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(leave your two year on-off relationship after the tone)


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Oh God.

I hate your voicemail.

Not, like, yours per se. But just...voicemail.

Um. This seemed like a much better idea before the beep.


So, the thing is, I love you.

Yeah. It's, you know, pretty obvious. I've loved you for a long time.


The thing is, though...I don't know where you're at or what you want. This dance we do. I really enjoy it sometimes. It's so fun and sexy and makes me feel like I just took drugs. The good part of drugs. But, it also hurts me a lot. Because I want something different and real and I keep hanging out here, hoping you'll want the same thing. I think we both get that's not how it works.


So, I adore you. But, I'm gonna go. I just, I gotta go.


Nothing dramatic and no hard feelings. You're fuggin' magnificent. If you decide that you and me is something you want to go for. Something that strikes you as what you want for real, call me. Let me know. But with the current situation, I've got to bow out and I'm requesting that you do the same. I just have to...I...I have to move on. Because if I don't let go of you for real, I never will. And if I don't get intentional about this there will never be room for anything else with anyone different because, for me, it's just you. Since those summer talks five years ago when we started all this. It's always been you.


You're absolutely fantastic. Know that a woman in California is always thinkin' of you and smiling.

Be well, Cowboy.

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It's so fun and sexy and makes me feel like I just took drugs. The good part of drugs. But, it also hurts me a lot.

just like the bad part of drugs as well wouldn't you say? Love can truly sometimes be a drug in an unhealthy relationship, you want it so bad even though you know it's going to ultimately hurt you. Good to see you letting go and starting to heal!

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Thanks, Toby.


I didn't cry when I knew what I had to do. Didn't cry on his machine. Didn't cry as I pressed 1 to send the confirmation of it (though there was the trippiest damn feeling when I pushed # and knew there was *no* turning back)


and I feel relieved...but after reading this and seeing it here, I'm crying now.


Emotions be cray, bro.

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It's good to cry, it shows we care! I also think it speaks volumes to your character that you are capable of forgiving someone who has hurt you so profoundly, its really admirable! Remember to love yourself and that you are worthy of love, fall in love with YOU again

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Appreciate the feedback.


It's gonna take a second. But I woke up this morning feeling...suspended (if that makes sense) yet, oddly a lot better.


I've stopped saying to someone else that it's okay to treat me like less than someone of value. Sending me naked pictures* and asking what I'm doing for Valentine's Day...yet choosing to never make time to see me. Text that he's thinking of me all the time and remembering my curves, yet never calling. Even when I asked him to.


I had his body, he liked my mind but I've never ever had his heart.

Have you ever had to realize that about someone? Its a hell of a thing.


The truth of it is, this situation was stopped by my ego. Right after Christmas (...when I called him and got his warm jovial hello...before he was off the phone in 5 minutes and alluded to calling me back on the drive home but didn't. Yep.) after that, he sent me photos of a new tattoo. Beauty of a thing on a beautiful part of his body.


As I was rhapsodizing, coming up with the 4th or 5th way to tell him how much I admired him without seeming sappy but wanting to convey that like, he stops me in my tracks...I realized. He has never, ever, ever called me pretty or beautiful. Not in 5 years. He's complimented my wit or how I make him feel and called me classy. He even once (I'm not even bitter about this, this is actually hilarious) once when seeing eachother after a very long absence he looked so tenderly into my eyes and whispered "Gotdamn, did your boobs get bigger?"


But, I realized right then. My beauty (inside/outside/whatever) has never left nearly the impression on him as his (both gentle nature and six pack) have always always left on me. The disparity of that. How shetty that makes me feel all the time. How much I've cried over that. It was all crystalized in one ego-driven second last month. That's when I knew I had to be done.


The rest was me just building a mental case and having the balls to actually pull the cord.


It sucks that this is the situation. I should've walked out a long long time ago. But, he's not malicious and didn't mean any harm. He just...clearly isn't interested in a relationship with me. I allowed this to go on so long because the idea of not being around him hurt more than letting him hurt me. I'm really grateful to him for all the amazing things we've shared and bringing so much color into my life. It's just time to demand (from me, not him...if that makes sense) something so much better.


