Most of us are familiar with the phrase “wrong side of the tracks”. It’s a reference to how railroad tracks separated the “nice” side of town with the “undesirable” side of town. The difference was typically financial.
I’ve been lucky. For most of my life I’ve have been able to live in comfort, in a safe area, with plenty of room in my house. I felt blessed and loved opening my home to friends and family. Money was never an issue. Of course early in my marriage, we struggled but over time financial struggles grew less.
Now I am living on the other side of the tracks. I have no health insurance. Today my new glasses, due to my difficult prescription, cost $805. That included the exam. No idea how I’ll pay for them, but they are needed. I am having some health problems which require expensive medical tests. I can’t afford them because in Texas I must make less than approximately $12,000 to qualify for Medicaid.
I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I feel scared. I feel trapped. This must be the same feeling millions of people live with every day. They are poor but not poor enough. It truly is a stressful way to live.
Take the time and go see the other side of the track. Talk to someone. Help someone. Maybe even someone you know is in the same situation I’m in and are too embarassed to ask for help. Reach out.
Have you ever caught a glimpse of a reflection in a mirror and wonder who it was only to realize you were looking at yourself? That happened to me today. I didn’t like what I saw. How had I completely stopped taking care of myself? There was no evidence of joy. I looked unhealthy and sad. I have allowed almost four years of my life to be wasted. Wasted in depression and sorrow over a toxic relationship.
I think it’s taken all of this time to shake free of the torment and hold my ex had over me. He had trained me never to trust my own decisions and choices. He convinced me no one would ever want me and I’d never get a job. And guess what? I let those lies determine how I spent my time, but no more.
Depression is an ongoing battle which I don’t think is ever cured. It’s more like a disease in remission or an ugly monster which is locked away but manages to rear its ugly head every now and then. So I do anticipate having to continue this battle but I know I will ultimately win the war and find joy and contentment.
I have had a ringing in my left ear for two months now. I’ve been to an ear specialist and there isn’t much which can be done. When there is a lot of white noise during the day, I can manage. But I love alone and it is very quiet here. It’s then the ringing is so loud I feel as though someone else would be able to hear it.
The doctor said it is a middle ear problem. I’ve searched all over the Internet for solutions. Nothing has worked. This definitely doesn’t make my battle with depression easier. In makes it more difficult. The doctor mentioned Ménière’s disease but I’ve only had one bout of vertigo and that was over a year ago and I had no ear issues then.
I just pray I could catch a break. The tide keeps rising and keeping my head above water gets more difficult. Just taking it one minute at a time.
The Today Show has been doing a series titled “The New Middle Age.” Joan Lunden told us in a survey people selected 55 as middle age. Which I find very interesting because she interviewed women in their 40s with young children. Definitely not the demographic described by her own survey. I don’t know about you but where my life is now is vastly different from where my life was 10 years ago. And I think there is a major life shift for most people between mid 40s and mid 50s.
Children leave home. Careers change. You are either promoted or downsized. Marriages grown stronger or they break apart. The husband has a mid-life crisis and runs off with a younger woman. Sons and daughters-in-law and grand children are added to the family. Maybe you downsize your home or move to a new place, which means getting rid of lots of things. So I think her interviews held no weight because she didn’t interview people who were really middle aged.
Today they shared some round table talk with a variety of ages. I think their survey numbers were way off because I think people lied about discriminating based on age. Again age discrimination is alive and well. I can’t find a job because I’m entering the workforce at such a late time in life. Their is a perception I can’t learn new skills or my potential career will be to short. I clearly remember signing in at a Verizon Store. They took customers in the order in which they signed in unless you were a pretty young blond. A male Verizon employee disregarded the list of who was to be served next and went to help the blind hottie. I spoke up loudly and complained to the manager. Of course he said he didn’t see a problem.
For a woman 50 seems to be the magic number. It’s when you disappear from TV, movies, music, etc. And I finally stopped trying online dating because the majority of men, regardless of age set their search parameters not to select women who exceed 50 years of age. If you are over 50 you’ll never show up as a possibility. Even women your own age separate you out of their life if your life doesn’t follow their path i.e. you are divorced and they are still married.
