What the FUCK is this bullshit?!?

If I hadn't walked away yet in all the other moments when you showed me WHO YOU WERE, then this moment, and this unbelievably lame response, should have sealed the deal.

But I made a mistake with you, and with virtually all of the men I've ever dated: I CAST MY PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

- Matthew 7:6, New King James Version

We cannot give a precious jewel - ourselves, our pearls - to a pig and expect him to be able to know how to treasure it.


Because pigs don't know anything about pearls. They know about pig life, and being dirty, and eating out of a trough. They do not understand pearls.

And that is why we cannot get angry at swine, but it's also why we have to stay away from them.

Often we think that a swine's inability to see our worth means that we are valueless. But honey, IT'S A PIG - what else did you expect?

IMAGE CREDIT: Asian Review

What did I expect?

Hanging around with a pig inevitably does "tear us to pieces" because it erodes our self-esteem.

Which brings me to another pig reference:
You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
We think that if WE are enough, if we can GIVE enough, LOVE enough, BE ENOUGH, then we can turn the pig into a stallion.

Honey, no one has that kind of power.

We're taught that if a man behaves in a certain way, it's somehow our fault because of what we've done or not done, or a failure on our part to be the right kind of woman.

But what if it's just because he was a pig, and he was never going to be anything but? Pigs do not have the capacity to become stallions.

And when I use the word PIG, I'm not talking about a person's outward appearance, or how much money they have, or the job they have, I'm talking about their character.

I saw the pig behaviour in Captain Blue Steel, but I was certain he had stallion potential, and I was convinced I could be the one to unlock that potential.

Pastor Blakes says that we as women "fall in love with potential" and that we go looking for "projects" (Why, there's a nice fixer-upper!)

But the real question we need to ask is:

If he never changed, would you still want to be with him in five years?

The last few weeks have been incredibly emotionally challenging.

I'm going to be honest with you, reading that relationship book wasn't easy. Every chapter has a series of questions and exercises at the end of it, and I did ALL of them. I have around 40 typed pages of notes.

It was a painful inquisition but I knew I had to do it if I ever hoped to have an emotionally healthy and mature relationship.

To SEE so that I can never again UNSEE, so that I never repeat the same unhealthy relationship patterns again.

In the book, there are four main patterns for repeating unhealthy relationships. I've copied and pasted the relevant description for each pattern, with my personal comments below.

May it prove to be an insightful read...

Pattern #1 - Idealizing the External
  • Is drawn to partners with a particular physical type, appearance, professional status (whether it's a great job or no job at all), level of ambition, or age, and prioritizes those external characteristics above all else.
  • Often places more importance on sexual attractiveness than emotional attractiveness (which could be evidenced by kindness, strong communication skills, a shared world view, and strong relationships with family and friends.
  • Often sees her partner as a reflection of herself, and wants to convey the image her partner represents.
  • Harbours the fantasy that someone with the appearance or professional status she is drawn to will be enough to make her happy.
  • Typically feels she has little in common with her partner by the end of the relationship.
Pattern #2 - Emotional Chasing
  • Tends to have partners who ultimately won’t commit and settle down, who cheat on her, or whom she puts on a pedestal.
  • Is usually more emotionally committed to her relationship than her partner is.
  • Feels like her partner has all the control and power in the relationship.
  • Often feels less worthy than her partner, as if her partner were more interesting or desirable.
  • Believes she has to work hard to keep him interested because she feels that he could very easily slide through her fingers and slip away.
  • Tries to shape herself into being what she thinks her partner wants.
  • Notices that her partners always seem to have excuses for why they can’t make more time for her or why they don’t want to take the relationship to the next level.
  • Feels like she’s waiting and hoping for her partner to realize that she’s the one he really wants.
Pattern #3 - Rescuing Wounded Souls
  • Regularly attaches herself to partners who are emotionally unstable in some way.
  • Focuses on and worries more about her partner than she does about herself.
  • Repeatedly finds herself with partners who at first seem to be sweet and have great potential (while also being slightly helpless or misguided), but before long reveal themselves to be emotionally volatile or unstable, aggressive and controlling, unhappy, or unable to cope with some aspect of their lives.
  • Often believes that love trumps everything and that ending a relationship would mean giving up on or abandoning the man she loves.
  • Desperately tries to help her partner but, at root, is trying to change her partner.
  • Tends to have partners with histories of anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.
  • Often comes from a family in which she felt the need to take care of a parent or sibling, or in which there was a high level of turmoil and drama.
Pattern #4 - Sacrificing Yourself
  • Repeatedly has partners who verbally, emotionally, sexually, or physically abuse her.
  • Has noticed that her partner's moods tend to leap, without warning, from one of the spectrum to the other
  • Often fears that one wrong move could trigger her partner to get angry and being an abusive cycle.
  • Sees herself trapped and betrayed in her relationships, as she feels too guilty to leave and too afraid of what her partner might do if she tried to do so.
  • Tries to excuse her partner's abusive behaviour by saying things like, "It only happened once," or "He only does it when he gets mad."
  • Eventually begins to wonder if she's going insane, because her partner does such an able job of putting the blame on her.
  • Loses her grasp on what normal behaviour in a relationship looks like and fears that the abuse has damaged her to the point that future healthy lovers wouldn't want to be with her.
So...did any light bulbs go off for you?

My brain was lighting up like a telethon switchboard when I read that.

