I wanted to give you all an update. I’m still here but things have definitely been difficult lately. It is hard for me to blog when things are not positive because I really prefer to be a person that raises people up in spirits instead of bringing them down. I just keep reminding myself, though, that this blog is supposed to be a place for me to record the ups and downs. It gives me a way to vent my emotions without eating them. And lately–I’ve been eating them A LOT. If I only come here when things are going perfectly then really I am not using the blog for its original purpose. Writing for me is one of the primary ways that I express myself. Usually it is in writing things out that I often come up with solutions. I have always been that way. I might start writing in one mood and by the end of the entry I have changed my mindset. It is not always that way but writing is for me a way to work through things. I need to start doing that more often. It is something I have gotten away from. So I have decided to make a commitment to blog every day this week. I have no fancy, catchy titles for my blog posts this week as they will not be on any specific subject. This week will literally be the ramblings of a crazed woman! Who knows what will spill forth!
So as you may or may not know–I’ve moved. With moving/relocating, comes a variety of potential issues. I read that moving can be a very stressful life event. Research has even defined the term “Relocation Stress Syndrome” as a condition many people find themselves in after moving. Symptoms might include anxiety, loneliness, confusion and hopelessness. Gee that sounds fun…yes??
I’d say relocating from one house to another can be stressful. But that isn’t what I did. I didn’t simply change houses or neighborhoods. I picked up my entire family and left Texas. There is probably an entire syndrome listed just for those that leave Texas but I don’t know the term. Suffice it to say that Texas is in many ways more than a place to live. It’s more than a location. It is a culture and a way of life. Leaving Texas has been quite a bit more traumatizing than I thought it would be.
But we didn’t just go from one state to another. We changed things up entirely by going from the city to the country. That is definitely an adjustment. My children have grown up in the city having lived there 10 years. They really don’t know any other way of life. I have to admit that I am the same way. I grew up in the city and while I have lived in rural areas when I was married to the military—I am by nature a city girl. So this has been tough for all of us. I have to deal with more bugs than I ever had to deal with in Texas. I have to drive at least 15 miles to get anywhere. I suppose that was the point though, right?? To get out of the city. To move to the country? Peace and quiet! A serene mountain view! That is what I asked for. So why the complaining?
Well here are the issues I’ve had to deal with since I moved—
I can’t even begin to tell you the enormous expense of moving. It has cost me a lot more than I anticipated. Buying and selling a house is not easy. Yes, I am proud of myself for doing it on my own as that was something I had never done before. Yet the stress of it has been very real. The buyers on my house in Texas pulled out of the deal the day before we were set to move. There was nothing I could do but keep going. Now instead of one home to maintain I have two. I had not anticipated paying two mortgages, two power bills, two water bills etc. Yet here I am. My home in Texas was older and it was lived in by me, 4 kids and 4 animals. That’s a really lived in house which makes selling it hard.
I am a single Mom and I do the best I can but when things break–they often stay broken. I’m not handy. I’m not good with repairs. I know how to call a plumber if a plunger won’t work but aside from that I just deal with things. If a closet door breaks, it gets removed and a curtain thrown up. If the front of a cabinet drawer falls off, then it stays gone. I don’t know how to make those small repairs so many things in my house were just broken. In order to try and sell my house, I had to put money into it. Even then–it hasn’t been easy. I finally have another contract on the house but guess what? They want a new roof. A ROOF! Even though my house is older and it is in an older neighborhood—people want it as close to perfect as possible in order to buy it. So here I am pouring money into a house I am trying to leave behind. I have a feeling by the time I sell it, I will be able to pay off the mortgage but that’s about it. At this point—I don’t even care. I just need the stress of maintaining two homes to be done. There are days I want to cry when I see how much it is costing me financially.
So my oldest daughter wanted to stay in Texas and go to college there. This is my first child to head to college. I am really proud of her but my goodness–this is an expensive venture. Not only am I having to maintain my home in Virginia and my unsold home in Texas. Now I am trying to pay for her to stay in an apartment off campus. Add in car insurance, phone bills, living expenses, tuition and books. Even with her working a part time job it is pricey. I really wish that she had just moved here with us. She could have lived at home for free and attended college locally. But then again….what 18 year old wants to do that?? I sure didn’t at that age! In fact, I recall giving my mother a horrible time at the thought of me having to live at home for college. So I suppose this is payback!
