E’s Letter

Dear E,


If only there was a way to go back and hold your hand through some of the difficult times that lay ahead. However, these moments shaped you into the woman you are today and you should be proud.


You were only starting in university when you thought you met the “love of your life.” You were on a high with your new found independence, new course, new people to bond with and a new relationship. Everything was wonderful and you were on cloud 9. Then, you started to get that gut feeling that something wasn’t right. Year and a half in, you were told that he was texting someone else. You confronted him and received this “heartfelt” apology, tears and all. You gave in because you loved him. You wanted to work on things and not give up on the relationship because it’s the “right thing to do.” Two years later, you go on holidays together with some friends and realise that his hurtful comments on your weight, “too skinny, eat a burger” or “you’re wearing that?!” or his comments on other girls, are not only noticed by you, but your friends. They pull you aside to have a chat with you, about how those comments make you feel. In the end, you confront him and receive another “heartfelt” apology and you forgive him. However, those friends can no longer stand to see you upset and confront him and it ends in turmoil. You choose him over them. You stick up for him because you love him.


Year 4 and you’re starting to see the end of your course. Working hard through assignments and clinical hours to achieve that 1.1. You notice he isn’t as supportive as he used to be. He has taken the year out to work because he has to repeat a year, he’s going out more, coming home at 2am, drunk when you’ve to be up at 7am for clinic. You want to see him and spend time with him but he doesn’t seem to be on the same page. You have another talk. You know that “talk” that gets your adrenaline pumping, your gut is wrenching because you know that it can only end in one of two ways. Well, this talk ended in him saying “he doesn’t know anymore and loves me but feels like he’s just not happy with life, us or anything, anymore.” You feel you have to accept this as the reason for his behaviour and give him the space he wishes for but in the end, he still doesn’t cut ties. He still has a hold on you and drunk calls you, wants to come over, wants to text you because you’re the one who cares. On one hand, you want to keep in contact because you “love” him but on the other hand, you know this is not right. He puts on this persona for everyone else while drinking with friends. However, he reaches out to me for his counselling as he knows I will be there. You reach out to his mother to encourage him to seek the help that he desperately needs.


He has started a new blog and you get a notification that a new blog post has been entered. You come across the title and quickly read through and realise that he is speaking about you! That you have “betrayed him.” You reached out to someone to help him and you can’t be trusted. You run to the bathroom to cry in privacy. In this moment, this is where I want to put my arms around you and tell you that you will be ok. You are strong and these words amount to nothing. You muster up the courage to partially finish another entry in your thesis. You make the decision to persevere through the last 4 months of university because this is your future, NOT his. You work your ass off during the day, but cry yourself to sleep because you see his texts and posts coming in and want to ignore them. One thing that has helped you overcome all this turmoil are your friends. Mom always said “never forget who your friends are.”


You finish your final year of University and achieve your 1.1. You head off on a girls holiday, single and free from stress for 5 weeks. However, he still manages to reel you back in with texts and late night calls just to keep tabs on you. To know what you are doing. You come back from America and he is at the terminal waiting for you and you are back in “love”. He’s done it once again. Do you notice the reoccurring theme here?


So you give things another go and decide that this time, all is going to work out. You move in together and start over, again. About 8 months in, he starts drinking again and getting aggressive. He stops coming home to you. He starts spending more time out. You decide to stay at a friend’s house one night. He shows up at that friends doorstep and demands to get inside. We call a taxi for him but while on the phone, messages from a girl in his class start to come through. “Where did you go? Come back to mine. Why are you ignoring me?” Come to realise, it was a girl in our university class. However, that wasn’t the only message that came through his phone that night. Three other girls text him suggestive messages. At that point, the adrenaline was pumping again, that gut wrenching feeling was back and you couldn’t sleep that night. You went into work, red eyed and feeling empty. How could he do this to me, again ? That night, you had taken screenshots of the messages so that he wouldn’t be able to deny it, like other confrontational times. A good friend of yours printed out the messages on an A4 sheet, you wrote a heartfelt letter, and you packed up your things from your house, without him knowing. This was it. You were finally leaving. There was no going back. Once you handed him the envelope, he knew he could not deny it. You both cried but you felt a sense of relief that you were leaving.


Yet again, he found your new house, reeled you back in with an apology and wishful words for the future. He knew the buzz words to use to entice you back and you were sucked back in.


At this stage, you were 6 years on and off. You “loved” him, so you gave it one more go. He had his good days and his bad days. Once again, he started drinking to the point that he was starting to regress back. Then you were back to square one. He chatted with you and told you that “you’re the common denominator in my unhappiness.” This was the final straw. You packed up your things before his dad came to the house. You rang one of your dear friends and she housed you until you found a new place. The next day, you went into work, and got on with things as if nothing had happened. You were resilient. You knew this was finally it. He wrote you pages in an email, tried to call you, his mom even called you but this time you were DONE. You received the “heartfelt” apology but you weren’t forgiving him.


I just want you to know that even in the times of torment, you still carried on. Your compassion never wavered. Those cruel words chipped away at your confidence but I want you to know that, looking at you now, they amounted to nothing.

