Anxiety, bad relationships, and shame around my sexuality used to be my “norm”. I had struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a young teenager, and my challenges only intensified as I got older, until it seemed so normal that I couldn’t see beyond it. Growing up, I had been told that I should “save myself” for someone special, but that didn’t happen. My first sexual experience was an assault, and in just a moment, all the “purity” I was supposed to maintain had been destroyed. I felt like a popped balloon or a chewed up piece of gum. I had spent all that time waiting, but now I felt destroyed.
i wanted to reclaim my sexuality, but I had no idea how.
For many years after that night, I cycled between two extremes – performing an over-sexualized sex kitten persona, or feeling disconnected from my body and freezing whenever I was touched. I had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, relying on it to soothe my anxiety, and drinking in excess on the weekends to ease the fear and shame that prevented me from achieving the sexual connection I craved while sober. I was suspicious and wary of men, often argumentative and closed off. The few charming ones who were able to break through my walls often ended up treating me poorly (at best) or abusing and manipulating me (at worst). I kept repeating all the same patterns, and was convinced I’d never find peace, happiness, or love.
I wanted to figure out how to live a happy, heathy, whole life – where my decisions weren’t controlled by my anxieties, fears, and trauma. Searching for my own solutions, I studied psychology and women’s studies in college and focused all my independent studies on sexuality, dating, and relationships. After I graduated, I started a website to write about my experiences, hoping that sharing my story, connecting with other women, and immersing myself in the field would arm me with the tools to overcome my own traumas. I went to over a decade of therapy, read as many books as I could get my hands on, and filled my mind with theory and knowledge. Each experience gave me a little piece of the puzzle toward healing, yet I still struggled to put them all together to create the life I craved.
i hit rock bottom after a toxic, abusive relationship drained me of my joy.
Abuse can feel like the slow changing of the seasons. Your partner starts out charming, bright, loving, and gives you the world. Then slowly, they take their love away, turn cold, and start planting the seeds that it’s your fault. You’re annoying them, you’re too much, you’re driving them crazy, your friends make you even worse. By the time they turn into a swirling, violent, unpredictable storm, you’re convinced it’s your fault. You remember the joyful love you once had, and you’re certain that if only YOU were BETTER, things would return to the way they were before.
This was the storm I was in. I was told I worthless, stupid, and unloveable for almost 2 years – and I believed it. Any time I was happy, I was shamed. Anything that I enjoyed was stupid and pathetic. He gave me crumbs of affection, then took it all away when I did something “wrong”. He told me no one would ever love me, and I held on because I wanted so badly to prove him wrong. I wanted to change. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be worthy of being loved.
My spirit was shattered. The deeper his words echoed in my mind, the more depressed I became. I hated myself, blamed myself, and eventually, I saw no reason to keep living. I wanted to escape from being myself.
i am so grateful that I had such bright, amazing friends who reminded me of my own internal light that can never be extinguished, and finally, i ended the relationship.
I realized that I was trapped in a cycle, and, for my own sake, I had to stop repeating it. I knew I needed to find my way out, but had no idea where to begin. Despite majoring in psychology, dedicating my professional life to love and sexuality, and going to therapy for literally over a decade, I kept falling into the same traps. I was desperate to leave my anxiety and depression in the past, love myself, have a healthy relationship, and reclaim my sexuality. I wanted to feel whole again and create the happy life that I thought was beyond my grasp.
So, I followed my intuition and immersed myself in reading. I spent hundreds of hours reading about communication, healthy relationships, and dating red flags. I learned the science of relationships, attraction, desire, and power. I got to the root of fear, shame, anxiety, self-worth, and the mindset patterns that kept me stuck. I assessed my relationship with alcohol, and learned the tools to self-soothe instead of self-medicate. One by one, I applied the techniques to my life. It helped, and I knew I was on to something, but it was a slow process. I wanted make big changes, not just read about it.
I started working with a relationship coach to bring my growth to the next level. Within a few months, I had more positive changes in my life than I had in years of reading, researching, and therapy. With her support, I processed my toxic relationship and uncovered the deep-rooted patterns that kept me repeating the same bullshit over and over again. She showed me brand new ways of thinking and approaching my problems, and tools to create a better life. Her guidance and perspective helped me overcome challenges, and create new, supportive habits. I started to find myself again, and began to build the person I wanted to become.
Within six months, I couldn’t believe how much my whole life had completely changed. I became a better version of myself, and was prepared and able to CREATE my life, rather than letting it control me. I started designing my own life, relationships, and career. I’ve learned to manage my anxiety, overcome depression, and value myself. I could see red flags, set healthy boundaries, communicate effectively, and nurture healthy relationships. Most of all, I could nurture myself, so I could have the happier life I always wanted. My experience with my coach led me to new ways of thinking, behaving, and experiencing the world, that I genuinely don’t think I could have reached on my own. I still face challenges (it’s inevitable in life) but I feel confident and empowered that I have the tools and strong mindset to tackle them, without freaking out and making all the same mistakes.
I have always wanted to help and support women through my work, but this experience fueled me with renewed passion. I know so many women are stuck like I was – battling anxiety and depression, challenged by dating and relationships, feeling purposeless in their careers, struggling with the love, worth, and value they give to themselves. We deserve MORE, but what we’re doing isn’t working. I know that the tools that helped me transform my life, can help you get the life you want, too.
i am dedicated to helping women create the lives they crave, and sharing all the tools, practices, and skills that have helped me overcome my challenges and create a life beyond what I thought was possible.