cohousing diary- my real diary for living in co-housing

Here is my real diary as I lived in cohousing.  I changed some things to make it understandable. I wrote this for myself. I always wanted to blog but this was just for me – never thinking I’d move out and want to tell the world how living there made me feel. I believe in Law of Attraction and one thing they say that if something is difficult – maybe it’s not meant to be. I see that now. It was tough for me and my kids from the get go. If I were to do it over, I wouldn’t move kids in school and wait until they were all grown up.

I also see that diary shows the cracks. How I wasn’t very happy even before the big blow up (which has some roots beforehand here). I also seem petty and judgemental but it was my diary – just for me. Now I”m putting it all out there for everyone to see! Real feelings – real truth, at least my truth from living in cohousing. Maybe things would have gotten better without the big blow up but things happen for a reason.

8/17/19 

1 year and 8 months later I’m here – my new house is built and all mine!  I signed a mountain of paperwork.  I was able to leave work since I had a follow up dental appointment and brought my youngest along as he played video games and I signed away.  My friend who is also a home inspector arrived shortly after I did and stayed until dark looking at everything.  I was always interested in the community but not the house, but luckily, the house is built perfectly and can withstand a hurricane (not that we get any).

The minute Ii got here two neighbor guys helped empty my car so no back and forth like I had to do in the apartment I rented in order to qualify in this county for this house.  Some other neighbors dropped by and admired my flooring – they want the same colors. Unfortunately it rained so we got some mud in. On the rainy country winning roads over here from the signing I had terrible cramps and screamed like in labor.  So I couldn’t be too social. I had to run upstairs with diarrhea and just wanted to poop.  I didn’t realize biology would interfere with my need to be social in cohousing. I probably got too nervous about the house signing which always takes a toll on my stomach.

We left in the dark and drove back over the mountain. We only brought a few boxes and there isn’t any furniture so we can’t move in yet.

8/18/19

We slept well the first night but I got hot in the middle of the night (must’ve turned down AC too much. And the new smells get to me. First time being in a new dwelling. I had nice apartment here in town and ten years ago but I have never lived in a brand new chemical smell. Woke up to the sun around 7 am and dressed but didn’t eat until 10 because I  realized I needed salt and got talking with the neighbor across the pedway. Then I talked to the couple next door until I got too hot from the sun being out. I feel guilty not being more social but this heat wave (feels 105) and I was tired from this new place with less sleep and emotions from moving so I took nice nap then a big one. I moved the female cat and she is adjusting and loves being an indoor cat now and being petted more often.   

Last night my son played with his friend down the street until dark.  So, I walked down the pedway in pitch dark (we’ll have to work on that) to bring him home. The parents were on the porch with another neighbor. We sat and talked and listen to the night insects and frogs.  I could’ve stayed and socialized longer but my son was tired so I went home.  This is what I moved in for.

That never happened again. Only that one night did I find a few neighbors on the porch. Sure, there were a few other porch gatherings but usually pre planned (like a meeting) and with only the resident and not others from down the road – at least while I was there. Winter is cold so people tended to hibernate more. And then summer quite hot and buggy.  Spring would be ideal but we had to be apart for the new coronavirus in my only spring there.

8/21/19

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL for the boys. It is here and I hope they like it. So far everyone is so much friendlier than our previous town. My 9th grader’s bus driver called to introduce herself and the security walked around the building 4 times so he knew the place (he missed orientation being from out of county). The Elementary school staff  are nice too. I’m happy for my kids.

I just want to stop feeling so tired. It must be the emotions and changes. I think it felt less new and I slept better last night. I did wake up like the other times. 

Yesterday, I got to sit on  a porch and talk again but never have done it for too long. Everyone’s mad at the developer for some reason.   I’m just happy I have a house!

Later that same day:

Change is hard. Working out at the gym made me feel better but I was nervous about bringing salad and desert to common meal then to find out it’s tomorrow and being switched any way. It’s hard because I don’t have a fridge. A neighbor lent me one of those dorm room ones but there is little room for our family of three and all the milk the boys’ doctor told them to drink.  It’s a pain that some people are living in the common house till their houses are ready but I squeezed in the salad for tomorrow night.  

I didn’t want to be social after that, just cry. Funny how living here now I want to be less social. I don’t want to go out and get eaten by a bunch of bugs – like last night. Today i was upset and just wanted out.  But I  want to be a good neighbor.  My youngest didn’t like his school’s  first day and he just curled up in bed and said school was boring and he wants to leave because we have no drinks here. It’ll be better once we have a fridge!!!

8/26/19

I’VE LIVED HERE ONE WEEK AND ONE DAY!  A dream come true. I’m not as tired and getting better sleep in the new “crib” – a new bed and new house.  Saturday we went over the mountain to the old house and got more stuff.  There is never enough time. We got it all done but a bit stressed out and the drive home seemed so long. 

Before we left on Saturday, the parents had a meeting and talked about their expectations which was nice but lots of various opinions. 

In the old town, I shopped with my oldest son (18) for college supplies which was terrible timing because all the local college students were there too.  I can’t believe he’s leaving – my baby. Last night at Sunday common meal lots of neighbors got to meet my middle son (who I told them is on the autism spectrum). Some talked loud at him like he’s deaf.  Funny.  But i know he’s in the right place.

