I’m 35 today and as you can see from the photo, I’m still hanging with my bro in Amsterdam who is reminding me of one of my personal commandments to laugh a lot. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes here and on Facebook and here are just 35 of my many thoughts on life which I hope will help to give some perspective if you’re struggling with an issue.

1. You could blame yourself or try to get someone to change when you realise that your relationship isn’t how you’d like it to be or that they’re not who you thought they were, or you could leave. Someone else’s inadequacies have absolutely nothing to do with you and certainly don’t equate to you having inadequacies that are ‘provoking’ their inadequacies.

2. Life is one big learning experience and the same lessons will keep coming back at you like Michael Myers in Halloween until you learn the lessons. If you keep experiencing the same or similar, or how you feel about you is the same or even worse over time, whatever you think you’ve learned or you ‘know’ is not the right takeaway message.

3. You can tell a lot about how someone feels about themselves by their choices. Do your choices say “I love and trust me a lot” or “I’m living in fear, I don’t like or love me a lot” or even “I love you more than I love myself”?

4. If a relationship isn’t mutual, it’s not a relationship; it’s a gradual crushing of your spirit and your soul.

5. They’re just not that special and you’re just not that desperate. There is no relationship (romantic or otherwise) in the world that is ‘worth’ being treated badly, feeling less than, or having to ‘win’ them over. Take them off their pedestal and tell ’em to take their special fried self elsewhere.

6. Sounds so simple, but doing things that make you unhappy on an ongoing basis will not make you happy. Do more of the things that make you feel good. Do less of the things that give you a short-term high and a medium to longer term side effects.

7. Parents are not infallible and they do eff up. They are not God or a higher power, and if they have failed to be the parent(s) you would have wanted them to be, that has got absolutely nothing to do with your worth as a person and everything to do with them. It’s not ideal but we cannot get our childhoods back and we certainly cannot make friends or people we have romantic relationships with make up the shortfall. Take care of you, nurture you, raise you and teach you whatever you need to learn.

8. Texts are not appropriate means of conducting a relationship as they’re crumb communication. I’m not saying that sending a text is terrible thing – I’m saying sending a text to get booked in for a shag, to argue, to have a so-called meaningful discussion that you either can’t have because they’re physically unavailable or because you’re trying to dodge conflict is really jacked up. Some people put as much effort into contacting you as they do with ordering a pizza – make sure you’re not that pizza!

9. Giving to others with a view to what you might ‘get back’ is not wholehearted giving and they’re actually acts of ‘generosity’ packaged up with hidden expectations. Give because it’s who you are and what you’d do anyway, not because you think that it will eventually create a tipping point and make them be the person you want or generate back the same level of giving.

10. Affairs are like an exorcism for the Other Woman/Man – it will drag out every ugly thought and feeling and bring all of your deep seated issues including abandonment and second best issues to the surface. If you’re involved in an affair, recognise that you’ve hit a low with your self-esteem and see this as an opportunity to resolve your issues instead of carting them around. And get out.

11. Others know the line with you when you know the line. Nobody else is going to set your boundaries for you especially when you’re actually crossing your own line anyway.

12. We trust those who share similar core values to us, hence if something feels ‘off’ or you can’t put your finger on what it is you don’t trust (and you know it’s not solely down to your insecurity), it’s because there is a conflict on one or more of your fundamental values.

13. Not everything is about you. You’ll find that the amount of drama in your life reduces significantly when you reduce the amount of drama in your own mind and actions. Not everything is important – learn to pick and choose your battles, not because you’re letting things slide but because not everything is about you or having the last word.

14. Often the things that we put off, take a shockingly shorter amount of time to do or are not the earth shattering, sky is falling things we feared them to be. Procrastination takes a lot more energy and saps your mojo and even your self-esteem.

15. Until you get to know someone, what you love is an image in your mind. It’s great if they end up living up to or even exceeding this image, but if they don’t, you have no choice but to join them back on earth. And you can’t be mad at them for not living up to your imagination – it’s your imagination.

16. All breakups, not just those that are the result of an unhealthy relationship, require some space. It is healthy and normal. You’re not going to process a breakup if you try to carry on as normal, are hanging off their coat tails or having sex with them.

17. If you wouldn’t give over your worldly possessions or put someone on your lease or add them to your mortgage a hot minute or month after meeting them, I certainly wouldn’t hand over your self-esteem and claim that you ‘know’ and trust them either.

18. Unless you’re extremely stubborn, it’s highly unlikely that as you’re getting ready to draw your last breath that you’re going to think “Jaysus, I wish I’d tried harder to win over Mr/Miss Unavailable” but it may suddenly occur to you that there were better things to do with your life.

19. It doesn’t really matter what you say, if you don’t back it up with the actions that matter. Don’t tell me who you are, show me who you are and if the actions and the words don’t match, you’ve got problems.

20. Being a People Pleasing Chameleon is a waste of time. Yeah some people will appreciate the fringe benefits of you rolling yourself out into a doormat but ultimately when you actively try to get people to like you in subtle and not so subtle ways, it actually comes across as disingenuous, plus you won’t like you either.

21. If you don’t understand why something didn’t work and are not in the process of adapting the behaviour and thinking that contributed, what is to stop you from winding up in the same situation again?

22. There’s no point in saying “I’m not the kind of guy/girl who does X” while doing just that. The ‘innocent bystander’ attitude of claiming honesty while being with someone who is dishonest doesn’t wash either.

23. There’s no such thing as having the last word; the last word is ACTION. The ‘last word’ is only a one-way verbal or written statement and it’s only final for you. The other person might be thinking “Blah blah blah” or “Are they on crack?”

24. Great sex with someone who treats you in a less than favourable manner is like doing crack – yeah it’ll feel good when you’re on the high having sex but the effects of chasing that high and selling yourself short will gradually destroy you. Don’t objectify yourself.

25. Friendship like all relationships should be mutual but they are still organic not forced. This means that if you’re ‘supposed’ to be friends with your ex it won’t be because you did the equivalent of showing up on their doorstep like a nuisance salesperson.

26. It’s very easy to focus on others and judge their lives and their actions and to even tell them about themselves and make it your duty to show them the ‘right’ way, but it’s all a distraction from yourself. It’s not that there aren’t things that others couldn’t do with changing, but what you really need to be asking is why you’re so caught up in this when you could be getting on with your own life?

27. Any situation that you’re compaining about yet it’s still continuing, it’s because it’s ‘working’ for you – a ‘payoff’. Identifying what that is as well as the false economy in your actions and thinking will put you in the position to do something.

28. Intelligence is wonderful but don’t let it blind you and don’t think that you don’t have to try in other areas. It doesn’t mean that you’re emotionally intelligent or relationship smart nor does it mean that if you meet someone with a level of intelligence you respect or even admire, that they’ll possess other qualities you desire and share your values. Some people are also very intelligent at assholic behaviour. Oh and if you were with someone ‘less intelligent’, just like if you were with someone ‘less attractive’ it wouldn’t do anything to your own intelligence or attractiveness.

