After the death of my partner in December 2006, I was single and dated for a couple of years. Then in January 2009, I made a decision that I wanted another long-term relationship.
What did I write down for my future?
For a long time, and since I studied a lot of personal growth and personal development material, I have believed in writing down my goals and what I wanted to achieve. That could be health, money, relationship or environment or home. Quite often in periods of transition, like when you lose a job or get divorced or the death of your husband or partner, there is a period of confusion, grieving, and sometimes fear, when you are in the mindset of “how will I manage on my own” “what will I do now I have no job” “how will I survive with less money coming in” “how can I pay the mortgage now”.
Sleepless nights, and restlessness, all add to the stress of the situation you find yourself in. It was no different for me, I went to work, did what I could, returned home and started over working on the Property Management and Rental business. Calls to follow up on, rents to be collected, maintenance to be booked in. The weeks went quickly, the months flew by and life just happened.
He’s Got To be Strong
One late night in January 2009, I was sitting in my office in the flat, and I started thinking about what type of man I wanted in my life. It had been just over two years since John had died. I had met a couple of boyfriends but nothing that became serious. Anyway, I was going to write out what I wanted in my next relationship.
So, I took a piece of A4 paper and stared at the blank sheet thinking about the night out I’d had with my friends. I remember a song that was playing in one of the bars, it was Bonnie Tyler’s singing “Holding Out For A Hero”, with the words “I Need A Hero” and “he’s got to be strong”, but what type of relationship was I looking for? I felt totally lost and confused, I don’t think I could identify the qualities I wanted in my next relationship. Perhaps I should have started with what I didn’t want.
Read my post on Making Important decisions.
Listen to Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler
Anyway, I wrote on the paper that I wanted a kind and generous man, a friend, a lover and a soul mate, someone to laugh with. Someone who I could go on holiday with two or three times a year. A strong man, a confident man, someone to share my life with.
I also had a couple of profiles on dating websites and on a site that I was introduced to through a guy I had dated a few times.
Fifty Shades of Grey
That other alternative dating/meeting website was called “Informed Consent”; it is no longer online.
The site was my introduction to BDSM, the relationship dynamic or scene that was made famous by the book and film Fifty Shades of Grey. BDSM stands for ‘bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, plus sometimes sadism and masochism.
For my profile picture, I had posed in my office wearing suspenders, stockings and a lace bodice, I was also wearing high heels. I had an automatic digital camera so I posed bending over my office chair to take the backside view. My profile bio said I was blond, petite, fun, 5’2” but taller in heels. Within days of that profile going on the site, I was chatting with more than ten guys. Guys that were as far away as London, and some a little closer to home in York.
Whenever I would go online to chat I would have 4 or 5 conversations going on at the same time. I was okay with chatting, it was safe to explore different conversations. But very soon there were two or three guys who were asking to talk on the phone. This actually freaked me a little, I know it’s not like there is any danger in talking on the phone, is there? It was my own fear of how I would sound, my accent, my voice, and what would I say.
Perhaps It Was A Sign
I talked on the telephone to one guy, I wasn’t really impressed. Then I had another guy who wanted to chat on a specific evening, plus another guy who I had spoken with, funnily enough, these guys both lived in York. So one evening I’m in the office and I remember that I was meant to be chatting online with one of the guys in York, but I also had set up to chat with the other guy who lived in York, but that chat was on the telephone. I open up the website to start chatting and as usual, a few people are online, so a number of conversations are happening at once.
Then the person who I was meant to chat with appears and says hello, so I reply and exchange a few messages, then there is a loud bang and a smell of burning, the computer screen goes blank and I realise that it’s the PC tower under the desk, so the computer has blown a fuse. So that cuts that conversation short. I never did have that conversation, perhaps it was a sign that he was definitely not the right person for me.
A little later, I pick up my mobile and pluck up the courage to make the phone call to the other guy. The phone call lasted longer than I thought it would and he sounded really nice, so we arranged a face-to-face meeting for later in the week. This is how I met my next partner, the person I started a relationship with in March 2009. It was shortly after my 48th birthday.
Who did I manifest into my life?
I had found a man who was in business for himself, like me. He seemed like a gentleman, kind and considerate. Confident, but not overpowering, assertive but not controlling. Described himself as an alpha male. He made me laugh, we laughed together. He was generous, he paid for our first holiday together. It was my belief that I had found the man that was to be a friend, a lover and a soul mate. Someone, with whom I would share my life. Of course, I was cautious at first, I realised that I should tread carefully, like any new relationship, you need to take your time to get to know the person before you throw all caution to the wind.
Our first few dates seemed to go well. I remember that I was impressed by his honesty. He told me a number of things about himself that I took at face value. I didn’t see anything that could be an issue. Although there was one concern that I did have before I met him in person.
Do Some Due Diligence
He had told me to look him up on the internet, to do some due diligence, and before our first-ever meeting and lunch date he advised me to contact a friend and tell the friend that I was meeting someone new. Where I was meeting and what time and that I should let my friend know I was safe when I had met with the person. It is always a good idea to tell someone you trust about your date plans. Anyway, before our lunch date, I did as he suggested and put his name into the Google search engine, and I found his business profile. However, I’m one of those people that always end up going a bit deeper and before I know where I am, I’m discovering a lot more intimate things about this man that I am about to meet the next day on a lunch date.
