Life After Gaslight 5-19-18

Meet “Ron”. “Ron” was a 68 year old retired San Francisco firefighter. He is also my ex-boyfriend. I met “Ron” in 2012. At first, I was apprehensive about him but he was persistent in his pursuit to capture my heart. He showered me with compliments and gifts. He called me cutie pie, baby and would constantly tell me how “fine” I was. He uttered the words “I love you” after knowing me for only a month. I recall thinking his infatuation was too good to be true, but his words also came with his promises of a wonderful life filled with travel, love and affection. He was so sweet, after only a few months he swept me off my feet.  Unfortunately, I quickly learned that this was merely a facade with words he said to all the women he manipulated. “Cutie pie”, “baby”, “fine” and “I love you” was something he had said to all the girls.

Looking back there were a mine field of red flags, however “Ron” had a way with showering me with such kindness in the beginning that it was easy to overlook the flaws. And when I say flaws, I mean some serious issues that no woman should have to deal with ever in their life.

My experience is not unique.
“Ron” is a good guy. I think he has a good side to him. He’s been married twice like most people in America. Both divorces ended due to his infidelity.  He was the cheater but “it wasn’t his fault” or so he claimed. Red flag number one. He was also in a long term relationship with a woman who he referred to as “Mo”. I think because she brought so much havoc and “mo” trouble in to everyone’s life than one can imagine. She certainly brought trouble in to my life.  In her defense, “Ron” brought the insanity out in her. I later found her story with “Ron” was nothing short of tragic. Worse was what he did to his first wife. Sadly she was one of the sweetest women I ever met and in my opinion did not deserve what he did to her.  No woman deserves the kind of treatment myself and I’m sure many others have endured.

“Ron’s” past consisted of drunken behavior. He was an alcoholic/addict who had arrests for driving under the influence under his belt.  He stopped drinking while we were together after humiliating me with his drunken behavior. He also had an infatuation with young women in their twenties and was known to engage in sexual acts with many prostitutes. I later learned he had been on house arrest for engaging in these acts. Of course, I can’t say for sure since this was merely hear say.

“Ron” had a volatile temper and exhibited many mood swings that were enough to turn a sane person in to a psychotic nut. I should know. After three years with this man, I lost my confidence, my self esteem, my self respect, my identity and I felt like I was losing my mind. I really believed I might be crazy. My biggest regret….I only wish I had known these things before I allowed this man to capture my heart.

“Ron” was a pack rat. He had junk all over his condo, which was located in a well to do area of San Francisco. You would have never known it. His condo belonged on an episode of Hoarders. He had so much clutter and he even had old plastic bottles filled with water all over the place. Maybe it was his age.

Two years after I moved in with him he finally opened a carton of lemonade that had been in the refrigerator and had an expiration date of 2010. It had been expired for four years yet he refused to throw it out insisting it was still good. The lemonade was so spoiled when he finally opened the carton to have a glass, he had no choice but to throw it out. What a surprise. Mind you he had vilified me for wanting to throw it the year prior.

“Ron” had odd sleeping habits. He was up all night and slept all day. When I say all day….I mean all day. Often times “Ron” would arise from his slumber at six in the afternoon. Two or three was early for him. He also liked to conserve water. He was a dedicated California resident who only bathed once a month and always on a Thursday. I firmly believe he deserved accolades for being the most conservative California resident during a drought. However, if you ask me he should’ve opened up one of his plastic bottles of old tap water and taken a bath.

At times he had white crust around his ears that was creamy and had the appearance of cradle cap.  At times he smelled so bad I would want to vomit. His solution was wipes (he was the poster child for cottonelle wipes) and he would also use lots of cologne. I often wondered if he was European but was inclined to believe he might be crazy. He led me to believe he was suffering from dementia. In my experience when “Ron” would shower it was His cue for wanting to be intimate.


   “Ron” was wonderful in the beginning. He took me on trips, showered me with gifts,  he catered to my every whim and treated me like a queen. He always held my hand and opened my door.  But that stopped and he would throw the door in my face. He portrayed himself as a family man. An attribute that was merely a facade. He was also lots of fun.  We went dancing and even took salsa lessons. He would hum in my ear every time we danced. He was a terrible salsa dancer but no worries….he would always blame me for his shortcoming and would become extremely verbally abusive.

All his positive attributes stopped three months after moving in with him. That’s when the “real” “Ron” emerged. The trouble only got worse when a his 27 year old Latina Stripper “friend” continued to call and text at all hours of the day including when we were on vacation. Harassment that continued the entire duration of our relationship. “Ron” also began to withhold any contact with me intimately. We went from having an active intimate life to a periodic one, provided it was on his terms. “Ron” had a penile implant. I suspect many of his issues might have stemmed from this creating his own insecurities however, I’ll never know. I will share that on occasion I would wake up in the middle of the night and catch him naked in the bathroom engaging in questionable acts or even plucking his pubic hairs. I found myself in such disbelief that I would run back to bed and keep quiet.

“Ron” did crazy things such as pluck his facial hair while watching tv. He often had a scowl on his face and would pluck to the point he would cause sores on his face. He would often file his feet over the couch. This odd behavior caused me to believe either he was crazy but he convinced me I was crazy for thinking this behavior was odd.