At the end of the day, I loved how great he looked as a back drop for me to go through the motions of being devoted to someone. He has these twinkling eyes and easy laugh. It was the perfect canvas for me to practice poems, international flights, making love in the shower/in mirrors (oh. my. God.), mixtapes and surprises, radio dedications, well-lit grandstands, kisses in the rain, handwritten letters and all the other beautiful lose-your-breath parts. It nearly didn't process in my head (or it if it did, no damns were given) that this was so woefully one sided. It's been so the entire time. Please note that I was the one on the deliverer side of everything above...except the sex. He drove the sex.


I think that, truly, he enjoys my company and admires me as an individual person...and he likes the sound it makes when I tell him how great he is. I loved loving and he loved being loved. Does that make sense? For a long time, like a fuggin absurdly long time, that was more than enough for me. He allowed me to bring him everything I had inside and knew to shut up and look pretty as I did it. It worked for both of us and honestly, I don't blame him. That's a pretty sweet deal.


But...it really shocked me how quickly all of the John Hughes-flavor eternal passion inside dried up when I realized how much I wasn't adored. Vanity is some stuff, huh? He rally didn't love me, though. No shade, no malice he just really, seriously doesn't love me. He's not a bad guy in any way and has actually been a great sounding board and friend when I've asked him to be. But, there was always this chase on my end. A chase that he allowed and would encourage but never...do anything about. Man. He really didn't. The song has been playing for years and I guess I just grew up and finally heard it. All at once. It's quite weird, actually.


I dunno. Out of words.



*Not that the nude photos were a burden. He's so hot, though. Like, I cant quantify. I just...y'all don't understand lol.

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The other thing:

I always thought that I needed to get better.

Thinner, more successful, nicer hair, more adventurous, give better head.


I just knew that if I did that one thing (...though I wasn't quite sure what it was) he'd realize what was in front of him or I'd be better enough to get him all the way and 'win' his heart. In my head I let him off the hook because although he never, ever said anything bad or mean to me ever once, I internalized that of course it wasn't his fault that he wasnt treating me like I was precious. Who was I to demand that he act like he cared when I was so [insert insecurity of the day here]. How dare I want commitment when I would look so awkward and unworthy next to him in Newsfeed pictures. Who was I to think that I was worth it enough to be claimed and sit in the front seat of his Mustang. I'm not nearly Grace Kelly enough for shotgun in the Mustang. That self talk is a major part of what kept this going on for so long.


I've been in a lot of therapy (like, for a long time) and have finally hit a cease fire agreement (not to be confused with peace) between my terrible body image, professional perfectionism and my daily life. When I started letting a lot of that shet go. When I started accepting the ridiculous ideas that I may actually be beautiful and smart and capable and...worth something. He started seeming a lot less benevolent for letting me fawn in his presence. Seeing myself as 'the prize' -- not just hearing it from youth pastors or bloggers or well meaning friends at drunken wine induced TMI sessions-- truly believing that I am worth pursuit and effort and intention and not just jovial tolerance but intentional care. Now. Not 50lbs or a Yale degree or an IPO or a milestone or accolade from where I am. Right now. I am enough and deserve love right now. That was such radical shet. I'm still a little shaky at how treasonous and revolutionary these ideas seem. That they really apply to me.


But, it feels good. They're sticking.


It was a gradual thing. A slow thing. I always would tell my therapist or a well meaning friend who asked why I was crying - again - that our dynamic was sponsored by my nonexistent self esteem and his resemblance to Matthew McConaughey. lol. One crucial part of that dynamic has finally changed.


(Hint: he has not lost an ounce of the shaggy haired, handsome, athletic, genial Southern charm.)




I'm on a roll with the pop encapsulation of this, lol

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okay. it's now starting to sting.


nothing about the valentines day media onslaught is making this easier.


still know i did the right thing, though.


ugh. one day, ill make enough good decisions early enough that i dont need to make a crappy drastic one to fix it all later.


yes, i am wearing the bracelet he gave me. yes, i went way way out of my way to dig it up. but...it's better than being an idiot for year number 6.




