nat lue copyright Baggage Reclaim

On Sunday I turned 36, which I celebrated with a party on Saturday. As it turned midnight, I was singing Return of the Mack on the karaoke machine (we have a Lucky Voice set which means we can have impromptu karaoke sessions) plus earlier in the evening, one of my best buddies and I pulled off Push It, Superwoman and Not Gon’ Cry (the last two made me think of many a BR reader). Thanks for the birthday wishes – some of you have very good memories! As always, here is my annual birthday lessons post…

  1. You can limit the impact of bullshit in your life by ensuring that you always circle back to your own values and keep your feet firmly in reality. Truth economy can really only flourish where there’s an inclination to live in the past or to spend too much time betting on potential.
  2. Stop seeking the Brady Bunch fantasy or expecting parents to step up in adulthood. Many of us are seeking an ideal with our families that just isn’t realistic and we can end up feeling unnecessary shame as if family members being flawed and even inadequately parenting us, is some cross we have to bear for the rest of our days. If 35 has taught me anything, it’s that many of the issues that run in families are bigger than ‘us’ and we only see this when we lose the rose tinted glasses and recognise that ‘younger self’ within us that still wants approval and the fantasy. I would love for my parents and extended family to be different but it would be a misappropriation of my energy to spend even another day trying to make them change when I can get on with the business of being me. Does it hurt sometimes? Absolutely but that passes and it certainly hurts far less than pursuing a fantasy.
  3. Just because you’re willing to suppress your true identity, needs, expectations etc, for somebody, it doesn’t mean that 1) they should reciprocate to the same extent or that 2) they’re selfish if they don’t. We have no business selling our soul in the first place and it’s an invalid contract. We must respect ourselves and our own values and not give ourselves away as if it’s going cheap. That’s not love; it’s self-abuse.
  4. “That’s not mine – that’s yours. I’m giving it back.” When I went through grief over my father and his family last year, my acupuncturist taught me to say this whenever negativity about other people’s BS started circulating in my head or there was negative self-talk. It’s really handy when you’re on your own after an argument or your mind is doing overtime.
  5. Life is about lessons and application. Sure you can take the lessons and ‘heed’ them but the proof of how much you’re heeding them is with the ‘spot checks’ and ‘pop quizzes’ that life throws you in the form of new experiences to put your knowledge to the test. It would be great if the person or people that prompted those lessons changed and disappeared but how the hell would you know if you learned the lesson? How would you grow as a person? I know that a few of you are putting your hands in the fire at the moment (you know who you are!) – this is your opportunity to do right by you.
  6. Adulthood is about taking over the role of ‘raising’ you and unlearning any unproductive messaging and habits. It’s a journey where through experiences both good and bad, we get to discover who we are, tweak and to truly ascend into being responsible for ourselves, a responsibility I might add that we’ve all had since the start of adulthood. Sometimes our childhoods have been difficult and it feels like we’ve been responsible for far too long and we want someone else to take over. Be careful – this is the opening for unhealthy relationships. Yes it’s unfair that we didn’t get to be the child we would have hoped or have the parents we wanted but we have to step up and do for us what we would have wanted.
  7. When you’re feeling down, don’t turn how you feel into a permanent statement of how you’ll always feel or how things will always be. This too shall pass.
  8. Sometimes word association or a good visual can keep you out of trouble. I’ve shared this video of the baby in Meet The Fockers saying ‘Assssssss…..hole’ with a few people who have been involved with some incredibly shady types. Now when they get the dodgy call or text, the first thing that pops into their head is ‘Asssssssss…..hole’. My other favourite clip is Whoopi Goldberg’s Oda Mae Brown character in Ghost. For those of you who are putting your hand in the fire yet again, think of Whoopi telling you that you’re in danger.
  9. Even if you don’t express how you truly feel, it’s still felt and stored somewhere and you only have so much capacity for toxic ‘baggage’ before it pollutes you and you become consumed by anger that in turn will get misdirected and could potentially lead to depression. You are human. You feel. You’re not a receptacle for other people’s bullshit or for carrying negativity about you. You matter. I’ve learned to welcome my feelings both good and ‘bad’ without judging me. Sure it takes practice but it also means that you truly recognise and enjoy when you feel good.
  10. If you haven’t got your back, you haven’t got an emotional backbone. You’re like a house with no exterior coating to protect you from the elements. You need to have your own back before you start looking to throw you under a bus for others. Funny enough, once you have your own back, busting yourself up to accommodate others becomes a major no-no.
  11. Comparison is a form of judgment. You’re judging you and you’re also judging the other party.
  12. People tell me that they’re ‘failures’ because they couldn’t make a shady relationship work or they spotted that somebody was unavailable or not what they originally thought; erm, that’s a success.
  13. Some people don’t have the experience or the depth in their empathy reserves to ‘get’ you or understand your position. It’s most important to recognise your own feelings and position and don’t spend your life looking for validation.
  14. People unfold. What you know on day 0 or feel in your pants or your imagination is not all that there is to know. People unfold and that’s only going to be a problem if you decide who a person is in a hot minute and/or you’re unwilling to heed the feedback from unfolding and persist in trying to ‘make’ them into something that doesn’t exist.
  15. It’s all very well feeling frustrated with people for not respecting your boundaries but you also need to ensure that you’re respecting that same boundary with you. I was really peeved with someone who sent a message at an inappropriate time that I felt ‘compelled’ to respond to but I had to admit that I would never have known about that message at the inappropriate time if I hadn’t been looking at an inappropriate time plus my response could have waited.
  16. There’s no need to villanise a person. You don’t have to hate someone or for them to be ‘all bad’ in order to know that the situation cannot continue as is or that you need to distance yourself from them. What you do need to do is to stay on a low BS diet so that you don’t get amnesia or start romanticising the ‘good points’ or ‘good times’. If you have to talk about good points and times, it means that you’re ignoring the full picture.
  17. Even when a person won’t admit their issues, often the people around them are a dead giveaway due to the way in which they engage with this particular person or how they talk about them. When you see a grown up’s parents /siblings / friends covering up for this person, being in denial or even attacking you, that tells you in no uncertain terms that something’s smelling a bit funky in Shady Town.
  18. Choose your battles. Being a grown up and not wanting to have constant drama in my life has forced me to question whether an issue is worth me getting all Dynasty and shoulder pads at dawn. It’s important for us to have levels. I have levels 1-5 and when I do a quick mental assessment of where something falls on that scale, I’m only going to hog up my day / time over it if it falls into level 4 or 5 and even then, because drama is not my purpose or hook, I’m eager to get that drama situation moved along. Of course I’ll note something and if it crops up again, then I will address it.
  19. If you get reduced to feeling like a child with certain people, look at where you’re assigning these people too much power and ensure that you’re not treating them like a parent or some other authority from your past in a quest to right the wrongs of the past.
  20. Comparison is a self-esteem depresser. When you start comparing, switch over to considering what you’ve done differently in the last few months, year, 5, 10 years, because this shows you where you’ve grown. Comparing is really only of use if you’re going to use it in a positive manner to grow.
  21. Genuine empathy leaves respect of you and the other person intact. Over-empathy disrespects one or both of you and removes responsibility from at least one of you. It also allows in far too much BS because ultimately, over-empathy is not about putting you in that person’s shoes – it’s about letting your imagination run wild mixed in with pity.
  22. Life is too frickin short to spend it trying to make a person take on your values. That’s trying to force someone to change. Respecting your values and being authentic is about aligning yourself with people who share your values not compromise them.
  23. Life and your wants isn’t about sticking them in the proverbial microwave and heating in less than a minute. Real relationships, real connections, really genuinely getting to know people isn’t something that happens in a hot minute. If you feel like you ‘can’t’ walk away after a few days or weeks, it’s time to assess what you’re truly attached to, because it’s not the person.
  24. Always trust your gut. It might just be giving you a word of caution and prompting you to stop, look and listen. You don’t get ‘gut smart’ by not going through the process of listening to it to find out what it’s trying to tell you and learning from each experience.
  25. Stop ‘chaperoning’ people’s assholery on the off-chance that you’re there when karma comes knocking. It’s a waste of your life. It’s not up to you to decide on or monitor a person’s fate or punishment. Karma doesn’t work on your beat.
  26. If you wouldn’t ‘help’ if you didn’t think that you were going to be rewarded in some way, don’t do it. That’s not help – that’s people pleasing with an unspoken contract that will leave you disappointed.
  27. Stop feeding the ‘worry fish’. Remember that worry (and fear, comparison, anxiety etc) is like goldfish – it doesn’t know when it’s full and will eat whatever you feed it. I also read somewhere that worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.
  28. When people go away for a few days or a week and declare that they’ve ‘changed’, the proof is in the months ahead, not the honeymoon. If a person has truly changed, it’s something that they would recognise several months down the line when reflecting, not in a mere matter of days. When someone declares ‘quick change’, it’s like, Really? Shit, if you could change that bloody quickly, why didn’t you do it before? And er, doesn’t that mean you can change back just as quickly? Doh!
  29. Even if you make other people’s business your business, it’s still none of your business. We live in a time when we get too involved in other people’s stuff, including in the lives of celebrities. Really, it’s time we focused on our own lives. We need to keep healthy boundaries and not use other people’s issues as a distraction from our own.
  30. You wouldn’t kick a child, pet or friend each time they put a foot wrong so why do this to yourself? If there’s one thing that my daughters have taught me, it’s about the need to practice the things I do for them for myself. The compassion, the patience, the wanting to see them grow instead of cutting with excessive criticism.
  31. Sometimes the truth hurts but it’s a lot easier to recover from the truth than it is to recover from lies that persist.
  32. Personal development isn’t a temporary project with a ‘happy ending’ payout; self-esteem is a journey where you get plenty of on the job training. It’s up to you to create and cultivate what and who you say you are and want to be.
  33. When you lead a double life (or even triple or multiple lives), not only do people not get to know you due to the ‘mask(s)’ you wear, but they won’t and cannot know that you’re struggling and in need.
  34. We can’t be distant but still expect everything that comes with closeness. Love doesn’t happen with emotional, physical, mental and spiritual distance. We can keep ourselves safe from harm by never leaving our homes but then we’re unavailable for life. We can put up walls to protect ourselves from being vulnerable but then we rule ourselves out of a mutually fulfilling relationship with an available partner.
  35. What you prioritise is what will be the priority. If you prioritise fear, it will dominate. If you lead with sex, it will be a primarily sexual relationship. If you lead with appearance and other superficial stuff, it will be a superficial relationship. If you lead with ambiguity, it will be ambiguous and passive aggressive. If you lead with the need for mutual love, care, trust and respect along with shared values, you won’t accept less than that.
  36. Don’t pretend that you don’t matter. Don’t silence you, because not only will you regret the lack of representation in your life, but one day you will erupt, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. A person can only take so much suppression. While the eruption may prove to be cleansing, I see all too often that it backfires due to shame over the reaction. Allow you to matter right now and going forwards.

