The Rise Of Catherine Tramell


video: One of my favorite scenes from Basic instinct.
It shows how much Catherine and Nick are at ease with each other.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

This post contains spoilers for Basic Instinct (1992)
You can watch the movie on Netflix.
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Dear Sara,
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Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
The flesh is weaker than the conscious mind.

Where flesh stands for still following the news day after day, despite making daily resolutions to stop following the news entirely.
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And where flesh stands for writing an entire blogpost – twice!- about my real thoughts on Covid.
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But before I get to the tricky part, of writing about Covid without creating things I delete, I want to first get back to the part where I changed my mind.
After my last letter to you.
My intention was to stop living so hermit-like, and go out more.
Take more risks.
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I was so sick of staying within my (social) boundaries, and could not stand the thought of living in fear of well “people” I think.
Not fear of the virus, just to be clear.
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I knew this “daring” new lifestyle would probably cost me my productivity. That I would be so out of whack every time I had seen a friend who had a cold, or had been in a car with someone who then got tested the week after and so on;
And yet, it was worth it.
Then fuck being productive.
Or so I thought.
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But reality was a lot more stubborn than just a rational decision to stop being such a pussy, and rock that social life.
Time and time again I was caught off-guard, and I think I now know why;
Because you know what, Sara?
Most people SAY they live according to Covid regulations.
AND THEN THEY DON’T.
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So this is what the world looks like to me Sara:
FIRST , “they”, society, science, all the scared people, all the dutiful entrepreneurs and organisations, all the healthcare professionals who had to deal with so much death and so on-
They tell me Covid is a real threat and that therefor there are these rules in place.
THEN, “they”, society, science, all the scared people, all the dutiful entrepreneurs and organisations, all the healthcare professionals who had to deal with so much death and so on – 
do not obey their own rules.
AND! 
The other half of society, alternative news channels, and people who are less scared, the entrepreneurs and organisations who are less dutiful and everyone else who did not have to deal with all the deaths and sick people, also don’t obey them because they don’t believe it’s a real threat.
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In other words:
I m living in a world where from the people who have not stayed indoors for 6 months;
No one obeys the rules.
Half of them despite endorsing them.
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They go out coughing, share hand towels, equipment, food, elevators, cars.
They do not keep a 1,5 meter distance, or meet indoors without having any reason to believe the place has some kind of premium ventilation technique.
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And yet at the same time, with half of them, it is NOT because they do not endorse the rules;
But it is because unlike me, they never had to internalize what hygiene is, because they were never aids phobic.
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My estimate is that unless you’re a surgeon, you’re not going to understand surface and air contamination.
Because if you did, you would immediately see that the preventative measures may be more than a drop in the ocean;
But they’re far from safe or sterile circumstances that will prevent you from getting anything.
And that is IF you obey the rules.
Which like I said: I have (hardly) seen anyone doing, not consistently at least.
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So here I was, for the past 6 months, in a world where half of the population endorse the rules and don’t diligently follow them, and the other half who do not endorse the rules and also don’t follow them.
And yet I have been feeling like the villain for concluding that apparently the rules only have the function of giving the impression that “something is being done”.
They should make people FEEL safe, when even if the rules would be executed perfectly, they are far from safe.

As the surgeon and the woman recovering from an aids phobia would have been able to tell you.
..
Yet this whole “playing by the rules” act has been my MO for the past 6 months, and I was like: “Whatever. I’ll sit this one out, and I ll cope.”
But at the back of my head, still, there was this voice that it wasn’t about following the rules;
It was about not catching or spreading Covid.
Which if it is as contagious as they say it is, means you cannot do anything where you touch the same surface as someone else, nor go indoors anywhere.
A situation that was only facilitated during the lock down, although our stores stayed open.
For the past 6 months I have not been stressed out by the rules, but by knowing that the rules are not enough to keep it from spreading.
As long as the supermarket, the plane or the movie theater are not clean enough to have an open heart surgery, you can still catch Covid there.
That’s how I see it. 
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In the first months I felt angry, but eventually it died out.
And I became apathetic.
I was checking the news sites (sinning) but basically all I did was checking if there were any signs of land.

If there was hope.
And the reason it was so bad for my mental health was because I realized this would stay until at least mid 2021 if not longer.
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I ve deleted another four paragraphs of medical information;
Suffice to say, I have not been able to combine my Covid related stress with giving myself nor my cats the right medical attention.
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And it was something that was recently added onto that “I ll sit this one out” pile of delayed medical attention for my entire household (me and the kitties), combined with the six month emotional roller coaster of reading dreadful Covid related news, and being freaked out by many social interactions, that sparked a new thought;
“What if it never goes away?”
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What if the conditions that are causing so much anxiety in my social life, and that have made me decide to avoid medical care, are permanent?
What if social distancing stays indefinitely?
What if Covid testing is here to stay, like Chlamydia?

What if a cure for Covid doesn’t come until 2034 just like the one for aids/hiv didn’t come until 1994;
And there will never be a workable vaccine but only something like Prep, for those at risk of getting Covid?
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Then what?
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And everything fell into place.
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It was the breakthrough I had been looking for.
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Of course I wasn’t going to watch the news anymore, now that I realized that it may very well stay like this for the upcoming decade and a half.
Just like gay men in the 80s, we might be in for a very long haul.
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For the first time in months, I immediately knew what to do.
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I sent an email to my dentist and the VET, both explaining my issues with the current situation as well as asking or suggesting ways how we could pick up treatment (safely) for myself (dentist) and the cats (VET).
For now I will keep my ban on the GP and specialists, but I’ve more or less always had that.
Dental care and the VET are really the only forms of health care that are “aligned” for me.
It’s not that it’s going to be easy, or immediately solved or anything.
But I felt very empowered to pick those ones up, instead of postponing it to some unforeseen future.
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And finally The Vision came, of who I am becoming.
And this was also something that had been dangling in and out of focus, for a very long time. It was as if I just couldn’t fully grasp it.
Or was afraid to leap.
Until now.
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In the 1992 movie Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone plays Catherine Tramell.
And although right off the bat, I was totally into her, she also seems to be perpetually growing on me.
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Catherine Tramell is not just the type of woman who I think I truly am, and the only writer I have ever really felt connected to;
She also embodies the “role” I feel I currently have, in society.
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She’s the one who everybody believes to be evil, when she’s really not evil at all.
Just strong, misunderstood, and refusing to explain herself.
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Identifying with her is my ticket “out of here”.
Where “here” is after six months of playing by the rules and missing out on all the fun. And health care.
Basic Instinct, as I see it now, contains an alternative story or theme, that was recognized by at least one other person at the time!
By Sharon Stone herself.
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On the special edition dvd, she speaks favorably about her character Catherine Tramell, and the story of Basic Instinct.
Yet last week I heard her talking about her background research for Catherine Tramell (in interviews for Netflix series Ratched) and it was almost as if she looked back at Catherine Tramell as really having committed the murders.
As really being a serial killer.
I thought:
“She’s lost “her”! Even Sharon Stone no longer remembers who Catherine Tramell really was.”
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Maybe I misunderstood the interview she gave last week or the interview on the 1992 recording.
But Sharon Stone seemed to no longer support a more
favorable version, which she offered in that interview from the early 90s.
That Basic Instinct was a love story.
..
And this is how I see that story:
Catherine Tramell and Nick Curran, were both fascinated by playing mental games.
I am reading the book for the first time, and Catherine is explained like this;
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“Writing teaches you how to lie,” she said crisply.
Oh, Jeez, thought Gus, all the ice was thin around this woman.
Every word she uttered was loaded with some double meaning.
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But what was too much for Gus, was exactly right for Nick Curran;
..
He was looking forward to see how much she could be pushed
–and how she would push back.
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Nick and Catherine played together because no one else understood the game. 
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Catherine was not violent, not in a physical sense. But she did have a fascination for people with a history of violence.
Like Nick.
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An incident where he had shot two tourists when he had been undercover, had made Nick Curran emotionally wounded and reckless. He was always drawn to violent situations. As if he longed to be punished for what he had done.
For the mistakes he had made.
Or, as his partner Gus called it, Nick felt so guilty that he “tried to wiggle his way into an ice pick”.
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So I do not see Catherine Tramell as a killer;
But she was surrounded by them.
She sought their company a
nd seemed to have given them ownership over who they were...
Roxy could accept she had killed her brothers.
Hazel Dobkins could accept she had killed her family.
Nick could accept he killed “those tourists”.
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And all three did those things, long before they met Catherine.
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Her presence, her willingness to look them in the eye and be able to be with them despite or maybe even because of what they had done;
It’s what drew them towards her, as if for one brief moment, they didn’t have to carry that burden alone. 
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But Beth Garner, who studied at Berkley at the same time as Catherine did and who became San Francisco’s police psychologist?
She could not cope.
In all probability; Beth Garner was no killer, until she met Catherine and lost her sanity.
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Yet Beth Garner was viewed as the “good” one.
In the final scenes of the movie, it is revealed that Beth was the killer, of
Johnny Bozz, and of detective Nilsen to whom she gave Nick’s psychiatric file;
She killed Gus, and in all likeliness also their mentor at Berkley and her own husband.
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But because of one final shot, with an ice pick under Catherine and Nick’s bed, it is also ambiguous if all that was true.
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To this day director Paul Verhoeven, and now apparently even Sharon Stone herself, claim it was Catherine Tramell, not Beth Garner, who killed Johnny Bozz, Nilsen and Gus.
And then Catherine would also have to be the one who killed the mentor, and Beth’s husband.
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In my opinion: She wasn’t.
It really was Beth.
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She got into a deep identity crisis from meeting Catherine Tramell and as a response to not being able to really connect with Catherine and feeling inferior to her, Beth “became” the evil she accused Tramell of.
But that was never there. 
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In 1992, I didn’t know the two story lines, both that Beth did it and that Catherine did it, had both been fully developed.
So naturally, I thought if you would dissect the movie, or if I had paid more attention, I would have seen who had “really” done it.
I left the theater with the ending that Beth Garner had done all the killing, but nevertheless Catherine had an ice pick under the bed.
Which she ultimately did not use, she didn’t kill Nick. 
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Frustrated, I asked my then boyfriend what that ending meant.
If Beth had done it, why did Catherine have an ice pick and had considered using it on Nick?
I will never forget what my boyfriend said, and especially now that I know the movie is so complicated, I think he gave the best explanation of the movie I have ever heard:
“Maybe she was so used to having the people around her being killed, that when the killer was caught she felt she had to do it herself.”
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And that’s why I know, this crisis will never be over.
If the virus is gone (the killer is caught), we will be so used to having it around us, that we’ll either keep it around by our thoughts, refusing to let it go.
Or we’ll create a new enemy thought.
Ten days ago one of the major news sites had three articles on legionnaire’s disease;
Maybe that will be the new enemy if Covid is behind bars.
Maybe that will be the ice pick under our beds we’re tempted to use because we’re so used, and attached, to having death and mayhem around us.
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The movie made me see that there is no right or wrong in this crisis.
There are multiple story lines which you can follow, and they’re all complete.
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The whodunnit from Covid will, just like Basic Instinct, always be a matter of preference.
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Do you want to believe the good doctor Beth Garner was set up by the femme fatale?
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Or do you want to believe that the mysterious writer Catherine Tramell just decided to play along? 
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“I don’t make the rules, Nick. I go with the flow.”
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After six months of pretending to be a Beth Garner, I realize I chose the wrong part.
I m changing my position, and picking up the Catherine Tramell part, just like I have done for years.
My three websites, my three blogs of the past ten years, are filled with blogs just like this one. Where I realize there is a part of me that has only been represented by her.
A very big part.
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But I think I knew even earlier. I think I chose right there in 1992, who I wanted to become, or perhaps had always been.
Her.
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I don’t make the rules, Sara.
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I go with the flow.
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~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Curious to read what else I wrote about Catherine Tramell?
Most of it was on this site!
Just search on her name in the search box.

