Who the heck is Nicole anyway? In this episode I share a very brief history of who I am, what I’ve been through and what I hope to accomplish here with this podcast. My story contains everything from battling mental health issues, trauma, alcoholism, trying to become an actor, dating in Los Angeles, Polyamory and so much more! If that’s not enough to entice you to have a listen, I don’t know what will. Follow along on my journey as I chronicle my journey on Girl Versus World! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode! New episodes every Wednesday at 12pm PST!
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Hello, everybody, welcome to the very first episode of the girl versus world podcast. Gosh, I have been trying to put something together, talking about doing a podcast and coming up with probably a million reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t or didn’t have the time, or whatever excuse I was giving myself. But here I am, I have making the first episode. And I hope that with making this podcast that my goal here is to share my experiences and the stories of others and resources and just kind of put this out there in an effort to help.
My biggest struggle in life was feeling alone, like I was the only person going through something. And, you know, I had friends and I had family, but I never really heard people going through the things that I was going through. And I just felt so utterly alone. Like I had nobody to talk to or that people wouldn’t understand. And they would, you know, I’d feel ashamed or like, I just couldn’t imagine that people live these lives that were similar to mine. And what I ended up finding out about the world is that there are people out there that have gone through the same thing as you. And finding those people and finding a sense of comfort and home in not being the only one and feeling like you’re so alone. Like that made all the difference in the world to me. Once I found my people, my tribe, my you know, even if I didn’t talk to people that found, if someone else was going through it, I knew I could get through it too. And I hope with the stories that I share on this podcast that it helps you feel less alone.
A little bit about me. I, I have seen some stuff, let me tell you where to begin. I had a good childhood, I had both my parents in my life, had four amazing brothers, a great mother, a great father some great step parents too. And my life was very full of family and people where my life started to take a turn was once I became a teenager, like any teenager, I was trying to figure stuff out on my own and I thought I knew better and my feelings got hurt a lot. And I was awkward and flat chested and got teased a lot for, for not looking as feminine. You know, I was the girl in the hoodie with the ponytail. And you know, I was a good kid. But like I got teased a lot, especially by boys because I didn’t have breasts basically. And I had, I guess what people would call a big forehead. So like I got teased about those things constantly.
So my self esteem was very low. I had boys who you know, called me a slot even though I did nothing with them. You know, I tried today, but it was like all of it was so difficult. And I ended up turning to youth group and church and kind of just like, dove into that. I was going to church like three times a week at lunch at school. Instead of hanging out with the kids. I was in hanging with a couple of the Bible club kids in a classroom like that was the safe area. And so instead of being like the party girl and being you know what I thought was the cool kids like I definitely isolated myself and had a very small group of friends.
So I mostly just hung out at church and that didn’t really save me from meeting the bad boys because that is where I met and eventually fell in love with my future husband, which sounds like a romantic idea marrying her high school sweetheart. But that relationship ended up being one of the biggest challenges of my life. I I find it hard to tell stories about the relationship because even I have a hard time believing what this particular individual put me through. And what I was willing to accept as a normal marriage at the time. So I was married from I think we got married around 2021 and 20 to 21 years old, not the year. And I got divorced by the time I was 25. Because I literally couldn’t take it any more like, the abuse was so bad.
I was just this dying star of a human, who was afraid, who didn’t know who she was, didn’t know where she was going. And I was so beaten down that I just didn’t feel like I could go on, there was a lot of feeling suicidal and feeling hopeless and feeling alone, because I couldn’t tell people what I was going through, I was so ashamed that I had gotten myself in this situation in this marriage with this person who just treated me like garbage. like as if I didn’t matter, as if his life were way more important than my own. And I was simply there to please Him. And I guess piss him off all the time with anything I did from breathing too loud to looking too good as like, I literally would get in trouble for everything, just existing and waking up, I would be in trouble and walking on eggshells every day of my life. And that is how I spent my late teens through early 20s.