He was very private about everything. He caused me to believe he had many secrets. Especially, since I wasn’t allowed to ask him even simple questions like “how was your day?” I wasn’t allowed to say “have a great day” and God forbid I wasn’t allowed to express how he made me feel. I wasn’t allowed to ask any questions….period!!!  He would explode and punish me  for days calling me names, accusing me of being suspicious and rejecting me to the point I couldn’t breathe. I would cry for days. Rejection can cause so much pain and anguish.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got zero emotional support from “Ron”. He was extremely un-empathetic and lacked any ounce of compassion. He would insult me and make me feel so bad about myself that more often than not I found myself in the bathroom on my knees crying from the pain this man would cause. Somehow in the midst of it all he managed to blame me for his behavior and would punish me for days by ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. In my experience, I’m not sure what was worse, chemo or “Ron”. This man made fighting cancer the hardest journey of my entire life.

I posted the following post on Facebook after my first treatment.  The following five treatments were not much different.  In the end he admitted he had treated me poorly because I was no longer attractive. In my defense, when you’re in a fight against cancer, it’s rather hard to remain the beautiful person you once were. Hair loss doesn’t help.  I take solace in knowing God is a just God and my abuser will get his in the end.


    

Ron showered me with love, trips, gifts, fancy dinners, compliments, concerts…..everything and anything. It was short lived and it came at a very painful price. I now know that this is not just my experience, it’s been the experience of many women who have found themselves involved with their “Ron”. While my story may seem tragic I know I’m Not alone. There are many “Ron’s” out there and I feel they dont deserve to have any women in their life. In fact, they should be locked up and throw away the key.

If you happen to be approached by any man who exhibits any of these behaviors, my advice is run and never look back. Do not make the same mistake that I made getting involved with a man like this. It’s hard to get away once he’s got you under his spell.  I can assure you the life you have today will be no more. Happiness, joy, self respect, confidence and love for yourself will be a thing of the past. You will find yourself questioning your own sanity, when clearly the one with the mental issues is your knight in shining armor. However, if you don’t heed my advice and find yourself in a crazy relationship I will warn you..don’t bother reaching out to anyone because no one will believe you. “Ron” had two personalities. The one I dealt with at home and the other who was sweet and loving around his friends. Friends, family, doctors and church begged me to leave him but I resisted their warnings hopeful for the man I initially met to return.  Finally one day, I snapped and saw this man for he really was. I was heartbroken, humiliated and felt like there’s no way out.

On May 16th, 2015 with the help of the Deacon and sisters from my church, I packed up and left this emotionally abusive man. I left this relationship with a broken heart along with a diagnosis of anxiety, severe depression and PTSD caused from this crazy relationship. You might ask “PTSD?!” It’s a result of the war zone I found myself in. The sad part is  I really cared for this man.

Healing from this relationship has taken three years. Counseling was inevitable and it’s taken a lot of strength and determination to come out on the other side. The pain and scars left behind from a three year nightmare has taken a long time to heal. Occasionally I still experience flashbacks. Three years ago I found myself broken hearted and on my knees praying for strength to get through this. I am happy to say I made it.

I’m sharing my story tonight because May 16th was the anniversary of leaving my abuser. On May 16th, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to fly to Maui where I’m spending time with my cousin. I couldn’t put my finger on why this trip fell in to place. It was crazy how it all happened. My friend who owns a condo here offered her condo to me for a week for free. The dates she had available were May 16-24. I accepted her offer not even knowing how I would pay for my flight. My brother and sister in law used their air miles to buy me a ticket. Everything happens for a reason. I knew there was a reason I was coming back to Maui. I love Maui however, Maui is also reminder of the time I shared with my ex. We spent many weeks here together. Today I found an old blog and noticed that May 16th was the day I broke free from my abuser. Three years have passed. I suspect my trip here is somewhat of a Re-birth for me. I no longer have to look behind me. I can finally move forward and what better place to be to begin my new life than to start my new beginning in Maui on vacation with my cousin who is also my best friend.

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing the details of my past relationship. After three years, I’m still so embarrassed. I take comfort knowing there’s a term for what I went through. It’s called “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is a term where someone uses manipulation to cause you to question your own sanity. My “Ron” did just that. Today I’m free from that relationship as well as that toxic environment. Slowly but surely I’ve gotten my confidence back but more importantly my sanity back. Like so many women, I never thought this would happen to me. What I’ve learned is even the smartest and most intelligent women can find themselves in a relationship such as mine. I still ask myself “what was I thinking? How did I allow this to happen to me?” I still have flashbacks and I’m no longer the woman I once was but I’m happy to report I’m a new woman in progress.

Today I’m hopeful again. I’m eager to laugh and have fun again and I believe my knight in shining armor is out there and more importantly I know that when I find him I will never allow him to manipulate me to the point where I lose myself.

Life happens. Today I’m on vacation in Maui. I am waking up to the sound of the ocean and the cool breeze coming in through my lanai. I have no plans other than to spend the day at the farmers market then the beach taking in all that healing spirit Maui has to offer. Life is good again. I heard a quote once that said “I may not be everything I want to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be!” Truth!! I’m not close to being who I want to be. Thank god I’m Not where I used to be!!

