Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Apartment

Good things come to those who wait....even if it takes years.

On June 8th, I moved into my own apartment. Now, for most people, this would not be much of a deal. But I am not most people, as is evident from my life as I have relayed it in this blog.

Its a 2 bedroom apartment. It has a large living room and a good sized master bedroom. The kitchen is small but functional. There are lots of closets and there is a washer/dryer in one of my bedroom closets. How convenient can you get? I did have to have the dryer fixed but now everything is working perfectly. It is on the 2nd floor but as long as I can climb stairs, I am content. It's not always easy to get things up the steps but I am coping. I still have to get my stuff that is being stored in my son's garage down here.

I keep walking around this place and I still can't believe it.....that this place is really MINE. The bedroom is mine...the kitchen is mine...even the freaking bathroom is mine! Everything in here is mine. I have my own internet service and a new, 4K tv with cable and I can watch whatever I want when I want. No more being shut up in a basement room like I should be ashamed of myself....no more feeling like a social freak or a total loser. I am FREE....and I feel normal. Or as normal as someone like me can feel.

But with a home of my own comes the responsibility. I have never lived on my own in all my 64 years. I lived with my parents, my ex-husband, my mother and 2 boyfriends. This is the first time I am on my own. I have to keep track of the bills and the maintenance and keeping things neat...not a major problem with someone who is as OCD as I am. But there is still anxiety that comes with independence. Most people get over this when they are in their 20's and have their first apartment. I never had that till now, so I am experiencing that.

Don't get me wrong. I am THRILLED to pieces with my new home and I hope to be here for a long time. But the responsibility sometimes feels overwhelming. I know I will get used to it the longer I am here. Thankfully, I have a lot of things to do....still unpacking and organizing things. Have to look for furniture...mostly in thrift stores so I don't spend a lot of money, as it's not mine to squander. But every day I get up and have something productive to do. I WANT to get up....not like before I moved here when all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day, miserable and depressed.

The not so good news I have had to face lately is that although I do medically qualify for SSI, I don't qualify financially because my brother kept me off the streets by paying my bills. Yeah. However, I can't let that get to me now. I have more happy things to think about. I don't know if my legal reps will appeal or not but I am leaving things in their hands. I have done all I was supposed to do....I am going to let their office take the next step.

My boyfriends are understandably very happy for me. And I can certainly understand that from all sides. They know how happy I am to finally be liberated but they also appreciate the fact that having my own place I can entertain THEM instead of them having to carry that responsibility themselves. Believe me, no one is happier than I about that. Neither of the gentlemen has neat, clean homes. But they are THEIR homes and they can have them as they see fit. But now I don't have to spend as much time in them. I already have laid down a very important rule. If you use my toilet, you lower the seat AND the lid before you flush. I think I have one of them trained.....the other still needs work....LOL!

And now I am 64...another birthday celebrated on Sunday. I got a $50 gift card from my oldest bro and a $100 check from my older brother. My daughter got me some flowers and a nice card. My son?....well, I didn't hear anything from him. I guess he figures he saw me a week ago so he doesn't HAVE to at least give me a call. I can't help feeling somewhat hurt. But what can I do? Not much.

So here I sit on my OWN sofa, watching my tv and typing this entry. Right now, life is good and I am enjoying it again. It was a long time coming but I have finally made it. There is still a part of me thinking this isn't going to last and that I will be back where I was a month ago. I hope that doesn't happen....I don't think I could handle that again.

The song for this entry? "Life is What You Make It" by Henry Mancini. One of my birthday cards contained that phrase. It seems appropriate.




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

SSI

SSI.....Supplemental Security Income.

And I finally got medical approval....YAY!!!

Another obstacle to my normal life hurdled!

But that doesn't mean it's all over yet. Now I have another interview.....financial, this time. To make sure I have no income or big bucks lying around. That's on Friday. I will be a mess, again, but hopefully, it won't last long. I have all the paperwork I need....I think....but will offer nothing unless asked for it. My brother composed a letter stating he has been giving me money to support me so I have that as well as bank statements. I hope they don't ask about retirement, as I don't have any information about that and I am not at retirement age anyway.

