Category Archives: Dating

Headspace

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This weekend was wild. It was filled with adventure but at the end of the day, I was still left with me. I recently started back online dating. I’m doing a better job of filtering. It’s like a spidey sense of sorts.The first date was with a guy who looks just like one of my friends. The conversation flowed as much as it could in an overcrowded spot. He asked great questions. Nice guy. At the end, he said we should hang out again. Cool.

The next day, tons of guys are interacting with me and texting me. It’s a circus. Then the sky parts and in walks Mr. Darcy. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. So we end up talking about books and Mr. Darcy hates Jane Austen! I’m shocked because he is literally Mr. Darcy.

Well, Mr. Darcy and I are too matched. Have you ever met someone who could check off all of the boxes? That’s Mr.Darcy. The problem is he knew it. So all of my insecurities just flooded to the surface. I think it happened after Mr. Darcy said I deserved respect. Well, I just lost it(on the inside). So I resigned myself to not being good enough for Mr. Darcy.

Now, you would say “What are you even talking about?”. Well, let me explain. Mr. Darcy is great(I am too on paper). But in reality, I am flawed, needy, and broken. I am so broken that even though I put on a very good face, at the end of the day, I am trash and all of my exes can probably vouch for that.

See, here’s what I do, I try to be and give another person all of the good that I can muster from any corner of myself, and they don’t want it because it is deeply flawed. Then, I realize oh yes, that’s why no one wants me and I am back to my default, rinse and repeat.

Then I woke up and had an existential crisis on the way to work. I cried all the way to work. Because it’s easier to do that instead of just seeing it for what it is and just saying hey, it’s just not the time. I realized that I can’t be mad at the men who catcall me on the street hundreds of times per day because they don’t know me, they just see a part of me and that’s it. I can’t be mad at the men who are online dating and message me just to hookup because they don’t know me and they just see a part of me that seems pleasing at the time and I do better when I just don’t respond. I can’t be mad at my exes because they realized that in fact, no I was not enough for them because they only saw a few parts of me that were enough and I didn’t have enough of anything else to hide my true self.

At the end of the day, I can only be mad at myself. Because I am everything that no one will ever want. I am too loud, too smart, too crass, too fat, too not quite pretty, too you just fill in the blank. I can always work on myself but there are parts of me that won’t ever change. What’s left is what I have to live with. Do I hate myself? Not quite, let’s say I love 90-95% of myself and wish I could get rid of 5-10%.

My friends picked me up and said I am enough. So I have to act like I am enough. And that is challenging. That’s why it is easier to be single because I can ignore the parts of me that I hate. I don’t have to compare myself to all of the other people who manage to find someone.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

Fin

 

 

 

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2016When God Says No

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Hey blog readers. Hope you are doing well. I am actually doing pretty well(that’s an understatement) but I want to discuss a few things that are on my mind. Let’s just say that 98% of life is going well for me right now. It’s the other 2% that I am still processing.

So, I know that I talk a lot about mi vida loca particularly when it comes to guys and relationships. What I am about to say, just pile it on top of the loca hot mess pile called Gemma’s love life(aka no life). Let me tell you a story. It’s true. Names are being protected to spare the guilty. Okay, so here it goes. A long time ago(over a year ago), I met someone. Let’s call that someone Mr. Fire. Just go with it. Mr. Fire is nice, charming, handsome, and would potentially fit the list of good on paper. Mr. Fire asks me for my number, which I give to him. Mr. Fire calls me. Mr. Fire texts me. Mr. Fire emails me. Mr. Fire always checks for me. Mr. Fire takes me out to a bookstore where we have interesting conversation because that’s what you do with Mr. Fire. Let’s fast foward to a more recent time. A friend mentions, Oh, Mr. Fire is married. I’m like Oh, okay. That’s interesting because Mr. Fire has never 1)worn a wedding ring 2)spoke of a wife 3)mentioned being married and this is why Mr. Fire is Mr. Fire.