29. Be very wary of trusting those who chat about others behind their backs or do mean things because you might feel that you’re exempt from this treatment, but they’re likely talking about you too and one day you’ll be in the firing line.

30. It doesn’t matter what story you’re told about why someone is having an affair – their partner is a person with their own feelings and yes, flaws, just like you. I’m not saying that they’re perfect but if you regard them as a human being with a name, feelings, expectations, and possibly having once possessed the same faith you have in your lover, you might not be so quick to judge or to play the third wheel.

31. Life is for living and if you’re not living and loving because you’re too busy being afraid and investing yourself in people and situations that detract from you, you’re definitely not using your opportunity to fulfil your purpose.

32. Casual relationships (an oxymoron in themselves as nobody likes being treated and regarded casually) are an attempt to do a backdoor route to a relationship in the hope of wooing them into ‘upgrading’ you. You are not a credit card with an introductory interest free period.

33. Many people strive to be the perfect version of ‘good enough’ which is basically seeking perfection. Life is about learning and growing as we go along, like on-the-job training. There’s no destination, there’s no critical mass of ‘stuff’ that we acquire or praise that’s heaped upon us. You’ve got the ‘job’ already – embrace it!

34. Accept you as you are, realise that this is where you have to live (in your skin) until your time is up and take yourself out there and shine.

35. Blame, shame, and guilt are wasted emotions – there isn’t much you can do with them. You don’t have to let past experiences define you and your future. I could have made a permanent judgement about myself but where the hell would that have got me? You can change your life. Your story isn’t ‘written’ – you can do a rewrite.

Your thoughts?
The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship is now available from my bookshop along with with Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. You can also check out my ecourses.

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94 Responses to Happy Birthday To Me: 35 Thoughts On Relationships, Self-esteem and Life

  1. lawrence says:

    Happy Birthday, Natalie!

    Nice synopsis of your key insights. I’ve enjoyed and I think benefited from them over the last few months since I found you.


  2. R says:

    Happy Birthday Nat! You deserve to be spoiled. Good wishes to you.

  3. Izzybell says:

    Love this post, thank you for summing up all your great principles in one post! My favorite is #1.

    Have a very happy birthday, Natalie, and thank you so very much for this blog and for all the ways you’ve helped me (and many others) grow over the past few years!

  4. anoosh says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! #35, great milestone. thank you for the wise words — as always! hope you have a fantastic brilliant wonderful bday. you look absolutely smashing in the pic, what an amazing smile :) 😀 you’re just one of the most gorgeous women in the world, I swear — it’s that inner beauty too!

  5. Jody says:

    Happy 35th birthday to you, Nat – and many more:)

    Excellent article. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing here.

    You are a blessing every time you post with your clear sighted wisdom.

    Very helpful. You keep me on track!

  6. Maria says:

    Happy Birthday Nat, hope you’re having a wonderful day! :-) Wishing you happiness & prosperity. Thank you so much for your wise words. Enjoy yourself girl :-) xxx

  7. lo j says:

    Best picture ever.

  8. Lizzy says:

    Happy birthday Natalie – you deserve all the joy in the world! Thanks once again for all you do, I don’t know where I’d be without you xx

  9. Arlena says:

    Happy birthday, dear Natalie!

    Seeing you laughing is very contagious. 😀

    Thanks for all your amazing work and best of wishes.


  10. Awakened says:

    Happy Birthday @ Nat!! Hope you have a fabulous day. You so deserve it and thanks for todays post. It so refreshing!!

  11. Harriet says:

    Happy birthday!

    Useful, practical, snappy list — thank you very much.

    This year, what with HM’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Wiggins winning the Tour de France and now Olympic athletes all over the place, I’d like to point to you too, barely halfway through your notional threescore years and ten and already helped hundreds if not thousands of people to be happier, more real and more self-respectful, and give a big shout: Look everyone, here’s another great Brit! Three cheers for Natalie Lue!

  12. jennynic says:

    Happy Birthday to you Dear Natalie. Hope you have a fun time today.
    This list is a great overall synopsis of how we can be better, live better and find better. But as my yoga teacher says when you feel like you are not where you want to be…..’Start where you are.’ Being better has changed for me…. it has slowly reframed into being happier. I am learning to see it from my point of view instead of how I want to be seen or by others judgments of how I should be. So much pressure gone and such a relief for me to just live and stop worrying so much. I do believe I’ve rounded the corner! Thank you so much for the gentle kick in the pants and the encouragement over the past two years. Many hugs.

  13. laura says:

    Happy birthday Nat! We share the same birthday :) Thank you for all the great work that you do!!

  14. The One Who Walks Between says:

    Happy Birthday

    You are a blessing to this world.

    May you have love as far as your heart can see!

  15. Cat says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!!!!! You totally rock!!!!!

  16. Meta says:

    Natalie, Happy Birthday !! A relationship Bible is, what you gave here to us !
    Thank you so so much.

  17. Happy birthday Natalie!

  18. Amy says:

    Happy Birthday and thank you for all that you do! Your books, blogs, and insights are my crutch. It hasn’t been easy going from doormat to confident girl with self esteem. I printed your 35 thoughts and tucked them in my purse to read and reread!

  19. Magnolia says:

    Happy birthday Natalie! A great list. By the way, I’m loving the instagrams!

  20. Debbie says:

    Great synopsis! Happy Birthday.

  21. Atrophy says:

    Happy Birthday, Natalie!!! Thank you for all your wisdom and insight, it is truly inspirational! :) Friends and family have noticed the changes and progress I have made since I stared applying these principles in my own life. I am happier and for the first time in 6 1/2 years I haven’t gone back to the EUM. xoxo

  22. FinallyCaughtOn says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for everything – your posts have turned a lot of grief into head-nodding smiles of affirmations!

    Many, many more years of happiness, health & love

  23. Late Bloomer says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie. Wonderful list. They just keep getting better and better!

    May this year be filled with much luck and happiness. Thanks for all you do for us.

  24. Genie says:

    Happy birthday Nat, really love the rules!

  25. Kerry says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie!
    And thank you for giving US a gift with this excellent 35 Thoughts list. My favourite is No. 5. I should probably have that engraved on my arm. 😉

    All best,

  26. M says:

    Just found your site and loving it. Happy birthday!

  27. Pam says:

    Swear I saw you on the tram the other day in Amsterdam! (by Javaplein) Any chance it was you? :)

  28. Waltzing Matilda says:

    Happy birthday, your good karma is endless because of the wise and generous way you live in the world. Finding your website has been a watershed and a blessing in my life, thanks.

  29. tulipa says:

    Happy birthday Natalie good to see you having a great time may your happiness continue for many more years

  30. Little Star says:

    Natalie congratulations!!! I love your picture, you look very pretty and happy:-) xxx

  31. Natasha says:

    Happy Birthday Nat!!! Thanks to you, this has been the best year of my grown-up life :). Hope you and your lovely family enjoy your special day!!!
    P.s. I loooove your style – if you come to Boston, we are going shopping haha!

