Reset

Since I have moved to California, I have noticed that I live in the past or the future. I relive and miss my old life and I fear the things that will happen in the future. I can never just enjoy the present. I’ve really always been that way to a small degree. And because I am now anxiety ridden with the occasional panic attack, that makes me live in a small personal hell some of the time in my own head. This is causing me to miss out on so much. I read an article about “enjoying the season of life that you are living.” Why can’t I do that more easily?

But, I am working on changing that. It’s been a slow journey but progress is being made. I’ve spent a lifetime being a manager as a profession. So, I use a manufacturing tool to help my personal life. I chart my good and bad days and watch the trends! :-). I use smiley faces and frowny faces for my trending. I’m professional like that! 🙂

A Joke, I don’t Do This!

I look for trends but as long as I see progress, I am a happier person/manager. I used to feel like I should see sustained upward improvement. And when I have down days, and I do have several, I’d get depressed thinking I wasn’t getting better. But, now I understand it’s just a down day and not a trend. But the manager in me knows the ups and downs will always be there. I’m trending in the right direction. I want to be the person that I used to be. I can’t let go of that thought of being content, strong and adventurous person again. I have to come to the realization that person may not come back. Content is my goal.

So, I need to reset.

I’ve struggled with how to do that for a few months. I’m getting better. Remember my smiley faced chart? 🙂 At work, we are having to clean our cubes readying for a move, and I stumbled onto a book that I had taken from the box under a my previous manager’s desk. That person is now a personal friend. And this little book is a great guide to where I want to be. Its a simple read and is immediately helpful. It’s called “Eat That Frog.” It improved my thought process the minute I started reading it. Both at work and in personal life. It made logical sense. In an emotional time of my life, I need to find logic again. I need to weed through emotions and think straight. I need to be effective again!!! My lawyer told me something that I didn’t want to hear it but he told me “he was not going to be General Custard leading me to a certain death situation regardless of my emotions.” 🙂 And I wanted Gen. Custard, goddamnit! 🙂 But he’s right. I’m thinking with emotions.

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

So, in my exploration of things to make my life more simple. I came across the idea of minimizing the junk in my life and particularly “Becoming Minimalist.” And have become a big fan of Joshua Becker while searching YouTube for videos on downsizing, organizing and simple living. I am not his kind of minimalist but his words inspire me.

I have boxes of things that I’ve carried to every house I’ve ever moved to! Things I can’t let go for some reason. And I guess that’s a thing…..Hoarding! Well, I’m not that but I do hoard memories. I have a storage that I pay $189 a month filled with memories.

So, the concept is exactly what I have been looking for. I want to live calmly and intentionally. That would make me content. Content is my ultimate goal. My mind is still racing with things I want to get into. And it’s not important if I stick to everything…its like I’m exploring myself.

But a couple of things have stuck. Cooking, baking and organizing. I am decluttering my life. I am like a manic person a lot of the time. I have to be going or busy. Cooking and baking slowed me down. It felt good. It brought out the creative person in me. I was once an artist. But cooking and especially sourdough bread baking gives me a creative outlet. Everyone needs one. I am still dedicated to eating a more healthy diet that I cook. And I still do that. It makes me feel good preparing my meals and the meals of my dogs. Again, It slows me down.

I feel strongly and for the first time that I am headed in the right direction. I no longer feel obligated to do things that I don’t want in my personal life. It feels freeing but it can be lonely. Most people who know me know me as a very social person, outgoing and makes friends easily. I’m not that person anymore. Covid isolation and those masks made people not like each other…be afraid of each other. People in Santa Cruz are not that friendly. But I do have my Sunday 8am morning dog meet up group at the school’s soccer field behind my house! 🙂 We are known by our dog’s names. Hi Peyton and Eli’s mom! 🙂

Stay tuned to hear more of my journey to a more simple, calm and content life and enjoying Peyton and Eli instead of worrying about losing them all the time. They are healthy for their ages and they are very loved.

Willow or an Oak?

I haven’t updated in a while so I’ll give a little update.

15 months later, still no final divorce. I won’t go into details. I don’t want to waste energy thinking or talking about it. I’m just ready for it to be over. Maybe Septemberish? I was told by my second lawyer. Dumped my first one. In our court appearance, his lawyer looked and acted like F. Lee Bailey, mine looked and acted like Pee Wee Herman. They are trying to financially rape me. Judge slapped my lawyer around, let F. Lee talk. I didn’t feel good about that. Ok, that’s all I want to say about that.

Work is going well. Things are getting back to normal. They removed mask mandate for those vaccinated. Nazi’s win again. This country is so fucked. California is fucked times infinity. I’m glad I’m on my way out instead of on my way in! 🙂 So I did have my first shot in early June and second one scheduled for 7/01. Nice….I’ll be sick all holiday weekend!

