Living Truthfully Within

starlight1

Active member
Oh and if you want to follow my writing you can join my FB group for poly authors (if that's something you do as well) pm me for that info and i'll send it your way. We're a pretty tight nit group of women identifying only, (trans/ nonbinary are welcome too).

And I forgot to post some of my book covers! All these are available as premades. Yes I'm shamelessly plugging myself, but hell after everything that's happened in my life the least that could happen a slap on the wrist for trying to be positive about myself and future lol.

Link to private Facebook group for people to follow my book covers: Book Covers by Nicole Lane Studio
 

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starlight1

Active member
For the first time in a long time I might actually have some potential poly news?

Early days. Gabriel (A man I dated brief in 2017) contacted me about writing. Although at this point we are platonic, I can't deny there's interest floating around. Odd since I haven't been interested in men in a long time. Or anyone for that matter. Not since Ariel. He's interested in being a writing assistance having seen my call out here. I'd completely forgotten I'd shared my blog with him. :) It was nice to touch base again. He's doing really well with a healthy long term relationship and stable career. We both seem like healthier happier people now than when we met back then. We both interesting have written books- and he's very good at editing so I'm excited to bounce idea around with him and be friends/critique partners.

I can't do the whole "Not mattering to people" thing again. And I said that upfront. So I'm going to just sit with it. We'll see where it goes.

As for me, I now have 3- count that- 3 jobs.

1) my freelance art and writing
2)a job on a website hiring me as a book cover artist
3)my writing job with radish

Between the passive income on the first and last two with writing, and the money I make for commissions I'm in a place to be financially independent and completely off assistance within a year or two. The book is getting a lot of traction, considering I've done it out of nowhere. And I'm putting my fingers into a lot of pies in the mean time.

I also have an actual support network again.
1) my therapist
2) my best online friend and critique partner (she doesn't have a name yet)
3) tentatively Gabriel as another critique partner
4) and my larger group of authors for RH/Poly/Whychoose I run. Which is fabulous. It's about 30 women from all over the world, from well known names to indie brilliants.
5) reconnected some with IrishCoffee too, she is doing well (trans m to f).
6) close relationship with my oldest child now (non binary now) ShootingStar, working on younger Rosebud.
7)things are good and clam with N mum, and stepdad, brother, and grandma. brother is coming in from out of town to visit and we have plans to spend the holidays with him. Fur babies are good too and also a constant loving presence.

I'm feeling good about the people I have built up around me from the ashes of my life.
 

starlight1

Active member
I'm so happy. My sales on my book are going well, I'm editing book 2. Book three is rumbling around in the outlining phase (not coming out till probably sometime mid/late 2022). And my artwork is taking off!
I had a great time with my brother out here, and I've managed to get 2 more commissions since my last post on here. Plus I am diversifying to quite a few markets. :) Patreon. NSFW on a pen name (art), and selling abstract wall art bundles. And also looking into NFTS so my art isn't stolen.

I am excited about 2022!
 

starlight1

Active member
I've been dating again for the first time in ages, not with Gabriel who I mentioned before but we are loosely friends still...and I think my lack of liking men was a lot of trauma based stuff. I've been working with a therapist for a little over 6 months now, and we've dug deep and I am feeling better about myself than I ever have. The new guy I will give the name of....Arbor. Since he works as a landscaper and arborist.

I'm so freaking happy.

So Arbor is the man I've been dating for a little while now and we just became socially official (facebook, meeting each others families) AND who is fine with me dating women!

I also have a potential woman LDR, that is someone I really jive with. Her nickname will be Leona. She's definitely interested in poly and women too, and I confessed my feelings to her and she said she had feelings for me too. And now we are kind of flirting together. She is a really successful romantic fantasy author who is married. I actually have her as a core member of my group I run. We only just confessed feels after knowing each other almost a year online and being basically best friends first. We talk almost every day, and a few times a week on video/voice.

Who knew that writing would be the way to meet women? But holy cow is it a good way to meet the Sapphic ladies! Just letting you all know if you wanna meet women join writing/reading groups in romance. Yup! Lots of bi, pan, lesbian ladies there.

So a little about each person. My boyfriend is tall, a little younger than me by about 6 years, and such a gentle giant. He has the highest emotional IQ I've seen in a man since Rocky. With out all the commitaphobe issues. I still miss Rocky, but it's more like, the memory of him rather than himself. He was a good guy for the most part. And I learnt a LOT from him.

So many more things gel for me with this new dude, 1) he doesn't want kids at all, but likes kids. He just doesn't want kids because it's a personal life choice and the economy etc. He comes from a poor county in the USA and that caused some issues around wanting to raise kids in an environment with meth etc. We talked a lot about all this because we're both teetotal on drugs because he had a druggy mother. He's done and doing the work on himself like me, I found out he's an INFP, and I'm ENFP) Sooo, we actually work out really well that way! He's very "effeminate" in many of his features, expressions, thoughts, mannerisms etc. (Gender is such a strange thing.- a topic for another time.)
I'm totally chill with his "one penis policy" because 1) its normal with a person who's never been with someone poly, and 2) I am quite happy to be with just one penis. It was an easy compromise seeing as I wasn't sure I wanted *any* penises ever again. He says he's monagamous so that might have its own issues later, but right now it's ok. We're fine with the mono-poly life. Especially since my health stops me from having more than 2 lovers anyway, and besides anymore than that and I can't get my writing and art careers done. So really he is a very patient and understanding dude about a lot of my down time needs, and his introverted ways make it really easy to write or do art with him in the same room and he's happy as a clam. I met him on an online game, and we kept conversing for a few months before we started talking on voice then progressed to dating, then meeting up etc, so it's not felt scary. And the one time it did, when I hadn't really told him about Leona yet, he knew something was up (that high intuition) and we then hashed it out, with the encouragement of my therapist.

