A love letter to the mother of my child

There have been a lot of things going on in my life as of late. Such as being with an amazing partner who understands me and supports me. We are getting ready to move to a new place and on top of that. Some other amazing things.

Yesterday she had a doctor’s appointment which I attended. We have known for a little while but we wanted a confirmation from the doctors. We went in for an ultrasound.

As a guy, I can’t tell you the words to express how stressed and freaked out I am, about her being pregnant. Nor can I convey with words, the feeling of hope and love I have for her and our child.

Yesterday, I got to hear the most amazing sound that brought tears of joy. Tears of hope. Even now thinking about it I am tearing up. I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat. Which shook me to my core.

All at once, I felt emotions I haven’t felt since I was a child. I am so happy and thankful for this to of happened. Being, the oldest in my family. I felt that I would be the first to have kids and, I would end up being the first to start a family but wasn’t due to reasons I can’t explain. I am in no way blaming my previous partners.

Yet, there is something I feel I do need to say that not many people understand when it comes to pregnancy, especially men.

Looking at everything a woman goes through during pregnancy. There is no way in the world where a woman isn’t the most mentally, emotionally, and physically strong being in the world. They are going through so much from hormones, emotions, pain, growth, stress of all kinds.

The woman is protecting and helping the baby inside her growing. She is giving of herself so that the miracle inside her can grow.

She may be tired, stressed, overwhelmed, drained, and running on her last straw but in the end, she is doing so much to make the life inside her grow. She takes all of this on along with her daily life, from work and dealing with the garbage that happens there to taking care of her partner. This blows my mind at her ability to give of herself even when she thinks she has nothing left.

I look at my partner, the mother of my child and all I can do is look at her in awe and try not to give her the stupid “I love you” look which of course right now agitates the hell out of her right now. She is beautiful and she is making something even more beautiful that is half of each of us. She may be going through so many things but, all I can do is love her.

She may hate me now and then. She may get mad at me for being so caring or trying to be there for her that it annoys her. Yet, I will still be right there if she needs me because it is all I can do at this point. She is giving of herself and I will give of myself as often and whenever I can to support her. Not only while she carries our child but after as well.

She is the mother of my child and it means the world to me that she is. She blows my mind every day with her inner strength to put up with people treating her like crap due to her age or work or any other reasons that they choose to think that they know better.

I never thought that I would feel joy again. I never thought that I would feel my life shatter and fall right back into place all at once. Just hearing the heartbeat of our baby. Or looking into your eyes as we sat in that doctor’s office.

So, to her I say. I love you and thank you for everything you have done and are doing for us. Bringing this life into the world is a miracle and it’s crazy. It is scary and amazing. It is terrifying and joyous at the same time. So, thank you and I love you so much.

Working with your partner

I have spent a lot of time trying to convey to my partners what I want out of our relationship. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand what they want from me as well. I have also spent even more time leaning that what we both want is two separate things.

From my previous relationships with Melika and Missy, I have learned a lot. I learned that just because your partner says something or agrees with you doesn’t mean that they really agree with you. Sometimes things are misinterpreted or misconstrued in ways to make it so your partner can’t wrap their head around what you are saying, feeling, or even wanting.

For instance, I let every one of my potential partners know that I am polyamorous right off the bat so that they know what they are getting into. Yet, many take my polyamory as a sign that I am not willing to commit to them and our relationship. When in actuality I am willing to commit to them it is them that I feel aren’t willing to commit or accept me.

You see over my years in the lifestyle and being poly, I have had multiple partners. Try to change me and make me monogamous so that they can be more comfortable. I understand, many relationships that we all grew up with where monogamous and closed. With specific religions involved in family dynamics, I get where specific things are frowned upon.

Yet, the thing that gets me most is when some of my previous partners. Tried to use my polyamorous nature against me. Or use it as a way to control me, to make my monogamous. By guilt-tripping me into denying part of who I am.

All of this because that partner couldn’t accept me for who I am. They wanted to change me and make me what they wanted me to be. Which is sad because being who I am has been a hard road frot with pain and depression. Years of abuse and neglect. I built myself in a way so that I would never become the things I feared becoming most. Sadly the thing I feared becoming was my parents.