I have started giving some thought to having a personal life. I don’t make much effort now. Sadie was giving me advice a few weekends ago. She told me that I need to dress better and put on make up! haha. She said men won’t like my dirty t-shirts! 🙂 I’m still married legally and just not really into a real relationship at this time. I had a couple simple talk and walk the wharf dates….can’t get into it. I really want a man friend. I need a gay man friend to hang out with! 🙂 Go to restaurants, bars, concerts. I’m a Blues Music lover and a couple good blues clubs here. No offense to women friends, I love women friends. I have a couple of the best. But I miss male companionship besides Peyton and Eli! 🙂 I’ll see….maybe soon.

I still love to cook and prepare all my own meal. I still order all my grocery from imperfectfoods.com and visit my local farmer’s markets. Its become a passion, especially sourdough bread baking. It’s not about the eating, I still have to try to cook for one and not over eat. I cook for the week and put things in containers. I’ve lost about 14 lbs…but I’m at a stand still. I cook and eat my own food so that probably accounted for 14 lbs. Now, I need to cut back to get the rest of the weight off. Or increase exercise. That is my goal!

I still have some minor hip issues sometimes, so long hikes are out for me right now while I’m still healing. Plus I don’t like long hikes alone. Peyton and Eli are mostly unable to do any hiking that is over a couple miles. They both have hip dysplasia and their little back legs get wobbly after a little bit. I try to keep their walks short and simple. They enjoy the pee sniffing and spraying. Who don’t? 🙂 Occasionally I will take them to the beach but they love running in the water, but their bodies pay for it later. They still think they are puppies, so it’s up to me to make sure they don’t overdo it. But I get joy out of watching them on the beach. Much like me. I’m very young in my mind, but my body tells a different story! 🙂

They both have become intolerant of any food that I tried them on. I was spending a fortune on dog food just to have them throw it up! Peyton would just absolutely walk away from it even when he was hungry. They are both very old now, so their stomachs need something different. I consulted my vet about making their own food. I know the combinations of what their diets need. At least it gives me someone to cook for. So now, I make their food. I’ve been doing it for almost a month and I can tell such a difference. Their coats are beautiful! They look like little puppies. 🙂 They are more active. They rarely throw up, with exemption of Eli who eats gross shit and throws it up occasionally. Peyton doesn’t breath heavy as much as he did. He has liver issues. And he is almost completely blind. He can see shadows or movements. Sometimes he gets lost in the yard and I have to help him find his way. I love these dogs. The only thing that mental midget ever gave me in 20 years was these dogs and some excellent appliances for my kitchen!

All in all, I think I am getting back to my old self. I remember a quote my brother used to say “I used to be an Oak, and now I’m a Willow.” Love and Miss you, Barry James Barber.

Another court date tomorrow with my new lawyer, wish me luck!

Bread is My Medium

I am not really working in the industry that I always dreamed of. I was never meant to be a manager in manufacturing. I was an artist growing up! Its what I did and what I started to college for. But life things changed that because I realized I couldn’t make a living in anything art in Tennessee plus I was married with a kid. So I changed my major to manufacturing management and business related subjects so that I could make a living once I got out of college. I was already working as an assembler in a factory making rotors and motors for air conditioners big and small. I went to college full time during the day and worked my full time job in the factory at night. It was difficult to do that. But, it was honestly the most fun that I ever had on a job but the work was hard. Great memories made there. I’m so fucking glad there wasn’t Facebook or Snapchat back in those days!

If you have read some of my other posts, you know that I am going through a divorce. I was not the cook in the marriage. So needless to say, I am having to learn how to cook. At first, I bought everything premade in grocery stores or ordered from my favorite Santa Cruz restaurants and had it delivered through Door Dash.

And, as most of you know, I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks that got worse as the year 2020 went on and even now. So I didn’t want to go to grocery stores anymore wearing a mask which caused me the most anxiety. I’d often go in the store and have a panic attack or anxiety would hit and I’d leave that grocery cart full wherever it was and left the store quickly to remove the mask. And since I detest people who do that, I researched some food delivery sites and chose Imperfectfoods.com. It appealed to me because wasting food has always been something that upsets me. Average households throw 40% of their food away per week. It’s messed up that people go hungry when we throw away so much food. So, I now enjoy shopping on line (with no mask) and I order exactly what I need or want. My goal is to get only what I need and use everything I get. I’m one person to cook for so ordering for 1 or 2 people suits me very well.