Here is my analysis of myself, in relation to those patterns. I've scored an impressive 3.5 out of 4...

Pattern #1 - Idealizing the External

If I were to line up all the men I've ever dated, it would look like an assembly of the United Nations. Although there are definitely certain physical characteristics that I appreciate, I've never dated someone based solely on how they looked or what kind of job they have.

Now, that being said, have I ever let a hell of a lot of shady shit slide BECAUSE of how a man looked?


I've often sat across from an attractive man and had him clearly display a lack of a particular quality that's very important to me (e.g. Emotional Intelligence) and agreed to go out on a second date with him anyhow, because I was so attracted to him physically.

I'm now aware that I need to put far more emphasis on emotional compatibility, rather than allowing myself to be literally seduced by someone's appearance.

Pattern #2 - Emotional Chasing

Ah, and here we've stumbled upon what I'm going to call...drum roll please...


Because apparently nothing is more attractive to me than a man who doesn't know what the hell he wants...aside from knowing for sure that he definitely doesn't want to be in a committed relationship with me.

Oh, don't get me wrong. He wants to see me...sometimes...preferably naked.

But COMMITMENT? Bite your tongue girl!

From the book:

Without realizing it, she attached herself to men who she sensed wouldn’t easily commit. This type of man gave her just enough love and attention for her to get a taste of what she wanted. But instead of saying this isn't enough and walking away, she would attempt to tame him and show Mr. Unavailable the she was the one worth settling down forRelationship Repeaters who emotionally chase their partners all share the same drive: they are on a mission to win the love of unavailable partners.

Now why on earth would I (or anyone) do this?

Well the past of course, and usually childhood.

My father was physically present in my life. But emotionally? He checked out when I was a toddler. I remember distinctly him being engaged in my life when I was little. He would get me up in the morning while my mother and brother were still sleeping, and we would have breakfast together. Then he would walk me to kindergarten. I loved that time with my daddy.

And then one day all of that stopped. I don't know why, but those morning breakfasts, and his interest in me and my life, it was just...gone.

I've spent my whole life trying to get his attention and approval back. I've never succeeded.

From the book:

Traumatic Mastery

Some victims who have experienced a trauma appear to gain some mastery over the original traumatic event by putting themselves in similar traumatic situations later.

Traumatic mastery can also extend to relationships. It may be that you repeat bad relationships because you were neglected, rejected, or abandoned in some way in the past that was traumatic for you. Placing yourself in another bad or unfulfilling relationship later in life may be your unconscious — yet faulty — attempt to recreate the original trauma, so that this time you can come out on the winning side. The goal is to master or overcome the original trauma. When you consider the possible reason that makes you repeat, open yourself up to the idea that your relationship repeating may stem from very old, traumatic wounds.

Every single man I've dated has emotionally checked out at some point, just like my father. And I've been measuring my levels of success in relationships by how quickly I can end the relationship once I realize that the guy has checked out, and how quickly I can get over the relationship once I've ended things.

That's fucked up. And it needs to stop.


When I'm on a date and the guy I'm out with tells me right off the bat - because they all have in one way or another - that he's not looking for a commitment, then I need to calmly and firmly say "Thank you, next."

Take the man from the plane for example. When we first met, he told me during our very first conversation that he was still living with his wife. And yes she was still his wife because they hadn't even drawn up the separation papers yet, but they were definitely in the process and it had been "over for years." (Insert eye roll.) That guy? Yeah, he's not available, for anything except occasional sex.

I'm going to tell you something which is really difficult for me to admit: every single guy I've ever dated has told me on the first date that he wasn't emotionally available or in a secure place in his life, and I've smiled and nodded and thought "GREAT! A challenge. I'm going to be so amazing that I will change your mind."

So I bend over backwards (literally sometimes) to please, to accommodate, to be understanding, to contort myself into what he needs; hell it's a full circus act complete with dancing clowns and ponies. And then I'm emotionally exhausted by the time it's over.

Me doing all of that has never, ever turned a man who was emotionally unavailable and who didn't want a relationship, into one who was available and wanted to commit.

All I've done through the repetition of this pattern is to erode my sense of self worth, thinking that "If only I was enough, these men wouldn't daddy wouldn't have left."

But it's not about them now, it's about me and deciding what I deserve: what my price is. Because that's what dating is: setting our price, and not settling until we find someone willing to pay us the full value of what we know we're worth.

And if we keep getting bargain hunters knocking at our door, it's because we've undervalued ourselves.

Pattern #3 - Rescuing Wounded Souls

And now for even more fun...


Because apparently, in my "Rule Book" of how things should be, loving someone means fixing them.

It means taking an emotionally weak and broken person, and repeatedly building them up, and pushing for them, and fighting for them because they cannot fight for themselves.

It means being emotionally responsible for the happiness and well being of the person you love.

From the book:

Somehow she had come to feel responsible and wanted to make sure everyone else was okay...

All of her boyfriends were wounded souls who carried tremendous emotional baggage...

She invested all of her energy in the fantasy of who her boyfriend could become in the future as opposed to banking on who he was in the here-and-now...

So again, I ask the question: now why on earth would I (or anyone) do this?

And again I say: well the past of course, and usually childhood.

This time, because of my mother.

(One of my spiritual teachers once said that our lives are based on the holy trinity of Mom/Dad/Me and he was right...try as we might, we cannot get away from the way our parents imprinted on us. We can become aware of it, work with it, but we cannot get away from it.)

