Light at the end of the train wreck

I told my therapist the other day, that I don’t necessarily think my mood is bad (it’s not great but I’ve had much, much, much worse) but it’s just that my life is bad.

Trying to be happy is easier when you aren’t swimming in shit, trying to keep your head up.

And yes, I realize that my current mood is leaning toward the negative, thus inspiring me to write a post detailing all the garbage going on in my life, but that’s just what it is, right now. But it hasn’t always been.

I have been intensely focused on the light at the end of the tunnel for 3 years now, chugging along knowing that there was an end (if not in sight, then surely at some point).

Now I’m balled up, tied to the train tracks, with my hands covering my head, screaming my lungs out, just about given up hope of ever getting out of this fucking tunnel.

There’s only so long a person is capable of running on the fumes of hope.

Okay, enough prose, here’s the sitrep.

I live with my husband, my two delightful children, our adorable puppies and my father in law and mother in law.

9 years ago, I really liked my in laws. They were so nice and friendly.

6 years ago, I loved my in laws. They were such good people and they were my family now.

3 years ago, I moved in with my in laws. They were welcoming and even though we acknowledged it was going to be a challenge, it was necessary and everything was going to be okay.

What a cute naïve little baby I was back then.

I live with my in laws because of the disabilities that my husband and I have developed. We don’t have a definitive answer from doctors as to why we have both gotten sick in similar but not the exact same ways, but 2 years in a house with toxic mold probably has something to do with it.

I have been on U.S. federal disability for the last 4 years. For me, it was an 18 month long process.

My husband is in the 3rd year of his court case. He just got denied again in January. The problem he has, in addition to just generally being Scandinavian (incommunicative) and male (suck it up, buttercup) is that he also has Asperger’s and has a very difficult time advocating for himself with his doctors, lawyers and judges.

This whole thing would be done by now, if I could have just taken care of it for him.

In any case. I have lived with my in laws for 2 years longer than the plan was. We were supposed to have found a small, comfortable new home by now, with a yard, a good community, and a good school for the kids. I was supposed to have my own kitchen. A place to park my car that’s not on the street. Nobody to answer to except for myself and my husband. Full custodianship over how I raise my children, minus my father in laws “but her school is so brown” comments (Are you fucking kidding me?!) and my mother in law trying to sneak Jesus into my children’s brains while I’m not looking.

I was so convinced that the third time was the charm. I was denied twice before my disability case went through. I thought, he’s been denied his two times, he’s going to go before the judge and he’ll be approved and we’ll finally get a fucking move on with our lives. Unfortunately that was not the case. He’s appealed again, at best it will be another year before his approval. At worst, he’ll be denied again and we’ll have to start the process all over.

Without his disability income, we don’t make enough to live on our own comfortably Fuck, we don’t make enough to live on our own feasibly.

But I have to do it. I can not live with my in laws anymore. I hate this fucking house. I hate my tiny ass room where there’s nowhere to put anything. I hate that my children live in our basement living room. My 7 years old hasn’t had a bedroom for 3 years. I hate that my 3 year old is so poorly behaved because my father in law can’t stand to hear him cry. I hate that my daughter attends one of the worst schools in the entire state of Utah. For that matter, I hate that I still live in Utah. I hate that my mother in law uses the grocery money we give her to hoard food that’s never used and then thrown out. I hate that instead of discussing issues as mature adults, the silent treatment is the tool used in this house. I hate the example that we are all living for my children.  I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

So we’re moving the fuck out. I don’t care if I can only find a 1 bedroom apartment. My kids can have the room, I’ll sleep in the living room this time. As long as there’s a good school that goes with it, that will be enough. But the problem is where.

We’ve been planning on moving out of Utah for basically 9 years. I’m not from here and other than my husbands family, there is absolutely nothing keeping me here. But babies, jobs, illness, and court cases have kept us here much longer than I ever wanted.

I have family. Parents in Alaska, a sister just recently moved to Kansas City MO, and another sister in Tennessee. I have an aunt in upstate NY, several aunts and cousins in and around Las Vegas, and an Uncle and cousins in San Diego. For various reasons, the majority of these places are not options.

Due to my health issues, I have some requirements for where I live. My body has a hard time regulating it’s temperature so I don’t handle heat or the cold very well. So that leaves out most everywhere in the entire world to be honest.

Over the last 3 years I have studied and researched and analyzed. I’ve made charts and mapped weather and compared statistics. Can you imagine how hard it is to pick a place to live when you can live pretty much anywhere but also nowhere?

I’ve gone round and round and round on this question. Where should we go?

The answer would be easier to find if his court case had gone through. We’d have 3 years of back pay to help with the move and more to pay the rent.

But as it stands, I’m just desperate. I just want to be anywhere but fucking here but there’s no easy way to make that happen.

If it was just me, it’d be easy. I don’t need much. But these are my children’s formative years. Above all else, it is my responsibility to make sure that they are cared for to the best of my ability and that they have a solid foundation on which to build the rest of their lives.

I am, right now, my children’s history, and I want to make it the best possible history it can be.

I have this thought that’s been hiding in various corners of my mind but I think I’m about to officially acknowledge it. I think I want to move to California.

I do, I think. While that would have never crossed my lips (fingertips) even 2 years ago, I think it is the case.

California has never been my cup of tea. I’m more of a Seattle, Portland, Boston or Chicago kind of person. San Francisco has always strongly appealed to me but also has been so far out of my reach as to be laughable. I actually think Vancouver BC would be an awesome place to live but there’s no way that Canada is gonna let someone like me live there (believe me, I’ve looked into it).  Los Angeles is the epitome of my fears and dislikes. Crowds, traffic, sunshine, no rain, and all spread out.

However, there are other places in California, San Diego for example, where my cousins live, that sound not terrible. I’ve heard it doesn’t get quite so hot there. There is ocean in the vicinity. That’s pretty sweet. It just got a bunch of water dumped on it so there’s no drought anymore.

The thing is, just this year, I’ve had this reawakening of ambition. I actually have a dream outside of the life I’ve been living as a disabled mother of two.

I want to write. It’s about the only thing I have left that I can still do. And for a while, I was so inspired. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Then this medication crap happened and I’ve taken a hiatus from the writing, so I don’t stress out about what I am or am not writing.

But I haven’t given up the thought. I’m writing a screenplay. And I want to sell it. And then I want to write and sell another. And another and another and another.

My therapist says that I don’t need to be in California to do that. And it’s probably true. We have Sundance here in Utah and with the internet, you can probably do this kind of work from anywhere. My editor lives in Colorado Springs. My producing connection lives in Omaha Nebraska of all places. So there’s some truth to that to be sure.

Basically it comes down to, I need to live somewhere that isn’t here. And California certainly isn’t here. Come summer, we might just be selling all our stuff, packing up our trailer and moving to California.

At least, it’s an option. It’d get me out of this tunnel, tied to this track, waiting for a train to hit me.

Train_wreck_on_April_29,_1911_in_Martin's_Creek,_New_Jersey_showing_locomotive (1)


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