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Housewife syndrome

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Housewife syndrome

Postby TaffyJ » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:40 pm

I've gotten really comfy since we moved out of town a few years ago. I feel safe and at peace out at our place like I never did when we lived in town. I'm out here much of the time with just the dog or the kids and I've never felt threatened in a way I couldn't handle. The worst intrusions I've had was a kid of questionable character who wanted to come play with my kids, and a college age salesman guy who somehow thought a quarter mile of bad driveway looked inviting. I was able to turn both around with nothing more than firm words. Other things that bother me get shot, poisoned, boiled, or run over with the lawnmower. You can't do that with things that bother you in town.

I don't have a 'job'. All my time is eaten up by taking care of my immediate family, developing and running a food-producing homestead, and managing my mom's stuff. I'd say that about 95% of my human contact is my sons and husband. I don't watch news or TV unless there's major elections or a hurricane coming. I'm sheltered in my own little world, mostly, going about my business without outside interference or unpleasantness.

Lately, I've had to spend more time in town than usual to deal with selling my mom's house for her. I've been in an empty house with contractors (men) both polite and questionable. I'm not exactly ugly, and that's all I mean to say. It makes me nervous sometimes, dealing with men who are not family inside a closed space.

I am naïve and sheltered these days, and I know it. I find myself wondering if I'm slightly psychotic sometimes when I get strange vibes from workmen. I wonder if I'm paranoid and just don't know how to deal with people anymore, or if there really is something to that 'gut' feeling occasionally.

My problem is, I seem to have only two ways to deal with people. Either I'm kind and generous to a fault, or I'm cold, harsh and offensive. I don't know how to do 'normal' anymore, apparently.

I think I've fallen into housewife syndrome. I've become so involved in my own sphere of influence out here where I'm allowed to be queen of my domain that it takes me a jarring moment of mental readjustment to deal with people in town. Rude people, dangerous people, people who just don't care about anything, they all take some adjusting to now.

I used to know how to deal with that, I think. Not so much anymore.

I'm afraid I've lost my people skills and have become accustomed to having things go the way I think they should go. Life isn't all a bowl of cherries and I still have to deal with financial worries,mom's health issues, and predators wanting to eat my food, aka livestock.

Sure, I could join an organization just for the sake of socialization, but I just don't have the desire, time, or energy. Not enough hours in the day as it is.

Does anyone feel the same? Have you moved out of town to your dream 'stead and become so busy developing your place that you just don't have the time for people anymore? Has living 'out there' changed your perspective on humanity and made the sheeple seem even more sheeple-ish to you? Would you rather plug your ears with chicken poo than listen to society ladies talk about their latest yoga class? I promise you, moving out here has changed me. I don't even spend as much time with family anymore. I love them, but they're townies. They don't talk about and think about and do things that I can relate to anymore.

Is this a sort of honeymoon period for me, where I'm decompressing from a lifetime of town life and socialization and I'm relishing the wallow in what feels to me like wild, earthy solitude? Will I come around and someday want to deal with 'people' again? Somehow I don't think that people who are born and raised rural feel like this. I think it's a particular neurosis of mine because I'm sort of new out here. I think the hubby and kids are staying on a more even keel because they have school and work to toss them out there with the general population. I'm just a housewife/farmer. I don't get out much anymore and I don't want to. I feel like a yard dog who barks at anything that dares enter my territory uninvited.

In town, if somebody knocked on the door, I answered cautiously, but with a smile. Not here. If I'm not expecting company and they didn't come on a 4-wheeler, I'm thinking about the shotgun. My good neighbor came to visit on his 4-wheeler pulling a trailer full of stall muck and a horse placenta. I heard the 4-wheeler coming and looked out the window, then ran outside to ask him about the new colt. He was nice enough to give me the placenta for my compost pile. Good man.

If anyone else has experienced anything like this social disassociation, did you just accept the change? Did you force yourself to start socializing? Is there something about owning a few acres instead of being 12 feet away from your neighbors that makes you jealously cherish your newfound privacy and solitude?

