It’s Been a Rough Year Thus Far.

28B9E8D5-E568-4227-85C6-5B02FFD960AF(Photo from the paradise fires, if you know the photographer please reach out, happy to give them credit).  I found this photo searching for “scorched earth”.

 

This year, at best, has been difficult.   My heart still aches with loss.

You see, in mid-January, my second week on the new job, @AbFab decided that I was no longer a participant in her family.  She said, via text and email, a lot of very selfish and hateful things.  The end result is she disowned her side of the family.   I understand why she would want to sever ties with her mother. I also understand why she was so angry with her grandparents (my parents)…   but for me?  I’ve done nothing but be an advocate for her AND her family.  I have no idea where the hate and anger came from…  but she wrote things that she cannot take back (She would not speak me on the phone so all her venom was spewed via text and email).

In the dark of night, she picked up and moved most of her family to another state. She left me hanging financially and emotionally – which she said I deserved, because I “owed her” for transgressions yet to be fully explained.  In addition to leaving me very financially vulnerable, she abandoned her oldest daughter @Mayonaise with her father, who is a horrible, terrible person.  My heart breaks everyday knowing this little girl has little to no chance of success given her surroundings.  All you have to do is watch 60 Days In to see what kind of person he is – @Mayonaise’s dad is a career druggie/criminal. Has spent his entire life stealing from others, has been in and out of jail forever.  Has never paid child support and is always scamming someone.    Don’t even get me started on the Juvenile justice system that allows a person like this to have custody of a child.   If they cared for the best interest of kids, this man would never be allowed to look at a child, much less be allowed to let one live with him.  Ask me about how his pedophile uncle exposed himself to the kids multiple times and he did nothing about it, when he was forced to report it, Child Protective Services did nothing about it.  Any kid not born of two well-to-do parents is fucked.

@AbFabs revelation could not have come at a worst time for me – I was two weeks into my new job. I’m doing my best to hold it together, living out of a suitcase at a friends house during the week while my cats lived with a friend because I had just been scammed out of an apartment (paid $7k for 3 months).. So instead of being all set up for my new job, I was stressed about a roof over my head for myself and the cats.  I was miserable to say the least.

Then, Jan. 25th – the barrage of nasty texts from  @Abfab.  No warning,  Just venom.  Shocked me to my core.  My entire world was turned upside down. I had to cut away from work to get a new phone number (we were on a family plan that they kicked me off of)…  hate spewing from my phone, going off like fireworks.  @Abfab felt entitled to say whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted with no regard for anyone else. Somehow she was the victim…

This was 7 months ago.  I have been so distraught, barely able to  get myself to work every day, living in a fog.  I have slowly come to terms with the situation, and am just now sharing this news with friends.  Yep- my heart is broken – the situation weighs heavily on me.  I feel now much like I did after my divorce… Who am I?  What do I care about?    How do I give my life meaning?    I do not know the answers to these questions.  This situation has changed me – I am not myself anymore.  Once again, I’m trying to figure my shit out.

So for now I am doing my level best to get up and go to work everyday; to get work done so I can continue to collect a paycheck.  As soon as this stops feeling like a chore I’ll  incorporate other self care activities into my daily regimen.

This is probably enough news for one blog post.

I’ll post more later.

I hope all is well on your end and that 2019 has treated you well.

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Bestie Might Move.

Stating the very obvious, it has been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been busy working my ass off.  I’ve been focused on my career, on making a substantial difference in the first 90 days.

I’m so busy, why write now?  Because my best friend has been interviewing for a phenomenal job opportunity.  It has been a long and arduous process.  But the process is nearing a conclusion and it looks very very promising.  I am so happy for her.  This opportunity is what she has been working so hard for – and to be completely honest, what women, in the software industry, have been wanting for so long – the coveted executive position. The only catch is that she has to move – to Seattle.  Which is a great place to live, we have friends there, and the cost of living is so much more livable than the Bay Area.

My heart hurts.  The thought of losing another bestie to another state makes me really sad. Really sad, crying sad.  I have 4 besties. Girlfriends that I’ve made plans to retire with:

  • Unicorns – who may potentially move to Seattle
  • CLicious – who moved to Utah 2 years ago
  • Jewels – currently dealing with a personal tragedy so great that it will take many years to heal
  • My longest bestie – probably knows the most about me. She is married with her own life on the East Coast

I have other friends that are around that care about me and I them.  With more effort on my part they could become substantial influences and best friends.