Your thoughts?

Holiday update

I finished Orange Is The New BlackI can totally see how that ending happened. Nuff said. Missing the series dearly.

I’m going camping with my girls at Camp Bestival from Friday to Sunday. Haven’t camped since I was a teen when I camped every summer at beautiful Brittas Bay in Wicklow. Have borrowed a tent (assembling should be hilarious) and am going with my homies @bumpwearclaire and her 3.5 week old (seriously) and 3 year old plus @geekisnewchic and @lucycdavies her kids and campervan. I suspect my assistant Kate will be hiding as we’re trying to hustle her husband into assembling our tents. Haha. It’s guaranteed to be nuts and yes we’re packing mojito ingredients.

It’s full-on summer holidays and rain so I’m being forced not to do very much as the girls are keeping me busy enough – yay!

I’m loving being on a break! I’ve been having mega naps and pottering about. Don’t worry – I won’t enjoy the break too much!

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97 Responses to Birthday thoughts: 36 things that I’ve learned about life, love and self-esteem

  1. Happy Birthday Nat! I love this post. I am having a milestone birthday soon. Thank you for taking the time to list all you have learned. It is true: growing is in the application of the lesson learned with new experiences.

    ~Sophia

  2. Sue says:

    Happy birthday, Natalie. Thanks for all you do for people!!! You are amazingly wise and wonderful!!

  3. MRWriter says:

    Happy Birthday to a fellow Lioness. You are a blessing and I am so grateful for your wise words.

    And you’re frickin’ gorgeous! Love the photo!

    All the best for 36!!