Just Me And My Mom 3-31-18

I was on Facebook this morning reviewing all of my Facebook memories from my timeline. This memory popped up. I posted this on March 31, 2014 right before I was diagnosed with cancer. I was really sick at the time. My diagnosis came ten days later. As I read my post I thought to myself how grateful I am that I’m now home with my mother. After all, it’s been the support of my mother that has carried me through the past few years.

Some times I want to “throw momma from the train”. At times I even wonder what my life would be like if I could just run as far away from here and live my life to the fullest without my mother. My dad used to say “you only have one mother and one father. When their gone you have nothing”. My dad is no longer with me but thank god I have my mother.

As I pondered the following post it occurred to me that maybe the dream I had so many years ago was a message from my guardian angel warning me to go home to my mother. Looking back, I wish I had. Maybe fighting cancer with my mother by my side opposed to enduring cancer treatment with my abusive ex boyfriend, might certainly have brought a much better outcome than I have lived through these past four years. I finally realized that being home with my mother is where I’m supposed to be.

If your mother is still alive I’d like to encourage anyone reading this today to reach out to her. Tell her you love her. Spend time with her. In the end it’s your mother who will Be by your side in the good times and the bad times. It’s your mother who will love you unconditionally forever and always. It’s your mother you will call out to if only in your dreams.

March 31, 2014. “The other night I had a crazy dream. I am still bewildered by it. I can’t remember all of it, more importantly I can’t remember the woman in my dream. In my dream I was afraid of the woman and I knew I needed my mother. I woke up screaming for my mother. I kept yelling for my mother to help me. I didn’t remember any of this until Ron told me. It bothered me so much. I called my mom just now & can you believe she’s been dreaming about me too. She’s dreamt we were together & I was making her laugh so hard she was crying. It’s funny. As teenagers the first person we turn against is our mother. I know I’m guilty of that & I know my own kids have done the same to me as have the kids of many of my friends. Mothers are regarded as nerds. We are a pain. We drive our kids crazy. But when we are in a state of desperation or in need of comfort, love, encouragement or even a hug the first person we run to is our mother. I guess at this time in my life I need my mother. It’s weird since I always ran to my dad. Not this time. This time I cried for my mother. Be good to your moms today. It may come as a surprise but while we all need our mothers, they need us too. In my case my mother must need her goofy daughter to bring back the laughter we’ve shared for so many years. Here’s to my mother. I love you mom. Thanks for being the best mom ever. Thanks for loving me and always being the one I can run too. I miss you mom. Soon…very soon. I’ll be with you telling you stories and bringing you joy and making you laugh.”

Love More, Hurt Less 3-9-18

How To Love More and Hurt Less From Relationship Failures by Crystal Aryana

“Love is never a failure unless you miss the lesson.” – Anonymous

There’s one thing that almost everyone does that guarantees your relationship will not succeed in the long term, but it’s so common that it’s hard to recognize you even do it.

This simple little thing that people do pretty much destroys your ability to truly connect – and even truly love.

It turns love into a commodity that you barter for, rather than the infinite connection that it really is!

It’s the idea and practice of “transactional love” and it’s the #1 reason why most relationships fail (and how you can “fail yourself” onto the path of learning what real, conscious love is by contrast.)

In other words, I believe, love can be divided into two major kinds: transactional love and conscious love. Much of the suffering we experience comes from our failure to tell the two apart.

What Is Transactional Love?  

It’s the kinda “don’t rock the boat and everyone feels good” kind of love or the “I let you stay stuck in your dysfunctional patterns, if you let me stay stuck in mine” kinda game.

It’s a sneaky kind of co dependence that creeps up on you in your relationship that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and unsupported without knowing why.

Transactional love is the kind of codependent love that must be “earned.”

Transactional love is based on bargains, reciprocates, and keeping tabs on who does what for who (and even going as far as listing it for them). What’s crazy is practically everything we call “love” in today’s modern world basically falls under this category – an exchange.

The problem is that we are using love as a manipulation tool, instead of just existing in love itself – first and foremost with ourselves and then with our loved ones.

Sometimes we fail to recognize when we are “being in attachment” and we go about living our lives thinking it’s actually the “right way” to love someone.

Here’s a good example:

I have a friend who’s parents would only show him love when he did well in school, or performed well at the sporting event.  If his performance wasn’t “up to par” then his parents would treat him more like an outsider.

The poor guy grew up his entire life thinking he needs to earn love by doing a good job, because not doing a good job equated to he wasn’t worthy of love.

This creates a serious emotional attachment to the outcome of “doing a good job” which means “I am only loved when I do well” that it can create an entire buffet of codependent and addictive behaviors, just for him to feel like someone cares.  A perfect cocktail for relationship failure.

We tend to get attached to people because of how they move or inspire us to feel. We believe that we’re in love with a particular person when in fact we’re attached to them. If you’re not in love with WHO his human is – outside of any benefit or meaning to you  – then you simply love the way they make you feel.