My father is a man with many demons. And those demons made him into a very angry, rageful man who took his anger out onto the world.

He was physically and verbally abusive towards me until I was 23 years old. And he was verbally abusive towards my mother for...I don't know know how long, because I don't know when it started, all I know is that, although it has eased up over the years, it still has NOT stopped.

When I was twelve, my mother said to me "You know I don't love your father right?"

My world was shattered in that moment. I had lived under the illusion that they were happy together only to find out that wasn't the case. From that time on, my mother started coming to me with some of her marital problems. (There are no words I can find to describe how wrong this was, how one's child should never be one's confidant.)

My mother was a victim of my father. So was I. And I would spend my time listening to my mother, both of us hating him together, and then I would fight with him on her behalf. I was in the middle of their marriage because she couldn't or wouldn't fight him. And she wasn't emotionally strong enough to leave him.

My entire teen years I spent listening to my mother tell me about how she wanted to leave my father. And we would have long conversations, and plan how we would get away, and what we would do and how we would live.

And then he would come home with flowers and apologize, and she would change her mind. I felt betrayed every single time because this happened over and over and over again.

My mother made me feel responsible for her happiness and well-being for as long as I can remember.

As a result, I've spent my life taking responsibility for things that I am in NO WAY responsible for.

Natalie Lue recently did a great episode/blog post on this subject - Episode 158 - entitled "It's Not That You're Not Good Enough - You're Over-Responsible."


If you wonder why you...
  • Struggle to ask for help or try to be strong all the time
  • Feel as if you parented your parents or raised your siblings
  • Feel like a burden
  • Are lost and don’t know yourself
  • End up doing the equivalent of trying to row a boat with one oar in your relationships
  • Own other people’s feelings and behaviour
  • Deprioritize your needs, expectations, desires, feelings and opinions
  • Feel guilty about saying no or being you
  • Struggle with boundaries
  • Are an armchair therapist
  • Sometimes feel as if you raised yourself
  • Act as if you don’t have any needs
  • Self-sabotage and worry about outshining or being abandoned's because you're over responsible.

I've had to work very hard to unlearn the taking on of responsibility from people who are all too willing to pawn it off on those around them.

I've also had to work very hard to learn that I am FULLY responsible for but ONLY responsible for my own happiness.

When I get the sense now - whether directly or indirectly - that someone is counting on me for their happiness, or that I'm somehow emotionally responsible for them, their reactions, their state of being, I leave the situation.

I didn't know this for a long time and so couldn't help but to mirror what I had learned. I tried to make other people responsible for my happiness and I didn't understand at the time why that pushed them away.

But now that I do, I'm cutting that shit out.

From the book: They don’t realize they’re supposed to be girlfriends — not therapists or life coaches!

I'm so done being a man's therapist or shoulder to cry on.

I don't want to feel responsible for fixing people anymore because I don't actually have that power.

No one can fix you except you; no one can fix me except me.

It is not my job to fix the world.

It is my job - because I am choosing for it to be - to give people the tools so that they can go ahead and fix themselves.

Here's the toilet paper, wipe your own ass.

Pattern #4 - Sacrificing Yourself

Whew. Last one.

The patterns described in the book about this dating type are things I learned and went through in my childhood, with my parents, so I've changed the word "partners" to "parents" in the examples below.

From the book:

Somewhere along the way, she had internalized the notion that her parents were treating her the way she deserved to be treated. Over time, the years spent with abusive parents confirmed and strengthened this belief, until it came to feel normal on some level to be mistreated.

How, you might ask yourself, could something so awful start to seem normal? The answer is that what is normal to you is relative. If your relationships have shown you that you will be treated a certain way — bad as it may be — this type of treatment is the only kind you really know.

Given that human nature causes us to gravitate toward what is familiar, these Sacrificers may actually avoid situations in which they are treated well because the unfamiliarity could lead to discomfort.

Which brings us to...


Do you want to hear something crazy?

Most, if not all, of my romantic fantasies involve me sacrificing myself to my own detriment so that the other person will understand how much I love them.

My mother taught me that. In her view, the only love that was real was the love for which we had suffered and sacrificed for, and that if we didn't suffer, and didn't sacrifice, then it wasn't really love.

All l I've done in every single relationship I've ever been in is to suffer and sacrifice. This is why I'm depleted after every relationship, and why as an adult I cannot understand the benefit sharing my life with anyone because relationships have only ever taken away from my life, and never added to it.

That makes me sad for that version of me that I was for so many years; that I didn't know I didn't need to sacrifice so much, that I deserved to be happy and that I deserved to have someone in my life who would give to me as much as I gave to him. that I have SEEN, I cannot UNSEE.

The problem with sacrificing ourselves for others is that it incurs an emotional debt. When we deplete ourselves for others, it sets up the expectation that they will do the same for us. And if and when they don't, we're angry with them because we feel as if they owe us for all the sacrificing we've done.

I'm now at a place where I can give freely. If there's any feeling of self-sacrifice around what I'm being asked for (as in I don't want to do it but am somehow being made to feel that I should) then I don't do it. And holy smokes is that ever tough! Saying no where in the past I would have said yes.

But I need to release those around me from emotional debt, and the only way I can do that is to give only what I can give authentically. I know it's authentic because once I've given the thing, I forget about having given it.