Those dark days of not feeling worthy, not feeling loved and not feeling happy, are only temporary. The best decision you made, was walking away from that toxic relationship, deleting social media linked accounts and finally putting YOU first. Never compare yourself to those on social media outlets, you are enough as you are. This relationship did not define you, you weren’t giving up on someone. It revealed how hard you would fight and love the right person.


Now, you’ve moved on, you live a very happy life and have two wonderful pups and a man who deeply respects and adores you. You’ve learned from these past moments and I hope that if anyone finds themselves in a toxic relationship and feel there is no way out… there is. Please don’t forget about your friends, they will be there when he/she is not. Please don’t allow your family relationships to dwindle because they will provide you with unwavering support. Don’t ever let someone you love, put you down or make you feel inferior. Don’t be afraid to communicate your feelings for fear they will be rejected or overlooked. Communication is key with ANY relationship. You are worthy and you are deserving of love, respect, support, and happiness. You have a bright future ahead so do not allow this period of time to dim your light.


Love always,
E xxx

Grace Alice Sex And Relationships Educator

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This service is fully limited to Sexuality Education. All advice is given in an honest manner and as guidance only. By using this service, you agree that you make your own decisions, relying solely on your discretion; any use you make of such answers, advice or services is at your own risk and ‘Grace Alice Sexuality Educator’ cannot be held responsible or be liable for any damages or losses resulting from your reliance on such answers or advice.

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Firstly, let us start with what the session is not! I am not a practicing sex therapist, sexologist, medical professional, psychotherapist, psychologist, counsellor, or mental health professional. Therefore, I do not provide medical advice (although I may recommend that you seek guidance from a medical professional if appropriate) or a therapy service.

Sex & Relationships Education is a separate field to these professions, and I employ my own unique approach based on my qualifications, training, and experience. I hold an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters degree in Health Promotion. I have over six years experience working as a Sex & Relationships Educator and have undergone continuous professional development and training. I also studied empathy education as a UNESCO scholar, which informs my approach. Details of my qualifications and training are available on my LinkedIn page – please see the ‘About’ page also!

Within a session, I offer a confidential and safe space for discussion of various issues relating to relationships and sexuality. I strive for a relaxed, informal vibe, where you can chat about something that you have been struggling with. I can offer a friendly and non-judgemental listening ear, suggestions on how you can approach your own personal situation, general information on the related topic(s) and details of relevant professionals, support services and organisations (usually in a follow-up email). I can accommodate sessions relating to many topics relating to relationships and sexuality – including but not limited to body image, sexual communication, consent and boundaries, protection, anatomy, vaginismus, porn, STIs and STI stigma, healthy and unhealthy relationships, gender and sexuality, pleasure, arousal, desire, infidelity, break-ups, dating, and more.  I want my clients to feel relaxed, comfortable, and free to talk without fear or shame, like they would with a very close friend!

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ServiceDurationCost
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Please note that the session must be paid for in full at least 24 hours prior to the session, using the payment method and details I will provide to you in an email. If you do not have PayPal, we can arrange another form of payment (Revolut or bank transfer – please factor in the extra time it will take you to set up an account if needed or the possible delay in bank transfers, this may slightly affect the scheduling of your session).

Due to the nature of this service, I cannot offer any refunds for any reason during or after a session.

However, if you have paid and can no longer attend the scheduled session, I can offer you a full refund if you notify me of the cancellation at least 48 hours beforehand. If you wish to reschedule, please notify me at least 48 hours before the time of the scheduled session, and we can work something out!

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Imay choose not to do a session with you if I feel that I am unable to offer support or education relating to your situation. I will contact you to let you know if I have decided that my service is not a good fit for you, and I will offer some suggestions regarding more suitable professionals/organisations/services to contact.

Although we may chat about lots of different things during a session, if someone has clearly not been truthful in the booking form about the topic area that want to discuss and appear to have an ulterior motive in booking the session, I may choose to end the session. The same rule applies to a situation where someone is clearly not who they have stated they are in the booking form. 

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Y

es! Confidentiality is essential to a service like this and I will do everything in my power on my end to protect it.

Here is what I will do on my end; I will abide by GDPR guidelines and make every effort to keep all personal information relating to sessions safe. Booking requests and emails with a form attached/included will be retained for no more than 1 year. The form may be printed, and I may take notes before, during and after the session either by hand or typed. Forms, notes, and USB key will all be stored in a locked file safe in my home office. All forms and notes (hard and soft copies) will be deleted and/or destroyed after one year.  I will send you a Zoom Meeting ID and password before the session using the email address you have given me. I will use headphones and will be alone in a private space during all sessions. All  records of calls and video calls will be deleted after one year.

Please be mindful of what you choose to share within the session. I have an obligation to break confidentiality and report to Tusla and/or the Gardaí any disclosures of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and other crimes.

Here is what you must do on your end! You must not screenshot, record and/or distribute any part of your session. It is also your responsibility to protect your privacy as much as you like on your end. This may include keeping your phone password-protected, using a non-identifiable email address that does not include your name, deleting correspondence, making sure you have a private space for your session where you will not be interrupted or overheard, etc.

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