  4. Lara says:

    I love that you’re a 1977 baby, too!! Happy Birthday! Love this site so much! Thank you!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hahahaha can you post pictures of trying to assemble the tent? It’s what keeps me from going camping. Enjoy your break!

    And amen to everything on this list. Happy bday!

  6. Chrysalis says:

    Bejaysus you are! And you don’t look a day over it:) Celebrate in style and good luck with the festival (get a pop up tent, saves you the hassle of trying to put one together!) Thanks Nat for all the time and advice you share, you have helped me enormously.

  7. thefrenchtouch says:

    N°s 1 9 15 17 19 22 31 36…perfect! Hit the nail on the wall. A bullshit/assclown diet for me! Just been turning a blind eye to all the piss taking for the last 11 months which was just lying under my subconscious, hence all the anger….boooom!!!

    Happy Birthday Nathalie you are brill, thanks X

    • thefrenchtouch says:

      And you are so young to be so wise, how come?
      Unless I’ve been living in noddyland for the last 20yrs, or a coma :p x

  8. Sushi says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie xxx

  9. Tina says:

    I’m going to print this out and read it every day.
    You are simply brilliant- thank you.
    Enjoy your break!

  10. Magnolia says:

    Happy birthday, Natalie! 36 is a number full of nines and fours and threes – very auspicious.

    Thanks for the recap of all the lessons; I owe you and Baggage Reclaim much credit for my appreciation of all the wisdom you share. I’m so happy to read the list and think – word, yes, I get it – rather than, hey, that’s something I never learned! (a feeling I had often when I first got to BR).

  11. Lilia says:

    Happy birthday Natalie and have fun camping!
    Thank you for this list, it is really helpful and the best birthday present from you to all of us.

    Nr 12 is a real eye-opener, I´m going to change my opinion of the horrid experience I had with the weirdo former friend harem king EUM.

    • Brenda says:

      I second that, and love these sayings the most from here, LOL!

      –> weirdo former friend harem king EUM.

      Think we were having the same “friend” Oh, but how dare you even mention another man friends name in passing though!

      One thing that always made things so hard is I cannot really “comprehend” that way of thinking or being, I would been happy with ONE good normal guy, so I cannot imagine already having one, and then getting pissed at some other one for not wanting to stick around for me OR wait fort me in the dark alone.

      Very perplexing and hard to wrap my mind around that.

  12. Spinster says:

    Good ones. Numbers 9, 16, 17 and 24 are my favourites. Thanks for sharing.

  13. paolo says:

    Happy birthday Nat…And even though i’m not religeous…Bless you. x x x x

  14. Learner says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie, you beautiful, radiant young woman! Thank you for all you have done to help make our lives better, on our own terms and with our own steam. Cheers and happy camping xo

  15. thefrenchtouch says:

    N° 12 is for me also…I have STILL at 47 a lot to learn. I’ve decided no more men for me. I put them all on a pedestal…that’s my problem :(

  16. ambergreen says:

    Happy Birthday, Natalie. You may have saved my life.

  17. MaryW says:

    Happy birthday, Natalie, and I can’t thank you enough for this website.

    Enjoy your camping trip!

    And for this latest post – again, thank you. I need to read it a few more times (to say the least).

    I’m spreading the word re Baggage Reclaim. I truly admire you and your amazing insight.

  18. Cat says:

    Happy Birthday!!! You ROCK!!!

  19. Erica says:

    Happy Birthday!! Your site has really been a true eye opener for me and has helped me to move forward positively and to improve myself instead of dead end relationships. Very wise for 36 :)

  20. espresso says:

    Best wishes Natalie for a wonderful year!!

    During a difficult time in my life you, your real life wisdom and the BR community of amazing posters have been a precious gift to me….I can’t thank you enough.

  21. Allison says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Love the pic! Gorgeous!

    One of my favorites; everything is summed up in one post. :)

    Hope you get some sun!

  22. pinkpanther says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie! With your help, I have grown up (alot) and now resemble someone close to my actual age.

    I know I’m not alone cause I see so much growth amongst all these amazing women who come here to share and help each other.

    Thank you ever so much, from another devoted Leo, the Pinkpanther!

    • pinkpanther says:

      I meant to say:
      I know I’m not alone cause I see so much growth amongst all these amazing women AND men who come here to share and help each other.

      one more thing… dang, I know it’s not all about looks, but you look good!

  23. Nigella says:

    Great post, Natalie!

    Thanks to the insights gleaned from your writings, I am learning to be my own best advocate. No more second-guessing and silencing of my needs. I will continue to define, nurture, and represent myself.

    May this year be a great one for you! Have a wonderful camping experience.

    Take care.

  24. Barb says:

    Happy birthday Nat! You seriously amaze me in everythin you write. Thank you for the chance to start over and listen to me by putting myself first. :)

  25. Lacy says:

    Happy bday Nat and I’m glad your enjoying your vacation.

  26. Selkie says:

    Thanks for sharing your very positive list with us. I’ve done a decent job the last couple years learning many of the things on the list and some personal ones of my own, but still have a few that need some fine tuning. like # 34. Letting people in is still scary for me, but I’m coming out of my shell and taking some chances. I met a man recently and was more assertive than my usual self. I tried to put in as much as he and meet in the middle instead of making him chase me, which was my usual M.O.. I feel that any interest between us is fading out already ( I think when I wouldn’t get physical with him ) and I feel mild disappointment but am proud of myself for being secure enough to try while holding true to my values and respect. I survived just fine. Moving on.
    Have a great camping trip with the kids and your whole crew. Many smores ahead!

  27. Chelle says:

    OMG I needed this today!!! Having just gone no contact with my EUM (I shouldn’t even say my, he was never mine…), after giving him his 4th chance, almost every point hit home. I’ve been questioning and berating myself over why, yet again, I was sucked back in. Chemistry. Simple but stupid answer. I’ve tried dating other guys (around 20 of them?! I’m in New York…) in the 5 months since we met…and did not have that chemistry with a single one of them. So when he called wanting another chance, I gave it…a friend wisely said last night ‘chemistry is not a good indicator of character’…so true.
    I’m about to turn 37 myself, so going to frame these 36 lessons so I don’t forget them going into 37…

    Thanks Nat…keep up the good work!!