9/4/19

I live here but there are quirks. Smaller house so I have a dreaded bathroom by the kitchen so when we got in late on Monday after moving stuff at the old house, one of the boys took a dump. I went and ate outside but across the pedway I could see them watching TV and when I looked down the pedway I  could see through heir door.  I didn’t want to be a spy soI could only look up at a cloudy sky. But my youngest son joined me and it was nice to be outside. Then yesterday i came home and a Walmart box was at my door. I ordered through another company but must not have noticed it was really from Walmart so i felt embarrassed by the uncool box. And to ruin the neighborhood, I got a pink flamingo. But it’s elegant – solar powered light.-

Last night was my first committee mtg living here and some people would call in so we needed the internet. I offered up my house. So I cleaned up my boxes and got the card table ready that a neighbor lent us and the folding chairs.  It echos since we haven’t moved in the furniture yet.  The four other members of the community committee (aka the fun making committee) came over and no one ended up calling in.  One neighbor didn’t like my office lamp shining in her eyes and didn’t seem comfortable at my house in general.   I’ll have to keep things clean, at least downstairs for when neighbors do come over.

29 Cringe-worthy Bad Real Estate Photos | The Close

photo:: of course cohousing houses are beautiful and not like this one found under cringe worthy real estate, but I do have a phobia of bathrooms too close to kitchens

9/9/19

I’m frustrated. I brought the boys to a new doctor here in town and it took so long (I later found a wonderful doctor through the suggestion of the neighbors)  So it’s 5 right now and everyone is out to be social but my son is complaining about the scissors not working on the dog food bag.  One neighbor helped carry groceries in so that was nice. But I want to cry. It’s hard that everything is new – the pharmacy closed early and I couldn’t fulfill one of the boys’ prescriptions, the doctor is new, everything.  Over the mountain, I lived there for 15 years – I know where everything is and which pharmacy are open all night.  And I wanted to go swimming but it’s raining and a severe storm warning so it didn’t feel safe. So no swimming and the pool is almost closed for good since it is getting colder.  And I have a finance meeting at 6:30 so no time for anything. My worst fear about being here – not having enough personal time. Right now  I have to walk the dog who is begging and has diarrhea.  And too many bugs here!

9/12/19

Today was getting worse and worse. I wanted to cry but didn’t have the time. Work was fine and not giving too much frustrations. One person at work didn’t do something which made more work for the rest of us but it wasn’t that much for me.

I got lots of facebook marketplace messages on taking the free bunk bed and had to filter through those all day.

I got to run to the gym and swim which was a real blessing but I felt weird in my bathing suit in front of everyone in the neighborhood but the shower at that gym was too hot. I knew I’d miss my old gym  but not this much. It’s hard to get a gym and all the pools seem so busy with swim lessons and swim teams. Let’s be honest – only one of those kids may make it to the Olympics so go away and let me swim my old lady laps.

I briefly had time to shower and eat and then go to the high school for back to school and he didn’t want to go which was good because it ended up all parents anyways.  On my way out the door a neighbor  wanted to walk with me to the car and when someone talks to me I worry it is something negative. First it was another neighbor the other day saying my high schooler was using a trash can that doesn’t get picked up anymore. Why is it still out there – was his question, and mine.  So I had to dig in there and grab the dog poop bags and put them in the trash dumpster that does get picked up. We should have a welcome committee. Yes, I knew everyone before I moved in and the policies, but not the details like that about the property.

 Luckily this talk wasn’t about me but my contractor who is building a screened-in porch so my cats can have a catio and I have a way out of the sliding doors there.  I guess the power went out today and the contractor used his power next door, without asking. He was worried about the cost of the power saw and i said I would  do the bill (he never let me know if I owed anything and i got more stuff with a power saw later and never noticed a big bill so maybe it wasn’t so costly)

 So I wanted to cry then feeling stressed and disorientated with the move.  At that moment (still trying to get to back to school night), the contractor wanted to talk. I thought it was about that situation with the power out but no – just details about the patio and money. I wanted to stay home and get chores done for the movers moving everything on Saturday but I wanted to meet his new teachers.

So the school went great – nice teachers and they like my high schooler.  Much  better than my experience at the elementary school back to school night (same night) where my son wrote me a letter that he’s miserable. So I feel guilty for disorientating him. I feel terrible for moving him to a new school and place.  I’m glad he has one kid his age to play with on the weekends here but it’d be nicer if they could be together all the time

I met with the contractor after back to school and then checked my Facebook market place messages. One guy is calling me shiitty for putting up times to get the bunk bed. It’s free and I only gave his family a chance to come take it apart and get it because  they seemed so interested but the other 2 guys were fine about my coming by appointment idea. We went back and forth and he’s out because he sounds scary. I don’t want a scary stranger in my house. I don’t want to get murdered. 

I started writing here on the porch, feeling sad. My next door neighbor on the right came out of my next door neighbor’s house on the left.   And I felt worse because they were playing poker. I wasn’t invited. Maybe being here is harder than i thought.

9/13/19

Morning – I’m still upset and still want to cry. Probably for the love song i heard. I forgot to write how I feel alone here. A single mom. I never really felt that way before. Maybe because now we are farther away – a father a mountain away.  Also since he said it’s my fault our youngest is miserable at the new school.. Why is single mom such a hard life? I never felt like such a single mom until moving here.

My friend wants to give me a discount for the home inspection because “you’re a single mother.” Last night I felt it and worse when I was excluded from the poker game. All these couples living here.