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I haven't posted on this site in years, but was here today and just wanted to say kudos. I love the way you write and express yourself. I could also learn a lot from your resolve to stand up for what you want, need, and deserve. I know the road ahead will be hard, but you've taken the first SEVERAL huge steps and done so with style and grace. I've been on a similar journey, and truly believe that the more you value yourself, the more others will see your value and the more beautifully you can love, both yourself and others.


Cheers to you! Keep your head up. And keep writing if it helps. I enjoy reading it.

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thanks for the kind words. means a lot.


i figure that if i'm going to be semi-publicly hashing out my late bloomer "healthy dating 101" experience i should at least try to not be boring lol.


also, a hat tip and a pint to you as you go through your own growth + healing process. this is some wild shet, no?


i'm getting more sad by the day but also more empowered. it doesn't make sense but, ah well. i miss him very much and the idea that he's not said *anything* hurts me. tremendously. but i kind of knew that would be the case. the odd thing is, the tension and that piece of hot sauce in my chest over this is...gone. there's no anguish or weird stuff. just sadness.


i feel empowered that i cashed out on my own terms and i still dread the day that he turns up with someone else but...it's not as bad somehow. i'm sure in the springtime i'll want to relapse (we always get more intense in the spring. for the last several years. its my favorite.) but i think i'll be able to make it.


one of the things that really did it for me was reading this one particular article. a woman who loved her man dearly but wasn't feeling his bullsht about why he wasnt committing just...left him. peacefully and with no drama. just told him "no". wished him well and was gone from his life. she went on to do awesome things, he got his education but he eventually came back to her and they were quickly married after.


that made me really happy and sad to read. sad because i hadnt had the balls to separate for so long. happy because there's no losing now. either i go on to have a rockin' life without him, or he wises up and comes along. there's so much freedom in that.


sadness that i dont have my favorite naked playmate and philosophical drinking buddy...but so much happiness that i loved me enough to let go. he's not the sweetest part of my world anymore. and that makes me so sad. but is also fuggin awesome.


...still sucks that it had to happen. dont want to put too much dr. phil shine on it. but i feel like i just woke up from hypnosis or something. or just came out of a movie theatre. yeah, its not as interesting and it sucks that the experience/sensory overload is done but...real life can be cool, too. i think.


anyhow, thanks y'all for the feedback. a lot is happening internally for me around this and i really appreciate being able to spit up emotional and word glitter all over the place in a safe environment.

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I wondered if he had responded at all. Makes sense that he didn't. He knows you are right. You deserve so much more than he is able to give. i'm glad the hot sauce in your chest is gone. the sadness sucks, but hopefully will give way in time. i feel like these things are really cyclical though. the hot sauce and tension may return. but that doesn't mean you are taking a step back. you probably know all this already. a lot of wisdom in your funny words.


i love this "happy because there is no losing now. either i go on to have a rockin' life without him, or he wises up and comes along. there's so much freedom in that." you are so right. that mindset take so much strength and courage. a strength and courage I hope i can emulate if my situation ends up demanding-- much TBD. It's truly amazing that you reached the point where you were able to love you more than the fun and companionship of what seems like a really fun relationship, but one that ultimately wasn't giving you what you needed. when the pain of being in something isn't acute, it is easy to hold on for a long time, especially if it's hot and fun and works on some level. it takes a lot of moxie to be honest with yourself that on the other levels it wasn't enough. Again, I admire your resolve and spirit. Keep on rockin', mama. It inspires the rest of us, that often have trouble putting our own needs first. "I loved me enough to let go." Beautiful!

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  • 2 weeks later...

A piece on Thought Catalog by a chick named Brianna Weist that's been helping me today:



What People Do When They Don't Really Love You


"I try to lace my work with optimism because a guiding principle in my own life has been that the most tragic things in our lives almost always precede the most incredible. I think that, at any given point, we are faced with the choice of whether to move on with what the universe gives and takes or to hold on and bury ourselves in our own misery. I do not perch on a high horse preaching this, because I have been in those depths, and I know what it’s like. I also know that there are few issues that will destroy you faster than matters of the heart. But what I must tell you is that while teaching myself to climb out of that sadness and attachment-laden-misery, I realized something that is a bit more realistic than optimistic, but so invariably true that it’s worth giving attention to.