I will be moving in 10 days. Tomorrow, I have to hand in my security deposit and first month's rent as well as proof of renters insurance and utility account number. Again, I hope that all goes as planned....I want that to be ready. I have done SOME packing but I have to do more. Just haven't had the mojo to do it with everything else on my mind.

But I will have help with the move. My gentleman friend Steve has arranged to rent a truck for the day which should be plenty of time to get everything...or most everything...out of here. My bed will be a priority....I want to be able to sleep in my new place right away.

Then arrangements have to be made to bring the rest of my stuff down from Boston. Steve said he would help me with that, too. We have a couple options but have not settled on a definite plan. But I can't WAIT to have all my stuff with me again!

Its been nearly 3 1/2 years since this whole nightmare started and it looks like it MIGHT just be coming to a close. I can only hope. I am the queen of Murphy's Law so I can't relax until things are actually settled.

I am still seeing 2 men....Steve as a steady boyfriend and Jim as a friend with benefits. I had to let go of Alan. Seems he was having doubts and couldn't come out and tell me. Took 9 months for him to figure this out? He caused me more tears than I deserved. He said his life is a mess....well, I sympathize but I can't do much for him if he can't even see me. So many times we planned to meet and something came up. I was not important to him....and if he wanted to make his life better, he would have tried. I was as kind as I could be but I told him that I was getting MY life together and if he couldn't (or wouldn't) do the same, I couldn't hang around. I may have hurt him, but I have a feeling I was the one really hurting. I feel like I lost more than the possibility of a relationship...I lost a friend I have had for 20 years. But when a guy says maybe we are like "ships passing in the night", that tells me its time to move on. Even Jim said that he thinks the whole thing was tantamount to emotional abuse, even if it wasn't intentional. Perhaps. I may never know now. But I have enough problems in my life.....I can't deal with his. But I miss him and our correspondence already.

I have been thinking a lot about Ron lately....not sure why. I still miss him although the pain is gone. Sometimes I still talk to him. I wonder what HE thinks of ME now?

I hope to have more good news next time I write.

The song tonight is  "How Can We Be Lovers if We Can't Be Friends?" by Michael Bolton. Although, in Alan's case maybe it should be the other way around.  :(

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Well, I've Got Two Lovers...and I ain't Ashamed....

If you are my age or near, you remember that song. Can't remember who recorded it but I am too lazy right now to look it up...LOL! It's true right now. But let me catch you up on the past couple months.

First, I had my SSI hearing and according to the lawyer, it went very well. Not for me....I am was a mental mess and I had a panic attack part of the way through but the lawyer was very happy because the judge could see I was NOT faking anything. However, my lawyer told me that although I do fit the legal description of "disabled", the judge could STILL turn me down...because he can. If that happens, my lawyer said he would appeal again. I hope to heaven that isn't necessary because its a very upsetting, embarrassing and traumatic experience. Sure, it means an income of sorts, but its a LOT to go through for $750 a month and for only a couple years since when I hit retirement age, Social Security will kick in, courtesy of my ex-husband. But not all the evidence for my case has been submitted....my medical records from my other therapist and doctor have not been released and a subpoena has been issued for them. But other evidence is still being offered....my current psychiatrist has been really great and has been filling out forms sent to him by my lawyer AND the SS office. He said he will do anything that is asked of him so that I have the best chance of getting the benefits. He knows my condition warrants it.

So, yes....I now have a new psychiatrist....and he actually has a Ph.D. He is very nice and listens to everything I say and feels that he CAN help me but it will take a LONG time. He also told me I have the worst case of social anxiety disorder he has seen in a LONG time. And just as important, he takes my insurance.....which was the main stumbling block I was having in finding a psychiatrist. He said he may not be able to get me to a totally anxiety free state but he can help me realize a better quality of life. That works for me. He has already given me homework...ha, ha....telling me to take walks at the mall and be around people, which makes me rather nervous and anxious. I have done it a couple times but it's not easy. Still, its a process and I will do my best.

