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.

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A Weekend Of Reflections.

mirror-self-reflection-imageI would have written this weekend but I was tied up – with the flu, food poisoning, or some sort of stomach ailment that caused me to spend the weekend a) in fetal position, and b) the requirement to be in very close proximity to a clean and working toilet.

Maybe I had a few hallucinations, or maybe I’m just learning from my experiences, but here is where I’m at:

  • 30 minute workouts are perfect for me.  By the time I realize I’m working out, the workout is over.  I could probably go 45 minutes with the same attitude..  But for now I’m signed up for three 30 minute fat blast sessions a week. I go in the mornings. I’m loving the instructor, the class, and don’t mind the 15 minute drive to a fro.
  • Regularity is gods gift.  Too much is… well, is too much.  Not enough is painful.  My newfound love for daily movements is here to stay.
  • Being a “working stiff” isn’t a bad thing.  It is hard to deal with when amongst the non-working crowd yes.  I have not mastered how to gracefully make this work. I have spent the last few years feeling insecure about being a “working girl” when I was hanging with all the folks who didn’t work. Why?  BECAUSE I couldn’t relate – and truth be told, I am envious.  I want to spend more time reading books, napping, taking vacations, seeing the world.  But I can’t. At least I cannot right now.

I’m starting to feel less envious and less bad about where I’m at.  It is NOT bad.  It IS what it is.  I am where I am.  It’s not where I would like to be, but I have 110% control of where I want to go next.  So I think I may be done with my pity party and onto my next adventure, which right now is cooking Thai food.  Which by the way, tastes much better when someone else is cooking it for me or tasting it with me.

As you all know, one of my new years resolutions is to stop buying things and to pay off all my debt.  I AM paying off my debts like a mad woman… however, I’ve slipped.  I think I’ve been torturing myself with not having the things I need, waiting for someone else to get them for me.  Since ATrain broke up with me, I started thinking – I deserve nice things!  I decided that I’m treating myself to the things I’ve needed to turn my cottage into a comfortable place for me to spend time.  I’m going for it – making my small casa feel like home and investing in myself.

  • a new rug (LOVE IT),
  • a new TV (it was on sale AND its awesome),
  • and about $800 of new shoes and clothing.

It feels good, and is what has me rethinking  – I’m worth it.  Although I’d love another person to help me out, I’m not looking for a “helper”, I’m looking for a partner. Someone who wants me and us to have these things. ATrain has all these things, but they are for him, not for us.  And that is o.k. I’m glad he got and has these things for himself, it’s too bad I wasn’t part of it.

Anyway, I’m working hard at keeping myself busy – I’m putting my professional “business plan” in place, I’m going to my fat blaster class, and my mind is slowly coming out of the emotional cloud.  I like my downtime now.  It was scary at first, now its enjoyable.

And believe it or not, I’m taking lessons from my cats on how to value myself. Examples include:

  • Zoey – there are 3 doors into/out of the cottage – whatever door is NOT open is the one that Zoey wants to come through.  And I DO IT!  I get up and open the door for her.  For example, the screen door next to the kitchen is open, the cat door is available to her 24-7. But Zoey will scratch at the closed front door to be let in. The front door is about 4 feet from the cat door.  Yes, that is right, 4 feet. But she scratches and I open…she demands and I get up – every time.
  • Sophie – somehow ends up on my lap, while my laptop is on my side, on 2 pillows.. why? Because Sophie wouldn’t have it any other way.  And honestly, if I didn’t give her what she wanted, she would pester me until I would lose my mind.  So how did she train me to give her what she wants and I just do whatever (hurt my eyes, strain my back, etc.) to give her what she wants? She is a 9 pound cat!?!! And she is the boss.

So why am I so accommodating? Why am I not being as demanding as these two 9 pound monsters that rule my life?  No idea – because I’ve never been demanding? Because I don’t know how to be? I need to learn. It’s not about being demanding, it’s about knowing what I want and not being ashamed of it.

I’d love to hear your experiences about you getting stronger, learning to demand more at home and at the office.

