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There are Many Shades of Black

Puerto Viejo

 

Sometimes shifting your perspective shifts everything. That’s a lesson I learn again and again on the road.

 

Punta Uva

 

After more than a year away, in VietnamThailand, IndonesiaCambodia, Laos, the USA, and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, I returned to Puerto Viejo. And as happy as I am to be here, it tastes bittersweet.

 

It tastes bittersweet for the same reason it always tastes bittersweet.

 

Him.

My Puerto Viejo mistake.

 

Puerto Viejo

 

I doubt I’ve ever admitted this to even my best friend, but I think I fell in love with Puerto Viejo because I first fell in love with him.

 

It’s hard to remember what that was like. These days I plan my visits around when I know he won’t be here. When I know I won’t run into him on the street or have to dodge his gaze from across the bar or wonder if he’ll ignore me, hit on me, or hit on one of my friends. When I won’t have to worry about how I look every time I walk out the door because I want him to suffer over how amazing I am.

 

Puerto Viejo

 

But sometimes we’re both here at the same time. And every single time it’s hard.

 

I avoid the bars like the plague, knowing I’ll run into him. I feel compelled to go to the bars, knowing I’ll run into him. When I am at the bars I feel unable to enjoy or relax because I’m wondering if I will run into him.

 

And this time, it’s even harder. Because after what happened in Cambodia, I’m pretty sure he hates me.

 

Cocles

 

I wish that I didn’t care. I wish that after more than two years I could just get over it. I wish that I could let it go and be light. But when I see him I still feel so many things.

 

I feel stunned that I get the same butterflies that I felt the first night we met. I feel hurt that he never fell for me as fully as I fell for him. I feel angry that by deceiving me he destroyed my faith in men and relationships. I feel naïve that I ever trusted him. I feel disgusted that he continues to do to other women what he did to me. I feel embarrassed that despite how much I hate him I still want him. I feel confused that on some level, I love him. I feel pathetic that I give such power to someone who I doubt even thinks about me at all.

 

Many Shades of Black - 06

 

These feelings I have towards him influence my attitude toward every man in this town.

 

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen them treat women with as much consideration as a dog might offer a bush. To me they are liars, cheaters, and losers, spreading their seed across every Western country on the globe without ever leaving home. To put it bluntly, I think they’re scum. I don’t conceal this sentiment well.

 

But today, something shifted.

 

Puerto Viejo

 

This morning our house lost all power because the gardeners accidentally tore the wires down while doing yardwork. This type of thing happens quite often in Costa Rica. I knew it would take at least a day to fix, so I walked down to the main road to have breakfast and the use the wifi at a nearby café. I found myself simultaneously disinterested in eating at this café and deeply compelled to go. I was unsure why, but I decided to follow the mystery.

 

Sure enough the café had power, but their wifi was not working. I guess I wouldn’t be working either. Pura vida. What was it that compelled me to come here I wondered.

 

Punta Uva

 

Soon after I arrived my friend Thomas, an expat from the states, popped in to refill his coffee. His car was still running and his companion, a local man I had never met before, went to use the restroom. Thomas and I started chatting and when his friend emerged, he introduced us. The man’s name was Erik, a land developer born and raised in the South Caribbean.

 

I asked what they were up to and the next thing I knew we were entrenched in conversation. This is one reason why it’s so difficult to ever get any work done in Puerto Viejo. The car had been running long enough that Thomas went to turn off the engine. We discussed development and sustainable tourism, the interactions between tourists and locals, and finally we landed on my touchiest subject: the men in Puerto Viejo.

 

Puerto Viejo

 

I spoke candidly on how they manipulate women into falling in love with them. I’ve witnessed tourist chasing all over the world, from Morocco to Cambodia to Panama to Indonesia, but in Puerto Viejo, it’s on another level.

 

I’m not the only one who recognizes this.

 

Anthropology Professor at the University of Manitoba, Susan Frohlik, has written at length on the pattern of European and North American women relocating to Puerto Viejo after falling in love with local men. In her research, these women describe feeling trapped in their addictive relationships with unfaithful, controlling men, even impoverishing themselves by choosing to stay. I’ve witnessed and heard this story in Puerto Viejo so many times.

 

Punta Uva

 

Erik posed a question, “Have you considered that perhaps these men are actually the victims? That the women come here to use them?”