This means what you really need is for someone to fill a void in your life or boost your self esteem.  This is why you might even feel sick when this person leaves you because you tend to feel lonely without them around. When in truth, it’s not THEM that you miss, you just miss what they can do for you.

This is why we call this kind of codependent love “transactional” and why it’s so easy to get attached this way.

The hard part is that humans LOVE TO BE attached.  We get attached very quickly and easily.  We get attached to objects, events, and people. We get attached to our personal belongings, a special place, routines, environment, atmosphere, almost everything.

When you love through attachment you become self-centered. You tend to feed your needs with these particular things. And people are not an exception.

Because here’s the bottom line:  Love is not a transaction.  You do not barter love.  You don’t trade for love.

In a lot of ways, attachment is the opposite of love, even though we’ve all been trained to think otherwise. Attachment masquerades as love.

It says, “I will love this person because I need them.” Or, “I’ll love you if you’ll love me back. I’ll love you, but only if you love me the way I want.”

This isn’t love at all – it is attachment! And unhealthy attachment is rigid and controlling.  It is very different from love. When there is attachment, there is clinging and fear.

So What Is Conscious Love? 

The question we must ask our self is what is the type of relationship that we want to have? Do we want to have a transactional relationship, or a truly loving relationship.

Concious love starts with yourself, you don’t dissolve in another person. You are an independent unit and you have your own life plan and goals, regardless your partner. Then your relationship will empower and amplify your life.

When you are attached, you wait for this person to fulfill your happiness, you bind yourself to him. This is a debilitating condition, when you place your well-being into someone else’s hands. Without the partner, you are lonely, discontented, broken, and incomplete.

If you find yourself in a clingy attachment, it may be necessary to take a break for growth, revelation, and enlightenment. When you are loving yourself and others consciously, a break away from your lover won’t break you.

Conscious love and connection is where one feeds the self from within love and thus shares this state of being and doing with others, meeting each other in the middle and not needing to “take” from each other – yet feed ourselves from within.

Conscious love is what it takes to dissolve harmful emotional attachments and codependency (which can lead to self sabotaging or abusive situations in relationships if left unchecked without healthy boundaries and communication in place).

This being “all in” kind of love is doing a “whatever it takes to get it done” kind of devotion. It is a shared, grounded understanding of each other that is authentic, transparent, congruent, and accepting. Conscious love knows itself with a capacity for emotional intelligence and self awareness.

Real conscious love allows, honors, and appreciates; attachment grasps, demands, needs, and aims to possess.

If we examine our attachment with compassion, we can see how it is constricted and conditional; it offers love only to certain people in certain ways—it is exclusive.

This is the definition of TRUE love.  It doesn’t measure.  It doesn’t compare.  It just exists to be embraced, embellished and enjoyed.

And you don’t need to earn a thing 🙂

So now let me ask …

What Kind Of Love Do YOU Have?  

One type of love is transactional, co dependent, based in attachment, and displaces true feelings for neediness and addictive behaviors.

The other is independent of outcome, based in infinity, feeds itself just by existing, and leads to honest, empathetic connection between two people.

Conscious love doesn’t measure, doesn’t compare.  Love just is, and loves.  From this paradigm love is not transactional, it is essential, because we ARE LOVE without needing to “earn it” outside of ourselves.

When you take a step back and look at the type of love you are giving and receiving, and see it in this way, it puts a lot of things into perspective.

That’s what I love so much about your Love Power Reading.  It goes deep into what kind of love life you’re meant to live, how you go about living it, and when you’re destined to find what you’re looking for.

Let Your Light Shine 3-2-18

I know he hurt you. I know she broke your heart. I know how disappointed you are. It’s so unfair – you never should have had to experience such a thing. You deserve better. It never should have happened. I’m so sorry for what you endured.

Now you have a choice.

You can let it shut down your heart. You can let it dim your light. You can get angry. Get pissed. Get resentful. Get judgmental. Get righteous. Get victimized. Get off on how the world did you wrong.

Or you can forgive. Soften. Understand. Open. Let yourself shine.

Control Drama 11-11-17

Protect Yourself from Control Dramas – BY JODI JANATI

The following is an excerpt from the DailyOM 

What is a Control Drama? 

A control drama, as coined by James Redfield in his book, “The Celestine Prophecy,” is played by anyone who is feeling low on power or energy, to manipulate and steal the energy of another. Control dramas are unconscious strategies all people use to gain power or energy from another person and to essentially, “get their way with others.” We get our way with others by making them pay attention to us and then elicit a certain reaction from them to make ourselves feel fulfilled. The positive feelings we gain are won at the expense of the other person and this often causes imbalance and drama in our interpersonal relationships. 
Most of us have a dominant control drama in which we engage in automatically, without even realizing what we are doing and to what extent and expense. Your need to defend and engage in defensive responses with someone means you are caught in a control drama and you will thus, “react.” When you start to become aware of your dominant control drama and can recognize it in action, you can start to hone it and make better choices in your responses to others. Likewise, once you understand how others use control dramas to make you react, you can refrain from engaging in them and move on to more healthy resolution “responses.”
As you learn more about control dramas, you will realize you are already quite familiar with them and this is because you have been exposed to a variety of people throughout your life and have had to test each of them to successfully navigate intense interactions. Most people will resort to the same control drama when feeling tested and are completely unaware of it and how others experience them during these episodes. And with awareness, comes change. 
Awareness and recognition of a control drama allows you to break the cycle and choose to disconnect from it altogether. When a control drama isn’t controlling an interaction, you can “respond” more effectively and authentically to others. You will learn about four common control dramas people use to attract and defeat others. You will also discover there are many effective ways to approach others during difficult interactions. Knowing you have choices during difficult interactions with others, allows you to live a drama free life and helps you find your “conversation peace.” 