And next to that
there are two articles you can find using the search box of my oldest blog,

and I got one hit on my Dutch site.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

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coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Covid’s polarising effect on Dutch society | The C Diaries episode 2

In the 90s aids and hiv education was done with a campaign of beautiful posters of people making love.
Among which this gay couple.
Translation text:
I have safe sex or no sex

This is my series about my Covid induced celibacy..

It must have been 2010, or later, because I heard it through social media and I didn’t have that until late 2010.
But that was the first time I heard there had been American homosexuals, who had refrained from sex until aids was no longer a death verdict.
I never heard of that, when I was still in my teens.
As far as I knew, I was the only one from my generation who had understood the consequences of becoming hiv positive:

Social isolation, and death.
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All my peers didn’t bother until they had had unsafe sex, and then read a disturbing article in a magazine’s human interest section of someone our age who had unprotected heterosexual sex once or, alternatively, someone who started having unprotected sex in a normal “safe” relationship,
and were now HIV positive. 
That’s when they started looking back at the risk they had taken, and started worrying about their status.
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They never had the vision of utter loneliness, despair, and an early death when they were on a holiday with other teenagers.
Nor when they had spent a few afternoons kissing instead of making homework, and things got a bit heated.
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Meanwhile I, a 15 year old virgin girl, was staring straight into the abyss, wondering how it was possible others were having sex. Let alone unsafe sex.
If I had known there were people on the other side of the ocean who had seen the same abyss, and had decided against becoming sexual active, I would have felt better.
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Knowing I had kindred spirits, would not have made me choose celibacy but I would have felt less ashamed of my extremely safe habit to only have steady long-term monogamous relationships and to use condoms throughout as well.
No unprotected oral sex either.
I knew unprotected oral sex was not a 100% safe, and it was one of the many frustrations I had with Dutch aids education.
That it made it look as if “safe sex” was a relatively minor intervention compared to unprotected sex. But they never talked of the consequences of oral sex with condoms or a dental dam if a guy had wanted to be safe licking me. That’s not a small measure.

It really changes your entire experience of sex, way more than the use of condoms for intercourse.
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In 2006 I ended my habit of choosing safe relationships, and developed my sexuality and was motivated to take the bull by the horns.
Endure phobias if they came back.
Nothing was going to scare me back into a monogamous long-term relationship.
And it didn’t.
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Until Covid came.
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I ve been tempted to write this article in Dutch, and to make it more personal. How Dutch Covid education is triggering my social exclusion phobia because it has the exact same design as the 80s aids/hiv education.
And the response from the Dutch population, is also identical to the response to hiv/aids.
Which may have been why I felt uncomfortable writing it in Dutch:
It’s probably easier to write in English, and study it as a cultural phenomenon, rather than as a personal pain.
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That the 80s response and today’s response are identical, both of the Dutch population as well as mine, shows how ingrained those responses are.
My response shows that I have not changed since the 80s, let lone “healed” from my social phobia.
In the 80s I started fearing other people because I was afraid that if I got aids I would be stigmatized, banned, not have a normal life. I would not be loved.
In 2020 I fear other people because I am afraid that if I test Covid positive I will be stigmatized, banned, not have a normal life. I will not be loved.
Hooray for 35 years of personal development.
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So for better or for worse: I take full responsibility for not having grown significantly.
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But only because I m now going to blatantly accuse Dutch society of not having changed one bit, let alone grown, since the 80s either.
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You’re still making use of the same manipulative techniques as you did with aids/hiv. Meanwhile you’re also still the ones having the 2020 version of a teenage holiday, the 2020 version of a one-night-stand without a condom, and the 2020 version of kissing over homework which gradually developed into more and more did not mean condoms.
..
Our minister of Justice Grapperhaus who has been accusing everybody not committing to Covid regulations of being anti-social and who has financially ruined families having picknicks in parks with their grandparents with fines which were installed on his behalf, has been documented at his wedding, hugging, shaking hands, hanging out with limited distance.
And he didn’t have to resign, he can stay.
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He was questioned, but he can stay.
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I really wonder why I even bother to write this entire piece.
That example of hypocrisy alone illustrates Covid rules. Just like the aids/hiv warnings from the 80s, only apply to people who can be financially or socially bullied into following the rules.
And not for people who have money and display desirable Christian behavior.
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Just like my peers felt safe having sex with a class mate after kissing over homework, Grapperhaus doesn’t have to comply to Covid rules when he gets married.
The aids stigma does not apply to heterosexual teenagers just like the social rules do not apply to Ministers of Justice.
Meanwhile I read of a NORMAL Dutch woman who felt like a leper because she is no longer invited to weddings because she had Covid.
She s just not invited anymore even though she is healed. That’s how the Covid stigma works for normal people, Mister Grapperhaus.
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All in all I see three similarities in aids/hiv education in the Netherlands on one hand, and Covid policies on the other hand.
And all of them are specific to the Netherlands.
And all of them cause polarization, because they’re unfair. 
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None of these rules have anything to do with whether you think the virus is real, whether you think the new vaccines will be safe, or whether you think the governments are doing their best or not.
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1. To pretend there is such a thing as Safe, and that it is an INDIVIDUAL responsibility

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Both in the 80s as well as now, it is implied that there is such a thing as safety. Hence the word “Safe” sex.
What that implies is:
“If you catch hiv, you did not have Safe sex. Dummie you!” 
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I really wonder how in the actual fuck it is possible that my 90’s new age books could always count on a shit storm of criticism because they supposedly implied that cancer was preventable by positive thinking;
Yet we accepted sex education that laid the responsibility for catching hiv by the individual.
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The same gaslighting technique is being used today:
We are made personally responsible for spreading the virus.
Just like with aids/hiv, it is presented as if there is a very easy, clear cut way to prevent catching Covid.
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This simplification is damaging.
Just like good modern sex education speaks of “safeR” sex, Dutch government should stop saying things like:
“It’s up to us, if we’re going to get a second Covid wave!”
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In 2016 Dutch aids foundation had a campaign that showed aids patients and then had confrontational text such as “I kill three times as many people as in 1990”.
This campaign was pulled back within 24 hours.
Not just because all data did not represent the Dutch situation, and should therefor never have been used in a Dutch campaign;
But mostly because it stigmatized hiv and aids patients.
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Suggesting the Dutch have control over whether or not we’re going to have a second wave, is similar to making a poster with a face and the text:
“I am responsible for the second wave of Covid.”
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It’s not just mental abuse because you’re accusing people of being mass murderers:
But just like the 2016 campaign of the Aids Foundation, it may very well not be true at all.
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2. The Rules are Unclear