I had of course considered it.

 

Punta Uva

 

In Frohlik’s research she not only examines the impact of the local men on the tourists, but also the effects of tourism on the local men. Due to the influx in foreigners from all over the world, locals have been confronted with varying expressions of sexuality at an extremely young age, despite their traditional Catholic education and moral code. Women walk around in next to nothing, couples make out openly in bars, and I even heard two Australian girls say that they came to Puerto Viejo to get “stretched out.” Ew.

 

Perhaps Puerto Viejo is for Western women what Chiang Mai is for Western men. A place to receive validation from the attention and affection of someone far better looking than you think you deserve. The Caribbean Latinos prostitute themselves for a long weekend with deep-pocketed blondes like the stiletto wearing Thai Ladyboys hang on the arms of balding men.

 

Puerto Viejo

 

While I have heard rumors of men having sex with tourists and then robbing them, more commonly I witness men allowing their wives and girlfriends to financially support them. And to be fair, typically I see the Afro Caribbean men in relationships with young, beautiful, intelligent, women. So the stereotypical Caribbean Latino prostitute is, in my experience, a less common occurrence in Puerto Viejo than the smooth talking Lothario who can get any woman he wants to do whatever he wants.

 

Cocles

 

When I first arrived in Puerto Viejo, I was warned about this. But the guy I fell for seemed so different. He owned a business, had traveled, and spoke three languages fluently. He treated me to dinner, gave me rides in his car, and brought gifts to my house. One night, after spending all of his cash out at the bar, he refused to let me pay $2 for street food, insisting on returning home and getting more cash first. “I’m not like these guys who let a woman pay for them,” he said.

 

Furthermore I hardly identified with the profile of a woman heading to the Caribbean for sex. Fresh out of an extremely challenging relationship romance was the last thing on my mind. In fact my relationship with this man was more emotional than physical. We spent more time in a hammock deep in conversation than we did in bed deep in passion. For my first weeks in Puerto Viejo, he was my best friend.

 

Punta Uva

 

Erik raised another possibility, “Maybe the men have had their hearts broken too. Maybe they fall in love with women who leave and never come back.”

 

Again, this idea was hardly novel to me. Many times I’ve spoken with women who believe that the hot and cold behavior of the men here comes from a fear of rejection. They never want to get attached because they know that everyone always leaves. Though that sounded more like something you’d see romanticized in an American Rom Com than a cultural reality. I wasn’t convinced.

 

Punta Uva

 

I recall sitting on the beach in Punta Uva with my hot and cold man, the day before I left him behind for Panama, listening to him tell me that he had never been in love. He said that he had no desire to ever fall in love. He went so far as to say that the moment he started to feel “too much” for a girl he cut things off. When I asked him why, he responded with simply, “I just don’t want to. I’ve seen my parents. I’ve seen how it is.”

 

Over the weeks proceeding he demonstrated this aversion in other ways. One minute he doted on me, the next he pulled away from me. He said things overwhelmingly committal then wouldn’t even commit to lunch. Even after I discovered he had an ex wife, two daughters, and a serious girlfriend, he still insisted that he had never been in love. But being afraid of getting hurt? I’m sorry but to me that seemed like such a line. I couldn’t buy into any of it.

 

Punta Uva

 

Sensing my apprehension, Erik told me a story.

About a girl he met years ago when he was young and still in University. Back then not many local girls lived in Puerto Viejo so it was common for men to exclusively date tourists. She was from Switzerland and they spent every day together in Puerto Viejo for six months. He fell crazy in love with her. Then, the time came, as it always does in Puerto Viejo, for her to leave. She had to finish her studies back in Switzerland, but she promised that she would come back and they would get married. But she never did come back. Most girls never came back.

 

“Going through that over and over again, why would these guys ever want to fall in love?” he asked.

 

Beach Break

 

Late for their meeting, Thomas and Erik grabbed their coffees, said goodbye, and went on their way, leaving me inexplicably affected by something so simple.

 

Hearing a genuine, firsthand, heartfelt account of emotional abandonment from a local man opened something within me. If this guy who had no agenda could confirm the truth in the words “I’m scared that I will get hurt because everyone always leaves,” why couldn’t I?