Reconnecting.

Hello friends.

I know I’ve been out of touch, I’ve been working WAY TOO MUCH.  I’ve not had a second to myself, let alone for anyone else.  So much has happened since May…

First and foremost, I am alive. Just barely.. I’ve been working 80+ hours for months now.  Working on a work project that has consumed my life and not in a good way.  I gained the 10 pounds I lost last year, I am working for a woman who I can I only describe as grotesque.  Needless to say I’m looking for a new job.

Professionally I’ve exhausted myself – I’m completely burned out.  Totally spent.  I love the company I work for, I hate the person I’m working with.  I do love the other 95% of the people, but unfortunately to stay in my region I have to work with the person I’m working with. And IMO, life it just too short to work with poisonous people.  So on the hunt I go.

My personal relationships have suffered.  I have not seen most of my friends for months now…  and the ones I have seen it has felt rushed. I’m disappointed in myself for letting this happen.

Just because I’ve not written doesn’t mean I’ve not kept up with you, my favorite bloggers.  I love you GG and PG.. you both have kept me going this year.  Even though I’ve not responded to either of you, I love your posts. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with me. When I’ve needed a connection after long hours at the office, you are the first two I’ve turned to.   I’m also interested in Struggling Dad..  Anyone know what happened to him? Did he drop communication due to life’s complexities or can catch up with him on another blog site?

Regarding my main relationship, I’m in one, which is even surprising to me.  ATrain has stuck with me, has taken care of me and the girls – He is a great dad/father to the cats, and a great partner to me.  He has made more than his fair share of salads, dinners, and plans.  I’ve been an absentee partner for the most part, I’m lucky to have him, that he has been so patient with me. I tear up thinking about his kindness and generosity towards me over the last 6 months. 

For those of you that have gotten this far, I was able to purchase the house I remodeled and was living in. The ironic thing is that the girls and I now live with ATrain so I am trying to rent my home.  I’m renting it furnished. I did not have a problem renting it in August.  I’ve got 3 people interested for September. I am on the hook to show it to these folks during Labor Day Weekend.

I’m in Boston this week working and visiting with one of my best friends who stopped blogging years ago Unicorns and Rainbows. I do wish she would start blogging again – she has been doing interesting things and I’m sure her parents and I (along with you) would love to know the latest and greatest.

So, if I had to summarize  my position right now I would say that I’m feeling fat, un-confident, searching for a new path/job/lot in life, have a great support system with my boyfriend ATrain, friends C-Licious, Free Bird, Smarty Pants,  and family including Mom and Dad, AbFab, Lil’ Darlin, and my Twin. I just need to get off my ass and do something to change where I’m at, the situation I’m in. Stop complaining and DO SOMETHING.

I’ll write more and post pictures of my Santa Cruz weekend soon.

Thanks for reading.

My Dad Has A Twin.

O.k.. so I do NOT have many dating experiences under my belt, But I’ve had my first “rock your world” date …  but not in a good way. 

First, Dad, Mom, I love you dearly. This experience may be offensive to you, so if you proceed to read, do so with caution and remember to be strong – I love you!

So, tonight, I went on a date with a nice guy – he was a happy individual, has great relationships with his sons, has an intersting and well paid profession… but when he came to my door to pick me up for our date – it was over.  He looks EXACTLY like my father.   We spent the first 15 minutes at my house, gave him the tour, talking about where we wanted to go…   he was very nice.  But in my head, all I could think was that I was about to go on a date with my FATHER!  Poor chap, after one look it was over –  I do not want to date him OR think about having sex with him.  Ewwwhhhh.

Now, the date wasn’t planned.  I’ve been very busy and focused on work for the last couple of weeks,  but I received a call, out of the blue,  from this gent asking me to dinner.  I needed a break and I enjoyed talking with him, so why not?  As a matter of fact, he actually flew in a day early so that he could have dinner with me… I was definitely impressed with his level of interest.