I lived every day in a sense of fear, fear that I couldn’t go on another day fear that my husband would hurt me again and again, fear that if I left that my family and loved ones would be hurt. If I left I would be murdered, like this was really serious stuff. And it was a heavy heavy burden to carry for so many years, that when I finally left, I was I was just this blob of a person, like I didn’t have a sense of self. Looking back at it. Now I had no sense of self, I was looking for a reason to be, a reason to continue to go on.
And I would latch on to anything that I found. And for me, I jumped directly into another relationship because I had always identified as someone’s partner. So that role felt good to me that felt like the safe place to be. So I jumped into a relationship. And fortunately, that relationship was very nurturing and caring. And this guy didn’t abuse me like my ex husband did. But I didn’t have an identity or a sense of self to be able to give back in that relationship. So I’m spending the next four years running away from the trauma that I experienced. Learning how to make friends again, learning how to how to be a part of society because I had been so sheltered and held back and beaten down for so long that I turned to the party life like it was great because then I didn’t have to think about all the crap that had happened to me, I could just I could party I can make new friends. And I had this awesome new boyfriend. And that was fantastic. Like I reveled in that for a good four years.
And then it all started catching up with me. I started feeling the weight of like, all of those years of abuse and not having a self identity. And internally myself kind of like fighting against this new identity that I was creating. Like I had become this thin, attractive blonde bombshell type girl living in Orange County and feeling like a Barbie doll and being dressed up with you know expensive clothes and living near the beach and having this persona of like this perfect Barbie doll kind of girl. When inside like I wasn’t that at all. So every day I’m putting on this persona putting on this persona and part of me inside is just Like this teenage girl who is just pretending so she could be cool, and very much felt that way. So here I am and what I can only describe as like a second adolescence trying to figure stuff out. And I’m putting on this persona that’s just eating away at me. Like, I don’t feel like me. It’s definitely better than what I was and what I was going through when I was married, but it still wasn’t me.
So at the end of like, this partying and having this this orange county type of lifestyle, there was still a part of me that was like, What are you doing, and still trying to hide and not deal with everything that had happened up to that point. And I started to break down. So my alcoholism, which I’m about to go into, as soon as I leave this relationship and move to LA, my drinking problem becomes a huge problem. So I’m like ignoring all this stuff, putting on this persona. And now I’m drinking. And when I’m when I’m drinking, I’m not just like having a couple of drinks, we’re talking about drinking until blackout, and then having these meltdowns. And I didn’t even realize I was having the meltdowns because obviously, I’m like, this blacked out person who doesn’t remember anything, but people are telling me after the fact, and I’m doing things and saying things that I don’t remember or don’t think I would do as a sober person. And this becomes a trend where like, as soon as I have alcohol, I want to like have all the alcohol. And I want to have all the fun. And I want to not think about all the crap. And this is my outlet.
So I ended up leaving that relationship. We’re together for four years, we live together. And he and I are still friends, like the bond was there. But I just was not in a place where AI could, I should have been in a relationship because I had so much self work to do, but also just like needing to get out and figure the life out for myself, right? So I leave, and I decide, I’m going to move to LA. And I had been taking these acting classes and I’m like, Okay, I’ll move to LA. And I’ll become an actor, because that’s what I did in high school. I was an actor, even before then I sang I was in choir, I was very musical. I played bass guitar from middle school through high school I played in the church band.
And so I’m like, this is what I need to do. This is what feeds my soul. This is what I did, before I was abused. And before all that trauma, I was very musically inclined, and I love to act and I love to be on stage. So that’s what I did. I moved to LA to rediscover that part of myself. In doing that, I ended up landing. Because I don’t have a lot of money. I end up landing myself in this house with 30 people. Yes, the first time I move out on my own, I move in with 30 people to say that this was a unique experiment experience is an understatement. 30, roommates, male and female living in bunk beds, like it’s basically a 24 seven party, like someone’s always up, someone’s always either drinking or doing drugs, or like doing something.