When we don't need to do any emotional acrobatics in our personal relationships, they become clearer, more fluid, more free.


I don't remember exactly what happened after he sent his lame email.

I know that I was relieved to get it in that - it had been scary for me to stand-up for myself like that (even though he didn't deserve me or all the concessions I was making) - so when he didn't respond, I felt rejected. I felt "wrong" for standing up for myself.

When he responded, I felt better. (It's clear I still have work to do around relying on external validation for myself and my feelings.)

But I also know that I didn't pick-up the phone to call him. At least not right away. I think I did at some point though... And then I remember feeling frustrated when he was hard to get a hold of and delayed in responding.

"If all the things you said when we met were true, then why aren't you pressed at all to speak to me?"

(Well exactly Jasmin - why?)

I will need to summarize what happened, because as I said, I no longer have access to most of the texts - the many, many texts - that went back and forth. (There's one conversation that I screenshoted, but everything else is gone.)

Over the next few weeks, we texted and spoke on the phone a lot.

It was exciting, at first. This was a fantasy coming true, after all. But that was ultimately the problem in the end: the fantasy.

The way things had started was intense and magical, but it was all based on nothing.

Most of our conversations were based around how me met; those 24-hours of time, and what it might be like seeing one another again. All fantasy. When we talked on the phone, we weren't exchanging information and getting to know one another, we were building castles in the sky.

Indulging in fantasy can be fun. Except when it hurts us. And it hurts when we get our hopes up in a situation that isn't ever going to be real.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
- Proverbs 13:12

The situation didn't feel right.

I talked to my friend Mr. New York about it.

His advice? "Ghost him you deserve so much better."

So I blocked his number.

And then the next day I unblocked it.

Friday, July 19

4:22 PM: Blown me off already?
It usually takes women at least three dates to stop answering my text messages. Lol.

4:23: I called you yesterday.
And I thought you were blowing me off over the last few days.
If you want something, come after it. That's all I can say. And I'm wondering if it's maybe it's too soon after your breakup for you to feel ready to do that.
If it is, take your time and do your thing.
Time tells all truths.
And if it's meant to be it will be. And if it isn't, that's ok too. :)
I'm a pretty amazing woman. I am happy and I'm going to be happy regardless of what happens.

4:24: Not at all. I have just been super busy.
You have very effective defense mechanisms.
Me too. I am actually trying to release my defense mechanisms. I don't think they have served me well over the years.
I totally want to be with you. I am falling for you in a big way.

4:25: Do I? Well call me out on that when you see it. Nicely of course.
I'm glad to know you're working on releasing your defense mechanisms too.
If you don't and I don't, this thing is dead in the water.
I'm falling for you too.
I feel like I miss you all the time since I met you.
And that feels crazy.

4:26: I know. I think about you constantly.
You are so beautiful and funny and brilliant and sexy...well, I think you know what I think of you by now.
You don't need defense mechanisms with me.
I am trying to shed mine and feel any hurt or happiness that has come my way over the years.
You are an honest and sincere woman and I am hooked.
You are more beautiful and sweet and genuine than I probably deserve.
I want to be with you.

4:27: Me too you.
So then we're all good.

4:28: Oh yes, we are.
Don't be so concerned.

4:29: None of this shit is rational babe.

4:29: I know.
You feel like the future.
I would love to fall asleep with you tonight.

4:30: I feel the same. That future feeling. "Like this finally makes sense."
Can't wait to be in your arms.

4:31: Me too. I loved being in your arms.

4:32: I fucking miss the hell out of you.

7:00: I miss you.

7:01: Really?

7:02: Sure. Of course I do.
You are a wonderful woman.
I miss how it felt when you looked at me.
You made me feel so good.

7:03: One question?

7:04: Sure. Anything.

7:05: How did it feel when I looked at you?

7:06: Like I had found peace.

7:07: Dammit.

7:08: What?
What did I say?

7:09: I'm trying hard to push you away.

7:10: What?!

That's as much of that conversation that I have.

And this is why situations like this are so confusing - there are so many emotions involved, but they're not based on anything real which, because of all the intense emotions, is a crucial detail that's easy to miss or to gloss over.

It all felt real in that moment, but when I look back, I realize how much we were both living in a bubble.

After that, we Skyped a few times, at my insistence.

He had only suggested Skype based on the possibility of some sort of "live sex show" (hello - RED FLAG) but he'd never suggested it as a way to get to know me. (We must listen to what people DO and DON'T do for that will tell us all we need to know about how they feel about us.)

And then when we were on Skype together, perhaps three weeks after he had initially reached out, my heart sank as I realized he had no interest in me - in actually getting to know who I was.

He didn't want to know what I liked or didn't like, what my hobbies were, my hopes and dreams. It was as though I was a FemBot to him: "Be my fantasy of feminine physical perfection, but don't talk."

He was very fixated on my appearance and the fantasy of who he decided I was based on that. Now as someone who's struggled with her weight and various aspects of her physical appearance her whole life, being repeatedly told how pretty, beautiful, and stunning he thought I was, was flattering at first.

But then...I felt as though he was doing Pattern #1 as listed above - prioritizing the physical over the emotional. Every time I tried to talk about who I was, he seemed disinterested. Although he listened, he never asked questions about what I was saying or added any of his own thoughts to the mix.