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Dutch regulations are not strict and clear and therefor they leave a lot of room for interpretation.
This has the same devastating effect as families where the parents do not make clear which rules to obey, and get angry randomly, and in an abusive way:
“Didn’t I TELL YOU TO WATCH OUT FOR THAT??!!!”
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That’s Dutch government.
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First they give unclear rules, and then they get all high and mighty when too many people visit the beach.
Or when too few people get their snotty nose checked for Covid.
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You know how the prime minister of Sint Martin ordered her people to go into a two week lock down?
She practically gave a shopping list on what you had to buy, because you would not be allowed out of the house for two weeks.
What she did was comparable to creating a very safe family:
She was very clear on the rules, and on the punishment you would get if you violated them.
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In the Netherlands the rules are not very clear and they are always given in combination with a rationalization/validation of them.
For example:
You must social distance because of the spit/ drops in the air, which travel 1,5 meter at the most.
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As understandable as that seems, the explanation of rules is what makes the Netherlands the most socially unsafe country on the planet.
Because you never know what counts more:
The rules, or the reason WHY it is a rule?
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So if we see a video of an independent scientist explaining why the rule can never be effective, or is unnecessary;
Then does the rule still count
?
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All the people who are opposing our government with proof of the virus not existing, of normalizing the virus, pointing out the dangers of new DNA changing vaccination techniques and so on, are arguing with the WHY of the rules.
This is why it would have been much better to choose for the Sint Martin approach: 
“Because I say so.”
It is much clearer if your prime minister says:
“Given the little we know about this virus, we have chosen these rules, which history will tell if they were the right ones.
But to avoid any confusion, we are going to implement them literally, no exceptions.”
For a two week lockdown, for example.
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Compare it with using condoms for hiv/aids:
In America sex for heterosexual teens was a taboo, and it led to aids/hiv education being rounded off to:
“Don’t have sex.”
It’s not very subtle, but it is very clear.
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In the Netherlands, because aids/hiv education for heterosexual teens was connected to WHY you had to practice safe sex, the teens forgot to use condoms unless they were about to have sex with a male homosexual heroin user.
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Another example is, I once had two extremely demanding managers:
One wanted you to work really hard, and could be a bit of a bully if he thought you were not working your butt off.
And the other wanted you to go all in as well, but with her it was not as clear what it was she wanted from you.
The second one was much friendlier and softer, and yet it would have taken a lot more effort if you wanted her approval.
I never bothered with her, and focused on the first because although I didn’t like him nor agreed with him, at least his demands were clear.
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Dutch regulations are like that second manager:
If you want to be approved by her, by society at large, you have to tune into a constantly changing mixture of demands and values.
I didn’t fall for it then, and I m not falling for it now.
.
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 3. Health care providers are too caught up in their own fears

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In the 90s I tried to get help for my aids phobia, only to meet a psychotherapist who was so triggered, probably because he had teenage daughters, that he agreed to treat me, yet at the same time couldn’t stop talking about that it was a good thing I was so careful not to contract it.
I did not know at the time, I was actually suffering from a social phobia and not a fear of germs or hypochondria, but either way I did understand this man would never be able to help me.
He would always need me to be safe, because that meant that maybe his daughters were safe.

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This morning I was unhappily surprised I was billed for a consultation at the GP I never had.
They were suppose to call me back with regard to my returned social/aids/covid phobia, and they never did.
But they did not fail to bill me.
So I called them, and as it turned out, the question had been answered in written form. And not in a bad way, just that they forgot to call and tell me.
We made a new appointment, and yet half an hour later I called them back and canceled it.
I would cope with my issues myself, and never call them again with regard to these mental health complaints.
What happened?
Well, I had sensed part of them was happy that I was at least frightened enough to follow the safe rules. Just like the 90s psychotherapist.
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Which brings me back to point one:
As long as we make the individual responsible for transmitting/spreading Covid, we are dehumanizing our society.
Every person then becomes a “1” if he or she is good, and behaves in a way that people believe to be safe.
And he or she becomes a “0” if he or she does not run to health care services to get tested if they have a snotty nose. Who keeps making love and having sex, the way they did before Covid.
Who says:
“I have a returning social phobia with regard to Covid, because after 6 months of being a “1” I need more from life than to just refrain from shit the entire fucking day in order to even be allowed to exist.”
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Needing to be touched, needing to be loved, needing to get away from the constant gaslighting that is Dutch Covid protocol, is not a valid reason break protocol.
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Getting married when you’re the minister of Justice is.
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Suzanne/ Lauren living.

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Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Share Yourself With More People

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

Dear Sara,
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I feel I lost the last two weeks.
As if there is absolutely nothing worthy of telling.
Despite the title, I definitely did not share myself, but I did have an extremely ugly backlash from this summer where I did try to share myself with more people.
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It was an accumulation of things, and the short version is I tried to put my love life back together despite of Covid and yet sooner rather than later but more precisely the last two weeks;
It all fell to bits.
.
As sure as I had been that I WAS NOT going to let Covid rob me of my sex life, after phobic nights, the GP not calling me back, the psychotherapist not responding to my email, cancelling my work because I just felt like a Covid bio-hazard at that time;
And then slowly crawling back up, all the while thinking:
“Please Covid, take my sex life, but LEAVE ME (I may have added “the fuck” here) ALONE!”
.
As impossible as it had seemed to rule out sex, which had been my top priority for 14 years; That’s how unwise, disruptive and drama-filled physical contact had proven to be.
Either I was going to have a sex-life and spend the upcoming year either:
– working like a mad woman to make a “real relationship” work
or
– spend it trembling under a blanket from all the anxiety attacks my sex in Covid times was causing
The third option: Get professional help through a therapist, was no longer included after my attempts had not resulted in anything.
And instead I chose the new previously unthinkable option 3:
– get by without professional help, but cutting the biggest trigger, my sex life, out.
.
I also had to decide to keep doing things with other people, pick up my work (for third party/ on location), go to theaters and public places.
The fear that had been triggered by this summer’s attempt to regain my sex life, had immobilized me.
It was like a train that had the emergency stop pulled, and needed to be unlocked manually, wheel by wheel.
.
I made a resolution to do something social or public every day.
I
t had to be a deliberate choice to prioritize that, and to not give myself the option to back out.
.
Work wise it’s like I forgot the things I told you last time.
I said my work would be teaching/ writing about yoga, and making Bon Jovi videos and write about Bon Jovi, all under my real name.
I did start teaching a weekly Dutch yoga course! It’s a blog combined with videos. So that feels very satisfactory. 

But as a whole, writing as LS Harteveld did more or less hijack my working hours, and now I m two weeks further down the road, and I have to write you again, and I m thinking:
“If only I had remembered to implement what I wrote Sara two weeks ago, and only do the work under my real name during work hours;
I would not have lost those weeks.”
.
I m often disappointed at how much time I spend straying from the path only to come back exactly where I started.
And this time without the sex.
.
Okay, so that’s enough dwelling for one night. 
.
On the bright side, it does mean that until there is a vaccine, I have all the time in the world to focus on whatever I want. Without the distraction of sex.
I ve already aligned with Andy Warhol, who never had sex.
Lenny Kravitz, who was celibate for many years. I couldn’t find if or how that ended. 
And I am starting to see, it has the potential to do something extremely powerful for your art and your position in the world.
.
It’s an interesting concept that identifying with not having sex, is just as potent as identifying with having it.
Like I did for the past 14 years.
.
But seeing people in real life, or visiting public places and working and thereby complicating social and Covid related dynamics, are part of this new phase.
To avoid dropping back to my comfort zone, out of Covid fear, I need to keep seeing other people.
.
I may end up sharing myself with more people, than when I still had sex.
..
.

~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

If you’re interested in following my Bon Jovi related content under my real name, you’re invited to follow the following accounts:
YouTube
Rock Star Writer (blog)
Rock Star Writer Facebook
my personal Twitter under my real name

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The Warhol Connection | The C Diaries episode 1

This is my series about being Covid induced celibacy.
.
This week I made the conscious choice, that I would not have sex anymore.
In all honesty?
I could have pulled it off if I wanted..
Of course I could have.
.
But because I m so frightened of catching anything, transmitting anything, but most of all frightened of having my entire social network round up by health services, I have to pick my battles.
.
The wisdom and experience of the first 6 months with Covid taught me I had 3 choices.
And these were or/or. Not and/and.

.
Option 1: The Eight

was to limit social interaction to about 8 people, whom I would speak mainly on walks.
Benefits:
– low stress levels
– low uncertainty
– high productivity
The main reason I did not choose this safe option, is I did that from March to June. In July, when I started to experiment with option 2, it was because I was at the point where The Eight just did not feel “right” anymore.
I was starting to feel like those families who live in their nuclear basements:
“You re safe, but what exactly is your life?” 
.

Option 2: The Sex Route

Option 2 was my favorite, where I focus on my sex life and let the rest fall into place.
The reason I did not choose this option, was because I didn’t enjoy the dynamics around it.
In one of my blog posts I lied, suggesting there was a “talking through” our safety measures and risk assessment.
This was not true.
I do know how to pick a guy, and create the right atmosphere where you are both VERY aware it’s dangerous and kind of let that work for you.
And so did they.
But in my perception, that (talking too explicitly about the dangers) would be a very common thing, a trap.
If I learned anything from my late hiv/aids phobia, it’s that there is no such thing as safe sex. Only safer.
.

No, the reason I didn’t enjoy the dynamics was that I was very aware of the danger the entire time, and not in an erotic way.
I also didn’t like the two week purgatory, where the other person might contact you there are health problems.

I like my sex hot, and then to drop back to starting from courting.
Not two weeks of
lukewarm purgatory where you’re not in, but not off the hook either.
.
This left me the third option: 
.

Option 3: Focus on public life

Start going out alone.
I have hardly visited any venues, shops, cafes, bars, museums, nor worked on location, for 6 months.
However it was clear to me, I needed to be doing this alone and not with friends.
That would be too stressful, to have someone there with me. I realized this after a hurried escape today from a cafe today.
Being in a public space is so stressful, it’s almost unbearable, and the only reason I do it is to toughen myself up and because I don’t want to feel I did the Covid variation of staying in the nuclear bunker.
But because I would now no longer know my Covid status/risk, it did mean that I would not be expanding on social interactions with The Eight.

And I would go hard-core celibate.
.
So today was the first day I went to a cafe since we had new regulations.
I survived.
But I left midway in my second coffee because the person at the table next to me coughed for the second time in ten minutes.

I lost the entire day recovering from that..
And seeing how badly I was responding, there were just so many plans I needed to cancel or change.
My months with The Eight had been poised, and my summer had been a disaster, but at least it was tied to specific things that happened. Making out and a bit more.
But with Option number 3, I could be exposed to what I thought were life threatening situations DAILY!
I could see a lot of plans falling apart. A lot of things I now knew I would not be able to do, if my stress levels were going to be at this level for the rest of the Covid crisis.