When someone loves you, you will know it. If someone cares about you, they will find a way to be with you. If they do not, they’ll make excuses. Sometimes they won’t even be sure whether or not they love you, so you’ll see them going back and forth trying to figure it out. Love is not something that requires brain work. It is not a riddle to be solved or a mystery to be uncovered. It just simply is, and we just have to let it be, or not be, naturally.


I generally believe that people differ so much in their experiences and that no two situations are exactly the same, so it’s difficult to generalize something about love and romance, but I make an exception for this. I know many of you are probably reading this conjuring up all the reasons why so-and-so did in fact love you but they just couldn’t be with you for this reason or that reason and why that was so valid and why I have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s okay if you want to think that, I won’t stop you. But the truth is that what you’re holding onto is someone who doesn’t love you enough to put you first and make it work. And if I believe in anything, I believe that we all deserve to be with someone who wants to be with us as well.


So what we have to learn to do is to accept the love we aren’t given. To realize that although we put someone on a pedestal, that does not mean that their judgment determines us. It’s simply a mindset, one that we have to change if we want to get out. People can love you a little bit, and they can love you enough but not enough to make it work. It is not an all-or-nothing situation. We have to stop thinking that it is, and that when the cards don’t fall in our favor, that it defines some part of us as being unworthy and unlovable. Because to combat that idea, we hold on as fiercely as we can to the reasons we are loved, until letting go is our idea– not theirs.


But we all end up, one way or another, okay. We’re all on different rides, but they all end the same way. You do not need somebody else’s love to be whole. You do not need their permission to go on with your life. What you do need is your own love. You need to let yourself go on. Their love isn’t stopping you, because that love doesn’t exist. It is only you who is holding onto what you believe should be. And what you will realize, sooner or later, is that most of your life is defined and chosen by what you compel yourself to believe should or shouldn’t be. Release yourself from the cage you built. You hold the key to your own freedom."



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"the first step to getting on with it is just accepting the turd.

saying yes, this is a turd.

that's precisely what this is.

and it is yucky and is on my shoe.

that's what this is. then you scrape and you move on.

but very first, though, you have to acknowledge the turd"


one of my dearest and her words of wisdom.



so, the thing on my mind today is shame.

being kind of embarrassed that it took this long for this to come to a head

feeling stupid as fck that i let this go on for so long

only in the absolute NC absence have I noticed how often we spoke

and how much of a lowgrade fever this has been this entire time

always taking up some kind of emotional space/mental CPU

running in the background for years and years and years


did i make this up in my head?

i couldn't have. there had to be something...real.


how can two people in the same set of situations come to such amazingly different conclusions

on the value and impact of what that meant. like, that i don't get.

not even in an emo/dejected bunny type way. no, like i don't understand the mechanics.

this is where i get so confused.


free yourself in accepting and experiencing the truth of the now>


and i hate that i'm still thinking of this daily.

not obsessively (because ive been there in other situations and thank God this isn't)

but enough. daily. it happens enough that i notice.

and i know for sure, with lack of action validation

that he could give about a 6th of damn.


and that disparity stings so bad

and is the source of today's sponsor: shame


i'm kind of just talking because doing this on facebook isn't an option.

yeah, i know. i'm working on it. goodnight.



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Less pouty today. Definitively less.


Mostly because I'm doing what I always do, take on way too many clients when I'm sad so that


a) I don't have time to think about it

b) I can buy something nice as hell when I'm done to appease myself


This is a mild upgrade from my former coping mechanism, get on an airplane and go away as far as I can to a new city. 5pts for growth y pragmatism.


What I enjoy is that, in all areas of my life, I'm creating better boundaries. I told a client to go away who was offering good money but being very inconsiderate of my time and value. It hurts, pocketbook wise, but I love that I respect myself enough to stand up for me. Same goes for this situation with the Cowboy.