Charlotte’s Awesome Job of Saving the Planet

By doing this method of food order, I learned to plan, shop carefully and cook. I don’t impulse buy like I did every time I went to a grocery store just because something looked good. In addition, I save a lot of money and I don’t waste food. I only eat my own food so I eat pretty healthy. I’ve lost 14 lbs since I started this venture in February 2021. And, I don’t count calories or use any diet except to eat delicious things that are more healthy. I do still do intermittent fasting 3 or 4 days a week where I stop eating after 2 pm and eat breakfast the next morning. I have to have breakfast even if it’s a piece of toast with my coffee. I have, for the most part, been unable to do any exercise except hike and walk. I miss running so much. I still dream of running. But I’ve come to realize that will never happen for me so I have to find other things. I’ve had some sciatica issues and my walking buddies can only walk short distances now. My dogs and I are aging together!

In my food journey, I am discovering so many things. I’m interested in fermentation. I make my own yogurt. I am about to venture in kombucha and other fermented things. Youtubing “how to” videos is awesome. (thanks introducing me to youtube, Miss Sadie Bug). But then I discovered Sourdough Bread making.

I have a great “Chef’s Style” kitchen and an stocked pantry with so many staples, that I can make any food from any country. Next blog post, I’ll share what my stocked pantry looks like. My granddaughter is trying to convince me to have a youtube channel. I’m giving it some thought.

After discovering the art of sourdough bread, the artist in me came alive especially while I’m making sourdough bread. Its a constant of trying to perfect it. I seek to make it sexy, good and make it look like art. But, I’m finding out the manager in me is coming out also. I try to make it quicker and better. Sometimes the artist and manager collide for a bad result. But, I plan it and execute it! I do it again and again. I want it better and better. I am an artist manager!

My first attempts at Sourdough Bread

One Year Later

Saturday, April 10 was the one year anniversary of being deserted by someone that I thought loved me and that I have trusted for almost 20 years. It was the ultimate betrayal. I still feel it everyday. Its been the hardest thing that I have tried to overcome. The feeling of sadness, worthlessness, unimportant and unloved never leaves me.

But his illness is not stopping him from trying to take half of everything that I have earned. He earned nothing, no 401k, no stock, not shit! But I worked my ass off and he is taking it. A dickless piece of shit he is. Our divorce hearing is sometime in May. I’m not ready but ready for this to be over. I want to get rid of his shit name. I want my Daddy’s name back.

It still feels new to me. I still relive that day. Should I have done something different? I should be feeling better now, right? A few weeks ago, I had another breakdown (for lack of a better word). I left work crying many days. I was filled with such anxiety it was hard to leave my house. Leaving the only things that love me everyday (Peyton and Eli) is a challenge I face every morning. I still came in to work today. I feel much better when I do get to work but its hard telling myself that I need to get out. I work from home on the worst days. My manager has been great and understanding during this time. That has been a plus for me.

I started a new routine to help me…hopefully. I started doing a small amount of exercises each day and meditating for about 10 or 15 minutes per day. I’m desperate when I start meditating and doing yoga! I’m desperate! I plan to start a yoga routine tonight.

Last week I felt much better. One of my best friends, who does care about me and checks up on me daily, invited me out to happy hour with her team from work. It was awkward for me but felt good being with people who laugh. I will meet up with them again. I need to get out. Just to be with people felt strange to me.

Deserted and secluded is not healthy for me, I know that. But seclusion feels comfortable.

In trying to find myself and stay busy, I took up cooking! For 20 years, my ex was the cook and a very good one. He introduced me to cuisines that I had never tried. So now, I’m learning to cook, make bread and many other things. It has given me a lot of pleasure, satisfaction, frustration and a sense of pride. I have a chef’s type kitchen in my beach house. I made homemade greek yogurt this past weekend and it was weird at the pride I felt! I have been ordering imperfectfoods.com for the last 6 or 7 weeks. It has helped me become disciplined and a planner. I hate wasting anything so that is my goal. Eat what I buy. No waste. I have not visited a grocery store in almost 2 months. What I can’t get from imperfect foods, I get at our local farmer’s market.

Homemade Yogurt
Red Curry Coconut Chicken

Anyway, no one reads my blog anymore but it feels good to put my feelings down.

Happy Monday!

A Landslide Brought Me Down

As I reflect on 2020, it makes my heart sink pretty deep so I try to avoid thinking of it as much as I can.

I was listening to one of my favorite songs “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. And it fit how I felt. A Landslide brought down the world I’ve known for 20 years.

“I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down”

In one year, I lost everything. I lost my husband of 20 years, my financial security and I lost my relatives here which are my son, daughter in law and grandkids. I say relatives because that’s how I view them now versus family. For most of my life, I have taken the blame for any shitty thing that has happened to me. That feeling had kept me depressed since the separation. After a long struggle, I came to realize that while I am a most imperfect person, none of this was my fault. That did relieve me a bit emotionally after some therapy but it doesn’t change the fact that I am alone. My family is Peyton and Eli. They are senior dogs with several illnesses. So I feel they won’t be around for many more years. I’m trying to prep for that.