    • shattered says:

      I’ve gave the AC lots of chances and have broken NC more times than I care to think about. After the last go round of empty promises, cheating and lies, I am sticking to NC as he will never change. In fact each time, his treatment of me became worse. Today I received a text from him – telling me about a ritzy restaurant he’d been to (no doubt with another of the harem) and how wonderful it was – and that I should go there sometime. Words fail me. It shows how little regard he has for me or my feelings. In fact, the more I think about it, it seems like he holds me in contempt. I won’t reply and will stick to NC, but WTF goes through these ACs minds?

      • runnergirl says:

        Question: “but WTF goes through these ACs minds?”

        Answer: Me, me, me, me, and me. And then some more me.

        It’s simple.

        Stick with NC. Focus on YOU!

  28. Trixie says:

    Happy belated birthday NML, wish u many yrs in life.

  29. Tj says:

    Wonderful! Happy Birthday, Natalie! Thanks for your work and words here-such a wonderful help through the years

  30. Kawane says:

    Happy birthday my fellow Leo!!

  31. Enough says:

    Happy Birthday Nat!!!!! Recently joined BR and have been reading some of your past blogs. I can honestly say that you have helped me more ways than one. Most of all the comments and stories from everyone has allowed me to feel that I am not alone. There is a sense of family here I feel strongly about that. I know i have a long ways to go but with the help of BR and the BR family I will be just fine. Looking forward to starting this journey finally. Cause Enough is Enough!!!!!

  32. noquay says:

    Happy birthday; 36 is pretty darned young, trust me on this. Ironic about the Brady Bunch point. I was a teen when this show was on and wasted waaay too much brain power wishing MY family, also blended, was like that. On a steady BR diet and listening to my gut big time. Thanks for being there.

  33. teachable says:

    Happy birthday Nat! Sending blessings your way! xXX

  34. PurpleLily says:

    Haaaaaaapy Birthday Nat! Thank you for this list – absolute gold! And so good because it acts as a reminder with everything I have learnt on here.

    Funny (and spectacular) thing is that I get so much this NOW..who knew I ever would. Thank you for everything you have done, the hours and heart you have put into BR.

    Big hugs!

  35. Sheela says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY,Nat!

    So happy to read your holiday updates.Camping sounds like fun-wheee!

    Enjoy yourselves and I thank you for this brilliant post. Points 2,3,9,16,24,29 were meant for me-thanks a bunch.
    Love you Sis<3 Big hugs as well!

  36. Lilly says:

    No 5: guilty as charged! I am about to put into practice all that I have learned here Natalie and it IS an opportunity to do right this time. Happy Birthday and Happy Camping (the last time I went a kangaroo refused to leave my tent – never again!)

  37. Sassafras (Peanut still trying new names) says:

    Dang, Nat, WOWZA. You are one hot mama!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY. AND THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP.

    It is likely I’d be in dating hell if it wasn’t for what you do.

    But I’m not! I’m in a nice, comfy bed with a full belly of espresso and stroganoff. I am one happy, thankful Peanut.

    • Peanut says:

      Oh, so according to Urban Dictionary Sassafras is slang fo serious drugs. Shit. Not what I intended. Just thought it had a nice ring to it when my autocorrect typed it in.

  38. Debbie says:

    Happiest of Birthdays to you. Good luck with the camping adventure.

    Excellent post!

  39. meandthebump says:

    Happy birthday and thank you for this site – a birthday present to us all!

    Wise words, all of them!

  40. Lizzy says:

    Happy birthday Natalie and thanks for everything! This post is one of the best x

  41. Mike says:

    Happy Birthday Nat!!! Hope it was a good one for ya!!! Lookin’ pretty fly at 36.

    I think I may be enjoying your updates even moreso than the re-post. Just slightly because the re-posts are a great way of reminding some of us who have been there how far we’ve actually come.

    Enjoy the camping. I certainly couldn’t do it. My idea of roughing it, is a 3 star hotel.

    Mike

  42. lo j says:

    Oh Natalie you are just stunning!!
    I am learning how to let others know me, love me, and let a special someone into my world and allowing him to “unfold”. What a scary but wonderful experience for us both.
    Speaking of unfold, putting the tent away is actually harder than putting it up!! Lol! It never quite goes back in the bag the same. Hope you have an air mattress for sleeping.
    And Lilly, the thought of not being able to get a kangaroo out of a tent here in Texas is hysterical! We worry about cows.

  43. Sm says:

    Happy birthday! I’ve learned more from watching my nieces fantasize about the parents that abandoned them than my own experiences. One fantasizes and makes up stories, the other one tries to force the mother into acknowledging her all the while knowing that she won’t. It’s crazy but I’ve noticed I’ve conducted relationships in the same way.

  44. Chutzpelady says:

    Mazel Tov & Happy Birthday Natalie – you are an outstanding writer!

  45. MaryW says:

    Pretty much everything on the list resonates with me, but today in particular I am focusing on “People tell me that they’re ‘failures’ because they couldn’t make a shady relationship work or they spotted that somebody was unavailable or not what they originally thought; erm, that’s a success.”. Dear MaryW, you are not a failure.

    Also the line: “That’s not mine: that’s yours. I’m giving it back.” in context to all the woes of the guy I was dating, and also the woes of a new ‘friend’ who has decided to make me her closest confident after meeting her once.. yes once.. telling me things she won’t tell her partner of 10 years. This morning she messaged me that she won’t kill herself because it would hurt her partner so much. Er no, that stuff is for her doctor, not me. It feels very uncomfortable to do so (to ignore her), but I am not replying, not getting involved…. sheesh.

    I must walk around with a sign on my forehead. Time to be selfish and fix me, not everyone else.

    Thanks for the list, Natalie. Enjoy Bestival :)

  46. Mia says:

    Happy Birthday my fellow LEO! I just wanted to thank you for your courage and tenacity. Did you ever think you would have the power to help so many people? You are living proof of why we should never underestimate the meaning of our struggles and ourselves. Without your courage, none of us would be here and most of us would be suffering a far greater amount. Thank you!!

    Again, your thoughts and lessons are invaluable and I thank you for helping me save my own life from a soul stealer, but most importantly helping me realize how deep my cracked foundation ran. Slow and steady wins the race! You are an inspiration!