Though hash it out sounds like there was an argument, it was more like, a blubbering mess on my side, he thought about it for a bit, then came back to me and said "There's nothing about you Star that you have told me that makes me love you any less." And well, that just made my heart melt.

Leona - is a strong willed business woman with a witty sense of humor, highly intelligent, pagan, and absolutely stunningly gorgeous. She is 2 years younger than me, and we literally never run out of things to talk about. She is a proud person and doesn't like to ask for help a lot, I take a little bit of an assertive role with her letting her let down her hair and make sure she's taking care of herself since she tends to put herself last. She takes care of a few people and fur babies in her life. We have a lot of laughs together about stuff, and often work on our books together. We hash out ways to promote, improve the group, improve our respective lives etc. She like myself struggled with self confidence and weight in the past and so is totally into me regardless my weight; while at the same time supporting each other in healthy goals. Her family is from the same part of the world as my bf's ironcally. It's like I finally found my tribe.

So I'm finally, for the first time getting 1) committed serious relationship prospects[Arbor seeming to be on a sort of escalator track, minus possible marriage and kids and maybe living next to each other or possibly with each other/ and Leon being a LDR. I don't know if we'll ever be more I'd probably have to move near her to make it work if I did down the road and I don't know if I'd do that. We still haven't met in person yet so this one is a lot more uncertain practically outside of our community.], and 2) a balanced healthy approach to polyamory: 1 man and and 1 woman, both approached through friendship first.

I think this is it for me for now; not looking for anymore. :) Not like when I was a kid in a candy store back in England lol.

Ok, back to work stuff: Book two is with Beta readers right now and will be ready soon. I thought I'd have it finished sooner but my author artwork and personal commissions took off and I had to alternate between both careers the last two months while I decided which one I wanted to focus on full time. (That just blew my mind!) But; I think I've settled on writing full time vs. art full time since the writing has the better potential to make a better life later on.

Also; I'm out and proud of social medias etc. as "open relationship/polyamorous." I'm in a really good place right now and I'm so grateful for this forums over the years to watch all your journey's even when I'm not around. And to have a safe space to return to. The world sure has changed from when I started out here in 2009! I can't believe I've been around here over 10 years and only *JUST NOW* feeling safe and good enough in myself to create healthy poly relationships and commitments openly and honestly. Jeez what a journey its been.
I have been so discouraged and confused about my sexuality because of trauma for the last few years. And my heart being utterly crushed by Rocky. However, I am really proud to say that I'm finally almost completely over him, and I even have greater geniune self-worth I was lacking and seeking form outside sources back when I knew him.

Bring on the second half of 2022! Another update will probably happen closer to book release day, and if anything progresses with Leona. :)Audiobookfile500x500jpg.jpg
And my most recent cover I did. Check out the full cover here: https://yourbookcover.art
 
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starlight1

Active member
Just a quick edit that I can't go back to do, back in 2020/2021, I was in a queue to get a local psychologist but that was delayed because of pandemic. So I had a psychiatrist. (For meds) and a support worker, but hadn't yet started talky therapy (although I saw, and still see the psychiatrist every three months and she stepped in, in a quasi fashion for a little while.)

The combination of psychiatrist (meds) plus a therapist (talky talking) I truly can trust, (Julia), has been just incredible. Up until a month ago we were meeting every single week and it's finally calmed down to every other week. And will be going forward until I've dealt with my shame / guilt patterns.

Honestly, finding a good therapist that I can get along with, almost compares to my dating record. I had some truly horrid therapists in the past looking back on it, and this one is so supportive of everything about me. :)
 

starlight1

Active member
Arbor is coming out to visit at the end of this month.

Also, I now have standing girly night with Leona now, and

my Author/ writing tribe is solidifying and growing.

I'm really happy. :)
 

JaneQSmythe

Well-known member

starlight1

Active member
Yay!!! HAPPYYY!!!
So glad to here that things are coming together for you so well!
JaneQ
Thanks JaneQ :) Yeah, it really helps to have the right meds/therapist and to really work on ones self. I hope things are going well for you too?
 

starlight1

Active member
Update:

I am becoming a virtual leader. All those skills I learned in gaming I'm turning into the work world, its transitioning really well! I now only game with my BF Arbor on a really casual basis on our date nights. We do virtual board games mostly. Or talk. Sometimes he even helps me with work.

Tonight he met my "book boyfriends." lol.

As far as how my group is led, its mostly run through discord and facebook.


- I have 3 moderators,
- 1 Nanowrimo event organizer,
- 2 USA sprint organizers (tuesday nights),
- and 2 UK/EU sprint organizers on Monday (mornings usa and evening GMT).