WE went out, had a couple of drinks at a local watering hole, then had a really nice dinner at a local restaurant.  Everything about our surroundings was perfect, and we actually had good conversation.  However, there are thoughts that ran thru my head, that no matter how great this guy was,  the date was “over”..  I don’t even think I can be “just friends”… I have a dad, and I can’t get past that “dating my dad” thing..   O.k.. so the things that I wanted to write down in my little red pad (while he was talking!!!)  include:

  • He sweats profusely.  At first I thought he was just nervious or thrilled to be with such a fun, good looking, and intelligent person, but it just never stopped.  He was wiping his forhead and neck all night long.  It would have been better if he turned to me and told me about a gland problem he was afflicted with… but he did not.. I have no idea why he was sweating for hours straight..   maybe he is detoxing from something??  No idea.
  • Nervous habits.  He was so fidgety… always moving around.. back and forth, hand movements, facial expressions, bulging eyes….   Maybe  its the drugs?  Or he is just really really expressive…
  • Loves VW’s.  Collects them.. loves them.  A VW Horder if you has me (he has more than one).  My dad, too loves VW’s.  Just ask me and/or my mom about my fathers passion for anything VW.
  • Bad Knee. Nothing wrong with it, it is what it is.  But my dad also has a bum knee.  Lots of stories about the knee, what happened, recovery, and living with an aching joint.  Again, nothing wrong with it, it just reminds me of dad…  It also means he doesn’t exercise and thats a deal breaker – running is my therapy and I love a man with a nice firm body… 
  • Face.  The man looks exactly like my dad!!!  Same receding headline, scar near his laugh line, grey hair…..  

So, I need to say again, I love my dad, he is awesome.  Love talking with him, catching up with him, and taking care of him (as much as he will let me)…..   but I dont want to date my dad, and I certinaly do not want to have sex with my dad! 

Given all of these things, there is just absolutely no way we can have a relationship. Friendship maybe, “Friends with Benefits” – no way.  Poor guy, didn’t know/doesn’t know yet he’s out….. or why.  How do you tell someone this?  I would love to hear what you would recommend I say…. I know he is going to call me again. Grrrrr.

Sophie is Missing Again.

Sophie has gone missing again.  I knew spending 3 weeks out-of-town would be tough on her….  I thought that having a cat sitter would help alleviate her anxiety.   I know she is a cat, but she loves/craves/needs human attention/affection.  She needs it more than most humans I know.  She is such a love bird.

I recieved a message on Wednesday about Sophie from a total stranger.  This woman, Monica, called to let me know that Sophie had been “found” …. that she had taken Sophie into her home.  She called at midnight EST so I wasn’t able to respond until Thursday (3 hour time difference)..  I called her immediately.  I thought we lived only a few houses apart…. I told her to just let Sophie go, that she would find her way home.  She left me a message stating she let Sophie go Thursday eve, but Sophie has not shown up at the house as of yet.   I’ve called Monica a few times, left messages, and she has not responded.  The cat sitter, bless her heart, has gone above and beyond to find her….    to no avail.  Sophie has been gone for 2 nights now, Thursday night, if she doesn’t show up, is her 3rd night away from the house.

I’m beside myself. My heart hurts..  I feel so stressed and helpless about being so far away and not being able to do anthing.  My life is taking forever to progress.. minutes feel like hours.. I’m not focused on anything but finding Sophie….  I’m also overwhelmed by the fact that when I finally do get home, I can’t do anything until Monday (SPCA doesn’t “do” lost and found on Saturday)…. I’m not functioning well…  I thought I was stronger than this, but I guess I’m not.  I’m at the end of my rope.. I’ve got nothing left to give.  This event has pushed me over the edge.

I’ve taken a full ambien so I can sleep tonight.  One more day of training and 8 hours of travel… then I can be home to whistle for Sophie…. I hope it isn’t too late.

Here are the links to her first MIA and our renion.

Dear Paula Letter.

I received my Dear Paula letter today.  The thanks-but-no-thanks email that lets you know that whatever you shared with someone is no longer.   They wish you the best in your endeavors…but prefer to go it alone.