And I was just trying to give away the bunk bed from the other house.  My mom’s handyman put it together when we picked it up from a friend’s years ago.  So someone has to come and take it apart and I got a lot of requests if it was available on the facebook marketplace. I said yes and then kept track of who was first, second, etc. One man got mad that others were in line before him and called me shitty so I said I didn’t want him in my house. Wasn’t worth getting murdered over. His mother was mad at me about that. Then I told another woman and she was mad that others were before her too!  I can’t win.  My real friends on facebook said put it curbside first come first serve next time.  I’ll just let the contractor take it away. Too bad. The mother said I acted “unprofessionally”. I was giving it away!  I”m not a professional used bed saleswoman.  Someone else told me people on facebook feel entitled.  I guess. I was supposed to spend my life catering to strangers for free!

I hope things will get better once everything is moved in.  No more traveling back and forth to the old house.  Have all our stuff in one place. Settle in here forever.

9/14/19

The day arrived. I moved everything. Picked up buffet thing at the storage bin-  done. Stress less. Now there is a pile a mile high but I need room to go to sleep since I wanted to go to bed at 4 pm. I went to the one year old’s birthday down the pedway instead.  The movers were impressed seeing them set up over the pedway and liked the neighborhood.

It was nice talking to all the neighbors at the party buti felt a bit insecure like at college first semester  when I worried if everyone liked me. It was all for nada. I have friends for life from college. 

I also worried about the cats.  The female has been here since we moved in and liked it. But the 2 males have to wait until the catio is finished.  Maybe I should have shown the contractor a photo first because the tunnels he built are for smaller cats.  I think they’ll still like it and I”m happy they will always be inside since I worried they would get hit by a car at the old place.  Yet, they are still half feral and scared of people.  One tried to hide in the laundry room when he heard the strange voices of the movers. He was half sticking out from under a shelf, like a child – I can’t see you so you can’t see me. After the movers got everything out of the house (not the bunk beds), I swooped up the cats in the carrier and drove them in my car. I’m happy they didn’t throw up like they have going to the vets. And this time it was over a mountain.  Now  they are safe in the bathroom – their home until their Taj Mahal is finished. So i’ll won’t worry. Just let go and let God.

9/21/19

Iit took a year but my feeling is right that my job sucks with new leadership. Maybe everything happens for a reason. It happens now that I’m in a county that pays more and I could get a real summer off. I got in trouble today for something someone else did but the boss wants to pin it all on me. One teacher already said she’s leaving and can’t stand the upper management.

One thing that didn’t bother me too much about work was the mice.  I heard they existed but never saw one until last year.  So, everything is put away but I accidentally left a packet with a plastic fork, knife, napkin and didn’t see a sugar pack so they found it.  It wasn’t bad until now that neighbors are finding mouse poop in their cars!  Some children even saw the mice and the parents didn’t believe them until they saw them in their car. Gross. I can’t take it – bad enough at work, now home. Can I move the cats into the car?  Maybe we should rethink the outdoor cat rule and let more out and my cats can get rid of these parking lot mice?  It just grosses me out. I put natural remedies all over the car to try to repel mice but they repel me too. Stinky.

9/30/19

I was supposed to share sweet honey and apples with my new neighbors and hope to be written in the book of life. I sure need it since death is too much a part of our lives. My son called in the morning that one of the cats was shaking and falling in the catio. (I had work today but they had the day off)  So a neighbor drove the cat and the boys to the vet.  The vet reassured me that it’d be okay.  They said he was sweet and took blood work. He was ok in the car.

In my old home I dog sat a lot. This week I dog sat for a coworker and I think the neighbors were afraid I now had 3 dogs. I don’t think I’ll dog sit anymore.

Iwas waiting for my co-worker’s roommate to take her barking dogs that were stressing out the cat and then I planned to sit with him and pet him.  But my teen went to go feed him and said he was foaming at the mouth.  He moved a little. I held him and wailed. I felt so guilty for not petting him sooner and that he died alone. We rushed outside to go to a hospital after that dumb roomate guy took the dogs.  The neighbors heard us and our parade of tears. So one neighbor offered her husband up to drive us to the vet so I could comfort the boys. I sat in back to comfort them. I wish I could be a better mom. My teen held our sweet cat and cried. At the emergency vet they said wait. They said it could take hours but I asked if they could just quickly see if he was still alive.  I went outside and told my neighbor it may take hours and I felt bad he’d have to wait.

They took us in a room and said the cat didn’t make it.  They made a cast of his paws and gave us a little trinket and put him in a box. They said he was alive when I held him because they saw he peed on the blanket  so I felt a little better that he wasn’t alone. We left and I drove. I’m glad my neighbor  was with us. Now he has a story to tell of riding with us crying and a dead cat.

This makes me want to spend more time home with my boys.

10/9

The neighbors gave me a card where everyone signed and one left us some cookies. I took the next day off from work and brought my youngest to a movie.  We are getting used to this. Dad died, we took the next day off and a movie made us feel better. Mom died – well, took longer off then but now we have a pattern.  My teen didn’t want to miss school.

This weekend we went to the beach. Their father came along and was a great comfort to all of us.

10/15

We were a well oiled machine over the mountain. Knew where everything was – could drive blindfold. Here I always need the GPS.  I didn’t know my kids’ friends in school but they had them and now they are feeling new and lonely in their schools.  Maybe I waited too long to move to cohousing.  I should have moved when I first heard about it and I had a new born. But I was stupid and didn’t look up all the communities that already existed. I hadn’t heard of this one and the minute I did I signed up and only had to wait about two years whereas the one over the mountain is still just talking.  And I couldn’t just move back then whereas here I have my same job. I hope I didn’t wait too long and hurt the kids with the move. I know moving is hard for kids and we’ve never done it and I never moved as a kid.

