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Starting final read through of DITB – Extended Edition & online connections – some thoughts

In just a bit I will be doing a final read through of Dark Illusions: The Beginning – Extended Edition. Not too much to do but skim at this point since I don’t have anything really to change. It’s more of a double-check round to see if I have certain scenes the way I want them, which is why it shouldn’t take me more than a week. In fact, if I have enough time, it should take me less than a week.

The time, as usual, only is stuff like, will the dogs get an emergency. Will something come up with mom or brother while I’m working. Things of that nature. I was musing on the fact that as much as I’ve been slowly getting my waking hour back on track, I still have problems getting to bed before 10 or 11pm lately. Drives me nuts because if I get up past 6 or 7 am then that sets me back and throws my entire day off, but I haven’t had my solid 8 hours of sleep lately and I was musing how, with everything I’ve been dealing with, I’m surprised I’m not going nuts lately.

I should be under stress overload and exhausted with everything being thrown at me each day, but surprisingly I’m doing okay. I’d like to say it’ll die down, but in some areas, this is only the beginning. Even socializing with my editor has been tough. We try to keep contact at least once a day, if not every few days and it’s just like . . . sheesh. Funniest part is how that seems to be with many people. So many are struggling with connection and maintaining balance lately. We’re all being pulled a thousand directions, medical issues are coming up left and right, and it’s just . . . again, sheesh. lol

Speaking of connection.

For some reason, last night as I was trying to wind down my mind after 11pm when I finally managed to crawl my toot toots into bed, I started thinking about that. Connection. I’m not sure why I’m gonna address this or it came to mind, but when things hit me it’s usually someone out there who benefits from it. So if you’re reading maybe you needed this as confirmation, or to have another say, hey I agree with your thoughts, etc.

Building friendships with people online is what was on my mind. Relationships even (romantic too). Last week (or was it two weeks ago? Maybe two) I came across a comment that stated that a lot of marriages start online. And those that do end up with a lower rate of divorce. I looked it up because I was thinking to myself, really? Turned out the statistic was accurate to what they’d said. I can understand that, but it was surprising that so many would start online. Yes, there are all these dating networks that people use, but my brain started to pick that apart once I found the statistic.

Then last night as I was going to bed, once more my brain picked up that train of thought for whatever reason, lol. I was dissecting it then realizing where it stems from is the connection. What is the number one reason relationships fail or not? Communication. And because those relationships are people who meet online, then it makes sense because we have to learn to communicate.

I know (I was one, hello) many who struggle with the idea that meeting someone online and falling for them; well, it can’t be real. I was that girl. Like, those feelings can’t be real. How can one fall for a person they’ve never physically met. Weeeelll, then I did some years ago. Also taught me that yes, one can because it’s about feelings. It’s still two people dealing with one another, not electronics, lol. I never had set out to fall for someone online or went looking for anyone. In fact, I was adamant about not. Then it just sort of happened.

I know I was at fault for my part in pushing that guy away, but then if someone isn’t meant to be with you life will remove them. We’d known each other for a few years and my feelings deepened more than they ever had after a few years. I take my part in it, not his.

I’d asked for things to go slow, he agreed, but then he continuously pushed for more and no longer worked on building the friendship. It was less about getting to know me and more about his need for me to do as he wanted. He wanted to talk to me on the phone so I did, but then that “just once” turned into not enough, and him being annoyed at me because I’d warned him my dogs constantly distract me. Then it was more, more, more, and he wanted to meet and got annoyed with me for not rushing into meeting with him. His “I understand,” turned into “why not,” in a manner I could pick up was again, his wanting to control and no longer being patient.

By that point my gut churned when dealing with him because he was trying to control and not go slow. Been there, done that. Had plenty in my life online and offline try that, and no. Turned out it all worked out because of how it ended up. And when I look back on it, I realized nothing was ever good enough. So a relationship with him would’ve probably been the same. His needs, not mine. Not wanting to be my FRIEND first. Wow, that reminded me of the time I asked him too, “What happened to my friend?”