We talked over Skype two days in a row, on a Monday and Tuesday, and during the second conversation, he said something interesting:

"I'm used to women who need to be rescued. Little birds with broken wings. But you don't need to be rescued."

"No, I don't."

I didn't hear from him for a few days after that.

Then, out of the blue that Friday, he sent me a text saying "Long drive...whew! So tired."

I thought after not hearing from him for a few days, that that was lame and strange, so I waited until later to respond and said "You're friend-zoning yourself Captain."

He quickly responded with "Would that be such a bad thing?"

Although I knew that whatever this thing was, it was going nowhere, I was still crushed.

He started texting then, explaining.

He said he realized that he needed to be by himself to work out his emotional stuff because he had childhood wounds to deal with.

That he felt inside like he was still a little boy sitting alone in his room, crying and waiting for his mother to come home.

WE ARE ALL CHILDREN LOOKING FOR OUR PARENTS' LOVE & APPROVAL. And if our parents were absent in some way, we look to the world to fill our void.

We are all - on some level - emotionally broken.

For those people who think they're not, haven't dug deep enough.

I picked up the phone and called him then. I said that I understood, because of course I did, and I offered that, if he was ever feeling really alone on his journey, that he could reach out to talk.

I understand what it's like to be entirely alone while processing your wounds, and how that can land a person in some pretty dark places. I know because I've been there and the thought of leaving anyone alone in that place is difficult for me.

He accepted gratefully.

I wished him an early Happy Birthday, since it was his birthday the next day.

He asked if he could call me the next day.

I hesitated, but said ok.

Before he hung up, he said again "Talk to you tomorrow."

He didn't call the next day.

I sent him a thoughtful birthday message with links to some books that might help him.

He didn't respond.

I blocked his number.

Then I unblocked it.

He called the day after with some excuse.

We talked for a bit, but then had to go all of sudden. He said he'd call back later.

He didn't call back.

And then...I blocked his number.

And I didn't unblock it.

It was enough.

It was enough of being taken for granted by a man who wasn't in a place to appreciate me. It wasn't my responsibility to support him, difficult though his path might be at that moment.

It was time to take my pearls back from the swine.

My mistake had been that I had given my pearls to somebody who hadn't earned the right to have access to them.

I sold my time, my attention, and my affection too cheap: in exchange for a few kind words that meant nothing. Because of my past. Because I had been led to believe that other people's time and attention was worth far more than my own, and for every one nice thing anyone did for me, I had to do ten times as much.

I cast my pearls before swine.

It was time to take them back.

A difficult thing to come face-to-face with: I've only ever been a rebound girl.

ALL, but ALL of the men I've dated were fresh out of serious relationships and were looking to fill a void that had nothing to do with commitment.

All of them were trying to rebuild after their long-term relationships had ended. All of them were financially unstable with their lives in shambles, and they were scrambling to pull themselves together.

I was always only the rebound girl.

They told me where they were at, and I smiled and nodded and went along with it because I thought I could change them. that I have SEEN, I cannot UNSEE.

If that happened today, here's what I would say:

"It sounds as though you're going through quite the rough patch, I empathize with you. But it sounds as though we're in very different places and looking for different things: I'm looking for a serious relationship with a man who has space in his heart and his life for a woman like me. So we will need to part ways for now."

What I've observed: men (although I'm sure the same applies to women) need one full cycle to truly be on their own after a divorce before they're really ready to start dating again.

One full cycle. To get over the "firsts" without HER. Birthdays, Christmases, going back to that restaurant, park bench, whatever, for the first time without her. Being the woman walking by a man's side as he remembers the last time he was there - with the last time he was there being the time he was there with his ex- is heart-wrenching and so much less than we deserve.

One full cycle at least, otherwise the ghost of relationships past will haunt us.

This will be challenging to find because most men I've met go straight from the marriage to another relationship right away. I think actually most people do this.

But the only way to truly grow and be better in the next relationship is to take time to heal from the last one. To take time to get to know the new person we've become through that relationship.

Now that I have SEEN, I cannot UNSEE.

It was my birthday two weeks ago. I turned 39.

For as long as I can remember, my parents have asked me what kind of cake I want for my birthday, and then have turned around and bought everything but every single year.

Now if what I was asking for was complicated, that might be understandable. For example a raspberry torte with dark chocolate ganache and vanilla bean mousse; now that might be difficult to find.

You know what kind of cake I want for my birthday?

A white vanilla cake with pink roses on it.

The kind they sell in probably every single grocery store in North America because it's so generic.

But every year it's the same thing - it's the WRONG THING.

Two years ago it was an almond crunch cake.

Last year it was a white chocolate cream cheese cake ("But it's white!") I HATE cream cheese icing.

This year I did not go to my parent's house for my birthday. I went out with them for a family birthday dinner three days before my birthday (because my brother's birthday is one day after mine - we sandwich Halloween), and then I did not go back to their house for cake because...why?

I spent my birthday with myself (notice I did not say "by myself"). I went for a very long reflective walk, picked up take out Chinese food, a bottle of wine, a WHOLE vanilla cake, and then I went home ate, blew out my candles, and watched stand-up comedy.

I gave myself what I've been waiting for other people to give me my whole life.

The thing that makes me so angry about this is that it's just a FUCKING VANILLA CAKE.


But my family, specifically my parents, have made me feel my entire life as though small things were big things.

