Category Archives: feminism


Meaningful connection. I am coming to understand that it is the life force that sustains me. I believe, with my whole self, that the moments where someone sees me for who I am, when someone completely ‘gets’ me, are the moments when I feel the safest in my life; grounded. I seek connection with people every time I am out and about. I seek connection in my daily interactions with co-workers, with the person I am dating, with friends, and with my children. When I cannot find it, or it does not satisfy or live up to my expectations, I am left feeling a bit panicky and, yes, disconnected.

If I am at a party or out with friends, and the conversation is trite and surface-level, I feel more alone. If I go a whole day without a check-in from the people in my life who really understand me and accept me for who I am, I feel scared and invisible. Connection is a need for me; it might be the most important and meaningful one in my life. Without it, I feel adrift. Without connection, I feel as if I am floating away, completely alone; with my intense thoughts and emotions. The most terrifying part of this is when I believe someone close to me sees me for who I am, intimately and deeply, and it turns out they don’t. That realization is like a fast and painful punch to the gut and it can leave me reeling for weeks and make me very wary of future interactions with that person. It hurts.

I don’t know how to sustain a conversation about work or the weather or hobbies. I don’t understand how to engage with people who don’t want to talk about relationships, life, love, hurt, pain, death, and the universe. Yes, I know I’m intense. I know I struggle with casual.

I have come to accept that part of the reason my marriage failed was because we forgot how to connect with each other. We stopped seeing each other as a couple and instead operated as a family. We stopped connecting as two people in love and in life. Our sex life suffered, our marriage suffered, our entire lives fell apart as we grew more and more distant. I know it was having children that broke us and, of course, it wasn’t their fault. It was our fault for not working hard enough to balance the family-life and our relationship outside of that unit. We broke; and the result was that our family broke too. I remember bringing our first child home from the hospital and sobbing. I was heaving with tears as I turned to my husband and said, “You and I will never be the same. It won’t ever be just you and I again.” I was scared. I sensed the immense shift; the permanent change in our relationship.

I was right. Nothing was ever the same for us again.

I think much of my need for connection is an INFJ thing. From a post by Koty Neelis on Thought Catalog:

INFJs get frustrated when they make an attempt to connect with someone and the person fails to share their enthusiasm. INFJs can read people extremely well, so when they make an attempt to connect with someone on a deeper level or discuss something that means a lot to them, they can instantly tell when the other person isn’t on the same wavelength as them. This leads them to wonder why they even bothered at all and makes them more hesitant to reveal other things about themselves in the future.

That blurb makes SO much sense to me. It helps me to find forgiveness for myself with something that worries and troubles me. It helps me to feel less alone. Why can’t I function without meaningful connection in my life? Does that mean I am frightened to be alone? That somehow I am not secure in who I am? This is something I am still puzzling through. I am trying to understand if this is an insecurity or completely valid and okay (I am trying to understand why I want to understand at all); I can never just let myself be. Sometimes I detest being an INFJ. I feel like a mistfit, a weirdo, and an outsider and none of those things feels good.

I long for connection. I am constantly searching for people who see the gaps between the cracks. Individuals who looks at the world from a different angle; a different lens. I want people who reflect back to me the version of myself that I know to be real; that I know to be true. I do this for people nearly everyday and it is rare that it is reciprocal in nature. I am looking for people I can let into my private, inner universe. That space that fills my heart and my soul. I long for these qualities in my friendships but more importantly in my intimate relationships. I deserve and want someone who chooses me every single damn day.

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.


Beautiful Possibilites

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place

but, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

my eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

This poem resonates deeply with me as I move forward in my life, in my grief, in my processing through trauma and divorce.

This past year, I fell, over and over again. I continuously stumbled into that damn hole in my emotional sidewalk. I sat at the bottom, looking down at my feet; in total denial about why I was down there and how I could get out. There was no perspective save the dirt all around me. I was inside of myself, inside of my trauma, inside of my addled brain. I would refer to these moments as ‘trapped’, trapped within my own brain; my own fear, self-loathing and terror. I was frozen, in stasis, in shock. DENIAL. This was not my fault, this was out of my control, I cannot help my temper, my rage, my trauma. Life felt out of my control and I accepted that like a wounded animal. I curled up and made myself a home at the bottom of that damn hole. For months.

Until one day, I reached a different chapter.

I was still falling into the hole, but my eyes were open and I knew exactly what had happened to get me back down into that hurt space. I knew now that it was my fault and even though I was in the pit, my eyes were wide open, looking up instead of down. Sometimes I would be stuck down there for an entire day; trying desperately to climb out.

