Things Can Only Go Up…Right?

I don’t even know where to begin. It’s been a rather trying few months to say the least. There have been a number of personal struggles, balancing a professional life, dealing with website and email issues, and even deaths in the family close together. I’m generally a glass is half-full kinda gal, but there hasn’t been enough sweet tea donuts to keep things tasty. A lot of you have reached out to me via email, twitter, and comments on my site, but I seem to have had issues with things and didn’t even know it. I just poured a southern glass of wine (that’s talk for more than your 4 oz glass…6-8 oz at least), so I might be feeling good by the end of this. I need it because I am going to whine and bitch a little here. I suggest you stop and get yourself a glass too. 🙂

Personal Struggles

What better place to start than my own closet full of bones? I’ve made it no secret on here that marriage of 20 years came to halt about this time last year. We started living in separate places, moving the kids back and forth, and dealing with all the mess that comes with that ordeal. Not only have I been dealing with my own hot mess of emotions, but my 14 year old has been giving me fit over things as well. Most notably her continued lying over stupid stuff and her inability to give any real help at home. I know I am not the only one who deals with this, and I’ve heard so many other moms complain about this, but why are things so different for her and her generation? Another thing I am dealing with is her trying to find an identity. She tells me that she likes girls, or think she likes girls, but she hangs around the guys all the time, and spends hours on discord chats with guys. Also, a few weeks ago she came down from her room with her “gay” guy friend, and after she came down there was a hickey on her neck. She was with her dad, and all I could say was what the hell was she doing in her room with a guy anyway? Then her period was late and that stirred up all kinds of emotions from everyone. Thankfully, she had it a few days later. Neither of us were like this growing up, even when my parents divorced, so I have no idea where it’s coming from. TikTok maybe? Ugh.

Another thing I had on my plate was having to get a computer certification in cybersecurity for my job. I don’t have a technical job per se, but it deals a lot with compliance and authorizations. Basically, I make sure the technical guys are practicing the latest standards, controls, and managing risks the best they can. I took training earlier in the year, but finally had to buckle down and take the test. It wasn’t too bad, but it was tricky. Although I passed the test, I have to get someone who is fully certified to vouch for me. I have someone, but after almost two months he has yet to do his part. I just want to ask why he can’t get it done? I have performance appraisals coming up and I want to have that before then. I’m not too hopeful.

Website and Email

This website and email is going to be the bane of my existence. I’ve worked hard to get it where it is at today, and everything was working well and without much issue. After months of working to stop the constant spam coming in, the hacking attempts, and random database errors, I was finally able to get things in order after a lot of searching and tweaking. I was to the point that all I had to deal with was someone attempting a random large scale attack on me. Meaning I would get thousands of attack attempts a minute. In the past month I have had three denial of service attacks against me, but, thankfully, my server provider has great technology that absorbs that before it gets to me. I’m sure it was a guise for some other attack method. I don’t because I don’t fully understand how these attacks take place. For now, it seems these have stopped, but I do tend to get random attacks. Thank goodness for firewalls and my host for taking care of this.

Let’s get started on the email fiasco, shall we? Around the beginning of August I started noticing an issue with my email where I was not getting notifications from my website. If you fill out a form or do another action to interact with me, then I would get an email sent to my domain email alerting me or giving me the message received. Also, I thought I had it setup where it would send a copy to my ProtonMail account to ensure I would get it. With everything going on with myself, my daughter, and my studying, I just didn’t have the time or the energy to do it. Stupidly, I trusted someone to help me get it straightened out so I could at least get my website email up and going again. Oh, he fixed it alright, and it worked…at least we thought it did. He took care of the settings, and getting the email setup, but he did so by doing on his account, and just giving me an app password for my iPhone and Mac apps. The emails would get to me, but when I replied it came from his account!!! I had no idea this was going on until someone pointed it out to me and said there is something wrong with my email. I had to bite my tongue and just go into my hosting account to remove the settings he setup. As patient as I am with people, I had just had enough. I came so close to just taking everything down and giving it the middle finger. However, I knew it would not make me happy and I would have this void. So, if you got an email back from me that came from a weird name, I am sorry for the confusion that caused you. I don’t have my WordPress mail app configured yet, but I think…I hope I have my domain email (@sensualnudist.com) back up and running. If you sent me an email over the past couple of weeks, then I did not get it. I’m very sorry.

Loss of Loved Ones

My mom and family have been through an ordeal over the summer, well, the past few years actually. About three and a half years ago my step-dad suddenly fell over at home and suffered a massive heart attack. It took everyone by surprise, especially my mom and step-brother. Although it was a rocky, uphill battle for them both, they had managed to stay married for over 20 years. They were married the same year I started dating my soon to be ex. Strange, huh? About that same time my uncle, moms brother, was medically released from prison due to terminal cancer spread through all his body. The judge took mercy on him and released him to be with family and hospice care. He made it about two months before his organs shut down. So in a matter of two months my mom lost her husband of 20+ years and her brother. I didn’t have that great of a relationship with either one of them, but my heart ached for my mother. She still suffers.