I ache still...but it's more background pain. It hurt the entire time I was with him, if I'm honest about it. Now at least I'm hurting in the direction of fixing it, if that makes sense.


Getting randomly asked on a lot of dates. Not going on most of them. I chalk it up to Springtime.


But, something very very dangerous is happening, though. Slowly I'm gaining a sense of who I am and what I'm worth and what my powers are.




We'll see how long this high lasts. It's the week of a huge music festival and the endorphins of that + work distractions are tricking me into thinking this is settled. It's not but I'm fine with faking it for now. I'll likely be back.



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Fake it until you make it


I called my ex cowboy too...maybe that's why I feel so connected to this thread? Or that I've done the voicemail message to let someone go too...In any case...I like your style.



There is therapy in working more and buying something obscenely awesome.

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Cheers to both you ladies. Enjoy the music, the feeling of approaching springtime, and the hurting in the direction of growth. I do know what you mean and it is something to celebrate. As are healthier coping mechanisms. I joked with my friend the other day that my whole life (yoga, hanging with friends, being outside, writing, reading, music) is one giant coping mechanism. I was joking. Mostly. But somedays it feels true. The days it feels like a solid existence, free of the need to avoid what isn't there, yeah, I'll hold on to those every time.

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So, a month officially.


And, unless I've missed a very important email or viocemail, we are still at communication: 0.


The hurt has been replaced more with indignant anger at this point. What the entire, full and actual fck? A month? He was spilling his guts to me whenever I'd give him the chance and sending me risque photos on a regular basis and being emotionally intimate with me and then--


nothing. Really? Friggin' really?


I'm sure I sound like every case of this that ever happened. And I'm sure the fact that "I really, really thought this connection we had was something deeper than that" doesn't help. Aside from ego, the kicking the habit/compulsion part is the hardest part. I feel the tension of it in my fingers. When something great happens, I want to text him. If the day has left me tired and dragged out and worn to the nub, I want his smile. When something stupid happens I want to dial him. (though, let's not front like calling him even when this was going on would've yielded me anything but a chance to curl up in the dulcet tones of his answering machine).


He didn't give a damn about me and continues not to. This is fine. I'm adjusting to the reality that I've known forever and finally acting like I get this. The persistent problem I've had accross the 5 years that this has been going on though...is that nothing else is like him when it's good. Nobody makes me laugh or glow or feel like us on a good day. I don't like that. I really, really don't.


But...why does this take so long to rinse off? What the hell is going on? Looking at the positives: There have been versions of this where I caved. Where the inner tug of war about what was real got too confusing. Where the hurt of not being around him was too much (really guys, I swear, he's just the sweetest thing) but I like that although this is emotionally inconvenient I have it ultimately under control.


Maybe it's the therapy. Maybe its that I"m truly busy with work and kicking some great plans into gear. Maybe the heart has finally had enough and did a cost/benefit analysis. This stings a lot and has so much friction and heavy and little gasps or mutters of w t f but its not...it's not too much to bear. As it often is for me and situations involving a penis.


So, progress. This is balls. And makes my body burn. And screw this. And ugh. It's necessary, yes? Better things.


Detox. Aye.



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So, interesting developments.


a) I was just invited to the wedding where he will be best man. One of our mutual friends asked me to go as her guest. It's in late June.

I'm friends with everyone involved because...that's what happens over the better part of a decade. They're a great and fun bunch.

There is an 87% chance that I will get out of that weekend without bearing my breasts and crying simultaneously.

I really do love the couple in question and it will be so good to see old friends.


All of the feelings, though. All of the feels. I'm anxious and telling myself not to be because if I'm anxious then that means I'm not over it and if I'm not over it that means I should question the validity or prudence of going but I really want to go? But I want to not pry too hard into why I want to go. As one of my nearest/dearest friends once said: "The normal human world is working on an 8-bit Atari. Your neuroses are Nintendo 64...with an extra graphics card."



b) I watched this last night and cried and cried and cried


link removed


Mostly because it's not information I don't already know. I just felt so much shame for letting all of this go on so long and had vivid flashbacks of letting myself down and accepting such crap from him. My usual disclaimer, he never was mean or disrespectful or anything overtly douchey. That was the problem. It was carbon monoxide not the stuff you smell from the stove, yknow? Just small things like not verbalizing my discomfort that he wouldn't call. Or being connnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnstantly available whenever he thought he might take a dip in my body or my endless buffet of compliments. Just seeing over and over in my head how I failed myself with giving so much to him. It hurts. Wicked bad.


