Sex And Self-Worthadmin
For me “not-enoughness” is something I have to bring awareness to consistently in my life. I am a marriage and family therapist, single mommy, single in general (lol), and just turned 40 years old. For starters being a single mom at 40 in the United States you constantly get “oh no what happened”. The looks from other married moms of “poor girl”. Dating men comes with the assumption that you’re hunting for a husband and ready to wed the first one you meet. So far from the truth.
I’m happy being single. Do I want a partner someday? Sure, but not in a rush at all. Not all moms I meet feel sorry for me. The ones I meet who are divorced and again married are always helpful and understanding. This is a constant reminder to myself that no matter what society says the magic age of marriage is I am enough just the way my life looks now.
The enoughness also comes with body image and looks as I start to age and skin becomes loose along with several pounds. How do I learn to love myself in this aging body? This is difficult in the works of social media where J Lo is 50 with rock hard abs. I learn to be gentle with myself each day. To strive to stay healthy while being ok with how I look TODAY.
Sexuality is something I’ve realized that I’ve struggled with as a woman. I love sex. I love feeling sexy. However, society has taught us, women, that sex is something we give to men. That it’s something to be used to get what we want. That they are entitled to this sex. I’m in no way man-bashing. My experience is that men have been taught this is something for the taking. Something they have earned. I’ve gone on dates with several men who if I decide not to sleep with them after a great date they tell me I’m being silly, playing games, being a prude, or just being a bitch. Why can’t I just decide I don’t want to share my body with someone until I’m ready.
Recently I had decided that I did not want to have sex with someone until I have a romantic connection with them and someone I want to build a relationship with. I no longer wanted to exchange energy just to fuck. So I knew I had a lot of cleaning up to do since I had been having casual relationships for quite some time.
I explained this to my male friend who I had slept with in the past, how I was in a different space, and no longer wanted to have casual relationships and took responsibility in acknowledging how this was different than how things had been before. Well, let me tell you, that did not go over well. I was told I was ALWAYS creating things with attachments and that he would not go backward and how dare I minimize our sex as being casual like some guy I just met at a club because he still wanted to continue to fuck me (in a loving casual way of course). Like how dare I decide to not freely give myself to him anymore, because he now felt he was entitled.
I didn’t get upset I just saw things clearly and said this had nothing to do with him that this was my decision and I wish he would respect it. Well, regardless he would because he was not the keeper of MY body. This felt amazing finally listening to my inner voice and taking control of my sexuality and not feeling like it’s something to be used, pressured to give that it is to be respected and cherished in what feels right to me. The right man will 100% respect that but I finally feel good about how I’m moving and weeding the men out who are not aligned with me.
I’m in a place in my life where I can be proud of the career I have and with that a profession that is respected. This hasn’t always been the case. It took me 30 years to find out what I could do to feed my soul and earn money. When I wasn’t in the career I wanted and still taking steps to get there I felt ashamed. I felt I had to justify. I dated men who were “successful” and would throw this in my face to make me feel bad and assume the role they had decided for me. Now that I look back on it I love myself in every stage I was in. The lesson I needed to learn was self-love and it was a long road.
I grew up with an abusive narcissistic mother so as you can imagine I never felt good enough and had huge abandonment issues. I constantly attached myself to narcissistic men who wanted a co-dependent woman to cling to. I replayed for years and years trying to have a corrective experience wondering when is the moment they find out “I’m crazy”. Well, years of therapy and many lessons to my wonderful teachers (these men who put me through hell) I finally realized I need to find love in myself first and was always good enough at every stage in my life. I now don’t fear abandonment as I feel at home inside myself. Another lesson was knowing I can never change anyone. Not even my narcissistic mother. What I can do is set boundaries in a loving way and feel confident in doing so with no guilt. This was so freeing. I no longer have anxiety getting a call from my mother. I no longer entertain insults from others but welcome feedback. My greatest lesson is that the lessons never end. I’m continuing to learn and grow and each day welcomes the lessons that present themselves in the form of obstacles.
Written by: Amber S.