I almost felt as stressed out from that cafe than from sex in July and August.
But this time I pushed through.
.
Going back into the mini-circle was just not going to be an option, for the upcoming year. Or for however long it’s going to take for society to change back to how it was.
.
So although I did not change my mind today, with regard to celibacy, it was a straining day, and I needed to be inspired.
I remembered Warhol was celibate.
So was Lenny Kravitz for a long time by the way. That is inspiring too.
But I Googled Warhol, and found this:
.
“Warhol used his celibacy as a way to set himself (emotionally and physically)
apart
from the Factory and society at large.
 
This lends a kind of power and control to what Warhol does.
He is free in his bachelorhood.
He is not constrained or weighed down by outside influences. “
.
.
Celibacy is setting oneself emotionally and physically apart from society,
and power and control shall be theirs.
.
Sounds like I made the right choice.
.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren living.

.

Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

About Me Saying No To Sex… | The Book Club day 16

I have to say, I expected it to feel different, when I decided not to have sex anymore for the upcoming year, or until we can relax about Covid.
Whichever one comes first.
Some sort of relief.
Peace of mind.
Or maybe an offer to come talk at Christian schools to talk them into saving themselves for marriage.
Could go anywhere really, now that I ve come to terms with what social distancing rules really mean.
No sex for singles, that’s what they mean.
But no.
As a whole the last 24 hours have been unsatisfactory. So with that, not being satisfying, I guess they are symbolic for what the upcoming year will bring.
.
But I did discover something really cool!
I did mention it in yesterday’s post A Year Without Sex, but I did not specify it and I think I should;
My decision to no longer have sex didn’t have anything to do with me interpreting the rules as sex for singles being forbidden.
It was a decision because I could no longer have the type of sex that I, preferred.
.
Not necessarily in a bondage, S&M kind of way, or any of that.
Not even “group sex” or “polyamorous” or anything out of the ordinary as in what I do, and to whom;
No, what I meant was that there is a dynamic around sexuality that I not only prefer, but I would have a hard time going without.
And this is the moment of detachment.
.
After the love making the relationship, or affair, should always return to a default state where we are not lovers.
We can be friends, we can be acquaintances, we can be colleagues, we can be friends from college;
But we cannot be lovers.
We start from scratch every time.
It is as if our sex life never existed, in the sense that no claims can be made based upon it. Sex means you shared a super special moment, but it does not mean there can be any entitlement or skipping corners in order for it to happen again.
The courting starts all over.
From both sides. 

.
Now this is not a sexual preference that most people have, and I don’t know anybody who values it, let alone needs it, the way I do.
But, yes, I do.
Even a long-term relationship, or living together, would mean we commit to a long-term friendship; Sex would happen at a moment when we would feel aroused, but only then.
And we would be free, sexually, to explore other relationships and have other encounters. And I think that would be awesome because when you’d come home, you’d still be loved and taken care of.
I look forward to taking care of a man, a friend, that way, and yet;
No sexual claims can be made.
I am my own woman, and even if we’ve had sex a million times if there would be such a thing, that doesn’t mean that we owe it to one another or that I am more likely to have sex with you the million and one-th time than with someone else. 
.
So if sex is always a one time decision, a one time thing for me, after which the cycle of longing, hoping, courting, flirting begins all over again;
How does that measure up to the next two weeks being a time when if any of you get Covid complaints, or if he has visited venues that had Covid outbreaks, or I have other close friends or family testing positive?
It doesn’t measure up, it’s that simple. 
If you are like me, it means you
A. need the sexual encounter to be exciting
but
B. the relationship to immediately return to neutral, friendly and SAFE.
Covid does the exact opposite.
.
Covid supplies a sexual or relationship dynamic that is a complete mindfuck and a mirror image of what I want!
In Covid times, before kissing or touching, or more, all the tension is basically killed because you have to convince one another he or she will not get sick.
And afterwards, and I m paraphrasing from yesterday, you’re tied by a red string of fate for two weeks where if any of you get complaints or have family members who go in for testing, you’ll feel the need to give each other a headsup, that maybe things were not so safe after all.
Or that you’re calling from health services with a cotton stick up your nose and it does not look good.
.
I don’t know what I disliked most this Summer:
The strange totally not sexy dynamic surrounding kissing and making out.
The phobic nights when I knew I had put myself at risk of contracting something AND was putting my family and friends at risk for the upcoming days.

If I would get sick, I had actual contagion of my loved ones to worry about but also that anybody who had spent more than 15 minutes with me would be quarantined.
Phobic nights, I can’t blame myself.
.
Or, maybe I disliked most the eerie, uncomfortable connection in the weeks after our encounter.

They never ended in real sex, because I could feel myself not being in the moment and calculating the upcoming weeks before I had to make a decision if I wanted to have sex.
It was like I was setting my stopwatch.
I thought I was making myself get over my lover and creating a new love life from scratch, but all I was doing was putting myself and unlucky men in uncomfortable and stressful cycles of not-quite-being-lovers.
.

All I can say is: I tried.
I think not having sex because of Covid is a superbad idea, but I really need dynamics that are not in the cards for anybody right now.
I need the dynamic of our encounter to be exciting.
Not the lukewarm two weeks after it, where we may or may not get Covid and have our mutual social circles quarantined.

To me that was all new information.
When I wrote yesterday, I knew it was something specific to my sexual preferences that made it hard or as it appeared now impossible to have a love life.
If you date to get a normal relationship, Covid will not make a big difference. But I never dated for that.
I dated to sometimes have sex, sometimes not, but to always return to a nice solid, neutral baseline, where none of us knew if we’d ever have sex again.
Perhaps not even know if we’d even see each other again…

The relationship option is however my Escape.
In theory, I could fall in love and get a “boyfriend”.
Or let’s stick with really good friend with whom I may also have sex if we feel like courting and flirting.
And then the “cooling down period”, the weeks that are now that grey CovidyesCovidno vacuum of awkwardness, no longer exist.
The sensual cycle no longer has weeks or months of silence, where you’re in a courting stand off.
Where he proves he’s dominant, and that he will contact you when he’s ready.
And you prove you have faith he does as he pleases, and will never talk him out of being his own man.
.
I just realized that me “settling down” and going without that dynamic, is an extremely hypothetical situation.
That as much as I hate, or hated, the loneliness especially during the lock down months;
I loved being lovers and having an affair, more.
I may have decided against sex for the upcoming year.
But ultimately I am what I always was:
A lover, a mistress.
.
I will never be the safe choice.
.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren living.

.

new online series!!

The only benefit so far of not having a sex life is that I can now write freely for my Lauren 1995 project, which was originally going to be an offline endeavor.
https://laurenharteveld.com/1995-1996-book-2-of-my-performance-project/
.

the Book Club: Demons and Daemons

You just read part 1, my column.

Today’s chapter below, from Demons and Daemons, was about me going over good and evil and Jon Bon Jovi.

This is what I wrote:
.

Chapter 6, Untitled Notes from Lauren #5


day 6, Saturday July 18
.

.
I had an amazing day, but it was a bit much to take in.
So I m not exactly radiating my Saturday night away, but I can feel an incredibly important shift in my energy, and in me accepting myself just like Lucifer in the series on Netflix.
.
Today was so much about realizing;
“Okay, I m going to be smarter with my writing to make money;
I m going to be smarter with my writing to please an employer or at least not stand out like a sore thumb;
I m going to be smarter with my writing to not scare every man away because he ll know he get into my blog”
.
Okay, okay, okay.
I get it.
But really?
.
And then where Lauren Harteveld, real name Suzanne, where, my Love, is it going to end?
With you mousing your way through Plain Jane Life in a way God nor the Devil ever wanted for you?
That’s the plan, uhm?
.
Today, I, under all my names, and I like to think with the support of every celestial being appointed with the task of guarding my fate;
We all agreed that that was indeed, NOT the plan.
.
~Lauren
.
One of the things I want to start doing to keep myself breathing, is reread notes I made and that I don’t want to forget.
.
Today’s note is about the three core practices that are my creativity in its most rudimentary form.
The first one is play; silliness, fun.
The second is investigating. Like when I study Bon Jovi materials, or marketing. Or watch Lucifer or another series, especially the ones I have on dvd.
The third practice is alignment or mysticism.
What is aligned for me today?
.
An accompanying note is about the role of advisors in my life.
Some official, my coaches or teachers.
Some are very unofficial, like Jon Bon Jovi and the men I am in love with.
Although they do not coach me, nor teach me, I learn from them.
Sometimes I learn to back myself when they make choices I would not.
Sometimes I learn new things by following their lead or interest.
But with all advisors there is such an incredible sense of love, and gratitude.
.
Speaking of which, yesterday night I started a gratitude journal. Because I felt my heart and life were simply overflowing with it;
I wanted to capture it.
And today too, I ve written down all the wonderful things that happened today.
.
You know, maybe I am radiating my Saturday night away, after all.
.
~Lauren

 

Chapter 8 of Demons and Daemons,
will be shared soon,
in a new episode of The Book Club

Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

About The Book Club

In The Book Club you can find:
– a post
– and one Chapter of my novella Demons and Daemons.

These Book Club posts will form a new book, “A Map Into Unknown”
Covering a journey of three weeks into darkness (Demons and Daemons)
and three weeks, finding my way back to the light.

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

A Year Without Sex | The Book Club day 15

Madonna in the early 80s (prob. not famous yet). And since I no longer have a love life, I have all the time in the world to focus on becoming world famous too.
This feels like the most ridiculous blog post I have ever written.
But then again:
Maybe this is a master trick to get what I want.
Because everything I make myself do, everything I plan, every good resolution I make, sooner rather than later becomes the thing that does NOT get done.
I ve often joked:
“The best way to make sure I will never do something, is to make a resolution to do it daily.”
So a year without sex will probably work miracles.
.
This summer has been really hard for me.
I ve shared as little as I could, especially under my real name where I try to keep up appearances and share my light not my darkness.
But as soon as the Covid crisis hit, I knew I had a big problem on my hands with regard to my sex life.
.
My preferences are not compatible with having this extremely contagious virus being tracked and traced throughout the Dutch population.