Right now what I am feeling is the simple sadness of missing someone.  Unicorns left for Europe right when I separated from my Ex.  I was so happy for her, but the depth of the alone-ness that I felt was devastating.  I do not know where I would be if CLicious and her husband hadn’t adopted me and included me in everything that they did.  They made me family… I will never forget their generosity.

The thought of Unicorns moving away has my stomach in knots, my heart torn apart.  I am very upset about it.  I automatically have gone back to the place I was 8 years ago – during the divorce and her departure.  Later, I remember clearly when CLicious left. I spent 6 months in a daze.  I had to relearn how to live, I had to figure out a new routine.  I can say I am still not completely over her departure. The thought of not having both Unicorns and CLicious makes me very sad.  And alone.

I am 45 years old.  I have no children.  My career is great…. but I am certainly not where I want or thought I would be at 45….  I love the company, the work, the potential.  But I am not a VP. If I work hard I can make the executive ranks in a few years….  so what, so I will be a VP when I reach my 50’s?  Is that really what is important? Is that really what I want?  No.

So what do I want?  I want a partner. Someone who I can be vulnerable with. Someone that I can support and who supports me.  I want a relationship where we have each others backs.  We look after each other, care for one another. What do I need? I need to feel secure and safe.   I am not lonely so it isn’t about just being with someone, with anyone. It’s about sharing life with a super special person that I care about and they care for me.

Yes, I have ATrain, the Ex, who wants to get back together.  I can’t see this being successful.  Not because he isn’t serious about it. He loves me. I love him.  Personality wise we make a great team.  But at the end of the day, I do not think we want the same things. He is happy with how things are. I want so much more.

Anyway, what you just got is my ramblings after drinking a few glasses of red wine….  Not that wine is required.  I’ve been so busy these last few months… busy and exhausted. With what you may ask?

  • I’ve been working my ass off at my new job (90 days in and so far so good).
  • Commuting..  taking public transportation and listening to podcasts to fill the time.
  • Totaled my car.. and just bought a new-to-me car.
  • Pre-registered want-to-be owner of a Tesla Model 3.
  • Trappings of a regular life – work and personal travel, family stuff, etc..

I will do my best to write more regularly.  My dramatic reaction to my bestie moving away  inspired me to write tonight.

Family Differences.

mood-girl-bokeh-photography-sad-aloneWow.  Just got off the phone with my mom.  The call did not go well.  My relationship with my parents has not been easy.  Lots of ups and downs.  My parents basically have two families – My Twin and I, and then my other sisters who are 9 and 11 years younger.  I do remember things being great until my sisters came along.. then it all went to hell.  😉

A week ago my mom had a disagreement/confrontation with My Twin sister…  My Twin and my mom walked away from this conversation with very different views.  I don’t agree 100% with either of their perspectives, I feel that I have an in-between view so I tried to bridge the gap.  My attempt was disastrous.

My parents were much more strict with My Twin and I – the rules were much more rigid and the punishment much more severe. They are and have been much more lenient with my younger sisters.  Right or wrong, it is the way that it is.  My parents are good people. They did the best that they could. But that doesn’t take away the fact that their treatment of each of us was and is  very different.  And when you treat your kids so differently it creates animosity. ADDITION: Perceived favoritism has long term impacts on adult children.

My mom got very angry. In a very angry voice she told me that she and my dad did the best they could.  Accused me of “jumping on My Twin sister’s bandwagon” (playing victim), and being judgmental.  She said they help all their kids no matter what and that will never change.

I told my mom that I know that she and dad did the best they could, but that doesn’t change the experiences that My Twin and I had… I then said that the best way to deal with differing perspectives is to talk about it, so that we could better understand the bigger picture..  She did NOT agree. Said that she doesn’t owe My Twin and I any explanations, then basically hung up.  I do not want my mom to feel bad, but her anger doesn’t change feelings.

My mom and dad did their best. I am proud of them. They have gone through a lot and I respect that they want to help their children.  But what if one kid takes more than the other?  Helping one child over an over again can take away from time with the other children.  It is a fact of life – you only have so much time and energy.  The fact is that my parents continue to help my 36-year-old sister takes away from the time and energy my mom has to spend with the rest of her kids.   Example, my sister has lived with my parents for 18+ years.  She still lives with them – my sister, her husband, and her 3 kids. My mom takes her 10-year-old to school and babysits the 3-year-old everyday.  My parents, who have been retired for 3 years, just went on vacation, away from their own home “to get away and relax”.

My parents have not been out to see me in CA in over 4 years.  Yep. 4 years.  Yes I have invited them, even offered to pay for them to visit.  They have yet to fit it into their schedule.