And how it was done was a most cruel action by both my husband and my kids, maybe inadvertently. I went for months thinking I deserved it. Maybe I didn’t act like I should have. Maybe this shit, maybe that shit. Always putting the blame on myself. I still have moments of wondering what I could have done to change it.

But I also know that just because something is not my fault doesn’t mean its not my responsibility to set it right. Which is what I am working on. It’s hard and lonely, but I can do this.

In words, my husband of 20 years is a paranoid and borderline schizophrenic. He thinks I am part of a cabal of some kind that is out to get him. I could go into the long details but he is not even close to the same person that I knew. His face even looked different when I last saw him in August. So after he walked out saying he no longer wanted to see me, the dogs, grandkids or anything in our life and he alluded to that I present a danger to him. There is no communication with him. He doesn’t communicate with his real blood family. He is afraid of me. He’s afraid of everyone. He peeks out windows, sees people following him and all are out to get him. He truly believes he is in danger. And its nothing I did. He believes in cults, conspiracies and luminati type stuff. I can’t even begin to understand how that happened in front of my eyes for 20 years and I didn’t know it. I knew he was paranoid and believed in aliens, bigfoot, lochness but I never dreamed he thought I along with my son was part of a conspiracy to hurt him. He is in a cult of some kind that is battling evil. Some people say he left us to protect us. So fucking funny. He has never done anything for anyone else let alone try to protect them. So that’s bullshit. Anyway, doesn’t matter, does it?

And for my son and his family. Politics wrapped in Covid shit caused them to drop out of my life when I needed someone so much. I believe politics have made them mentally ill. In other words, they used Covid to keep me from the kids and them. This happened suddenly after they had helped me out the first couple months. So I don’t know why she suddenly got scared about being around me for covid reason. I think she used this excuse to push me out of the kids life. And do she did. I have seen my grandkids in person 1 time in the last 5 months. And they live 30 minutes from me. I refused to wear a fucking mask in my own house. But what really hurt me was when they jilted me after I came back from my nephew’s funeral in Tennessee. My daughter in law informed me that due to covid, she wasn’t bringing her family to my house for Thanksgiving. I was blindsided by that request especially after coming back from an emotional funeral of my nephew….my sister’s only son. I had purchased $250 worth of grocery for Thanksgiving. She was kind enough to inform me that if I wore a mask and ate outside, she would do it. No. And what even hurt worse was finding out that they delivered some goods to homeless people in Tenderloin district that weekend. You may not know Tenderloin district in San Francisco, but normal people won’t walk there without a hazmat suit on purpose. Yet she took the kids there. But I was a danger to their health.

I think they either secretly or deliberately think I deserved this because I’m entitled?

I actually handled that better than you might think. I am trying to adjust my thinking realizing I don’t have family. That is how I feel. I have dogs. Daniel is so mentally disturbed, I don’t know him. He doesn’t talk to me. I think his parents political illness has got a hold of him. They have never made the kids understand that they need grandparents and so now, they don’t have me. I don’t think they are getting him help. Sadie says she misses me and we do facetime every now and then. Its not the same. I don’t feel the same. I have divested emotionally from them all. I’m trying to deal with things in my control. I still love them but I don’t care to be around them anymore.

I needed my son and his family so much. I was suicidal, depressed, couldn’t work for a while. They stopped visiting or calling. I was devastated. I had no one. Still have no one.

My son even commented that I had such an entitled life, a little bump in the road like covid shutting down everything, divorce after 20 years, fires this summer burning everywhere I loved to hike just caused depression and I couldn’t handle it. A little bump. Entitled?? I’ve heard Daniel use that phrase also describing people. Everything in their life is political. They get rid of people who don’t vote or believe like them.

I am doing much better. I don’t feel depressed so much. I feel lonely but in many ways, I am enjoying living with just my dogs! They are my everything right now. When I think of them leaving me, I almost get paralyzed with anxiety and sadness. How will I make it then?

My work is going well. I stayed fully engaged even in my non working hours. This is good. It always makes me feel good when I feel like I am performing well. So, there’s that.

I live in Santa Cruz but work in Silicon Valley. I stay local on weekends. There is so much to do and see. I’ve also gotten heavily into gardening and cooking. I grow and tend to succulents. I also recently started subscribing to “Imperfect Foods” so I am trying to show off my chef skills which are non-existent.

Eli suffered a terrible injury while we were hiking so there was a big set back with him. He injured his doggy ACL hiking. He’s 10 years old and has arthritis so he may not fully recover. We keep our walks short and slow. Peyton’s eye sight is getting worse by the week. He has cataracts. Both mainly like sniffing around anyway so I let them enjoy the smells. Eli also had a hematoma on his ear that had to be removed $$$. Eli still limps most of the time. I feel responsible for that so that set back my emotional progress over the last several months. I’m attached to my dogs that many days it is hard for me to leave them all day. I have a doggie cam so I can watch them but I rarely do because I am so busy at work.