My heart is broken.  Its my fault, I dove in head first.  Those of you who know me know I do not love lightly.  I’m in or out.   I’ve let myself love very few people in this world…  have let only a few men “into the circle”.  I do live life fully and passionately, and when friends leave the circle, my heart hurts.  I’ve tried to protect myself from this pain, but when I don’t let people in, I don’t feel anything… I’m numb.  That’s no good.  So I let people in and I get to feel both the highs and lows of their travel into and out of the circle and my life.    So as much as I prepare for a moment like this, it doesn’t work and strikes me at the core of my being every single time.

I dont’ know why, but I thought this relationship was different.  Like it could go somewhere.  It clicked for me, felt good, felt natural.  It was easy even though there were a lot of things going on.. I  felt we wanted the same things:  zero drama, enjoyed being in the moment, and laughed a lot.   Friends with potential is how I saw it… I don’t think I’m off base, but had more to do with bad timing. I thought we could overcome this with honesty, patience, communiation …. but it wasn’t meant to happen/be.

In general, I’ve had a rough couple of months. I found and started a new job which has required/will require a lot of work travel.   But in addition to the new job and travel, I’ve had rental property mishaps and heavy family stuff to deal with…..   I felt understood… connected….. we both had busy lives, a lot going on, but were able to find moments to enjoy each other and the simple things in life.

God I’d love a safe place to fall….  or just a bit of understanding, compassion, and comfort.  Life is not easy, and it would be nice to know that someone is in my corner.  Someday it will happen.

So, tonight, I will curl up in a ball, in a hotel room somewhere in Boston, trying to keep myself warm, and take a few moments to have a pity party.  I don’t really have time to wallow, I’ve got to get myself up tomorrow, be the star in my training group, lunch with my VP,and educate myself on what it takes to sell the hell out of the software I now sell.

I’m going to watch one more Family Guy and head to bed… crying.   I hope  my eyes are not be swollen tomorrow from the tears I shed tonight.  If they are, my VP is in for a real treat!!   Damn those puffy eyed west-coasters…  😉

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

NYR 2011

Happy New Year everyone!!  Now is the time to make commitements to yourself, steer your life in the direction you want it to go.  I have many New Years resolutions this year….. some are follow-ups from last year, some are new ones.  I absolutely love the new year… new beginnings are so fun and refreshing.

So, 2011, what do I want to focus on?   What do I want to accomplish? Here’s the list.