If I so much as kiss someone, we are tied invisibly, by a red string of fate, for at least two weeks.
For two weeks, both of us but especially me, are going to hold our breaths if this physical contact is going to cost us a trip to health services to get tested, and informing everybody else about something that was private and between two people.
Or at least: informing them about the consequences it had.
.
Right from the start of the Covid crisis, I knew the only real risk I was going to contract that virus was through sex.
I m talking about contracting it from someone I d been intimate with.
This is an entire different level of stress from if friends and family would have tested test positive, in which case I will also be contacted by health services but I would not believe I would have actually contracted anything.
More that I would be gaslit into reporting my health status all the time and staying indoors, but not that I would have been (nor put anyone else) actually at risk. 

.
But back to the start of the Covid crisis when I had not thought it through in such detail;
Even though I knew sex would be basically the only time I was at risk, I also knew something else:

That I was going to have sex anyway.
And in exactly the same secretive, sexy way I wanted it.
I was not going to clean up my sex life, and become boyfriend and girlfriend. Although that TOO became appealing so that I didn’t have to have these lonely times ever again. 
.
But whether I would get a “real” relationship, or be someone’s lover or mistress;
.
In both cases there would have to be an understanding that temporary Covid related practicalities aside, the baseline would be that we were not going to freak out over having other partners. 
.
That it would always be an open relationship or affair where we supported each other in our goals and dreams, and if those included sexual adventures then we’d support those too.
AND we’d support each other through our phobic nights, as that turned out to be the biggest “payoff” of my adventurous summer.
I never thought back with warm afterglow feelings.
The feeling of stone cold death always there, as soon as we parted.
.
Yet just two months ago, I was still SO determined, not to let this abstinence thing happen.
And to not let having my entire 14-day social circle and all the establishments I visited, being round up if I tested positive, interfere with my social life, my sex life, and in moderate form not even interfere with my entertainment such as film and theater.

It’s just not an option! 
What is the alternative? 18 Months of only going for walks with people I already know, and with 1,5 meters between us?
.
I was really serious about not letting that happen. And although my sex life was dryer than the Sahara because I had lost my lover late last year;
I made that top priority, this summer.
I was not going to let Covid get to me.
But now?
Seven weeks, phobic nights, and my GP and a psychotherapist not returning my phone calls later?

Man, fuck all that you know.
.

A life without sex is definitely not something I fancy, but I ve got people to see, places to visit, and to top it all off a temp agency where I have not even officially registered yet, has contacted me if I wanted to work and my other employer (where I had to temporarily resign because my sex life was taking its toll) – that employer also contacted me today if I felt fit to work.

So when two health care providers do not return calls, two employers contact me at a time when no one can find work?

I don’t know how you interpret that, but to me, that’s a sign it’s a lot more healthy for me to just go out into the world and mingle on the work floor than it is to have sex.
And technically I didn’t even actually have sex this summer. I was just testing the waters.
But
it were the worst months of my life, and I m totally eating my words on it not being an option to not have sex until Covid dies out.
Not having ANY physical contact for as long as nessecary, better become an option very frickin soon because I m never going to stay home, drop out of work, limit myself or cancel appointments, one day in my life ever ever again. 
.
No sex it is.
.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren living.

new online series!!

The only benefit so far of not having a sex life is that I can now write freely for my Lauren 1995 project, which was originally going to be an offline endeavor.
https://laurenharteveld.com/1995-1996-book-2-of-my-performance-project/
.

the Book Club: Demons and Daemons

You just read part 1, my column.

Today’s chapter below, from Demons and Daemons, was at a time when I had only just decided I would keep all my content online.

This is what I wrote:
.

Chapter 6, Untitled Notes from Lauren #5


day 5, Friday July 17
.

Today was okay-ish!
Which definitely means it was a hundred percent better than yesterday.
And my books have arrived, and after the Lulu software update, my books are still good to go!
The copies are as they always were:
.
With regard to my plans to basically wipe out my entire existence from the internets, in favor of publishing more books and feeling stronger when I get a job;
I ve decided to not delete my English content, in order to feel “safe” in the real world.
Dutch content though?
No verdict yet.
Not just because I m changing my life to creating space for a normal job, and Dutch content is indeed more readily digestible, it speaks to people.
No… that isn’t it.
You know, I d be pretty stupid if I would delete content that speaks to people.
No the reason I m considering deleting the Dutch content is because it’s not 100% me…. there is a layer of downplaying and false self-deprecating going on there that seems almost inborn to the language itself.
.
If I go out into the world I want to fully back myself.
Modesty, normality, hell even accessibility and relatability?
Not my forte.
Not my brand.
Not me.
.
I m seriously still considering deleting the Dutch content but with regard to the English content I m more prone towards a serious clean-up, archiving the blog posts if you will;
Keeping them online in a low maintenance text-only version, and making clear references to programs I m no longer selling, a YouTube channel I no longer have and so on –
is just part of its authenticity.
It’s part of the story.
.
I m thinking about it…
But I feel a lot lighter and happier than I have all week.
.
One of the things I want to start doing to keep myself breathing, is reread notes I made and that I don’t want to forget.
.
Today’s one is:
A Daimon or a Daemon is a spirit being that creates your art with you and through you.
It has been described in literature dating from the ancient Greeks.
And I keep wondering what mine looks like.
I THINK he looks like Lucifer from the series.
But I KNOW how he works!
.
Because my Daemon seduces me very, very skillfully.
He says: “Oh just one little blog post. Humor me.”
And he taps the bed next to him.
.
And then five hours later we have a 5000 word story, my hair is all messed up, I ve missed all my appointments, and when I look at him as in:
“But you said we were just…”
He shrugs, barely caring at all!
“Oh well….” he says, as he lights up his cigarette.
.
And we both know I ll say yes the next time he asks.
.
That’s my Daemon.
.
~Lauren.

 

Chapter 7 of Demons and Daemons,
will be shared soon,
in a new episode of The Book Club

Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

About The Book Club

In The Book Club you can find:
– a post
– and one Chapter of my novella Demons and Daemons.

These Book Club posts will form a new book, “A Map Into Unknown”
Covering a journey of three weeks into darkness (Demons and Daemons)
and three weeks, finding my way back to the light.

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995:
Originally Lauren was going to write offline in 1995, but since I don’t have a sex life anymore, there is no reason for such discretion. 

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

A Year of Writing | 1995-1996 diary

Saturday August 29, 1995
4 P.M.

On September 1st, I m starting my new life.
I still can’t believe it, but here it is;
I m becoming a yoga teacher and starting my own publishing house.
There is no telling what the future will bring, and if it ultimately will be enough to sustain myself. But having lost a year of my life, the upcoming September certainly feels better than the last one, when I had just started working as a copy-editor for a publisher.
It paid well, and I learned many things.
But it wasn’t satisfactory, and I knew I could do better. Both in terms of publishing as well as writing my own books, which mattered to me even more.
Yet when I made the decision to quit, I could not foresee how nessecary a step to work I adore, would become; That I would be robbed from my only compensation, only sedation, the only thing that made the dullness of being a desk editor bearable:

My love life.

My phobia for aids/hiv has returned at a time when I no longer expected it. After being with my poly-amorous lover Bear for so long, and because he wasn’t mine, and I knew there were other girls, I thought I was able to enjoy my love life with the little risk of contracting something if the condoms were not enough, or not used well enough.
The risk of safer sex not being safe enough.
But as it turns out:
I can’t.
It’s almost as if overcoming my hiv/aids phobia with Bear, meant exactly that:
With Bear.
And that’s where it stayed.
Every new lover would be a whole new ballgame.

I m getting psychological help, but I m not counting on that to work miracles. At least not short term. There is a long waiting list.
I could overcome it by myself again. But then what? Face this demon again, with every new man? Or with every lover added?
When I move from one lover, to two, to three perhaps?

I don’t know what my sexual makeup is, and if I am able to be intimate with more than one man at a time. I know I can be in love with more than one man, so I think my default sexuality is to have more than one lover.
Ideally I see one permanent lover, and that we live together.
And from there we both have adventures, we both have other lovers.

This time I want a strong mental foundation for my new love life, and not a flying by the seat of my pants solution, that may or may not last.
That’s why I see myself addressing this with the proper mental help, and not hit rock bottom again so suddenly.
It was as if I was given an exact number of days for which I would feel healed, or a partial healing that was only valid as long as it was with Bear, and after that the spell would be broken. 
For the first time I felt I would have been better off, if I had tackled this with a psychotherapist at 17, instead of fixing it myself only to have to solve the exact same problem six years later.

The phobic attack was ugly. I forgot how ugly they were. How lonely, ghostly, numbing. How the coldness of the fear crept into your bones in the middle of the night.
I had to forget it, to get over it.
If I had lived on with that memory, I would not have mustered the courage to ask Bear to be my lover, and to have all those years we had.
This relapse may have been prevented, or at least I would have known the frailty of my ability to have affairs, if I had tried to have more lovers and not be so dependent on Bear. If my college years had been filled with more experiences with different men: Would it then have been easier?
Would Bear’s presence, even from a distance since we didn’t see each other on a regular basis, have been a form of cushioning?

Would he have been available to catch me, even?

Would Bear have helped me through those nights, when I came home from another man and my body shook violently with fear?

It’s not that I blame myself, but it’s just such a big disappointment. I lost Bear in December when he broke up with me. He’s with his new girlfriend now. But I didn’t know I had also lost my nerve, my healing.
And that the old fears would come back to haunt me, and make my life miserable.

Or very productive, since I ve become an independent yoga teacher and a writer and publisher.
I m going to throw myself at my work, and let the professionals take care of my mental health, and that will be “all” I will be investing in my own healing.

There is however one perk, one aspect of my life that I had vetoed but that I had longed for, and that had taken me a lot of effort to talk myself out of.
Because I can now keep a diary, without incriminating a lover!
There is no one else, I am my own significant other.