I try and forget my age but always try and remember getting older is a privilege many never get. So rather than ignoring the “older” person next to you, engage them in conversation and open your world to new possibilities of friendship.
It is fairly common for most businesses and churches to have mission statements. They can be quite simple or complex but the mission statement helps define who something or someone is and how they want to contribute to the world around us. I’ve tried writing my own personal mission statement but always seem to lose focus. How specific should I be? Do I need an individual statement for each area of life? Can I write it so it is clear, concise and helps me become the person I wish to be? Whatever step I take, I need to begin by trying.
I have found a great, FREE, online tool which can help you write your own personal mission statement. At Franklin Covey they walk you through the process. They ask the questions and you supply the answers. When you are finished with the process, they provide you with a well written and concise mission statement. You can go back and tweak it if something does not reflect your original meaning. Once you read it you may find you want to go back and add or delete something. It is very easy to use. Below is my personal mission statement made atFranklin Covey.
I am at my best when I am helping people.
I will try to prevent times when I have no purpose.
I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can write, read, answer questions, and be creative.
I will find enjoyment in my personal life through writing, reading, creating, giving back to the community, spending time with my daughters and traveling.
I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as making people feel welcome and included, explaining things, being a friend, writing and being creative.
I can do anything I set my mind to. I will write a book, travel the world, and learn to speak French, Spanish and Italian, buy a home so I can invite friends and family to make memories with me there, and volunteer to help girls.
My life’s journey is about loving my ex-husband, freely offering forgiveness and ultimately being betrayed. It is how I am healing from the hurt with the support of Heidi, Chris and Kari and rebuilding a full life including the possibility of love with a new life partner. My journey is about making a positive contribution to my family and community.
When I am 80, I will be a person who is surrounded by my daughters, their husbands, my grandchildren and my life partner. My church and community friends will be there to celebrate the positive and loving impact I have had on them and my community. I will be celebrating what I can accomplish in my time left on this earth, my faith in God and the legacy I will leave behind.
My most important future contribution to others will be my daughters’ deep faith in God and the knowledge he is always with them and will never leave them. I will have also taught them the importance of forgiveness, loving support and leaving behind toxic people. These qualities will enhance the lives of everyone with whom they come in contact.
I will stop procrastinating and start working on:
Taking better care of my health through diet and exercise.
Returning to my faith by joining a church and becoming an active participant.
Believing in myself and my ability to succeed, be happy and to be loved. Giving up the idea I am doomed for unhappiness and to be alone for the rest of my life without a loving life partner.
I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:
Compassion in action
Deep and abiding faith despite unanswered prayers
I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:
Taking control of my health by choosing a healthy diet and adding an exercise program.
Joining a church, getting involved and beginning to study the Bible again.
Signing up to learn something new
No longer isolate myself by finding areas in my community in which to become involved.
From my Book: From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist. Admitting faults, or taking responsibility for their harmful actions would take some degree of empathy of which Narcissists have NONE. It is virtually impossible for the Narcissist to put themselves in other people’s shoes and seeing him/herself as […]
We read stories everyday of women that have been abused by a man. And sadly these women tend to repeat bad choices and go from one bad relationship to another. For anyone with a solid self-esteem and self-worth, it is incredulous that any woman would stay in such a damaging relationship. Here is something that so many people fail to understand; the abuser rarely walks in and begins the abuse immediately. There is physical abuse and emotional abuse. They go hand in hand but emotional abuse can happen without physical abuse. That is my story.
Why didn’t I share? I was embarrassed and ashamed. Slowly over time my sense of independence was destroyed. Over time the belief I was lovable was destroyed. Day by day comments, looks, turning things around so I would begin to question myself believing somehow I caused him to cheat and having my concerns being dismissed and ignored regularly created a complete sense of instability. If my ex-husband was home I was always tied up in knots because I was worried I wasn’t making him happy. When he was out-of-town I was tied up in knots because I worried about what he was doing. Should I have left years ago? Of course, but he didn’t reveal his true-self all at once. He did itslowly over time. Think of a bucket being filled by one drop of water at a time. It takes a long time before the bucket overflows. So don’t judge your friend who finds herself in my position. Listen to her. Don’t rebuke her for not leaving sooner. Hug her. Offer support anyway you can. Don’t exclude her because she is no longer a couple. And certainly do NOT remain friends with her abusive ex-husband.
If I could give advice to any woman who is living with a narcissist, it would be to read as much as you can about narcissism and how narcissists manipulate their victims. I would encourage her to find someone to share any secrets i.e. his cheating, his addictions, his crimes. Had I come forward the first time I found out what he was doing, I might have received support from my friends. However the shame he created in me, kept me silent. Silence is a killer. It kills your spirit. So speak up. Leaving is scary. I am facing homelessness at 56 because I was a stay-at-home mom and with no full-time work experience since 1984, I can’t get any business to take a chance on me.
Why do I write about this again? I write about this again because I can’t just dump the over-flowing bucket of abuse. It leaves as slowly as it came. Now I have a small hole in the bottom of the bucket and daily a little more of it drains out. It is just going to take time, a lot of time. Sadly I don’t have time when it comes to a job. While my ex enjoys a life in the lap of luxury, ignores his children and pretends he never destroyed lives, I work to survive and they learn to accept life as fatherless children.
I watched A&E’s tv show Intervention. It focuses on drug addicts that agree to do a documentary but in the end there is an intervention. Two things stood out to me while watching the show:
1st: I missed multiple opportunities to insist on intervention with my ex-husband and his addictions. Had I been honest with myself and my friends from the first time the police called, there might have been a chance to save him and save our marriage. But instead just like some of the family members on the tv show, I chose to ignore the seriousness of his addictions and how destructive they were and still are.
2nd: I saw too many silimaritirs between drug addiction and the way it destroys families and my depression. I don’t drink or use drugs but I’ve allowed my depression to become an addiction. I’ve taken steps to get help and I’m slowly getting better. But seeing first hand how heartbroken the families are watching their loved ones suffer and how much suffering it causes them made me realize I have to fight harder.
I have to fight every second of every day to forgive myself for allowing my ex-husband to mentally and emotionally abuse me. I have to fight to forgive myself for not leaving. I have to forgive myself for disappointing my daughters.
I have wonderful girls. They make me proud and happy everyday. They along with my son-in-law have stood by me. They have been strong and stood up to their father and refused to accept his behavior and his failure to admit his addictions and how he has hurt our family. They’ve also been strong and stood up to me and told me they know I can do better, be better and be happier.
All I can do is face the reality of my situation and fight my way back. I never deserved to be treated the way I was. I never deserved to be disrespected, ignored or cheated on. I deserve so much more.
To be honest I couldn’t find anything I felt worthy of readdressing. My mood is dark as is my future. I no longer think clearly or have the ability to read a book or watch a simple television show without seeing and thinking of all that was taken from me and what I will never experience again. And to aggravate me and wear my patience my cat will not stop crying. He meows over and over, louder and louder. Do you think he speaking for me? Crying the tears when I’m too lost to cry for myself?
“The garden was nothing to her anymore. Let it run to waste and let the giant weeds grow. It would match the desolation of her soul” Demelza from Warleggans by Winston Graham
I feel just like Demelza describes in this passage. It feels as though my life and soul are being choked out by weeds. Where beauty and happiness resided now you’ll find a wasteland of weeds. I can’t blame it on anyone but myself. Yes, my ex did horrible things. He did things that no man should ever do and no woman should ever accept. But since the end of my marriage, I let the seeds of misery grow in my heart and it has become a garden overgrown with weeds.
Just like weeding a real garden, it is difficult work and it’s always horrible to face the prospect of all the work. Changing my life is not less daunting. It is hard work and there are no guarantees the time and energy will make any difference. At times it is overwhelming. There are days I think I see the bloom of a flower but as quickly as it comes, it’s gone.
I just have to take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Just like pulling weeds from the garden, you do it one at a time and make sure you gets the roots or the weed will just come back. I’m making sure I get the roots this time.