I had decided that my job had become much too hazardous for my health; I am a person who needs to be proud of where I work.  It’s not enough to only be proud of my personal accomplishments.

I was and am still naive when it comes to drugs – the illegal or recreational types.  During college, I was around someone who did LSD (weird!) and several people who smoked marijuana.  But I never understood why, and I was never tempted to try them.  I have heard the names of most of these drugs, primarily cocaine, but having no personal experience with them, I cannot relate.

I bring this up because I’m pretty sure that my two “hazardous” bosses were doing some type of drugs.  I can often recognize when someone is high, but I don’t know from what substance.  They had extreme mood changes; I could never predict the daily working atmosphere.

Another red flag was when they asked me one day, to “watch” an envelope while they went to lunch.  I believe that envelope had about $100,000 in cash in it, because they had left it open.  I also believe that they were testing whether I would take any of that money.  No way!  I felt that I was constantly being tested – but for what I’m not sure.  Maybe I had seen too many Mafia movies…

Derek had told me that he had been addicted to cocaine, but that he had been clean and sober for 8 years.  He said that he had learned his lesson and had promised himself that he would never be that stupid again.  Since I believe in a God of second chances, I thought I needed to give Derek a chance.  Also, there was never any evidence of drugs or dramatic mood swings.

Over the next several months, after returning to California, Derek and I took turns visiting Hawaii or California, once a month.  We were beginning to talk about spending our lives together.  I would obviously be moving to Hawaii.  Although Derek told me that I didn’t need to work, I wanted to work.  Derek asked me if his $300,000 annual salary was enough for us to live on, but I told him that I liked working.

I quit my job, and told Camille that I wanted to do what she did.  I felt that she had helped me so much, and I wanted to be able to do that same thing for others.  She said that I would have to get certified from the training school she had attended.  They were starting a certification program the middle of January.

I enrolled, using the 2nd check that I had received from the final settlement of my mother’s estate.  I still felt that this was a very good use of her legacy.

Attending those classes was the most intense schooling I have ever had.  We worked as partners – with each other as a client.  We only moved on to the next module after successfully passing all requirements and tests in each one.  Thus, we worked at our own pace.  In total, I spent more than 400 hours in that course – to become a life coach like Camille.

I will only share one experience with you, although there were many interesting ones.  (Because of the way the course was designed, it forced us to work on any unresolved issues within ourselves.)

One of the exercises involved convincing each other that we were feeling 86 different mood levels.  The purpose of this exercise was so that we could recognize each of these emotions when meeting with clients.   I was doing great until I had to convince my partner, Mike, that I was feeling “despair.”  I couldn’t convince him.  After about an hour, we called the teacher to come over and help us.  She began to ask me questions about when I had felt despair.   Eventually, she broke me down and I began to sob.  It became painfully obvious that despair was an emotion I was not willing to feel.

The tears and the realization of that was a breakthrough, and I, again, felt like a weight had been lifted from me.  I sailed through the rest of the emotions and we were able to move on to the next exercise.

I was excited about my new career and believed that I could do it anywhere, like Hawaii, for example.

On Valentine’s Day, Derek and I were not together, but he told me that he had sent a package to me via Federal Express.   A dozen pink roses were also delivered from him.  He asked me to wait to open the Fedex package until I could reach him by phone.  I called him as soon as I got it, and he asked me to open it.

Inside was the most spectacular diamond engagement ring I had ever seen – a  2 1/2-carat perfect, show-stopping solitaire.  I was so surprised that I barely heard him proposing to me on the phone.   At some point, I managed to say “yes.”

Certainly not the traditional way of getting engaged, but definitely unique and memorable!  After I got over the initial shock, I was ecstatic.

I made plans to move, as soon as I finished my classes.  My hazardous guys, still Derek’s employers, even offered to pay for transporting all of my furniture, car, and worldly goods, via ship container, to Hawaii.  That was their early wedding gift to us.

Derek’s mother lived on the north side of Los Angeles.  He had taken me to meet her on one of his trips to California, and she and I had hit it off, so I occasionally went to meet her for lunch.

I had finished my classes, gotten my certificate, packed up all my stuff, and moved out of my condo.  I moved back in with my brother, Walter and his wife, Janet, for a week.  I arranged to say goodbye to Derek’s mom.  That day, she said something to me that I thought was odd.  She said, “I’m kind of concerned about Derek.  The last few times I’ve talked to him, he has seemed like he did when he was in college.”  I asked her what she meant and she said, “Well, when he was smoking marijuana.”

When she said that, I realized that I had been noticing something different about him in our conversations, but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on why.  That evening – the night before the moving truck was coming to pick up everything to take it to the boat – I asked Derek if he was smoking pot.  He said, “Once in awhile.”  I asked him why, when he had promised me that he would never do any kind of recreational drugs again.  His excuse was that he had gotten too lonely because it was taking me too long to get over there…

I was disturbed by this turn of events, and cancelled the moving truck until we could figure things out.

We never did.  He just disappeared.  No more poems.  No more phone calls.

I was disenchanted, deeply disappointed and broken-hearted.   After a couple of months, I gave up and mailed the ring back to him.

If I allowed myself to feel, I cried, so I became immobilized and shut down.

This hurt was particularly debilitating – I’m not sure whether it was because of the cumulative effect of the repeated hurts I had experienced…or because my dreams with Derek had been so big…or both.



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  • Interesting site.

    October 10, 2012
  • Best wishes! Your blog is very good!

    October 12, 2012

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