    <3 Mia

    36 Hugs for you!!

  47. Tabitha says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!
    This post was great for me as I have had quite a few negative thoughts circulating recently. It is a year since the halcyon “good days” with the ex that brought me here. Things kept reminding me…We watched the Wimbledon mens final together last year, then it was the anniversary of the Olympics, which he was very involved with professionally. I remembered all the loving phone calls from the stadium etc. I have to remember that what I miss is the way he made me feel, not the man himself. He turned out to be a future faking coke snorting emotional cripple.
    I have learned so much from this site and I have mostly been good about applying it, but sometimes I still get caught out and then I am really angry with myself.
    Recently at work I knew I would have to work with a total assclown. I really tried to protect myself but on one occasion I did let myself get manipulated by him and really beat myself up afterwards.
    I think sometimes I get overexcited about all my newfound knowledge about boundaries etc and want to be able to use it all the time :)
    On the plus side I have managed to stay NC with the ex all this time, despite a few hoovers. I am also NC with my toxic mother which has been so good for me.
    I am so grateful Natalie for all the things you have taught me, and I guess I just need to be more gentle and patient with myself about consistent implementation.

  48. Sue says:

    Sisters, please help me stay strong today with NC. It has only been a week, but I am “jonesing” for some affection (which I won’t get from him anyway so why am I even thinking about that – I would get sex and then feel worse because he lacks the capacity to give affection). I have gone out and tried to meet some men but no hits. I think I am an attention, etc. addict. Please chime in that it will pass, will get better, that I can give myself attention, etc. Thanks!! Stay strong!!!!

  49. Revolution says:

    I’m with Mike on two points, Nat. 1) You do look fly (at 36 or any other age), and 2) I’m not a camper myself (more of a glamper), so I’m even more impressed with you now.

    Also, I keep chuckling to myself (seriously, STOP IT, Rev!!) about the “shoulder pads at dawn” comment. For real. I hear ya.

    I hope you had a great time singing “Return of the Mack.” I’ve been listening to the “retro 90s” songs myself (you know, the ones from OUR day?). Remember “Pump Up the Jam”? :) “Get your booty on the floor tonight….make my dayyyy….” ;) Ain’t no shame.

    Okay, go have fun and frolic, my dear. Just wanted to say this about your list: you got wisdom, girl. Hopefully, I can catch up on MY way to 36 (only three months behind you, darlin’. 1977 babies, holla!!! Woot woot!!!! ;))

    • Lara says:

      OMG, 90s songs are SO awesome! So hilarious and fun and awesome all at once! I am a big fan of 90s music. I was a teenager in the 90s, and basically grew up/ lived on those songs. :P Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper” and Shaggy’s Mr. Bombastic were awesome. :D

  50. Lara says:

    Happy birthday Nat!! And I love the little bits of advice. I especially liked:

    #3 (which I now realize I did with my narc AC ex)

    #7 (I have always felt like this because it’s been very hard for me relationships and friendships-wise, but I have been trying to be more optimistic lately and tell myself that I have to be patient and in time I will have a better friends circle, a better social life, and normal relationships)

    #10 (I have stopped busting my boundaries to accommodate others, after my fourth and final breakup initiated by my narc AC ex — that was the wake-up call and now I don’t allow myself, or others, including friends, to bust my boundaries and have already stopped considering someone a friend after he tried busting my boundaries)

    #12 (Amen! I suspect, though, that those who say they are failures are those who have not yet realized that the relationship was so shady and that the ex was an AC who would’ve acted the same way no matter what! I used to feel this way too, but no longer do, because this final breakup and the discovery that my ex had cheated on me, really made me realize that my only mistake was staying with him and putting up with the abuse),

    #14 (I had this problem and I suspect I fell into this trap with my ex, when I allowed the honeymoon phase to determine my entire view of him, which meant that I kept thinking that deep down he was a good person when in fact he was abusing me and was a sh*tty person all along, but had acted “better” at the first stages, in order to reel me in),

    #15 (exactly! I realized I really had no right to get mad at others for not respecting my boundaries when I didn’t enforce those boundaries, and moreover, kept busting them myself, by trying to enforce them then going back and talking to them like there was nothing wrong with their behavior)

    #16 (I agree, but at the same time, I do think that some people, like my narc AC ex, are really villains, and are emotionally and physically abusive and deserve a special place in hell — I don’t think I am villainizing him when I speak of the things he did. It’s the things he did that make him a villain, not the fact that I am mentioning them. I don’t really badmouth my ex to his friends, though I could’ve easily done so if I had wanted to, and cost him dearly but I am not that type of a person, which is more than what I can say about him (he shared naked pictures of me with his co-workers, and is probably now telling them I was a nasty b*tch; I do think people should realize that not everyone who speaks ill of their ex is just badmouthing them because they are angry things didn’t turn out the way they wanted to; sometimes people are truly evil)

    #19 (I have always been treated as a “kid” by my family because I’ve always been the youngest in the family and it really frustrates me and embarasses me to no end. My parents even sometimes talk to me like I am a 12 year old, and my sister who is 3 years older than me, talks to me like I am a 12 year old too; I am not sure what can be done to prevent that; it’s not like I have given them any ‘power’ over it, or talk to them about silly or immature things that make them think of me as such; it’s just that they think of me as the “youngest” and in need of “protection”/”guidance”; I have tried distancing myself from them as a result, and not going to them about any problems I might have, because their behaviour is quite condescending and patronizing)

    #22 (True! I tried getting my ex to give up on his values, or lack thereof. He wanted to take off his pants to every woman who looked his way, even when we were together, and frequently referred to himself as “single,” wanted to f*ck prostitutes, wanted to live in Thailand and become a pimp, wanted me to have a threesome with him, etc. I realize now that my efforts at changing him were in vain and not worth the effort, energy, etc. What’s the point? People don’t change their values, though they might pretend to have done so; in the end, I will end up being disappointed and tricked, and will end up having hurt myself. Now, I avoid those situations and I will not associate myself with men who have such different values than mine — especially when it comes to views on relationships, sex, etc.; it’s perfectly OK to have different opinions on politics, religion, etc., but there are some things and values that I am unwilling to have such a wide divergence on)

    #24 (exactly. My gut feelings have never been wrong; I even had a bad feeling about my ex from day 1, but at first chose to ignore it; it took a while for me to realize that my gut feelings were right, and now I have full confidence in my instincts. I was right about my ex, though I didn’t do anything about it until it was too late, and I was right about a few men I’ve dated since, and another man who asked me out)

    #26 (YES YES YES!!!!! This is probably my favorite! I always help out and I always told myself that I was so nice to be helping out, but the truth is, I always expected something in return, mostly in the form of appreciation/validation, respect, etc. Sadly, that was never forthcoming, which left me disappointed time after time. I should try not to expect anything from anyone, but you know, I would’ve assumed that respect is the default “response”/”reward” anyway; apparently I’m wrong and in this day and age, people feel no need to show respect and/or appreciation for the people who have helped them out; would I still have helped if I knew ahead of time that they wouldn’t respect me? Maybe in the past, yes, but after episode after episode of me helping my ex out, and being there to listen to him and solve his problems for him, and then being abused so badly by him, I’d say that I am unwilling to help anyone anymore, if I know that I will not get at least a modicum of respect in return — though of course that doesn’t apply to helping a stranger in an emergency situation, etc.)

