I stayed with my husband for so long because he was a bit of a caretaker. I chose him because he was the person I needed to nurture and nourish me. My parents didn’t set any boundaries with me when I was a kid. They didn’t teach me how to stick up for myself and say no because they said yes to everything. They said yes to a tattoo at 15, said yes if I said I didn’t want to go to school. It seemed great, but it was a disturbing boundarylessness. And then if something went wrong, I’d fall into a crazy state of despair. I didn’t have a backbone. At university, I struggled with the workload so I just stopped doing the work. This eventually led to a nervous breakdown.
After I split from my husband of nine years, I went into hibernation. My niece would visit and say, “Auntie Jocelyn, why are you so sleepy?” I knew I needed to do something.
When I had my first OM, it didn’t feel sexual in the way I thought it would. The container gave a clear, defined boundary; my vigilance dropped. There was no sense of pressure to have it go a certain way or to do it again with the same person.
In my first couple of OMs, I wasn’t able to give any adjustments. It was as if my voice was frozen. But that cleared quickly and then I could give direction. This helped me learn to ask for what it is that I want and not worry whether that’s a good or bad thing for the other person.
I very soon had a greater sense of confidence and belief in myself. There was a sense of expression everywhere. In a meeting at work, if someone cut in, I’d say, “Actually, this is what I meant.” And we’d clear it up rather than them thinking I’d said something that I hadn’t said at all.
The feelings I get in some of my OMs translate into how I deal with life when it’s not running smoothly. In the same way, when things happen that would have upset me before or I’d have tried to resist them, I now lean in. I give myself approval to feel the upset and it passes more quickly than I thought it would. It flows through me and it doesn’t get stuck as it does when I try to block it or squash it down.