The different people alternate weeks so no one is overwhelmed. the sprints to clarify are sessions ranging from 10mins - 1hr where people write together and either talk or type in the discord. Some really prefer the Pomodoro method, (25min writing, 10 mins breaks) and others prefer longer more structured sprints.

In fact, the hardest part of doing all this was getting the ball rolling. It took about 6 months for it to be more than just me and Leona lol.

But now that it is, I mostly just oversee what everyone else does in a casual way. I could probably step away completely and the whole group would run it's self both on FB and Discord.

I'm now expanding further.

I have 250 newsletter people, I am testing out three different editors to see which one jives with me. I have a team for 10 beta / arc readers (people who help with developmental and plot based edits, then help me with promoting, cheering on, reviewing etc. my books.)

The two most exciting things I'm running right now is a once a month book club, and a Poly/RH/Whychoose monster anthology; ranging from sweet to spicy. The Monster Anthology will be out in Valentine's 2023. Promo for event I created:

Monster Anthology Facebook Post small.png


The further delegation of offloading the FB posts, and sprints sessions each week, has helped me clear up time to focus on these events. I work most days for 4 hours at time, with some variation. I keep track of this on a google spread sheet that helps me track my words per hour, but also my energy and focus levels for my M.E.

A really fantastic day is 6 hours of work. A bad day is 1-2. Or sleeping the day to catch up on rest. I take wednesdays and sundays off completely.
I alternate with my mother on elder care, I generally oversee the night time elder care and she takes over in day time till 7pm. That's working for us so far. She has been doing dinners, brigning them over, and I do dishes so she can have a relatively clean kitch most the time now, since she is horrid at cleaning up after herself and I avoid going over there to eat, because I cant physically stand going into a messy house. Ick. At least not (this type of messy)- its not a few piles or laundry and forgotten books, no its pee stained floors where they havent taken their old dogs outside.

But I digress.

As far as my art career is going. I also have some exciting developments!

I got a like and follow from *julia freaking garner* for my speed painting of her I did a few months ago. That made my post go viral; which is why I've started transitioning my art skills to pushing my books. A viral video will probably net 0 book over clients, I still have to source book cover clients like I have any other visual art: word of mouth. I won't be sharing my tiktok because each tiktok requires me to market towards specific markets- so I've learnt that trick in 20booksto50k group. :)

But, having said that, it does mean I can take what I have learnt on tiktok from art, and transpose it to my books. A viral booktok post can net me a lot of money, enough that I can start seeing the end of dependency on the horizon. Between book two coming out soon, and the anthology, I'm super excited about the prospect of generating leads to KU/ Zon, etc.

I forgot to mention that in 2020-2021 I took a digital course (self taught) very casually for the entire year learning how to digitally do art. And I'm still doing repeat client work for those who seek me out, mostly. I have one book cover to complete by June, and a few smaller NSFW pieces from people who follow me on my art discord. Oh yeah, managing all these socials is kind of annoying. One day i hope to not just hire and editor but a social media manager. Jeez I'd be so much more productive if I didn't have to do the socials stuff. Honestly, to get any work done, I unplug myself entirely from online stuff.

I've even had to train Arbor to only have a date night three times a week so I could get work done. (He's taking it well, I'd do less but we're in honeymoon phase still, so it's alright. Plus most the dates actually include some brainstorming and problem solving on my books, win win.- he's pretty creative and if I can get him onboard with my writing and we duo the crap out of this, it'd speed up the process of future income by quite a bit.

Let's see in terms of pandemic stuff, my grandma and I both had covid a few months back (despite shots and boosters), and now she's been fighting and on and off cold/flu like stuff ever since. I recovered, but her energy levels decreased and so I am doing more elder care than before.
I look forward to the near future when Arbor is local, I really could use the extra set of hands once in awhile. We're aiming for him moving here in approx. 8 months, his next trip out is actually to do job hunting, now that he's saved up stuff for moving etc.

And as for me, I'm grey rocking the shit out of any drama with my mother, and anyone else in my groups who are even remotely like her.
I'm also enjoying my relationship with Arbor a lot.

One person at a time, instead of multiple dating is a lot more sensible, but I always seem to meet people in packs? Or realize I have feels around the same time. However, this time it seems to be ok. I get wonderful girly time with Leona in a loving healthy way, and then I also get the reliability of a solid committed planning-goal orientated relationship.

Ah, life is good.

One of our future trips together, Arbor and I, we're planning on going to Thailand. I think a few weeks on a beach will do me wonders. He may not stay the entire time, but I would. And I am hoping that I can plan it so that I spend some time with Arbor there, then invite Leona out to do some writing together and really spend one on one time away from all her crazy work stuff, in a comet capacity I think we could really work long term.
 
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starlight1

Active member
Only a few short days and I have a whole week with Arbor. So freaking excited. I need a break so bad I can't stand it. Life has been caring, work, caring, work, caring, work, sleep, and rinse wash repeat. It will be amazing to do some fun things together and spend time away from normal day to day life.

Anthology is ramping up, I'm doing a 40k story set in the same universe I'm currently writing in, and its going to be a little different. From the perspective of three bi men in a triad who meet a mysterious woman/snake shifter. So it's still following some RH tropes, but also subverting them some too. I'm also writing a FFF romance, and a silly PNR comedy humor romance for Radish.

What else...
I'm seeing a way past and through this housing situation too. I'm thinking I just save up and 1) buy out my mother and flip the house; or 2) give over my name and move in with Arbor and save up for my own and let them do whatever.

