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    I am amazed that there is something for us over 40 gals out there who have found themselves starting over and frustrated a bit. I think I have been driving my poor husband crazy with my mood swings and frustrations and inner personal realizations that are pouring out of me. I feel like a crazy lady!

I started my journey after forty with a breast reduction surgery as I was overweight and unable to really work out easily. My chiropractor suggested it and I was able to get it with our health insurance. My husband was totally supportive and even took time off of work to help me around the house, although I found myself actually antsy and needing to do something rather than just sitting around and the stitches didn't really hurt much. But after that I was a new woman so I worked very hard for about 2 years to lose 80 pounds. Now I really feel great! I work out 6 days a week and my weight is staying off. I look like I am in my 30's now! I have the good fortune to have a young face so it helps.

But suddenly after my husbands retirement and our move to the state of Washington found myself lost and aimless and a bit unsure of the little village we had landed in. I am commercial artist by trade and frankly I am getting too old for the all night jobs and demanding screaming clients that wanted it yesterday and a boss that has a weekly breakdown from stress. I found myself having deep feelings come up and out of me that terrified me.

I went to counseling, read several books and learned that I had had deep emotional abuse for most of my childhood half my adult life from my parents. I loved my mother but had the most difficult time ever pleasing her as she could not be pleased with herself. She had left her family, severed her ties and I only met my aunts and uncles a couple of years ago. I got the other side of the story, what a mess and glad I didn't know my grandfather.

God was used as a battering ram against me and I learned to hate anything religious. I had not been given any skills to make it in the real world as my mother and stepfather were in the ministry. I was forced to perform for the church till I went to college and even that was not ok with them. Colleges were terrible places that caused you to have "funny" ideas. Sigh, all I wanted was to become a graphic artist and get a life! I took care of my mother ( who had epilepsy) after her divorce from my overbearing heavily religious step father, till I married. She moved in with each brother and me over the years. It only occurred to me after her death that she did not have what she needed to get through life either. Epilepsy really holds a person back. I finally understood why she stopped driving and made me do drive.

I have been healing my life slowly and bumpily over the last two years. I realize that parents aren't perfect but I do have the right to be very angry with the mal treatment of my inner self. I was so damaged that it has been difficult for me to make friends very easily or I made friends with very negative people. Those people now don't like me moving forward in my life and looking for the light.

The more I unravel this onion skin of pain the closer I get to my true self. I am figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Or at least the next 5 years. I am on my third and longest marriage and my husband is truly a wonderful and helpful man who would like me to try to find myself ( I think he hopes I can get over my moodiness too). I have had my 3rd surgery for a birth defect in my abdomenI didn't know I had till it became a real problem as I aged ( It could have been dealt with when I was a child!). I decided to get a complete look over to deal with my pains and see what was wrong, I had parents that didn't believe in doctors so I rarely saw one unless I was fairly far gone with an illness.

I don't hate my parents and I do understand they did the best they could with what life gave them but now I am healing and reconstructing a lovely woman who needs to find out what her passions are, where her light shines and to dump all this old life "garbage" to move on. I am facing these facts and working through my issues. I know that other women have had it worse than I and others not so bad. But it affected me, and I am a highly sensitive person, probably the artist in me, and I reacted in by self protection that no longer serves me. Now I am concentrating on how to make new positive friends and would like to find local women to just sit and talk about life and see that we are all actually very much the same and perhaps find answers through each others experiences. Thank you. Monika



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