Are you grieving the loss of the original woman you once were who you may have sacrificed to goals you did not really want or were forced to give up in order to survive in the world? The fact that you can feel at all is evidence that she is still alive within you for she is the part of you who feels.
I had a shocking moment a few years ago, which I still process daily, when I read in the work of Alice Miller that all children in our society are abused. The reason, she says, is because the structure, patterns and climate of our culture are inherently destructive, negligent and insensitive to the needs of defenseless growing young people.
As much as a deep intuitive sense has been calling you in the direction of increased devotion to erotic and creative experience, there have been many other factors that have been getting in the way. It’s fair enough to wonder: does it always need to be this hard? I suggest, however, that you not let any adversity or lack of success keep you from trying, and from persisting in your experiments.
You are close to cutting yet another thread that has bound you to your past, in particular your parents and their perception of you. As anyone who has done more than three therapy sessions knows, our loyalty to our parents — in particular, to their perception of who we are — is one of the greatest impediments to fulfillment that exists.
True confidence comes from the inside. It’s also a misunderstood concept, taken to mean certainty or cockiness. It’s no such thing. Confidence means ‘with fidelity’, which is another way of saying with faith, or with trust. Seen that way, it’s based in uncertainty rather than a sense of knowing, but that can lead to a sublime kind of boldness.
There is an exchange going on, but more is being exchanged than you think. How might you get a sense of what that is? Look at your art, writing, erotic play or other creative outflow and see what clues you can get. On one level, you may feel like you’re on an entirely inner journey that can lead only to the center of your being.