Like a prayer { final chapter, Lauren quits writing }

Life is a mystery
Everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home

~Madonna, Like a Prayer

If I ve learned anything, in my four years with my secret lover Mr.Big – and I learned all of these lessons the hard way, in the first six months – it is that things either ARE or they are not.
Something either IS there, or it is not.
You can put words to things, and even bicker over which word it should be that defines you – a relationship, an affair, a marriage; cheating, a mistake or true love – it doesn’t make any difference.
You can enhance things by writing about them, or make an experience more bearable by reframing your thoughts, but you cannot create things that do not in essence, and by essence I mean in the mind of the people involved, already exist.
Prior to Mr.Big, I had learned in eight years of dating, that if you feel uncomfortable with someone, nothing is going to change that.
You can make things as pleasant as possible, and create harmony.
But you can’t create a connection, where there is none.
But what the first half year with Mr.Big taught me, is that it is equally impossible to end something that does exist in the hearts and minds of the people involved.
In short; All you ever do is work with what is there.
Since I put a lot of work in all my relationships, I know that all I have to do to end it, is to withdraw my love, my presence.
It is not a passive aggressive thing, it is more that you stop watering the plants when the roots are no longer healthy.
You make a choice at an early stage that you’re not going to make things run smooth at surface level, when on a deeper level something died.
Or, in my case; shifted.
Because this is not a breakup post.
I m still in love with Mr.Big, just as much as I was on the first day I met him. My feelings for him are not a dying plant, far from that.
And I have not forgotten the lessons from the first half year, that it is pointless to try to “get” the correct relationship name, to justify how you feel.
It’s not a game of Pairs where you are looking for matching labels on your heart and your relationship.
And then throw all the cards from the table in frustration if the other refuses to give you the status you desire.
Either IT IS.
Or it isn’t.
If two people love each other, they’ll keep returning to each other. Regardless of their conflict of interest over how the thing should be called.
Neither one of the two will be able to cut ties, because it’s like cutting your own flesh.
You can’t whip someone into committing to you.
But neither can you end a relationship when the other doesn’t do what you want; not when the souls are connected and the roots are alive.
Just look at the six seasons of Sex and the City;
Unless you want to end up dating a series of boys who look good on the outside, but who will never move you the way Mr.Big does?
Don’t leave Mr.Big.
Don’t fool yourself.
Don’t waste time bickering.
It’s all so very simple;
Forget the labels and love what you love!
But having said that, something did shift within my relationship with Mr.Big. And I can’t go on, the way I have done for the past four years.
Going back to the start of our relationship; The reason that it was so full of turmoil the first half year, was because I thought he would leave his wife.
I knew he was in love with me, and I also knew he had plenty of reasons to leave her. They had semi-separated multiple times before I even knew him.
I assumed I was the reason he needed to finally leave her.
But he didn’t, and I started to realize many of the aspects in our relationship, suited me well. And I started identifying as a mistress;
Someone whose sexual identity is based on being monogamous herself, but having a partner who isn’t.
That definition of my sexuality was pretty broad, yet it started to feel constricting. Because I realized it wasn’t that I necessarily liked him having other partners:
He could have been monogamous, just as long as he made clear that what he did in his own time, was not a topic of conversation. And that he would only share, what he thought was beneficial to our relationship.
I didn’t want to be with a man who felt he needed to bend over backwards in order to be worthy of me. I wanted him to feel worthy, and capable of having a great time with me, without having to flaunt his monogamy as a reason to accept him, and in return probably put up with things much worse.
Like not taking care of me, or not taking responsibility for our time together.
By labeling myself as a mistress I made clear (first of all to myself) what I was getting out of the relationship: quality time with the man I loved.
But the jacket of being a Mistress became too tight.
Because I preferred the status quo, our peaceful 3,5 years, over the turmoil of the first six months – I ignored it.
I ignored that I was clinging onto a label, which I had invented myself, instead of staying in touch with what was alive underneath.