Either way I need to detangle myself from the N-mom and stop thinking this place and her is my ONLY salvation. It isn't. Maybe it was a few years ago, but I have a PARTNER now, AND a CAREER.

And I really don't want the fight she'd put up with me for it. Even if she's horrible at money, and horrible at finances, and has no credit to even own a place, and whatever, its not my problem once I move. And at least I won't be tied down here or her anymore. 3 years until d-day with that. Doing everything I can to make as many books as possible before then.

In light of economic situations world wide Arbor and I have been having serious talks about no kids, he's even willing to get snipped. Pretty happy about this because then I can finally stop using a copper coil. Maybe my ME is even related to it? Got it put in 2011, got diagnosed with ME 2012....seems suspicious timing.

These are all small mercies. I grieve for the mothers and formula; and I cannot produce enough milk for any kids, I had big issues with this when I was younger. My first child threw up traditional milk / breast milk and had to be on soy. And my second my breast milk dried up too soon.

It happens sometimes, even with lactation specialists.

Anyways, I wish I could help those women more. :(

While at the same time being grateful I think I'm hitting peri menopause, and have a completely supportive partner. No period for 6 months now. 6 more and I can call it menopause for real. I'm seeing a doctor at the end of the month about it because I'm worried about my bone density and having the possible BARCA gene in family- should I even go on hormones? who knows.

This came out super depressing at the end but it really isn't. I'm happy. I'm healthy-ish. I have great people in my life now, and I'm rebuilding in a healthy way. Most importantly I am mentally stable and on the right meds and taking care of all my physical/mental needs FIRST then dealing with the rest. AND I'm letting go of the deep buried guilt and shame.
 
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starlight1

Active member
This last week has been tough. The roe vs wade turn around and so many shifts and changes going on.
But first the story that happened up till now.
Three days before Arbor came out my grandma was admitted into hospital. She had two major infections (e.coli and valley fever) on top of her cancer. We didn't think she was going to make it. Arbor was already on the road, and so instead of canceling the trip, we decided to alter it some. We canceled the bnb, and our first "date" plus meeting was for lunch then going to see my grandma in the hospital.
If that wasn't wild and weird enough, The same time my brother hit rough times with his roommate moving out on him, and so I offered and idea, he needed money for his rent for June, and I needed a vacation, arbor and I decided to stay a few days with my family and make sure grandma was ok, and extend his trip to go to Utah and do Arborist work there freelance while we "paid" my brother so he could get by.
Man that trip was fun! Arborist found some great connections for his work, my brother and I reconnected, and we went to the zoo, a bird aviary, a few outdoor places and stopping into the grand canyon!
All this stress really showed me what kind of man he is. He has been gentle, kind, patient, and completely devoted to me and this relationship long term. He's a really hard worker, and can do just about any diy thing. On our way back to Arizona to drop me off, my mum asked if he could stay awhile and she'd pay him to do the porch outside in cement pavers.
This is where things started to unravel, my family got along with with him great, he worked hard every day for 5 days to do the entire back yard in pavers, there's two porches and a walkway done.
Once gradnma was discharged from the hospital, and recovered, she was too ill to stay with just me, because of my illness but also because I still had Arbor here helping, so we moved grandma in with my mum and dad.
So he was running low on money because of the trip, and didn't have access to his savings while on the trip, so he started to look for work around here, day stuff he could do while doing the pavers. He couldn't rely on my mum because he gave my mum a discount of 10 an hour instead of his normal rate of 22 - 25 an hour.
But we didn't get to implement that plan because he was urgently needed back to his home town for family reasons too and being the big heart that he is we rolled with the punches together.
My brother and him had built up a rapport and my brother suggested donating plasma one day to get extra gas money to go back. Unfortunately you have to have an address in the state you donate, so I suggested, hey, you need money to get back to your place, why don't I sign you up to a 30 day lease here just so you can get the plasma stuff. I also signed up to donate but they rejected me because of my illness. Which was sad but expected.
Anyways, I told my mum what I was going to do, and she was initially fine with it, for her to only come back and shout at Arbor, start a massive row, and cause so much drama. Poor arbor didn't even raise his voice, he was having SEVERE anxiety/ptsd trigger because of my mother, and basically was white as a sheet. Guy is a big dude, 6'3" and yet, he sunk into the sofa as if he were a small boy seeing a monster. It made me so angry that I stood up and ordered her out of the house until she calmed down. The argument was over the title of the place, the deed of the house is in my name, and she freaked out that I was letting this guy onto the property even though he had bent over backwards helping everyone in my family and everyone really liked him. My mom was wanting me to sign over the property to her immediately??? Even though that's not even possible. We have a loan on the place and it would make the 3 years left on the loan pays due in full right then.
So my mum was a total jerk and started this argument on the day arbor was leaving and after calling us all the names under the sun ordered arbor to never to return. As if we were 5 year olds.
Arbor left, and then I started freaking out. I Was really worried. Some of things my mum threatened was taking me to court, starting a smear campaign with the family, basically all the crazy grandious narcissistic things that could happen. So I called up my friend Leona who happenes to be a real estate agent and she was the one who told me that I couldn't sign a release giving it to them because of the loan. She also said I was well within my rights to sell the place, pay off the rest of the loan, and leave. I thanked her for her calming energy and levelheadedness. She understood and agreed with my situation that it was really crazy, Arbor wasn't staying there for free the rent agreement was for 600 amonth. The total amount in bills here is only 1500 a month (including mortgage and other bills) so for him to pay that much was more than fair. And that wasn't including *my amount* I agree to pay, or the 500 a month my mother was taking off my grandma each month to make the bills.
But yes, Lets blame the *disabled adult daughter* who has done the work emotionally to get better in the past year, has great support system and relationship now, and has spent the last 4 years caring for grandma. Yes lets make her the bad guy here.