10/21

I feel like I’ve had plastic surgery. Once you fix the nose, then you need to do the cheeks, and then the eyes, etc. I worry I’m getting too into remodeling. I loved the catio so I hired the contractor to make a loft and give my autistic son more space in this downsized house. . I just want to make him happy. He got to choose the design and colors and the contractor was so great with working with him. I also hired the contractor to do some odd jobs. I know with cohousing I can ask neighbors but I don’t want to be the needy single mother (in some cohousing books they warn that single mothers can be too needy).

The contractor also gave me an estimate to finish the attic. It is more than the developer said he could do it for but it would be a lot more – adding a bathroom, and closets, etc.  I’d be my space – even painted pink to keep boys out.  Then we wouldn’t be so crammed into two bedrooms. And my sister says adding a third bathroom will add value to the house. But she doesn’t get it. I want to stay here forever. Cohousing isn’t like regular house buying – it’s a community.  I don’t think about selling and making money off the house later.

My goal is to  have a pretty house and keep it clean. Make a dream home in a dream neighborhood and community. I declared defeat in keeping it clean already. Dreams come at a cost but worth it.

11/4

I was so excited for my family’s visit but now I’m disappointed. My brother from California  barely visited. I went over the mountain to my sister’s but he never showed up. Then I missed the official community Halloween party since it was 3-7 and I got back at 8.  Luckily, they did things with the kids and had a party at one member’s house on real Halloween that I got to go to.

I guess sometimes I’ll have to miss stuff here and in reality most people weren’t there. 

Today he did show up – two hours late. He came with my other brother and his two young children and his wife.  They wanted to see the house and community.   They were not impressed with my small house but that’s ok. Cohousing is smaller. I was surprised that they didn’t want their children  to play outside which is the best part of cohousing – the playgrounds and always kids around. They said it was too cold out but then left early to go walk around a vineyard. I like being outside and  that’s one reason why I’m here – I wanted to be outside a lot talking with neighbors like I did in Mexico.  Cohousing is not for everyone, especially  my mainstream family. 

I wanted to go to the vineyard with them but it was Sunday and I had signed up to cook the common meal.  I missed the community party trying to spend time with my family and missed time with my family because of my commitment to the community.  Push and pull between my real life and cohousing.  I feel sad that I barely saw him and he’s going back to California tomorrow.

Later that day

They say living in community makes you learn about yourself. I think i don’t like being a host. I offered food and drinks to my family and they didn’t want it.  When a friend visited a few weeks ago, I was afraid her kids would destroy neighbors stuff since they ran onto others porches (which our kids know not to do that here). Maybe I”m  just not used to it here yet since my house is so small.  And I don’t want guests to break rules.  My brother walked into the common house before I had a chance to tell him we have a member living there as her house gets built.  He said he wouldn’t have to walk in if he had known but they all just scattered throughout the property. It reminded me of the time I stole his hamsters. I was five and obsessed with his hamsters since he would never let me touch them. So one morning I woke up early and everyone else was asleep.  I climbed up the counter and had a paper bag and reached into their cage above the fridge and put them all in the brown bag. I went up to my room and put the bag down. They all ran out and off to the four corners of the room and I couldn’t see them. I woke up Mom and Dad and said the hamsters were gone. My brother and sister soon got up and all day they looked for and couldn’t find the hamsters. They also told me I shouldn’t have done that and I felt terrible.  

It felt the same. My family were like the hamsters – going all over the place and not knowing the rules of our community. It was fine but it made me nervous.

11/15/19

I don’t know if I can take this. Every  other week wondering if I’ll get fired. At least this time it’s all my fault. I did do something wrong this time but learned my lesson.

And I know not everyone understands my choice to live here. They say some will take advantage and do less than others in these type of communities.  I don’t see that. Everyone does their work share.  I do my work share and have the opportunity in living in a big place with a garden and paths and pool.  I had the dream of having land here. I am tired of being too busy though. Between work and workshare and life in general.  And I’m new to the town.  I don’t know anyone outside of the neighborhood. It’s hard to start all over.  

11/19/19

I had fun visiting a friend in her fancy hotel.  My son and I enjoyed swimming in their pool.  She is such a bubbly person but was quiet and shut down around her husband. I don’t want that in my life.

11/29

What a difference a perspective makes. My brother  thought my attic closet space was a waste. My best friend thought it was great. My sister in law didn’t like the lack of space or outside play areas. My best friend thinks the cohousing neighborhood is awesome. I feel better now.  It was so nice for her to drop by with her family on their long drive home.  I’ll just be careful of my expectations and who I let visit the community. I love that the house is a work in progress and maybe I’ll never be a super host.

 My oldest son is back from college and the poor dear,  he is a guest now and does things wrong like leave the catio door unlocked and the dog escaped. A neighbor rang the doorbell holding her saying he found her out and about. I hope she didn’t poop.

My college son is so bored here and ran off to his old haunting place.  I guess I”ll only see him at Christmas. I just hope we continue to have a relationship. It’s harder letting go as he grows but that’s routine.  