The other issue I have with her not being here….is that she’s not here!! I have a unique relationship with my oldest daughter because of my divorce. She was in the 4th grade when her father moved out. Suddenly we found ourselves staring at each other wondering what we were going to do. She was in the 4th grade with three younger siblings….a 4 year old, 2 year old and not quite 1 year old. In many ways, Savannah has practically co-parented these kids with me. She literally walked beside me all these years. She has an amazing spirit. She is helpful, kind and compassionate. I often wonder how I would have made it through single parenting without her. The fact that she has helped me is also one of the very reasons why I so desperately want her to have her own life. It is one of the reasons why I bought her a car that was probably too new and too expensive for her. I think I often find myself trying to overcompensate in her direction to pay her back for all she has done for me. The problem is that I miss her. I am simply just not used to living life without Savannah in it on a daily basis. She has been a calming force to me. When I weighed over 400 pounds, she was often my hands and feet. She helped with the grocery shopping and daily issues that I had to deal with being a very obese person. Still to this day, she likes to hold my hand when I am going up or down stairs because she just simply grew up with me not being able to physically handle that well. There was always fear that I would fall. Fear that I would have a heart attack. So even now she will hang on to me and constantly check to make sure I can breathe or that I am ok. I think it was hard for her as well to cut the cord and stay behind. We talk every day but it is still really difficult. Honestly I think that just having Savannah move out would have been stressful enough for me without adding in a cross country move and everything else.
I flew in to see her last weekend after having been gone for a month. I did it partly to see her and partly to check on my house there. I flew in unexpectedly and when she found out I was coming she did not sound happy. As soon as I saw her car—I knew why. The entire passenger side was scraped up and dented. Apparently she was driving down the road when someone pulled out in front of her. She had to swerve to avoid them and she said she hit a rock. Looks like she sideswiped a boulder. And naturally, I wasn’t happy. It is not a very old car and we all know that car insurance for an 18 year old is HIGH. I can’t claim that on my insurance unless I want it to sky rocket and while it is just superficial damage it will still cost me at least 2000 dollars to repair. I guess to me it is just one more thing to drain the bank account. I just didn’t need that right now. On the flip side, she is safe. And that is all that matters. I need to remember that.
So this could also go under the money category but I was getting sick of that one. Furnishing the house hasn’t been cheap. I had this bright idea to purge everything and start over. I still think it was a good idea but I can also tell you it will take some time for this house to feel like a home. I can’t go out and buy everything in one fell swoop. Decorating your home like you want it takes time. So in many ways I still feel like I’m living in someone else’s house. The walls are still blank for the most part. Things aren’t set up yet. And it makes me feel like I am not at home just yet. But the bigger issue is that the living room furniture I bought well over a month ago is still not here. Apparently I am playing phone tag with the warehouse and for whatever reason I can never get the person I need to just arrange delivery. It has been now over a month that the floor has been our only couch and that is getting OLD. Once again–why am I complaining? There are people who have no home and no furniture. So I need to just wake up and be grateful for whatever I have.
So when you move, you have to reregister the children for school. This involves a lot. In a short time, I’ve had to find a dentist and doctor that takes our insurance (not super easy living out here away from the base). I can’t say it was that hard but it did take some hunting around. I had to get all their physicals, shot records and fill out a mountain of paperwork to get them enrolled. This is the sort of thing that shouldn’t be a big deal unless you’re me. I may have discussed on here that I have issues with procrastination and also just seeing how to get things done. I have the brain of someone who doesn’t see puzzles and things like that clearly. I look at a laundry pile and never know where to start. I literally see a To-Do list and want to cry when I wonder how to get it all done. I’ve always been that way. I get overwhelmed easily. And when I get overwhelmed–I EAT.