    #34 (I agree, and I am trying to figure out the right balance; being careful but not hypersensitive, and I am not sure I have found the right balance or will for a long time to come; perhaps the scars are too fresh and too deep still, and it will take time for me to come up with a good balance; for now, I am erring on the side of caution and am usually hypersensitive; that said, I don’t think I’ve been too hypersensitive except in one instance where I bailed on an invitation for a ‘date’ because I felt it was too casual — he asked me out for ‘drinks’ — and didn’t treat me with the appropriate amount of respect; in another instance, I think I wasn’t too hypersensitive, the guy clearly started treating me as a booty call after the first date).

  51. Little Star says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!!! You look beautiful and young, I wish you love, health, wealth, success and long and happy life!!! Thank you for everything you do for us, love you and BR community xx

  52. Sophie says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie! Love your blogs, keep it up and enjoy the rest of your summer holidays! :)

  53. cassie says:

    ” you in danger girl !!! ” Ha! brilliant xx

  54. Mimi says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for your amazing words that are helping me live a better life!

  55. On Leaving Sugarland says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!

    <3 ~~~On Leaving Sugarland~~~ Xxx

  56. Sandy says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie,

    Best thing I ever did was google in “No Contact” it came up with your wonderful site and I have used it every day to become stronger.
    I still hurt sometimes but it is getting less and less.
    Number 36 really resonates with me, I used to put up with him making me cry all weekend (if I was at his place, usually with no way of getting home until he drove me), then I would get home, think about things and explode a couple of days later, of course by then he wouldn’t remember it, or if he did he would deny it (very selective memory) and then it became all about my anger and not his!!
    Sometimes I still feel a lurch in my tummy when I think that he is possibly happier with her, but then I think back to all he has said about his other relationships and ex’s and I know that it’s not going to be any different, because he will never be any different.

  57. Rosie says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NATALIE!!! :) :) :)

    You look good in that photo, so sultry…

  58. runnergirl says:

    Happppy Happpy Birthday Natalie. Oh please post the pics of putting up the tent. There is nothing like camping with kids to bring folks together and create lasting memories. There’s something about nature and kids and tents.

    There is something truly amazing about YOU. Enjoy those little girls…they will be young women soon.

    So glad to be part of this wonderful community you have created. Thank you.

  59. ThisTooshallPass says:

    Hi,
    I have recently distanced myself from the ex – very recently since Sunday. Our ‘relationship’ was a not so merry go round – we have been in each others lives for about four years – the first of those only being where our relationship actually felt like a relationship – he broke up with me via text after falling out with me as due to work commitments I couldn’t get out of I couldn’t see his band play – he pulled the silent treatment which I put up with for about 3 weeks until I challenged him and he got angry and said it was over – after this we became FWB for about 6 mths until he ended it again saying it felt like we were still in a relationship. However I still let him sleep with me whenever he wanted hoping to get myself upgraded until he said something disrespectful and I distanced myself – he then asked me to get back with him which of course I did – this lasted 5 mths – again him pulling the silent treatment until he finally admitted that it ‘wasn’t fun’ and the sex ‘bored him’ – he started seeing someone else but kept her a secret from me and most of his friends – the girl is quite emotionally unstable and their connection seemingly is build upon playing games which each other. Although she mainly has the upper hand over him – they ended and we once again started talking (via text message of course) He told me he missed me and the usual guff which I believed – we slept together a few times and then he just disappeared and I find out from mutual friends that the girl is pregnant – we have very little contact for the last 6mths, although I have not been NC, still checking up on him on FB and keeping tabs via mutual friends. I had heard that he and the girl had parted ways and there is discussion of court battles etc regarding the unborn child – 6 weeks ago he contacted me and apologised for his behaviour and told me all the things I desperately wanted to hear – we spoke everyday and although I knew I couldn’t forgive him or believe him I let myself get swept up in th fantasy that I meant something to him – he told me out of the blue that he was going to the babies scan with her and this made me feel bitter and resentful and guilty for feeling this – he said he felt like he was still in a relationship with me and that this ‘wasn’t fun’ that he just wanted to go out with his mates and ‘talk to girls’ I said I had obviouly misread things and he shouldn’t have told me he missed me to which he got angry and said I was telling him he wasn’t ‘allowed to miss me’ and that I had ruined the happy news about the baby. I realised that for my own sake I have to go fully NC and than this connection is horribly codependent – I feel like I am abandoning him when really staying is crazy making. Thankyou for listening to my rants

  60. Peanut says:

    Nat, you are going camping! Brave woman you are. That shit scares me. The bugs and all. And bears. Stay SAFE!

  61. Peanut says:

    One of my biggest problems in life is comparing myself to others and yappers the ‘ol I ain’t good enough for nobody not never!’ (Peanut is a Texan. Obvi. But not a teenager. Not obvi sometimes).

    I was in this pattern of thinking it was because my grandmother compared me to other girls when I was younger, and that evil step mom I had, and yada yada yada, and that pervasive time I didn’t have any friends that has lasted near my entire life (turns out I never really wanted any friends due to fear! Ha!)

    But who cares, who gives a shit? Nobody really. No one cares about my past one way or another too terribly much. And why should they? Why should I? Beyond being aware of identifying self defeating patterns rooted in my childhood I am tiiiiired of living in my past.

    Oh, but, ah, yes, every time I find myself comparing which is a fuckload, I simply label it as envy. Envy is a normal healthy emotion that if applied in the best direction can be used as a great tool for self discovery and motivation.