12/1/19

I”m still new here and the developer did say there is no guarantee you’ll get friends so I wonder who I will bond with the most. So far I think the couple across the pedway. They are the easiest to talk to and we think a lot a like. I do know that I’ve noticed that one neighbor is a bit high maintenance. She likes to plan parties but then complains about them but she also complains about a lot of things. She went on a getaway and I asked about it and she talked all in the negative. I was jealous – I would love a getaway and time alone.  Thanksgiving  was casual but she chose to cook a lot because she had to have certain things for a traditional meal or it just wasn’t Thanksgiving in her mind. I think she was disappointed that others didn’t choose to bring some of those dishes.  It was nice gathering around and eating with everyone but it felt like a common meal which is common now and  my boys ate little since it was all vegan.

At one common meal, this neighbor freaked that the pasta had run out when her family arrived late and another neighbor told her the cook could hear her and it could hurt his feelings.  She takes common meal as real food for her family but I know it’s a crap shoot – you may need to eat more at home later and ther eis no guarantee your kids will like it.  At one community potluck she got upset there was nothing to feed her kids but potlucks are luck of the draw and nowadays there are so many different needs, it’s hard to please anyone. My sister said she used to make food that her kids liked when she contributed to potlucks so they would eat.  

The issue isn’t really this one neighbor but my feelings are hurt because few people are at the common meals that I’ve signed up for. I’ve been struggling with the booking and just make lots of recipes that are vegan and unappealing to me. It’s also hard to gage how much to make. I”ll keep trying – still new at this.  And I’ll just  be careful around this neighbor and her complaining. Now that I know what she is like and what to expect. She also doesn’t like me questioning about the school she is developing. I worked at two of them and saw them start, and finish, so she didn’t seem to like my pointed questions. Prefers to learn on her own. Good luck!

12/5

I hate to leave my job. I love the students but the boss and I keep butting heads. It would be easier to just find a job here on this side of the mountain. That’s one reason I moved here – since I could keep my job – same distance. I didn’t expect new management though.  Maybe I’m burnt out. It’s the 5 year mark. Today I got jealous of the moms who get to stay here all day with their kids. 

12/7

Krampus eve?  I’m feeling grumpy. I just went to get my son from his playmate’s house and they are preparing soup for some soup dinner night. I feel like poker night again.  I wasn’t invited.  I’m feeling left out. But this place is good for the kids. I’d like a social life but if not, oh well. I’ve had a problem belonging my whole life. I know I talk too much and most don’t want to know my opinion on stuff. I disagree with the playmate’s parents  a lot. Especially about parenting. I liked hanging out with them last year before any of us moved in  but now they’re in a preschool parent clique. All the parents here have preschoolers except me (and the one playmate on weekends only) She complains a lot and I realize I don’t like her energy. Her husband  is cowardly and I told him he should spend more time with his child when he has him on the weekends. Seems like we see him more than his father does.  They left  him alone to eat by himself as they went to the soup dinner tonight.  Of course I wonder why I wasn’t invited. Is it a playgroup?  Food thing? Of course I always feel shittiest before I have to cook a meal and no one seems to like mine or they end up at a bad time like when my family came in from out of time. So I wouldn’t want to be part of a soup cooking club anyway but it would have been nice if they invited and put the announcement out for all who want to join.

On another issue, Some adults want a quiet spot only for adults. That doesn’t sound cohousing but they feel like we all paid for and built playgrounds and a few play areas (sand box, tree house, etc)  but nowhere just for adults. And now this soup thing?  I worry about a divide between parents of preschoolers and those who have older/grown up kids (or none at all)  Maybe cohousing is just a bunch of yuppies living close to each other. It’s not hippy like ecovillages or communes.

It’s just hard not knowing if I belong.  I need to be patient and give it time. I like talking to everyone.  I know my boys like game night and the common house committee included my son with autism to help make rules for the common house.  (He was concerned little children or others would run around naked).  Everyone is nice to him and that’s what counts.  It could be worse. My neighbors over the mountain who I barely ever talked to think I deserted a cat when I really built them a Taj Mahal here instead. Apparently once my three cats were not the royalty of the neighborhood some other orange tabby appeared at my house and they think I would just leave a cat behind. Never!

Back to the soup –  I”m a parent too!  Do they not invite single moms? Who need the most help according to that one book where they think single moms are the most needy but I”m not needy. I’ve never asked for any help of any kind.

I’m feeling stuck. Waiting for the attic to be done but then once it’s done, that’s all there is. Well one day at a time and do what gives you joy even if it’s scary and a lot of changes like getting a new job.

Later I saw a single man leave the soup festivities and I was pissed. It wasn’t a parent thing.  But then I asked and found out it was a leftover from before we all moved in. They had soup nights – and had invited everyone to join – but I never went because I lived far away. So they kept it going. Not sure if it still happens but they never put out an invitation once we moved in, still.

12/22/19

My aunt is in town visiting and  asked why I didn’t keep stuff in storage and live in the house and bring things in slowly. Well, I  like paying movers once and not moving heavy stuff. But it’s my house. Doesn’t matter whatever family thinks. One neighbor here told me that someone complains about his house  he tells them they are welcome to donate money for design changes. I love it here. 

12/26/19

I spent Christmas over the mountain with family.  I missed both the morning and afternoon Christmas fire pits here. I don’t want to miss that again.  We did enjoy Christmas Eve pancakes at one neighbor’s house.  And I loved watching my youngest ride around the pavement on his new scooter. I’ll take coho over family 

I’m so stressed with the house and my boxes all over and planning for my youngest’s birthday party in the common house  and I invited everyone over for Hanukkah tonight but no one showed up so I’m glad.

