Personal Growth and Progress

One year ago yesterday, I came across this post on FB and took a screenshot. I was in a completely different place…deep in grief, anxiety, PTSD, fear, and depression. Recovering and rebuilding takes a lot of work. A lot of wondering how you’ll ever feel okay again. With a lot of love, patience, and support from family and friends, I’ve overcome so many things…from dealing with guilt to continuing to work through insecurities to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones to finding “home“.

I in no way want to diminish or invalidate what others have gone or are going through. I am not comparing your experience to mine. I am simply sharing. This year has been tough for all of us. We have all experienced fear, loss, and heartbreak. Some days, it’s been overwhelming and one small word can throw you into despair. One thing that I had to learn to do this year was to reach out and actively stay in touch with people I care about and who care about me. I could not do this alone. I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of personal growth and make progress through such a challenging year. I know I’m not finished growing, learning, and experiencing new things. I know it won’t always be easy. I also know that I am not alone. I have hope for the future, I feel more secure, and I finally believe that I am and will be okay.

To all of you who have so patiently helped me get this far, I am forever grateful our paths crossed and that you are a part of my life, my chosen family. You guys are truly amazing people, and I hope that I can always be there for you as you have been for me. I love you all. 💗🤝

For those who are struggling, please don’t lose hope and remember this…

To everyone, please do what you can to be safe, take care of each other, and have a Happy New Year!

Love Our Lurkers

Gosh, it’s been five years since the last time I participated in this event. That’s quite a break…and a lot has certainly happened over the years. It’s good to have some things that remain constant. LoL has been one of those constants. This is when those of us who blog want to celebrate YOU (our readers) and encourage you to leave a comment to let us know you’re out there. Please feel free to hangout or browse around for a while. I also hope you have fun visiting all of the other blogs that are participating in this two day event!

Image courtesy of Enzo

Thank you all for stopping by.

A little more hope…

I cleaned a window in my house today. I know that doesn’t seem like much. Around this time last year, my parents and I spent one entire weekend cleaning the floors and another weekend cleaning doors and windows throughout the house. We were literally washing away the filth that Tom left. However, there are two 36” x 72” windows that were never touched because they are a bit difficult to get to. The one over the kitchen sink and the one in the utility room.

A lot has happened in the last year. The Covid-19 pandemic is still touching every part of the world. Everyone is worn out. Everyone misses someone or something. For a while, I had given up on putting anymore effort into continuing to turn my house back into a home. I mean…no one was going to come over to see it anyway.

Another thing that happened was my mom broke her hip the day after last Christmas. She still isn’t completely back to normal. Recently, she’s been dealing with severe headaches and migraines. She has an MRI scheduled for Friday. Last week, she saw a liver specialist because her lab work showed some elevated numbers. She’ll have a liver ultrasound and a fibroscan done next Wednesday.

I don’t think I mentioned this on my blog before because it happened when I had stepped away from blogging, but my sister and her family had moved a little less than four hours away back in 2018. There was a bit of a family blowup, and they were basically told to grow up. Long story short, they are back. My parents helped pay to move them down there and have now helped pay to move them back. I still own almost three acres. I have the brick house, my parents have a double-wide mobile home, and my sister and her family are back in a single-wide mobile home on my property. I’m really not sure how much “growing up” they did considering they’re back. I’ve been at their place every weekend helping them put furniture back together, unpack, and organize.

Back at my house, there is still quite a bit that I’d like to get done. I’ve been waiting on a roofing contractor. My insurance company is covering a full replacement minus the deductible. The contractor is supposed to quote the cost of adding a gable roof over my back porch. He already agreed to do the rest of the roof…I’m just hoping he’s reasonable with the addition. Back in June, my brother helped me gut my middle bathroom, so it’s ready to be remodeled along with some other work here and there.