You see we all come from our past some have had traumatic pasts. Some had okay pasts. Yet, we have grown to become the people we are due to those events. We are stronger for it and looking at the pasts of all my previous partners. I realized something…

They had something I never had. They had a full family. Sure their family has their issues, but their family loved and cared for them in ways mine never did. They were there for them when they needed them.

I never knew what that was like. I came from a broken home. From an abusive father, who was a drunk. Looking back at it, I envy my previous partners because I have never known that kind of love and support. It wasn’t until I married Melika that I felt that kind of support, and I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t understand, to this day I still don’t.

So, I have been working on truly understanding my partner. I am working on being present in their life and not just there for the sake of being there. I am working on working and building with my partner.

Maybe, my past relationships didn’t work out because I was broken at such a young age. Maybe they didn’t work out because my partners hadn’t seen life the way I did. I know my perspective is different than some. I know that my opinions can be out there, but I have to believe that love is real. I have to believe that love can make things work. I have to believe that love conquers all. Not because I don’t know what it feels like but because for my future.

I want to have a family someday and I have to believe that love will be the defining reason as to why. Why everything in my life has to lead to this point. All the pain, all the heartache. I have to believe in my partner and myself to make things work. I have to work with them and not work separately. If we want to build towards the future we have to work towards the same future.

Life Update

Over the past couple of months, a lot has happened from losing my job and looking for another one. To having a medical issue with my fiancee’s father. We have decided that we will be moving closer to them so that she can have time with her father and her mother.

So my life right now is all over the place. So, much so that I have only really had time to apply for jobs in the city that we are moving to, and pack.

I want you all to know that I am not neglecting this blog or making posts. I have been doing my best to keep ideas for this blog and working on things with it. I hope you all understand that sometimes life gets in the way and takes precedence over hobbies that I love.

For any of you who wish to contact me, you have my contact info on here. I am doing the best I can right now though trying to juggle everything. It has been a struggle for sure. Trying to apply for a job in a city and state you aren’t living in at the moment.

I hope you all are doing well and things are looking up for you all.

Best wishes to you all.

Serenities Reflection

The relief one feels after a session in the lifestyle can be invigorating. It can be a serene experience. It calms the mind and awakens the spirit. Some have even said it is almost spiritual.

With all the issues we live within our day to day lives. We feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. We have to keep going or it will all fall apart which isn’t true at all. We hold ourselves to these unattainable standards only to wear ourselves out and drive us to our breaking point.

We don’t take time for ourselves because we feel we have all these responsibilities and things we have to do. Yet, we never take time for ourselves. We put our own needs on the back burner while we try to fix other people around us.

Which reminds me of how odd we, are as a species. We would rather suffer so someone else doesn’t have to. We try to do everything we can to attain something we think we need when all we need is ourselves. We hold in all our pain and anger only to let it explode into self-destructive tendencies. From porn addiction to drugs and alcohol. We use these things to escape our mundane lives. When all we need to do is take ourselves for a walk or have a play session.

We need a way to release a way to, actually relax. Yet, we hold everything in until we break. We let that last string break and we fall apart. It is even worse for Dominants and males. We are supposed to be these unbreakable rocks that are there for our partner and we support them. Yet, never take into account our own mental and physical health.

I know for a fact that I am guilty of this. I grew up being, taught that men don’t cry or break down. Men are unbreakable. We should never let anyone see a sign of weakness. Then you have a society that says men should show emotion which confounds me in general.

I have been, told by previous partners that I am distant and feel cold to them due to my upbringing. They want me to show emotion, but it was ingrained in me not to. Every day I fight to understand where I am supposed to stand with my emotions. We as men are seen as fake, cold, angry and even hostile or manipulative if we don’t show emotions now. I have even been told that I set off red flags because I was taught to control my emotions.

It isn’t something that us men can unlearn though. I don’t think a lot of people today understand that men from my generation were one of the last generations that were told we could be anything we wanted and that we had to be strong to be men. Our upbringing made us who we are today, yet society says we should feel and be this or that.

It is really funny to think that our own emotions have caused us to be cold to those we care about. Not only because of our upbringing but over the years of controlling ourselves. We have sat by while everything we loved fell apart. We watched as our loved ones neglected us and had to survive alone. We never were shown or taught how to understand what we feel or how to express them correctly.