  32. I need to print this list and hang it on the wall next to my computer in my office, so I am always reminded when receiving crumb communication!! I’ll probably highlight it too, for quick reference. :) Happy bday!

  33. yoghurt says:

    Happy birthday :) Hope you had a GREAT day!

    I was thinking the other day how generally happy I am these days – not all the time (as am human, I suppose), but mostly. And then I think about how I might’ve been if I hadn’t found your site, tangled up in an unhealthy situation, doing everything that I could to make the unworkable work and abandoning and/or making a mess of all the things that really are important to me in the process.

    I don’t know if I’d’ve struggled my own way out eventually without your help, but it would’ve taken much longer and the cost would’ve been much much higher.

    I have to admit that when I first came across the site I followed your advice out of sheer perversity, just to prove that MY situation was DIFFERENT… really glad that I took that leap of faith, though.

    I’m really grateful to you, and there are a lot of people in my life who would be grateful as well, if they knew how much difference you’ve made to a grim situation. Thank you xxx

    (PS after recommending Mr Unavailable to a colleague, I’ve now come across two other people reading it at work… think I’m creating a cell group over here!)

    • yoghurt says:

      PPS – have asked someone out for coffee. Not that this is such a big wow in itself – it’s just a coffee with a nice bloke – but rather than dithering or fretting or worrying about inviting rejection on myself I just went “I’d like to get to know him better, I’ll ask if he wants coffee”. It’s like I’ve remembered how to live my life again!

  34. TM says:

    Happy Birthday!! You are amazing!! Your site and blog has changed and SAVED my life! I’m extremely glad I found it and looking forward to an amazing future! I have separated myself from my EUM (husband) and are the happiest I’ve been in 7 years.. Excited about the divorce to come.. It’s only God who allowed me to just fall upon your site. Again, happy birthday! You are remarkable!

  35. PurpleLily says:

    Happy Birthday again Nat!! Hope you are loving Amsterdam!

    I reckon #5 and #7 are my favourite. But most of all #33, because Ive made it a point to tell myself how wonderful, kind and ‘perfect’ (well, not really, but you know what I mean) I am as is. I have always struggled with this.

    Thank you for creating BR, I have learnt more about myself and what I should mould myself into in the past 2 months than I have in the past 28 years of my life.

    Reading this post and everyone’s comments this week on the other posts have made me cry several times this week…its the most horrible feeling crying here, all alone. But I know there is healing happening…I just wish it didnt involve tears and feeling so lost.

    I see a big post coming up where I will need your comments/input, you guys :) For now, I’ll go do laundry.

  36. sm says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

  37. Jessie says:

    Happy 35th, a wonderful age. Thank you for your words that I devour and learn so much about myself from. Always look forward to my Baggage Reclaim.

  38. Claudia says:

    Happy Day! Thanks so much for all you do!!

  39. Janine says:

    Yay!! Happy Birthday Natalie!!!

  40. runnergirl says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie and thank you for sharing your wisdom, insight, and brilliance. You simply radiate happiness and it shows. I’m hoping it is contagious? I tried to find which of the 35 pearls of wisdom most applied to me but I found they all applied. What are you going to do when you are 50? You totally rock.
    Absolutely love the instagrams. Your little girls are too darling. As a belated birthday gift to myself, I’ll be signing up for your fall self-esteem e-course. I’m so excited and can hardly wait. Hugs to you, your adorable little girls, and your new hubby.

  41. teachable says:

    Really like this Nat. First to print out & hang up where I can see it as an everyday reminder!

    LOTS here I can apply to what’s been going on here (or not… I’ve walked away for now as too much friction suggests some sort of a problem? I have other priorities ie ME! lol Im realising prolly nothing to do with me, as already indicated by the other party…? :) )

  42. Sheela Nandini says:

    Happy Birthday,dear Natalie!

    Thanks for sharing your personal commandments.These helped today.

    May I share the link with a friend? Thanks in advance.


  43. jesslaand says:

    Happy Bday Lady
    Thank you for all your words, they’ve held my hand and wound up my heart on many occasions. As a former TOW, no contact meant transferring out and severing many ties. I still hurt and haven’t built up the strength to be strong when I come across him. But I know I’ve come along way…always waiting on your next blog…to help me on.

    God Bless and thanks for helping us along

  44. tiffrbug says:

    Thanks for your insight! You have been a blessing through a very painful, yet enlightening period of my life! I hope you have the best birthday ever!

  45. peacrow says:

    Happy birthday Nat!

    As always, an excellent post. I feel like this is one all my girlfriends–heck all of my friends, regardless of gender–need to read! Such simple, basic stuff that we tend to forget in relationships.

    All the best in the coming year.

  46. Lilia says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie and all the best to you and your family!
    Thank you thank you thank you for all the work you do and I´m printing out this list.

    I´m happy you´re enjoying Amsterdam with your girls because that´s where I grew up :).

  47. FinallyDidIt says:

    Happy Bithday Nat! #23 – what I need to remember everyday. Easy? No way -because I love him. Have to do? Yes, because I know he’ll never love me. Showed that to me so many times. Pretty much sucks!

  48. Magpie says:

    Cheers to you, sweet Natalie and sincerest thanks for the beautiful work you do each and every day. Enjoy!

  49. Learner says:

    I hope your birthday celebration in Amsterdam was all you’d hoped it would be. I love this list of thoughts, and #2,4,5,10 and 30 are especially speaking to me these days. I really like your idea that our lives are not “written” as yet, and I plan to “rewrite” my life, or at least to write the *rest* of my life with some different behaviours and beliefs from those in the first half (ish). More boundaries are being set up, and I will treat myself and others with more “TLC&R” = trust, love, care and respect.

    I have just finished reading your “No Contact Rule” ebook, and found it very helpful as I enter my second month of NC with the exMM. Thank you! Although it was painful to realize that I have been throwing my “love” at a non-empathetic, opportunistic MM (and meeting his needs) and pursuing him even though he didn’t want to be “caught”, it is good that I am now coming back to reality and opting out. Looking forward to reading Mr U and the FBG next!

  50. Snowboard says:

    “You can change your life. Your story isn’t ‘written’ – you can do a rewrite.” How beautiful.
    On Tuesday night, a bunch of friends are going out to a bar and they have invited me to come along. I very much want to go, but I know that there is a high probability that the guy I was recently talking to will be there. (For those who remember my story, I later found out that the new girl he was involved with was NOT his ex-girlfriend but another girl, and that he quickly ended things with this new girl after a couple weeks. The troubling part: he is 32, and both his ex-girlfriend and this new girl are 21/22. I defended him to Grace & Titi but now I think I was mistaken.)
    The old FBG in me would go to the bar on Tuesday, and pretend I could “handle” seeing him. The new Heroine in me has posted a note on my door which says, “Contract with Myself: I will not go to [that bar] on Tuesday night, because I prioritize taking care of myself over social activity,” and has signed and dated it.

