Drinking and Thinking…
Allow me to bare my soul for a moment. I’m in the middle of a five-day break from work. I’ve been doing some thinking, drinking, and more thinking.
Yesterday afternoon, the sun-dappled snowdrifts shimmered. It was 42°F, warmer than it’s been all year. Walking is how I receive creative ideas—so I walked nearly two miles to The Lynhall, my favorite restaurant in my old uptown neighborhood, which I hadn’t been to since I moved last November.
I love The Lynhall’s seasonal food and drinks menu. I had a bourbon cocktail called “Faith Healer” and a whiskey cocktail called “Sweater Weather.” I’m five feet tall and barely over 100 pounds, so two drinks is my limit.
The bartender was cute. “How old are you?" he asked me.
I laughed. “I’m forty. Do you want to see my ID?”
“I believe you,” he said.
Ouch. Two summers ago, I moved from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis. I stayed in a large Victorian AirBnB close to downtown, discovering my new city. Another guest was a young man who’d just turned eighteen and moved here for college. He was hitting on me. Before politely shutting him down, I asked how old he thought I was.
He said, “Well, you said you’ve been married and had a child so… twenty-four?”
The bartender didn’t pretend to be shocked that I’m forty. Are most people pretending? Most think I’m in my early thirties max, or that’s what they say. The bartender reminded me of my last ex-boyfriend, a sexy Liberian American who was twelve years younger than me. They both had great dreadlocks and a confident attitude. Regardless of my appearance, they’re both far too young for me.
I told myself when I met the ex-boyfriend that he was mature for his age. He was from a war torn country. He’d been through hell, surely that matured him. He was graduating soon, with an accounting degree from a private university where he was on soccer scholarship. He was hardworking and career minded. He was a single father and our children were close in age. Doesn’t parenthood force you to grow up?
After my drinks, I walked further down Lyndale Avenue to my favorite co-op, The Wedge. I went to buy a jar of Lemonaise (a delightfully tangy lemon herb mayo), and a jar of bread and butter pickles, both to make tuna salad; also, a jar of local honey infused with ginger and holy basil to go in my holy basil, sage and rose tea. I left with a Twin Cities made ginger ale containing 10 mg of THC. They had a THC root beer too, which I’ll be back for. How wonderful would that be in a root beer float, with vanilla bean ice cream?
Naturally, I drank the cannabis beverage as I made the forty-five minute walk home, listening to my Spring playlist. The can said not to mix cannabis with alcohol use, but I know what I’m doing at this stage in life. By the time I got home, I was drunk, stoned, and had to pee. After I went to the bathroom (and had a peegasm) I felt good. After dinner I felt amazing. Satiated, I went into my bedroom and laid on my silver velvet comforter, watching the sun go down. I had a deep think.
I put this in my IG story:
I would know. I used to be quite insecure. I dated men who idolized me, thinking it gave me the upper hand. They said I was their dream girl. I didn’t feel the same, so I projected my fantasies onto those men. I fell for their potential and disregarded their reality. Of course they became resentful of that—who wouldn’t?
Twenty-four hours have passed since I had my cocktails and began thinking. I’ve come to some conclusions.
The danger in being a writer is crafting any story in your head you want, living like it’s true. It’s also a powerful form of manifestation, acting as if. When you live as if your wildest dreams have already happened, they materialize through your actions. You become the fantasy version of yourself. The danger lies in projecting your vivid imagination onto another human being with free will—or allowing your free will to be infringed upon by becoming someone’s dream. Both are sure to end disastrously.
I’m writing even when I’m not writing. I write, because I have to get the stories out. When I’m not writing, the stories still flood my brain. No matter what I’m outwardly doing, I’m inwardly spinning a narrative, because I can’t not do that. In the past, I centered stories around others.
I told myself I was in love with my lovers and loved by them. I believed it because I so wanted to. Who doesn’t want a happy ending? But the rude awakening always came. Dreams evaporated. Was any of it ever real? The men who love-bombed me devalued me once they grew tired of our charade. By then, I wanted out too, but was emotionally attached.