I am still at my ex's house and he has returned home....temporarily but he is still here for a month, then he will go back overseas for a few weeks and then come back home again. He has asked me twice already if I am on track to leave by June....and I want to smack him....but I keep telling him YES. Believe me, I don't want to be here. And I am now getting anxious with him here. He has started his looking for sex...I mean, a relationship....LOL! But he doesn't want to "lie" to anyone about me. FINE. He won't have to. I need to get out of here for my own sanity.

The holdup? The apartment I went to see in January. The landlord hasn't been able to prepare it for occupancy. Seems he was in the hospital with pneumonia due to complication from chemo. And since he does his own work, everything is on hold. My friend keeps in contact with him but if the place doesn't become available soon, I will have no choice but to walk on it and try someplace else. Time is ticking by and I want to start moving by the end of the month so I am out of here and settled by June. I feel bad for the man but I have a timetable and I must stick to it.

Now....to explain the title. You may remember (but I will refresh your memory) that I was seeing a guy for about 10 months before he dumped me in October. Well back in February, he suddenly texted me. I had an odd feeling that he MIGHT do that since I didn't do ANYTHING to warrant his attitude, and to be honest (and without tooting my own horn) I am a pretty nice person and can be a lot of fun. He asked me if he could see me to apologize....said he treated me pretty badly and could he take me out for drinks and we talk. Not being one to hold a grudge, I said ok. So he picked me one Sunday and we went out for drinks and snacks. And I pretty much lit into him with both barrels...but he was a man about it and told me it was ok, that he deserved it. However, I did a really DUMB thing. I took my meds and then I drank....2 drinks.....and I got SO SICK. I felt like I was gonna die. Well being the gentleman he always was, he took care of me. Got me out, got me to his place, laid me on the couch, covered me with a blanket and let me doze off. He DID have to take me home eventually but at least by that time I was able to walk better. I got to my room, pulled off my clothes and fell into bed. The next day my stomach was still a little off but Tuesday I was fine again. But he wasn't sure if we were ok and we texted after that. I told him that things could NOT go back to the way they were and he said he would do his best to change his behavior. We have been out a few times and he IS trying, which is good. He even came over to the house this afternoon to look at my car and brought antifreeze...seems I was pretty much out of that. The car seems ok now, thank goodness and he said he would like to see me on Monday (he is off work) and that's fine. But we have a "casual" relationship right now....he is free to date others and so am I.

Which leads me to the other lover. The guy I talked about in my last post. We decided to be friends with benefits. Now that is something I have never done before but it works for us. We like each other as friends and we enjoy each other in bed. And if there comes a time when either of us meets someone we want to be exclusive with, the sex will end but we will stay friends. That works for me....I love having a friend again. Someone to relax and be myself with.

As for the other gentleman I was emailing with, we are still emailing and still planning on meeting but unless his priorities change, which is looking more and more unlikely, I don't see that working out on a permanent basis. It will make me sad since this will be our last attempt to get together. I have decided that when I have my own apartment, I won't be at the mercy of any man. I won't have to worry about my housing situation and how it would affect a relationship. I can have a normal relationship with someone. And that is all I want.

More good news.....the credit card debt I had when all this started is HISTORY! I finally paid off the last of the credit cards, thanks to my brother. I am blessed to have him...without him, I don't know where I would be, literally. I sure hope he can come home soon. I really want to have him around.

SO things are starting to fall into place after nearly 3 1/2 years! It's still hard to believe it's been that long and I have endured. I had no choice and it hasn't always been smooth sailing but my life has never really BEEN smooth sailing. It's not over yet but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, when I write next time it will be to say that I have my own place, am settled and I am truly LIVING my life instead of simply existing in it.

The song for this time is "Time for Livin'" by the Association. I want to feel that way every day for the rest of my life!