1/23/2020

I have tried to like trivia nights at the local bar. Us cohousers always win since we are such a smart group but some of the neighbors take it so seriously. It’s for fun!  We don’t win anything or join some national championship.  They think we have to talk super quiet as if the other tables are really listening in and trying to steal our answers. They are far away tables and loud music is playing anyhow.  Well, last night I got tired of that same bothersome neighbor shushing me and taking it so seriously so I’m done with that.  Better off going to the gym for zumba class at that hour.

2/19/20

It’s been 6 months.  The average for people to move into a new house is 6 months and 2 weeks. So I have two more weeks to empty more boxes. In reality, we didn’t move totally until the attic was done in the end of December – so we have more  time.

I kind of feel I was give false promises.  We aren’t the tight new age touchy feely community I thought we would be.  Maybe community is what you put into it.  I think we may just be more like fake neighbors – trying to look good and be polite but not really connected, at least not yet.  We aren’t always being really honest. We do lessons on Non Violent Communication but don’t really ever dive into anything.  Most don’t say their feelings are afraid from years of not doing NVC.

It takes time. I”m learning too.

I wonder if we are helping each other?  We are not dealing with tension. Everyone is trying to ignore it. That won’t work later.  

Maybe I feel disconnected because it’s cold outside and we aren’t outside as much as before. And the common house needs some help – super cold in spots.

3/17/20

I’m so depressed. First because I  was going to escape to Florida and palm trees but now I’m stuck inside and don’t even like  being with cohousing people just because some stupid untamed kid asked me about my b belly and i know the parents won’t apologize becuase they never do with their kids. It’s weird one reason I moved here was to be social but this is social distance. Now I have a good excuse not to see anyone. I guess I”m sensitive and hurt by others and still don’t feel close to anyone and instead feel more like I make mistakes and am  not in the “in crowd” (of parents of young kids who take over everything).  

3/27/2020

I wanted to rent out an airbnb and found one that has just been remodeled so no one has stayed there with coronavirus. I still want to escape for spring break. And we can go to the beach!

I invited the kids’ dad and he met us at the house and helped us load up the car but we bickered out the door for all the neighbors to see.  I wanted to tell them to remind me not to go on vacation again with him. And he only wanted four days and I wanted a week.  Now I’m glad it’s only four days.

I guess we talked a little and things calmed down a bit on the 2 hour ride. But the car was lighting up weird stuff like batteries. Then everything lit up. Then n the radio started to act weird. I turned off AC and then the radio. And thought it was like the time my alternator went out in college. I prayed we’d make it across the tunnel and we did but the car moved slower and slower and i pulled onto the shoulder with my hazard lights on.  I was glad we weren’t in the tunnel and hoped we’d make it to the exit. We did and cruised slowly down the exit and into a dead end with enough space for a tow.  Relieved!

The boys had to pee so their dad went over to the marina where we were and looked around. I called AAA and it hung up on me. So I tried a local tow. The lady said most places were closed with this virus and they can’t give us a ride. I said I’d try AAA again and get back. She made me feel so hopeless. I called AAA and they answered right away and I started crying. So worried about the virus. My idea of not touching anything was dying and I was scared we’d get the virus.  Would we be stranded here? But the AAA guy was so nice. He mentioned a rental car so I knew that would help.  So he found me a tow and then i called a taxi and lined up a rental car. And the beach place left the contract for me in a box at their office..  So all was good.

AAA came and were great.  But then the taxi never showed. I called and one woman was helpful. Next accusatory that I had hung up on her which I did not. She said I was out of the area so why promise me a taxi an hour ago?So I texted my college son and he used his account and  got us an uber and they said they’d be there in 9 min. They were there in five.

Harry the uber driver was so nice and helpful as we circled the airport for the nearest spot to the rental places.  Got there and got the car but it was key less and I took 10 min to figure that out. I almost cried again. Picked everyone up – including the dog!   They were impressed by the fancy car. 

Finally got to the rental office and signed a contract. Then found the house across the street from ocean but I can hear it! I walked the dog on the beach and saw the ocean. Now i know it is best to stay home but i’m glad i get to see the beach. 

The place is so nice and we can see all the neighbors houses. They are close together. I wish I could live here – by the beach. Can I move our cohousing here?  Or these people here could have their own cohousing community if they wanted.  

4/4/2020

I don’t like the cliques here. I feel out of it. But maybe i”ve never fit in anywhere. I’m a rolling stone – only good at world travel and domestic travel since I’ve had kids.  Maybe I’ll never fit in – I thought I would here. Or is it an age thing? I”m too old? Don’t have preschool kids like the main crowd though we have older people here. Maybe we are too different in generations now.  

I still feel lonely. I mean I talk to people but don’t have that much fun. Now with the virus no one meets but I saw some get togethers and, again, wasn’t invited. Just one couple inviting another over. I feel excluded.  I guess I was only popular in college and that’s that.

I want to travel. See the world now that I could die. There are places I want to go before I die. I’ll have to wait but I do want to see family now, safely, with this virus.  I want to hug my college age son again.

4/19/20

I’m so sad. I’m scared. I called my college son for a Sunday call and he was at the beach and big city streets and all alone. He was crying and others were crying too. So sad and shocked – no one was there. The gravity of quarantine was like a horror film to him.  I’m worried that  he’s too alone. I said I’d drive up. Then my sister looked up  flights and when I got back to him he was fine.  Now I wonder if I should go there this week. But I hate leaving the boys for another place. This virus is so scary. And I worry I’m in a risky group and could die.  I want to see my college son again. I want to hug him. He’s scared. We’re all scared. I know this is new to all of us and I know he’s an adult but he doesn’t have calluses like I do from other world crises like September 11th. 