You don’t have to be in love to be emotionally attached. Emotional attachment is a chemical dependency like drug addiction. I’ve never struggled with substance abuse. I go months or years without cannabis or alcohol, and I’m practically a Christian Scientist when it comes to pharmaceuticals, preferring homeopathic remedies. But I’ve had a love and relationship addiction for most of my adulthood. I can trace it back to the all-consuming friendships of my girlhood.
When you’re in a toxic relationship, the highs and lows are so intense you’ll do anything for another “hit” of that dopamine. And if you had a toxic relationship with your parent(s) you depended on for survival, it’s harder to break the addiction. The subconscious is formed the first seven years of life—the Bible and Quran talk about it; science confirms it.
As a parentified child I raised my mother. She carried childhood trauma that stunted her. She aged but never grew up. My earliest memories are of my mother beating me in uncontrollable rage, followed by me hugging and comforting her while she cried about losing control. This was my normal. She admits she first beat me when I was a year old. I watched her hop from one abusive relationship to another. She looked the other way when the men abusing her abused me too. Yet, when the inevitable breakups and her mental breakdowns came, it was me putting her back together. It was me raising my little brother while she worked long hours. I did so much adulting before I was of legal age. Still, throughout my childhood she told me I was selfish when I wanted anything, including boundaries.
My mother says she loves me. My relationship with her was my first example of love. It set the tone for all relationships proceeding it. I think she knew I was too good for her. I was an innocent child. I was a beautiful, precocious, sweet child—but even if I hadn’t been, no child deserves what I got. Motherhood itself was out of her league due to her untreated mental illness. But we both lied to ourselves. We pretended she was taking care of me, and that everything would be alright if I tried harder to be a good girl.
I wasn’t allowed to be a main character. I wasn’t allowed bodily autonomy, or safety—two basic needs. Individuality was a luxury I couldn’t afford. When it wasn’t safe to be in my home, or in my body, I had no sense of self. I learned to dissociate, to live in my head. I became who I was told to be to make the violence and screaming and sexual assault stop, only it didn’t stop. I become nothing and no one. I could only see myself within the context of who I was serving.
I used to wonder, am I asking for too much? Are my expectations for a partnership too high? I was never asking for too much. I was asking the wrong people, then trying to earn it.
Disenchanted by my love life, I developed obsessive crushes on people not around me. People busy working and traveling. People I’d never met. Even as an adult in my thirties I did this. When I was (unhappily) married I did it. First with my own husband, gone so often for military deployments that our marriage seemed like a figment of my imagination. Then came celebrity crushes so intense I felt like I was emotionally cheating. When I was with my ex-boyfriend—my first and only relationship after my divorce, my most recent ex–I did it too.
We were very off-and-on, this boyfriend and I. We had a euphoric and nightmarish time together. Whenever we broke up, I refused to acknowledge why. I manifested him back. I did not love him, like him, or respect him. I was crazy about my ideas of who he could be and what we could have. I believed in my fantasy of us so fiercely that he believed it too, until he couldn’t anymore. The hype I generated wasn’t sustainable. When he played along, it was more potent than any drug, higher than any high. When he dropped the mask I forced him to wear, it was an ugly comedown.
Like my mother, I had been through so much but not grown from it. I was simply recreating it with new characters. Trauma doesn’t mature people; healing does. It took a lot of shadow work to know my power, unlearn my victim mentality, and center myself in my stories.
Everyone needs a muse for creative inspiration, but I should’ve been my own muse. My relationships were highly sexual and instantaneous. I formed attachments through physical affection, not intimacy. Intimacy is to know and be known. I did not know myself or show myself to anyone. I was in survival mode, same as in childhood. And because creative energy is also sexual energy, all my emotionally unfulfilling sex with partners and sexual fantasies for crushes drained me of creativity. I couldn’t draw, paint, take the photographs I wanted, or write. My longing for others did the opposite of what having a muse does. A muse must be a willing participant. They must believe in your vision and collaborate with you.