So everything’s available and like, I’m basically the mentality of a teenager. And so I feel free and I want to get in trouble. And I want to make bad choices. And I want to date and I want to I want to experiment and I want to do all these things. But I’m 29 years old, like so here I am thrown into this house, like drinking all the time partying all the time, auditioning getting rejected, which I’m not dealing with, well, because obviously I already went into this with very low self esteem. And now I am putting myself in a situation where people are basically judging me and telling me No. So now all of this is mounting, right? Like, I’m trying this new career. I don’t have any money. Like I’m broke all the time. I’m even at some point, admittedly ashamed of this, but I was going on date so that I could eat like, this is a real thing. It happened I did it. I’m sorry to those people that I dated at the time, but I was I had to survive.
And you know, that led me to using dating apps. I I had not dated as an adult, except for the two people. One was my husband. One was the next relationship. So dating was this crazy new thing. And I was, you know, getting ghosted, and going on dates and sleeping with people and them never calling me back. And it was this whole crazy experience. And again, I’m still not dealing with the trauma and abuse from my relationship. I’m just stuffing it down, drinking, partying, dating more people getting, getting the attention that I want, experimenting with all these different things, and ignoring the problem.
So finally, I get out of get out of this living situation, I move on my own. And I’m acting waitressing. bartending, and suddenly, it’s like, three years of my life just slips away. Because that becomes my life is bartending, and drinking, and partying and not really accomplishing much like, for a good three years, I’m just drinking myself stupid. And it’s incredible to me that I survived the things that I did that Uber drivers got me home, somehow that friends took care of me that I wasn’t robbed, or, or anything like that, while I was in those states of mind, like somehow I got home. Now I’ve got plenty of terrible stories of things that did happen, but I am alive. And that’s a miracle to me. Because there are a lot of instances where so much could have gone wrong. So much could have gone wrong. And yet they didn’t, you know, and I survived. So you go through three years of that. I’m still not going to therapy, or dealing with anything, but I decided to try some different lifestyles, because maybe if I put on a different persona, I’ll find the one that fits me. And then I still won’t have to deal with all the crap, right? Like, in my head, I’m thinking, I’m really just trying to find myself and I just haven’t found it yet.
Little did I know that I’m really just looking at the bottom of a bottle. But I think mentally if I keep trying new things, and I’m making progress. So I get turned on to two different types of lifestyles. One is polyamory before moving to LA, no clue what that was. I knew what polygamy was because there was a, a show called Big Love that, you know, featured this man with several wives. And I’m like, well, that’s silly. But then I learned about polyamory. And in my brain, at the time, I’m thinking, this sounds amazing. I can have multiple partners. And it’s kind of like this open, free love kind of, you know, different kind of people, maybe maybe these are my people. So I’d start dating polyamorously, I have, you know, three boyfriends. And they all know about each other.
You know, like, one of my prized possessions is this photo where I have all three boyfriends at my birthday party, and everyone’s happy. And we’re figuring this out. underneath the surface, of course, I’m still, you know, polyamory, for me, is a good hiding place. Because people don’t have to see all the parts of me. You know, when one person get got too close to me, they would eventually find out that I had a drinking problem that I had all this trauma, and I wasn’t doing anything about it. And decent people would see that and be like, you need help. And once they said that, I’m like, clearly you need to get out of my life, you know, like, in my brain at a time. I’m like, I’m not an alcoholic.
Please leave me alone. Like you don’t understand what I’ve been through. So now I’m using my trauma as an excuse for my alcoholism, and pushing people away once they got too close. So with polyamory, I was able to like compartmentalize many parts of myself and hide those parts that I didn’t want them to see. Because now I’m spacing out my week, you know, with different partners doing different things. And not all of the focus is on me all of the time, because they also have other partners. So it takes a lot longer to see that I am a struggling alcoholic. Of course, eventually find out and each partner comes to me with the Hey, I think you have a drinking problem or Hey, maybe you should drink a little less I’m, I’m, I pretend to be okay with that. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, maybe I should cut back a little bit or I pretend to cut back or whatever, because I didn’t think it was a problem.