Until I am able to deal with my fears, I have only one vacancy:
For The One.
Or at least I think that’s how you call someone who doesn’t mind being there for you the next day.
Who sits by your bed when you don’t feel well, and fear robs you of your breath. The One who promises that you’ll get through this together.

The One who accepts I am a 23 year old erotica writer, and that he’s the lover who came to me, when I needed him most.
Both, sexually as well as literary.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living


A Year of Writing | 1995-1996 diary
is the first chapter to
1995-1996 diary 
.

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

.
.
.

 

To Rule The World

Madonna at 23 years old

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

Dear Sara,
.
I can assure you this going all in, this stepping on it, and this upleveling like a mf, when at the same time feeling the same joyous August excitement I used to have when I was still a yoga teacher and could theme my next year;
That this did not come peacefully.
.
It wasn’t like I suddenly had a deep insight into what now seems God’s Divine Plan for my life, happily playing with that card deck I showed you, the one I created two weeks after my birthday that contained pictures of my dreams and desires.
My calling came after a lot more drama and despair.
But now that I see the big picture, or at least the potential of the upcoming year, the deck does start to make more sense.
.
The card deck contained, among many other things, pictures of what I considered to be role models or my different identities.
The picture with this blog post is Madonna at 23 years old.
I could understand why I had selected that photo to be in the deck, since my main project for this pseudonym LS Harteveld is still my 1995 project.
The time when I was 23 old.
Obviously, the Madonna was supposed to represent “me”, Lauren in 1995.
.
The 1995 project is about being a 23 year old Lauren Harteveld, a college graduate, who saw her first year as a working young woman fall into f’ing bits. 

A year where she has been working for a publisher, mostly from home.
A year where she lost her lover Bear, because he wanted to have a quote unquote real relationship, or at least that’s how she translated his announcement her five year affair was no longer to be consumed.
By now Bear has proven he does still appreciate their friendship, and he’s actually a better friend to her than he was during their affair.
But still.
Lauren has lost something that was very dear to her, and the discrepancies between her and Bear are accumulating.
Before his one year contract with a prestigious financial firm expired, he already landed himself a better job, which allowed him to start traveling the world and to run his own hustle.
A privilege rarely given to someone his age, where doing office face-time and making sure you were seen by the right people was usually all you could do for your career.
.
Bear had outdone her in the areas of relationships as well as career, and by now she didn’t even feel worthy of his love anymore.
She had lost a full year.
A year where, yes, she had figured out she wanted to be a writer. Or that she already was a writer and she should start monetizing it.
But that was months ago.
And she had done little to nothing to turn her life around, and didn’t know how.
She didn’t even like the ass-sitting hours of being a writer, and her goal was to have less of them.
So how then, was she going to be a writer?
Did she/ I even have what it takes?
.
I don’t know if I told you this, but the card deck was composed in an intuitive way. It contained pictures of things I found important to be part of my future vision, but of many I didn’t fully understand what they represented.
And then a second “layering” was added, where I – also intuitively – sequenced them.
Some parings were logical, like all the yoga cards together.
But some didn’t make sense to me at all.
One was the Madonna card.
To a certain level I could understand why I had looked for a photo of the 23 year old Madonna, and yet its presence especially at a crucial point in the card deck, right before pictures of what I assume will be my next boyfriend, didn’t make sense.
Why had I (under divine guidance, let’s hope) put this picture there?
.
Why had I linked reawakening my inner Madonna to Love, instead of to Success?
It would have made more sense in my real estate section, which closed the card deck and contained a card of a beautiful apartment building, copious amounts of Jon Bon Jovi pictures on stage, and countless interiors in different combinations of the colors white, black, and a dominant red. 
The real estate slash Jon Bon Jovi section did not contain an “identity card”; No card of “me- as this person who has all these things” was present.
So if Madonna was apparently to become a role model once more, and in particular her beginning years where she lived in New York, still “Livin’on a Prayer” so to speak;
Then why wasn’t she in the real estate slash success section of the deck?
Why had the Madonna 1981 card landed at number 4, in what I called my big arcade, similarly to the Tarot?
.
I m not exactly sure yet, but ever since I got up this morning with the vision of what my 2020-2021 (my 1995-1996) was going to look like, I do understand one thing;
That real estate section or not, the image of the 23 year old Madonna is the key to my success.
.
She did not land at the number 4 spot to illustrate that I had to become her in order to get the man on number 3, 5 and 6, whom I thought must have been a representation of my “main boyfriend”.
.
Oh and by the way his pictures, and how omnipresent they were in the deck, was another intuitive choice that had baffled me.
Because if they stood for whom I thought they stood for, I didn’t see how that man, the man I thought it represented, would ever come into my life. 
.
So initially I had been using a literal interpretation of the sequencing of the cards.
With regard to the man on card 3,5 and 6, and Madonna in between, I had taken it as:

“Become 23 year old Madonna and the man in the pictures shall be yours.”
And with regard to my real estate section and JBJ’s presence:
“Run your business like the Jersey Syndicate (the name Bon Jovi used to refer to themselves in the late 80s) and all this wealth shall be yours.”
But I felt a shift.
A big one.
And it was a happy one, considering I had been spending I think 48 hours or so, immobilized by my phobias closing in on me.
.
The same social phobias that had been haunting me since my teens, caused havoc in my sex life for decades, and that miraculously seemed to have slept through the first five months of inconsistent, confusing Dutch Covid regulation.
And JUST when I was letting down my guard.
And JUST as I had decided to stop giving fucks about trying to please everyone and be a perfect example of Covid Responsibility, and start taking more risks in the social life and sex life department;
It was back.
.
I was offered a job interview at the end of days of social debauchery and totally froze up.
The thought of something (Or someone, Sara! Or someone!) that I had engaged with (this was a euphemism) for the last 14 days, would report me to our health services as someone they had “spent more than 15 minutes with in the same room” (oh, more euphemisms Sara), that these sweet moments of human interaction would end up being clinically dissected by health services?
Totally unacceptable.
Totally.
.
I DO value sex enough to risk sickness, two weeks of quarantine and being not the safest person to meet. My friends and family make a conscious choice to see me, and I have been vocal for months that sex is coming back on the agenda. Covid or no Covid.
But the thought that if I have sex while I am also “in the loop” with a workplace?
That my social and sexual indulgence is going to spill over into having conversations with the temp agency and coworkers?
Phobias the way I had not experienced them in decades!
.
God, what a cluster fuck it was.
.
My first response to being back at trembling anxiety and sleepless nights was to cancel IT ALL, in order to be able to work.
So to cancel all contact with friends, family, lovers, for the upcoming 12 to 18 months or as long as it took, in order to be clean enough to work.
I would make up some excuse for this current job offer, and start clean in the second week of September.  
That way my social and sex life was orderly, orderly meaning non-existent.
No residues left.
As long as I would maintain a social anorexic state, I would never have to have embarrassing conversations since all exposure would have been in service of God and Mankind.  
.
My conscience would be as clear as a saint’s, since I would not have any real life, aside from the workplace one.
.
As incredibly clever as that was, I ultimately did not choose for this solution as the thing that was going to save me.
But I did do two other things.
.
The first thing I decided was to find help for my returning phobia.
I had successfully beaten its first 15+ year round in my life, where I autonomously conquered the hiv/aids phobia that had limited my sex life and had set me off on the wrong foot, pursuing long-term monogamous relationships which did not excite me one bit.

Not even when I was 17.
But due to Covid and a messy week of new government regulation being declared by decree, then pulled back through push-back from opposition, and ultimately GASLIT UPON US- 
the fears were back.
It was as if all the things I had done to tackle the first phobia, had failed, and the beast now had two heads where there once had been one.
I was not going to do this alone, again.
.
I always heard phobias are kind of like psychology’s 101. You could be cured by the intern so to speak, that’s how simple phobias are supposed to be.
So this made me decide if they ever returned, I would not go through the hassle of solving them myself.

Already the first night of having my demons return to me, I emailed the psychotherapist who would have done my diagnosis, had I still needed help at the beginning of this year.
I wrote her a letter, stating that although the problems for which I had been referred in 2019 had been handled by myself successfully, old fears dating back to the 80s had come back to haunt me.
Awakened from their dormant sleep by Covid.
And that I was hoping I could be treated by their practice, or receive a referral to a colleague.
.
So that is, to me at least, definitely a surprise. That I actually asked for mental health help, since I was so done with it earlier.
But also, when I didn’t need it anymore, earlier. 
.
If all goes well – and my healing is complete! – not only will I be able to sport having a job or any social or sexual interaction of my choosing next to a career of being, eh, Madonna I guess!
I will also calmly carry the responsibility of this human interaction.
Including the responsibility of having an unusual sex life that will never be your average transparent, run of the mill, monogamous relationship.
I will be at peace with the fact that human interaction comes at a price.
And with the fact that my body is a chemical weapon that calls for having your entire social circle being round up like the a terrorist organization and suffering government repercussions for taking your mini-chemical warfare body out into the streets to go grocery shopping.
.
As you might have picked up, I am not quite there yet, in terms being judged on whether or not I am or am not an open sewer today.
And if I could have known I was an open sewer because I showed signs of being an open sewer or because I have been into contact with people who were showing signs of being open sewers.
Where open sewer can be replaced by “chemical bomb”, “radioactive waste” or “leper”.
But hey!
Psychology 101 right?
Let the healing begin.
.
Since I seem to be the only one who translates every traceable human interaction into the possibility of two weeks of quarantine and your entire social network hearing from local health services your reckless behavior has risked their lives and all their loved ones to the third degree;
I m clearly missing the Don’t Worry Be Happy take on things.
I m making this way too difficult.
.
Just like my entire generation, except me, managed to cheerfully develop their sex lives and ignore the Aids/hiv brochures our government printed in blood spatter, I kid you not.
Even in the 80s letting yourself get upset by the combination of social control with deadly diseases, was for softies.
Every intern knows that.
.
Forgive me for my rant, although I imagine it does illustrate why for me the idea of having heavy ass shit like this follow me into the workplace, is unthinkable without breaking into a cold sweat.
.
So that was ONE!
One major thing I did in the wake of those events.