Friday, January 26, 2018

New Year Again

Well, more than 3 years have come and gone since Ron died and I am still in limbo. But things starting to stir a bit.

First, over the holidays, the friend I was writing to and I had a bit of an email blow up and we didn't talk again until about 2 weeks ago. We mutually decided to step back a bit, which was the right thing to do....it was getting TOO intense when we weren't able to meet up. I think we still will eventually but I don't know when that will be. Meantime, I am trying to concentrate on my health and finding a place to live and not have to be stuck in a room with no life.

I also have a date for my SSI hearing....March 19th. I am nervous as heck but trying to NOT think about it too much. I keep thinking I HAVE to win this case but with the current atmosphere in the government, I can only hope for the best. I had several Dr. appointments in December and January an am on meds for cholesterol and blood pressure as well as adding to my Metformin for my diabetes. They are all helping, I can tell. I have been trying to eat better but I keep slipping. I can't let go of the sweets, especially when I am depressed. I just finished eating an ice cream sandwich and a cherry pie. So will try again tomorrow. I need to start testing my blood sugar, too. I get my bloodwork done again in a few weeks to see if there is any improvement.

I went to view an apartment today....a second floor, one bedroom one bath with the bedroom on the third floor. Its above a store in the city and I do like it. It needs work so it's not available for a couple months. Meanwhile, I will keep looking for others.

I met another man online. He is very sweet but I don't see a real future there. Still, I do like him and enjoy spending time with him. He has connections in the county as he used to work for it and knows a LOT of people. He helped me find the apartment and says he knows other people he can contact. He is going to help me move when the time comes and seems to just want to help me wherever he can...he has even made phone calls for me. I am SO grateful to have someone to lean on a bit.

Still haven't seen a psychiatrist. Not from lack of trying....they won't take my insurance which means it will come out of my pocket. But I HAVE to be under psychiatrists care or they will think I am not trying to get better....never mind that that isn't going to happen, I still have to make it LOOK like I am making the attempt.

I wish there was a magical medication to take away anxiety. They can help people with drug and alcohol addictions but mental illnesses are looked upon as a weakness and not an illness. So many people like me whose lives could be so much better if only more was done to help them. I was able to see a GP, an Ob/Gyn, an Ophthalmologist and a Gastroenterologist with no problem. But a psychiatrist? Nope. No wonder this country is such a mental mess.

Next time I write, I hope I have even more positive news. No song this time....I can't really think of one.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Getting Back up on the Horse

There are things that I think about constantly....one being when I will have my SSI hearing. It causes me a lot of anxiety....not because of the actual hearing but getting to it, talking to a lawyer I have never met (I have spoken on occasion about my fear of strangers) and then more waiting for a decision. With the current political climate, I have NO idea if I have any chance of getting the help I need. It has not been easy these nearly 20 months.

I finally got my food stamp card.....didn't realize I had to actually pick it up at the welfare office. Nothing on the approval letter mentioned that. Upside is there is 3 months worth of money in there....that helps.

But there are things that keep my mine occupied. One was dating....and finding a man who could look past my past....and my present. I thought I had found one. But it was not to be.

My friend broke it off a couple weeks ago....although I didn't actually find out until I found him on the dating site we met on. He couldn't even tell me....claimed he had to get himself fixed before he could think about another relationship. What a fool I was! He couldn't handle the truth about himself so he is off to find another woman who won't tell him the truth...who will butter him up and take advantage of him. Well...his loss. It could have been good. But I am glad I didn't fall for him....the betrayal was tough, but if I had loved him, it would have been a lot harder. He has moved on....and so have I.

I am back online looking for someone else, But I may not have to look as far this time.

