A Brief History of My Time in the Land of Women

Since I wrote a few sentences in my journal about this at least 25 minutes ago, I've been avoiding putting it all out there.

I've told many facets of my story in many instances through the years, and yet this feels REALLY deeply fucking uncomfortable and confronting and sickening to think to write out.

Logically I feel like it's not even a big deal, but somatically it feels extreme.

I know, you're ready for me to just get to the point.

OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.

I don't even know what the thesis statement is... But I want to share my experiences with women. This is for me, a cleansing of the mind and an exploration of how I can bring to our online business sorority exactly what I want to see here.

Women were my safe zone. My launching pad. My family experiences were largely centered around the women in the family: my mom, Grammy, and aunts. I have a sister.

At some point it felt like us against the world, though I tended to fight with my sister. The P------/G--------/LaFevre women against others.

Then I went to an all-girls high school.

Totally my choice.

I was aware enough of myself to realize that 8th grade was largely one boy-shaped distraction after another, and if I was going to reach my dreams of NYU, I'd need to be FOCUSED.

Mission: Eliminate. All. Distractions.

FUCK me. If that wasn't misguided thinking.

You cannot avoid distractions, especially when that's what you're trying to do.

Though I had majorly limited 'access' to boys when I attended an all-girls high school, they were still at the center of most of my distractions through high school.

But girls were integral to the drama too.

I was stalking the Rita's Water Ice boy all summer before Freshman year, and then depressed all winter as I daydreamed of a fateful union that following summer. There was drama there, involving a girl I'd known since first grade through Girl Scouts.

Then there was the guy who I found stalking a friend's MySpace social circle. She introduced us and he and I 'talked' which was a SERIOUS step for me at the time and we had a first date at the mall where we held hands. Soon after, he was chatting up another girl, another classmate. And then for weeks (if not months) she and I were at each other's throats.

I mean, not quite that physically because girls are much more sneaky and underhanded than that most of the time, right? At least that was my experience.

I'll probably never forget -- and have done memory work with Jen Cincurak (she's a pro, get at her) -- on the time when I was at my locker and heard this girl call me a fat cow, and say something about wanting to tip the cow (me).

OK, I'm actually feeling really near to tears as I write that last paragraph.

The girl who made those remarks is now a woman and a mother and I do NOT hold it against her. Please know I do not make these situations say that the girls and women I've had 'trouble' with were ever bad people. I believe we're all good people.

These are just situations for which I was an energetic match and which perpetuated beliefs I had about the dynamics between boys and girls, and particularly between skinny girls and girls of my size (I've always been fairly tall with fat on my bones). Nobody is to blame.

OK.... So... Then there was the best friend in junior year who ditched me the following summer because I did not like clubbing and who then in senior year started dating my ex of 9 fateful days. (hahaha I KNOW how silly that is now that I've been with a man, my partner, for over 7 years.) And as she made her nervous admission to me that they were seeing each other, I said the thing which I knew could make her as uncomfortable as I felt: "Oh, so it's like you and I have kissed since I kissed him first!" (Sorry, woman. You know who you are.)

So many of these situations happened because boys felt like such a LIMITED resource to me at the time.

From ALL of these things and surely other situations that don't spring immediately to mind, I created the story that girls -- females -- weren't safe.

I carried this story to college where my roommate was a cold and distant bitch. (My label for her at the time.) I wanted badly to be part of her circle initially and that did not happen/sustain.

With the distance of me living on campus for my freshman year of college, my sister and I were the closest we've ever been. I honestly deeply miss that time of our sisterhood. Truthfully, we do not speak now, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, and it saddens me, but I also don't feel safe to connect with her now.

I do wish that would change and I'm open to the guidance that would show me my part in reconciling.

(This is where I'm REALLY risking it all. I can only guess this will be shared back to her. That feels incredibly scary to me. I love you, sister, deeply and possibly in ways you can't imagine.)

My relationship to women seemed to get worse when my parents divorced. It's a whole 'nother story for another time, but I haven't spoken to my mom in 4 years. I have felt safer to stay away.

ARGH. I'm annoyed. I feel like there's more here to tell you but also, not necessary, and also like surely it will get back to my mother and I'll have to deal with that psychic connection/cord/bullshit.

WHY DO I HAVE TO SHARE ALL THIS SHIT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY BUSINESS?

BECAUSE IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT.
BECAUSE GET OVER YOURSELF.
BECAUSE FUCK WHOEVER DOESN'T LIKE IT.
BECAUSE THIS IS FOR YOU, ROSELLA.
BECAUSE YOU GET TO DO THIS.
BECAUSE EXPRESSING YOURSELF IS THE FUCKING POINT OF YOUR BUSINESS.

OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.
OK.

So I've had all of these WOUNDS.

Women wounds.
Woman wounds.

And this shit all comes up, subconsciously, when I see the way some people behave within the world of women doing business on the internet.

I've witnessed enough witch hunts recently.

And the response is this funny little thought process, like a little tick, that comes up when I feel slightly unsafe on the internet. The thoughts kind of go like, "Get in good with her. If you're more ingrained, if you're in with this crowd, you'll be safe."

Funny.
And annoying.
And fuck me that's not cool.

In SO many ways, I've let go of the "I'm not safe" narrative.

This is the area/topic/actual space where I haven't yet.

There's a part of me that refers to the program of "I'm not safe around other women" when I'm in these Facebook groups for women entrepreneurs.

This is where I hold myself back.

I even fully tense up when I speak my mind in a group and, say, call a woman out on complaining about how one woman hosts her Facebook group. I find myself repeating, "You get to be the change you want to see."

And so, please, bear with me as I do that very thing. As I release this old programming and get to feeling safe in this space that I very much, very actively seek to be part of. And have actually been a part of. Even though I've always kind of felt like an outsider. And I get that that is a choice and I can stop making that choice.

...I've said what I think I needed to say.

——

I'd love to know what resonates for you. Do you feel safe in the online business sorority or is that something you get to work on just like me?

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