I'm so unbelievably angry at them for that - like LIVID, blood boiling angry - because I've spent my life accepting so much less than I deserved, and allowing unworthy people to have access to me and my life. They taught me that having needs was bad, and that in stating a preference I was being difficult.

When I expressed disappointment at any time over the wrong cake, or anything else, my dad would say "You should be grateful you're getting something. You're never happy, you're so hard to please."

So I've spent a lifetime accepting everything except what I actually wanted because at least it was something right?

And the hypocritical and ironic part of the above statement is that my father expects from others what he himself is unwilling to give. He has a favourite ice cream brand and flavour. When he eats ice cream (not on his birthday, but ANYTIME) it must be Chapman's Maple Walnut. If it's not, he complains, and makes a point to say that it's not what he wanted.

So everybody always makes sure to get him what he wants.

But nobody ever bothers to make an effort for me in that way. Because I should just be happy with whatever I get. Because I'm not worth making the effort for.

I remember when I was a kid, one time I had asked my mother to buy clementines when she went to the grocery store. She came home with nectarines.

I said to her "But this isn't what I asked for, I asked for clementines."

She said "Clementines, nectarines, what's the difference? I have other things on my mind."

Yes, we all have other things on our minds besides you Jasmin. You're just so selfish.

I realized how little effort I expected from others only this summer.

I was out running errands with a co-worker. We were in an Italian grocery store, and I wanted to buy a few things, but I had to go to a doctor's appointment directly after our lunch break and I didn't want to carry the bag with me.

My coworker offered to bring it back to work with her. (I would NEVER have asked.)

I asked her if she was sure because I didn't want to inconvenience her.

She looked at me. "Jasmin, this is not a big deal."

I said ok. But then I realized that a few things would need to be refrigerated, and a few things wouldn't. I told her that and said "It's going to be too complicated, don't worry about it."

She insisted. "Just tell me what has to go into the fridge and what doesn't."

I hesitated. I truly felt as though I would be inconveniencing her, despite her repeated reassurance.

She said "Really, it's ok."

I reluctantly agreed.

And then as we parted ways and she took my bags, I understood the reasons behind my reluctance, my hesitation, and my ensuing guilt about her doing this "big thing" for me, was that my parents had taught me with their treatment of me that I did not deserve effort.

"We have other things on our mind Jasmin."

I heard that sentence so many times over the years.

My parents - God love them - are very self-involved and focused in the bubble of their own life experience. They have mastered the art of not allowing anyone else's life experience into their life experience, and as a result, everything is about them.

My parents made me feel broken and unworthy for having needs.

And I'm not talking about extravagances here, I'm saying that my basic human needs were a nuisance.

When I got my period, my mother was annoyed when I asked her to buy tampons with her already tight grocery budget, which my father controlled like a tyrant.

I insisted, so she did. But she was angry because she didn't understand why I couldn't just use toilet paper like she did.

I was twelve.

I felt so confused that I even had my period because my mother told me when I had asked her about them that I shouldn't worry because not all women get their periods.

I had hoped I would be one of the lucky women who didn't, but then there I was, twelve years old and bleeding, feeling sure that this was some sort of punishment, and my mother was angry at me because I needed tampons.

Jasmin, don't you know, you're not allowed to need anything?

I started working when I was 15 years old, because I needed to. My parents wouldn't buy me anything. My mother didn't have any control over the finances, and my father wouldn't allow any purchases.

All my (ill-fitting) clothes came from the Salvation Army, and I wasn't allowed any toiletries beside the basic soap and shampoo that was kept in the house. My shoes never cost more than $3 and they were either used or they came from Zellers. (I'm using my childhood as an excuse to explain my current shoe collection as well as my Sephora habit.)

So when I started working, I started taking care of myself. I bought myself new clothes that fit. I bought decent shoes. I bought my own shampoo and conditioner, and makeup and tampons. Anything pertaining to my upkeep and well-being I paid for myself.

While it's true that my parents did go through a financially difficult time when I was a child, by the time I was in my teen years, everything was financially stable again. But my father was and still is a stingy man. He made me feel as though I didn't deserve anything good.

As a result, whenever anyone, any person, any man, did even the smallest kindness for me, I was pathetically grateful because I was so convinced of my own unworthiness that I thought he was being charitable by being nice to me.

I'm embarrassed to admit that. Even though it wasn't my fault, I find it shameful to admit.

My upbringing taught me that me and my efforts were cheap. But now I'm spending my adult life learning about and teaching myself my real value.

You made me feel as though my basic needs were a nuisance. You made me feel as though having needs meant that I was flawed and deficient. I thought that needing meant I was broken, and since I never managed to stop needing, I thought I was unworthy of taking up space on this planet. I tried to take my own life three times because I thought it was the only way to escape my unworthiness. You made me feel so broken, so damaged, and so deeply flawed that I felt I ought to be grateful to anyone who would show my any kindness.

YOU MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS HARD TO LOVE. I'm still angry at you for that.

I'm working hard to find it in my heart to forgive you, but I don't know how.

Oprah said forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could be any different. In that sense, I have forgiven my parents. The past couldn't be other than it was, because they couldn't be other than they were. To expect the past to have been different would require them to be different people.

So I've forgiven in that sense. I fully understand that because of what they themselves went through in their own childhoods, they couldn't be other than they were.

But my anger is still alive and well, and for a long time, I felt like a failure for that.