About 18 years ago when I was separated, I met a guy on Match.com. We spent some time together....mostly between the sheets. But we had a connection that went deeper. Still, the timing was wrong....he was into his career and it monopolized most of his time. He had SEVEN jobs....I counted them. To make a long story short, I gave it up and moved on. But we remained friends....mostly online....and kept in contact over the years. When Ron and I broke up, he came to visit me. I know he wanted to try and start over, but I was still in love with Ron and we ended up getting back together. Still, this gentleman and I remained in contact. In fact he apologized to me several times for not realizing that we should have been together in the beginning, but he was a different man back then....his career was everything and everything else came after. As a result, he had his share of pain over the years as well. Nothing like mine, he admits, but enough to make him regret that he treated me so casually. 

Before my friend broke things off....about a month ago,...this gentleman and I started emailing again. He listened to all my woes and complaints as he usually did and was sympathetic. After my friend finally ended things, this gentleman and I decided to try again to connect...he is going to arrange to come up where I am in a couple weeks. I am hopeful that, perhaps THIS time, things will work out for us. He still works but not QUITE as intensely and he does plan to retire next year. He does live about an hour away but hopefully that won't be too big a stumbling block. Whatever happens, we have decided that we will ALWAYS be friends....and for that I am happy. And if it doesn't work, I will always have online dating to fall back on.

Oh....my ex SIL apologized for her outburst and has given me her schedule for the next couple months so I know when she will be working and I can have the TV...LOL! Silly,  but it works. I have the TV tonight. :D

My brother in Japan sent me a really cool kabuki lion doll and a case to keep it in . Actually came through the mail unscathed. Its a bit BIG and I don't have a lot of room but I have it on a table and its safe. My brother is awesome!

That's all for now. I am a bit restless and can't really concentrate on writing. But today's song is You Better Love Somebody by Rick Springfield. I live in hope.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Predjudice

It's something you have to deal with on occasion. I had to deal with it about a week or so ago. 

My ex SIL whom I am sharing the house with blew up at me and asked me when I was going to start looking for a job and she didn't see ANY disability in me. Also went on about how EVERYONE has anxiety and depression.....even her....and SHE still works. And she doesn't want HER tax money supporting me OR her brother housing me.

This all came out of left field....I was  NOT expecting it. I didn't know what to say to her. I just went down to the basement and had an anxiety attack. Then I called my son in tears and told him what happened. He was angry but he got me calmed down and told me he was sorry that SOME people just don't understand....or WANT to....and to try and ignore her ignorance. I felt better after I talked to him. Then my ex BIL called me and apologized for his sister. I told him he didn't have to do that as it wasn't his fault. Then he asked me if I was comfortable and if there was anything he could do. I told him the only thing I lacked was the cable hooked up to the TV. He graciously offered to come over and see if he could fix that....which he did. I am VERY happy now.....I can watch the news and the baseball games. And the Queen can have the living room to herself. 

No one can understand another's affliction unless they too suffer from it. A disability isn't always something you can see....and you have no right to judge something you don't understand. 

Right now I am house sitting for my brother and except for being sick, I am enjoying every minute of it. I had a cold and sinus infection, which I was getting over when I caught ANOTHER cold. I have been sick for 3 weeks so add that on to the month I had poison ivy and hives, its nearly 2 months I have been sick this summer.....has really put a dent in the fun. Only got to the pool twice and to the beach twice. I am tired of coughing and peeing when I do. I just want to be well again....and stay that way.

Still have not heard about the SSI although my lawyer did send a letter to know he was still out there. I have been approved for food stamps and medical and await the cards for both.

Things are about the same with my beau. But he has till Sept. to start losing weight. If he can't do it, I can't invest any more time in the relationship. I can't have half a love life. I thought my talk and honesty as to my feelings would be enough to convince him he needed to change but I think they went in one ear and out the other. Only time will tell.

I reconnected with a man I have been friends since my divorce. We dated on and off and there were times I thought we might end up together but something always got in the way.....his career, my issues. But we have remained friends through it all. We started emailing after many years and he has not changed....but neither have I, really......except we are both older. I enjoy communicating with him.....he knows me so well and I can talk to him about anything. And with no therapist now, I need to talk sometimes.