 

Playa Chiquita

 

I paid my bill, packed up my belongings and headed to the place where I knew I could ponder. I went to be alone on the beach.

 

Playa Chiquita

 

Sitting under the protection of an almond tree, I considered how for so long I’ve painted the man who I fell for in Puerto Viejo as my villain. I knew nothing of his life or his truth and by his deceit I became the victim. But what if, even just for a moment, I considered a reality different from that?

 

Playa Cocles

 

When I met him I told him that I didn’t want to get attached. I told him that I was leaving in a few weeks and didn’t plan to come back. I was fighting my own battle of allowing myself to be light and just have fun. Maybe I was looking for a fling and that’s what I invited into my life. Maybe I did feel validation that someone as attractive as him was interested in me. Maybe in the beginning, that’s all it was.

 

Many Shades of Black - 21

 

When it ended, I blamed him for making me want more. I blamed him for spending time with me, for being kind to me, for wanting to know me. I blamed him for not openly behaving like I was nothing more than a tourist fling. I blamed him for acting like he liked me.

 

But maybe he actually did.

 

Maybe despite all of the lies, and everything he concealed, he actually meant everything he said. Maybe he actually cared. Maybe he didn’t intend to fall for me, just like I didn’t intend to fall for him. And when I left, maybe he actually hurt.

 

Punta Uva

 

Maybe he didn’t tell me about the inconvenient details of his life because he wanted to keep me and he was scared of losing me. Maybe he didn’t tell me because he didn’t think it mattered considering the impermanence of our relationship. Maybe he felt justified in being unfaithful to his girlfriend, the mother of his child, because he felt hurt and abandoned by her. She left too, maybe to do what she thought best for herself and her daughter. Maybe this is how he responded, however selfishly, to his pain.

 

Playa Chiquita

 

Maybe I’ve felt validated in my anger and blame because of my cultural programming that inherently victimizes women and villainizes men. That automatically puts the adulterer into the box of wrong, I’m consistently told that I did nothing wrong and that he did everything wrong. But what if there was no wrong?

 

Maybe both of us were doing the best that we could with where we were and what we had. Maybe there’s more than white or black. Maybe there’s many shades of black.

 

Punta Uva

 

Maybe he has wounds and scars from life just like I do, just like you do. Maybe his feelings are just as deep and sincere as mine no matter the appearance of the layers of protection that he wears.

 

Punta Uva

 

And maybe it’s none of that. Maybe the why doesn’t even matter. Maybe I can simply decide what treatment I’m willing to accept from someone without judging him for not adhering to it. Maybe no matter how inconsiderately he behaved he deserves as much happiness as every single being on Earth.

 

In life sometimes we will get hurt and sometimes we will hurt others, and it doesn’t make us villains or victims. It makes us human. Maybe each of us is always doing the best that we can with who we are and what we have.

 

Punta Uva

 

I can continue to attach to a story that validates my anger and pain or can I choose something different. I can choose kindness. I can choose understanding. I can choose compassion. I can choose acceptance. I can choose release.

 

Punta Uva

 

As I lifted myself up off the sand and began to weave the jungle path home I heard myself say the words “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry for blaming you for all of my hurt and my pain.” “I’m sorry for blaming you instead of loving you.” “I’m sorry.” I said these words in my heart to every man who has ever touched me, hurt me, loved me.

 

Then I turned back and looked at myself. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m sorry for blaming you for all of my hurt and pain.” “I’m sorry for blaming you instead of loving you.” “I’m sorry,” I said.

 

Read more of my posts on Costa Rica here.

 


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Comments

  1. A brave + beautiful post Camille!

  2. Hauntingly beautiful and honest. Still following your journey.

  3. This is really beautiful. I love how you can express how I feel in words.

  4. This is one of the best posts I’ve read in months…

  5. What an amazing post!!! I too have shared many of those same feelings….and some still linger very heavily. I will be 8 puerto viejo in 9 days…visiting from San Diego. I hope to meet you on the mat. Pura Vida

  6. This is beautiful Camille. Have you ever heard of Hooponopono? This posts makes me think you might want to learn about those teachings.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoʻoponopono

    http://www.positive-living-now.com/four-simple-phrases-that-change-everything/

  7. Wow, puerto viejo holds a similar angst for me. This was written beautifully and brave. It does make one think… A lot. Thank you. BuddhafulBritt.com
    Lisa

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you Lisa, I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Puerto Viejo. Did you find Playa Chiquita to be kid friendly? As soon as you get out of town it’s a great place to be with family.