On top of all of that, I stopped exercising consistently. After working out almost every day for months, I had only worked out four times in like eight weeks. Granted…during that eight weeks, I got covid from my nephew when he started going to school up here a little over a month ago. It wasn’t easy, but I forced myself to get up and continue working from home. I have since recovered, but I still cannot taste or smell things. Sometimes, I’ll catch a hint, but after a couple of bites, the flavor is mostly gone.

This virus really does affect everyone differently. My dad caught it, developed pneumonia, and couldn’t do anything for two weeks. My cousin got it and passed away a week later. My nephew had allergy and cold symptoms. I felt more like I had a really bad sinus infection or the flu. You just don’t know what will happen until you get it, so I hope that everyone is doing all they can to stay safe and protect yourselves and others.

The election was another thing that caused a lot of tension and anxiety. I don’t like talking about politics here, so I’ll just say that I’m glad it’s over.

I’ve met some truly amazing people this year both online and in person. Heck, we even pulled off one of the best surprise birthday gifts I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of. Right now, I miss hanging out with my friends. The last couple of months have felt like forever because so much has happened. Or it really feels that way anyway.

So, yes, I cleaned a window today. The sun is shining, and it’s a nice 70 degrees outside. I worked out for the second day in a row (and worked out twice last week). I even took a multivitamin for the third day in a row. Today, I have a little more hope than I’ve had in a while.

Anxious Attachment

After leaving a toxic relationship with a drug addict, I have found that I can get anxiously attached to people. It does not happen with every relationship. For me, it tends to happen with newer friendships where I feel a deeper connection. I came across an article yesterday that really explains what it’s like and offers some ways to cope with it. I recommend taking a moment to read about it. It is my hope that this reaches others who go through this as well as those who are in relationships with those who go through this.

What You Need To Do If You Feel Insecure In Relationships

Please note that I am speaking from my own personal experience. I don’t experience the jealousy that this article mentions, but everything else hits very close to home. For me, being anxiously attached is a phase that I can and have overcome. It takes a great deal of time and an extraordinary amount of patience from the other person to help me move toward a healthy, secure attachment. I think that most people might think that I’m only talking about a significant other type of relationship, but I’m not. I’m talking about all types of relationships.

Last year, I had two friendships that did not start out as anxious attachments. We had been friends, or at least known each other, for years. I got closer and reconnected with each of them after my break up. Within a couple of months, I became anxiously attached to both of them. Thankfully, I was able to be completely honest about what I was feeling with both of them. It took months of consistency and reassurance for me to move to a secure attachment.

I thought that because I had been through it already, that just maybe I was prepared for it. At the beginning of this year, I went through it again with a new friend. This person still has no idea what I went through. Why? Because I refused to say anything about it. I didn’t want to be so open and raw with someone who was just getting to know me. Then, so many things happened that I just didn’t feel I should add my problems to the table, so I backed off and confided in others who helped me move on.

After that experience, I was surely stronger and definitely more prepared to avoid getting anxiously attached. Turns out, I’m not. I’m going through it all over again. I’d like to believe that most days, I’m okay and making progress toward secure attachment. Unfortunately, this is 2020 and stress, depression, and anxiety are never far away. Internal and external triggers can throw me right back into it.

So, what is it? What happens? Again, this is my personal experience and one size does not fit all. When my anxiety crashes down on me, it tells me that my friends might not really like me, that maybe they don’t really want to spend time with me. It tells me that they shouldn’t have to put up with someone who is so broken. It tells me that I’m too needy and no one should have to put up with so much baggage. It stops me from reaching out because saying how much you love and miss them so often will surely drive them away. They’re too busy for you. You don’t need to bug them. Just pull yourself together and back off. All of this overthinking leads to such excruciating heartache. It makes you feel like you’re too hard to love AND that you shouldn’t love people so hard. It literally tears you apart. You are fighting everything that makes you who you are. …and at the end of the day…who cares? What does it matter that you feel any of this? It’s not that important. It’s certainly not anyone else’s fault or problem. You aren’t good enough and should just get used to being alone. Maybe you should just let them go. Fear of losing them. Panic that you’ll push them away. Pain that this is all your fault.