Again though society says you need to be a person and have feelings. Which makes us hurt even more because we don’t know how to feel. Some of us have shut down.

I know this kinda got off-topic here and I apologize but it needs to be said. As a Dominant male, I am the brunt of a lot of issues. From being white and cancel culture being against everything I actually am. It makes no sense. I don’t understand how being myself and wanting to help others understand makes me a bad person for just breathing.

As a Dominant, I have done everything in my power to help those who reach out to me. From my previous submissives to people who have messaged me. Yet, what none of you ever see or truly understand is that like you, I am broken.

We all need to take time for ourselves and work on ourselves. We all want to be better than we are. We all want to grow and be better. Yet, none of that can happen if we aren’t willing to change. Sometimes we have to change our lives. Others just need to change and take time for ourselves.

We are the only ones who can make our lives better. Some may need a play session for this. Others may need to play some D&D or something. We all need to get out of our own head sometimes. Our own minds can be our own darkness. We let everything build up only to let it all fall apart.

The things we go through every day add up, even if we think we have it under control. I know that sometimes all it takes is some small thing and it makes the whole house of cards fall apart.

Don’t treat your emotions, mental, and physical health as an afterthought. You matter. Even if you don’t think you do. You matter to me.

Philosophy vs. Psychology

In BDSM, there has always been a battle that every person, has had to deal with. That battle is between the philosophy vs. the psychology of the lifestyle.

The psychology is the personal aspect of BDSM and the impact on an individual person. Whereas philosophy is the reality of the lifestyle. Think of it this way. If as a Dominant you expect your submissive to be nake in the house at all times. Psychologically, you could see that working. Yet, philosophically you realize that there are times where your submissive should be clothed.

The ideas behind the psychology of BDSM are originally what drew me to the lifestyle. Over time though I learned that the philosophy was actually more important than the psychology of the lifestyle. As a young Dominant, I had delusions of grandeur. I had dreams of a polyamorous relationship where I had a harem of submissives and would have all these submissives at my beck and call. Over time though I realized that the thought of it was what made me enjoy it. Where in practice I know for a fact that I couldn’t please more than a few women at a time.

(Note: I am still a dork and would enjoy a harem, but I realize that it is a fantasy at this point)

A person’s thoughts on what works in the lifestyle change as they truly start to understand the philosophy of the lifestyle. The psychology of the lifestyle says, me and mine. I take what I want as a Dominant. The philosophy says your partner is human and should be treated as such first then add the fun aspects of things.

I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about fantasies that I have had and wanted to make them a reality. Yet, in reality, I know that those thoughts may never come to fruition.

We as the human race have always had issues with this inner battle we have. Which crosses over from our normal lives into every aspect of who we are. From our beliefs and interests to how we act and let others perceive us.

When I was just getting started in the lifestyle I was naive like everyone else. I thought I knew everything. Which of course I didn’t Over the years I have learned to be humble and I had to take a look at the psychology of BDSM and the philosophy of it as well in order to understand myself better.

Life has its ups and downs. We all go through things. You and your partner may be on different pages. Heck, you may not even be in the same book sometimes. That is where this thought process came from for me.

I have spent a lot of time trying to build relationships with previous partners in order to try and keep everything kosher. Only to realize that my psychology behind the lifestyle isn’t the same as others. Only then did I look at the philosophy and realize that the philosophy is something we can all agree upon. In the philosophy of the lifestyle, we have the tenents and the laws of BDSM so to speak.

The psychology of the lifestyle has all of our own personal beliefs and thoughts on the lifestyle. Which are not always understood by everyone. For instance, some people are into water sports or Master/slave relationships. Others not so much. This is where BDSM becomes more personal. This is where the thought that BDSM is different for everyone comes in.

The philosophy of it is the premise of the lifestyle. It gives us the guidelines and helps lead us into what aspects we as individuals click with.

So, my question is to all of you. Do you feel the same way I do? Do you understand things the same way? Or am I just crazy? I would like to hear your perspectives on this topic.

Sexual Trauma and Abuse

There comes a time in every relationship where you take that step, and it becomes physically intimate. This step can be the best and hardest part to reach and or to keep going.

With BDSM being about kinks and fetishes, a way to escape the mundane life and to express one’s sexuality. This step can make or break things for partners if done wrong.