And then I read something by Dr. Jonice Webb.

Forgiving someone who has not owned up to their actions makes you unnecessarily vulnerable. John F. Kennedy said, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” In this quote lies a warning that forgiveness can leave you vulnerable to re-victimization. Without your anger and hurt to warn and remind you to protect yourself – and if the person who harmed you has not been held accountable – you are opening yourself up to being harmed again.

My parents have never taken responsibility for what they have done.

And that's why I don't fully trust my relationship with them. I do not trust that they won't re-victimize me, because the last time I let my guard down, things didn't end well for me.

I remember thinking at some point when I was a young adult that my father was never going to hit me again. I was an adult, I had lived on my own, and I was sure it wasn't going to happen anymore. And then when I was 23, he did it again. And there I was again, curled up on the ground in fear, crying out like an animal as he hit me, while my mother and brother watched.


So I am still angry because I know I cannot emotionally afford to let my guard down and that's a heavy burden on my soul.

Without your anger and hurt to warn and remind you to protect yourself – and if the person who harmed you has not been held accountable – you are opening yourself up to being harmed again.

Here the solution becomes not about forgiveness, but about balance and self-care. If you allow your hurt and anger to rule you, you will be in danger of becoming bitter or vengeful.

Instead, please use your anger and hurt to build and enforce boundaries that will protect you from the other person.

The best revenge is living well.

The best revenge is living well. That is exactly what I'm working on. Not for revenge, but because I finally know that I deserve to take up space on this planet, that I am normal for having needs, and that I deserve to be happy.

As I was writing this post, I unblocked Captain Blue Steel's number and sent him a message.

I know, I know. You're thinking that deserves another facepalm right?

But hear me out.

Thursday, November 7

10:16 AM: My birthday just passed, and I was reflecting on the past year. I thought about you. I hope you’re in a better place than you were.

10:19: I was actually just thinking about you too. Yeah things are 100% better. You actually helped me to see exactly how bad things had become and I really appreciate it. You really have a great perspective
Any chance you would be comfortable keeping in touch?

10:28: I’m happy for you.
I also gained a lot of insight from the way things happened.
And maybe. Give me a good sales pitch and I will think about it.

1:12 PM: I have 3 points for you to consider: personal, professional, and spiritual.
1. Personal. I am a great friend to have because there is almost nothing I wouldn’t do to help a friend in need. Also I like to keep myself surrounded by people who are good and positive (as do you) and we are both of those things.
2. Professional. We generally share career choices or at the very least, there has been significant overlap so we can provide each other with needed guidance when necessary.
3. Spiritual. You showed me a big part of my life that was missing-a connection to something bigger than myself. In this case, my feelings and how I interact with others and the world around me.
Long story short, we can bring value to each other’s lives which is what friendship is all about.

2:11: Point 1: I don’t know this about you. But am open to finding out if it’s true.
Point 2: Really? Again, open to finding out.
Point 3: This is about what I bring to you. How can you help me spiritually?
Long story short: I agree with your analysis of friendship. As for whether there is in fact a mutual benefit...time tells all truths.

2:16: Very objective of you. I like it.

2:32: Well I’m awesome like that.
Point 3 still requires clarification.
And I have one condition: I’m going to need an apology from you.
You were going through an emotionally difficult time when we met, and I can understand that. But perhaps because of that, you handled the situation between us very poorly, and I was really hurt because I genuinely liked you.
I need you to own that, and apologize for it, and if you can’t, then I want nothing to do with you.

3:01: Understood. I am so very sorry. I know you were hurt and I never wanted that obviously. I was going through a tough time but something you need to know is that it was not an excuse and it was not my intent to use you.

5:37: Apology accepted Captain.

5:58: Thank you, Ms Wolf.

6:16: I think you mean Saint Jasmin.
I have better things to do with my life beside hold grudges against people who have sincerely apologized for their actions.

6:32: Well thank you. And I do mean it. I am very sorry. You were so open and frank with me and, while I thought I was too, I realized that I wasn’t open or frank with anyone...including myself.

6:44: I know. I saw it, but I tried not to see it. Anyhow, that’s the past.
Onwards and upwards!

7:12: Well thank you. I appreciate that.
In the last few months, what I have come to realize is that I was in an incredibly toxic relationship and I had been beaten down to the point where, not only did I think I might need it, I actually started to miss it. How insane is that?
There are fleeting moments when I still do.

7:18: The best and worst thing about humans is that they can get used to anything.
You miss the old thing because it was familiar.
So... you just need time to get used to this new thing. And you will.

7:19: It’s coming along.
I don’t think I am broken but I am definitely sprained.

7:23: Captain, EVERYONE is broken. Everyone.
It’s not about being fixed, because none of us ever will be. It’s about cleaning the wounds so that they can scab. And then...working with the scabs.
And relationships are about awareness of our scabs and the other person’s, and being kind to each other around them.
It’s all very manageable. It just takes willingness and awareness.
You’ll be fine.

And that...was that.

Often times we can't get closure, but when we can, it's kind of nice.

And let's be honest, he didn't offer it up, freely, I went after it. I reached out to him, and I asked for an apology.

When we have nothing to lose, we have everything to gain.

I was talking to him from the perspective of the new me and it felt great. The new me who feels worthy, the new me who doesn't want anything to do with him anymore because I know he still has nothing to offer me.

Look at the above conversation.

He did not wish me a happy birthday.