And for me, I’m getting fucking old. I can’t really exercise much right now. I had an MRI which showed a buldging disk in my lower back. It pinches off my sciatic nerve. I got a steroid shot last week but honestly, it feels a little worse now. Doc said it can take a couple weeks for full effect. I also do daily stretches and exercises for my sciatica. Fingers crossed that soon I will be able to exercise and hike. I will likely never be able to run again and I do miss how I felt when I ran. I hope I can do it on a small scale soon. I’ve gained almost 20 lbs during the landslide. I thought divorce made people get skinny? Not me. My eating habits haven’t changed that much but my activity level is embarrassing.

I do like my neighbors in Santa Cruz and my 2 dogs are the hit of the community. Everyone knows those 2 big brown dogs walking with the lady with a limp! haha

The divorce is in process. All paperwork filed. Not sure what is next. I try not to dwell on it.

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Turning Anger and Sadness into Something Else

My dogs have a doggie door that goes onto the patio, but for some reason, Eli or Peyton will come in my room in the middle of the night and wake me up to let them out the front door. They do like going there because is a bigger area than the patio for them to do their business but at 2:30 am?? One or both of them woke me up this morning and I could not go back to sleep. I laid there until 3 am or so and got up and made coffee. I was hoping to fall back to sleep on the sofa but I just couldn’t. I intended to take down Christmas stuff but I didn’t want to make a trip to my storage to get the boxes.

I felt like I wanted to write a long letter to my husband. I wasn’t emotional or crying. In fact, I have not shed a tear all day. I don’t have any intentions of mailing it but because I have never gotten to tell him how he affected everyone with what he did. As I read over my thoughts over and over, I starting feeling relief from the guilt of causing all of this…causing my own pain. In the end, I told him on the letter that I no longer take the blame for what happened to us like I always have and do. He did this. I know he’s mentally ill, but fuck him.

Its my own personal diary I guess you could say. Everytime I think of something that makes me sad or pissed off, I write in my diary. I write it, read it, think on it, re-write it. And I have felt much better the entire day. I no longer take the blame for his bullshit. That private diary may just be what I need to help me with these feelings. I can organize my thoughts and feelings. I needed to express to him what he did, how it affects us all and so many other things. It was so much more therapeutic than I ever dreamed. It was rainy and cloudy this morning so I did housework and would write. Another plus is that I don’t have to drag my friends down complaining about all the things that I still don’t understand about what happened. Anyway, except for work….I’m basically alone anyway.

But the day turned into beautiful, sunny day about 60 degrees. I felt good and my leg (sciatic nerve pain) was better so I took Peyton and Eli to another beach that I haven’t been to in a few months. Its about 15 minutes from my house. We drove there and I spent extra time driving through the redwoods, eucalyptus trees, along the coast with the windows down, blasting “Highway to Hell” and dog ears were flapping out the windows! I love the smell of all the eucalyptus trees in this area.

We walked the beach for a long time. Eli who usually makes a nice walk turn into an ordeal, was a sweetie. Both of them behaved like perfect gentlemen as we walked on the beach and in the surf. It wasn’t crowded. Have I mentioned how much I love Santa Cruz in the winter?

I ordered a few self help books that look like something I’d read. I’ve heard some good things about this book. I just started it tonight but it feels I will finish it soon. It was my Christmas present to myself and it came in today. Merry Christmas to me!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg
My Christmas Present to Myself Came In

Today was a good day. I cherish it and plan another one tomorrow!

Letting Go

On Christmas Day…..

Until a few days ago, I still held out a little hope that my husband would return to the person that I knew and loved. I miss him. I felt him in bed with me this morning for a moment. I thought I heard him making coffee. It’s not the first time. But I pray it’s the last. 

I have to push forward. Find things that give me pleasure and happiness again. I want to feel contentment. 

Today is the day that I must let go.

I drove around this morning visiting all the places that he and I loved in Santa Cruz. I was sad and cried a lot. I dreaded it but felt it was necessary. I have to find my new normal in my life. I can’t avoid all the beautiful places here in Santa Cruz just because they bring those memories. I saw happy people. I saw couples holding hands and even kissing. I cried. I needed a hug from him.

But that is over. He is someone else, now.

I have to find the strength to find another path for the rest of my life even if my life is not much longer. There is not longevity in my family, unfortunately. 

I don’t know what my new path will be yet. Maybe I’ll choose to try do something differently, challenging or maybe I’ll just float along day by day for the rest of my days. Maybe I’ll fall in love again. I crave that feeling. But, I don’t know. Maybe it’s not important yet to make plans.

