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Why the 40s are the best years of my life

Once upon a time I was an abuse survivor- 

Once upon a time I was an abuser-

Once upon a time I was a selfish cow who believed my own hype-

Once upon a time I was chronically depressed and unhappy-

None of the above is true anymore.

None of the above applies to my current life, nor has it in almost 8 yrs.

Someone once told me that the 40s were the best years of their life- way back when I was still in my early 30s and couldn’t even FATHOM being ‘that old’.

For me it is completely true.

My 30s were pretty decadent. I had a successful career that took me all over the world. I hobnobbed with the rich and famous. I was fit and in shape.

I was miserably unhappy and chronically depressed. My relationships with my family, my loved ones, myself were so unhealthy.

My 40s brought a separation from my long-suffering spouse, 2 small strokes (TIAs), the diagnosis of lupus, many deaths of people close to me, dealing with a (then) bipolar teen son with a substance problem, the diagnosis of bipolar and dementia in my mother- also, a new partner in my life, and a baby girl at 45.

The ‘bad’ things that happened weren’t so bad.

I found out that my chronic fatigue and frequent health problems I’d suffered all my life (and depression) were caused by alarmingly low vitamin D3 levels and an autoimmune disorder.

My sisters, mother, and niece all suffer from the same things. Had I not been diagnosed, neither would they have been.

My TIAs (and frequent miscarriages in the past) were genetic and due to my hypertension and Factor V Leiden which causes ‘thick blood’ and blood clots. I now take blood thinners and blood pressure meds. I was forced to change my diet and go semi (to total, depending on my whim) vegetarian/vegan.

I started juicing, working out, quit smoking after 25 yrs and started vaping.

I had to get tough with my family regarding my son’s (and mother’s) bipolar. It was a rough few years, but now at 22 (knock wood), he is on his way to becoming the person I always knew he could be. My mom’s issues will never be resolved, really. She now has dementia, so it is all downhill from here.

I had to get tough with MYSELF about my own emotional responses and PTSD from a childhood of abuse.

Therapy was a godsend for my family and me. You just take each day as it comes and live in the now.

My new-found healthy living gained me a great partner who is understanding, kind, loving- and quite a bit younger (though his maturity level probably tops mine by a TON). It also (with the help of the said person above) got me pregnant at 45.

I started growing my own heirloom veggies and went from glamma wannabe to hippie earth-mother.

I rarely travel any more and I am ok with this. My life is cozy and happy and I am catching all the bits I missed as a young mother with children.

Being happy- being content and at peace- is it’s own reward.

If someone offered me ‘the old me’ of 13 plus years ago, I’d run away.

Life is meant to be lived with the people closest to your heart.

Anything else is meaningless.

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Updates on my week: memories of others, more drama, back pain and procedures…

** am unable/unwilling to edit this properly, as the pain and meds I am on am making it impossible at the moment, so apologies in advance **

I am hoping things get a wee bit better here on out.

After the last post re ‘avalanche of crap’ the other day, I simply did not feel like posting again. My back pain was pretty high and I was feeling down from the drama.

My son and I ended up fighting/discussing/hashing it out until 4 am that night. The man has some issues, which breaks my heart. He says he doesn’t even remember me hugging or kissing him as a child- which is shocking. His father was there and was just as shocked as I was- anyone who knows me, KNOWS that I am pretty demonstrative with my kids and that boy never lacked for love and kisses. He said what he DID remember, when I DID show him affection, it felt ‘fake’ to him somehow.

I mentioned this to other family members and they were just as shocked as we were. We have no idea how he’d come to this conclusion. It was telling, though, when his younger brother tried to hug him and calm him down after the fight on the porch- he pushed C away twice. He eventually apologized to C, but we just simply don’t understand how/why he feels the way he does… and I am heartbroken, still.

He has come back from his time in Chicago a very changed person- a bit neurotic, more so than before. He started pushing us away as a teen, but we assumed it was a normal teenager phase and just due to the kids he ran around with. He went from being a rather shy, but close to his family type kid to acting ashamed of us and feeling jealous of me.

He said he saw me more as a sister than a mother at some point and that he did some of the things he did to me as a teen (lied to his friends and mine about me, so that I was alienated from my own friends) when he started doing theater out of jealousy and didn’t really know why he did/said the things he did back then. It was difficult for me to hear from my adult friends back then all the things my son said to them which weren’t true at all… and he apologized for what he did.

I don’t understand the jealousy part at all. I always have been silly in how supportive and proud I’ve been about my kids and their achievements. I always loved to support them and give them encouragement and just felt joy when they accomplished things. I guess he didn’t feel the same way.

To explain some of it: I’ve always been semi-in the public eye with my work and hobbies. I had no idea and am also baffled as to why my oldest son would be jealous about that. I always assumed (and been vocal) about how proud I was of him. I am very uncomfortable knowing this and my heart hurts over it.

I feel sad for him. I feel sad for us. The rest of us (brother, dad, yadda) can’t really comprehend his side of it. It’s like his perception of how life was is totally at odds with ours. Granted, we had some emotional issues when the boys were growing up. I was gone a lot abroad working. I’d come back to a house that was beyond horrific and get upset over it. My mother and middle son were going through their bipolar. It was not all roses and ice cream… but no family ever is.

At one point during the ‘discussion’, I simply removed myself from the house and went outside on the porch be alone and have a cry. I sobbed for a while, which isn’t like me. I needed the alone time, I felt overwhelmed.

He came outside after a while and demanded to know why I was doing this.

HIM: “What’s this?”

Me: “What’s what?!”

HIM: “WHY are you doing this? Crying?!”

