do you really only want to hear from people who've struggled with the same problem?
Honestly, by accident. When I was 27, I moved to a foreign country for a year for work. It was a country where white, english speakers are put on a pedestal (which I disagree with, but there it is). People consistently treated me with respect and kindness for the first time in my life. I also found, through necessity, that I could rely on other people when I needed help. And when I was the kind, respectful person that I am, people responded to that.
Also, that year, I found out that the people who supposedly cared about me back home couldn't be bothered to maintain even perfunctory contact with me.
That year changed who I was to the core. When I came back, I expected to be treated better, and when I wasn't, I noticed. Just because I noticed doesn't mean I did anything about it at first, but noticing the difference between treated with respect and disdain was huge.
Within a month of being back home, I went on a date with my now husband. I never would have gone out with him before that year. But I recognized that he was kind and respectful, which none of my other partners had been before.
And here we are today. I am still the kind and respectful person that I always was, I surround myself with people who are the same, and I avoid (in my personal life) people who are not.
okay. well, the process that andreams described is basically what i would suggest. you don't have to go to another country to learn to meet your own needs. once you are firm and confident in your own ability to do that, you won't have to look to men to do it for you. then you can seek out equal relationships with people who respect you.
one piece that i think most people miss is that trust is as much--if not more--about learning to receive love and support as it is about learning to give it. for most of us, giving is easy; it's receiving that's hard.
but first, you have to genuinely, honestly be whole and content in yourself. needing another to be okay makes you vulnerable and fearful in a relationship. choosing to be with someone is very different than needing it.
I made a decision to learn to love myself. I didn't make that decision until I was a little over 40. I've had to work pretty hard to learn to love and accept myself. It hasn't been easy. I am not done.
You mean like masturbation? Wow, you waited till 40??
Is there any way we can break that novelle into bullet points?
Because right now the two most interesting threads in the lounge that aren't Lys trying to convert lesbian hippies into Romney supporters are about Pumpkin's imaginary friends and some lady reupolstering chairs....so it's a slow news day...thus this "may" be the most interesting topic on the board...