Filling out 30 or more pages of paperwork on all my kids has been very overwhelming. But on top of that, my second oldest daughter is going to be in middle school. So let me recap—I moved a 13 year old from the city to the country. I made her leave all the friends she has ever known. I am making her start a middle school where she knows no one. And one she has to ride a bus about 30 minutes just to get to because we live in the country. It would be the understatement of the year to say this child is beyond unhappy with me. She is not adjusting well. While we have great neighbors—we aren’t living around a lot of kids in her age group. Until school starts, she won’t have an opportunity to even see who is out there that could become a potential friend. Add to it that this is my child who is a lot like me when it comes to depression, anxiety and things of that nature. Savannah was my child of a very even temper. She is calm by nature and I thank God every day that she was the one born first in the midst of my divorce when I really needed someone like that. Yet at the same time, I am spoiled. Savannah always viewed life as a team effort. She saw it as “me and her together”. When things weren’t going our way, we didn’t turn on each other. We were partners. We plowed through life with each other. Annabelle isn’t that way. She is a more typical teenager. If things aren’t going her way—it’s my fault. And things right now….are not going her way.
It’s hard for me to see how unhappy she is. I can’t help but blame myself. I feel guilty 24 hours a day that I did this to her and she’s so desperately sad about it. It just kills me. I tried very hard to do the right thing. As I mentioned in my other blogs, I fell into a bad lifestyle of my own in Texas. After I lost so much weight, I started going a little crazy. Admittedly, I had somewhat of a mid life crisis after weight loss and started going out a lot. I was drinking and dating men half my age. It was RIDICULOUS. Annabelle was SUPER unhappy with that. She often would tell me to my face that it was not ok. And she was right. I actually started thinking about moving here because of what SHE said to me. I had tried to get myself to go back to being a homebody but it wasn’t working. It was just too easy to hit up the bar at happy hour. After all—it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?!! And I had fallen into that life. When I stopped using food for comfort, I found alcohol to be just as useful. That led to horrible decisions though. So what now?? I know! I’ll move to the country! Dry land. No bars. No fast food for 15 miles. I will remove from myself all opportunities to easily access my vices.
End result?? We both are miserable! She tells me on a daily basis how much she hates it here. And I miss the food and the bar. RIDICULOUS!
As a Christian, I know that God is the source of my comfort. Anything that stands in the way of me seeking HIM first is something I need out of my life. It was just too easy for me before to always seek out alternate forms of comfort. Now I’ve put myself in a situation where all I have is God. There is no bar to cry to. There is no easily accessible McDonald’s. So what now? In scripture we are told to cut out of our life anything that stands in the way of our relationship with God (Matthew 5:30) so that is what I did. Instead of trying to keep my life the way it was, I was willing to lose it. I was willing to give it all up to get away from the things that were dragging me down and to give my children a better life.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
As hard as it was for me to do this, this is what I did. I enjoyed my life in San Antonio but I also believed that for me I had fallen into unhealthy patterns. The weight loss and forsaking food led me to alcohol. Both of these things were too easily accessible to me there. They were taking me further away from God and further away from the mother I wanted to be. So I stepped out in faith and gave that life up. I was willing to lose that life to find my way back to the plan God has for me.
But as a result of me doing that, I have suffered in many ways. It has cost me financially. I have lost living in the same area as my oldest daughter who I am very close to. I have made Annabelle miserable. And I have caused myself to have to start completely over in a new area. That means I have to meet new people (and for me that is tough). I have to find a new church. New doctors. New everything. I often wonder if I made the right choice. Another really hard thing is that many of our friends do not support the decision. Annabelle has struggled with the fact that certain people in her life constantly tell her that she will be miserable living here. She might be having a good positive day but all it takes is one phone call from a friend back in Texas to spiral her downwards into depression after hearing how miserable her life will be. These are people that mean well. They just don’t understand why I did what I did. Heck….I don’t either half the time. But we are HERE NOW. And constantly hearing what a horrible decision it was does NOT help.