Getting to know myself has been quite the journey. I’ve been single and celibate for nearly four years now, something I never thought I’d say. I’ve gone on first dates, but the dates have gone nowhere. I see red flags right away. I disengage. I can tell when a man isn’t listening to me, or when he’s saying whatever he thinks will get my pants off. I cannot be love-bombed now that I love myself.
But the habit of crushing on people not in my life? That habit has been the hardest to break with my writer’s mind. Even after moving from Portland to Minneapolis, hugging my ex goodbye the day I left, thinking I’d gotten closure, I imagined him someday moving here for me.
I also had a crush on a woman for several years who is somewhat famous. Once again, my imagination began to manifest things. She paid me for an astrology reading. She loved it. She recommended me to those in her inner circle, some much more famous than her. I did readings for them as well. I talked to her occasionally. She suggested we might take a trip to the rainforest to do ayahuasca together someday.
My daydreams led me to dream about her in my sleep, and often. I’ve always believed we dream everything before it happens, which is what deja vu is. We subconsciously remember the dream, since the subconscious never forgets. We do not consciously remember it. It’s an uncanny feeling. To create anything at all, we must envision it first in our mind’s eye.
I dreamed her and I were a couple, and dreamed of her deceased relative blessing the relationship. I told her I dreamed about this family member, and what they said about her, leaving out the relationship part. She had a visceral reaction because she knew exactly who I’d dreamed of. She hadn’t ever mentioned them to me, but they’d been close, and I perfectly described them.
My infatuation with her waxed and waned like the moon. Sometimes I seriously forgot she existed. Other times, she was all I thought of. My love affair with her was as off-and-on again in my head as what my last relationship actually had been. My lust for her seemed to coincide with me being at a low point, same as with my ex, who I met when I was in a very dark place. I’ve been doing so well since I moved to Minneapolis. My thoughts of her and my ex become less frequent the longer I am here.
Once, after my move, I dreamed I saw her. I became aware I was dreaming. I called out her full name to get her attention. When she looked up at me, I said I loved her. She responded, “You do not know me. But we can become friends and see what happens.” That dream was not exciting, and I did not think about her for a long time.
Recently, I saw her in a lucid dream once more. I called out to her. She reacted with anger. At first, she wouldn’t tell me why she was mad, insisting I knew damn well. Then she shouted, “I’ve been waiting on you!”
I said, “What are you talking about? I gave you a reading, and then we got too busy with our lives to stay in touch.”
She cried. She looked at me with so much pain in her eyes, and said, “I was waiting on you to meet me. You gave up.”
I woke up with an unsettling feeling. I can tell when dreams aren’t just dreams. I’ve dreamt of family being in trouble when they were. I was intermittently manifesting this woman into my life and she was open to it. The problem is our trauma bond. Can you have a trauma bond with someone you haven’t met, but communicated with electronically? I believe so. I fell for her when I was in the midst of my divorce, and she was being publicly humiliated by her partner. I believe she’s still hurting while telling herself she’s over it.
Since my move here, I’ve been recovering. By driving the fog from my mind about who I am and what I deserve, the fog surrounded her, and I couldn’t see her appeal anymore.
I’m on the precipice of something. I can feel it. I see the life I want and it’s happening. I’m taking a solo trip to Iceland. I’m done having crushes on people I haven’t built intimacy with through communication.
Once upon a time, I was a stripper. A sugar baby. A trophy wife. I was whatever I was expected to be. That chapter is over. My new chapter opens with me exposing my heart instead of my body. Trusting the right people will be drawn into my life, and genuinely expressing myself in chance encounters. The right one won’t see what they want. They’ll come closer, get a better look. They’ll see me.
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
This was captivating
nice writing. Congratulations.
Magnificent work. The flow of your writing is mesmerizing, the content is spell binding in its transparency, and intimate. Congratulations on the deserved recognition of Top Story. “Peegasm”’is a earthy, sensuous word I have unknowingly missed my whole life. lol. Thank you. 🥰
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Keep on shining. Congrats on TS!