Ending Relationships 7-11-17

Today’s language of letting go meditation :Ending Relationships (author unknown)

It takes courage and honesty to end a relationship—with friends, loved ones, or a work relationship.
Sometimes, it may appear easier to let the relationship die from lack of attention rather than risk ending it. Sometimes, it may appear easier to let the other person take responsibility for ending the relationship.

We may be tempted to take a passive approach. Instead of saying how we feel, what we want or don’t want, or what we intend to do, we may begin sabotaging the relationship, hoping to force the other person to do the difficult work.

Those are ways to end relationships, but they are not the cleanest or the easiest ways.

As we walk this path of self-care, we learn that when it is time to end a relationship, the easiest way is one of honesty and directness. We are not being loving, gentle, or kind by avoiding the truth, if we know the truth.

We are not sparing the other person’s feelings by sabotaging the relationship instead of accepting the end or the change, and doing something about it. We are prolonging and increasing the pain and discomfort—for the other person and ourselves.

If we don’t know, if we are on the fence, it is more loving and honest to say that.

If we know it is time to terminate a relationship, say that.

Endings are never easy, but endings are not made easy by sabotage, indirectness, and lying about what we want and need to do.

Say what you need to say, in honesty and love, when it is time. If we are trusting and listening to ourselves, we will know what to say and when to say it.

Today, I will remember that honesty and directness will increase my self-esteem. God, help me let go of my fear about owning my power to take care of myself in all my relationships.

Dating Sites…What Are They Good For?! 6-2-16

May 16th marked my one year anniversary that my ex and I went our separate ways. It’s no secret my relationship with him was nothing short of tumultuous. I’ve only blogged every detail for the world to read!!!  What was I thinking?!!! After four years with that lunatic and the strife he brought in to my life, I knew I needed to give myself some time to heal before engaging in another relationship. Relationships with the “Rons” of the world will do that to you!!   I haven’t been in any relationship since. And in truth, deep down I wasn’t ready. 

I left San Francisco on May 16th, 2015 with a u-haul in tote. I cried all the way home….and I mean the entire 14 hour drive while praying the rosary over and over again. I didn’t stop there. Oh no. I cried for months after that. In fact, I would lock myself in my bedroom and all I did was pray and cry. I slept with a night light. I still do.  The nightmares were overwhelming. I would even wear a scapula around my neck and sleep with a cross next to my pillow. Who does that?!!  Guilty!!! Me!!! Lol.  I have prayed profusely every single day. The good news is I had the support of my cousin and a dear friend, both in San Francisco who were very instrumental in pulling me out of a dark depression.  I also had the support of the ladies at my prayer group that I attend once a week and my girlfriend from Maui. I thank god for all of them. Prayer really does work!!! 

Breakups are hard. Especially relationships that cause so much pain and heartache. I saw a quote today on Facebook. It said “when people treat you like they don’t care….believe them”. I thought to myself “now you tell me!” I wish I had known. 


I’ve come along way since those dark days only a year ago. Or should I say, a week ago!! Just kidding.  The truth is healing from breakups takes a very long time. As for me, I’m on the mend. In fact a part of me is ready to give love another try. 

A couple of months ago my cousin and I met each other in Las Vegas for a few days. We travelled there to see Santana. It was their reunion concert. The original band members joined each other on the stage. They hadn’t played together in 40 years. What an awesome experience. It was undoubtedly one of the best shows I’ve been to, with the exception of seeing Van Morrison. What made it even more awesome was sharing the experience with my cousin who is my best friend and the sister I never had. I love her very much. In my eyes, she’s the most beautiful girl in the world!!! 



While we were there my cousin encouraged me to begin dating again. She suggested trying a dating site. Her suggestion…..Tinder. Now I have never been on a dating site nor have I ever been interested in being on one, but against my better judgement I joined the dating site. 

For those of you who have never been on a dating site, my suggestion is you should. If nothing else for a good laugh when you’re home alone on a Saturday night. Now I’m not experienced on dating sites since Tinder is the only site I’ve ever  been on but my experience has been nothing short of a comical experience I can’t quite put in to words. 

Tinder is great. You log on and you are greeted by photos of single guys. You can swipe right if you’re interested or you swipe left if your answer is NOPE!  There’s a few photos with a brief bio of your potential partner. Age and first name only along with the their approximate distance from your location. I’m happy to report all of my potential knights in shining armor have been swiped to the left. “Nope, Nope….and that’s a hell nope!!” My gosh, some of these guys are creepy, some are married and others are so dweeby I can’t stop laughing!!! I don’t mean to come across as caddy but my gosh! “Really god?! And this is what you bring me?!!!” 