What I have come to accept is that sometimes I might just need to sit down there for a time. That maybe this is my work, this is my lot in life right now. I have learned that maybe I need to sit down at the bottom of the hole and wait. Wait for my emotions to pass, to run their painful course through my body, through my heart, through my mind. And then, when it is time, I can stand up in that hole and climb out.

I have to admit that I am waiting for chapter four to come. The part where I walk around that hole. The part where I am consciously choosing to step around the pit of self-pity, denial, longing, despair, and hurt.

And finally, that day, that moment when I choose a different sidewalk altogether. And I will walk toward hope, toward empowerment, self-love, and my most awake and aware self.

That person is out there and she is my future.

The road becomes endless and filled with beautiful possibilities.


It’s Thanksgiving and I want to talk about sex.

Yes, it is Thanksgiving, and yes, I want to talk about sex. I love sex! I am thankful for sex. And hormones, libido, and all of the crazy and not so crazy physical stuff that makes us beautifully and vulnerably human.

I was raised Roman Catholic; I grew up in a household that did not discuss sex. It wasn’t that sex was considered shameful in my home, it just didn’t exist. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that my mother never remarried after my father died. I didn’t grow up in a household that had two parents; a couple who could model what love and affection (verbal or physical) looked like. I had to figure all of that out on my own.

The only sex talk I can recall having with my mom was at age 16. It happened at 7 in the morning, while I was driving our Dodge Caravan to school. My mom sat shotgun, and out of nowhere, she blurted out, “So, are you having sex?” and that was it. I remember gripping that wheel until my knuckles turned white and shouting, “Jesus! NO!” (I was such a liar!!) There were also the times I would bring boyfriends home and my mom would awkwardly tell them to “wrap it”. Jesus, was that embarrassing.

When my husband and I were exploring polyamory and began online dating, I came to realize that, at age 42, I have a kickin’ libido. The unfortunate part was, I felt weird and insecure about this discovery. I felt ashamed, confused, and honestly, ‘slutty‘ (slut shaming is the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity).

As I began my exploration of men and relationships outside of my marriage, I found that I was uncomfortable with my sexual self. It did not help that my husband was also shaming of my sexuality as we opened. Sometimes the hurtful statements were direct, sometimes indirect. He struggled from the beginning with the physical aspects of having an open marriage (I believe he felt a possessive ownership of me), whereas I struggled with the emotional aspects of his relationships. Sex felt like no big deal to me. As long as I was safe and protected and the sex was open and consensual, I felt fine about it. But there was always this nagging voice inside my head whispering that I was disgusting and should feel ashamed. And, in many ways, I did feel ashamed. Was it my own shit? Or maybe the religious shit? Or my husband’s shit? I can’t say for sure – likely a combination of all of these things. And society, our culture – of course these things were to blame as well.

Women are not allowed to be sexual creatures who (gasp!) enjoy sex.

Women and young girls are sent so many mixed signals in our sexually repressed society. Be sexy! But not too sexy (slut). Be hot! But don’t look too hot (bitch). Be flirtatious! But don’t be too flirtatious (husband/boyfriend stealer).

Be skinny, be flawless, be amazing-looking, make sure your ass and abs are toned, have perfect-sized breasts, the right hair, makeup, body, shoe size. Don’t get me started on fashion…And don’t forget that all of this needs to be accomplished and executed well into your 70’s. But let’s remember that we cannot get old! No grey hair! Wrinkles?

No fucking way.

There is enough confusing shit out in the world as it is; add to it the bullshit messages the media sends little girls (my daughter), teenagers, women, and middle-aged women (me), it’s no wonder we feel confused about who we are as human beings and especially as sexual beings.

I think the most hurtful one of these messages (and God knows that there are many) is the one that says: in order to be loved or even liked, we need to look and act the part (see ridiculous list above). No one talks about self-love. Which is so completely fucked up! Love of one’s self should come first and above all else. Without it, you are susceptible to using others to define your self-worth – a truly scary place to be (see my posts on codependency). And even if you believe that you need to do all of those things up there to be worthy, and you pull all of that shit off, there is still this underlying message that you are not allowed to be a sexual being.

Sex is taboo in this uptight American culture and that is utter bullshit. Why sensor one of the most fun and amazing things we can do? Research shows us that not only is sex paramount in connection with our partners (and with ourselves), it is good for us! It is healthy and good for your heart and your mind.

There is no shame in loving sex if you are a woman. I challenge you to talk about sex, think about sex, and, if you’re a writer, write about sex. This self shaming – culture shaming – bullshit needs to stop and it needs to stop now.