So, my brother and my daughter both sent me text messageso f what my mother was saying, calling me names, saying i was crazy, saying she was going to get me committed. I rolled my eyes and called hte bluff and went to bed locking the doors.
Only I forgot, I don't have the master key.
I woke up yesterday to all these weird sounds. I thought as first a burglar or something was happening and it scared thee shit out of me so I Called the cops. Only to find out my mother had come in cleared out my *enitre front of my tiny cottage* ok some of that stuff was definitely grandmas, but grandma had also given me some things and some of it was mine, like food, etc. The couch was gone, the chairs, gone, the pantry gone, the air frier gone, (she even already has an air fryer so most this stuff she was taking was just petty.)
The police come by and i explain the situation, I also explain how she has my mail and my deed/title locked up in her safe. He gets from her tells her shes not allowed in my house with out my permission. I write a hasty note on my glass door "No tresspassing", and thank the sherrif. The humiliation I felt, and the look of pity he gave me. Seriously.

Part of the reason I lost my kids was because this woman but i tried to bury the hatchet for my grandma so she could be cared for. Now i'm doing better, i've pulled myself up out of literal hell inside my mind, I have very little money to my name, i'm barely getting my feet off the ground with my business, and she is threatening me with court again. I have no car, I cannot work outside of what i have been doing, my only choice now to is to sell.

She sent me a long email saying all the stuff she wants from this house and how she's taking me to court and that if she goes down I go down with her.

I don't understand why she is doing this but I do know that I can't take it anymore. And I won't.
I am selling and washing my hands of her. I am going to use the money to pay off the rest of the loan, pay back my brother who put 10k into the house (which my mother never told me about), and then buy a tiny home, and travel with Arbor as he works in different places cutting down trees.
The rest will go in savings and to Shooting Star and Rosebud as the useless parent I was for half their life. And as far as any guilt over taking my mothers money? Well she's incurred serious emotional and practical damages to me during my adult life. If this were a car crash we could say she was the car crash I keep running into until now. No more. I am done being her black sheep, limp noodle, door mat. I do not deserve to be treated this way. I also cannot fix, cure or change her, and she is always, always going to hate me. The look she gave me when the police came by will stay with me for the rest of my life. No mother should look at a child that way. And no child should EVER have to call the cops on their parent.
Not to mention now that I had the police over I am not longer allowed next door to see grandma in what could very well be the final weeks of her life. I will never forgive her for that. I want to go over there and visit but I know I am not welcome and grandma can't physically leave. We both have been crying over the loss of each other.
 

starlight1

Active member
So just so I dont forget I need to write down what my mother has done the last few weeks, months and years. It's important to me because I'm an over-forgiving person. And if I forgive then I move on and let it go, and I rarely think about it. I like my life to be peaceful.
These are in no particular order.
1) Told lies to my daughters about me so they hate me.
2) Told lies to my siblings about me so they hate me.
3) Gaslit me many many many times in many conversations. I still hear her voice in my head going "You're just too sensitive" "You don't ever remember anything correctly." "Your a mentally unwell person." "You are a liar". "Your trauma doesn't matter or isn't real." "What you think/remember isn't real". All these are things she has said.
4)taken money off my brother 10k, and my grandma 500 a month to pay her own bills when she could afford them herself by playing the "pity poor me."
5) reported me to social services in england. backed my ex abusive husband in court and behind my back, then lied when confronted with actual documented proof- saying that she wasnt in contact with my ex and she was "hacked". (RIGHT! She was hacked OK...)
6) tried to take custody mutiple times of my kids which is why I've never lived with her except once when my kids were little, and went back to england and my abuser who tried to kill me than her!
7) manipulated me into a contract with this house when I was in a VERY emotionally vulnerable place by saying it would be "all of ours" or "half mine and half my brothers" "Or I could put it in my oldest child name when she is an adult" etc. I was so bought into her belief system that I spent 3.5 years believing I had no power despite the face this place has *always* been in my name alone.
8) manipulated me to come back to america in 2010 because she said she was dying (a lie) which I found out later.
9) has spent years since my childhood treating me in two different ways; one like I am an extension of her in public, that i must act, look, weigh and be acertain way, and she will "dote on me", OR dismissing me and being angry cruel, lashing out physically and verbally in private. All of which I've never been able to document before Arbor. Arbor is the first person who has seen it happen to me.
10) Spends a lot of time triangulating relationships around me.
11) sabotoged my friends circle back in 2016/17 when I had the one friend who sewed and needed a part time job. She refused to pay her and all my friends circle stopped trusting me because of her. I lost a lot of friends back then because of that. :(
12) Came into my house and stole stuff.
13) Physically tried to deny me medical care by stealing my phone when my ankle was broken. She stood over my bed laughing at how weak I was and that she thought I was pathethic.
14) Told me my sexual abuse wasn't real and even if it did happen that it didnt matter as much as her dad leaving her at 5.