Let’s just say this is where God steps in. Because in recovery we talk about God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Well, God showed up and out. It was finally revealed that yes indeed Mr. Fire is married(with kids) and that’s how you know God speaks through people. So, what did I do? I deleted Mr. Fire out of my phone and tried not to explode when everyone that I mentioned it to, put the onus on me and what I did or didn’t do. Because apparently, men can do no wrong, even when they are dead wrong and everything will always be my fault. For the record, I never did anything tawdry with Mr. Fire.

In another weird turn of events, an old acquaintance(like someone I know of) saw me and asked me about my ex(because people who remember us together only know how to ask me about him for some reason). Well, he said that my ex is back and closer than before. So I have been trying not to freak out(I’ve been praying about it) because my head is like “Yep, he wants to kill me”. People close to me have told me that maybe he has changed(which is possible). But I just don’t even want to see him.

I got Mandy Hale’s new book and she talks about not dating for a year(which is something that I keep telling God about or rather He keeps telling me that that is basically the situation). I’m not sad about it, I just wish that I could just be completely turned off(if that makes sense). Like, no crushes, no nothing.

Thanks for reading

 

2016 Sometimes Truth Is Stranger

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     Hey blog readers. I have been thinking about a few things to write about. That was as far as I got. Until last night.
     Yesterday I found the hole in my air mattress. I was sad because I love it. Well, I decided to make a pallet out of it. So I found a fiber bed to put on top of it. It is amazing.
     Well, while running errands I forgot to mail something. I developed this habit where I go to the post office, check the mail, and forget to mail stuff. So I ran another errand.
    While waiting for the bus, I met this guy. Let’s call him Jon Luc. So Jon Luc strikes up a conversation and offers me his coat. It got cold. I politely declined. Jon Luc and I got on the bus. We kept talking. It was good conversation. Jon Luc invited me out for a drink. I’m trying to be cool and I say sure. Jon Luc waits for me(not at or in my apt). I grab my coat and we head out. We talk some more and I get a vibe. So since we don’t have a set plan I suggest going to McDonald’s. Well, I sense that Jon Luc is impatient. Then he tells me as much. Jon Luc decides he doesn’t want to go to McDonald’s. I say okay. Because I have a warm comfy bed to go home to and cake.
Jon Luc asked me for my number. I texted him a quick reply. I happily went home.
     As I have gotten older, I don’t really go out at night. I pretty much just go to class and go home. I don’t have a problem with it. I have a few friends who ask me to go to things that usually don’t start until 10pm and I have to politely decline.
     Even though I treat sleep very badly, I actually love sleeping. I love being cozy. I’m cozy at home. I’m okay with that and I’m too old to care about who isn’t.
Signing off from my lair of cozy.
Peace

2016 The Year Of Being Open To Life

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Hey blog readers and viewers. I hope you are having a great new year so far. I know I am. I told God and the universe that I wanted to be open and a lot of good things have come my way.
     I had two interesting job interviews this week. I hope to hear a good word soon. Classes started back in my doctoral program. I don’t think I have been more excited about a semester. Anxiety aside, things are looking up. People are showing interest in my research. I’m getting amazing feedback and that’s great fuel to keep writing.
     I renewed my gym membership so now I have to go. I’m going swimming tomorrow. I have been getting in some good workouts.
     I met someone. I know it’s early but it is so interesting. We are getting to know each other. We spend time talking. He seems to be into me. Which is surprising. I already laid down the law. He knows where I stand. So even though things feel great, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think he is intrigued because I’m not looking to hookup. I’m also very honest.
     We are using SAS this semester and I had to get another laptop and amazingly found one for just my price and all I need. I’m calling it an early birthday/dissertation gift.
     I feel like I’m in a really good place at the moment and that’s great. One funny thing is that now that I found someone to be interested in, all of these other people that I was interested in before have all made a point to reach out to me. One day I was thinking about how many guys may still have my number in their phones. I know that’s an odd thought.
     But whatever happens, it’s nice to have someone to think fondly of and know that someone is thinking about me too.
Well I better try and get some sleep.
May your tomorrow bring even more joy than today 🙂