  1. Financial Life.  I need to get my financial house in order.  Between purchasing a new house and gaining new employment, I really need to get this done. The goals are:
    • Debt. Remodeling the new house cost a lot more than I had agreed up and expected. It cost more money than I had.  I now owe a bunch of money to someone, and I have no way of repaying this debt right now.  I need to come up with a repayment plan and get this debt/loan paid off.  Really bothers me to owe someone money and is the main reason why this is goal # 1 for 2011.
    • Build a Trust/Will (rollover from 2010).  I do not have a ton of money, but I will be worth something when I die, so I want to make sure that my money goes to where I want it to go.  I do know that none of my accounts list the EX as a beneficiary, but now I want to be specific on where I want it to go…. to educating my nieces and nephews, animal rights organizations, etc.. I want to put all the proceeds from my 401(k), life insurance policies, work AD&D into the trust, then name the beneficiaries in one place. My friends have done this, I have the name of a good attorney, I just need to do it.  
    • Not Buying It.  Love this one, did well in2010, and I’m going to continue it.  I just do not need anything…   I’m going to make sure that if I spend money, that its important and I need it. And given that I have debt to pay off, this is a solid resolution to have.
  2. Weight Loss.  So, I lost 5 lbs and a dress size last year. My body shape has absolutely changed.. clothes that used to fit do not fit or fit strangely.  I do feel good about this, but I don’t feel as good as I thought I would.  I want feel better about myself, so there is more work to be done.  My goal is to lose 5 more pounds and another dress size.  It’s important that I shape up and gain muscle, lose fat.  I have plenty to work on:   I’d like to continue to focus on my stomach, my backside could use a reduction and some shaping, and my arms could use some toning.  So I’m going to do the same thing I did last year:  watch what I put in my mouth and try to exercise/do something every day. I love yoga and pilates, I’ve got a few good DVD’s that I can take on the road with me.  Its all about staying healthy and getting to a healthier state.  
  3. Professional Life. I had a bad year professionally in 2010.  The company I joined in 2010 was not a good fit for me for many reasons.  I worked very hard and did my best and it still just didn’t work out.  I’m happy that I found a new job so quickly and the new company I’m with feels like a much better fit.  What I want to do this year is grow – it seems like its been forever since I’ve learned something new.  My new company focuses on education and enabling their sales team for success, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.  A couple of things I’d like to focus on professionally this year:
    • Presentation Skills.  I’ve always wanted to be a sleek and smooth presenter. Most often I feel like I fumble thru a presentation.  I want get to the point where I feel comfortable, where I know that I’m delivering a bang-up presentation.  This will take a bit of reading and practice…I have a few books I’m going to read and I’m going to practice practice practice.  
    • Professional Style.  Since I’ve not been “out” at customer sites in a while, I feel out of touch with my business clothing.  I want to slim down my wardrobe and keep only the pieces that I feel most comfortable in.  I have a few great suits which I love and fit me well, but its the upscale business casual clothes that I need.  My first goal will be to weed out the pieces that don’t fit well, then identify the pieces that I need… I want to be selective and make sure that its a good piece that will last a long time. Yes, I’m aware that I have goals about not spending money, I think that its only a few pieces and good, solid pieces never go out of style and its worth the investment.
  4. Personal Life. There are a couple of things I want/need to do this year.
    • I want to have love in my life again.  I would like to find a partner is that available and ready for a healthy, happy relationship.  Relationships are not easy, they do take work, but I think with good communication, patience, trust, and understanding, you CAN actually have one that is  drama free and fun.  I’m going to leave myself open for love and see what happens.
    • Reconnect with a good friend.   There is one friend that I’ve known for many many years that I just stopped communicating with.  It wasn’t because anything happened, its largly because I was working so hard and trying to succeed at work.  Then when time passed I didn’t want to own up to all the time passing… .so I didn’t reach out.  But now, I think about it all the time, wondering what happened to this friend of mine.  She was an exceptional person and friend to me, and I just need to own up to being lazy and reach out.  I need to apologize and make an effort to bring the friendship back into my life. 
  5. Alcohol Intake. I cut back significantly on my drinking in 2010 and I’m going to do the same thing in 2011.  I credit this to my job that didn’t work out and not traveling.  I worked very hard in 2010, in a job I didn’t like, for a company that was “different”…  YOu would think this would cause me to drink more, but I was working so much that I didn’t have time for drinks.  In previous jobs, I traveled quite a bit, and did a lot of drinking when I was on the road (airports, airplanes, restaurants, hotel bars, etc)).  This year, I will not be drinking on airplanes.  It’s Jan. 14th, I’ve taken 3 flights (2 were 6+hours), and I have not had a drink….  Its taken great strength to NOT order a couple of drinks on the airplane so far, but I’ve done it.  I think it will get easier and easier as the year progresses.  A couple of exceptions to this:
    • Vacation.  If I’m on my way to or from a vacation, long weekend, etc..
    • Upgrade.  If I’m ever upgraded to business or first class where the drinks are free.. well, its free and I’m going to partake.
    • Free.  If I am offered a cocktail at no cost by a flight attendant or fellow passenger I’m taking them up on it. 


I’m going to be on the East Coast a lot this year – and I want to arrive in each location without a hangover…  Its hard enough to deal with the 3 hour time difference… if I need help sleeping, I’ll take a pill.

 

That’s it.  I know, a lot to focus on, but I’m ready… I feel solid this year, I’m in a good place, and now, its time to excelerate forward.  I’m looking forward to all the oportunities that present themself in 2011!