I can't stomach writing any more. My mother is an abuser.
 

starlight1

Active member
I sold my home. And I'm buying a tiny home in August. :) Looking at repo homes for me and arbor long term.
 

starlight1

Active member
Gosh I have so much to update since that last post.

Short version: The house sell fell through and I found out some pretty serious structural issues with the roofing that will need to be repaired.
Arborist is moved in. Grandma is in home health care. My bio-mom, step dad, and grandma all moved out. I gave grandma (correction begged) for her to stay with me and she refused. After the sell fell through I offered them all the opportunity to rent with an actual rental agreement. My mother refused.

I put in an APS report on myself and my grandma for financial abuse from my mum.

I took my mum to court for eviction and the financial abuse, lost the financial case, but won the eviction. Got new renters in who pay more and are in the small house I was in. Yay for that. Three poly people who all live together and share resources. That's my poly news right now lol.

Arborist and I have been cleaning up and cleaning out and moving into the big house for the last two weeks.
Originally the renters were supposed to move in on the 12th of august but because of my mother (now referred to as Mildred), was being such...a four letter word, as narcissists will do, I was unable to move the renters in until the 1st of September.
Got my mortgage covered and most bills going forward just on the renters alone.

Also, Arborist has an interview today for a pig sanctuary job; sounds pretty interesting. Basically a Sheppard for pigs?
The extra income will be a blessing; I set him up with a month to month lease for me giving me 600 a month- this was also for my own protection after the financial abuse and other abuse I've had with both people living with me and men in particular. He's chill with it.
So between my own work now getting me between 300-1000 a month, the renters 2k, and Arborist 600+ I am finally in a place I can come off financial assistance as of March 2023.

I'm also going to be refinancing my home around that time to fix the flooring, and roofing.
Arborist and I are so freaking tired though. We have been two person work horses with cleaning out two entire homes, moving to the new home, cleaning the yard, putting up wire fencing, and job hunting.

I love bluebirds ideas of state of affairs once or twice a year and I think I'm going to be doing that too!
I can't tell you how calm and peaceful it's been since my family moved out. The negative energy, the self doubt, the gaslighting, the outright aggressions and microaggressions are all *gone* I am my own woman again for the first time in 5 years and it feels f*cking fantastic. Arborist doesn't do any of these things. He's a quiet gentle person, with a bit of a stubborn streak, and very hard working. He genuinely gets hurt when I say I'm fat and stuff like this.

I am still super worried about my gran and livid my mother would forbid me to see her while she is basically heading towards hospice care. I found out this last week my grandma's cancer has returned and its now in the bones and lungs. There's nothing more they can do. It's heartbreaking and I've been crying into Arborists arms a lot about it.

But I am relieved I no longer have to be the primary carer for her, and instead can focus on my career. All she ever wanted was for me to take care of myself.

Also, I have some rumblings in the works for a studio job for art. (gaming and video remote). I'm doing my best to put one foot in front of the over and just keep going.

Can I also say, I love crock pots for easy meals.

And some more good news. Rosebud is now talking to me regularly via video and text. And shooting star who we are still having great communication (almost daily), has just started university. They told me (nonbinary goes by they/them) they are switching paths from art degree to phycology. I'm super proud of Shooting Star.
I'm trying to source out a small loan to fix a few things in the house for quality of life (I refurbished the laundry room into a communal space, which could have easily been done for me and grandma while we lived there but no lets not inconvenience the narcissist.)
But the money will largely go towards that to fix the plumbing (small issue with gas line instead of electric for dryer).
Anyways, that's my every few months update. Therapy still going on, life still going forward. I'm in a MUCH better place by making these much needed changes and my depression is very minimal now.
 

starlight1

Active member
All my ducks are in order. Temporary renters move out on the 1st, new renters move in on the 2nd. They are hopefully going to be long term.
Got two possible forgiveness plan options set up for October / December for my default FAFSA (Very small amount of 2k.) But it looks like I will be approved for one or both of them.

And that means I can finally go back to school. Which I'm going to, now that my health has been relatively stable for almost 2 years. As long as I keep on top of my depression, and I notify the school of reasonable accommodations with my disability I am feeling pretty incredible.
I will be starting education in Concept Art, the thing I've pretty much wanted to do as a kid. And it developed over time because back then I wanted to be an animator, but now animation is done all digitally and 3d for the most part. There are some 2d but it's niche.
Where as concept and background art in games and films are often 2d. And I want to do that. I will probably cross train in 3d just incase because of AI possibly taking the potential future of my 2d jobs. I'm not quite as interested in 3d, but I don't hate it, and it'd be good to have multiple skills.
In any case, I am signing up with CG Spectrum, and it has an 80% student to hiring rate. I really feel a lot more confident about this in this day in age (especially after some big name game brands got called out for sexism / ableism in the workforce.).
I'm looking at you Blizzard and Riot.

Anyways, I am hoping to come out of this continuing to freelance. The course is all remote, through teams.
And I will be building on what I've already worked on the last two years with my art and going digital. It's also nice because having goals keeps burnout away. I was really annoyed frustrated with my art for awhile and trying to turn it into a career. Now I'll have an actual degree behind me with an accredited college and working with people IN THE INDUSTRY.