Parallel to me getting increasingly uncomfortable with the mistress label, was something else. Or rather: someone else.
I can feel a presence, who is not me, and it is not his wife.
And I am positive I pick up their energy when they’re together. That I suddenly get sick with worry. I ve had anxiety attacks in particular over the past six months, over other people finding out about him and me.
And people who sympathize with his wife blaming me for everything.
And then things between us would end, he’d quickly choose her and promise to better his life. And I would be left alone, unprotected from hatred and anger, for a situation that had been his responsibility. Not mine.
I would take the fall, and he would save his marriage.
This fear of being discovered came up multiple times, but the past few months I m starting to feel something else. Which makes me think it has been something else for way longer…
I feel he has another lover.
I have no idea how serious this is, but serious enough to make me sick to my stomach at what seems totally random times. Regardless of how in favor I think I am of him not sharing his life with me: it is making me sick.
I can’t go on, not like this.
Not when I m losing the game.
Not because I condemn his ways, I absolutely don’t. I think he’s the most gorgeous, wonderful man I know, and I ve never felt for anyone the way I feel for him.
But after four years of being a secret mistress, I no longer have the energy to fight for this. I m not going to waste my last energy, to restore the status quo of being a secret mistress.
Because apparently – and this is important – whatever forces were at stake that kept our relationship healthy, they have changed.
I would like to say the disruptive force could also come from me. I do recognize that as an option. My feelings for other men for example, can also be jeopardizing what Mr.Big and me have.
But right now I m working with the hypothesis it’s either something between us, or something on his side.
Whenever we’re together, he’s just as wonderful as he always has been. He never sees me, not “even” now, when his heart is not in it. I absolutely can’t blame this on him in the sense that he’s changed or something.
But I m responding to something or someone, I can’t see.
It’s like a food allergy: apparently there’s something in our relationship that gives me stomach ache and diarrhea.
And it can very well be something that has always been there; and that I can suddenly no longer digest. For example, not being chosen. Not having him at my side. Him not sharing his life with me.
Or the allergy can be to something new. And in that case the most likely explanation is that someone new has entered our triangle, whose presence I can sense.
And in both cases the mistress label is not serving me anymore. The label, our story, this blog and my writing, are ALL preventing me (and probably Mr.Big too!) to see what’s here.
We’ve lost connection to what we were, to how we started out.
I need to stop seeing myself as a mistress, put down my pen, and quit defining “us” but especially quit defining “me”.
And instead I need to sit still and simply observe what happens after I have ceased to tell the comforting stories that have held all the pieces together for such a long time.
The label mistress has served me well.
But I ve lost touch with that woman who after eight years of dating, finally fell in love with a great guy. Someone she didn’t have to “work” for, to make things happen.
Someone who understood her, and she him.
I need to know if that story is still there. And if not, what is the other story, that Life wants to share with me?
After twelve years I’m done telling stories and I m going live my life.
Instead of writing one myself.

An unexamined life is not worth living

I quit writing

Like a Prayer is the forty-ninth and final chapter from Project M. 
It is also my final blog post for an indefinite period of time.

I ve been writing, pretty much non-stop, since 2006, the moment I became single. And although it has brought me many things – in particular the opportunity to have relationships that are way out of my league – it has now started to constrict me.
The cage I built to protect myself, has become a prison.
I need to start living, and start experiencing life, without the pen.
Or at least without diary writing/ blogging about my real life.

I m going to use this time to create my four new books.

One Dutch book with columns:
Blote Kont
Verhalen over mannen, macht en dagjes uit

One English book with columns:

One English book about Mistresshood:
The Big Mistress

And one diary 2017-2018, called Reboot.
Which will also include the diary you just read, Project M.

I thank you very much for reading my work.
This blog will be resumed, whenever the mood strikes and I have something interesting to say, although my diary writing days are behind me.
Seeing each other will probably be on YouTube! where I ll be checking in multiple times each week.
So I hope you subscribe. 

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