Today was a good day. I took the pups out early to chase the tennis ball and run in the morning surf. I walked them home to stay while I drove the coast. Jeez, I love it here in the winter. Plenty of places to park along the coast, not like when summer is here. The beaches are mostly empty except locals, the surf is loud this time of year, sea lions are loud and sea gulls are all around. It’s heaven. 

Its time that I stop blaming myself or thinking I could have done something different to save my husband. I can no longer fool myself that one day he will wake up his old self and want to come back. That’s not going to happen. Its quiet possible that I will never see him again or every know what is happening to him. 

Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz, CA

Invisible

My intention of starting my blog again is to help myself. I thought since I have no one to talk to in person and this would be my way of expressing my feelings without adding drama to other people’s life. I don’t have many readers anymore but this will help. I welcome any comments and advice.

I have people who reach out to me but I try to not lay any drama on them anymore. I know that tires easily with people. My dogs are great listeners; however.

I’ve had 2 pretty good weeks dealing with all the emotions and the holidays upcoming. But today I feel lonely and broken a bit.

Unfortunately for me, my son and his family are only about 30 miles from me but I’m not allowed to be around them due to covid. I guess I should understand but it seems so cruel that my daughter in law set this rule when I needed them so badly after my husband deserted me. I thought I was part of their “Covid Pod” in a way. Now, I know my importance to the pod. That hurts too.

They seemed supportive at first and were around me a lot. I live in Santa Cruz and they love it here! We did beach things. I even felt excited and strong during that time. I noticed it at first slightly that my DIL was tense or anxious when they would come to visit me. There was no fucking way I will wear a mask in my own house. I shopped for Thanksgiving…lots of money for the meal and excited to have them over. I had just gotten back from TN when I was at my nephew’s memorial. My DIL text and suggested we do thanksgiving outside, social distance and wearing masks. I was already suffering mask anxiety from the flight to and from TN! I just agreed with her to cancel it. Since, we barely speak. Occassionally on snapchat. I have seen my grandkids 1 time in the last 3 months.

I have been there for them their entire married life with emotional and financial support. I have never asked one thing of them in return. My grandson is so into video games and so many emotional problems, that he never calls or answers texts. My granddaughter, the same. The kids are like robots or slugs. Covid has ruined so many kids life, we will never understand the effects. I never hear from my son except a gratuitous text every now and then.

Today has been a rough day because I had a deadline today to send off disputed taxes from 2018. I needed my husband’s signature and nothing more. So I text him to ask him to meet me to sign. I am timid and afraid to even contact him. I’m either afraid it will hurt my feelings more or scare me. His text and emails to me today seems robotic and professional. It had no personal feeling in them at all. He refused to even discuss it and warned me to stay away. That hurt me again. I’m like a stranger to him. He’s a stranger to me. I keep thinking I’ll see a spark of the man I loved for 20 years. He used to love the dogs more than his own life. He could care less that they are aged and full of health issues. Peyton, my oldest is going blind. That is the thing about his behavior that shocks people who know him….. just coldly leaving his dogs.

My husband of 20 years feels I am putting him in danger if he met me, he wouldn’t sign the paper of taxes that we owed. I can’t understand any of this. I had to contact his lawyer. So, I’ve been very emotional all day.

So, today, I am feeling sorry for myself. I feel invisible.

Living Someone Else’s Life

Since I’ve moved here from my comfortable life in Missouri, I’ve gone through many challenges and changes.


Sometimes, I look back at events to see where that little “life turn” happened. Sometimes its within your control, sometimes its not. Within 2 months of me moving here, I received a call that was my “life turn.” I remember exactly where I was with my husband. We were in a Greek café in Mountain View. My baby brother called me to let me know he didn’t have long to live. He died less than a year later. I was crushed.


I think I’ve always been thought of as a strong, self assured, resilient and assertive woman whether it was true or not. But now, I was in a new environment, new job, financial stress of the move, missing my kids, my baby brother died. I worried about my health all the time. I had lost my other brother a few years back.

So, all this started breaking me down. I could feel the change, it wasn’t even gradual. I changed into a person I barely recognized as I struggled with trying to get back some part of control or joy that I used to feel. I’d try to run, hike, go to the beach or travel with my husband to feel good in some way. I thought of death constantly after my brothers death. And I was so homesick for Missouri. I missed my old life unbearably. Those were the best years of my life where I was content and confident. So as the depression got worse, I cried all the time. It became severe. I had serious thoughts of ending it all. I had never felt that kind of grief and depression. I didn’t know how to feel better. I felt like I was living someone else’s life even though that sounds weird to say it.

I have had bouts of short depression much earlier in my life, but this one was almost debilitating. I managed through it at first. Only a few people knew it. I became so different. I went to a therapist, but to be honest, she didn’t help. Maybe for a day or 2 but not for long term.