I asked for help for the two headed phobia monster that was now chasing me, instead of taking it on by myself.
I mean, why would you, when its psychology 101 right?
Oh, and there’s me being sarcastic again.
.
So anyway, realizing that the practical job in a non-office, non-desk working environment, was in Covid times not going to be the easy going social activity I fancied it to be, put my immediate future into a whole different light.
If working among other people was basically mY wOrSt fEaR right now, then what?
.
Was I going to squeeze it in regardless, or do something entirely different with month 7 to 13 of the Covid era?
.
And there it was.
.
The vision.
.
The thing I had been chasing for so long!
I have not unpacked it fully, to be honest. But from the first look of it, everything is in there.
It’s like an IKEA box, that you still have to put together yourself and we all know that might take a day where you thought it would be 30 minutes;
But who remembers that in years to come when your utilitarian but also beautiful piece of furniture has taken its rightful place in your living space, and gives you joy everyday?
No one remembers the day of unpacking then.
Of wondering how it would all fit together.
No one will even remember that if something was missing or if you needed extra tools to put it together, that you went back to the store, or borrowed a hammer from a neighbor you had never spoken to before.
It’s all forgotten.
.
Today is the day not of my new bookshelves but of my vision.
And in the end all that will be remembered is its happily ever after presence in my life.
.

My vision PART 1: Made by Lauren

.
Although my vision encompasses all areas of my life, it is really rooted in this pseudonym, in the work I do as LS Harteveld.
And specifically in the project Lauren 1995.
.
In my vision I see Lauren moving away from working full-time at the publisher’s (a job I invented to cover me publishing my own books), into:
.
– Lauren 1995 working only part-time, like one or two days a week, as a copy-editor.
.
– Lauren 1995 publishing her own diary 1994- 1995
Just like Anais Nin, she’s going to do it herself.
.
– writing her second book, the 1995-1996 diary
This was an offline “endeavor” or at least it would have been, if I had been writing anything!
Aside from small daily notes in my journal.
But in combination with cleaning up my love life (see, The Vision part 2), I think 1995-1996 could be written online.
I haven’t decided yet.
.
And finally I “created” a new job, which ties Lauren 1995 to current day me, writing and YouTubeing about Bon Jovi under my real name;
.
– Lauren 1995 is going to create all the material for the Bon Jovi fan club
.
Under my real name I have a YouTube channel discussing old Bon Jovi concerts, and I have a website with Bon Jovi related stories.
And although I ve been in heart and soul, with Lauren 1995;
I always knew this work under my real name was my future.
That it was My Thing!
.
But I also knew that I would have to tie it into the 1995 project of my pseudonym. That I needed the best of both worlds.
.
Giving Lauren 1995 a job as content-creator avant la lettre, for the Bon Jovi fanclub;
That’s IT, Baby!
A 23 year old Lauren, reviewing concerts of her favorite band, writing about them. It’s like a crossover between being a VJ (remember those?) and a rock journalist (remember those? Sadly one of the professions we seemed to have decimated with the coming of the internets) gives the 1995-me a way to interact with what I do online in the real world.
.
Lauren 1995 is going to work for the Bon Jovi fanclub three to four days a week.
That is part of my vision.
.
And here’s the other part of my vision, where I incorporate the lessons from the panic attacks and the recurring social phobia:
.

My vision PART 2: my love life and social life are clean and simple

.
Call it a Covid thing, call it a focus thing, but when I manage to get the funds to kick-start this year, or nine and a half months it is; I do not have time for drama.
I do not have time for occasions, events, and people, who might come at unforeseen costs.
For example.
If you now go to a bar or cinema, you may be contacted by health services and lose two weeks of your life to quarantine.
For STRANGERS.
Simply because you were in the same space for longer than 15 minutes.
Don’t have time for that, ain’t gonna risk it, sorry!
No more cinema and no indoor cafes and restaurants, unless there is an extreme case of exception going on.
.
But this is also why I’m not going to work for a temp agency, or for another job, in the upcoming months:
I can’t waste another night or nights worrying about who I am going to infect, and if I should or should not go to work because I sneeze one time too many.
Until I can be around people without my phobias being triggered (this is where I put my faith in good therapy), or until loneliness from running my own book biz starts wearing me down, until I start missing having a sexual secretive affair, or need the money of a normal job;
I m going to stay away from anything that gets under my skin.
Jobs with in person colleagues, cafes, cinemas, and secret affairs.

For the upcoming year, year and a half, I m going to keep an impeccable clean social rep sheet, and focus on my art and my message instead.
.

My vision PART 3: What the Madonna Card really meant

Part 3 is the final part of the vision, as I have seen it today.
.
Before I get to that, I have not told you why it’s 9 months. And why now, in August. Although maybe I told you a bit of why now;
Because I m always inspired by the school year.
.
Most yoga teachers end their classes early June. And if you re in your final year of high school, you have exams and they end late May as well.
June is the month where you get your diploma, and the month the yoga courses end.
So I m setting up my year to start in September, and end on June 13:
The day of the Bon Jovi concert in 2019
.
I m seeing it as a year to create my own education, my own business. Creating the foundations of a new life.
.
So, the final part of the vision:
The 1981 Madonna.
.
Contrary to my initial assumption that “she” stood for the woman I would be, or would have to become, for the man on card 3, 5 and 6, the early Madonna stands for determination to rule the world.
I think it was a 1983 interview where the host asks her what she wants to achieve and she answers; “To rule the world.”  
.
By that time she had lived in a cockroach infested apartment where she ultimately left the door open when she went out, because she was tired of thieves breaking her locks and having to replace them every time.
.
She had to overcome sexual assault, when she was molested on a rooftop by a stranger with a knife, without anyone to talk to but her walls.
I can’t remember if she stared into a mirror or at photos of her idols, that were a representation to her of what she wanted to achieve.
But I remember her saying this was the moment when she wondered if she should just give up on her dream and go back home or have a normal career.
She asked herself: 

“How bad do I want this?”
The rest is legend.
.
My phobia was always the same; It was a social phobia.
Whether it was linked to aids/hiv, to Covid, or to a plain and dull version of being judged and having them talk behind your back because they don’t understand you and therefor keep looking for reasons to hate you.

The phobia was always something that had to be dealt with, before I would push through and make it big.

The .phobias returning were my night of looking at my own walls, of looking in the mirror, pondering;
“How bad do I want this?”
.
I want all of it.
..
.

~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

I usually don’t do this, but if you’re interested in following my Bon Jovi related content under my real name, you’re invited to follow the following accounts:
YouTube
Rock Star Writer (blog)
Rock Star Writer Facebook
my personal Twitter under my real name

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

And So It Begins | The Book Club day 14

Oh my oh my!
We have so much to talk about.
I m going to keep it very brief today, but will tell more in the remaining episodes of The Book Club;
An initiative which was supposed to run for three weeks, exactly like the book it covers, my Facebook novella Demons and Daemons.
In these three weeks, I wrote 15 days and therefor this journey of The Book Club was supposed to be 15 posts, written in three weeks as well.

But due to my long break that will no longer happen.
Fifteen posts, yes.
Three weeks, no.
I ve missed too many days, and I also don’t want to rush things anymore.

During my initially involuntary and then totally embraced absence from writing (more about that later) I learned to appreciate not writing.
I did so many things, I would never have done if I had written.

Cleaned my kitchen balcony, which had always been a no go area for the cats.
It was so dirty from pigeon poo I was afraid they’d come back with the black plague and exotic parasites if I left them on there.
Now it’s totally clean.

It’s like the balcony belongs to other people!
I do have another balcony, so they were used to being outdoors, just not on the small interesting balcony that had bathing pigeons on the other side of the fence. 
Much better balcony, obviously.

So I cleaned that, for the first time since April 2019.

And I reorganized cupboards, drawers, book shelves and my mind started to expand on the 1995 project.
So before I elaborate on that, first WHY was I offline?

Well, there was a 9 day heatwave.
And although I muscled through at first, I got so sick with the heat, having a constant headache, that I stopped and lowered my expectations of productivity from “creating content and daily messaging on all my accounts”, to “staying alive”.
This was very helpful.

And after the heatwave I took a few extra days, to savor the peace and quiet.
And to wait until I really knew what I wanted. Not just with regard to blogging, but everything. 

I ve always boasted that if could also NOT write? I would stop writing.
If I no longer had the uncontrollable urge to write, oh man, I would be out of here.

So if you’ve claimed that for probably close to a decade, and you’re then forced by the heatwave to step down from your writing stool, and end up loving it?
You ve got to wait until you’ve got words coming out of your ears, before you can pick up doing that time consuming, “life devouring”, hobby or purpose called writing.
Because writing is to me what drinking is to others;
I can’t do it like a gentleman.

So today I got up an watched a movie that will be the first to review for my Dutch blog. Haven’t written there in half a year.
If you’re Dutch, subscribe to that movie blog here.

Next to picking up writing in Dutch, I m going to hold the course with regard to my work here.
On my time off I ve considered revoking every decision and project I started here the last couple of months, but No!
They’re all exactly as they should be.

Maybe that explained why I woke up this morning with an insanely wide grin on my face, excited to begin again!
And so many stories to tell.

Over the next week or so, things will get more clear, but the management summary is:
I will continue blogging as Suzanne (my real name)/ Lauren (the penname I had from 2006-2020)
So things are signed:
Suzanne/Lauren
 
My pseudonym/ me, Lauren Harteveld/ LS Harteveld has left for 1995, and does not live in this age anymore.
She’ll write offline diaries, as a 23 year old, and publish them directly into books.
I do not expect to return in 2020 or beyond as Lauren, sec.
She has made her choice.
And being a middle-aged woman in a Covid struck era, isn’t it.
Who could blame her.
So I ve taken the liberty of taking 25 years off my age, and am creating an experience, a performance, of living in the past.
Writing is done as part of it, but is it not the main goal of this project.
The main goal is the experience itself.
The first book by Lauren in 1994-1995 is available online,
and the others will be written offline.
.
So what I will continue to do here, is communicate as Suzanne/Lauren;
The person who does not mind living in this era at all! 
And who is okay with playing the part of the publisher, the curator, and the narrator.
After this Book Club series, I will be more explicit about that.
But there is just so much to share, about what happens when you try to transfer your life to 25 years back! 