  51. teachable says:

    I am feeling great in my skin right now. My physical health is still a problem but mentally & spiritually I am BACK! I’ve been doing all the right things for a very long time, hoping this moment would come – FINALLY IT HAS ARRIVED!!

    I am TOTALLY FREE of any feelings related to my ex who died apart from (believe it not) GRATITUDE that he IS gone, as that means ONE LESS issue on my plate distracting me from my own calling (notwithstanding sadness of course that he lost his life. His choice though, TOTALLY HIS CHOICE, not mine & NO GUILT whatsoever here. No need to do any further counselling on this one. It’s over & I feel resolved about it. End of. Next!)…

    I have stopped smoking & I have not felt ANY DESIRE WHATSOEVER to smoke since doing so. This is a miracle. I did not smoke for 14 YEARS prior to my ex coming back into my life. In a moment of weakness due to dealing with my own seperate issues, I reached out for a ciggarette while he (a smoker!) was staying at my home for the weekend visiting his ill Mother from interstate. Where were my boundaries?! NEVER AGAIN WILL A SMOKER STAY AT MY HOME EVEN IF THEY AGREE TO SMOKE OUTSIDE)!! THE ANSWER IS NO. SO DON’T EVEN ASK!!

    I am eating healthy home cooked meals with veggies, tofu, brown rice, etc, all cooked by yrs truely!! Out with the fags & in with the RIGHT fuel for my body!! It has been a long time since I have had the ENERGY to cook because I did not sleep. Now that I am SLEEPING again, I can cook! Yum!!

    I saw my senior specialist Dr today & informed him I have managed to HALF the dose of my medication & yet still be able to sleep & take care of all of my medical needs AT HOME without needing to go to hospital (all major accomplishments for me!) He was surprised at how quickly I’m making progress & was SUPER impressed that I’ve stopped smoking!! He basically said, ‘you know what you’re doing, it’s WORKING so KEEP doing it & I’ll see you again in 6 wks’… (as well a bit of other stuff)

    I still have a lot of work to do to get myself back to full health but I finally feel like I have turned a corner. Oh, & as for the ‘friend’ whose behaviour was a bit passive aggressive & confusing? After she admitted that she is the one with the problem, I decided she was right & haven’t been in touch with her since. I further explained that although I can’t afford to allow anything to upset me at this critical time, due to my exams which are a month away if she did feel the need to talk things through I would be happy to hear her out after my exam. I don’t know if I will hear from her then or not & I suspect she means well but in the meantime, I’m just not that desperate for friends & she most definately is not that special.

    Sometimes in life people really are just dealing with their own stuff. It’s not about us & it’s ok to draw a line, politely confront them & then walk away so as not to get caught up in it. I feel like that is what I’ve done. And now I can just get on with what really matters to ME ie MY LIFE! YAY!

    OHHH YES!!! And hows this for a MASSIVE LEARNING CURVE. An ex from about 10 years ago (as far as when I knew him a lovely man – very kind, but based permanently o.seas which why it was only ever a holiday romance w no expectation of more) contacted me this week via a facebook account obviously newly set up esp to contact me. Before I’ve even said hi, I emailed to say is obviously isn’t your REAL fbook account, & either is a FAKE account b.cuz PERHAPS U R MARRIED & WANTING TO HIDE YR CONTACTING FRM YR WIFE? or wotev, but add me to yr real account or dont even BOTHER contacting me!! Now THAT’S bounderies!!!! :)

  52. NK says:

    Nice little selection.

    I’ve been reading Baggage reclaim for 3 years now and I have a huge amount of self reflection and have moved forward from where I was before, but I am still not where I want to be in certain areas of my life. My latest attempt at dating just confirms that. It goes like this:

    2008: Finished uni, 4 year healthy relationship (that I was not ready for commitment), I ended by cheating.
    2009: Sketchy employment, family issues, confidence breakdown. Attempted a relationship with a narcisstic, emotionally unavailable bloke whom I cheated on my ex with….18 months of hell. Started counselling.
    2009/10: New career, lots of drinking, after EU relationship finishes lots of promiscuous sex, casual relationships (some I tried to form relationships, some I didn’t want one). Found Baggage reclaim.

    2011: New job role, new boyfriend – lasted 4 months. Took breakup pretty bad. emotional breakdown, got moved from job role for poor performance, depression sets in. Reach a break through in therapy. Signed off work for depression. Stopped smoking and drinking. Dated new guy for 2 months – asshole!. Tried to become celibate and not date/sleep with anyone lasted 4 months – !. Casual sex continues.

    Early 2012: Quit job. Started new career. Quit job due to depression. Tried to commit suicide!. Lost counselling due to lack of attendance and losing temper (her and me!). Started therapy with new psychologist but started ignoring people and locked myself in my house for 2 months. Started taking anti depressants.

    Now: New psychologist. Made career decision to continue with events industry and train as teacher in 2013. Giving myself a year of NO dating to work on myself!

    It seems that every time I get back on track I find a new man or job or something and its ok for a bit then I started ti slip up and every time I slip up I fall lower than the last time I slipped up! hence the depression. I have recently resolved some issues with my father – which has helped immensely. The issues with my mother are another matter and Im not sure they will ever be resolved.

    I have posted on here recently about my latest attempt at dating. That didn’t work out. At least he was open about it with me though. I still crashed and felt utter despair and called my casual partner for attention. I even contacted my ex EUM.

    I went to see him (we are on a friendly level) these days. It was kind of cathartic though, because we engaged in a smiler pattern to how we used to be but both knew that things have changed. I left after 2 hours. Its all I needed.

    Now I am going to ask myself and the universe for a huge amount of patience.
    Its something I distinctly lack. I am also extremely uncomfortable with feeling ‘feelings’ I maintain an existence of rationality and can’t handle feeling my feelings.

    Anyone else have problems with feeling their feelings?

  53. cc says:

    happy birthday again natalie.

    thank you for this, i was hoping for something exactly like it, and this time it was my mind you read…

    …because my birthday is on saturday, its always a hard day for me, and i usually beat myself (metaphorically) like a rented horse on that day every year, and you know what? i just don’t want to do it anymore. i’m evolving and changing because i choose to do so, because even though i struggle sometimes, i’ve taken a lot of control, i’ve been really brave and i’m fine. i’m just fine.

    thanks, again, natalie, you lil blessing, you.

    • Lilly says:

      cc, wishing you a Very Happy Birthday for Saturday. I have read many of your posts and they have really helped so thank you and have a wonderful day.

      • cc says:

        aw, lilly-
        that is so kind, thank you for saying so. honestly, you really touched me and made me feel all sweet and warm. and i’m glad i was helpful. honestly, there’s no point in going through all of this if we can’t offer each other with the tidbits we learn, the price we all pay for wisdom is too great to not spread it around, as natalie so ably demonstrates.

        thanks again, lilly!