You are so refreshingly honest and self-aware. I definitely felt the part about military deployments and feeling like your relationship was a figment of your imagination. Your article was cracking.
Wonderfully told! You have some really interesting perspectives on love, relationships and life in general and your story was a pleasure to read. Really loved the part where you wrote: “I’m writing even when I’m not writing. I write, because I have to get the stories out. When I’m not writing, the stories still flood my brain. No matter what I’m outwardly doing, I’m inwardly spinning a narrative, because I can’t not do that.” - so relatable and well said haha. Thanks for sharing
Wow, you did it again. Although I had to go back and re-read it, because I couldn’t get ‘peegasm’ out of my mind, ((childish I know but you’re the one who wrote it) Congratulations
Super heartfelt and megaly relatable. Congratulations on your Top Story!
Your narrative is so expressive and cathartic, I feel somewhat absolved after reading it myself. Congratulations on Top Story and yay - a trip to Iceland! You'll have to do a post for the Wander community with lots of pics! ❤️
Your narrative was so smooth and free flowing. Excellent characterization and very personable and relatable. ♥️ loved it. Congratulations on top story!
Ahhh I knew we were kindred. I could’ve written so much of this myself, from the broad sweeps to the little details. We share a lot of common ground, from being astrologers to psychic dreamers to our height to “parenting” our single mothers through their numerous breakups, and the histories in your final paragraph…no wonder I love your writing and the way you share your perspective with blunt thrusts and little armor. It’s a beautiful thing to love yourself, and to do that shadow work that dissolves the mentality of victimhood. There’s nothing I’ve found personally more empowering in life than the notion that there are no victims. Just feel like I wanna hug you now, haha
I’m so glad you commented on my post, or I think it may have taken a while to find you. But you as your writing acutely points out, we always find what we need to. I was immediately struck by your bio (I’m a fellow reader myself), and knew I would be intrigued by you work. My intuition was right. This piece made parts of me feel understood in a way that I have not seen articulated by another. The way you captured early trauma and role reversal to how our early attachments impact our psyche was visceral. Your understanding of self, so vulnerably laid out for others to connect with is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Very nice self reflection story! Love the blend of whimsical and serious. You can feel the honesty in the story telling
That solo trip to Iceland is absolutely vital (I believe). You've done so much work on yourself at home (And here I'm speaking of the country you know and has always surrounded you), but now you need to get outside of that surprisingly narrow bubble that the US constitutes. Iceland seems to me to be a perfect choice for you, especially with your affinity for colder climates and beautiful places. I really hope you go, and I deeply hope you go alone and cleansed of expectations. (I also hope you don't mind my opinion) Loved the alliteration, "sun-dappled snowdrifts shimmered" Just beautiful!
I found this intensely engaging. I really appreciated your insight about toxic relationships and what they actually are. It's a term thrown around a bit too willy nilly these days for my liking. They become a form of sado-masochism. The chaos of toxic relationships, especially sexual ones, is almost fetishsised. Thanks for sharing Naomi. Glad you're finding some internal peace. I plan on listening to that Spring Playlist on my walks this week.
Well, I waited until this morning to read this and I'm glad I did. It deserved full focus. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story of self-discovery. Here's to the new you and your new adventures. I'll raise a glass tonight. (These days, I prefer my bourbon neat, at home, one small glass at a time.) Awesome Story!
Those drinks sound amazing, I’m looking forward to a night cap as soon as I’m done work!! I appreciate the THC infused drink!! You made some amazing drink choices in this one!! Love the Instagram post!! I completely relate to constructing stories in your head and sometimes struggling to come back to reality. Also the part about writing when your not writing, I literally have 20 notes on the go on my phone with stories and ideas I have in progress.! I appreciate you sharing part of your very personal story! You are so brave to share it and I admire your strength, even for the times when it wasn’t your job to be strong! This piece really humanize you for me and I appreciate your bravery so much! I have so much admiration for you!! 💜💜💜
You have so much insight into your real self. I admire that.