What Courage Looks Like On An Ordinary Day

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Courage is defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty(Merriam-Webster). For anyone who knows me, I am a big proponent of honesty especially when it comes to sexual relationships. So in my social media presence, I share interesting info on how to talk about sex, and how to talk about sexual health. There are great sites out there that have great resources for information, support, and encouragement. Sadly, as many people that happen to have STIs, there is an even larger amount of sheer ignorance that continues to spread. Ignorance hurts everyone. There is no place for ignorance in the life of a person who considers themselves to be intelligent.

I told my STI story today. It was anonymous but it gave me the courage to share. I am not proud of my STI status but as much as I would like to wish it away, it will be with me until I die. So, I have had to make peace with it. Well, I had to make peace with it a long time ago. But as with anxiety, it is something that I can’t just put on a shelf. Also, because I do have STIs, I always tell potential partners before anything gets hot and heavy(For the record, I have been celibate for three years, FB let me know in my memories today).

So, if you are reading this and this is your first time hearing about this, it’s okay, you are hearing it from the horse’s mouth and I don’t care who knows, because there isn’t anyone that I had a sexual relationship with in the past who didn’t know. I have shared this info with people over email, text, in person, and on the phone(before texting was a thing). One reason why I am so adamant about people having sexual health talks is so that there can be one less person who has to cluelessly go to the clinic or ER because they think they are at the brink of death due to an STI. I believe that a sign of humanity is honesty. If you cannot be honest with yourself or with others, how are you helping the world? This is also why I have no sympathy for those who knowingly spread STI’s to others without letting the other person know. Just because a person wants to sleep with you maybe after just meeting you, doesn’t mean that they deserve to have something horrible happen to them(because STI’s aren’t roses).

Also, even though I feel that I am not the most loveable person because of my STI status, does not mean that I will not be happy for someone to prove me wrong 🙂

If you have never been tested for STI’s or you have had sex or are having sex with someone who gives you fifty plus reasons for why they just can’t bear to use a condom before having sex with you, please reconsider and go get tested. HSV can be tested with a blood test or if you are in the midst of an outbreak and sadly women are more likely to have symptoms before men. So please, for all things good in the world, go get tested. There are tons of places where you can get it done for free.

Here are the questions that I answered:

  1. How old are you?

I am 34 years old

  1. What do you do for a living?

I work in the education and tech field

  1. What STD/STI do you have/have you had?

I have HSV2 and had genital warts (HPV)

  1. How long have you had or known you have an STD/STI?

I have had both for seven years

  1. Do you know how you contracted this STD/STI?

With the HPV, I had warts and didn’t know what they were so I had my sister check me out and she told me to go to the clinic. With the HSV2, I had horrible symptoms for about two weeks or so when I had to drag myself to the hospital to get checked and was diagnosed at that time.

  1. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD/STI?

My life changed drastically. I have always been an honest person, but once I had interactions with people who weren’t honest and knew that I had to be upfront with people, I vowed to always let people know my status. I still feel a lot of shame and guilt, so I still have feelings that no one will ever want to be with me so my self esteem goes up and down about it. I have been celibate for three years.

  1. Do the people who know you have an STD/STI treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?

No, my friends and family have always been pretty understanding, they just consider me to be loca, so they figure it was a result of my wild days. They treat me the same. They are often way more optimistic about my life than I am.

  1. Are you currently under treatment for your STD/STI? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.

No, when I was diagnosed with HPV, I had insurance and I was able to get Imiquimod(Aldara) and when I was diagnosed with HSC2 I was able to get Acyclovir(Zovirax). After the prescribed time on each medication, my symptoms cleared up. I try to maintain my health by using a holistic approach of L-lystine supplements and a plant based diet. I also exercise and do yoga to try and keep down my stress.