I must add that I live across the street from my best friend, Amanda. And that is a dream come true. I just haven’t been able to fully enjoy that yet because at the moment my life is so caught up with the numerous stresses of daily life that go along with the move. I keep thinking….if things could ever settle down….then maybe I would know what normal is here. But right now…nothing is normal. My house in Texas still hasn’t sold. I don’t have furniture. My kids aren’t in school. Everything is so up in the air. And I have to use a GPS every time I leave my house just to find my way back.
Right now…nothing is normal. I feel bad because I always imagined how our life would be if Amanda and I lived by each other. I’d grab my coffee in the morning and head over there to start our daily adventures. We would be like Lucy and Ethel!!
That was my plan.
Only right now I’m not that version of Lucy. I’m the other Lucy. You know…the crazy one! The one who comes unraveled and loses her mind.
So I feel bad for Amanda and hopefully she doesn’t take it personally. It’s just that right now my emotions are about as stable as the weather out here in Virginia. Oh did I mention it RAINS a lot, here??? And I mean A LOT. That is another thing that has taken some getting used to. I have always been someone whose moods are very tied to the weather so the constant raining is not helping. But I will adjust. At least I can keep grass alive now!
So that’s where I’m at. I cry almost every day. I live in fear and anxiety over my house not selling, bills that have to be paid, and my children adjusting. I don’t want her to think that I’m not happy to be here. It’s just hard for me right now adjusting and I need the dust to settle so we can feel normal again. One of my biggest issues right now is that I do struggle with depression. Even in the best of times, I can fall into a depression for no reason at all. I fight hard at various times in life to not have a spirit of depression take over. All I can say is that with all the stress I am under right now–it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep the spirit of depression at bay. I actually fear that I will fall into a deep depression which will not only increase my food issues but it will make it difficult for me to do the things I need to do.
So that’s my life…..
I feel like I just threw up on this page. Like I just opened my mouth and spewed out a million different thoughts. They probably look disconnected and like I said before….the ramblings of a crazy lady. But that is my life at the moment. And that’s what I have to deal with.
So far I have gained back another 10 pounds. I am currently 50 pounds heavier again than the lowest weight I was able to reach. THAT is scary. I don’t want to gain back my weight. But there are times in my life where food seems to be the only thing that can calm me down. The problem is that I had weight loss surgery so if I overeat I become extremely uncomfortable. Then I live in a constant state of acid reflux. Just add more misery to the pile.
Some days I get up and think I’m going crazy. Some nights I wake up very suddenly gripped in terror at the thought of whether I made the right move. Then I wake up in the morning, grab my coffee and walk outside to this gorgeous view.
I am reminded that in the midst of all this turmoil…..God is there. He created the beauty that surrounds me and He brought me to this place. I cannot deny that I prayed fervently over this decision. Anyone that knows me knows I am NOT spontaneous. I never do anything without overthinking it. So what would make me do something this crazy? I truly believed that God was leading me here. And if it was His plan, then I have to trust it. Even when it seems like nothing is going my way.
On a good note, I want to add that my youngest two LOVE it here. They are 10 and 11. They literally think I air dropped us into heaven. They are outside playing every day. The neighborhood is beautiful and safe. The neighbors are wonderful. They have plenty of land to run around and enjoy. They absolutely love Amanda and her family. They get up in the morning and can’t wait to head across the street to see her and the kids. My youngest two tell me daily how happy they are and even thank me repeatedly. I thank God every day for that. I need to hear it and know that I made the right decision where they are concerned.
My plan for this week is the following:
1. Blog daily in pure honesty. Sorry if that means you get wacky ramblings half the time.
2. Track my food so I at least acknowledge what I am eating. I still may not eat perfectly but at least I won’t lie to myself about it anymore.
3. Start my Leslie Sansone walking dvd’s again. This is my go-to workout whenever I fall out of a routine. Still to this day it is the only form of exercise that I have ever enjoyed and found myself willing to do even on my worst days.
4. Get up every morning and read the Bible/pray. I sometimes fall out of this and there is no other way I can build up my faith right now without that.
So there ya go. That’s me at the moment. Hope I didn’t bore you or depress you!!!!