Fast forward three years. No, wait, lets go back even farther. After my parents divorced, my mother would drive a school bus while she went back to school to pursue a teaching degree. Obviously, this wasn’t enough money to support herself and two kids, and my dad never was that reliable with jobs and child support. To help with some of the expenses, my mom went through a foster care parent training program, and she started taking in foster kids. Some were short term, but we ended up getting a bother and sister combo deal. The girl had a number of problems and was mentally disabled to a certain degree. I don’t remember the circumstances exactly. At some point the two of them were fighting and then began acting out sexually towards one another. I assume this a product of sexual abuse from the parents. As a result, the two were split up to prevent any further sexual acts. Keep in mind these two were like 5 and 8 with the girl being the oldest. My aunt had recently finished up her foster care training and she wanted the girl. The boy eventually became too much to handle and he needed additional care that we couldn’t provide to him. By this time my mother had remarried my late step-dad, and it added a whole different dynamic to everyone. I think it was just too much change for the little boy. Last I heard he was in an institution of some kind. As for the girl, she had a long list of problems, but was managed by therapy and medication. She remained with my aunt for many years, and even was adopted by her (along with other foster kids). So my aunt had five adopted kids and her own biological daughter who is four years older than me. Let’s come back to the present, summer 2021, and talk about the girl. She had been in the family for about 20 years between my mom and my aunt, was adopted, and essentially part of the family like the rest of us. Suddenly, over the summer she began to get very sick. There was no precursor, no warning, and no signs that anything was wrong. They ran several tests on her and discovered she was overtaken with cancer. I don’t know the extent of it, but from the moment they found out she was only in hospice less than a week. We were all shocked beyond belief. Although she was special needs with many handicaps, she was a sister, cousin, and an aunt to so many in the family. Devastating and saddening.

Two weeks ago I get a text message from my mom saying [my step-bother] has been admitted to the hospital due to a COVID infection. He’s doing good and they have him on oxygen and medication for his anxiety. I got an update about once a day giving his status. He would do good, then he would have a bad day. The doctors kept adjusting his treatment based on the his needs and vitals. About a week ago I began to get updates more frequently, and they eventually said he had to go on a ventilator and sedate him to keep his oxygen levels up and allow his body to heal. Next he had to start dialysis because he had too many toxins in his body and his kidney’s either couldn’t keep up, or they were not fully functioning…maybe both. Updates seem to come several times a day at this point. At 11:00 last night (9/27/2021), my sister called me. She never just calls me. It’s usually a text message or a text asking if I can talk. I knew it couldn’t be good if she was calling me. Sure enough, she proceeded to say that “mom wanted me to call you and let you know that [he] didn’t make it.” I didn’t know what to say. I don’t talk very much, but I am hardly ever caught at a loss for words. I couldn’t speak. I calmly finished a big chug of wine and sat down. Emotions just fell all over me and I sat there and wept. He left behind a beautiful and caring wife, and two small children under the age of ten. My heart literally is breaking for them. I still don’t have any words to describe right now, and there is no way I can offer an words of encouragement to her or the kids during this time. Just 3 1/2 years ago we suddenly buried his dad, and not we are going to bury him as well. Everyone is going to ask if he was vaccinated. He was not fully vaccinated but he had the first shot and was scheduled to get the second shot just days after he went in the hospital. Would it have made a difference? I don’t know. I would expect it wouldn’t have, but I am no doctor or infectious disease expert. He was a big guy and overweight, but in overall good health. Who knows. I’ll be making a trip home later this week for the services. Truly a loss and a shame to have a young life cut so short. If you haven’t been vaccinated, then I encourage you to do so. I would hate for your children to suffer as a result of your stubbornness.

Moving Forward

I feel like all I have been is a Debbie Downer this whole post. Well, I guess I pretty much have been, but I’m not going to mope around and worry about what has happened. I’m going to put one foot forward today, another tomorrow, and another the next day. What is it Dory says? “Just keep swimming.” That’s what I am going to do. I enjoy my writings and interacting with my readers, and I feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment when I write things that are beneficial to you. Even if it’s not in a clothes free or nudist context, I love getting feedback from someone who says one of my posts were uplifting, encouraging, or gave them insight they didn’t otherwise have.

I’ve been doing some reading and listening to podcasts about becoming the best version of you, how to be more impactful on people, and how to have a strategy that will help you win in every part of your life. I think over the past year or so I haven’t had much of a path or strategy to grow personally or professionally, so over the next few days I am going to sit down with just my Mac and work through some of these things that are holding me back/down. Sure, it’s been one helluva year and we have all suffered in more ways than we care to, but we can choose to let it dictate us or we can choose to take ownership. I choose ownership. I will probably fail at this many times before I get it right, but I have to change something or my continued path of sadness and helplessness will consume me.

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