 And then I complained at the plenary about indoor vs outdoor people and how we should be more mindful for those staying indoors more and being more careful than others with the virus.  Someone thought that was a great idea and invited two of the couples who have been more indoors to an outdoor barbeque in their backyard. I saw them walk over after putting their little kids to bed and taking an intercom with them to listen up if they wake up.  That wasn’t my idea. My idea was to include everyone.  I HATE the exclusive parties.  Maybe i should go get my son.

4/20/20

I’m very sad and crying. I can’t stand these cliques. The developer said there is no guarantee we will have friends here. I guess we are just neighbors.  I wonder if it’s me. I was popular in high school and college.  I know my life got less social once I had kids but here i don’t have little kids. Too old. Who can I trust here? Who do I like? Who likes me? Is it worth it? Maybe I should just move back over the mountain where my boys will be happier with their friends.

So what do I want? Friends.  I’m working on the new renter who moved in. She’s sweet and my age. She’s a single mother and does ask for help. Her kids are in high school.  I also wish my college son was here. I know he’s independent but I want to hug him.

4/21/2020

I woke up feeling grateful. Some people have traveled safely during this pandemic so maybe i can travel to get my son from college.  We will zoom at least. I am feeling blessed.  I just need to trust the Universe. The future is uncertain but i have a roof over my head and some back up money in case I don’t find a new job.

5/4/ 2020

Why do I hate everybody sometimes?  Not hate but feel left out.  Maybe because i’m in a bad mood. My college son got the virus!  I just want to hug him again.He’s recovered but said it was hard to breathe at night.  

Work is worse. I gave my resignation months ago but the boss is firing lots of women.  Makes me mad. My life is ruined by petty men – Trump (no tests, deaths of coronavirus), my boss(sexist and pushing all the women out) then I see everyone outside being social and I want to stay inside angry.  

5/9/2020

My panic level is going up.  My high school son ran out of food. My nightmare. And there are no freezers for sale.  They said there was no room in the common house freezer but I threw out some old ice cream from an event months ago and made some.  He only eats certain things, common for autism. All stuff that needs to be frozen.  

I invited a neighbor over for a movie on my porch and offered her some of my dinner. She took one of my precious tortillas and gave it to the neighbor  kids!  But I need to stop being afraid of food scarcity and think abundance. It’ll all come back.  My son will be fine. I’ll find a new job.  I”m getting lots of zoom interviews.

5/19/20

Sometimes cohousing really irks me.  We canceled common meals but everyone has been ordering from a local restaurant once a week and eat outside on their porches. I’ve been cooking myself but ordered today for the first time. And no one was out there eating! Overprice rice! And I know not in the parent clique or the cool women clique  and it hurts. I’m not popular. Everyone helped out with a surprise birthday party for one younger guy but no one responds to my idea for a throw back dance party for me and the guy across the pedway who are both sharing a milestone birthday. I should just forget it. Stupid Idea anyway.

5/20/2020

This pandemic school is driving me crazy. My youngest is up all night online and facetime with his friend so I barely sleep. And my high schooler refuses to do his last history essay because he watched youtube video about high school is “bullshit”. Only 2 more days then school is done. I just want to escape but now I’m afraid to travel. Where to pee? Should i get a camper and pee there? Hotel? I don’t want to die. Death has been so present in our  lives already with my dad and mom and step mom. I want to live. I want to see my youngest grow up to be a man and live his dreams. I want to see my college son this summer. I want to see my son with autism make films. I want to travel. I want to be quarantined at the beach with a community.  A delivery man got too close for me so I could have gotten it just staying home.  Might as well be elsewhere.  I just want options.  I want freedom.  Not this job. 

6/2/20

Thank goodness for Beverly Hills Housewives  I can just stay inside and avoid everyone.  Had a nice walk with my youngest at 6:30pm. Work sucked. Stayed on the computer thirty minutes and my class never showed up. 

Then i went outside to be social and went on the neighbor’s porch.  One of his little kids said “you look stupid”. The dad said nothing. I said that’s not nice. The bothersome neighbor asked what and I said I’m not repeating it.  It was a kid comment. (same kid with rude comments before). The dad said it didn’t need to be repeated. (so he did hear it)  I walked away and didn’t come out again.

 I didn’t like seeing another neighbor that just pissed me off.  He posted that he’s not doing game night anymore because now that it is all online,  it was just him and my autistic son so he’s canceling it.  Adults only. 

After crying, I wrote an email about how I feel. That I tried to do an adult movie and the game night guy shut it down saying we should only have kid movies because his child would see the screen and they’d have to get a babysitter.  Well that didn’t stop them going to the backyard BBQ.  No one ever invited me out – ever.  I’m tired of not being popular here and of all the kids here.  Everything has to be for kids except the one thing my high schooler likes. Not fair. But it’s always unfair here. I need to not care. And everyone has an opinion and some come out louder than others. The louder ones always seem to be heard. II came here to be social and mostly for son on the Autism spectrum. I don’t want to impose him on anyone but it’d be nice if he could join the community.  I’ll have to start my own adults only movie club. No opinions just come to the movie if you want to see it or not. Not a community wide thing with everyone’s opinion and consensus.