How do I deal with this? Not well. If asked outright, I try to be honest, but it is very hard to be so raw and vulnerable and explain this part of myself that I am ashamed is there (because I should be stronger than this). It’s so much easier to say that I’m fine, except…that method of hiding and deflecting doesn’t work anymore. Why? Because I can’t hold on to the heartache for long, but also because I have a handful of friends who have seen all of me. They no longer settle for “I’m fine.” For me, the best way to handle it is to be honest with the person I’m anxiously attached to. I said that that is the best way, but it isn’t always the easiest way. I’m still struggling with reaching out and sometimes I have no idea what to say or how to explain what’s going on. This is where their patience and consistency make all of the difference.

For those who are struggling with anxious attachment and the reason behind why you are anxiously attached, please know you are NOT alone. Not everyone you meet will be like the person who hurt you. What you feel matters. You are not hard to love, and how you love is beautiful. I see you.

Finding Home: A New Chapter

This weekend was freaking incredible! It was full of so many firsts for me. I met up with Dotty, her husband, and their really good friend at a little farmhouse rental a few hours away. After experiencing several spankings, new implements, lots of laughs, and wonderful cuddles, this weekend will be one that will be impossible to forget.

At the end of my last scene on Sunday, what hit me (other than the multiple implements that can be seen piled on the corner of the bed) was knowing and believing that this wasn’t just the end of an exciting weekend, but it was actually the start of a new chapter in my journey of finding home. I have genuine friends who really do care about me. You all know the real me – the me who can take the reigns and lead at work, the me who takes care of everyone and went through hell in my last relationship, and the me who loves to be spanked and to let go every now and then.

I have people, friends, a tribe who are all still here after everything. After this memorable weekend, I can finally feel the love passing through the cracks in the wall I built. I can feel the love that deep down I knew had to be there, but until now, I had given up on and thought I just wasn’t worth the effort or didn’t deserve it. My heart couldn’t be more full than it is right now.

I want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has loved me and supported me as I continue on this journey. I love you guys, and I am so happy to have all of you in my life. 💗

Six years ago…

Recently, I’ve been talking a lot about what I’m currently going through because that’s where I am. In my last post, I opened up and shared what happened a year ago. What I’ve been through takes up a lot of my time as I try to focus on recovering from the past, being okay with the present, and moving forward.

Today, I want to remember some good things. Looking back, May 2014 was a big month for me. On May 1st, I had worked up the courage to email Bonnie from the My Bottom Smarts blog. I had just finished reading her entire archive and it was the first time I reached out to anyone who talked about spanking as much as I wanted to talk about it. From her blog, I found links to several others. As I started exploring, I found a whole community of people who talked about everything from personal relationships to every day life to how they felt about and incorporated TTWD into their lives. A whole new world started to open up.

On May 5th, I wrote my first kink-related blog entry to introduce myself. I had no idea who would read it or what would happen. I just knew that I wanted to share my experiences and maybe find some friends out there. I had fun with it. I shared stories or books that I came across. I shared the fun kinky sex experiences. I shared things that I was hoping would happen. I shared the death of Tom’s dad and his resulting relapse into drug addiction. Then, I disappeared for four years, came back, and have been sharing some of what it’s like to slowly recover from being in love with an addict. I continue to share because I miss this community and because I hope sharing might help others.