I feel like giving up.  I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to have a relationship with my parents.  But the relationship feels one-sided for the most part. If this was a love relationship, we would have broken up long ago.  I do love my parents, it would be nice to have a more balanced relationship.  Even without my sister sucking up all their time and energy, I am not confident that they would desire such a relationship.  Makes me sad.

Anyone else have a complicated relationship with their parents?

ADDITION:  Sibling Favoritism.  This is the issue. My perception is that my mom loved my youngest sister best, the sister who still lives at home is my dads favorite.  My Twin and I had each other. It always felt as if my parents were a family with my sisters and My Twin and I were the odd ones out.  Advise on the web is to “get over it”…  not exactly sure how one does this.

Thinking, Planning, and Regrets.

hindsight-rear-view-future-past-road-mirror

Today is the start of a full 3 days off from work.  I will still be working, but only checking emails here and there.  A-Train is out of town so I have time to think about everything and come up with a new plan – even if that plan is to stop making plans and go with the flow. 🙂

Some of my favorite blogger friends gave me some words of wisdom after my post, Think.  Harold Spain stated that even with the best of plans, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Grey Goose basically said do what you want now so you don’t have regrets later.  Both of their comments have me thinking in different ways.

Being a type-A thinker can be a curse.  My parents told me it’s a gift because you can observe your behavior, analyze what works and doesn’t work, and change course based on the direction we want to go.  My parents are so proud of me, what I have done in my life, and how I have done it (with integrity, forethought, etc..).  My good friend Unicorns and Rainbows has the same curse as we – we spend all our time planning and plotting our course of action that we are actually beginning to think that we are missing out on life.

Regrets suck.  Living with mistakes is o.k…  but when you look at the end of your life, and you wished you had done something else, something different, or in most cases, just something.  Doing nothing is what fuels most people’s regret.  Mine is being cautious – being too cautious has caused regrets. I look at my life to date – I’ve done a lot of things, lived life to its fullest in a lot of ways.  Oh I have made our fair share of mistakes, but I don’t regret them because they were great life experiences. The only regrets I have is being too cautious.  My biggest mistakes?

  1. Waiting too long to get out of a bad marriage – not leaving soon enough to live my life. Yes I loved my husband and I desperately wanted it to work. But he didn’t love me, he didn’t care about me and what I wanted and needed. Would I have loved for it to work out and still be married to him?  Absolutely.  Did waiting for him to “come around” work out?  No.  Waiting didn’t change him, it only left me more damaged and with less time to find another partner.
  2. Waiting too long to leave bad jobs – it hurt me both physically, mentally, and professionally.  Remember Man Hands? Why in the world did I wait it out? I know I thought I could turn it around. But it was and still is one of the worst experiences I’ve had while living on this planet.

When did I become so cautious? Is this what happens when you get older? Get stung too many times?  Once Bitten Twice Shy kind of thing?  Anyway, Harold’s words got me thinking – planning can help put focus on a direction I want to go, but I still need to adjust as needed and enjoy the damn journey.  Stop being so cautious, live a little.  Grey Goose’s reminder to not live with regret is the best way to live life…

So maybe a move in in my near future?  I get it, where ever you go, there you are, but maybe a change of pace is exactly what I need. Maybe the plan I created for myself years ago isn’t working for me and a new plan is in order.  Maybe being a VP or President of a company isn’t in my heart anymore. Maybe being close to my nieces, laughing, making dinner, and painting nails is….

What are your biggest regrets? What caused them – being too cautious… being too reckless… being too XX??

Home For Memorial Day Weekend.

photoI’m home from Nashville.  I arrived home in CA last Friday with some sort of ailment from being in the “dome” (aka Nashville Gaylord hotel) for so long.  Funny thing – I just did a search for Nashville Gaylord so I could provide a link and what is auto-populated in my Google search?  Nashville Gaylord Hotel Virus.  I kid you not – take a look for yourself.  Anyway, I didn’t get fresh air for days – 4 days to be exact.  It was like being in Vegas or Orlando… maybe that is what caused my dementia.  I’m feeling a bit better now, even though I did catch something while away and am recovering from some sort of head cold.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was on a business trip, and even with all my thoughts, I did manage to get out and connect with my customers, who have now become friends.  I’m lucky that I can talk to anyone about anything, my life experience has given me that.  For that I should be grateful.  It is a gift – and works out perfectly for the role I play in my work life.