    So I’m jelly often times because I put my life on hold for so long due to fear and stagnated. Oops. Now I can fix it because I know how.

    Envy. Envy. Envy.

    I take out the ‘better than shit.’ Because WHO THE EFF CARES?! Not this chick. Anymore.

    And another interesting thing is that I am finding more and more that I am not envious of things I used to be. I am finding some people have shit that may look good but it probably ain’t so hot in reality.

    ALSO, LADIES, for those of you who struggle with fantasies and urges to break no contact. HEEd this:

    Unchecked, our fantasies are NOT a good indication of what to pursue and which direction to go.

    Impulsivity is not good. I mean until you know yourself, check yourself, and steer clear of flash decisions.

    CAse in point:

    The other day I was consumed with fantasies of taking a dance hip-hip class while listening to the local college station’s body and soul set. I was convinced for a good thirty minutes this would solve all my problems and I was so inspired. WHAT THE WHA?

    I now see I like beats and to move but the reality is I gots a lot of other shit to do, will make a mental note of it (mostly how odd it all was), and continue taking my dog on walks.

    • Peanut says:

      *hip-hop* Dear, jesus.

      • grace says:

        Peanut
        Dance is really good for you, especially when it’s following someone else’s choreography. It takes you out of yourself and your thoughts, but without the kickback you get from drugs and sex!
        I recommend you go for it.

        • Revolution says:

          Grace is exactly right! Peanut, go for it!!! What’s stopping you? :)

        • MaryW says:

          I second Grace. I’m rather crap at Yoga (out of practise), and I do compare myself to the other people in the class (perfectionist)… But I went to my first yoga class in three years this week and guess what, I was a bit rubbish but I enjoyed it! I was pissed off I couldn’t do the Crab but had a word with myself and got over it.

          The pain of the stretches brought me out of my restless mind, and I had some emotional relief. And the other peeps in the class laughed gently with each other when one of us collapsed during a difficult pose. It was nice, connecting with other people in a small way.

          I loved yoga, I gave it up when I broke my wrist and then gave up all my free time to a boyfriend. But I went back (older and less fit/ supple) and I loved it. I’m going to go every week, try and make a few friends, and just have that one hour of relief from thoughts.

          Peanut, the hip hop class is not an unreasonable fantasy. No it won’t solve all your problems (nor will my yoga) but why not try it? X

  62. tired says:

    Hello and happy birthday nat .xthank god i can pop back and get a reality check .am over the exmm even saw him at weekendwith new women andit didnt bother me . Battered offsome crap attention but got sucked in by guy at wk . Havent done anything stupid just texting. But last week just went quiet . Didnt answer acouple of texts .came on here and read a few posts . Feeling better and backed away a nd formy own interest and health fb. Deleted him. Out of sight out of mind moving on .bit hurt but up and at em x

  63. Revolution says:

    #36 is happening for me right now, in the sense that I am acting like I don’t matter in order to get done what I need to get done, professionally. I’ve been putting my nose to the grindstone and surpassing my emotional and physical resources to crank out work. But I don’t see any way around it right now. Still, I feel like I’m going to be hitting the wall here rather soon. As I mentioned, I’m working full time and also managing my freelance career on the side, which right now comes in the form of a manuscript editing gig (that I’m stoked about). Still–it’s a lot of work. For little pay. There’s a reason we’re called “starving artists.” (I always hated that mealy-mouthed expression, but it has it’s shine of truth.)

    My 9-5 is getting pretty hairy, with new management that uses arrested logic in their decision-making. Even with this economy, people are jumping ship at work due to the stress and ineptitude that now reigns. My boss (whom I’ve worked for for 12 years) has just quit, and I’m feeling sad and uneasy about that. I’ve been putting my feelers out there for a while, but so far nothing. I have the luxury, unlike most, of looking for a new job whilst still being gainfully employed, for which I’m grateful. But my gratefulness quotient is reaching it’s close, and I just have to look up from the grindstone every once in a while to see how miserable I am right now. This too shall pass, right? I’m almost ready to put this whole “writing” career in the can and work at a coffee kiosk. For real. If I was a dude, I’d probably have prostate cancer by now from the stress. Don’t mean to whine, sorry. I think I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening, all.

    • Revolution says:

      *its* shine of truth. Shit. Coffee, anyone?

      • runnergirl says:

        Hey Rev,

        You are going through a lot right now. Go gently on yourself. I’m pretty sure you’d say the same thing to me. Say it to yourself. For a while, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do in order to keep the day job. Maybe look at the the free lance writing career as a form of a hobby, subsized by the day job. Of course you can work at the coffee kiosk, however that’s not going to subsidize the writing gig. Keep your feelers out, keep writing, and keep the faith.
        The very bright side: You aren’t involved with an AC/EUM/MM…remember when?

      • Rev,
        I get it with the writing, other stress. Take a break right now and get back to it when your work stress eases up. I finally gave myself permission to take the summer off and begin my next book later this year. Take care of YOU first. Good luck.

    • Chrysalis says:

      Aw Rev, this too shall pass. Ditto my motto. And it will.
      From another struggling br poster.

    • Jule says:

      It’s cool, Rev. You WILL get through this! Tis but just a phase.

    • Lilly says:

      Keep the faith Rev, this will most definitely pass. Hang in there, xxx

  64. grace says:

    Nat
    I was camping a couple of weeks ago. good fun.
    The girls will love it. I don’t think you’ll get much sleep though!

    And the bonus of camping is that it’s so NICE coming home to your bed!

  65. Sandy says:

    I know this sounds stupid but does anybody else ever know just by a certain feeling they get that he will contact you again…I changed my phone number so I know he can’t anymore but the weird thing is I know when he is thinking about me, I can go for weeks where it’s all calm and then bang, it’s always been that way with him, I used to know he would text before it happened, to be honest I am sick of this, if I could just rip out that part of the brain where he resides I would :-)

    • Lilia says:

      Yes, I´ve had that too and it´s really weird. I don´t try to make sense of it anymore or find the science behind it, it just is.
      With the EUM who brought me here I always knew when he would contact me, because I started to feel bad a while before with no apparent reason. I also had these “premonitions” with the AC I was involved with before, only much stronger – I suppose because I had a stronger emotional connection with him.

