If you are intimidated by the independence of another, I'm afraid that's your problem not mine... being able to stand on your own two feet is sexy as hell, save the submission for the bedroom! My path has completely changed over the past year. I have gone from being a raging alcoholic and borderline drug addict, to living a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I am no longer chasing a party to mask my needs to be numb, or jumping head first down the rabbit hole to oblivion. I'm looking for balance and surrounding myself with people who help me to 'feel' and deal with the emotions and traumas life tends to test us with. This isn't going to be a poor me story about how I've been dealt a bad hand in life, because I haven't.
Everyone has dramas and somewhat confusing pasts, it's about how we deal with these things as an adult that makes the difference. For me, I have a tendency not to deal with them. I tuck them away deep inside pandora's box, for them to one day burst out and overwhelm me into darkness. Ordinarily unlocked by a few days partying, a bottle of gin and some kind of powdered substance. But this is the exact cycle I'm working hard to break.
A big realisation for me last winter is that I have been surrendering my independence to men my whole life. As a child I was brutally bullied by boys in school, so from the age of 12 I have struggled with creating healthy and equal relationships with men. I have always feared their judgement and crave their approval. My father is a very headstrong man and we found it very difficult to connect and show each other love throughout my childhood, which only got worse as I hit my teenage years. It is only now in my 30's, through distance and the determination to try and understand his background, I am able to build the loving relationship I've so desperately wanted with him.
I settled into a very adult relationship with a boy from school from the age of 14. I'd been going through some pretty dark stuff before this and we had been good friends for a while. He provided me with the comfort and stability I was needing at that age. It was still a confusing and quite a volatile situation when we were so young. We argued often and over the 4 years we spent together there were long periods of separation. We both were involved with other people and we both brought back more baggage and guilt into the relationship after these splits. My life was changing due to finishing school and starting college and I decided our relationship had ran its course.
I then met my second long term partner almost immediately after. I fell head over heels for this guy from the minute we met. We started spending lots of time together and going on dates. Then two weeks after we met, I found out he already had a flight booked to Australia with a year visa. I was heartbroken and spent the first 6 months without any contact. He flew back for a month for his aunts wedding and we picked straight back up where we'd left off. I tried to be more guarded as I knew he had to go back, but I was pretty rubbish at it. He returned after another few months and we decided to give it a try.
For the first 18 months I was a nightmare, super jealous and very insecure due to my own issues and lack of self worth. I idolised this guy and couldn't fathom why he would choose to be with me. After a rocky start we figured things out and settled into a very happy and content relationship. 4 years later a friend came to me and told me they had heard this guy had cheated on me and my whole world was turned upside down. My heart told me not to believe it but my head was telling me not to be a mug. I confronted him about it and watched his heart break in front of me. There was no way he could prove it wasn't true due to the circumstances. I was faced with the decision of, could I go on with the relationship believing him and not my friends? Or was I going to let it destroy us? I'm not sure I ever fully believed either side but I wasn't prepared to give up on us that easily.
Something had changed in me and I realised I had surrendered the power to completely destroy me to this person and I realised I needed to gain some kind of independance back. I really wanted to travel so I gave him a deadline of a year from that night and said I was going on a trip with a one way ticket. I wanted him to come with me, but know there was a huge possibility I'd be doing it alone. The beginning of January the following year I flew to India without him, it was difficult because our relationship had recovered and we loved each other so much, but I knew I had to do this for me.
I spent 8 1/2 months travelling solo around Asia, we spoke most days but the strain was starting to show for me. He seemed to be going about his life as normal and I wasn't sure he was missing us being together. So one day I gave him an ultimatum. He was to fly over to Australia and spend a month with me to make sure what we had was still real or I was going to enter on a work visa and potentially not be back for a long time. He did it we had an amazing month away from all the distractions of home and came back closer than ever. We spent the next 3 years together and moved into a nice apartment and I tried to settle back into UK living, but it wasn't to be. We were living separate lives, I was working nights and he was doing early morning shits and we were pretty much only seeing each other in passing in our own home. I was desperately unhappy with everything in my life apart from him and the pressure was too much for the both of us, so I made the very life shattering decision that I had to do something to make myself happy and leave.
I broke my own heart that day, as well as breaking his. I'm still not sure I will ever fully recover from loving someone so much and having to choose to leave them!
This is when I threw myself feet first into a life of excess and none feeling. I shut down any possibilities of emotional connections with the opposite sex and used them only for my sexual gratification. I was super selfish and hurt quite a few people in my process of trying to heal. I moved to Morocco hoping to clear my head and settle, but there was only more confusion. If you're path is set to destruction you'll find a way to self destruct even if you're living in a town where drugs and alcohol are hard to find.
I then moved to Barcelona, started working for a party travel company, being paid to party 24/7 and got into a codependent friendship, where I again managed to slip into a lifestyle where I couldn't afford to support myself. In hindsight I also couldn't mentally handle it. I spent almost 4 years in a whirlwind of excess and detrimental life changing decisions again managing to avoid feeling. I decided to Pack my bags and move at the end of my 4th summer, and after running away from the city with a band touring Europe, I came to the realisation I had no purpose there any longer and moved to America.
You'd have thought I'd be able to see the signs by now, but let me tell you I'm a pretty slow learner! After a couple more very intense and nasty encounters with Narcissistic individuals. I find myself here in Portugal. Finally standing on my own two feet. The most 'Single' I've been in my whole life, yet the most independent and empowered I've ever felt. I do not hate men... I'm just choosing to be with myself right now! I'm living a much healthier lifestyle, I'm trying to work through my past and rebuild connections and living a self sustained lifestyle I can afford all by myself in my van.
Submission is sexy too ladies... We've all fantasised over #fiftyshadesofgrey, but the reality is independence is way hotter!! Surround yourself with an environment that aligns with your goals and protect it fiercely. I would love to meet someone and fall in love again, I'd like to have a family too one day. However, I am no longer open to relationships that involve ownership or codependence. I welcome partnerships without possession and I am now stubbornly independent... think you'd be able to handle that??