I know what you’re thinking….”is he wearing lip gloss?!”


“He is my match?!” “Seriously?!” 

I have managed to meet a couple of nice guys and have met them for coffee but other than that nothing good has come from being on a dating site. Dating sites…..what are they good for? Nada…..damn thing!!! 

Who knows, maybe I’ve been too selective, after all my list of guys I won’t date is bigger than the list of guys I will date. Maybe I’ve been single too long and I’m becoming accustomed to being alone.  I don’t know the answer. What I do know is I haven’t given up on hope that there’s someone out there for me. After all, there are three billion men in the world!  Surely, one of those three billion has got to be my knight in shining armor!!! 

I’ve decided I’ll just wait for the right guy to come waltzing through my door, sweep me off my feet and take me far, far away from here. Let’s hope back to my beloved city by the bay, San Francisco and let’s hope he’s sweet, smells dynamite, is dressed to the nines and  is wearing great shoes! He will adore me, flaws and all and will love me in the good times and in the bad and together spend the rest of our lives making each other happy, traveling and living life to the fullest surrounded by family and together making a difference in the lives of others. Until then, whatever it’s worth, a knight in shining armor does exist. You can find him at Cafe Sevilla in California. 😀 he’s stone cold, he has a heart of steel, he’s a little short but you can talk his ear off all night long and he will never complain!!!  

The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15

The past few days have been challenging. I find myself in a situation where I can no longer take the pain and suffering I feel deep in my heart. A feeling I’ve been experiencing for a really long time. Ironically this pain has been brought on by the very person I gave up my life for three years ago, leaving my family, friends and everything I knew because I believed I had finally met the man of my dreams. My heart was filled with love as well as hope for a new beginning.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for couples. A day where we express the love we have for one another. I’m a romantic at heart so naturally, I hold this day very close to my heart. For Valentine’s Day I walked to Union Square where I purchased a mushy card along with a box of See’s candy specifically picked out by me to ensure the box was perfect when I gave it to my significant other. I also purchased a pair of well needed pants for my special guy. I gave my gifts to my “Valentine” sealing the gifts with a big kiss. The response I received wasn’t exactly what I expected. My “Valentine” lashed out at me saying I only bought him this gift so he would be indebted to me. He called me names, gave me the silent treatment and in short hurt my feelings. He ignored me for 24 hours and has continued to vilify me since. I should also mention that he gave me nothing for Valentines Day. Nothing! Not even a card or at the very least, a thank you. Since that day, things have gone from bad to worse. I’ve been punished ever day. Name calling, silent treatment and yesterday my loving “Valentine” left and never returned for over three hours. I have no idea where he went. My phone calls went unanswered. When I asked him where he was he blew up and was kind enough to say “Get the fuck out!” He knows I’m in the middle of treatment, I have nowhere to go and leaving at this time just isn’t an option. I’m trapped and I’m broke to boot!

I met Ron three years ago. He was quite a bit older than myself. I was 46 and he was 65. The man I met is nowhere near the person he became after I moved to San Francisco to live with him. The man I met was kind, affectionate, loving and pampered me in a way I had never been treated by any man. He opened my car door, he held my hand, he showered me with gifts and trips. I recall the first Valentines Day after we met I was surprised to receive two flower deliveries that consisted of two dozen roses. He called me beautiful all the time, he laughed at all of my jokes and he was a lot of fun. That all changed three months after I moved in with him.

Prior to moving here there were many red flags that as I look back I wish I had not overlooked by allowing the sweetness of this man to take precedence over the warning signs that were gleaming like a bright light. It began with a former girlfriend who continually called and texted at all hours of the night once I moved here. She was an ex girlfriend who also happened to be a 27 year old Latin Stripper who works at the Hustler Club. From what I understand, she had been “using” him for his money. Ron supplied her with $2000 per month along with many other perks but he insisted their relationship was over. However, I found it hard to believe since wherever we were, whether on Vacation, dinner or a movie, this woman was continually reaching out to Ron with messages of love or asking for money. In addition, her mother lived and still lives at one of his apartments. One day I found a dirty pair of underwear in his bag after he returned from his apartment building. I confronted him about it but he had an excuse that somehow turned things around to be my fault. After returning from a visit to Washington I found women’s underwear in our room that didn’t belong to me. When I questioned Ron he insisted they were mine and that I was “suspicious”. This went on and on and continues to this day. Every time I would confront Ron he somehow managed to twist things around making it all my fault and for many days after I would receive the silent treatment along with some name calling in between. I began to second guess myself and the result is I’ve become an insecure individual who is no longer the fun loving, free spirit with a sense of humor I once was.