I can’t even plan the milestone birthday party without opinions. I wanted to make it for the disco era and one neighbor wants to include her mother who is turning 90 the same week. So now I need to add 1940s music? 

So whatever.  I’ll just need to chill. 

One of the members who lives near by but ended up not buying a house here invited us over for an outdoor dinner (so I am invited outside of this place).  It was was nice and as I toldher  about everything she said “sounds like cohousing is burning you out.” I was surprised by that. I said I was just complaining about stuff.  I love porch time and hearing the one neighbor playing his guitar. He was nice and before I sent the email about my autistic son he asked if he would like to come over and jam with music – by bringing his keyboard over  Maybe I just need a break.  Summer.

6/4/2020

Why am i still weeping? Becaue i barely slept! No one responded to my email. Feels like no one here cares. No one asked why I didn’t come outside yesterday.

 I can’t walk around my neighborhood without little kids saying rude comments. I can’t get a job. The virus kills fat people. I feel stuck. I can’t travel, I’ll get sick. I can’t leave home because this house and I put so much renovation into it. So how do I use Law of Attraction? I will travel. I will have a beach getaway. Not sure what else I want. Not sure i want to work and be exposed and then get tested. Not sure I could work from home anyways – we have bad internet. I feel like my bad boss and this pandemic happened for a reason – to retire early? Stay away from people who bring me down – leave them.  

I think if you aren’t an introvert, cohousing will make you want to be.I tried to reach out a little to the next door neighbor. He’s cool.  The bothersome neighbor is soso diffusive about the kids – saying kids are just lazy. She thinks it’s no big deal and didn’t seem to listen to me but I appreciate that she asked to talk to me – she noticed I was feeling down about this place whereas no one else has.  I just don’t feel backed up by the kids’ parents and don’t want to deal with  it.  These kids run wild and I’m the bad guy for mentioning it. It’s easier not to care and just stay inside.I feel like i don’t belong here.

June 5, 2020

My new doctor is the best.. I told her I’ve been crying for days. She gave me a depression quiz and I scored low but she said therapy can still work with unresolved grief and the voice of shame going on in my head which wants to protect me but which isn’t helping me. That made me cry for kindness – she is showing me she heard me and is kind to me whereas I don’t feel that elsewhere.

I already feel better. I walked a lot last night. She said Ii could take care of myself and hopefully stand up to others. I don’t have to be close to the kids and will try to stay away from them. I have my own children. I don’t need them.

Later that night:

Wild kids. Parents not speaking up. The bothersome neighbor is very defensive. She said she and the dad talked to the kids about being rude after the kid said you look stupid to me. I said No one told me.  

I took a walk and saw the dad walking his dog.  I said hi.  I had to get it out, over. I asked if he noticed if i hadn’t been out in 3 days and he said he did. He said he wouldn’t go get me. ( I guess didn’t want to interfere with privacy?) When i cried…he said that they don’t talk about me behind my back that  I made this whole story in my head. I felt better – he reassured me it was all a misunderstanding. 

But as I thought about it I got angry. He said I made up the whole thing in my head. That sounds like gaslighting.  I didn’t make up a story – their kids are rude and they never try to teach them right from wrong. I did get worried the parents started it talking about me, but my concerns are my concerns – not some story!

Should I just move? It still hurst that no one answered my email or reached out.

6/6/20

I’m feeling stronger.

I’m not the only one upset with how some of the little children behave. Now I’m glad i don’t have a little kid here.  There are so many opinions here – it’ll take a lot of work.

The mother of the kids sent a sweet email and we will talk. I’m sure it’ll be fine. I like them – I  like that  family. I’m sure we can talk it through. But now I see they are generally clueless about a lot of things, especially the effects of the behaviors of their children on others here.  That makes me feel better. It’s not me.  They were shocked a dog should be on a leash. True freedom lovers. I’ll just walk cautiously. I’ll just walk away from all the kids. I’m not joining that storm.

6/7/20

Crisis seems to be over.  I knew it couldn’t be as bad as I thought. I must have needed a good cry. Helped. I talked to an older neighbor- she feels it’s an offense to the community to use “parenting style” as an excuse. Some parents just don’t seem to care. And the new family has noticed. Yipes. She deals with it by not  interacting at all with the kids.  I moved here to get to know all ages though. 

On a better note, some have finally responded to my email. Even the bothersome neighbor she’d play games with my high schooler to make him feel better. I sent an email to the games night coordinator and he didn’t answer that and doesn’t seem to see any emails. My walking partner neighbor  we can start our own  trivia night. Another neighbor remembers being a lonely teen and will play with him too. I just want to cry for joy now.

6/25

It was nice to get away.I made it okay to get my son from college and just peed quickly in grocery stores.

Even though I was away,  I was all stressed about here.I got to tell all the problems to one of my best friends as we visited there. It’s nice to talk to someone outside of here. But I rushed the whole visit. I feel distracted. Kept thinking of the problems with the kids behaviors and the parents, etc.

That’s all I’ll share for now.  Right after I returned from my trip we had the big blow up and I rented out a house far away. Once it was obvious the mediator wasn’t helping, I moved out for good.

And I did get what I want. Friends. I made an awesome group of new friends/community online and new party animals at my dream house (for real this time) in a beach town.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in autism and (dis)abilities, bad behavior and bullies of any age, beach life, death and mourning, downsizing, grief and grieving, living in community, lonliness or not, moving in and out of cohousing, pets in cohousing, privacy, time and family balance, Uncategorized, work and cohousing. Bookmark the permalink.

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