  8. Awesome post! It expresses exactly where I am in my life: torn between blaming a man I fiercely love for not loving me enough, and blaming myself for falling so hard…a 2nd time! When all I really need to do is forgive…him as well as myself. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone in the love experience. :-)

  9. Indeed a very brave post and one that I can identify with 100% on every level. It took me 10 long years to fully feel comfortable with the dynamics of romantic relationships in that town. It’s fascinating! And unless you been there and lived through it, it’s hard to really understand.

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you Katy. Yes, yes you put it perfectly. It’s inspring to hear that you’ve made peace with the way this town operates.

  10. Amen! beautifully written. I love this: “In life sometimes we will get hurt and sometimes we will hurt others, and it doesn’t make us villains or victims. It makes us human. Maybe each of us is always doing the best that we can with who we are and what we have.”

    oh so soulful
    xo

  11. This was such a heartbreakingly beautiful post to read. I feel for you so much, and I know that compassion can be such a difficult road. It will get better, I promise. It sounds like it already is.

  12. Camille! So honest and heartfelt! Thank you for opening up and telling your truth. Love you! E

  13. Very courageous to post such a personal experience, I really enjoyed reading it, very interesting. Thank you for sharing it with us, love your blog and pictures!

  14. This was so beautiful. I relate to a lot of it because I traveled for the past year, mostly in Southeast Asia, and had my share of flings and disappointments and moments when I realized I needed to forgive myself.

  15. Thank you for being so brave to post such a heartfelt piece. You are not at all alone in your experience. American women (myself included) are raised to believe in romantic love as our reason for being. To wit: we are fed Disney princesses ad nauseum as soon as we can see. We are often left disappointed when the reality of mean/woman relationships come to light. When I travel, I notice that other cultures seem more practical in such matters. What you are doing with your life is so much more important, Camille, though it probably doesn’t feel that way to you. I’m almost 50, and me and my cronies are dying to ditch love and be in your shoes….Ah, the irony…

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Ruby, thanks so much for your comment. Yes, what I’m doing feels so right and so amazing! I spent my high school years and early twenties obsessing over my romantic relationships and then I fell in love with travel and the world! My life has challenges like any life, but honestly there is no one I’d trade shoes with :) I’m so happy to be here on this path!

  16. oops meant man/woman! You rock girl!!!

  17. Nice story Camille although there are a few things that are untrue. The car he used to drive you in was my car, I did not abandon him and skip country with his baby, he was supposed to be coming one month after we left, but he chose to play on.. Those lines that he fed to you about never being in love before and being afraid because of his parents, he said them to me also.. Do you know what I have heard some of these guys call American girls? Gringa fast food and by that they mean cheap and easy. Maybe before you put your rose coloured glasses back on think about these ‘inconvenient’ details…

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 22, 2014 at 9:34 am

      I too experience anger towards him and the rest of them for the way that they play, but for now I’m choosing instead to work on compassion, not for what it does for them, but for what it does for me. Each of us has a heart and a light and no matter how many layers of crap we cloak our love and light in, no matter how much hurt that crap causes other people, we still have that love and light. We can’t choose the way that other people behave, but we can choose the way that we respond. We can have clear boundaries, we can require that we be treated with respect, but we can also choose to do so without the judgment or anger that only serves to hurt us further. I would rather be liberated from my resentment than stay a slave to it. That’s my choice, and you get to have your own.

  18. You can rationalise and philosophise as much as you like at the end of the day sounds like you were a side piece he played with while he was bored. Knowing he was in a relationship and continuing to sleep with him makes you no better than the men you judge. Maybe what you don’t like in them is just a reflection of yourself. Pura vida.

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      The point of this piece is to show that there are many interpretations, and each of us gets to choose whatever story serves us. I didn’t continue to sleep with him when I knew he was in a relationship, that’s a layer you’ve chosen to add to the story. But you’re right, I am no better than the men that I was judging. That’s the entire reason why I wrote this, to show that none of us is any better than anyone else, each of us is human and worthy, including you and including me. .