On May 23, 2014, I reached out to someone who would end up helping me through some of the darkest times I’ve had in my life so far. At the time, she had already found my blog and commented on some of my first posts! (Talk about being really excited to be noticed by someone so amazing!) I had just finished reading her autobiography and was working through her blog archive when I sent my first email to Erica. I had no idea how important this first correspondence would be. Last year, I only texted two friends the day after I told Tom to move out – Erica was one of them. As my anxiety and depression grew into something I could no longer control and keep bottled up, she was there to virtually hold my hand, calm me down, and walk in circles repeatedly through the things that were consuming me. She encouraged my switch to weekly therapy and helped me open up. She knows everything about me. And would you believe it? She has never left my side. She was there and is still there every day. Our friendship means the world to me.

Going forward, these are the memories that I want to hold on to as I start to find myself again and let go of the past. As this month closes, I am ready for new experiences and new memories. It is time.

One year ago…

One year ago, Tom left home to run an errand. He was supposedly going to pick up a small boat. He said it was sitting on a trailer that had a bad tire, so it might take a few hours. I told him to pick up some fix-a-flat and to please call me and let me know how it was going. By 9:30pm, we had talked three times. He was still having trouble with the trailer and was planning on turning around, leaving the boat, and heading home. He said that he would take a few minutes because he misplaced something, but he was heading home.

By 10:30pm, he still wasn’t home. I called him, but he was no longer answering. This wasn’t the first time he had done this. We had Life 360 on our phones, so I could see where he was. I finally had enough. I texted him, “If you don’t call me, I will head out there.” In order to do this, I had to borrow my dad’s vehicle because Tom was in my Tahoe. Why? Because he had wrecked his truck three months before and I was in the process of buying myself a new vehicle. Of course, he didn’t call or text me back. I didn’t trust the people where he was, so I called his mom and asked her to go with me. She agreed. I borrowed the van from my dad, picked up his mom, and drove 20 mins to where he was. As I pulled up, he was walking toward the Tahoe to get his phone. Apparently, he had decided he wanted to get high with the people he was hanging out with.

Me: Why didn’t you call me or answer your phone?
Tom: (I don’t remember his answer…probably something like I didn’t want to argue or you knew where I was.)
Me: Please follow me home. I can still “fix” this. I’ll just tell my parents that you were working late (they live next door to me).

Well, that pissed him off, after all, why should he have to answer to anyone?

Tom: Stop making a scene, go home, and I’ll be home in a couple of hours.
Me: No, follow me home or I’ll follow you home.
Tom: No, I will be home in a couple of hours.
Me: I’m not okay with this. You need to make up your mind. It’s me or all of this (gesturing at the house where he was getting high and the people that were somewhere around).
Tom: All of this.

Me: Then, I guess you need to move out…
Tom: If that’s what you want.
Me: Are you going to be home in time to take me to work in the morning? (He had been taking me to work and picking me up.)
Tom: Yes, I’ll be there in a couple of hours.

I think we talked on the phone around 1am. He said that he would be back soon. At this point, I’m still thinking I might be able to fix this if he does make it back in time…but I knew he wouldn’t be there to take me to work.

I called him at 6am. No answer. His phone was dead. I called at 6:30. Nothing. By 6:40am, I called my dad, “Can you take me to work?”

Tom called at 6:55am: I’m on my way.
Me: (sarcasm) Good. I’m on my way to work. Are you going to pick me up from work? We need to talk.
Tom: Yes, I’ll be there.

I got through the day. No idea how. I just did. He picked me up, and we headed to the house. We talked in the kitchen. I told him I couldn’t do this anymore. He decided that he would leave that night. I helped him pack a suitcase, and he left.

Over the next several months, a local friend and I packed his stuff that was all over the house into boxes. He would show up basically whenever the hell he felt like it. He wouldn’t show up when he said he would, he would show up without calling, or he would bring someone with him without telling me. He had stuff all over my property…in the house, in the sheds, and just outside in the open. I let him have access to my Walmart Pay to buy food…because I’m a soft-hearted idiot. I moved my deadline several times from September to October to finally December 31st. In September, I cut him off from Walmart Pay and had to change my credit card because suddenly I no longer had access to some of the bills I was covering for him (cellphone and car insurance).