I don’t think he was a bad guy. He was pretty young in fact. Part of why I’d been adamant about not developing feelings and I know my bad parts in it. I cringe when I think of telling him my career was way more important than him. Ugh. I could never apologize enough for saying something like that to a person. I loved him as a person and I was telling him my career was more important? Not a good way to say something. I could’ve said it better. My communication is still being worked on too. So I don’t see him as an evil human being. Imperfect such as myself, but a good person deep down. And we just weren’t compatible in the end.

I wanted and needed to build that friendship and strong foundation before taking things to a higher level. For him it was now, now, now, and I can see now that it was a lack of trust, faith, and fears on his part. I don’t say that to say I hate people online from that experience or that there aren’t good people online. There are. There are amazing and wonderful and beautiful people online. Hell I fell for one when I swore never again to go that route! lol

But once more, where all does it go back to? Communication. Communication is the building block of any relationship, any person-to-person connection. Words matter. Speaking up matters. Telling the other person what you’re thinking, understanding it, working through it, and communicating. Say it wrong, then screw up, and reexplain, but keep talking. Not silence and sulkiness, not running off and ignoring it. Not keeping oneself closed off. It’s not about facial expressions or tone of voice either.

There’s always been this argument that I read or see that one has to be face-to-face to understand verbal clues. Or that you can’t connect with someone online like offline because being next to them, hearing their voice, seeing their facial expressions. Things will get misinterpreted and misunderstood.

And it hit me last night. That is a load of crap! lol All my life I have been very quiet. So it’s very difficult (except in writing, hi, lol) to get me to open up. That has been something I am continuously working on. I just find it difficult to express myself verbally. And then with my brother, he absolutely loves to say things with a straight face, completely stale voice pattern, all to screw with people. Then you have another person who gets giggly when they are nervous, or the one who cries when mad. Or raises their voice and it sounds like they are yelling when they aren’t.

Now all that is face-to-face interaction. And outside of that, all my life people have misunderstood me. I have rarely found anyone who truly understood me deep down inside so that when I spoke, they got it. I’ve always had to reexplain myself when face-to-face with neighbors, family, friends, etc. So again, what really builds connection and intimacy?

It’s communication.

You’re going to get it wrong, you’re going to screw up, but keep communicating.

For anyone who wants to pop in here and not thoroughly read then once more tell me I’m wrong and repeat what I just said, or point this out – I’m not saying face-to-face isn’t important. So chill.

But I realized last night that we have been conditioned to believe that unless we are face-to-face with someone (as I had a problem with too for many years) that the connection isn’t real. That we aren’t really feeling things. That friendships online (if they stay there) are fake. I connect more online with people I’ve known my entire life offline. We can actually see and talk to one another more now. Just like I’m closer with some people I’ve only ever known online and spoken via email, text, comments, etc., than I’ve ever been to some. And I value them. I would cry if they died. I would cry if I lost them. It would break my heart.

And last night it occurred to me why those relationships that begin online last. Because we’re really connecting with the individual’s soul. We are forced to communicate and really explain ourselves, to learn that person inside and not just what they are on the outside. We are forced to open up and say things that offline we can hide. I’m not talking about someone you’ve known five minutes either then you meet offline. I think the majority of those relationships that begin online, go to marriage, then don’t end? Are the ones where they’ve been friends with for a while online before they met (not that there aren’t exceptions mind ya), then slowly progressed. Because you have to really build a level of trust with someone online that you can’t offline. You have to really learn to communicate and ask questions of one another. You get to know someone’s heart and soul, not necessarily their looks and such.