On a personal front I can be a bit of a recluse.  I love my alone time.  I spend all my days talking to people, negotiating priorities, and solving problems.  I get tired of talking on the phone and dealing with other people’s wants, needs, desires.    Having a bit of quiet time in the evenings work for me – quiet time to decompress.  I realize that I soon will need to get out and meet other people. People outside of work and my safe, familiar friend network.  Someday that will happen, I’m just not ready yet. And that is o.k..  I’m o.k. with it…

So I have no plans for this long weekend.  Do you? Are you doing anything fun by yourself? with others?  The picture above is the good company I keep during my quiet periods..Sophie is never more than 2 feet from me at all times.  Aren’t I lucky?

 

Life is Full Of Lessons.

a-lesson-will-repeat-itself-until-learnedI’m spending a lot of time by myself, thinking through my relationships, the meaning of life, and trying to wrap my head around what it all means.

I’m lucky that I have a lot to focus on at work during the week.  I’m working hard – really working at changing my career for the better.  It’s been harder than I expected.  I just got my performance review back, a 360 degree review.  I’m struggling with some feedback, it is opposite of what I expected, and opposite of what I thought I’d discussed with my manager during the hiring process. I’m thinking hard about what I plan to do about the review and what it means for my career. I am NOT going to seek for approval or acceptance for an unlimited time period.  I will give myself a few weeks to work through the feedback, discuss my thoughts with my manager, and set my boundaries.I’m no longer willing to give without getting.. At the end of the day, I need to define the amount of time I’m willing to give before I get what I want.

Which leads me to what I’m really after.  I’m not willing to wait around for someone else to tell me what I’m worth. My job is to define my worth and let others know what that is.  I set my currency value.  I’ve never done this before – and looking back, reflecting on my past relationships, I realize how much power I have given up both at work and at home.  I don’t mean power in the way of control, but power in the sense of defining the things that are important to me, communicating the things I need and want from others.

This is a very big revelation for me.  I am disappointed that I didn’t learn this lesson from my first big relationship loss, or the end of my marriage… and that it actually took a total of 4 failed relationships to learn it.  But hey, at least I’m learning it now.  Knowledge is power, and is the first step in change.

Soooo, here I am. With a new found revelation.  I love it. It’s time for change, and I’m all for it.  Have any of you read the book How People Change?  I read this in college and I think about it all the time. The lesson I learned from the book – that awareness is the first step to making a difference, a real change.  There is a lot of work ahead to make my new found perspective a reality. But I know how to do it. So I’m on my way.

My Choices.

choicesAnother day has come and gone.  It wasn’t so bad.

I went to the office today.  I was so busy with meetings and follow-up that the time just flew by.  I got home around 6:30pm, pet the cats and wondered around for a bit. Then sat down on the couch, finished up some work, and am now getting ready for bed. This post will be much shorter than my recent posts (don’t get so excited).

Not only am I back and committed to writing more and working through my life in this public manner, my favorite blog friends are back as well.  They too have struggled over these last few years.  They have been so generous to share their experiences, their struggle, their deepest fears, angst, joys with all of us. I have come to know and love these folks – and their words have given me pause, made me think, and have influenced me in very positive ways.  They share their experiences with such honesty and openness, I aspire to write and share like they do.  I hope you enjoy their writings as much as I do –

  • That Precarious Gait – She is finally back! Like me, she took a hiatus – trying to get through each day, not knowing that I related to the experiences she shared…  Now is a great time to catch up with her, she just wrote a great post, catching me (and the world) up on why she has been gone for so long.  She has such a great writing style – so clear, concise, impactful, and emotional without being “victim-ish”.. it’s insightful and I gets me thinking.
  • Four Is A Family – Love this man’s sense of humor.  A Brit that lives in Virginia (or somewhere cold on the East Coast), living life and sharing his experiences on love, love lost, raising daughters (which is SO HARD), working, and trying to keep it together.  He too disappeared due to overwhelming life responsibilities.  But he too, is back. At the same time as me and That Precarious Gait.  Lucky me.

What I realized while dealing with my own shisa, is that others are struggling too, I’m not the only one out there running into family or relationship or other issues.  There are a lot of folks out there trying to figure out their path in life, working hard to learn from their experiences, and moving on, becoming better people through the process.

Anyway, it came to me today. Life is about the choices I make.  And this breakup is about the choices I’ve made over the last 3 years.. or maybe even longer.  It’s my responsibility to figure out why I’ve made the choices I have, to learn from them, and move on.

So here I go, sharing my journey with you.  The ups and downs, the process of learning from my successes and my failures.  I hope you get as much out of my experiences as I get from Precarious and FIAF.