I thought moving would solve some of my problems but it seems one gets solved and another pops up. I hope I will someday be free of all of them.

Today's song is "I'd Love You to Want Me" by Lobo. I hope he knows that.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

New/Old Digs

It dawned on me that its been a few months since I posted anything. So here I am.....catching up.

Things are getting better. Why? I have finally left the former residence behind! I am gone from PA and back in NJ. Where? Well, that's the funny part. I used to live here. It's my ex's house....used to be OUR house..but I wont rehash the past. Anyway, the ex is out of the country for a year with work and he said I could live here till he got back. I have moved into the finished basement (I stayed down here when my ex and I were separated) and its very comfortable. The room is nearly twice the size of where I was staying before with a large storage area for a lot of my stuff. Its cool because...well. its underground...so it's nice for summer. Its clean and cozy and well lit and there are lots of electrical outlets. unlike where I was. Its almost like having a private apartment....not to mention the room next to this is a fitness room with exercise machines! And I now have a usable kitchen and a clean bathroom with clean water. No more going to the gym to shower and no more bottled water! I even bought a gas bbq grill for the backyard.....I haven't used a grill since my divorce! I don't have a cable box but I don't really miss it. I have the smart TV, which is now connected to the WiFi here so I can watch Netflix and I also now have Amazon Prime so I can watch their stuff and movies. And, best of all, my daughter lives here and its SO nice to spend more time with her! I am very content.

But with a new residence comes anxiety, of course....how could I avoid it?  I now have to apply for government assistance here, have to contact my lawyer to let him know I moved and contact PA assistance and cancel my benefits there. All involving phone calls, which, if you have read my previous posts you know, for me, is next to impossible. Which means I have to get my son to do all that for me. I hate to bother him but it has to be done and I know he doesn't mind. Will have to be done in the next couple weeks.

My birthday is Saturday. I know Steve will probably take me out for dinner or something. I will be 63 years old. I still don't feel it.....but I am starting to look it.  :(

As for Steve, he took me out to some new places this past weekend and we had such a great time just being together. In between, I helped him finish putting his fourth grill (he loves grilling) together that we started 2 weeks ago....its half gas and half for charcoal. I know he is very happy about that.

But we have had a couple of emotional heart to heart's. The last one I told him I was beginning to feel like a friend with benefits. I believe he took that to heart because this weekend was probably the best time I have had with him since we met. He told me he was sorry but was being cautious with me....not allowing himself to feel too much. I told him I wasn't his ex girlfriend....I am real and sincere. He also said he sucks at relationships and sometimes needs a good kick in the ass....his words. Well, I think that what I said was that kick in the ass for him....I believe he doesn't want to lose me. Again, I don't think I am in love with him, although I do "love" him. Its a different feeling. I am not saying I won't fall in love with him but that won't come without more from him. I just know that this weekend was a step in the right direction for us. He was sweet and more affectionate and the sex was more about me than about him. He does have his flaws.....mostly when driving. He can't stand to let any little mistake by another driver go unnoticed....he has to honk and give the finger. I am not to used to that kind of behavior and it causes me anxiety. I am getting to the point where I want to close my eyes from the moment I am in his car till the moment I get out. But on the other hand, he LOVES to drive and will go anywhere and I need someone like that who wants to take me all kinds of new places.....SO different from Ron. I am enjoying the experiences. But Steve is blue collar all the way....I have never had a relationship with a blue collar guy. And NO, I am not a snob....if a guy is respectful and treats me well, that's the main thing. But he is rougher around the edges than either Jim or Ron and its taking some getting used to.  But he can be SO sweet and caring. He said he cares for me and that's how I feel about him. We'll see how things progress.

The song for today is VERY old....from 1930. "I'm So Afraid of You" by the Ipana Troubadours. In a way, its how I feel with Steve....he knows how I feel about him but there are times I wish I hadn't told him. Still, things are good and I hope they stay that way. Hopefully by my next post, I will have gotten my SSI and I can start working on getting a place of my own. Stay tuned.