I am a big proponent of learning about your sexuality and your fantasies and desires. Finding out what makes you tick so, to speak. Not everyone is the same. Everyone is into different things. Which can also make or break a relationship depending on if your wants and desires click together or not.

Some of us are so sexually stunted and view our desires and things we are into as something bad. We end up belittling ourselves and not accepting part of who we are. Which can lead to confusion and possibly distance for ourselves. Or even fear that our partner won’t accept us for who we are and what we want.

So, we play this never-ending game of hide an seek with ourselves. We slowly let out bits and pieces of ourselves for others we deem worthy to see. We are so afraid of what others around us will think.

(I do have to preface this though with everything going on in the world right now. I am not advicating for maps or pedophilia in any way. Those things are illegal and unacceptable in every way. If any adult following me advocates for them. Or thinks it is okay to have children in the lifestyle. Get the fuck off my page you piece of shit)

There are some of you out there that have been through trauma and abuse which has shaped your sexual interests and things you are into. From the more kinky aspects to only being able to do specific sexual things or else you may have an outburst or snap from something that happened.

I have had a lot of experience working with women who have been abused and understand that everyone is different. Which a lot of people don’t understand. As a Dominant, I am prepared for something I say or do to make my partner have a flashback or shut down.

My job and any Dominant’s job is to protect the submissive and make sure that they are okay. Sexual trauma can manifest in so many different ways. From disassociation to full physical outbursts. It could trigger mania or a shutdown. As a Dominant, it is my place to care for and make sure my partner is alright. If play is happening then it stops immediately no questions asked.

Psychologically, sexual trauma, and abuse can make being intimate very hard for some out there. Taking things slow is important in building any relationship. Yet, if you have any of these issues you should be open and honest about them with your potential partner. So that they can understand and figure out if they have the ability and knowledge to be able to take care of you if anything were to happen.

Everything can start harmless enough. You meet at work or a munch or something. Then you slowly get to know each other. Once you think that there is a potential of something either serious or that play may occur then you should communicate these things.

Some people can’t even have a physical orgasm if specific things aren’t happening. ( I am looking at you women who play with your toys to much and are mad when a guys cock can’t vibrate…) Sometimes we have programmed our minds to be desensitized to things and need things a specific way to enjoy things. Letting your partner know what works for you will help you down the road.

With the invention of apps like tinder and other dating/hookup apps relationships have become throw away. Just like trash. Many people end up being used and abused for a night or a few depending on how things go. Then they either get ghosted or end up falling out of contact because there is someone prettier or shiny. We have become so accustomed to instant gratification which has made our sex lives become just as throw away as our phones.

We lack empathy and respect for each other which we once had. These things can also add up to past abuse and trauma. Having the ability to search the world for your perfect person then getting them and realizing that they aren’t their Instagram or tinder profile pic makes us all fake.

We have become fake people living fake lives online. We make everything seem better than it is which causes us to look at others and pretend that we are better which adds to the cycle of trauma and abuse. Whatever happened to the golden rule or from a religious standpoint loving thy neighbor.

We have become so self-oriented and compete for the biggest and best things to show off for people we don’t care about. I remember when I was a kid and I had a bunch of friends. Today I have maybe 3 not counting family. With instant gratification, things have become fake even things like sexual intimacy which shouldn’t be.

So, don’t lock yourself away from a potential partner. Work on building with them. Find out what you both have in common. That may be BDSM or video games. There are an innumerable amount of things you could click on. Reach out and open up. Be honest with yourself and them. Accept yourself for who you are and what you are into. That is the first step in getting over your trauma and abuse.

Life update

A lot has happened this month. From everything going on in the world to being let go from my job. As I stand at this cross roads I ask myself what is it that I want to do. What is it that I enjoy doing. How can I live the life I want and actually make a living.

I am looking into some things so you may see some changes on my site. Things are tough on all of us right now due to the virus. I understand what is going on in the world and I know that I am not the only one who has lost my job, but the good news is that this could be a new beginning for myself and others who like myself have lost their jobs.

As the saying goes when the going gets tough the tough get going. I am having to knuckle down and do what I have to to pay my bills in order to have a roof above my head.