  19. Channon is the baby mother and I would personally find it very disrespectful and insulting that you would try and even imply you had a similar experience as her. She has A CHILD with this man and was in a RELATIONSHIP with him. To say ‘I too had anger’ like you would have any idea what it would be like raising a child and finding out he was messing with a tourist behind your back…like it even compares to your experience of having a fling. Shit. Sounds a little self absorbed to me.

  20. Your article is beautiful. Choosing a road of compassion over anger is so good for the soul.
    Your replies to the negative comments show how much farther along you are than many of us when it comes to compassion and letting go of anger. I applaud you.

  21. I too applaud you, Camille. The road you have chosen here will serve you so well. And to Carla, I would just like to say relajate chica. No need to stir up a quarrel, please.

  22. I really enjoyed this article. I will be there in a about 3 weeks. Hope to meet you.

  23. It all sounds very lovely and enlightened but what’s missing is humility and responsibility, the most important thing when you find yourself helping a man cheat on his partner and mother of his child. Even if unintentional. We can all throw around ideals and peace loving sentiments but real character is the ability to own our mistakes. And I’m pretty sure the other blog said you still messed with after you found out about his girlfriend…. lo que hacemos en la oscuridad vendra a la luz.

  24. trey barefoot Says: September 23, 2014 at 1:18 am

    This post is inspiring. .. and healing. I love it!

  25. trey barefoot Says: September 23, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Your thoughtful, rational, compassionate response to the vengeful comments is almost as inspiring as the story. I absolutely love your steadfastness. I appreciate the energy you dedicate to being an example of Light <3

  26. Hey. I just wanted to say, I get what you’re saying Camille, and I’ve been in your place too, but I’ve also been the woman with the child, who’s still being played, and I have to say that the feelings of hurt and anger much surpass what you can imagine as a single lady… I really loved this article, but it was difficult to read, and whilst I understand your position, maybe even ‘his’ position, I understand my own man’s position at least, I also understand Channon’s position. To see you write this when she is the one who has been well and truly scarred for life, must be really hard. She will no longer be able to galavant around the world, doing what you do, because she has a child, who is probably great, and the light of her life, but it must be really hard seeing you write this, from her position… I hope you can accept that/learn that yourself. Of course it’s not your fault, that her partner was unfaithful, but you should accept and forgive her anger too, or at least come to understand it, as you have done his, and your own! This is not meant to be critical, and I’m sorry Channon if I assume too much about your life, but I think I understand some of your anger… I am still learning to accept and forgive myself. My little ray of sunshine keeps me going, as well as accepting that there are many shades of black. Lots of love, Emma

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Emma thank you for your beautiful, thoughtful, heartfelt response. You make so many good points. Of course I can never fully understand another person’s suffering, the same way they can never fully understand mine. The side of you and the mother of his child is also the story of my own mother. It’s one that I hold close to my heart and I feel incredible compassion towards women who experience this. Feeling compassion for myself and feeling compassion for the men who do this is a much much more difficult perspective for me to take, despite the fact that I didn’t do anything wrong I still feel guilt about it. This is why I chose to write this piece. I can only imagine how it must be for people to read that they are in part a subject in an article I write. It’s something my parents deal with, something my ex boyfriends deal with, and sometimes something that people who I don’t even know, like the mother of his child, deal with. I’m empathetic towards that. However I believe this is a truth worth sharing. I believe that no matter what happens to us in our lives, if someone lies to us, hurts us, even rapes us, once we find a way to cultivate compassion, which can be so so so hard, we heal ourselves. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of finding compassion for yourself and for your daughter. Thank you again Emma for shining your bright, bright, bright, light with all of us.

  27. Wow, this is a beautifully written post. You have an amazing way with words and a unique ability to convey the most detailed thoughts and feelings in such a realistic manner for your readers. Thank you for being so open and sharing your story. I love following your experiences, and this is such a memorable post.

  28. […] What about the dangers of getting heartbroken by Casanovas in Puerto Viejo? Read this article.  […]

  29. Kimberley Cox Says: October 7, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I too, fell in love with a Caribbean Casanova who has the chiseled facial features of an ebony model. He would tell me he wanted to marry me. But he was so hot and cold, and like you I felt “victimized”. But also like you, I had a sort of epiphany and realized that I was not necessarily a victim and in fact, he might be . In the end, it WAS me that left and he was the one that told me I broke his heart. And like you, at the end of the day, I realized there are indeed many shades of black and I was as to blame as any. I still think of him and of all the emotions you mention in your article, I can identify with every one of them, including your eventual self-realization and understanding. Thank you for sharing.