At first, my husband was sympathetic and supportive. But as time went on, I could tell he seemed distracted and barely cared. He was used to seeing me strong and not needing much attention from him. I felt that once I became weak, emotional and needy, he couldn’t deal with it. He would spend a lot of hours in his office on his computer and often up late even when he had to work the next morning. He stopped going places with me and the family and he grew tense anytime that he took me out. He stopped giving attention to the dogs. Whom he had always adored. He would do the minimum walks, feeding etc. but it was like he didn’t acknowledge them. He seemed robotic often just going through motions or actions. If I inquired, he’d get angry or agitated and he would bulge his eyes or more like a glare like he was under pressure, even at simple life things.

So to help me, my doctor put me on meds for depression in Sept of 2019. The first few weeks were hard taking the meds but after a couple weeks, I was starting to feel better and was able to start feeling more engaged with work and life. I was hopeful.

2020

It started out as a bad year with a tragic family event back home, a close relative attempted suicide. And in March, Covid-19 hysteria hit like a tornado. I felt like I was living in bizarro world. It felt surreal to me. It also made my mental issues worse. I get very anxious wearing a mask. On top of being sheltered in place with my husband, we were getting ready to move to Santa Cruz. It was our dream place to live. We found the house we loved and it was a 5 minute walk to the best private beaches in Santa Cruz. Even with the epidemic, we felt good about moving to Santa Cruz. Or so I thought.

In April of 2020, we had an argument. I truly felt it was an insignificant or a nothing argument. He walked out and that was it. At first, he would come around to see the dogs and it seemed he regretted leaving us. I saw him cry a few times when he would come to walk them. A few times, he hugged me crying. I was so confused. I remember once him crying and saying how hard this was for him. I didn’t understand any of it. It seemed he tried to come back or at least be friends at first, but he gradually started behaving stand offish again. His mother died soon after he left. He never called me and I tried many times to call him to talk to him about it and he would not answer phone or text. He wouldn’t contact grandkids or the dogs. He would tell me that he would contact them in “due time”. Even with my emotional issues and being all fucked up, I felt it sounded bizarre. What was “due time?”

My best friend and husband of 20 years was gone. He made it clear that he didn’t want anything to do with any of us. I tried a few times to reach out to him to discuss divorce amicably. He rarely answered emails. He changed his phone number. He had given me his address in a document so one day after work, I dropped by his apartment after he agreed to meet me somewhere to discuss next steps and stopped answering the phone, emails and texts.

I was a bit scared to even see him face to face because he had been so different and strange. I knocked a few times and he opened the door and peeked out. He looked surprised to see me. I said “Hi” and he opened the door wider. His face changed from surprise to anger. He gritted his teeth and pointing his finger and trying to get me to leave. He was keeping the door so I couldn’t see in and I thought he was gritting his teeth and talking low because maybe someone was in there with him. Maybe another women or someone. I asked him if he was alone. He said yes and started angrily telling me to leave. He was saying “you don’t know what you have done.” He seemed more scared than angry. I left shaking and crying. I did not know him anymore. After I got home, I noticed he had emailed me the most bizarre, rambling email, mentioned hearing me say things that were absurd that I never said! He was hearing voices! He talked about people after him, cult activity and by coming there I put him and myself in danger. He mentioned that “they” could have followed me. He was speaking about cult and other bizarre things. He even told me that my family and me were being warned.

That was in August, that was the last I have heard from him except through his lawyer. The divorce is in process.

Its been 8 months since the separation and I still love the person that I had known so long. I miss him daily. My heart is broken. I’m worried about myself, my job. But I still love him. I’m worried about him. I never hear from him. He told me point blank he didn’t’ want anything to do with me, the dogs or the kids. He made it crystal clear. He has no one to help him but he doesn’t even realize he is sick. I wonder all the time how he is doing. But more than anything, I feel I am grieving my husband, my best friend and that pain is almost unbearable sometimes. To be ghosted and left not understanding what happened. That is what I’ll have to live with. I’ll never know what happened.

And with Covid shutdowns, watching more and more homeless and hopeless people not working, my own broken heart, sadness, loss of social contact, my depression had gotten to a level where I no longer wanted to get out of bed. I did work but more often I worked from home but I felt unengaged and I couldn’t even hold a thought for longer than 2 minutes. My job performance was low but my manager and my co workers were supportive and help me through it at work. I will forever appreciate how they carried my load while I tried daily to pull out of my emotional state. I took a few medical leaves to try to help me get through it. Nothing helped.