I am usually a creature of habit and I hate change but for once in my life I am accepting of this change and am ready to test my steel against life so to speak. I have told you all many times that you shouldn’t give up and keep pushing forward and what kind of man would I be if I didn’t listen to my own advice.

I will do everything I can to keep posting during this trying time. I am going to do whatever I can to keep myself from falling into a depression.

So, to all of you. Thank you for your support and for sharing and reading my blog. it means a lot and there is a possibility that it will mean more soon, depending on what route I choose to take with this blog.

 

Thank you for your patience and your well wishes. You all are amazing.

The Heroes Journey

We humans have been through a lot. We as people have survived more than most species. Our story is but a blip in this universe. Yet, we have made it so far. The reason for that is the few that have taken it upon themselves to take a journey. These people have become the best of us.

From the ancient stories of Hercules, and Prometheus. To those who stormed the beaches of Normandy. We have always tested ourselves. Could we sacrifice ourselves for those who are less fortunate than we are? Could we stand up against the monsters and keep pushing through.

Well, I am here to tell you that you have already fought so many monsters in your life. You are on your own heroes’ journey. You are the hero of your life’s story, and you don’t even see it. You have been through abuse of all sorts, depression, anxiety, neglect, pain, and fear. Yet, here you are.

You stand tall and keep going every day, even when it is hard, and you don’t want to. You feel like giving up, but you keep going. If not for yourself, then for those around you. You have proven over and over again that you are the strongest. You have proven over and over again, that you can take anything this world can throw at you and keep going.

I know what it is like to have to dig deep every day. To be the best person you can. I know what it is like to go through those things and come out the other end. I also know that every one of us comes out stronger.

Only the strongest blades are, forged in the hottest fire. In order to be as strong as we need to be in life. We have to be put through the flames. So, that we can be the heroes of our own journey. We are always looking for someone to save us. Yet the only person who can save us is ourselves. We have to save ourselves so that we can save others.

We have to change to become stronger, to become what we were meant to be. Life may kick you when you are down, but we as the heroes of our journey. Our job is to become our own version of the Hulk, Ironman, Captian America, and all the other heroes combined. We have to be strong so that we can keep going.

We can’t admit defeat no matter what. We have to be the Berserker warriors so to speak. The ones that run into the battle headlong and know that we can’t be stopped. We can’t allow our past to dictate our present or future.

We have to prove to ourselves what we are made of. The only way to do that is to be the badasses we really are deep down.

I can hear you now, but Master Locke. I am not a badass. Yes, you are. Dig deep and let out that inner animal and let it devour your pain, depression, and self-doubt.

We all are driven. We all are our own heroes. Yet we are afraid of who we truly are deep down.

Don’t fear what you are, become the hero you need in your life, and let it drive you so that you can make your life what you want it to be.

Life, Religion, and being a good person

I have spent a long time trying to understand and learn about myself. From studying religions from ancient history. To trying to understand the psychology behind BDSM. I have tried to understand the human mind and soul on multiple levels.

In my journey, I have come to realize that every person’s experience is different. You can enter someone’s life out of the blue and can choose to make it better or worse, depending on your actions. The words you say mean much less than your actions.

After learning this I have tried to make my actions better as a person. I choose not to hurt people. I have spent years blaming others for my issues and wallowing in my own depression and sorrow. Yet all that has done is make me less of a person.

Over the past few years, I have discovered Norse paganism and with that, it has helped me realize a lot of things. From honoring my patron God to understanding more about relationships, and how to be a better person.

You see, within a lot of monotheistic religions like Christianity. You are taught that bad people go do hell. Your actions have to be good in order to go to heaven. It is the fear that drives a person’s morals in religions like this. The fear of being smited by god. Or suffering his wrath. A lot of information you get from religions like this teaches you that you are a bad person and you have to be good.

Whereas in Norse paganism you are taught that we are both good and bad. We make the choice. We choose to honor others and be honorable ourselves. Whereas in many religions being honorable is forced due to fear. Looking at that alone shows that being an honorable person is more based on the fact that morals don’t exist.

I have seen the argument for having morals in Christianity and if your god wouldn’t smite you would you be a good person. Which is really similar to the shopping cart test. If you haven’t heard of it look it up on youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twLg13egtQU)

Some say you can’t be a good person unless you are forced to be. You can’t have morals or know right from wrong without the grace or knowledge from this specific diety. That in a sense is more wrong than anyone could imagine.