It’s so much fun! 
So I will be online a lot, and writing a lot, and this 10 day holiday has got me all excited about coming back to work.
.
Five weeks ago I started writing little posts on Facebook, which would ultimately become Demons and Daemons, a Facebook novella.
Two weeks ago I started a “second layering” to that book;
In these posts, the ones you’re reading right now, I am sharing all chapters of Demons and Daemons individually, but with a new introduction.
.
These two projects together, the three weeks of Demons and Daemons and The Book Club, will become a book.
A Map Into Unknown.
.
I’ve called Demons and Daemons: A journey into darkness.
I ve called The Book Club; The three week journey into the light.
And together they form The Map Into Unknown.
.
But although Demons and Daemons had a satisfying ending, as will The Book Club, and although everything about this weaved together project of two books, in two different timelines, will fit together just perfectly;
Time away from the computer has taught me one thing above all.
.
That the journey has only just begun.
.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren living.

You just read part 1, my column.
Today’s chapter from
Demons and Daemons, was at a time when I both thought I would pursue a normal career (which I m no longer doing – all ass sitting hours are mine and mine alone) and I was also convinced I had to empty my blogs and remove all content in order to fit in and make this happen.

At what must have been one of the darkest days of my life,
this is what I wrote:
.

Chapter 5, Untitled Notes from Lauren #4


day 4, Thursday July 16, 9 P.M.

.I think today was payday for having an extraordinary good day yesterday..

A part of me is still optimistic:
Cleaning out my websites and publishing all my work – both in one rough version with all the things as well as creating separate books with complete stories – is a good thing.

A fresh start.
After September 1st I will be a proper author:
My real work will be offline – and published straight to paper, not posted to a blog.
.
Everybody who meets me in my new fresh career as grey mouse nobody, will know I am a writer.
Perhaps even know my pen name – but it’s OKAY!
20 books out, that’s respectable capital R.
.
Yeah, yeah: Such a good choice to clear out the blogs and have that sensitive content no longer available to “the public” meaning people I meet in real life I have no control over.
.
So smart.
.
Oh, and the other part of me doesn’t know the difference between preparing for a job in the normal world and removing sensitive content on one hand;
And getting your affairs in order because you’re dying and you have to leave all that you value behind.
.
Doesn’t know the difference between not blogging as LS Harteveld, and death.
.
.
One of the things I want to start doing to keep myself breathing, is reread notes I made and that I don’t want to forget.
.
Today’s one is:
That the reason I feel so angry towards a fictional employer, imaginary colleagues and anger towards myself because I have not been able, nor prioritized, making money from my writing –
is because I’m angry at “them” for taking my soul.
.
But not nearly as angry as I am with myself for willingly killing myself off before going in.
.
But judging from how poorly I m currently doing at the idea of (involuntarily) cleaning out my blog –
I didn’t need to write that down, nor have I forgotten.
.
I know.
.
And in the words of Kylo Ren:
“I know what I have to do. I just don’t know if I have the strength to do it.”
.
He made the wrong choice by the way, after that –
Let me commit to making tomorrow a better day.
.
And making the right choice.
.
~Lauren

 

Chapter 6 of Demons and Daemons,
will be shared soon,
in a new episode of The Book Club

Subscribe to the blog or follow social media:
Facebook page LS Harteveld
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

About The Book Club

In The Book Club you can find:
– a post
– and one Chapter of my novella Demons and Daemons.

These Book Club posts will form a new book, “A Map Into Unknown”
Covering a journey of three weeks into darkness (Demons and Daemons)
and three weeks, finding my way back to the light.

.

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

I’m playing the “Pick It Up From There”- Card

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

Dear Sara,
.
Over the two years we’ve been working together, I ve frequently told you that my life was in total mayhem, until the final day or hours where I had to write you an update, before it suddenly all fell into place.
When I confessed this to you, you always assured me that if I would show up, in my total messiness, we’d just “pick it up from there”.
Although I had no idea what that meant, or what kind of magic trick you would have up your sleeve to untangle my mental mess and mayhem, I still found that enormously reassuring.
.
And I think it is today, that I will pick you up on that offer.
If it still stands.
.
The good news is: “There”, as in a place where you don’t know where to start or what to write your coach, is not a bad place to be at all.
It’s very quiet.
It wasn’t when my life was tumultuous, when I would be needing to take you up on that offer;

It is now, when I feel I m in the eye of the storm.
.
There is nothing here.
Everything has come to a halt, and everything I was working on seems irrelevant.
Like I need to stop writing.
.
When I went through this blog I saw about 6 cases of me wanting to stop writing, wanting to stop being LS Harteveld, or a combination of the two.
And this blog is not even two years old.
.
The reason I have temporarily stopped writing now, is because of a heatwave.
I abandoned or brought to a halt all projects I was currently working on, and am offline for five days.
It’s like a holiday.
I had the intention of writing offline/ journaling my blog posts and type and post them when the heat has subsided.
But I find myself not interested in writing offline at all.

Even though my biggest project, here on this site, would definitely benefit from a little working in advance, because I m going to be pressed for time to finish it in the time I said I would.
.
This project is a six week project;
Half July I started writing Facebook notes, and recently I bundled them to a blog post called;
“Demons and Daemons” a Facebook novella by Suzanne/Lauren
A diary that covers three weeks, out of which I wrote fifteen days.
After posting it, I started a new series, which I called The Book Club, and that was initially just to repost the novella into more bite-sized posts.
I don’t necessarily think everybody should read all my stuff, but I do believe in keeping it manageable.
Since I write because I have an internal need to do so, keeping it manageable is almost impossible, because writing happens when it happens.
But for instance by posting on Facebook first, instead of here on the blog, I can prevent overflowing your mailbox with 15 messages.
Instead you get one novella.
.
However, this brought the new problem that it was a bit much.
And before I knew it I had split them up – sending them out chapter by chapter after all – BUT! 

Also adding an entire new layer to them.
.
Where the three weeks I had written Demons and Daemons on Facebook had been somewhat of a journey into darkness, and then me marrying the demon or daemon of my Writing, giving it a happy end;
The layer I was adding in the chapter-by-chapter Book Club was exactly the opposite.
.
It was light and optimistic. I would say enlightened.
The Book Club notes or introductions to the three week journey into darkness, were a journey into the light.
They would be a similar three week journey, but from an entirely different perspective.
.
The perspective of someone who has made her peace with being a writer, and has committed to showing up daily for her art.
Just like a marriage would have you show up daily.
.
But instead of a happy end, the marriage with Writing was taking over my life.
The posts for The Book Club (the two books together, The Book Club and Daemons and Demons, will be called A Journey Into Unknown) but also posts for my Rock Star Writer account under my real name;
I wrote and wrote the days after the “wedding”.
Meanwhile thinking;
How on earth am I going to publish my books if I write 5 hours a day?
.
How on earth am I going to enjoy a fun and social job, and be saved from myself and all the writing, if my minimum daily writing requirement exceeds that of what you’d have spare after you came home after work?
.
How am I going to live the life of a successful online author who communicates every day on all her accounts – I still believe showing up for writing includes showing up to share it – and writes and or reposts every day and have a life as well?
.
How can I spend time with a real man, real lovers, if my marriage to Writing devours everything?
.
How do I avoid that being committed to Writing – the only thing that has always been there for me the last 14 years – doesn’t become like being in an abusive relationship?
Was my wedding post to Writing a declaration of love or a case of auto-Stockholm syndrome where I was loyal to my oppressor?
Was my muse in reality a hostage taker?
.
As I was still trying to figure that out, the heatwave started.
And on day 3, as I was limiting the hours the cats could have their water fountain on (they do have two water bowls, before you fear I m limiting their access to water) to minimize heat by electrical devices, I realized that this hot weather, which will only get worse because the nights stay warmer so the house doesn’t cool off, that this is no time to use to computer.
That I need to go offline.
Holiday granted by the Universe, so to speak.
.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, a holiday from writing.
.
No more The Book Club.
No more The Box Set or Live From London, both series for my Rock Star Writer account.
And publishing my books with my hard drive in overdrive for hours on end, is not going to happen until our temperature stays under 30 degrees (86 Fahrenheit)
.
So one week after I committed to writing, the whole thing fell apart for the first time in 14 years.
And although my ego is slightly upset by The Book Club/ Map To Unknown being in severe risk of never being finished;
Part of me thinks it’s a sign that it should never ever be finished.
The part that likes not being able to write.
And it’s a big part.
.
Even this post was supposed to be a private email to you, until I realized I was not going to keep the only time in two years I have nothing to offer, and play the “Pick It Up From There”- Card, go by in silence.
That I wanted this in a blog post where I would one day read it again.
.
It is so freeing to just have it be decided for me.
For the first time in 14 years, I can’t write because it’s so hot I should not be using my computer.
And seeing that even if I had continued, I would not have liked how I was spending my days, being enslaved by writing, daily messaging, and using reposts if I have not written anything that day;
It’s all far too heavy.
.
So I don’t know, Sara.
But I think that’s where we’ll pick it up.
.
Maybe what I m feeling is best comparable with when your lover or partner leaves you in kind of a matter of fact way.
And although you had chosen for him and had a lot of future plans together, and thought he’d be in your life forever, you find out the relief of all that space coming available now that he has left,
is more dear to you than his presence ever was.
.
 Warm regards,
.
.

Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


ABOUT ME

I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

.
coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/