But, at least I see it. At least the hammer to the chest is registering. And at least I'm not doing it anymore. It still stings though, the regret that maybe if I had stuck to my guns the whole time he would have valued me more and this never would've happened. I would never have become this effusive doormat if I'd just held out in the beginning.


I dunno.


c) After tossing the thoughts above around and getting tired of beating myself up about my past actions I realized something pretty important. My deepest and most intense bouts with Cowboy came at moments when my self esteem was abnormally low. When I very first met him I was just graduating college. Feeling great about life and my future. He was a boneheaded sophomore about to get kicked out for drinking through his exams. Yep, class act from the beginning. I thought he was witty as hell and so so so very sexy and had great stories of his traveling adventures but...he never stood a chance with me for the first year. We'd talk all the time but each conversation further pushed him into the "cute but never" category. When he did suggest that he wanted something more, I let him know that I'd need to see and hear from him more consistently and invited him to come visit me as I worked on a civic campaign my first summer out of college


...in 2009. Five full fuggin years ago he told me that he wasn't ready and wouldn't be able to give me what I needed.


He told me. Black and white. At that moment, standing in a voter registration booth in the middle of a convent with no air conditioning, I told him it was cool but I was looking for something better and would need to step way back from our communications. He told me he respected that. And I let him go from my life. For a good while.


Clearly, he came back at some point the difference in our future interactions was I had become needy. Things that I would never have accepted or thought were what I wanted in a partner were suddenly...okay. Because we had history. Because he was still so hot (really, y'all. I just...damn. lol) and mostly because I was lonely and it was so wonderful to have someone safe and sweet and fun paying occasional attention to me sometimes kinda. After the breakup that partnered with the rest of my history to essentially cause a nervous breakdown--and I mean that in the most sincere Delta Burke, Lifetime Movie sense. Not the slang hyperbolic--I was addicted to someone coming around and admiring me for the woman that I used to be before. He knew me before I lost myself and through his (really pretty) eyes, I got it back.


I loved that he had been so far away from me during that relationship that all he had were memories of when I was, in my eyes, a better woman. I loved that memory and I felt so good being seen that way. I became addicted to him because I wanted to feel the way about myself that he felt about me. Admiration, respect, playfulness. I needed it. And he was the 6'2 bundle of tan and easy smile that was giving it to me. It was almost too easy.


Understanding this makes the whole thing a lot clearer for me. I got so stuck on him because I wanted ME back. I wanted what he represented. Simplicity, happiness. A time before things got so fcked up and so hard. Or before I started making them so. The Cowboy, he to me is optimism and travel and energy and the purest joy I remember. Being with him was just....waking up after a long suffocating nightmare. It didn't matter if he loved me, he made me so damn happy. That's why this got embedded into my DNA.


Or maybe I'm just rationalizing to make myself feel better. I dunno. What I do know is that I'd like to embrace and appreciate our dynamic for everything it was and seriously accept + make peace with everything it is not and never will be. For the first time in a very very long time, I see that I can let him go.


Trying to make a real relationship out of a dude who isn't cut out for one was kind of a watermark of my decreasing self worth. Maybe now that the pride and self-love pool is filling up again (slowly. slowly.) I can pass him again going up and leave it behind.


Let's be clear though, this still feels like balls and though the compulsive urge to get his answering machine has decreased, I think about this daily.

God, the contrast between the way I navigate the rest of my life and the way I deal with penis...it's staggering.



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  • 2 weeks later...

...and met someone else.


Claro, not like meeting someone else is the be-all-end-all. One step at a time, etc.

But I cleared out old crap to make room for something real...

and an inch taller, a cuter smile and a stronger heart showed up.


Well, damn.



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