      The strange thing though, is that I´ve always had these feelings with guys who don´t make me happy or when the relationship is going bad.
      So I´m figuring maybe it´s a gut reaction, to prepare myself for something difficult that is coming my way.

      One time when I went out with my girlfriends I had this very strong idea that I would see my then ex boyfriend. I didn´t know why, it didn´t make any sense but I became so nervous that I got chattering teeth. And yes, some moments later I ran into my ex who was on a date with someone new – this sexy girl with long black hair and a short top showing her navel. It was awful but I just forced myself to act indifferent and perhaps it was easier because I was prepared, somehow.

    • Casey says:

      No Sandy it isn’t at all stupid. You are not alone. I too have had those strong feelings or moments of “knowing” that he was thinking about me at that particular time or could sense when contact was looming about in the air. I do know through extensive research over the past year that we are often an energetic match for the assclown (narcissist) that we engaged with. At times it can be tempting to almost “will” them to contact you so you can reject the contact. This is truly a process, a commitment to self and a day to day decision that requires you to keep choosing you. It isn’t easy and even now, after a year of no response to the futile contact attempts he’s made, I can still “feel” his energy at times. I deactivated my Facebook a year ago when I cut contact as a way to totally disappear from his radar, along with blocking calls, texts and emails. I had this overwhelming urge a couple of weeks ago, a gut feeling, to reactivate my FB only to find that a few months ago people were congratulating him on his re-engagement to the same woman he left when we got involved, only to berate her to me during our 1 1/2 year relationship. He began cheating with her behind my back while stringing me along for about the last six months of the relationship with promises, lies but no action to back it up. Long story short, they don’t change because a few weeks ago I got several “anonymous” texts claiming to “miss me” etc. All this while being “engaged”. Truly, it’s better her than me. Pathological, cheating, manipulative womanizers never change.

      • Sandy says:

        Casey and Lilia,

        Thanks for that, I have been feeling bad all week after a few good weeks where I felt normal again. It’s nice to know that I am not going crazy, all through our relationship I could tell when things would be going pear shaped, or that I would hear from him, the trouble is I never acknowledged my gut feeling of how bad the relationship made me feel.
        I had an extreme stress rash over my hands which once I finally made the break cleared up..I truly wish (in hindsight) that I had never met him, I have been seeing a Counsellor and I am learning to never ignore my inner feelings, it’s a hard road but I am sure I will finally be that feisty, confident woman I once used to be.

  66. Peanut says:

    Grace,

    With the points you stated, dancing sounds niiiiiiiice.

    NO BEARS?! Wowza.

    Googled it and found a BBC article I’m going to sink my teeth into that looks great.

  67. Peanut says:

    MaryW,

    I enjoyed your yoga journey comments. I tried it and wanted to make it my life (I think in extremities when I like something). And burnt myself out. I have a legit mat waiting for me in the spare bedroom when I decide to get reacquainted.

    But given my affinity for beats, hip-hop might be more suited for me. Maybe I was onto something.

    I just thought I had drank too much tea and didn’t get enough sleep.

    • MaryW says:

      Yeah I also think in extremities and get burnt out too (yoga, cycling …. relationships!) but we can change that mind set. I plan in one yoga class a week, and won’t beat myself up when I’m not perfect!

      I think you were/ are on to something with the hip hop! It doesn’t have to be your life, just an hour or two a week? X

      • Bhutan says:

        Hi MaryW and Peanut,

        Yes, I agree; I’m changing ‘that’ mind set. Sure, I want to put in some effort, but I want to have more fun–just live without feeling like I have to master everything I do–I’m sure there is a limiting belief feeding that thought-mess.

        I’m inspired by the people here, who are really taking action, getting out there, and living their lives because I’m finally at that point.

        Good stuff!

      • Peanut says:

        MaryW,

        Indeed. I am alarmed at reflecting on how unbalanced I tend to be if I’m not grounded in reality. The truth is too much of a good thing is just that, TOO MUCH! XX.

  68. Peanut says:

    TO WHOMEVER HERE TOLD ME ABOUT THE BOOK “EATING LESS”:

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER.

    Such a simple title, yet mind blowing book that is relative on so many realms of life.

    AND TO WHOMEVER ADVISED ME TO GET GOOD VITAMINS (I went to our local health food store): THANK YOU, AS WELL.

    I am making strides with these additions.

  69. Ebelle says:

    Happy birthday, Natalie! You are very wise and share your insights in such a meaningful and down-to-earth way. I love how you just ‘tell it like it is’. You are having a big impact on my life, and I am so grateful I found your site. Best wishes for a wonderful year ahead!

  70. Elle0412 says:

    Oh my God haven’t been here for a while and posted once ( i think)… Birthdays, babies, camping, yoga… So much is happening, ladies and gents! Life is bursting all around me and I thought it will carry me out of this pain but gave in to Nostalgia and broke 4 mnths long NC only to put a knife into the deep wound again… He said ‘you are definitely an original’ ( meaning crazy).Loving an EUM narcissistic bastard with no ability to FEEL anything at all maybe is crazy.Love&hugs to all of you….you keep me sane. And Happy B-day Nat, you rock girl!

  71. Revolution says:

    Girls,

    Thanks for the pep talk. It’s good to have you guys in my corner, cheering me on. It makes a difference.

    ((((((Big Italian Hugs to you all!!!)))))

    I took the day off today (I had to. Read: hitting the wall) and slept in, then sat by our community pool with my latest 401K (that’s an American retirement plan for you Brits) statement in my hand, and figured out my options should I quit or get layed off from the 9-5 soon. I gotta say, even just looking at my options made me feel more comfortable. Even if I don’t DO anything just yet. I have a feeling that everything will come to a head soon, and I’ll be layed off (YAY!!!! And collecting unemployment, so that I can look for my next job with relative ease! Can you believe I’m looking forward to being layed off?!!).

    I’m in the midst of a transition, so it’s a bit gritty right now. But, ah Runnergirl….you are so spot on when you say, basically, “it beats the drama of being involved with an AC, eh?”

    Yes, girl. Yes, it does. Thank THE LORD ABOVE that I’m not going through that nonsense right now. Shit. My adrenals couldn’t cut it, I know for a fact.

  72. […] or less than stellar family relations as a reflection of your own inadequacies. As I said in my 36th birthday post, 35 taught me that the issues that run in families and the way in which individual family members […]

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!