ME: “WTF?! Why do you THINK?”

HIM: “I don’t know”

I am wondering, honestly, if he is not on the autism spectrum sometimes. He doesn’t seem to understand subtle nuances in emotion and can be extremely literal and has a lack of empathy. My youngest son, who IS on the autism spectrum, is very empathetic and ‘gets’ emotional things more-so than any person I know, tried to explain things to him- tried to diffuse the original situation- but could not get through to his brother.

I was on the verge that night of having him move out, honestly, I was. I can’t take much drama like this- not on a constant basis. It’s unhealthy. It’s not good for the baby to see people screaming and crying all the time. It upsets the rest of us and we’ve been pretty much used to a quiet, peaceful, rational calm these last 5 yrs since the 2 big boys have been grown and on their own.

He also told his father about my blog and for a moment there, they attempted to stop me from continuing this. FUCK THAT SHIT. I am blogging. It’s the only thing I have that’s mine alone and the only thing saving my sanity. I won’t hide behind secrets and pretend crap away. I can’t live like that anymore. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Period.

The next day, my oldest seemed better. Maybe the drama and discussion provided him some sort of catharsis. He actually came with me to a 1 yr old’s birthday party and played with Maisie on the playground and helped watch her. He said he had a good time. I was very grateful that he helped with Maisie so much and seems to adore her as much as he does. I think he’s warmest to her than any of the rest of us and it makes me feel good to see this.

C, on the other hand, was in a hurry to get home.

C: I need to get home, Mom, I have to mow my lawn before the city gives us a citation.

The statement above kind of illustrates the differences between the two boys. Not that it’s bad, but C is probably more mature than all of us combined in the household. He likes to keep on schedule and get stuff done. I really respect that and wish I were more like that myself.

C also came to me the night of the ‘big discussion’ and said he had to go to his room to decompress, it was way too much for him emotionally that day. I could totally concur.

It just worries me that my oldest must have been used to such emotional drama during his time living with his ex. His father keeps reminding me that he must be simply projecting the relationship stuff he had learned/lived in Chicago on me, since I am the only adult female in the house. After the exchange I had with his ex via the text, I am starting to think his dad must be right. This girl is estranged from her family for many years and apparently it wasn’t a great situation to begin with. Her mother was never supportive, nor did she care about her achievements. My son has mentioned her upbringing at great length in the past and it saddened me to hear about it. I was and am still shocked by all of this bullshit this week.

I am wondering how many of my son’s ‘memories’ are simply things he absorbed from HER.

Freaks me out a little bit, to tell you the truth.

I look and feel like shit here… but that’s to be expected lol

I had my back procedure yesterday- lasted longer than I thought it would. It was an epidural with injections to my lumbar region done under live x-ray at a hospital 40 minutes away from my home. I didn’t expect it to be as painful as it was- I am now in more pain today than I had been prior. The side effects (nausea, dizziness, sweating, lethargy, fever, pain) have been BRUTAL. I am hoping it all works- doctor said it may or may not. The tailbone procedure I had last week only worked on half of my tailbone and pain. The doctor says he hopes this procedure that I had yesterday will resolve all of it. From what I’ve read on the Internet, after looking up the side effects i was having, there’s a 50 percent chance that it won’t.

Seems like a lot of work and odds for such shitty odds that it may not work.

I also DETEST these narcotics and my need for pain relief.

I have never experienced chronic pain in my life- nor the need to take these types of medicines on a regular basis- and I am freaked out by how they make me feel emotionally.

I want to wean myself off these things. I want the pain to subside. I want my sons to feel better. I want to rid myself of this sudden depression I have been drowning in.

We also had Maisie’s 1 yr photo shoot 2 days ago, but will save that for another post.

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If I Died Tomorrow…

If I died tomorrow, I would have lived a wonderful, full, exciting life.

I’ve been so blessed- I’ve done EVERYTHING I’ve ever wanted to do, everything I’ve ever dreamed of! I’ve lived all over the world, visited so many places, met so many wonderful people.

I have 4 amazing, healthy children. I’ve had so much love in my life that I can scarcely believe it. I’ve traveled, had infamy (fame is no fun), met incredible people, been poor, been rich, been thin, been plump, been spoiled, been resourceful, had wonderful health- and scary bad health.

I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder lupus in my 40s- and with Factor V Leiden (a clotting disorder) when I was pregnant with Maisie. Both are genetically inherited. I had 2 TIAs (small strokes) in my early 40s, which were explained by the conditions I have.

Honestly, I think it’s the adversity that’s the best wake up call. The Universe sometimes has to grab you by the scruff of your neck and shake sense into you. It happened to me and thank GOODNESS it did. I would DEFINITELY consider my ‘conditions’ to be a blessing in disguise. They made me appreciate life and stop and smell (and plant) the roses.

If you would have told me 15-10-even 7 years ago that I would be starting over with a newborn baby at 45, wearing almost no makeup, not worrying about my wardrobe, not doing theater or acting anymore, I would have laughed at you.

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so not me anymore

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vanity can be ok, but too much focus on it and you lose sight of what’s important

I was a shallow bitch, lemme tell ya. I was full of anxiety and worried about things that didn’t matter at the end of the day.

Maybe the stuff I love now doesn’t matter to 99.9 percent of people, but it does to me and makes me so happy- which is enough.

I spent a majority of my life with chronic depression and anxiety and now- POOF!

GONE.

It’s amazing to me. Being happy is amazing to me. I love it.

Now I sit here thinking about bucket lists and the only thing I can think of is this:

I would love to live long enough to watch my kids all grow up and have grandkids.

That’s it, that’s all.