I had of course found him on this “alternative” dating site that I mentioned earlier. So I started looking at his profile, and after a couple of more clicks and searches, I discovered that shock horror, he was still married. His current wife also had a profile on this site, she held nothing back in writing about her experience with this man that I was going to meet the next day. She called herself Slave Tsina, she talked of how they held a ceremony known as “collaring”. It is all a bit bizarre now I think about it.
There were many revelations that I read and thought, WHAT? REALLY! I was thinking to myself, what type of guy is this person? Perhaps, I will need to write another book about some of the experiences I had, and some of the situations that played out, but this is not the place for those things.
What I did know was that for some very strange reason, I still wanted to meet this person. During our first meeting, I felt unsure of how I would come across. I also made a decision to not let him know, or say anything, about the research and finding out about his “wife” or Slave Tsina. I did say earlier that I was impressed by his honesty, because he told me he was still married, he told me that the relationship was over, that she had moved out, and he was now on his own.
After My Birthday
It was March 2009 and it was just a week or so after my birthday, he told me he had spent his last birthday alone. His birthday is just a few weeks before mine in February. He also told me a number of other things, about his life or lifestyle, he even told me he had been a “serial adulterer” in his long-term marriage with his ex-wife and the mother of his children. And I was impressed by his honesty.
I have this built-in “trust mechanism”. I didn’t think he was lying to me or making any of this shit up.
So there you have it I manifested a man who had been a “serial adulterer” because he was telling me so. Be careful what you wish for!
Now, looking back I should have been more precise in what I was thinking and writing when I was making out that list of qualities for the type of man I wanted to attract into my life. Learning that he had been or may still be a “serial adulterer” should have been a red flag to me. However, I knew nothing about red flags back then. It has only been in these past two years that I started to understand more about these red flags as indicators that something needs to be questioned or otherwise validated. Often these are clues that something may be trouble in the future.
One Thing I Missed
So what else did I not include in my list? One thing I missed was health. Perhaps I should have included that I wanted a healthy man, healthy in mind, body and spirit. I soon found out that he was not a healthy type of man because here he was on our first date telling me all of his health issues. Diabetes was the main one that had altered his life and lifestyle in the not-so-distant past. The other main one was his Crohn’s disease, so his body was not in a healthy condition. Eventually, I would also find out that his mind was not in a healthy condition, his focus was often very “negative”. Not to mention the fact that he told me he was also a functioning alcoholic but that came out later.
Now I can think of many qualities that I would like to see in a man going into any new relationship. Yet at this point in time, I am not interested at all in looking for someone else. I am taking time out, time to rediscover myself, time to heal from the past trauma. I am now on a mission of discovery.
In the beginning.
March 2009 Informed Consent.
The word ‘consent’ comes up constantly in conversations about kink. People often tout it as the core element that separates BDSM from abuse.
According to kinkly.com the definition of “informed consent” is consent that is given freely and willingly by someone who is aware of what they are agreeing to. Not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not being pressured or coerced, and of legal age. Informed consent is often referenced in BDSM communities. It is vital before starting a scene, especially any scenes that involve play that appears non-consensual, such as forced orgasm.
So I was learning more about BDSM and taking part in sexual activities that I had not experienced before. Especially bondage. There are a number of things that you need to understand. It is very important to be able to trust the person you are with. I was and I am very trusting by nature. Safewords are important. So I was given a safe word to use at any time that I felt uncomfortable and wanted to stop. Red is a commonly used safe word, meaning stop. I was also instructed, to write a journal. Oh, and I nearly forgot I should call him “Sir”. That I should “thank him” by saying “Thank you, Sir” after our BDSM sex sessions or orgasms.
Actually, I did write down a few of my experiences with him and I still have the notebook. I have also written about my sexual adventures before I met him. That might be yet another type of book!!
I even thought of a title for that book a long time ago. It was going to be called “Embroidered With Truth”.
A different kind of love
So having been advised to keep a journal was something no man had asked me to do. However, he was a different type of man. I felt safe and secure with him, I felt cared for. I felt he was my friend, lover, and soul mate.
So just eight weeks into this new relationship he has asked me to write, “Why do I love him?”
So I write in my notebook.
Why do I love him?
He makes me feel special, loved. Wanted and sexy. He turns me on.
He makes me laugh. I like the way he makes love to me. He pays me attention and compliments me. He is a good cook, mmm!!
He spoils me!
He looks after me, I feel protected and secure when I am with him.
I feel strong emotional bonds.
First Stages Of Our Relationship
Now, obviously, all of this was in the first stages of our relationship. It all sounds fantastic, and I suppose it was at the time. Even though I was cautious and I did not want to feel the pain of loss and hurt again. I was holding my emotions in check. In the first two meetings, I was told that he felt that he’d known me for a long time. That he felt comfortable with me. I felt very comfortable as well, I put my trust in him, and I believed in him.
Later, I learned that what I had been experiencing at this stage was the “love bombing” phase. The idealization stage of narcissistic abuse. I really had no idea that such a thing existed. It wasn’t until much later that I came to see and understand more about how these types of relationships work.
As a survivor of post-separation abuse, I know firsthand the struggles of navigating a broken system. My first book shines a light on the laws that fail women and offers a call to action for much-needed change.
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