  54. HS says:

    Happy Birthday NML!!! Hugs and kisses from me!
    I agree with all points you made, but it is SO hard to follow…I throw out my AC number 2 last Monday, and feel so bad now, miss him terribly!!! How can I change this pattern, how can I get out from this roller-coaster and be free of him?? HE is not contacting me, he was talking about another girl last time I met him. She has a child and he said that he is getting very well with women with children, as he has a son (I am childless)…HE also mentioned her age, she is 30 with big breasts and size 14, I am 40 years old (size 8 UK) and he is 49! IT is drives mad with jealousy…I cant stop thinking about them being together:-( I finally rid of him, I was so excited in the beginning, but now I feel different?!

    • Lilly says:

      HS, Sending some encouragement your way. I found the first few weeks of NC extremely difficult. My feelings were all over the place like yours, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else and I was a complete mess. But, I refused to give up on myself. I started Natalie’s NC course and it was invaluable. I also read many of the articles here and the many posts on BR. It has now been just over a month of NC and I’m feeling so much better. I’m still getting the down days, but the up days are becoming more frequent. The space has allowed me to reflect on the disastrous relationship with much more objectivity. It really was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Keep reminding yourself why you needed to throw out the AC. Keep following Natalie’s advice it really, truly works. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it really isn’t that far off. If I can do it so can you, hang in there.

      • HS says:

        Thank you so much Lilly for your encouragement, I really appreciate it.
        I have known him only few months and got attached to him, even I know we don’t have a future, he said to me: “I cant give you what you want, I am recently divorced and I am not looking for committed relationship”…

        Lilly I am very glad that you already feel better and it is only one month, amazing, well done you!!! I bought NML’s two books (NC and FBG) couple of years ago, so I am going to re-read them and obviously posts and comments here are very useful too. I am glad that my two days off are over, so at least I will be busy at work and wouldn’t think too much about AC.

    • cc says:

      …wait, let me get this straight. not only did you have to bump into him, but he’s enough of an insensitive clown to mention someone else, and her kid, and her dress size, AND her boobs? seriously?? honestly, who does that?!?

      but worse…you miss a person who would do that? how can you miss a person like that?

      HS! he’s a complete jerk and a half! don’t miss him! do you see? what kind of a hurtful, insensitive nasty guy says that to an ex? her *BOOBS*?? omg…the more i think of it, the worse it gets….

      and…please stop comparing yourself to her, it doesn’t matter how he described her, you’re judging yourself less than because you’re older than she with smaller boobs and no kid? because those are the qualifications one needs to … what? to attract an AC?

      ….wait….its still getting worse…..what 30-year-old wants to be with a guy NINETEEN YEARS HER SENIOR? he could be her father for christ sake! oh! wait! now we know what’s wrong with her that she’s with him! she’s … an idiot?

      problem solved. please stop missing the cruel, narcissistic AC who goes out with women who could be his daughter. “getting very well with women with children” – not women who ARE children compared to him!

      no, HS. he is a complete ass. stop missing him *immediately*. i bet he was making it up anyway, he sounds capable of that.

      and please – avoid seeing him entirely. work on you. the heck with him!

      • HS says:

        CC thank you very much for your comment, thanks God you understood me. The reason I described the woman who AC currently dating, because I wanted to show how insecure I am even at the grand age of 40!!! HE wanted to make me jealous, and he achieved that…I am only human:-)
        YES, it is total madness to think about this guy, who is not worth it a minute of my time and attention. I need to concentrate on my well being, and stop meeting losers:-)

    • titi says:

      You are 40? Right now you sound like a teenage girl bitching about some jerk and ranting how he likes some other girl more because she has bigger boobs?!!! BIg boobs do not guarantee a healthy relationship, geez. Woman, pull yourself together, you’re making a clown of yourself. You keep doing the same thing to yourself. I think Magnolia once told you you weren’t listening, and she was right. The fact you turn down one or two or several assclowns does not make you a person of integrity all of a sudden. You keep missing the problem: the problem is in you, in your pattern of behaviour in relationships. And the issues won’t go away if you keep going from one ass to another, and thereby making some considerable amount of drama. You need to do some heavy work on yourself. You need to understand what attracts you to these jackasses. What are you afraid of? Why would you want to be with someone you obviously don’t respect (but you do expect him to respect you)? Why do you find it so hard to be alone, outside of a relationshit for a while? These are some of the questions you need to find answers to. Start by learning to love your precious self.

  55. miskwa says:

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday Nat
    These are good points; I often expect perfection of myself: should be able to do and know everything and get everything done and done well and then wonder why I am tired and burned out. I have learned so much from BR; I have been spending a half hour before turning in reading archived old posts. Its comforting in a way to know that the ##$% behavior that I’ve experienced with the AC is not that uncommon. If one hasn’t experienced that behavior and it’s well beyond how you would treat another, you’re going to be pretty shocked and knocked off kilter. This past year has been horribly lonely but also constructive. I offloaded two toxic non friends, may need to offload two more, have filtered through and offloaded a bunch of on line guys that were not cutting it and am in the process of getting out of science and into sustainability after plodding thru a year of serious burnout. I am teaching myself cordwood construction and will be getting my building timbers Weds. I also avoided a music fest where a very good looking, highly creative aquaintance would be because he is also an inveterate AC that goes thru women as rapidly as the rest of us change our socks. I am egotistical enough to believe I deserve someone I am actually attracted to but I will never, ever, be anyones “chippy of the week”. Will run an ultramarathon in another town instead. Yep, at this point, I may well be alone for good but at least I will have some really cool outbuildings, perhaps the only high altitude agronomy center in the country, and a bunch of finishers medals to show for my time here. Could be worse, eh?

    • runnergirl says:

      Holy crap Miskwa. I was with you as far as reading the BR archives and realizing I’m not alone, unfortunately. There’s always so much too learn from Natalie and all the amazing folks,like you, who post. I have trouble limiting my BR time to only 30 minutes. I had to off-load my toxic best friend as well as the exMM as well as numerous “professional colleagues”. It got quite lonely really fast like you say.
      You are amazing…cordwood construction and building timbers? An ultramarathon and cool outbuildings? Dear lord, a high altitude agronomy center? There is no way you could ever be a “chippy of the week”. Come to think about it, me neither, although I’m not running a high altitude agronomy center. Most guys just can’t get a grip that I teach anthropology and I am a lawyer. That usually flushes them out quickly. You must be way beyond that. Good for you. i want to hear about the ultramarathon. Could be way worse. We could still be doormats for morons.

  56. teachable says:



    The CRITICAL thing you’re doing DIFFERENTLY this time is giving yourself 12 mths OUT of r.ships ( I prsumes this means casual or otherwise, heads up, casual ones are just a load of BS you don’t have time for anyway!) Do that AND look at some of the other things you’ve mentioned & things might really turn around. Also, not sure what your drinking is like, but if you think you MIGHT have an issue in that area NOW is the time to look at that also. (& for that head to AA) If not all good too. Good luck with the new therapy & goals either way! I actually thin you rock!