I saw him on Christmas Day. I helped pack a full trailer load. He was planning on coming back one more time, then whatever was left I would get rid of. On Dec. 28th, he was arrested at the abandoned property next door for allegedly trying to break into the house and steal copper. His new fiancé begged me to help, but I wouldn’t. She apparently got him out on New Year’s Eve.

He has called a few times since then…mostly trying to find out if tax checks have arrived for him. I’ve now told him at least three times to fill out a change of address form. Two weeks ago, he told me that he had changed the address on his license and that he was heading directly to the post office. On Tuesday, a check arrives. He lied to me. Again. I have a choice. I could put “return to sender” on it or I could either contact him or wait for him to call me and give it to him. He has a fiancé and is taking care of her two little girls. Assuming this is the stimulus check…that’s $1,200 dollars. I should not have to make this choice. This is not my responsibility. So, what am I going to do? I was going to talk to my therapist this evening, but that got postponed to tomorrow. I guess I’m probably going to wait for him to call or try to contact him. Why? Because I’m incapable of choosing my well-being over someone else’s. For all those who think I’m this strong, intelligent woman, I’m sorry to disappoint you…I think we might have finally located her, but we still haven’t completely pulled her out of the rubble yet.

Tom ran all over my boundaries for years. He knew what they were; he just didn’t care. I am still dealing with the fallout from the emotional abuse and from being in a constant high state of anxiety. I have been grieving for a while. I lost the man I fell in love with to drugs years ago. I finally had to give up and physically let him go a year ago. Through all of this, I also lost myself. I gave so much of me to this man that there was nothing left. My confidence, strength, love, self-worth, vulnerabilities, and insecurities – everything went into this relationship and I did everything I could to save it.

I don’t love him anymore. I don’t regret telling him to leave. What I do regret is losing me. I am still so angry at myself for letting it go so far, for enabling, for allowing myself to be so vulnerable, for giving him all of me. If given the choice, I would not willingly put myself through this again. However, if living through this was the only way that I would have been able to meet the support group I have today, then I wouldn’t hesitate. While I was still struggling in the depth of my despair, friends (old and new) have opened their hearts to me and are still helping me put the pieces back together. You guys know who you are, but I have to name a few.

Erica– you have literally been there every day since day one. You’ve seen me at my worst and have never turned your back on me. I will forever be grateful for the friendship we have. You have given me so much love, strength, and support through my darkest moments. Holding my hand in spirit, reminding me to breathe, and telling me that I will be okay. I don’t know what I would have done without you, SIS.

Dotty – you and your hubby are the first spankos I’ve met in person. I am so grateful for your friendship, patience, and support you both have given me. You guys are amazing, and I am so excited and looking forward to being able to meet up again. Thank you for helping me make new memories.

Lily, Zack, Prux, and Alex – you guys have been so caring and supportive over the last few months. I appreciate all of you so much. I can’t wait to meet up one of these days.

My local friends – Thank you guys for helping me over the last year. You guys have listened to me repeat myself so many damn times. I know that couldn’t have been easy. Thank you so much for being there.

To those I haven’t mentioned – I see you and know you’re there. Your support, comments, and messages mean the world to me. Thank you all!

I love all of you so much and appreciate everything each of you has done to make my journey to finding my way back and forward just a little bit easier, just a little bit brighter.

image

Just another strange day in lockdown during a worldwide pandemic.

Today is my 32nd birthday. So much has changed in the last year; but with everything that’s going on right now in the world, I feel like there’s just not much to be celebrating, including the day of my birth.