But I was screwing things up royally, like sneaking drinks, hiding bottles, like the classic signs of real true alcoholism. I was doing all of those things like quitting different types of alcoholic, I won’t drink hard liquor. I won’t drink beer, I’ll only drink wine, you know, like, trying all these different things except quitting, because quitting was hard. And I didn’t want to do it. And I wasn’t an alcoholic. So why do I need to quit? That’s that was my mindset then.
So I’m exploring polyamory. It’s falling apart. And it’s not because of it being polyamory that it’s falling apart because of me. Like it, it starts to become more and more clear to me, the more things I try and the more things I explore that the problem is me. Like being in those relationships. And being in that circle really makes you look at yourself, because you have to deal with jealousies, you have to deal with insecurities. And much of that is internal work.
And so I’m grateful to my polyamorous partners at the time, because they, they really helped me grow in that respect, even if I didn’t handle the relationship appropriately. And I’ve made amends and apologize. And some partners, I’ll never get to apologize to, or make amends for because we don’t talk but I’m grateful to them for even though even the ones that were like calling me out on being an alcoholic, I’m very grateful for that knowledge. And for their ability to do that the conversations that I had, in those relationships were so monumental and important. It is an interesting thing to be sitting across from your boyfriend’s girlfriend, talking about your boyfriend with them. Right? Like, it’s, it’s crazy to have these conversations. And sometimes you’re having conversations with them about jealousy, or having a good front some of your demons, you know, it was very wild, a very, very wild thing to kind of expose myself to in that point in my life.
And then also on the other side, I was starting to explore, kind of like, the BDSM world. And while I won’t get into a bunch of that now, in this introductory episode, I’m definitely going to get into it in future, future podcasts. But it allowed me to explore a side of my sexuality that I had been super ashamed of, like, leading up to this point in my life, like, sex was a very shameful thing. I grew up very religious. And a lot of the reasons why I ended up in the marriage that I was in was because I had had premarital sex. And that was such a sin, and I knew I had to marry that person, because I, the the church would shun me, and then what would happen, you know, and so I did marry that person, and it didn’t work out. And, you know, as I’ve told him, in my story, it’s it was very different kind of thinking, I had such limited knowledge at the age that I made those decisions.
So I was able to kind of reclaim a lot of my confidence and my sexuality by exploring both polyamory and BDSM. And also realizing that, you know, I am, you know, I had always identified as straight. I definitely am not straight. Like, I, I thought I was bisexual for a while. And then I realized I’m like, I’m pansexual, I am attracted to people’s souls, like, it doesn’t really their gender doesn’t really play that big of a role for me, like, I am attracted to the person and it doesn’t matter what parts they have or how they identify, I’m attracted to like their soul.
And so being in that lifestyle and being exposed to different genders and sexualities, and lifestyles, I was able to kind of hone that about myself and go, Oh, there’s there was less shame. I felt so shameful for identifying as anything other than straight because of my religious upbringing. There was a lot of guilt with that. And so, you know, that part of my journey was was monumental.
So I’m still you know, Deep into my alcoholism, but I’m exploring sides of my sexuality and my relationships and trying to make sense of everything and a lot of growth is happening. But I’m still suffering so much internally, because most of what’s happening is going on inside of my head, and I’m isolating myself and I’m drinking to medicate. Once my feelings and everything that’s inside of me comes to comes to the surface, then I was pushing it down with alcohol, and it didn’t matter, you know, how loved I felt or adored, or how safe I was, or if I was making enough money or not making enough money, I was just such a mess on the inside, that I couldn’t reconcile it.
So finally, you know, I, I get to this point where, you know, I have my last night drinking, and I cannot do it anymore. I wake up that morning, and I know in the deepest part of my soul that if I don’t stop what I’m doing, I’m gonna die. I’m lucky I didn’t die that night, and I will tell that story on a future podcast. But I am lucky to be alive. And I woke up that morning, scared to death, not knowing what the hell I was gonna do. But I knew that I couldn’t pick up a bottle ever again.