    Cheers & chin up hey! T 😉

    • NK says:

      Thanks Teachable!

      I can only try again! try and learn after each fall……
      I do drink sometimes to get away from my problems, but I don’t think I have a problem. I’ve discussed this with my therapist and she doesn’t think so either. I have more of a problem with casual sex! than alcohol. It seems to be my coping mechanism. I don’t want to depend on it anymore.

      Let the dating hiatus begin. I have planned for slip-ups: pleasing myself when the horn comes around…going for a walk or a run when I feel anxious…deep breathing and counting to 15….meditation…..starting that art project that Ive thought about for sue long. Oh and training to become a teacher should take up lots of my time!

      Thanks for the kind words

      • Chloe says:

        Hi NK,

        Why do you think casual sex is a problem, I mean why do you think you use it as a coping mechanism?

        • NK says:

          Because I do it when I’m feeling down – for example this weekend a guy I’ve been dating said he doesn’t want to continue. I felt like crap, got drunk and called my FWB.

          I don’t think thats healthy.

        • grace says:

          No, it’s not healthy.
          I strongly recommend a period of no-dating and no sex. It’s really nice to reconnect with your own life without men. Your inner strength and optimism is what will attract a decent man. If there is any part of you that’s fearful, needs validation, is man-pleasing, cynical about relationships, cynical about men, or desperate at any level, you just keep ending up in the same situation.
          You won’t find happiness while you dance around with FWBs, or jump through hoops trying to be the perfect girlfriend, or watch your date like a hawk for slip ups. It’s not that we make the man behave like he does (he is who he is) but by some weird law of the universe we will keep bumping up against no-hopers until we find our own hope within ourselves. As Nat has said “you complete you”. And when you are complete you can find someone else who is complete. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years of singledom – and my one month or so of dating – like speaks to like.

          • NK says:

            This is exactly what I’m doing – I just need to make sure that when I start to feel better I don’t think ‘oh ok I’m ok now, I can date, let it happen once, etc…’ I need to follow through!

            Im giving myself 1 year of no dating. I shall review my progress after 6 months. I had a blog when I tried this last time and it only lasted 4 months and it wasn’t a complete ban that time, I allowed myself to date but with no sex. This time no male attention at all. I may start that blog again.
            Also realised that my one dating site which I’m on needs to go as well.
            I GUARANTEE that as soon as its in action I’ll have some seemingly suitable guy showing interest. Urgh………..

            Any hoes, Im probably going to visit this site more often now so look out for me :)

  57. Sam says:

    I only found your blog today and know I will visit more. You’ve a true gift to articulate truths we all know deeply, but either never recognize as present or fail to appreciate the wisdom and power of their aid. Thank you and Happy Birthday! Sam

  58. Ellyb says:

    NML: I’m particularly grateful for #7. I’m so glad you always remind us it’s okay to question our parents.

    I’ve spent two years trying to come to terms with my mother’s narcissism, but I still feel unable to date. Absolutely not ready. I still expect to experience really horrible, disgusting, unbearable things once I enter a commited, “healthy” relationship.

    Why? Maybe because there isn’t just momster to deal with, but another person who was a big fat piece of sh*t in his own right. My father.

    I keep putting him on a pedestal, thinking he was basically a good, sweet person and just fell victim to momster and alcohol.

    He was a PERVERT. And he put me down in unspeakable ways. All the time. He was never my friend. Not even remotely.

    I don’t know how far he went… because I still don’t want to remember it. But I think it basically doesn’t matter. Treating a child like a sexual object (and constantly!!!) is always a crime. Always.

    For example when I was a teenager, he loved to sit down facing me, legs apart, and then he rubbed his legs very slowly, up and down, in exactly the same rhythm as if he was… With a very dirty grin in his face. Whenever I got angry about that, both he and momster ridiculed me for being such a crazy, sick, immature teenager.

    He had a high-status job, was highly respected, but that doesn’t mean his “judgment” of me was right (as I used to believe). I wasn’t a “baby whore” (I used to believe I was that, due do some kind of genetic “flaw” in me, because my parents were obsessed with genetics). That’s total crap. It’s totally disgusting. He was a disgusting man. My parents pseudoscience (about genetics and my purported “mental illness”) was simply part of their horrible brainf*ck.

    In dating, I always expect to be treated like a sexual object. I beat myself up for hating it. But being treated that way feels so utterly horrible! And anyway, I keep thinking it’s all I deserve.

    With guys, I often make disparaging sexual remarks about myself. I want to tell them: It’s okay with me, I don’t mind, I know I deserve to be treated like crap, I know I am the lowest of the lowest, I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve had some “issues” with that as a teenager, but now I’m ok with it.


    • Chloe says:


      You do know this is sexual abuse. I really hope you are seeing a therapist, becasue this will take a lot of therapy to heal. I hope you are staying away from your parents. They sound very sick. My parents also have their disfunctional way of thinking and I’ve had to seperate myself from them to change the lense they put into my brain of how to see myself. You are seeing yourself through your parents sick lense, you must smash this lense and create your own way of seeing yourself, perhaps you can start by how God or a higher power sees you, which is always positive and loving. You are a worthy human being who has been treated very badly and been taught many many lies about yourself. Don’t believe them and start changing how you see yourself. Good luck!

    • titi says:

      Ellyb, sweetie, your parents are sick, you are not. No, it’s not ok to treat a child, or even an adult, like that. They were bad, very bad parents and highly unsensitive people. No wonder you choose men that “inspire” you to repeat that unhealthy pattern with them. Please stop beating yourself up. You sound like a very sensitive and smart person. You deserve WAY too better than that. You have every eight to be mad because you were mistreated by your parents. They were devaluing you and were making fun of your feelings, so please would YOU stop doing the same thing to yourself. You feel that no one deserves to be treated like a sexual object, so do stop letting some jackasses do that to you. By choosing casual sex over YOU, you repeat that pattern, you keep punishing yourself and confirming that you are not good enough for anything beside a casual sex. Do you see how wrong and irrational is that? These are your parents’ thought, not yours. You are a valuable person, start treating yourself like a gem you truly are.

    • Little Star says:

      Darling Ellyb, I want to hug you so much!!! GOSH, I know how you feel…it is happened to me but not with my Father but my Mum’s friend. I was 11 and he was 52! HE did molested me…My own Father abandoned me when I was three years old…I have abandonment issues and it is VERY hard to trust any man again, I met so many of them…but it seems I cannot stop searching and looking for the ONE!