As I said, three months after I moved here Ron began to change. The man that began to emerge was clearly not the same man I had met only a year prior. This new man insulted me, he called me names, he lied and a very angry person emerged that exhibited a very hostile temper. I began to feel like I was walking on egg shells. In addition, his sleeping habits changed. He was up all night and slept all day. When he arose from his slumber he would spend the entire time on the couch with a remote in one hand and tweezers in the other as he plucked the hairs from his face. If that wasn’t enough, he wouldn’t shower for up to three weeks. Attributes that continue today. Through all this I became very depressed. I felt like such a failure. I lost my confidence and my ability to even make the slightest decision or even do my own thing. I became lonely and very isolated. My demeanor changed and so did my last name. Ron insisted I had to change my last name. He vilified me every day until finally on a trip to Washington I went to court to have my name changed. Deep down I knew I had to get out of this relationship but the voices in my head reminded me of the person I initially met so I began to feel like there was something wrong with me. In addition, we travelled and on many occasions the kind man I met would emerge and I found myself believing and hoping things would get better. A few months ago I was informed of Rons infatuation with hookers and in December when I returned home from Washington I not only found earrings that weren’t mine, I found “spooge” all over the clean sheets in the closet. There were other things but somehow I managed to convince myself, it was nothing. I confronted Ron and at first he denied it and insinuated I was a lunatic until finally admitting it then punishing me…again. It’s my fault as usual.

I woke up this morning feeling frightened asking myself “what am I going to do?!” As I reflected on some of the horrible things Ron said last night I remembered him telling me I had changed. He accused me of trying to change him. He told me I need to accept him the way he is…..hmm A volatile, hot tempered, name calling person who doesn’t take a bath isn’t exactly what I signed up for. I stood up for myself for the first time. No tears, no begging I just explained that I wasn’t trying to change him, I was just trying to find the person he was when I first met him. This new guy is a stranger. I explained that I agreed I too had changed. I was no longer the fun loving, happy go lucky woman I once was. My only excuse is when you live in a negative environment with a negative person, it’s only natural to become the same thing.

I have no idea what I’m going to do. March brings two infusions and a cancer screening to ensure I’m cancer free. It also brings an appointment to begin my last phase of treatment to finally be on the road to healing. My treatment will be done on June 1st. After that I will be on hormone therapy for five years. At this time my medical treatment is being paid for and transferring to another state is not an option. I feel the need to stick this out for the four months required to beat this cancer. As I look back, I find myself wishing I had never moved here. I wish I had acted on the red flags but sometimes as women we meet a man who portrays himself as a dream come true. We are blinded by the good things and overlook the mine field of red flags coming at as like exploding bombs. If it’s too good to be true, we need to have the courage to walk away before finding ourselves in a relationship that’s hard to get out of.

I’m sharing my story today because I hope that someone reading this will take my experience to heart. If you’re in a relationship and something stinks…..run and never look back. I wish I had done the same. I believe that the stress of this relationship played a huge part in my depression, low self esteem, feeling of failure which ultimately led to my cancer. I’m better than this and I deserve someone who is going to treat me with love and respect and so do you. I have a faith in God so today my prayer is that the lord will see me through this and take me to a place where I’m loved and I can begin to heal from all this trauma I’ve experienced for a very long time. I also ask God to touch Ron’s heart in a way that he will once again be the kind and loving man I once knew and be nice to me. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I’m looking forward to the day I can finally put this nightmare behind me and start living again. I pray for strength, courage and faith to persevere until that day. I pray the same for you. For all those young women out there looking for a sugar daddy….my advice is this. All that money, gifts, trips etc come at a price. These men are single for a reason. The woman before you paid a price and finally walked away.

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Sleeping Angel 1-19-15

I’m not sure where to begin as I write tonight. Today my friend Lola reached out to me from New Jersey. She called and offered me so many words of encouragement and more importantly she encouraged me to use my gift of writing in a positive way. Lola is a woman of God. She is filled with so much love and is a powerful prayer warrior. I’m so grateful to call her my friend. Lola prayed for me and encouraged me to put all my faith in the Lord, trust him and pray, pray, pray. After we hung up I found myself feeling hopeful. I have to admit, the challenges of cancer and my life in general has really brought me to my knees. More often than not, I feel defeated and hopeless.

This afternoon Ron and I had an argument. It was ugly and I felt sick about it. I didn’t have anyone to talk to so I got in my car and drove to St Dominic’s Church. Somehow going to church felt like the right thing to do. St Dominic’s is so beautiful it takes my breath away every time I walk through the door. I always feel a sense of awe when I’m there. At times, I’m in such awe, my eyes begin to fill with tears. It’s such an emotional experience. I lit a candle when I arrived. I got on my knees and prayed. As I talked to God, I found a sense of peace come over me and for the first time I felt as if the Lord had actually heard me. After I prayed, I sat on the pew and just stared at the altar. Finally, I stood up and left.

As I drove home, I found myself feeling peaceful. I wasn’t worried about going home and being greeted by the wrath of Rons volatile behavior. I trusted everything would calm itself and things would work out eventually. I prayed asking God for a small sign that he had heard me, even though I knew in my heart he had. When I got home, Ron was still angry. I opted to stay in peace and trust the Lord would take care of everything. Ron was still behaving irrationally, so rather than allow him to make me feel bad about myself like I usually do, I got my sweats on and went to the gym.