    • Camille Willemain Says: October 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much Kimberley for sharing your experience. One thing I will say though, is that you are not to blame. The point of the article is to say that maybe no one is ever to blame for anything. Maybe we can just eat the blame. Good luck on your continuing journey <3

  30. […] reading this post, I recommend you read A Karmic Love Story and There are Many Shades of Black for […]

  31. This is an amazingly interesting and thought provoking post. Thank you. I know this won’t likely be applicable to many of you, but I’m currently researching what cross-cultural relationships and experiences are shared between tourist women and local men in regions of the Caribbean and West Africa as part of my PhD. If anyone is interested or knows someone who may be able to take part, please check out the website or get in touch by email. Thanks

    • Camille Willemain Says: November 19, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Kathryne thank you so much for your comment. Sounds like you’re doing some very interesting research, I’d love to hear some of your discoveries.

  32. […] to get foreign girlfriends. It wasn’t news to me, because Camille had already told me about her long Tica boy saga. Throughout my trip there though, I ran into numerous girls who had moved to Costa Rica or were […]

  33. “In life sometimes we will get hurt and sometimes we will hurt others, and it doesn’t make us villains or victims. It makes us human.”

    I love this, because it’s so true. Also, sometimes we have to be selfish and hurt other people because we are humans. We need to have some type of happiness, and we don’t always mean to hurt somebody else.

    I too had a strange experience with a local guy when I was in Turkey. It was super romantic and I thought that finally my faith in men was restored. When I left he said he’d wait for me to come back, we did not exchange any contact info and that was that.

    Two months later I found him on facebook, only to find out that he was married with a two month old baby. I was angry and hurt and felt deceived and lied to. But then I realized that no matter the messed up situation, and the fact that we will never be together, what he felt for me was still real. That wasn’t a lie. So sometimes you just have to find the good in a bad situation and be less angry and more happy that it happened in the first place.

    You live and you learn!

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience Alex. You absolutely have the right attitude. So often we’re attached to the outcome of it all, when really it’s about the learning :) <3

  34. Eeks – and here I thought I’d be heading to PV in Feb with all of this ‘figured out’ already, from all my time in SEA and especially Indonesia! Sounds like the Bali Beachboys don’t hold a candle to the PV boys. But you’ve reminded me not to approach it from a place of disgust or superiority, which I now realize I was preparing to do. I’ll approach it all with an open mind and a warm but guarded heart.

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 7, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Having the information is key. Then you can make a decision knowing what you’re getting yourself into.. 😉

  35. […] in between sobbing sessions after being heartbroken in Bali or confronted by poverty in Cambodia or deceived in Costa Rica. And they don’t come without consequence. They’re often the posts that receive the most […]

  36. Wise words! I too have just recently been in this position. Well, actually I still am. I keep feeling anger towards this man in Mexico and really maybe it isn’t actual what I make it up to be. Thanks for these thoughts just when I needed them.

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      You are so welcome sister. I know it’s hard, but after working with compassion for him for a year, I finally let it go myself, and then spontaneously received a genuine apology.

  37. I am sure that I am missing your big point after reading the entertaining responses, so I apologize up front. I have been a willing “victim,” and naive participant as well as an observer of these affairs and this is my take after fifteen years spanned of trips to CR. Nobody should feel sorry for any grown woman that chooses to have a baby with one of these guys. The climate does something to romantic women from all over the world the second they get there and meet the local men. I have male friends from other areas of CR that moved there temporarily just to get some of the action and as much as I shook my head at them, I love them dearly. Women fall for them because everybody is intoxicated from the whole environment and love is in the air. Not to mention the possibility of women’s bodies responding to half-naked, sweet, sexy, and dont have a fear of reproducing like some western men. Not only are they great at communication, have plenty of time to make love until the sun rises, but also have a complete diverse gene pool that I am sure gets foreign ovaries happy. One beautiful young woman from Spain that fell for a friend of mine traveled with our little group of misfits for a few weeks. She had actually decided that she wanted to get pregnant from him. Whatever, happens all the time there. Look for the men who say they love and are good at relationships, not the ones who say they aren’t especially if they reference their parents. Trust me ladies, it will save you heartache.