      PLEASE DO NOT THINK you deserve treated like a crap, you ARE NOT, you are wonderful person, you just had horrible experiences in your childhood!!! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, you were innocent child, it is your parents fault and if I was you, I report your Father to police! They are sick and perverted, not you, honey. I have to see therapist, so do you, we need to DEAL with our childhood past and we need to face this painful experience, and finally move on. I know because of my past, I cant move to the future and be in present. Please stay strong Ellyb, love from me xxx

    • runnergirl says:

      Ellyb, I’ve always read your comments but could not respond because your childhood was too similar to mine regarding the pervert father (but not the narcissistic mother). While in therapy, I had memories of my father as a voyeur, a peeping tom. He actually got caught by my step-sister, peeping and video-taping through a vent in the bathroom as well as peeping on her through the same bedroom window he used to peep on me. I have a vivid memory. Talk about perverted and creepy just like your memories. The whole house was set up with vents, crawl spaces, and his special room, including a computer filled with child porn. I won’t mention what he did for a living. Despite those object facts, all my siblings and step-mother covered it up. I went NC before I knew what that was. I thought that since I realized my father was a pervert, he got caught, and I was in therapy and I was NC, I was done. Nope. I hadn’t unloaded my father’s perverted baggage. Thus, I played out the childhood trauma by becoming a sexual object, FBG, OW, and general doormat for numerous males. It was through Natalie and the BR community that I learned to separate and offload my father’s perverted baggage. You can do it too and you are doing it. No more disparaging remarks. STOP that tape. Your comments always make me cry….in a good way. I finally felt comfortable in reaching out to you. Here’s a hand and a hug.

      • Ellyb says:

        Chloe, titi, Little Star, runnergirl, Learner, teachable: Thank you!

        runnergirl – You’ve mentioned some of your childhood experiences before, and they always rendered me speechless. It sounds monstrous. Is it okay if I’m getting angry on your behalf?

        I admit it’s way more difficult to get angry on our own behalf. My father was a prosecutor (by profession). I still seem to believe he’s going to prosecute ME if I see him for what he is. It’s crazy, because I went NC with my parents half a decade ago, and anyway he wouldn’t be able punish me for my thoughts and my anger anymore.

        I haven’t had casual sex in a long time, but I always thought I couldn’t have any dates without humiliating sex. My only long-term relationship (which ended more than a decade ago) was all about that. The guy wasn’t an attractive player, but rather an awkward, plain nerd, but all he wanted from me was sex. We both acted as if I “owed” him sexual “services” simply because he was willing to be my boyfriend.

        After a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore. It felt almost like being raped. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Our relationship ended because of this. I think I’m still blaming myself for that. I keep thinking if only I had given him more sex (even more) he might have been able to love/validate me one day.

        I seem to expect the same behavior from every guy. That’s why I don’t want to date.

        I thought “being ready to date” meant “being ready to act like an unpaid sexworker again”.

        No wonder I didn’t want to date! Not wanting that kind of relationship is actually a HEALTHY thing and not a sign of “having issues”. It’s okay. It’s totally okay. TOTALLY!

  59. jasmine says:

    i read and re read natalies words all the time…..and im so trying….today i snapped and texted the guy who disappeared on me 4 months ago without word and whom i just recently saw he’s in a relationship with on facebook as i stalked.. i’ve since blocked my account..but still…….he called up straight away from his work mobile number…..we had a general conversation and i was itching to ask about this girl, but i held my tongue….he said he will ‘call’ me after ramadan to meet up…everyone, im feeling i can’t take this anymore, i need to text about this girl…is it a fake, what is driving myself crazy and suppressing my emotions….i need to know so badly…i don’t know what to do…i keep reading and reading natalies articles and i feel everything she says and i want to be this confident person, but what the hell should i be doing now as i feel like falling into pieces….what gives him the right to not tell me after disappearing…i so feel i deserve something….

    • yoghurt says:

      jasmine – what’s ‘fake’ about this situation is you contacting him at all and expecting it to be anything other than painful and unfulfilling. It’s fake having a ‘general conversation’ – the only sort of conversation that you should feasibly be having, given the way he’s made you feel, is an acrimonious one. And given that the only possible result of that would be to make you feel worse and possibly look silly then you’re best off not bothering at all. Hence NC.

      If you want to be a confident person then act like one. A confident person wouldn’t look for validation from someone who has been horrible and who she doesn’t respect. A confident person wouldn’t want to get into fake-ass conversations with someone who isn’t honest and doesn’t care about her. A confident person might not feel great about having to cut someone off, but they’re confident in protecting their right to be treated properly.

      It hurts (I know that I’m not adopting a sympathetic tone here, but I AM sympathetic – hugs). It really really hurts to be treated like you’re worthless and like you’re not worth caring about. But that hurt and grief is something that you have to get through and process (which means actually feeling it, unfortunately), and if you keep on delaying it by imagining that you’ll ever get something remotely approaching honesty or care from this fella then you’re going to make it worse when you have to go through it and you’ll STILL have to go through it.

      You do deserve something… you deserve a happy life with love in it. You ain’t going to get it from this man, so let him go. Don’t beat yourself up for breaking NC (we’ve all been there) but try to get back on the horse.

      Incidentally, you’re not being fake and ‘suppressing your emotions’ by keeping NC, you’re actually RESPECTING your emotional response and RESPECTING your right to be treated better than this. And it’s difficult and unfamiliar and some days it feels like it’s all a delusion. But that doesn’t mean that it is – it means that you’re having a bad day and you’ve hit a difficult point in processing everything. Keep going because you WILL feel better for it, I promise.

    • HS says:

      Jasmine, please read Natalie;s posts: Please read it, she done three parts, and they really helped me. Natalie is our saver:-)

      • jasmine says:

        Hs thankyou for the links!!

        yoghurt….as the days go by im getting better and sounding more better and looking more positive and happier. the good news is that i dont feel im going to fall into his arms if i do see him around..i feel i have boundaries up and im thinking and feeling it. if he is seeing that other woman, then good luck with that. a man who goes from one relationship to another is obviously carrying baggage and i wouldn’t want to be that other woman. people don’t change easily and i know EUM well….he’s not going to be a whole new person in 4 months…

        natalie is really helping us all with her no bullshit advice…i love it! thanks everyone.

  60. Learner says:


    wow you have had a lot of untue, unfair messages thrown at you by your parents. You are a true survivor and must possess great strength to have come through all of that! Like the others, I hope you stop making disparaging sexual remarks about yourself. Those messages are validating your parents’ lies about you.

    After I read your post, I had a long cry (its OK, it turned out to be good, cathartic crying). I was also treated in a similar way by my dad starting from early childhood, and then had to watch as he flirted with my friends. So humiliating. Anyway, during my crying I ended up saying aloud “you had no right to treat me that way dad” .. which eventually gave way to “you had no right to treat me like that exMM!”

    Lets take away their ability to judge us and our bodies from that warped place. Lets give ourselves new, positive messages. Lets see our bodies for the wonderful things they are – they allow us to move and express ourselves and feel and they belong to US!!! Lets see ourselves as whole people, not sexual objects, and lets celebrate our strength, as we all have strength. Sending my hugs to you, too, Ellyb

  61. kayakerkathy says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been a ‘lurker’ here for about two months but this is my first post. To make a VERY long and complicated story short, my own experience is similar to most of yours, although the idiot I was involved with and I didn’t get physical. It was basically him seeking me out, flirting, dangling crumbs to keep me hooked, verbally bashing his girlfriend and her children (who he lives with. Again, crumbs). I of course had a crush on him and he knew it and used it, and of course had no ‘intentions’ with me at all. Though I never asked him to leave his situation there was that little voice inside me that hoped he would. I’m human, after all, right? Despite his own behavior, I realize that I had feelings for an image, something concocted from my own imagination. That’s what I’ve been trying to work on these last two months since seeing him – what is it in me that allowed me to be lured into what I have realized was a Jerry Springer episode. Unfortunately he lives only a mile from me so I’m constantly reminded of him.

