Well, where to start? Five years ago I worked part-time, was married 22+ years with two daughters. Just before my 40th birthday my husband met someone at work - he swears they wern't intimate, but I guess I'll never know. That was the last straw for me. His drinking had increased in the past year and I discovered he was using drugs. We had been in counseling and you know if only one of you is doing what the counselor says, than what's the point? I left him when my daughters were 15 & 18.
About 6 months before I left him I accepted a manager position at a dentist office. I moved my 15 year old daughter (my other daughter was away at college) a half hour away from all she had ever known. I started a new life - or lack there of. I was very busy adjusting to the HUGE lifestyle change - what to do when my car breaks down, household maintenance, being a single parent of a two teenagers, learning my demanding new job, taking care of two dogs, handling the divorce, trying to get by with a lot less money. Mostly all of my friends were married with younger children. I did not have any "single" friends to do things with.
After 7 months I purchased a house and that turned out to be one problem after another. My previous landlord told me he would release me from my lease of the condo I was renting and AFTER I purchased my house he sued me for not renting it out. I took it to court and since I did not have anything in writing (live and learn) I lost. On the day I moved into my house - we discovered undisclosed termites. Buying my house turned out to be a series of homeowner disasters - three BIG water leaks, termites, plumbing problems (all this after I had it inspected prior to purchase!), you name it.
I decided to try online dating after two years of being separated and almost divorced. It did not work out. I'm certainly not ugly, but I'm not beautiful either, I'm just average. Everyone out there seems to want someone beautiful. Men my age (mid 40's) want someone who's 30. I can't compete with that. Part of my problem is I don't know how to date/flirt since it has been so long - by the time my divorce was final - I had been married 25 years. I am afraid to put myself out there. I can't even tell if someone is interested. Another obstacle to meeting men for me is that I don't drink/smoke/do drugs, so I'm not interested in typical venues that promote these activities.
I have spent the last year and a half recovering from a house fire that gutted my house. The cause? A defective Wal Mart pre-lit Christmas tree. What a nightmare it has been. The contractor recommended by the insurance company made it all so much worse than it needed to be. I also found out that my youngest daughter's boyfriend of almost two years had been stealing from me before the house fire. He stole 60 items of gold jewelry. My daughter and I had no idea. The police thought she was involved, which she wasn't, but had to prove herself by taking a lie detector test. The whole procedure of getting him convicted was very stressful. He stole some very sentimental pieces of jewelry that were family heirlooms. Between trust issues with my ex and this happening with my daughter's boyfriend, I don't know who I can trust anymore.
I went through a lot of health issues last spring also. I had two heart surgeries after the discovery that I had a rare congenital heart condition no one knew I had prior to then. All this was complicated by having a boss that did not want me to be off work to recover.
My last streak of bad luck happened last Fall. I was miserable at my job (after being there over 5 1/2 years). My regional supervisor had to explain away some poor decisions on her part (bad hiring decisions, lack of marketing, poor interpersonal skills) to the two silent owners so she blamed everything on me behind my back. The week of Thanksgiving I lost my job, found out that my Mother - who already has a genetic, terminal neurological illness - had cancer AND found out that my eldest daughter was moving 4 states away with only 10 days notice.
I finally have a new job - after 7 weeks of being unemployed. My ex-employer tried to deny me unemployment benefits by lying to the unemployment office. I fought it, and eventually won, but had no income the entire time I was unemployed. Starting a new job as you get older is hard. It is very stressful. I really don't like change that much, and I've had a ton of it over the last five years.
My support network - my sister and parents - live in Utah. They used to live here up until a 18 months ago. I live on the East Coast. I worry about my mother as communication via telephone becomes harder and harder for her. Both of my daughters live at college and I've gone from living in a family of four to just me and my dogs.
Weekends are rough for me because I spend them mostly by myself. I go out to dinner with friends once a week, sometimes twice, but I long for a relationship. I miss having someone to always have dinner with, vacation with, spend time with. It sometimes upsets me when I see happy couples. It reminds me of what I don't have. I worry that I will grow old alone. I am concerned that it is too late for me at almost 45 (although lots of people think my daughters and I are sisters) to find someone. I am not particular about looks, but can't seem to find a single, non-smoker, non-drinker that isn't a criminal or weirdo. Where do I find someone and who can I trust?
There have been some positives to the last few years: I've discovered that I am a much stronger person than I ever thought I could be and I have a very close relationship with my daughters, even though they don't live nearby. Well, thanks for listening, it helped to just get that all out.