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks Michele, sounds like you’ve witnessed A LOT of this. What I love about your comment is this line “Look for the men who say they love and are good at relationships, not the ones who say they aren’t.” Amen to that! I think it’s common for women to romanticize a man who she can “fix,” when what’s really romantic is a man who already have it figured out. Maybe not all of it, but who is at least dedicated to growing and becoming a better person. I think we can easily seek validation by trying to get emotionally unavailable men to commit to us. It’s certainly a cycle I went through a few times, before realizing it was self destructive, and I needed to offer myself more love. Now I’m focused on only having space for someone who loves as freely as I do.

  38. Laura Lucky Says: September 11, 2015 at 2:41 am

    I cannot begin to explain how…emotional!…finding your website has made me. I am so inspired by you and in awe of how alike yet totally different our lives are! My face is still wet from this insert of yours. I have been dealing with a very similar, confusing love…well, as far as how it started. The way you ended this insert and how you finally began to see the situation from a totally different view and understand it is amazing. You are a very strong minded woman and that is so admirable these days because it can be so easy to lose that with situations like this one happening all over the world, every day. I know you may feel as though you did lose sight of that at some points but to be able to see a bigger picture as you are now is all that matters! You are amazing and I am so ecstatic that I found this page. I can’t wait to read more of your experiences! I would love to converse with you! Thank you for putting your experiences out there! This has been truly eye opening for me.

  39. I found your blog today. I think it will guide me while I am here in PV. Initially it was to learn about earning money online, but all of your blogs are fantastic. And this one, well the end, I was smiling from within. Such a beautiful message to send to anyone, not only those in PV.
    Perhaps I will run into you in my travels and you can share some more of your wisdom!
    PEACE AND LOVE

  40. Hey, I have been sitting outside reading your posts for the past 3 hours. I just want to say that this particular post has moved me in so many ways. It is truly astounding the amount of love and compassion relationships can bring out in us. I had a girl, and I made some mistakes with her and we are no longer together, but I feel about her the way you felt about this man. And I no no matter what, I will feel an immense love for her for the rest of my life – and that’s okay. Love doesn’t have to be reciprocated – we will still have it just the same, and it is a beautiful, real thing that humans have.

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 14, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Aw thank you for this comment. You know, there’s this song I fell in love with recently and it goes, “Oh love, tearing me apart from the inside out so I can see myself from the inside.” Check it out:

  41. Camille,

    I am an avid reader of your blog and attending your retreat this fall. I cant wait!! I have read some of your posts about “him” and in some ways I am reminded of my experience. Thought you might appreciate my story :)

    much love,

    Baroness

    https://baronessbogie.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/you-cant-make-this-shit-up-a-true-story-about-being-ghosted-by-an-irishman/

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Hey sweetie, I’m so excited to meet you on retreat!! I’m so sorry you had a challenging experience, I know how much it can hurt, but I am glad to hear that you are seeing it as an opportunity, as all experiences in life are. Opportunities to cultivate deeper compassion and grow even more fully into our true selves. Sending you love <3

  42. […] you’ve been reading for a while, you know the disappointment that would soon ensue. The incredible pain that replaced the ecstatic bliss when he smacked my […]

  43. I got back from puerto viejo , and cuhuita last month . Reading your blog, so wonderfully written, I just had to go. I even have a picture of the same blue fishing boat as you do in this post. It takes me back. I regret not connecting enough to it all. I was too focused on how much money i was spending and trying to take too many photos. however, the beauty of these towns are amazing. Who knew something could be so different just a five hour flight away from my home. It was refreshing to see people not focused on the materialistic items. I feel your pain when I read about your heartbreaks and ex’s . I want the same type of love. But its just so hard to find. Maybe working on yourself is the biggest struggle/roller coaster of all in life.

    • Camille Willemain Says: December 17, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Hi Gillian, I’m touched to hear that you too felt the magic of this place I love so dearly. And thank you so much for your kindness and understanding on my emotional journey. Yes, the inner work is the real work, and the greatest adventure is the one towards love. May we enjoy the ride!