If you need some form of deity to be your conscience or to understand right from wrong then therein lies the problem. I will honor my deities but I see no reason how they make choices for me. They don’t choose if I am good or bad, I do. My actions, my words, what I choose to do, and what I don’t makes me who I am.

I know this post seems like it is off the rails a bit from my normal content but there is a point to this post. Owning ones miss deeds and transgressions. Being honorable and admitting when you are wrong is something every person should do. If you are a Dom or a sub. You have to be able to own up to your failures. We are all human and as a human we make mistakes.

We do the wrong things. We act as if we are right all the time and let pride get in the way of our normal thoughts, actions, and words. We end up hurting others in order to make them feel like they are less than we are. When in fact we are trying to drag them down to our level so that we are the same.

There is a saying. Don’t let someone drag you down to their level. They will beat you with experience. When we allow others to force us to feel a specific way we are not being honorable or ourselves. We let them hurt us while they are hurting as well.

As a Norse pagan, I have come to realize that pride is a huge thing. It is also something that can smack you in the face, but being humble is something that is more honorable.

So, what I am saying is to be honorable and be humble. Respect others and their opinions. You don’t have to agree with everyone, and no one has to agree with you. We are all people experiencing our own lives and learning throughout them. It is our choice if we choose to learn and grow, or if we want to sit there and wallow in our own self-pity.

It isn’t on your deity to make sure you are a good person, nor is it their job to forgive you. It is your job to be a good person and to forgive others, and yourself.

Life is what you make it

I have spent a lot of time in my life going through the motions. I have been the zombie in my life just trying to survive day to day. I have dealt with depression since I was a kid. I have done everything to try and me myself feel normal.

Yet, sometimes I let it get the best of me. Sometimes depression hits and I sink to the bottom of that hole and can’t find my way out. Part of me feels like it is where I am supposed to be. I feel like I deserve it.

When this happens, it causes issues with my relationships and I fall apart. I push people away and just sit there in my own self-loathing. Depression is one issue I have tried to deal with and work through. Yet, it still hits.

It wasn’t until my most recent partner pointed out that I was pushing her away that I realized that I was. Thankfully she made something click in my head and made me realize that this isn’t who I wanted to be.

I recently watched a video on the internet that was an interview with Morgan Freeman that made me think about some things in a different way. In the interview, he said that life is what you make it.

I know I have heard it a million times but, it wasn’t until I watched that video that I realized that I was the one allowing my life and my emotions to be the thing that drove me to rock bottom. I was letting my depression take away my drive and my motivation.

I let myself fall apart and sat there at rock bottom as if I wanted it. The emotions overwhelmed me and I let them devour who I am.

After talking with my partner and realizing that she felt I was pushing her away and hurting her. Along with watching the interview. I realized that I was the one shooting myself in the foot. I was the one digging myself into the hole of depression I was in. I had stopped posting on here and paying attention to the things that matter to me.

I have become a version of myself that I never wanted to be again. I had allowed myself to feel sorry for myself. I blamed everything around me for what was going on and wasn’t willing to admit that I was the one doing this to myself.

So, today I am here accepting that I have depression and that I need to be the one to do something about it. I have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and be the badass I know I am.

I can’t allow my depression to eat me alive and make me a zombie. I have to be the Dominant I am and take ownership of my life, my choices, and what I am going to do to make my life what I want it to be.

I need to stop making excuses and blaming other things for the way I am. I have to swallow my own pride and take that first step into the life I want to have.

I can’t accept that the way my life is now is the way it will always be. I have to let my drive push me to become better than I have been. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I can be the man I need to be. For myself and my partner.

I am so thankful for my partner, and for all of you. I originally started this blog thinking that I wouldn’t really have anyone who would pay attention to what I had to say, and for a while no one did.

Then out of nowhere, I started getting more and more views. You all make it worth it. I know this is the internet age and everyone has something to say. I know that there are thousands of BDSM blogs at yet you all come to my blog and read what I have to say. So I thank you all.

Part of my healing is me realizing that this blog has helped me. It has helped me grow and learn. It has helped me work through depression before and that I have to do my best to post more. You all deserve it so thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and accepting me for the sometimes broken person I am.