And that was February 19, of 2019. I knew this was the day I had to make some radical choices for myself. I called a friend who I knew was in the AIA program. And I’m like, I can’t do this anymore. I’m out of control. I thought I had this, I thought I wasn’t an alcoholic, I thought I would be fine. But I’m not, then I can’t do it anymore. And that was a step in the right direction for me. I felt so alone. And once I started to open up and talk about what was happening inside my mind and inside my body, people understood, I felt understood. And that began my journey to recovery, not only from alcoholism, but my recovery from my trauma from everything that had happened to me. And from that point forward, I started my blog, Girl Versus World. And I started blogging about what I was going through. And to my surprise, people were reaching out to me and saying Me too. I also go through stuff like that, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe you’ve gone through this too. Or I’m here and I support you. And I understand. And I was dumbfounded. I was like how is it possible that I’ve lived to at 33 years old at the time? How have I lived this long and lived feeling so alone when all I had to do was talk. That’s all I had to do was just open my mouth and let the words pour out to use these fingertips and type out a story.
My whole life had always written in journals, and I had stopped doing everything I cared about when my relationship and my marriage was so difficult. I that part of me, like, just shut down. And as soon as I opened it back up, I started writing poetry again. I started playing music again. I started singing, I started acting. And more importantly, I started writing again, writing has always been my solution to pretty much everything that that was going on in my life. And I had stopped doing it.
So I started this blog, because I knew I knew if I started the blog and held myself accountable publicly, that my pride and my ego wouldn’t allow me to go back on it. So now two years later, I have two years worth of content that I’ve written, I have half a book that I’ve started to compose, and it all just keeps flowing out of me and the person I am today is so much lighter, and it’s figuring her life out. And I’m still not this perfect person and I will never claim to be I still make mistakes. And I’m still on this journey trying to figure stuff out. But it has been leaps and bounds of difference.
I got sober. I started going to therapy and working through all of the stuff like working through those deep things that I’ve been carrying with me that were weighing me down, and all of the writing I’ve been able to do and sharing with others. And speaking in meetings and, you know, going and doing speaking engagements and pushing myself to just let it out. And to find out that there’s people out there who are hungry for this information, and can relate to me, it has been the biggest blessing of my life. Like, I no longer feel alone in this world for so long.
For most of my adult life, I felt like I was just this girl versus the world and nobody understood. But that was couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually wasn’t alone, I was creating the sense of alone by keeping my mouth shut. So my goal with this podcast, with my blog, with anything that I’m creating, is to put the information out there. Because that, that at the end of the day, is what helped me survive and thrive. It helped me stay sober, maybe you don’t have a drinking problem, but you have other things in your life that you’re just holding in and feeling like you’re gonna explode any day. I can relate to that. You know, you are not alone.
I’ve been suicidal. I’ve been at my breaking point. So many times, I have found myself in horrible situations. I’ve been raped, I’ve been used. I’ve been a list of things that I have gone through and this life that I’ve survived. And now I talk about in order to thrive. And not everybody wants to share their stuff to the world. And that is totally okay. But for me, in my heart, I felt a calling the day that I decided to get sober the day I decided to start girl versus world, the blog. I knew I needed to talk it out. And I hope that doing all of this talking and sharing and starting conversations somehow makes a difference in the life of the person sitting and listening to this.
Maybe it’s a start to make people feel less alone, to make people feel like they’re understood, or they have a place to come and talk and comment. For me, the blog is available for you to reach out and comment. If you have questions, I’d happily do podcasts, I’m going to be putting together a forum where people can apply to be on the show and I will happily talk with you and share your story and your successes and, and give a hopeful message. I’m not a professional, I’m not a doctor, I don’t have any degrees in any of this, I am just a girl who has figured some stuff out, is still continually learning new things. And someone who’s open and willing to share what I’ve been through with the world. For me, I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of the things that I’ve gone through. They suck. And, uh, you know, they might make people uncomfortable as well.
But I’m here to provide help. And like I said, I’m not a psychiatrist or a therapist. I don’t have any formal training in this in this type of stuff. But I’m just a human. And I believe that as humans and as individuals, we have the power to do great things. And that’s what I hope to do with this podcast is to share stories of inspiration and hope and maybe just make some people feel a little less alone in the world.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai