Mental Defective

 

These words are staring at me from the letter sitting on my desk. I feel branded for life. So much for privacy. How did this come about you are no doubt wondering, Cathie, what the hell is this about? Where did this come from?

Well, let me explain. About five years ago I was put on a 72 hour hold for attempted suicide. Hold on before you judge. I had been on a certain medication for chronic back pain, however, due to my Bipolar disorder, I cannot take antidepressants. Well guess what, this particular medication has antidepressant in it. So of course, it sent me spiraling down into a deep, dark tunnel of depression which in turn, landed me in the hospital on suicide watch. Now I am branded for life as a Mental Defective. I would like to thank my dear PCP at the time, for being so knowledgeable with the medication prescribed! (I have since, relied on my pharmacist for medication side effects).

So now you are probably wondering why I received such a letter to begin with. Well, a few weeks ago my husband and I were at a gun show and I wanted to purchase a Smith & Wesson Shield. So I filled out all the paperwork for a background check and to my dismay, I was denied! I had no idea why. I didn’t have a criminal record, I didn’t have any outstanding tickets. I did wonder about the 72 hour hold, but quickly dismissed it, after all it wasn’t like I was locked up in a mental institute! Well surprise! It came back to bite me.

I suppose with all the mass shootings going on in our country, I can understand the hesitation to allow someone with a mental diagnosis the right to buy a firearm. I also however, understand why people buy guns on the black market. Of course wimpy me wouldn’t have the courage to buy a gun from a stranger; the damn thing would no doubt have been stolen and of course I would no doubt land in jail because that is just what happens to people like me. Or worse, the damn thing would blow back in my face due to some defect in the mechanism and blow my fingers off, therefore making it impossible to shoot a gun, so then we are back to me not owning my own gun once again. It pisses me off though, that I spent all this money on a gun safety course, more to get into the gun show and for what? I wonder if I can get all that money back for being a “mental defective” person. why not? If they are going to deny me the right to buy a firearm, then they should give back the money I spent to do so legally and according to their rules. OK, better simmer down before the men in white coats show up at my door. Do they even wear white coats?

You are by this time no doubt wondering why a sixty year old woman would even want a gun in the first place. I can assure you it isn’t for self defense. I tend to freeze in place when threatened or scared, which would only help the would be assailant. “Here, take my gun and shoot me please.” Yeah, I don’t think so. OK, let me tell you why I did and do want one. First of all, because I keep forgetting I am sixty. Second of all, I like shooting, its fun for me, it always has. My husband and I go to the shooting range (I have to rent a gun) every month for fun. It is a good stress reliever. But this gets expensive! It costs $50.00/hr to rent a gun; then you have to buy the ammo, and of course there is the fee to use the range. Hell, after about six months, you have paid the price for a small hand gun!

But this isn’t the real issue here. I can live without owning a gun. What the difficult side of this is, are the words, “Mental Defective” as I am described in the denial letter. Mental illness I can tolerate, somewhat; but defective? Doesn’t that sound harsh? Like maybe a bit crazy even? Yes, my friends call me crazy at times, but that is in fun (I hope). This letter was not in fun. It is a label. One I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Not knowing how or when this diagnosis will show up, will haunt me. It will cause me to feel hesitant to apply for anything that would entail a background check. Do potential employers get this information when doing a pre-employment background check? Is this who I am now? A mental defective? Will it be dismissed at some point if I stay out of hospitals? And whenever I have to change doctors, it will no doubt come up once again.

Once you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it does not go away. Nor are you likely to be treated as one who is of sound mind. Not from doctors with huge egos anyway. If I show the slightest sign of sadness or anger I am immediately watched closely for depression or homicidal precautions from a doctor. It is not an easy thing to live with. Around my friends and family I am treated equal and like a normal person, whatever that is,. and the thought of being Bipolar never comes up. Lucky for me, it is Bipolar II which is a mild form. (I always feel I have to state this, as if somehow, people will see me in a better, safer manner).  It is not of the type that has to be medicated heavily.

I share this because it is who I am and I have posted personal stories prior to this, it is no secret. I am not a secret. Not anymore that is. I also share it because I have to wonder how many women are out there feeling less of themselves because of a mental illness diagnosis. I am here to tell you it does not have to define who you are. Just as this letter from the CBI does not define who I am. It is simply stating a condition I have. Everyone just about, has a diagnosis, be it high blood pressure, arthritis, or mental illness.

So yes, at first reading of this email I was immediately filled with shame and humiliation. Once again I am made to feel there is something seriously wrong with me. I wasn’t sure how to explain to my friends who also like to shoot, why I was denied. They all assumed it was a traffic violation or someone using the same name. Now I have to tell them, no, it was due to a 72 hour mental hold. Will these friends sigh in relief knowing I cannot possess a lethal weapon? Probably. In a joking kind of way. But thankfully, my friends have known me a long, long time and know I am not insane, dangerous. Nor do they see me as a “Mental Defective”. Oh how I hate those words. How horrible they sound. But I refuse to let them define me! Like a dear friend has said, “others opinions of you, does not define who you are.

So to the CBI I say, “I am not a mental defective! I am a wonderful, strong and decent human being. I am not a danger to myself or anybody else”.  Yes, I am sure 90% of the people out there committing horrendous crimes are mentally ill, (see how different, less shameful these words sound?), and should never be given the go ahead to purchase a weapon. But did being denied the right to purchase a firearm stop them from getting them somewhere else? No. Why? Because they had a mission to harm others and no piece of paper was going to stop them or prevent them from getting their hands on guns. That is the sad fact people. Those are the ones you should be afraid of. Not people like me who were deemed dangerous to themselves because of a medication error. They don’t know that of course. But if they are going to turn you down, shouldn’t they check into the facts? Not jump to some conclusion that puts everyone with mental illness into one big generic category.

OK, I refuse to allow this to ruin the rest of my day. But writing and sharing it helps to lessen the shame and disappointment. Knowing 90% of society suffers in one degree or another from mental illness takes the sting out of the whole thing.

So on this note, I believe I will go cuddle up in my recliner and finish the good book I have been reading. Focus on all the positive things and people in my life and remind myself, and those of you out there who live with this illness, that it is not a big deal unless we make it so. Truth be told, its not the end of the world if I can never buy a gun. I will just find another hobby. Another form of fun. But it still sucks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Becoming My Better Self

Recently two big, difficult things came into my life. Loss of job and communication wiht two sisters. Let me start off by saying, it was my choice to quit my job before I was unjustly terminated by a wicked evil step-boss. As I look over the last 7 years of working with this woman, and how I behaved like such a people pleasing child hoping to win her approval and thus causing her to like me and approve of my work; I realize all it got me was 7 years of hard labor with little respect.. I guess its true, to gain respect you have to earn it. I did not. How could I? I had none for myself, how could I possibly expect it from others?

The other difficult decision I made was to have no communication with those two sisters, a long time necessary choice. (Don’t judge me if you happen to have a healthy family background). I have no idea where I am going from here, nor what I want to do in my  next job. I have a lot of these unwelcome pesty thoughts running through my head telling me all the things that will keep someone like me from  gainful employment. Old hands, slightly graying, although beautiful hair, so I am told. And of course, there are those horrible hairs that pop up on your face without warning and you are sure everyone has seen them, but didn’t feel right telling you. My husband is the worst; when I yell at him for not telling me about the foot long hair I had just found, he claims in a defensive tone, “I didn’t notice it!” OK, come on, how could he not see it when we are close up kissing? Alright, its true, its not like he is thinking with the head on his shoulders at these times.  We all know how much we love to walk around showing off our hormonal facial hairs. I feel lately like I am plucking more and more of these damn things. Perhaps I should have my whole face waxed. Has anyone done that? How did help you, or not help you? Please don’t let me do something I will regret just because you did. We have to have each others backs at this time in our lives. Remember back when, we would worry so much about looking just right for an interview? Now its about making sure we check our faces and chins for any lurking hairs.

Ok, so I have no idea what my next step is to be. I suppose it would be looking for a new job. That would be important I suppose, but where do I start? I need a list. A step by step “to-do” list. You know, have a resume, write a cover letter, look on Craigslist, Indeed.com, other sites. Maybe I should look into temp agencies. Its been so long, do you still have to take a typing test? Oh crap did you pick up on that? Worried about a typing test certainly ages me. Now its testing on computer programs. You have to be careful about what you ask and say so you don’t age yourself. (Like my hands and gray hairs won’t). But instead, I find other things that are more important. Household chores. When I first became unemployed I was up and at my desk every morning by 8am. Like I was going to work. Or getting down to the workforce for classes or help of some sorts. Lately, I am lucky if I check one job site. Quitting is no longer an option for me. Taking the easier softer way is no longer acceptable. I must carry on, one foot in front of the other.

Now to positive thinking. I have taken 8 hour classes on Excel, as well as other classes that may be beneficial in my job search. I am learning so much and feel invigorated every time I catch onto something new. It needs to be on my list of “to do” each day so I retain the information. (Of course that is assuming self discipline resides within me, which it does not). I have also begun walking almost everyday; today I went further, hoping it was a mile. I bought a Fitbit that arrived yesterday, hell if I can figure out how to set up the darn thing. Lets face it, when it comes to reading directions I fail miserably. If I can see how it is done I would have been wearing it this morning,

Then there is eating a healthy diet. If I am going to do an exercise program, I may as well top it off with a good diet. Of course we just had my 60th birthday party and I have a quarter of a bag of chips to finish off and several cans of soda. I do not like wasting food, so I will start eating well as I finish off the bag of chips. My weight will probably stay the same or gain pounds rapidly as it seems to be doing for no fault of my own. Menopause has become the go to answer when I do not want to own responsibility for something, like weight gain.

Then there is the washing of my car. Since my husband and I have been together, he has washed my car. Its true, for the past 23 years I have not washed my car. Nor filled it with gas but a few times. Embarrassing when I admit it now. It used to be, “see how great my husband is, he washes and fills up my car.” Recently it is more like, “Dammit I can wash my own car and fill it up too!”

Suddenly reclaiming my long lost independence has become very important. Is this a middle age thing? Hubby is not liking it too much I am sure. It is taking away his sense of being needed. It is ok though, I will let him continue washing his own clothes, he hates how I separate my laundry (lights and darks, no whites). and I will continue to allow him luxury of grocery shopping.

Lets see, what else am I doing for enhancing my better self” Writing on my blog has become more frequent. Takes longer to post because I am not a proficient writer with years of education. I just tell you how it is, not worrying so much about comma’s, dashes and the like. Failed English in high school. You have probably figured that out if you are a regular reader. So, I have to go back the next day and reread the post and look for mistakes or where I could say something better before I hit the Publish button. Reading others blogs was intimidating at first. All I did was compare my writing to their professional writings and picture formats and boom, no more blogging for a while. Feelings of embarrassment and insecurities overwhelmed me. Now, I take it as a learning experience. Following others blogs has brought enjoyment into my life once I dismiss the negative feedback my brain gives me.

Then there is the making my bed every morning. That’s right, this sixty year old woman has not made her bed every morning. It is a waste of time you know, later that same day you then have to put away the pillows, fold down the comforter and crawl into bed. Only to go through the same ritual the next day. I am doing it now because a friend told me if I did this every morning I would gain self discipline. That is going to be a miracle for sure, but hey, why not give it a chance? It does make me feel good when I walk into the bedroom and see the nice bed.

So, learning computer programs, exercise daily, eating a little better, practicing self discipline, writing on a regular basis and oh, I have begun knitting and cross-stitching again when time allows. If I quit watching my favorite television shows time would allow much more allotment for these crafts I enjoy. Truth be told, watching the tube gives my an opportunity to escape my dull life. Writing this shows me what a stupid thing that is. Knitting, crafts, studying new things would help me overcome the belief my life is dull and uneventful. I am active with my social life as well. Great group of women friends that give positive energy to anyone they are around. I hope I am that woman to them.

Well, don’t you think these are good beginnings towards becoming the “Better Me”? Lets say it is. For the next two weeks I will keep track of how I am doing with these activities. Will I see a positive direction or will I see the same old Cathie I have always been, undisciplined, fearful and somewhat insecure. I’m going to look in the mirror every morning and tell myself what a strong, wonderful lady I truly am. I am going to look that lady in the face and say, “Cathie, you are truly becoming a better you.”

 

 

 

 

 

A new Chapter

Well, it is here. Once I go to bed this night, it will be the last day of my 50s. I will awaken a middle aged woman of 60. Why is this birthday effecting me so much? No other birthday has bothered me. Hell, when I turned fifty I had a big party and I looked great. Thin, good skin, strong legs and arms. No one believed I was actually turning 50 years old. Now, I am fat, graying hairs, saggy skin and must I admit, dentures. Ughhhh!!

I told my husband and friends I didn’t want a surprise party. I just wanted a damn party. If I am going to turn old, than dammit I am going to do it with fun and surrounded by great friends. That will be in a few days. Without these dear friends and my good husband, this could have been a very depressing, lonely time.

So, I am about to wake up as a sixty year old woman who quit her job a few weeks ago and is experiencing the new electronic age of applying for jobs. Its not too bad actually, just have to upload my resume. answer a few questions and hit enter. Done. That is until you get that scary phone call asking you to come in for an interview. You can have a great resume, but that doesn’t mean you will look as great once they see you in person. I am lucky in that my hair is just now beginning to gray. However, it is very dark now and that means it is about to really gray! I’m serious. Watch yourself. When you notice a hard, dark strand of hair, I guarantee you it will be white or gray the next day. I witnessed it myself.

So, back to this job hunting deal. I look down at my hands and yes, they tell  my age. Wrinkled, arthritic. So why do I having my nails done every couple weeks, it only draws people’s attention to my hands! What kind of job am I qualified for? Receptionist. But who the hell wants a receptionist that looks like your grandmother, even if she is attractive. (Except for the hands, belly, saggy knees, need I go on). Thank goodness for long skirts and slacks. Loose tops don’t hurt either.

OK. No more bashing myself. I ought to  be happy I have lived to reach my new chapter in life. Excited about what is around the corner. Its a whole new chapter with benefits. Think about it. No more competing with other women for attention from the guys. Or dressing better than the women across the office. No more worrying about how you look, (ok, not as much). But the truth is, if I accept this new year coming upon me very shortly, and I go with it, it could be fun. Of course it would be more enjoyable if I had a job to go to each day. Isn’t it funny how we complain about our jobs, and yet when we lose them, we wish we had one to go to? It’s really not about the job though; its about having the money I so dearly enjoy spending.

This new chapter is going to be one of learning new things; experiencing things I’ve always been afraid to. It can be as simple as learning the light rail. It sounds like a small thing, but if you are like me, you have only had to drive within 15 miles of your home in very light traffic. Now I am looking to expand my area. What better way than on the light rail. Its five minutes from my home. So I will begin by writing out steps I will need to take in order to meet this goal.

That’s it! I need goals for the coming year. I will start with short term goals and move up to long. They will be realistic. For example,  I am not going to strap myself to a cord that bounces 100ft or more toward the ground below. How do I know if the young guy or girl strapping me in didn’t break up with their significant other. Or is in a bad mood and distracted; one missed loop and I am not going to be worried about the next big birthday. OMG! That’s 70. I am closer to the grave than my mothers uterus. The time really does go faster as you get older.

It is important that I do set goals. Putting together a list these goals will give me assentive and I will be accountable to my readers, (lets just pretend there are some for now) to follow through with these set goals. Now I am getting excited. It always helps your disposition when you see the positive instead of negative.

The only disappointment I have is that I am still filled with fears, insecurities and some immature behaviors. Do other women suffer from these afflictions? I foolishly believed that by this time in my life, I would no longer be afraid or insecure. Of course when I was younger, in my twenties, I thought I would be dead by now. Sixty seemed so old. I am sure some of my friends and family expected I would be dead by now for different reasons, one being, my mouth. It tends to be unfiltered at times. Well, a lot of times truth be told.

So now I have something positive things to work on for the coming year. Or perhaps I could be really brave and set goals for the next five. Who knows, I may still be here. It doesn’t matter. Goals give a person a reason to get out of bed in the morning. They can also cause one to gain self-confidence and unselfishness. Today I will find time to sit down and write short and long term goals for myself.

Well, now I have to run to the dentist. Then I will spend my birthday hiding in my house all day because my dentures are being re-lined and I won’t be able to pick them up until late this afternoon. And just because I am now an old lady to young people, does not mean I am going to let them see me toothless!  Wow, look at me admitting to my blog readers I wear dentures. Now when I am well known and on the Ellen Degeneres show, the audience will be waiting for me to spit my dentures out when I talk. Can that be a goal? Spitting out my dentures on the Ellen Degeneres show in five years? Oh come on, if we are going to accept our older bodies, then at least lets have a sense of humor about it.

My husband will be home soon and I hate being on my blog when he is around, makes it difficult to concentrate, plus if he doesn’t know I am writing on my blog, he won’t remember I have one. Besides, I honestly don’t believe he even is interested in reading it, never mind remember I have one. It is nice to have something of my own. It is a place I share openly and honestly regarding my marriage and its challenges in hopes of getting other women to relate and share back about. We all have things about our husbands that we sometimes think we are alone in or shouldn’t talk about. I also don’t want to deal with him feeling attacked or picked on. (I wish you could hear me laughing all this stuff).

Now back to my original topic of my upcoming dreaded birthday tomorrow, Sept 5th, 2017. I am hoping to hear if I will be receiving unemployment benefits soon, which would make it a great birthday, or an “oh crap” birthday if I am denied. Great way to begin this next chapter, no teeth, no job, uncertain about whether I will have unemployment benefits and being alone on this special day. Well this is a positive, mature attitude, feeling sorry for myself over a day that isn’t even here yet! I guess we can only wait until the day arrives to see how this will all turn out. I can be pro-active and do tasks that will make me feel good about the day. Or if I prefer, cuddle up in my recliner and watch movies all day. One never knows until they wake up what is going to happen or how they will feel.

I need to learn how to add pictures to my blog. Brighten it up a little. I read other blogs and they have pictures of things they are blogging about. It makes you look more interesting and professional. One step at a time. First thing to do is committing to making more of an effort to be disciplined. No more being immature and doing it when I “feel like it.” Isn’t that how a child acts? Oh, there’s a goal!

Hubby just rode up on his motorcycle so it is time to take a break for now. Perhaps I will get back on after he goes to bed. It is so peaceful and wonderful to be up late when most people are in bed and its quiet. If it weren’t for the skunk infestation lately in our neighborhood, I would sit outdoors on my deck and journal.

Blog at you later my friends!

A Baby Boomer out of a Job

What is going on here. One day I have a job, the next, I find myself at home on a Friday without a job. And to top it off I am the one who resigned. Now tell me, who does this kind of thing when she is about to turn 60? What a way to bring in my 60th year.

I have two choices here, 1. I can be a victim and loll around in self pity and fear. Or 2. I can look at this as a risk I was willing to take and am ready for what is ahead. It is scary, but I am going to look at the positive, it is exciting as well. Here I am, the biggest worrier in the world, (my family and friends will confirm this), and yet I still took a risk and quit. There were several good reasons to resign but the main reason was that I felt I was being told in a passive aggressive manner, you can quit or we will fire you. I thought it was in my best interest to resign. Was it hurtful to be set up like this after seven and a half years of working at this place? Very. I didn’t even get a good bye from my boss. But I have seen this with previous employees so why was I going to be treated differently? But this is not about her or that workplace. I chose to stay as long as I did and I chose to resign when I did.

So where to go from here. I woke up and had some plans for the day, things needing to be done. After doing these I found myself doing something not planned, taking my dog to the dog park. I was happy I did it. I thought it would be a great opportunity to play fetch, then sit at the table and write on something for my blog. Guess what. I got absolutely no writing done what’s so ever. I did not think that there would be people there wanting to talk. I mean, wouldn’t they figure that out when they saw me sitting at the picnic table with pen in hand?  But, there she was. A lady and her dog who felt I needed to hear what she thought of things. Like what was not being done in our park where we lived, or  how things should be done instead, blah blah blah. I finally got away by looking around and then waving hello to an old couple walking on the other side of fence.

So once again I opened my notebook and began writing. It was not long however when I was interrupted again. I heard, “Well hello Maddie”, (my dogs name). How could I not acknowledge my neighbor? So there we were, my neighbor and a gentleman with his beautiful dog. But you know what? I didn’t mind. We were having a great conversation and I was able to start a good relationship with my neighbor. To top it off, the gentleman gave me sound advice and encouragement regarding me getting out there and looking for that right job. He said the 60s are the best years of my life. We have nothing but what is ahead. He shared how exciting this could be for me and truly believed if I walked through my fears and insecurities about someone hiring me, I would be fine. As we all got ready to head to our homes, I realized something, perhaps my Higher Power had sent me to the park so I would meet this gentleman and my HP could speak to me through him. After all, isn’t that how it works? God, whoever it may be to you, can use many ways to give us messages, including strangers at the dog park.

So, I finished filling out this job application for the State, got all the pages filled out, uploaded my references and somehow the page disappeared and when I got back in the position was closed! So I must have done something wrong. Someone is going to call me back. Maybe. Meanwhile I feel let down. So much time spent on this job application and it disappears. I knew this wouldn’t be an easy thing to do, applying, but still, I want this to be that moment when I get to say, I was in this situation and God put this perfect job in my lap. I hear stories like this all the time. Makes me want to throw up if the truth be told. I mean really, why would God work this in your life and not others? I don’t believe that stuff. Anyway, again I venture off the topic.

Job searching as a baby boomer sucks, lets face it. And all my friends, and even this gentleman at the park, who are encouraging me and telling me something will come up, or  “God’s got this” all have one thing in common, jobs! They are all working. But they care about me and will continue to encourage me on this journey, including my husband.

I don’t know what will happen. To be honest I am scared. I am concerned about our financial situation. We have such a great credit score and truth be told, I have been enjoying having extra money to spend. Now I don’t know if I will have to stop getting my nails done. The one thing that makes me feel nice.  I am trying to not go there. This is a good opportunity to learn trust. Trust in a higher power’s love for me. Of course others have faith and some have nothing! I don’t want to be those people. This is honesty. I like having a warm bed to sleep in. I love having my IPhone and IPAD. And I love having a home to live in. What I don’t want to experience is financial stress again. We have already been there. And that saying, God will never give you more than you can handle” is not my favorite. Be honest, do you really believe this? Because I don’t. Or maybe the real thing is, I don’t want to find out how much I can handle if it means losing the ability to get on line and buy things. Or go out for coffee at Starbucks.

So, right now all I can do is put one foot in front of the other. I have to believe if I do the foot work, put out the word I am looking, Higher Power will have my back and bring that wonderful, fun job in my path. I have to believe this or I will be miserable and make those around me miserable. I want to be that lady who can laugh and be positive in spite of what is going on. Today was a vacation day and I enjoyed it as such. I even got the milk instead of making my husband stop and get it. And he has a huge burrito waiting for him for his supper. This is a big deal. I don’t do these little things, I make him do them. He doesn’t mind so why not?  So I bought him a burrito for supper and now he doesn’t have to cook when he gets home. And you can stop judging me as a horrible wife, he has always been the one to cook  and stop at the store, makes him feel needed.

Well, what else is there to say except, here is to the next chapter in my life! I am going to embrace this as an adventure of new experiences. Just filling out that one long ass application has tired me out. It is time to watch America Has Talent and take a nap. All this excitement of starting a new path in my life exhausted me. It takes a lot of energy to stay optimistic all day. Especially when you are better at worrying about all the things that could go wrong.

That’s it! Here is an opportunity for emotional growth as well. I can grow through this experience. I can change my attitude from negative worrying Cathie, to positive optimistic Cathie. Like I heard once, I am becoming the woman I was meant to be! Now I really am exhausted. But a good exhausted. I will keep you posted as I walk this journey.

If you are a baby boomer and have an experience in this job situation, please share with me what worked or not worked out for you. I could use the encouragement. Perhaps we can walk through it together if you too are a baby boomer looking for work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woman of Dreams

If I were to share my story, would it help someone? Would it help me? I have heard it is quite freeing to no longer keep secrets. I may even have mentioned it in another post. I don’t want to keep writing about sad things. Life keeps getting shorter and shorter as the big 60 looms over me. What have I accomplished in these 60 years? This isn’t where I thought I would be when I got here. In a trailer with a husband I dearly love, but as of late, do not like. He is not meeting my emotional or physical needs. You know, listening to my every word as if they were the most amazing ideas he has ever heard. That my opinions matter because I am right and can help him grow into the man I want him to be, and of course I am sure he would want to be, but doesn’t know it because he hasn’t tried out my suggestions. He just doesn’t get it. When I speak of  the physical needs he isn’t meeting,  I’m not speaking of sex. Its been a while since I have enjoyed that kind of intimacy and frankly at this point in my life, with menopause and all its glory, do not miss it. Lets be honest, at our age having your husband run around naked does not stir up any sexual desires.  No, I am talking about the hugs I received when we were dating because I was so important. So I thought. Now I realize it was about him. His sense of pride that he had a girlfriend who loved him. OK, maybe it was about me, a little bit. Of late I have to give him a threat now for him to realize how wonderful a wife I am.

As I write these words I am filled with a sadness I have felt before and swore I would never again put myself in this situation. Lonely for companionship, intelectual conversation and stimulation. A sense of being greatly cherished. Someone who another person felt I was more important to him than his own life. I desire this so badly and the fear of never experiencing it frightens me. So what can I do about it? Change him? Threaten him I will leave if he doesn’t change? Yeah right, and where would either of us go. We are enmeshed, in a dysfunctional way. And as I have written in other posts, he has wonderful, loving ways about him, but these qualities are hidden in the computer games he is playing, his job, and now his new motorcycle.

Things just happen for the guy. What about me? When will things happen for me? When will I blossom into the eccentric, crazy woman I long to be? You know the type, loud colorful clothing and hats that almost make people think, “why did she stop taking her medication?  “poor thing probably  lost her insurance and can’t afford them anymore.” Back to this relationship. Is it really his responsibility to make me happy? To fill all my emotional and spiritual needs? Yes. Well ok, no. But its fun blaming him for a while. Taking my anger out on him, sometimes he actually deserves it. But I learned a long time ago, its not about him. Its about me. I’m the one who is unhappy. I am the one feeling unfulfilled in life. It is up to me to find out what brings me joy and happiness and then go take a risk and grab on to it.

So to do this I have to take a leap of faith. That’s very scary. With my luck I would take a leap of faith and land in the hell I don’t believe in. No, better to just trust my gut instinct and go for it. What’s the worse that can happen? Aside from being laughed at or ridiculed. Wouldn’t it be worth it if it would bring me freedom to feel and be the woman within who is screaming “Please set me free.” I put these questions out into the universe and suddenly am meeting or have gotten to know better women who have come into my life and encouraged me to be more of who I want to be. Who gets me excited each day that I can dress the way that brings me that sense of , “Free, Free, I am free at last.”

OK, no more whining or talking about it. I am going to go shopping next senior day at the store and pick up some colorful clothing that I can put together and wear. Let those who judge or look at me funny be damned. Its my turn to be and do as I feel fit. I will just have to put it out into the universe and grab on tight. Who knows, maybe I will find myself on a plane with a one way ticket to who knows where.

So I hope this post helped in some way to inform you that there are more of us “eccentric” women out there than is realized. You will know us by the way we dress. We will not conform to the rules “someone out there” says this is how you will dress or act if you want to be a part of society. Why on earth would I want to belong to our society? What has it gotten me so far? A prisoner in my own skin, that’s what.

Well it stops here. I have a tight group of women who are on my side. They have my back sort of speak. Knowing you are not alone and that there are people who love you just as you today,  and who you are becoming, gives you the courage and strength to be that woman.

The laundry is in the washer. All I have to do is go through it all and rid myself of anything that shouts “Boring! Old lady!  Drab!” Beginning this very moment, after my nap of course, I will as for direction and courage to do the next step that will begin my journey into the woman of my dreams.

I invite any woman who is a prisoner in her own skin due to fear of judgement and criticism to take up the sword and join me in this new movement of freedom to grow into who we were meant to be!

Rage. My own personal four-letter word.

Well, its late but I didn’t want to go to bed. Actually its just past 9 pm, so for many its early I suppose. Truth be told, its early for me as well. The last couple weeks I have found myself going to bed right at nine because that is “our” bed time. It suddenly dawned on me, no, that’s “His” bed time. When did I stop doing things at night? I go to bed, we read together, or play on our kindles; he goes off to sleep and I am still awake. Ten o’clock rolls around and I am still lying awake playing silly games being totally unproductive. So I wake up the next morning whining to myself about my uneventful, boring life.

I would love to be able to say its all his fault. Many other wives would probably encourage me to; then they too could blame their unhappiness on their spouses. Unfortunately we know deep down this isn’t true. That old adage, happiness comes from within, is true. I didn’t believe this myself until recently. Believing it however, doesn’t make it any easier to live by. I struggle every day to find something to be happy about within myself. But no matter how hard I try there are just days when the bad Cathie stands up to the good Cathie and shames her into believing this is all she is. If it weren’t for the wonderful women that have been lead into my life the last few years, I would no doubt still fell depressed and self loathing beyond salvation. OK, that was over the top, but had to say it.

Some of it  however, is true . There was a time I was filled with self loathing and lacked any sense of confidence whatsoever. I am so happy that isn’t me today. Today I am a happy, bat shit crazy broad. I have gone from being depressed to angry to raging. And, my dear friends, I will blame on menopause until the day I die or overcome it. That is just how it is.

I don’t like my rages, but somehow I have convinced myself that its a step in the right direction. But! The direction they fly to is not the right direction. Flinging my anger at my husband is not the right thing to do. Didn’t that sound good? Well, I’m lying. The times I get real angry at him feels justified. And if you try to tell me its not, I will send it your way. Do you know that kind of rage? Uncontrollable bat shit crazy rage. Words come shooting out of my mouth I would never think possible. At least not out loud. Then I feel horrible later and my pride won’t let me say, I’m sorry, I was wrong. Because I’m not convinced I am, at least not at the time, OK, not for that day or night. Then I do the stupidest thing possible. I talk to a close friend. Yup, and then I am lead to see that it was not about him or if it was, he still does not deserve that kind of treatment. Let me just say, I don’t think its fair that I look at my actions but he isn’t made to look at his. Where is the fairness in that? There I go again, not being truthful to myself. No one deserves to be disrespected no matter how wrong they are, or how right I am. Having mature logical friends isn’t always what its cracked up to be. I’m warning you right now. If you are happy being miserable and angry at your spouse, do not, I repeat, do not get into good wholesome, healthy friendships. They will ruin your right to be right.

So, my last rage was over the office  not getting cleaned in the time table I was told it would be. Shouldn’t I have been more patient? Given him more time to move out his stuff he hadn’t used in years? No. Why? Because, and those of you who have perfect husbands, won’t understand this, but if I gave him more time, he would take it. And I would risk waiting another 10 years to get my own office. So, to show I was right, I am now typing on my blog in my office. And! It is nicer than I expected. I even painted the wall I face grayish blue, then just wiped the paint brush with yellow and green all over it. Just a mess, and I love it! It screams creative. So when I look up I smile. It affirms that I am a creative woman who is finally feeling content. Today I am OK learning and allowing myself to be who I was born to be. A creative spiritual being. And the greatest part is that I am actually getting to a place where it doesn’t matter if others don’t agree. All that matters is that I continue to surround myself with loving, encouraging, creative women. We were meant to be connected, I believe deep down we are all spiritual in some manner. It is up to us to find out what that means to us. I am still growing and learning what it means to me.

So back to the matter of that four letter word, “rage”. It almost always comes from fear. Fear I will never experience or have what I want, or fear I will lose what I have. And it is always due to one of two things. Lack of self confidence and fear of taking risks. For instance, I don’t want to retire at the job I am at. I am grateful to have this job, however I do not want to retire or die in this  position, or work place. I am not my job, I know this, on most days anyway. I am accepting that it is not conducive to me growing and experiencing who I really am and who I can and want to become. Of course it would help if I knew who I am or what I would like to do. But someone I respect told me once, just go for it. If you see a place you think you would enjoy working at, go inside and ask if they have a position open. Have you ever heard of such a thing. Ironically, this lady has actually done this! What a kick in the behind. I don’t think I have that kind of tenacity or boldness. But then perhaps that is because I don’t have that kind of self-confidence. But it won’t come if I continue to sit around whining about how miserable I am, or yes,  sit around yelling and screaming how its all my husband’s fault. He is stopping me from doing what would make me happy and alive. How can he stop me from doing or being who I want to be if I don’t know who that is myself? Do yo see the insanity here? If not, you have no right to judge me. You are obviously further along in your life and don’t need to be wasting your time reading this blog. Did you just see what I did? I lashed out on someone I can’t even see or even know is out there! I am truly a woman in need of some ideas.

Well, now it is getting close to my bed time so I will close this and re-read it tomorrow. Perhaps I will be able to shed some light on all this. Don’t get too excited though, just because I get a good night sleep, does not at all mean I will be anymore sane or mature. It just means I will be more alert and able to share more of how I do not have a handle on my periods of raging. I can only hope once again, that I am not alone in this journey.

Well, its been a couple days. I have sat quietly alone reflecting on my previous thoughts. I have sat down with a trusted friend and shared how bad my rages were becoming and how I thought it was hormones. Imagine my shock when she stared at me for what felt like an eternity. Finally she said, “Cathie, what are you afraid of?” My jaw dropped. What the hell was going on? How did this become about fear and not hormones? Then it hit me. I have been using hormones as an excuse for months. Deep down I knew she was right. Fear was once again controlling my life. I have been so afraid of what could happen in the future that I was not living in today. Instead of living in the moment and all the good I had, I was living in what “might” happen. I had my husband sick or even dead in a few years, me living out on the street as a bag lady. Again I was trying to control something I neither had control over, or knew would even happen. Why is it so difficult to just take responisiblity for what it is I can do today and then just enjoy and do something creative or fun the rest of the day.

I decided to be courageous and sit down with my husband and go over our finances together. I have avoided this for years. If I don’t know how poor we are, then I can pretend we are fine and go spend money. But if I know what we owe and what we make and the two don’t mesh, well, then I have to face the fears this brings and then let it go. Accept what I cannot change and ask for the courage to do what I can. There is a power much greater than me that will get me through the fears and yes, out of the rage, if only I allow it. I heard this phrase, Let Go and Let God a while back. A good thing to remember and chant whenever I am into fear. But I also need to do it. Not just say it, but do it.

So I will end this post here. Go do something constructive and then play a game with my husband. Yes, I will have to suggest it, dammit. But there is a choice here. I can wait for a miracle, which would be him knowing what I would like to do, then rage later over how little he loves me or cares about me enough to want to play a game. Or, and this is letting go of my pride and wanting to be a victim, I could ask him to play a game. And he will. If he says no, then I will use my four letter word. Or maybe I will call a friend. There’s a thought.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this talk. No one is reading my blog as yet, but I am determined to keep writing until I know what women want to hear about or talk about. I have so many different areas I could discuss. I just don’t know what you would like to  hear. So, if you are reading my blog for the first time. Please, leave a comment sharing with me what would interest you. Til then, I will say “Good day.”

Menopause Does not have to keep us Down!

Ladies, I want to let you know menopause  is no longer a taboo subject. To prove this, I am going to talk about it and encourage you to live life to the fullest no matter your age or changing bodies. You are not alone in this endeavor. There are thousands of women living these terrible unfair changes we have to go through. It doesn’t help one iota when someone says, “be grateful, some don’t have the chance to live long enough to experience these symptoms. To them I feel for these unfortunate women, however, it does not make it any less uncomfortable, nor do I feel “fortunate.” Lets face it, hot flashes, mood swings and dry vagina’s that make it painful to have sex with our husbands is not pleasant. It is not life enhancing. It is during these times that I am convinced that if there is a God, it is definitely male.So how do we empower ourselves. Those who like me feel ignored, unimportant to our society that loathes growing old. For me it entails no longing focusing on my sagging boobs that once stood out straight and proud. Accepting our bodies that have gone from firm tight butts and abdomens to frumpy wrinkled skin. I didn’t know a body could form so many wrinkles and dimples! And why wasn’t I told about thinning hair you know where! It is no wonder some men look for younger women to have sex with. Is it right? Hell no. I would kill my husband and the lady he was with if it happened to me. And why do you want to kill that lady and not your husband anyway!

However, there are still good times ahead. We are not old like some want to believe. This is not the end of the road. Life can still be fun and worthwhile. We only need to take control of how we react to these menopausal years.To continually remind ourselves each morning when we look in the mirror that we are important and have something to give back to society.

So here is how I choose to begin later years. From this day forward I am taking back control  of my life. It is up to us whether or not we fall into the depts. of despair, blaming our husbands for our misery; yes some days they are. But now   I say to every women out there who are going through these times in their lives, it is time to empower ourselves once again. Some of us have never felt empowered, so we will have to find ways to do so. Look within our selves and ask, “what would empowerment mean to me?” What activities would I enjoy getting involved in. Then you go out there, search the web and find where there groups or other women doing these things. Look for those who are living life to the fullest each, no matter their ailments or pain in joints. Stay away from the ladies who sit around feeling sorry for themselves and just seek pity instead of happiness, enjoyment each new day. I, for instance have joined the Red Hat Society and am Queen of our new chapter in my town.

Whoops, once again I divert from the topic at hand. So where was I. Oh yes, menopause and its joys. Well I will not waste another moment feeling and acting like an old prude. I am not old. My mind is active and wants to learn new things and I intend to!