He did not ask how I was.

The ENTIRE conversation was about him, but this time I saw that as it was happening.

And you know, I get that because I've been where he is, in the middle of dealing with my own emotional crap. I understand that this is a self-centered time. You're trying to find yourself, you're trying to make sense of your past.

But a man who's going through his journey of self-discovery has nothing to offer me.

Self-discovery is an inwardly focused process and he cannot give to anyone but himself.

Self-discovery is a selfish phase - as it should be.

And it's necessary for every human to go through their own process of self-discovery. If we don't fully understand ourselves then we don't know what we want and we can't make the right choices in our lives about everything from what job we want to do to who we should be sharing our lives with.

Men who do it in relationships usually leave those relationships. Take it from someone who's been the rebound girl again and again.  Once the person comes out on the other end of that part of their journey, they generally want to move on from everything including the person who was by their side through it.

Once the self-discovery phase is done, the man moves on and picks someone else and it's the next woman who's going to get that "finished product."

I know that of which I speak for it has happened to me enough times.

Now if you're with your partner when he starts going through this - meaning you already have an established relationship - you can and should support him through it and hope that you can both change together.

But this is not a place to build a relationship from.

And because I know that, I know that Captain Blue Steel has nothing to offer me.

I also know that I deserve so much better than him.

When I met him, I was a different person. I was coming from a place where I didn't think I deserved anything, and I thought that I might not deserve him. And then talking to him over text last week, I realized I felt so grounded in myself, and my sense of self-worth, that I knew, and I felt that I deserve so much better than what he has to offer.

I don't want or need anything from him. It feels so good. For him to be good enough for me, he would need to be a completely different person.

That's a power position: when you don't want or need anything then you're in the driver's seat. And fuck does that ever feel good.

My self confidence was hard won. But now that I have it, there's no going back.

I SAW and now I cannot UNSEE.

I deserve better than to be hit by other people’s emotional shrapnel due to their unprocessed feelings about past experiences.

From now on when I see someone in the midst of their battles, I will wish them well, and perhaps point them in right direction, but then I will stand tall, hold my head up high, and gracefully walk away from all that which is unworthy of me.

I saw my brother last weekend. I had seen him at a family birthday two weeks ago, but we hadn't had the chance to talk.

I invited him to a hockey game that he couldn't make, so he countered with brunch.

Prior to our birthday dinner, I was very nervous about seeing him again. I hadn't seen him or spoken to him in about six months and I didn't know what to expect. But he had been warm and welcoming, and had even gotten me a gift and a card, so when I went to brunch last Sunday, I wasn't nervous.

We had a very good and very long talk...we met for brunch at 11:30 AM and parted ways at 3:00 PM.

Many things were talked about, but the bottom line is that the air was cleared.

I said to him "I'm sorry for all of the expectations I put on you."

He said "I'm sorry for all the hurtful things that I said to you in moments of anger."

We each owned our parts. And we each expressed our gratitude to the other for that.

I know that my bullshit in our relationship was that of self-sacrificing to my own detriment which created those expectations and that emotional debt.

Last year, I did a lot of things for my brother and I gave them all with strings attached. For example when I helped him paint his apartment: this was not something I gave freely because I absolutely despise painting. But I gave it in the hopes of getting a different kind of relationship with him.

Now if he asked, I would say "I would like to contribute to helping you move, but painting is not one of the ways in which I can help."

I'm a different person than the one I was last year. As mentioned, my growth game is strong, please allow me to re-introduce myself.

And the thing is...he was a different person too. I needed to give him the opportunity to re-introduce himself.

We must give that which we expect to get.

We hadn't seen one another or spoken in six months, and since we are each people that are actively involved in our growth process, we each change rapidly.

As I said to Captain Blue Steel: I have better things to do with my life beside hold grudges against people who have sincerely apologized for their actions.

If I was going to give that to Captain Blue Steel, I was certainly going to give it to my brother.

You know what I sometimes forget? That people are, well people. That they're human, and that they're going to have human moments and say shit and do shit that really sucks. But if they're the good kind of humans, then they'll apologize for their shit, and we'll apologize for ours, so that we can all get on with the business of living.

Hate in our hearts consumes us and poisons our souls. It's a burden that we shouldn't need to carry around.

Forgiving with an apology can still be challenging, but it is very doable.

Forgiving without an apology...well, I don't know how to do that yet. But since I'm unlikely to ever get an apology from my parents, it's something that I will need to actively work on because I deserve to be happy.

Forgiveness is ultimately a selfish act.

This was a difficult post for me to write.

But it needed to be done.

I'm certain that there are still tiny nuances of patterns of behaviour that I haven't discovered about myself yet. But this was the BIG KAHUNA, this blog post with these realizations are what will open the door for me to have - for the first time in my life - a real adult relationship.

I am 39 years old. And it's about damn time I allowed myself to believe that I deserve to be loved, to be considered, to be respected, to be treated with kindness and consideration.

It does not matter how I acquired the baggage. It is my responsibility to unpack it. 
Baggage accumulates when we don't unpack regularly.

I may not have been able to control my history. But I have my hand firmly fixed on the steering wheel of my destiny.

Remember the button that I had been holding onto? The one from Captain Blue Steel's uniform?

I threw it away; into a fountain.

And when I did, I told God "It's enough now. I am done with all of these unworthy men. Because I deserve better."


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