    What I’ve been haunted by is – trying to get over the feeling that he has gotten away with it all, and I’m the one left feeling hurt and confused. How can I simply let this all go and let karma drive its bus without me being a passenger driver? LOL

  62. teachable says:

    Snowboard. I LOVE the note to yourself on yr door. Very inventive! Good work! T :)

  63. teachable says:

    Pleasure NK. I havent struggled with that particilar issue but some who HAVE attend 12 step groups of sex & love addicts anonymous. May not be for everyone but I went there many years ago to end a relarionship I’d had issues with & found it very helpful. Otherwise tht’s a worthy goal. Hang in & stick around. You’re obviously no slouch & if you put the footwork in, which it sounds like you are, things WILL improve. I’m living proof of that. I arrived at BR in a VERY BAD way. Now, although I’m still struggling w physical health issues & rebuilding my life in general, mentally, emotionally & spiritually I’ve done a 180. It’s been a hard slog & I’m now in phase two of my plan (rebuilding myself from the inside out) but when I get to stage three (start dating again) I can already feel I will truely be a force to be reckoned with. I am already & I’m nowhere near full strength yet. You too will recover if you want it badly enough. You know what you’re doing. Just believe in yourself & never, ever give up! Cheers T :)

  64. Sarah T says:

    Happy birthday, Natalie. I hope you had a lovely day x No need to post this…am just passing on belated but heartfelt wishes! X

  65. Jasmine says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Nat!!!! I hope you had an amazing day!!
    I love all of your pics- you are a very stylish lady- and your girls are beautiful!!!

  66. teachable says:

    Grace is usually pretty good value for feedback NK. She’s quite a lot further along than I & I’ve never seen her ‘sledge’ anyone. What she says in that post is true. Casual sex will never get anywhere except filing for self esteem bankruptcy. I know you said alcohol isn’t an issue but it sounds like it played a part in lowering your resolve against your better judgement on this occassion. People don’t have to be daily drinkers, or even consumers of large amounts of alcohol to have a problem with it. I wont be labour the point, as I don’t want you to feel that someone is hammering on about the wrong issue if that’s the case, but in the one incident you describe it sounds like alcohol played a key role. This is just a gentle suggestion, so please don’t take it the wrong way, but it might be worth taking a look at some of the other FWB / casual sex episodes in therapy & seeing if alcohol has had a tendency to be involved more than just this once. If not – end of. If so though, consider popping your head into AA for a ‘look see’ & give it go (if it’s in yr area that is, which it is in most places, barring some remote locations). After all, it wont do any harm to explore this with your therapist if it’s NOT a problem & if it is IS, you just watch the relationship issues clear up, once you deal with the alcohol first! If I’m totally off base I apologise in advance. If I’m not, you’ll be thanking me a year from now (wink wink). Hang in there! T :)

  67. teachable says:

    And I would just like to add to Grace’s comment that ‘like speaks to like’. Now that I’m clear of all the junk ppl or situations which were not befitting of my time or character, amazingly, last night, a world renowned Author & leader of much research in a particular area, decided to tell me, after surveying some of MY work & achievements that he thinks I am “absolutely awesome”. I nearly fell off my chair! This was not coming from just any old person!! I’m far too physically unwell to take that lovely compliment as anything other that just that, but my goodness, people DO notice when (generally speaking) your sh*t is together!!! Must be the universe sending me a pebble of encouragement or something. Not that I NEEDED anyone external to validate me, although it WAS pleasant. Today if you asked me, I would tell you (knowing all I have been through to get to where I am today), well yes actually, I AM pretty awesome!! I would also acknowledge though, that I’ve had a LOT of help along the way (including recently from Nats books & BR posts) & am still a work in progress. No more playing small for me. The world awaits when the time is right & my physical health permts. PS STILL not smoking. When you REALLY love yourself – it’s just TOO EASY! :)

  68. teachable says:

    Damn. Cc I missed your birthday!! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday Cc! Happy birthday to you!! I hope embarressing myself by serenading you on this board makes up in some small way for my oversight & that you had a great day!! T :)

  69. teachable says:

    EllyB. My heart goes out to you. If it’s Ok with you I’m sending you a BIG HUG through cyberspace which you can unwrap & hang onto as needed any time. Your parents were very sick people. I don’t know why. I’m so sorry that you grew up in a home terrible things were being done by the people who were supposed to love & protect you. Perhaps you’ve already sought counselling? If not, please do. It wasn’t you fault. What they did to you was wrong & as another poster points out, even if there was no actual touching what you described is a form of sexual abuse. It’s just covert rather than overt that is all. You deserved better than that. Much much better. Angain big hugs. It wasn’t your fault but it IS possible heal. We might always bear the scars but the right partner for a survivor of abuse will see how they ADD to our beauty, not detract from it, because those scars, are symbols of the strong worrior women are experiences spurned us on, to eventually become. Be gentle with yourself. Our healing journey is lifelong. T x

  70. teachable says:

    My apologies. I didn’t mean to say ‘just’ covert. Covert sexual abuse can be just as damaging as overt sexual abuse. In some cases more so, as it is more difficult to identify & is therefore be more pernicious. All abuse is damaging, however, sexual or otherwise, covert & overt. As such, notwithstanding the aforementioned, which is a generalisation only, the impact of abuse on individuals cannot be compared, as each persons experience is unique (although we CAN compare the effects on populations but we wont go there…). Thanks for allowing me to clarify. T.

  71. Learner says:

    It is good you are reading BR to help deal with your EUM. After being involved with an MM, I can relate to your frustration that you feel hurt whilst he seems to have “gotten away with it”. You may want to read Natalies book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl to help answer the questions you have about why you allowed him to treat you this way and what you could do to avoid it happening in the future.The ebook is available to order under the “bookstore” tab.

  72. teachable says:

    You’re on the right track NK. Keep following the Yellow Brick Rd (& yes with NO FLIRTATIOUS MALE ATTENTION WHATSOEVER, if that has been your downfall in the past, including taking a break from the one last dating site you mention) & some of us will just saunter alongside you. You might be surprised once you experience where your self esteem, (as opposed to ego, which we sometimes confuse it with), is located i.e self esteem resides & develops within us, rather than from external validation, as a consequence of doing esteemable acts, just like the ones you describe. That’s how I know you’re going to be just fine. :) PS That guy you suspect will show up & suddenly start showing interest? That may happen, however, he will be anything but ‘suitable’ unless you’re up for another round of B.S… 😉

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.