  1. Has having an STD/STI hindered past relationships?

The person who gave me HPV accused me of being a dirty whore(when in actuality he slept around) and the person who gave me HSV2 broke up with me(when he was in the midst of an outbreak, rather than be honest about his status). I have had guys tell me that I was too much of a risk to be in a relationship with but I was good enough for a one night stand.

  1. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD/STI affected your partner?

I am currently single. I tell all potential partners before engaging in sex(with clothes on).

  1. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD/STI whom you did not tell you had an STD/STI?

No, after going through what I went through, I made the decision to always be upfront and honest with potential partners before engaging in a sexual relationship.

  1. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD/STI?

I have changed a lot. I have always been a caring and giving person but I found that I have even more empathy for others and am always willing to go the extra mile for someone after my diagnosis. I don’t want anyone in my life to ever feel that they can’t tell me something or that I won’t try to understand what they may be going through.

  1. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I wanted to participate in this interview because I wanted to share with this project because I really appreciate what you are doing for the world. I also needed to have the courage to talk about this in a larger conversation. Thank you.

 

Understanding

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     I just found out that not only is October Breast Cancer Awareness month but it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. These are both two horrific events that happen way too often. I have not had breast cancer but I have friends and family who have fought the good fight.
I grew up with domestic violence as an everyday event in my family home. I always knew that domestic violence was wrong. I have also experienced domestic violence.
     At first it started out low key with needing to always know where I was or being with me. Then it turned to mini arguments that led to nowhere and couldn’t be resolved because I was given the silent treatment.
Then in a moment, my husband attacked me. He drug me through our home. He grabbed me by my hair and bashed my head into the floor. Then when that wasn’t enough, he tried to choke the life out of me. Do you want to know why? He owed a drug dealer $40 and I wouldn’t give it to him. I saw my life flash before my eyes that day(it will be three years next month). See, way back when we started dating, my husband had promised me that he would never hurt me, no matter what. So, when he finally let me go, I called the cops and a friend. He was arrested. The officers asked me if I wanted to press charges and I said yes. I also filed a restraining order. I let his family and mine know what happened and I tried to get my life together.
      His family could not understand why I didn’t stay and support him. I told them that he knew the deal. He broke his promise and I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t stay because I didn’t know when or if it would happen again.
     Even though I was safe, I was scared because I was in real pain and he kept violating the restraining order. Each time he violated the order, I had him arrested. So it took time for me to even start to feel better. While he was still in jail, I was able to get our marriage annulled.
     I still have moments when I get a glimpse of a good memory that we had. But it is like a mist and it fades. Seeing what my Mom went through for over twenty-five years with my dad, I can’t fault a person for staying in an abusive relationship. I would just say that when you are ready to leave, a way will be made for you to do so.
     No one deserves to live in fear or to feel like they aren’t worth more than unspeakable treatment from someone they care about. Although we still have a long way to go for survivors of domestic violence, there are tons of resources available to help.
Shalom
Namaste

Reflections

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     I’ve had a lot on my mind but haven’t really felt like blogging. I still can’t believe that people manage to read my blog when I’m not posting regularly. The semester is in full force.
     I have been doing some run challenges with friends. My foot has been bothering me. It’s plantar fasciitis. I just realized that was the same issue I had last winter. So I’m trying to be more proactive. I took my first epsom soak last night.
     I’ve got a more manageable time management system. So I can actually get stuff done ahead of schedule. I joined a dissertation group which will be good. I found some good theory to support my ideas.
      I just realized I’m actually a lot more boring than I thought. Which is okay but when people ask me the inevitable “Are you dating?” I just say no but the reality is, it’s no because I’m boring. For the time being I have to focus on writing.
     Shalom
      Namaste