I love to listen to music when I’m at the gym. I have a very extensive playlist on YouTube. Tonight I pulled up my playlist titled “Cancer Bravery”. This list consists of songs that have somehow offered a sense of courage as I’ve fought cancer these past few months. As I went through my list of songs, I noticed a song by Stevie Nicks. I didn’t recognize it and truthfully, I don’t recall ever hearing the song, much less recall how it even made it on my list. I clicked on it and as I listened to the lyrics, the words began to resonate with my own personal struggle to trust in a power higher than myself to work things out for me.

I believe in God, as I refer to him. I believe he exists. Trusting him is another story. I think I’m not alone. I believe many of us are believers, however trusting in something we can’t feel, hear or touch can prove to be a difficult task. As I listened to the lyrics of this song, I knew in my heart God had heard me tonight. The lyrics describe my thoughts and feelings that have prevented me from letting go and trusting things would work out according to Gods plan, on his time and not my own. I’m continually on this roller coaster of “trying to believe you. I’m learning all the time”. Like the song, I know I need God in my life because without him I wouldn’t be able to breathe. However, I have this “love affair” with the him that’s as dysfunctional as my current and past relationships with all the men in my life. At times my relationship is up, while other times are down. I want to believe that God loves me. I want to believe he has a plan for good, but it’s hard.

Earlier this morning, my friend suggested I write a letter to God expressing how I feel. I couldn’t express my feelings better than the lyrics from this song so here it is….my letter to God.

Dear God (as I call him)

Take me if you need me, but never hold me down. You’re asking me to trust you, well there’s little of that around. I’m trying to believe you. And I’m learning all the time. Two-part personality, the flower and the vine.

Take me, sleeping angel. Catch me, when you can. Real love affairs are heavy spells, for a woman and a man.

I need you because you let me breathe, well you’ve taken me away. But never take me lightly, or I can never stay.

Someday, when we’re older and my hair is silver grey. Unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

Take me sleeping angel, catch me when you can. And unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

I’m a work in progress, Lord God, but I pray that you won’t give up on me yet. I’m a work in progress but I’m ready and willing to give you my best shot. Thank you God for believing in me and thank you for never giving up on me even on the days, I’ve given up on you.

Love always,

Velma

Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs 9-10-14

Relationships are hard. Whether you’re married, dating or cohabiting, It’s not only hard it’s a lot of work. Some days are good while others are bad. Even if you’re in a relationship with your soul mate, you can bet that there will be days when you don’t get along or worse! You don’t like each other.

Men always complain about a woman’s mood swings. They attribute our moody behavior to “that time of the month”. It always makes me chuckle when I hear that. The reality is we are moody not because it’s “that time of the month” but hello!!! Men have mood swings too!! At times they are grumpy, happy, sleepy, bashful, sneezy, dopey and on a occasion you may find your partner becomes. “Doc”.
Sound familiar?!!

Well ladies, I’ve come to the conclusion we aren’t moody after all. No Siree!!! The fact is, there’s a name for this. It’s called Snow White and the seven Dwarfs!!! And, you’re in a relationship with either one or all of them!!!! I’ve been in a few relationships in my life time. I’ve been with them all. Grumpy , Happy…..heck I’ve even added a few to the list. Asshole. Jerk and Arrogant. I can attest that in every relationship, I could count on one of the dwarfs emerging once or twice. Then blaming “my time of the month!” However, I never dreamed I’d hit the jackpot and find a guy with all seven dwarfs hiding inside of him! Lucky me and lucky you because if in the back of your mind you’re wondering if you are experiencing the “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” relationship, I’ve taken notes and I’m about to reveal them to you. Now keep in mind, I am not a professional. These tips are strictly based on personal experience.

Doc – Doc is the guy who is glued to the TV Monday – Friday at 4:00 when the Dr Oz show comes on. He records every episode and can easily win an award for being Dr Oz’s biggest fan! He usually wears 2 hats. Doc & Happy.

Sneezy – Sneezy emerges when you wear a fragrance you know he’s allergic too after he’s been “Grumpy”.

Sleepy – Sleepy is the guy who stays in bed until 2 pm. He’s very sleepy from being up all night watching TV. He’s also the guy who still takes a nap after over 12 hours of sleeping.

Bashful – Bashful is the guy who is shy when it comes to going to a hair salon. He’s so “Bashful” he insists on cutting his own hair. The positive of Bashful is your guy occasionally looks just like a very important TV personality in your life. Captain Kangaroo!!!

Dopey – Dopey is the guy when confronted about something you know is true, he immediately throws on the “Dopey” hat and acts dumb!!

Grumpy – I don’t like Grumpy. He’s mean!! I don’t like meanies. Grumpy can be described as a real buzz kill. A real Debbie Downer and/or on occasion very insulting. When Grumpy emerges, meditate or take a walk before you have a “mood swing” and want to throw a shoe at him!!!

Happy – Happy is the guy that smiles and showers you with love and affection. He’s a real blast to be around and so much fun. He laughs at all of your jokes!!

After experiencing all 7 dwarfs, I’ve come to the conclusion that “happy” is my favorite. I can do without the others. If you find yourself dealing with all 7 at the same time…it means you’ve landed a guy with multiple personalities so my personal advice is….RUN and don’t look back!!!!

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