When we deal with people online for a few years (I believe it takes 2-3 yrs before someone finally drops those guards and shows you who they really are, at least from my experience), we’re really stepping up in ways we just don’t do offline. So it actually makes sense when my little brain not wanting to sleep picks it apart. lol

Also I’ve seen it. I’ve had friends who met online, built up their friendship, then got married. And I’ve even heard of some who it took 12 YEARS before they met! lol Now because I’ve had friends online for over ten years it’s not that hard to believe, but to consider the idea of waiting that long for someone I’d be romantically interested in? That is freakin brave. And it takes courage to have that much trust, patience, and faith in that person. It takes patience period, my goodness. I did have problems with men online before because the pattern wasn’t good.

I’d had someone I met online who pushed me to talk to him on the phone, then meet him quickly after we began to connect online. 6 months later-ish I jumped in, only to have it end badly. Very badly and I am still paying for that today as he’s still stalking me. It’s been over ten years I believe now. So yeah, faith with men online? It’s hard. It takes twice as much trust for me and work in reminding myself. THEY AREN’T HIM. It’s a daily practice at times. And it takes lots and lots of getting to know them, first. I no longer jump on the rushing train.

That doesn’t mean I give up.  But that hit me last night. The building block of intimacy and relationships is the one thing we tend to get online. Communication. 

Without communication, even relationships we build offline will fail. But that’s a huge advantage we have when we meet someone online. I still don’t go out looking for love. I stopped chasing love a long time ago. Love found me when I wasn’t looking for it (I’d sworn it off actually, haha) and now I’ve given him the space to figure out what it is he wants while leaving myself open for whatever else is to come with him, or someone else. I focus on me and building myself up and my life as well as other relationships (friends), not on whatever is to come with him.

Doesn’t mean I don’t want him, I do. More than anyone, but sometimes we need to let people figure out themselves and their lives while holding space and leaving the door open. Either they’ll come in (or back) or someone else will find us who was meant to. Who’s meant for us will come in and stay, but we can’t force others to stay with us. Give them space. Give them time. Let them figure it out. Doesn’t mean one or the other is bad, wrong, or what. Just means that some individuals get bogged down in life and need a little space and time. Love will never fade. Love never forgets. Love is healing and pure. I’m in no rush to jump into a relationship with anyone except (as I’ve stated many a time) the next one will be my last. Because I know that the next relationship will lead me to marriage. So why rush the rest of my life?

Had that guy above given me that time to figure myself out and been patient with me? I think things would’ve been different. But then I wouldn’t have met this guy. I’m sure the Universe laughed when I swore off men online, only to fall for this one, haha.

But that finally hit me last night: if you are a person who’s hearing people say “it’s not real if you met them online,” disregard that. YES, there are plenty of scammers online. But so too are they offline. YES, one can’t build a life with someone online like they can offline, but we need to stop conditioning ourselves to believe people online are all fake and false and bad people. We’ve been given this gift to meet more people every single day thanks to the internet and it doesn’t break down friendships and connection, it helps to strengthen it. I started to become a better person because of the people I met online, connecting with them, opening up to them. My editor and I have known one another for SIX years now and not once have I spoke to her on the phone (I didn’t have service until recently, lol) but I’ve never had someone closer as a friend.

Society is lying to us enough about online connections. WE make the connection. If we believe it fake? It’s going to be fake. If we are so desperate that we need attention, we don’t trust our gut, and rush into something (even offline), we’re likely to get screwed over. There are bad people in this world, but we cannot blame the next person for a previous person’s problem. Or because our neighbor was scammed, that doesn’t mean we will be.

There are again, pleeeennntttyyyy of bad people in this world. But guess what? There are a ton of good people out there too. And you may just meet them online, fall in love, and find that perfect person for you, which will one day lead to marriage and a marriage that other people would be envious of.

We have to stop believing what “they” want us to. Love exists. Even on the internet.

War of the Lycaen
Today’s word count for War of the Lycaen

Started today at – 12,498

Ended today at – 13,565

Total word count for today – 1,067

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