I do want to share something that has brought me a bit of heartfelt comfort during these tough times. I received a beautiful birthday gift from my dear friend, Erica. When it arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I really needed a morale boost, so I opened it early. I have been wearing the bracelet ever since. 💗

I find myself looking at and playing with it often. In some special way, it can even help calm my anxiety a little by reminding me that I am loved and I am not alone. Thank you so much, SIS – I love you! 💞

Like so many of us, I had plans or plans in the making. All of which had to be canceled, so we can do what we can to protect each other and flatten the curve. I’ve been working from home since last Monday and have been trying to avoid going out as much as possible. I’m honestly afraid for so many of my friends because there are so many of us in the higher risk groups. Please be careful and be as safe as you can be out there. Don’t underestimate the power of caring and checking on each other with a phone call, text message, or email. Remember that whatever you are doing, you are doing the best you can. I hope to see all of you on the other side of this.

Reality of Fear

You’re not afraid of emotions;
you’re afraid of feeling.

You’re not afraid of life;
you’re afraid of living.

You’re not afraid of death;
you’re afraid of dying.

You’re not afraid of pain;
you’re afraid of being broken.

You’re not afraid to be happy;
you’re afraid of losing everything.

You’re not afraid of helping people;
you’re afraid of being used.

You’re not afraid of being alone;
you’re afraid of getting lost in your thoughts and feelings.

You’re not afraid of giving up control;
you’re afraid of losing control.

You’re not afraid of putting your heart out there;
you’re afraid of trusting the wrong people.

You’re not afraid of being vulnerable;
you’re afraid of being vulnerable around those who don’t care what that means.

You’re not afraid of the memories;
you’re afraid of reliving the past.

One Person Feels Less Alone

This is a book review I wrote a couple of weeks ago for Erica Scott‘s Late Bloomer. I posted it on Amazon, but I also wanted to share it here. (I love you, my friend!)


I honestly don’t know what I could possibly say that hasn’t already been said in other reviews. But, I decided I wanted to say something.

I first read Erica’s autobiography in May of 2014. I had come out as a spanko to my boyfriend and was just venturing into the online spanking community. After finishing her book, I emailed Erica, “I want to tell you that I think you are truly an amazing person. You have overcome a lot of rough trials during your life, and instead of hiding in a corner, you have been strong enough to continue living life and trying many new and different things that make it worthwhile. I am 26 years old and am amazed to find that I am not alone in the world. It is great to find out that others enjoy spanking like I do. I find that you are someone with whom I can connect even across the miles. I really hope that I can be as courageous as you have been (and still are). I enjoyed getting to know you through your book and I am now slowly catching up through your blog archive. I love that you are open and honest and that you put your real self into whatever you do. Seeing that we are all real people with real lives and real problems somehow makes it easier to deal with our own situations whatever they may be. We all have highs and lows, and we can all help see each other through both the good and the bad times. We all have a journey to make and meeting people like you help make it worthwhile.”

Six years later, I’ve gone through a bitterly rough breakup (from the boyfriend mentioned above) that has left me trying to find my way through grief, denial, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I recently decided to pick up Late Bloomer and dive back into its pages. I find myself in a different place this time around, and I realize I didn’t quite appreciate everything that Erica had shared, gone through and survived, until now. In the final chapter, she writes, “…if any part of it strikes a chord, gives someone food for thought, provides a degree of comfort, or makes even one person feel less alone in dealing with struggles and challenges, then my efforts are further validated.” 

Erica, my dear friend, you have done all that and more for me by sharing your life’s experiences through your book, your blog, and your emails over the years. Getting to know you and having the opportunity to develop our friendship has been so worthwhile and such a privilege. For all of that and for everything that makes you who you are, I am truly grateful and honored to have you in my life.

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It matters not how everyone else sees your life - all that matters is how you see it. Let's enjoy living by learning about ourselves and accepting what makes us happy.

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Lillyanna Rose Submits

It matters not how everyone else sees your life - all that matters is how you see it. Let's enjoy living by learning about ourselves and accepting what makes us happy.

Clara's Wish

It matters not how everyone else sees your life - all that matters is how you see it. Let's enjoy living by learning about ourselves and accepting what makes us happy.