Never too late to follow your dreams. I just gave up because I believed what my mother thought about me, and I'm removing those shackles from my mind.
It's really ironic to me that the opportunity to remove my debt came at the same time as me resolving my issues with her. It's almost karmic in a way. Especially since the only reason I got into debt in the first place was because she blackmailed me at 19. She said if I didn't sign up to university, I would be kicked out of home, removed from the family social circle, and disowned from my inheritance.
So...really the whole house thing where it happened again, but I got my own back this time, is...poetically beautiful for me. I don't even ascribe to revenge, and I wasn't doing it for that reason.

I just did it because it's my credit and my only other choices were bankruptcy. And I wasn't going to do that. For the first time in my life i'm properly fighting for me, and mine, instead of rolling over on my back and letting abusers have their way.

I also had the mistaken belief my mother was the "good one" because she wasn't physically/sexually abusive. But mentally financially in some ways, at least for me, has had much longer effects, and harder to overcome. I still find wonky thinking I have to challenge regularly.

I love my life now because I am in charge. I have an actual partner who gives 50%. And I get to keep my autonomy, my life, my hobbies, friends, all the while loving him. He's a really good person and we are now over the 6month hurdle. :)
Also last night for the first time, in this recent change in my life I asked for what I wanted in sex, I didnt wait for the man to interpret, I didn't force him or anyhting I was like. This. And this, and this. And he LOVED it. And I LOVED it. And i've litterally NEVER been dominant like this in bed but holy shit it was incredible.

We had the best sex we've ever had and I'm glowing today. :)


On poly news, no news there because I am not actively looking for anyone .Except some interesting conversations with the new friends, Arbor and I are making some friends in the area now, and having them around some. I'm really really happy.
 
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starlight1

Active member
It's been a wild two weeks over here people.

First is my grandma died. I got to be there at the end at the hospital. It was..and is very hard for me with that right now. I am glad she's not in pain. The funeral was on the 7th. It was a beautiful viewing, and she was cremated. I spent time with family making sure that over 10 people could virtually view (on just my phone alone), there were 3 other people connecting other groups of people. It was a huge turnout. And there will be a further service out east with all the family who couldn't be here on November 1-4, with a family friends retreat gathering impromptu to honor her life.
I won't be able to attend that but I had the last 5 years, and I took care of her up until the last 2 months of her life. There's much more I am feeling and thinking about this but I haven't had a chance to process it all. I haven't even gone through all her things or done anything. I spent a lot of time with her in hospital just sitting with her, holding her hand, talking to her, reading to her. I am deeply heartsick over this.

On top of this the day before one of my friends died who I knew from my health and fitness days, we were online and in person friends. She struggled with cancer and her husband had died a few months before from complications with COPD. It was deeply saddening and I will miss her.

----
It's hard for me to move on from those heavy subjects, but I need to process the rest too.

The new renters moved in, and have become surprisingly good friends. They have been there for me through all this and been super supportive. Both have been previously poly so we have some interesting talks about life, relationships and relating.
One of my old poly FWB reached out and tried to initiate stuff *on the day of my grandma's funeral* which was wildly inappropriate. I will call him Bob for this story.

I shut Bob down and when he persisted I blocked/deleted him on all apps, phone number etc. He also insulted me deeply insinuating that Arbor was controlling me!
Uh, no, I'm not controlled by anyone anymore.
So, a last night cops show up at house while Arbor is at the work place that Bob works at. And you have to understand Bob and Arbor have been seeing each other loosely this way for months because Arbor goes down there and donates blood to supplement our income.
Instead of asking Arbor how I am, Bob sent police to my house for a "wellness" check up. Despite being very clear on my part that I was removing him from my contact. I showed the police the texts and they said if he reaches out again I can make a formal complaint for stalking and harassment. Yeesh I *did not* need Bob's drama because he was jealous of Arbor and didn't like that he didn't have access to me. I really dodged a bullet with that one.

-----
Back to the 7th. The day of my grandma's viewing, Arbor and I went to a local weed place and got some joints to get high. I haven't done this very often and the last time I did I thought perhaps I had a mold allergy from a dirty bong, so I thought this time it would be ok if I did a joint. Nope I have a severe hemp seed allergy.

On October 7th, I asphyxiated and my heart stopped.

Arbor did chest compressions and if I hadn't had him around I would be dead.

This is not an over exaggeration or a metaphor. I spiritually left my physical body. I saw my dead grandma. After I was in the ambulance they almost gave up on me but then I was told I needed to go back, and they brought me back to life, but mostly I just chose to come back.

There's a lot more to this story but it's deeply personal and spiritual.

All I know is I owe Arbor my life and I feel a sense of deep gratitude, renewal, and energy that I haven't had since I was around 18. I was so sure of my ability to keep going after this, that after I was discharged from hospital; I went to work Monday morning with my new job, first day.

-------

It's a work from home job, that is temporary to permanent, that is road side assistance. I love it.

Despite all the crazy stuff that have happened I am deeply grateful, deeply in love, and very settled in my new home and life.

One last thing, I got approved for the debt relief program so I will be starting the college 2 year degree next year for concept art. Arbor is super supportive we just got to get him a job that has better insurance before then.

