Back in 2016, we were two straight friends living very different lives with the fathers of our children.
Lea was apparently living the ‘dream’ – 2.4 children, Volvo on the drive of the country cottage idyll albeit in her own unconventional (minimalist, home educating, online entrepreneurial) way. Becky had left the country cottage idyll and the man she thought she’d have children with because she realised he was a surrogate father, only to fall into a totally unsuitable relationship. 12 years, two kids and a health condition later she was depressed and wholly unsatisfied.
As we so often are, we were at two ends of a spectrum…
Becky was trying to work out her complicated childhood in therapy, felt messy, confused, ill and creatively and professionally unfulfilled! Her children had become her only solace.
Lea was ‘together’, both practically and financially stable, successful in her career and a team with her then-husband who shared the childcare equally, and in complete denial that her complicated childhood had had any impact on her whatsoever!
And yet, we both shared some fundamental similarities…
We both knew we were gay, that we had been too scared to do anything about it, that we had settled for lives that weren’t really, or at all ‘us’, that we both had ‘shit’ that was unresolved from our early years and that we both craved a more passionate and fundamentally INTIMATE relationship.
In different ways we’d each realised that this started with an INTIMACY with ourselves…
Becky’s time and training in therapy and Lea’s coaching training and experience had started us on a road that, once we came out and embarked on a relationship together, led to us exploring this intimate relationship with ourselves on a whole new level that we then put into practice together.
We soon realised that in different ways our lack of honesty – intimacy – with ourselves about key parts of our lives had a massive knock-on effect on all other areas of our lives – our health, abundance, friendships, careers. As we began to look at ourselves more fully – shadow parts and all, we could see other people, and, crucially, each other, more clearly too…
So what did more intimacy actually look like for us both?
It is the strange sensation of being thrilled that someone might actually be able (and want and choose) to see through your BS and underneath your armour, and still choose you; coupled with the sheer hideousness of being seen quite so fully, including the bits you’re most ashamed of.
For Lea this has meant…
Exploring her adoption and reclaiming some of the trusting, vulnerable parts of herself she’d had to shut down to cope with the ultimate ‘rejection’ from her birth mother at just 7 days old.
No longer playing the ‘good girl’ and blindly accepting other peoples’ versions of events about many of her childhood experiences.
Allowing her children deeper in, more intimately, and even enjoying it!
Learning to let more people onto her island, and not hermetically sealing herself up when she’s feeling threatened or triggered.
For Becky this has meant…
Addressing her massive fear of intimacy and the belief that love, sex and intimacy DO NOT go together, EVER and that sex with a stranger in a dark alley is far preferable to the vomit-worthy thought of sex within a loving, caring intimate relationship!! How far we’ve come!
Learning not to rescue both of her parents by playing small or being available to serve their needs and setting new boundaries for herself from an adult rather than a child place.
Not allowing patterns to generationally repeat with her children; believing that they’re ‘ok’, that they are separate, independent and capable entities – and to stand back and trust them more.
Being more discerning about who she lets into her world, and knowing it’s ok to have boundaries with people.
For us both this has meant…
Expressing the anger about some of our previously unexplored experiences and feeling the grief and pain underneath that anger.
Exploring our communication styles and learning from each other and our polar opposite tendencies!
Addressing patterns that had developed with our children that being in a new relationship highlighted, in ways which we wouldn’t have been able to see had we stayed in our ‘safe’, 2.4 family units.
And the result of all this intimate work? Well here’s the marvellous thing…
Just like a flower, once one petal starts unfurling to let the light in, all the others follow suit. Once you start creating a deep level of intimacy with yourself, as you really get to know yourself, this creates a chain reaction in ALL areas of your life.
We KNOW that this really is possible – we are the proof of it, and if ever there was a woman that didn’t think it was possible to really be intimate and have sex with the same person…it was Becky!
P.S. And yes, the sex is truly FAR better with intimacy than without 😉