Before Thanksgiving, my nephew died so I flew home to Tennessee to be with my sister and attend his services. The plane ride was pure hell. My anxiety made that plane ride misery. But I made it. I spent time with my sisters, nieces and other family members. It was good to be with my family. I came back home and Thanksgiving was here. I spent it with my two dogs. But I make an effort every day to get better. There is no doubt in my mind, I would not be here without my dogs. Many days I can hardly go to work because leaving them causes anxiety so bad that I can’t drive. I’m working through all of this with my doctors.

Christmas season has been lonely but I am finding ways to feel good along with my dogs. Its been a struggle every day, but the last 2 weeks have seemed to turn around. I get support from a couple friends and some family but its all virtual due to new shelter in place. California is such a mess. Its leaders could care less.

I am feeling better. My last 2 weeks felt good. I was totally engaged at work and had energy. I didn’t feel anxiety attacks except once this past week and it ended quickly. I didn’t cry as much and not at work. So I keep my fingers crossed that I will soon feel like seeing what I will do in the twilight of my life.

I live in a beautiful area with my 2 dogs. I love my job. But I will be alone for Christmas due to Covid-19 Lockdowns in California. But as of tonight, I feel hopeful that I’ll be fine.

Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz, CA.

It’s Complicated

It’s been over a year since I made that long 3 day drive from Missouri to California to work and live in April of 2017.

Despite all that Northern California has to offer, it still does not really feel like home. Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret my choice to move here. My job is great and challenging. We are healthy and doing well, financially. But I do still get homesick for Missouri and particularly St. Louis.

When I see pictures of sights in St. Louis, my heart sinks a bit. I should delete all of the St. Louis instagram accounts that I follow. But I want to see what I miss. I know it’s weird but for some reason, I keep thinking I’ll move back when I retire. Hey, I forget that I don’t have many more years to my retirement! It’s just a quick thought in my head. But I am where I will be until the end of my life’s journey. I was intimate with that city, one might say. I ran so many miles through that city. Kevin and I had so much fun there. St. Louis is an old and great city despite the crime and poverty there.

I long to be in St. Louis the same way that I longed to be in California when I lived in Missouri. I know that’s weird. My feelings are very messed up and complicated.

I miss my kids and grand-kids so much that I feel like I’m not really, completely here. They say they are moving here next summer. I think they really want to be here and nothing would make me happier. But even so, a piece of me will always live in St. Louis.

I feel so left out of Daniel and Sadie’s life. I was very close to them and watched them grow and contributed to their upbringing. This must be how an empty nester’s feels.

And what makes it worse is that my baby brother is very sick. Since I am the older sister, I feel like the Mama in some ways and that it is my responsibility to be there. He has a great family and life there but I feel I should be there for support and comfort. I wasn’t there for my other brother when he was fighting cirrhosis and died a few years back.  I have 2 sisters that I feel like I deserted.

Most days and weeks, I’m happy and fairly content. But other days, I fight depression. Yes, I said it! I think not many people would know that about me….that I have experienced depression since I’ve been here. It’s not that often or that bad..ok it can get pretty bad occasionally. I’ve thought of seeing a counselor but somehow, I feel that makes me weak or a waste of time and money. I’m the tough one. I’m the one that adjusts to everything. I’m clutch! Kevin is a good friend, husband and person. I couldn’t keep my sanity if I didn’t have him. He’s patient with me and sees the pain that I am in when I go through these episodes. He tolerates and puts up with my crying spells.

Peyton and Eli are aging. It really shows on Eli lately and he is the younger of the 2. They are not that old but Eli is experiencing arthritis and walks like an old man. It’s never far from my mind that one day….probably soon that I’ll have to say goodbye to my babies. I have tears in my eyes even typing that. At the end of every work day….those boys welcome me home like a queen. That will never get old! It’s all I think of driving home….getting that love!

This area is full of natural beauty. I relish it. I indulge in it. But, the traffic is horrible and it pushes the limits of my patience…not that I am known for patience.

Daniel is flying here “solo” in the middle of July and the rest of the family is coming out for a visit 2 weeks later. I look forward to that like a kid looks at Christmas! I go to sleep thinking about hanging out with Daniel for the 2 weeks he is here alone. I want to spoil him like I used to!

I don’t blog much anymore. I find I either don’t have time or don’t know how to put my thoughts into words like I used to.

I had gained considerable weight and stopped running which also caused some depression. I’m happy to say that I’m on track to getting back to my goal weight. I am running again consistently and it doesn’t suck so bad. Kevin has lost a lot of weight and runs with me regularly. We are getting into some local 5ks and 10ks which is helping us feel like part of the community. It’s still not like those running parties in St. Louis. I do really miss those.

I’ll wrap up by saying that I love it here. I love my job, the ocean, beaches, redwoods, sea lions, otters, parks, diversity of people…..I’m happy that a boss turned friend gave me this opportunity. When my son, daughter in law and sweet kiddies move here, I will be content.

My advice to myself ~ life is short, stop bitching ~