Never did I think when I was sinking into the fog and abyss of my illness or the abuse from my mom that I would ever be at this point where I feel as fresh and new as a youthful, hopefully and *well* as I do now. All my previous aches and pains are gone. I feel as if I could take on the world, and I am filled with just this overwhelming gratitude to be alive. It has fundamentally shifted everything for me, and the last two weeks have been deeply profound. I'm not going back to formalized religion or anything don't worry. But I do have a sense that an afterlife definitely exists and that it is warm, welcoming, inviting, and healing.
 

starlight1

Active member
So the renewal of energy since my traumatic October is lasting!
I contacted covid over thanksgiving, cruised through it with mild symptoms. I'm update to date on all my shots and boosters, including my flu shot.
I think I really have been cured from M.E. after that incident in October.

Since then I've held down my new job of 40 hours a week.
Transitioned off state healthcare to private.

Paid off all the back dated finances my mother put my credit in, signed up to the Biden Harris relief plan for debt which I was approved but just pending in their court heart to get dismissed, and I've made solid plans to go back to education in 2023.


Arbor is still recovering from covid, we all go it just before thanksgiving. So he's been off work and being mostly like a "house husband" role. Which has been really convenient for me, I've never had anyone do all the stuff I was doing before and its been a welcome change of pace to not have to worry about laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc. I'm not saying I don't help at all, I do, but the distribution is more towards him.

Dude didn't even know how to separate laundry, so I've given him loads of YouTube vids, everything from food cooking to cleaning with lemon/baking soda/vinegar tricks to other things, and he's going ham. He's so appreciative of having a home he calls his home that's he's taken a lot of pride in doing all the jobs here.

I've been practicing a little bit on trying to juggle both full time work and education. Where I felt a deep soul weariness before, now I'm just constantly joyful and excited.

Before my sleep patterns were restless, and horrible quality, even with 8 hours. I used to fight my brain to get to sleep. Now since Oct, 8-9th, I nod off at 10 pm, and wake up at 6-630 of my own accord.
Every day since then I've done an evening walk, most nights with Arbor. But some on my own. I average about 3k-10k steps. 3k on slow days, and 6-10k on higher energy days.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to wake up feeling refreshed, having energy, and NO PAIN!
I went to the doctors to follow up and I still have osteoarthritis, but can't see any signs or symptoms of anything else, including my pre-diabetes i was previously diagnosed with.

Also my taste buds completely changed between the October NDE, and covid. I've tried out numerous health stuff but gone back to what works:
Intermittent fasting, calorie counting, healthy food choices (mostly paleo/keto) but with some rice and potatoes thrown in occasionally. Arbor's been super supportive and I'm down 11.8 pounds from October to now.

I have to say I think this is the healthiest I've ever been emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually at the same time. Usually one is in better shape than the others, and I feel fucking fantastic.
I honestly believe I had a honest to goddess, miracle when I died and came back. That alone was the miracle but what has been better is how healed spiritually, mentally, and physically I feel.
Oh and I'm not going back on antidepressants as I've been off them since the October 6th. I had antibiotics back then for a chest infection too, and I couldn't take them, so I figured I'd test the water without them at all. My doctors have been supportive, and monitoring me.
My therapist is lovely. :)

So far I've been a little up and down emotionally due to grief of my grandma, but over all staying steady.

I'm not even sure I felt this good at 18 because back then I was eating horribly, and I had no sense of self worth or self as I do now.

In honor of all this change I chopped my hair super short. I've been running it around shoulder length for awhile now, but now it's REALLY short and I actually love it.

Oh and the only poly news is that I think my therapist is possibly interested in dating me LOL.

I know widely inappropriate thought there as I'm still receiving therapy, but we dropped down to 1 day a month, for the next 4 months and after that transitioning to real life friends.

Were going to go slow.

I told her that I needed to stop therapy with her soon due to the blurring of lines happening now. And she agreed because she said I was her favorite person to talk to when she works with and shed be happy to be friends.

I guess I should give her a name here in the future. I doubt we'll actually make it to romantic as that may die down some while I transition out of therapy and it seems like it could be "messy person" situation. But its food for thought and something to explore once we meet up in person and hang out as friends, we have a REALLY healthy dialogue with each other but there's so much I don't know about her because she wasn't allowed to tell me more than in general terms.

I do know we're a similar age, she's married with kids, and an obvious supporter of LGBTQ, poly life. She suggested I consider opening up again instead of breaking it off with Arbor to get my women needs met because Arbor and I seem very strong as a couple. We are, my desire to break it off with him isn't a desire so much as I have always had either really high intensity relationships or ones I clearly didn't want/weren't healthy. Arbor is gentle, and not so sexual, and very subby, and super kind. He's a hard worker, and I really do love him, I just didn't see myself with a man at this point was all, so coming up to almost a year with Arbor is kind of strange for me. It\s been so peaceful between us that I really don't know what to do with myself and him hahaha.

OH I finally went no-contact with my N-mom. (narcissisictic mother), after I found out that she had been repeatedly calling my title loan agency every day since I kicked her out (in august) to the point the company actually blocked her number and they supported me completely in my belief that she was controlling, and stole my identity. My life is reallllly peaceful now but super happy busy.

Time to work and sip my herba matcha and lemon iced tea. Another gorgeous day :D
 
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