Am I crazy now? :crazy:
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Onegreenguy » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:11 pm

People are over rated...don't sweat it and don't over analyze it. You're taking control of your life and doing what you feel is right so who cares what others (city folk...and there's a reason they are called that because it a differen lifestye and rural life) think...your life, your terms....many are jealous of that. If you feel you must keep in touch with society then perhaps grow/raise extra on you homestead and sell at the local Farmer's Market a few days a week. That way your interactions are in public out in the open and on a more business level...plus you can make a few bucks. Perhaps you could eventually become friends if you desire with some of the other venders or regular customers. We did the same a few years ago and moved into a very rural and small mountain town and now my wife hates "coming down off the mountain" (as she calls it) to head into town. The only reason we lock our doors at night is, on the outside chance, a bear or mountain lion wanted in...they'd have to knock first.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby TaffyJ » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:37 pm

So funny, green! Making them knock first at least gives you time to wake up and deal with them before they're breathing over your bed. At least with animals, you're dealing with simple motives you can understand. Humans? Who knows.

Yeah, I say "go to town" like it's on par with a dental cleaning, too.

I'm not completely out of touch with humanity. There's neighbors out here and we swap services and produce and chat over the fence, but on the whole we go days without seeing each other or talking. I'm able to be kind, friendly and generous with them because they understand how much a bottle of home made wine is worth, and I understand how much it's worth to get my driveway box-bladed. It's not a dollar value, you just get a warm, fuzzy feeling from helping someone and making them happy.

In town, in traffic, in the store, everybody is after your dollar. Everything is in your face advertising. Or they want to make you angry in traffic just so they can laugh that they got a reaction out of you. People are always trying to impress everybody else with who they know or how much they have. I can't run away fast enough. That kind of stuff used to not even bother me. I barely noticed it. Now, I feel the tension in my chest and shoulders and I don't start calming down until I've left the city limits and I'm into the trees.

I do tend to over analyze things. Too much time to think, I suppose.

I'm not saying people who live in town aren't good folks. Not at all. But y'all are used to stuff that I'm finding I'm not used to anymore. I didn't expect this. I didn't expect a change of surroundings to change me, too. I was thinking I'd merely have the freedom to plant stuff and raise some animals. Silly me.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby mintbird » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:40 am

Taffy, ALWAYS trust your gut. I moved from a rural environment to Los Angeles. I used to be relaxed now I'm on constant alert. You did right by changing your home. Now I'm trying to get back and it seems almost impossible. What you feel at home versus what you feel in town is totally normal. When you're in town and feel strange/dangerous vibes, listen to them!

I'm envious of your life and I'm striving to change mine.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Northern Freeman » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:40 am

I grew up in the country and when I turned 18, I was city bound. Now being back in the country for about 10 years, I feel at home. I have that protective feeling about everything around me, not just in my doorway to my home.
I personally think our natural senses get overwhelmed and shut down in the dense packed environment in city life. I still could feel the bad vibes from some people and good ones from a very few, sometimes it would be overwhelming. I just figured it came from starting out in the country.
When I lived in the city, I liked to go out, now I like to go home. I go to work, shopping only when I have to. A farm auction is always cool, the county fair is over for me after I go through the animal buildings.
Life does change, in the city a person hardly notices a car drive by the house. Well my drive way is almost a half mile long and I notice if a car slows down close to it. If I hear a four-wheeler, I am looking and listening to see if it is on the property. I know the tone of the dogs bark if something is off in the distance or if its close by, then again the excitement of it if he has something cornered or treed.
I guess I am more of a recluse because I have to force myself to visit neighbor's and such. I joke at times about finding a gal that likes country life but then again I think that would be next to impossible if I am always home and content on the farm. Sometimes I wonder if that is normal, but then I look at reality and see that I would be a very boring date. It would be like dinner, weeding the garden or a walk through the woods and then a movie at home. But I would not trade my life for anything in the city or town.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Lynda » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:13 am

Taffy wrote:
"Does anyone feel the same? Have you moved out of town to your dream 'stead and become so busy developing your place that you just don't have the time for people anymore? Has living 'out there' changed your perspective on humanity and made the sheeple seem even more sheeple-ish to you? Would you rather plug your ears with chicken poo than listen to society ladies talk about their latest yoga class? I promise you, moving out here has changed me. I don't even spend as much time with family anymore. I love them, but they're townies. They don't talk about and think about and do things that I can relate to anymore."

Sometimes. Moving from a good sized town to a smaller one in the country highlighted the differences between the two, although I spent the first 4 years commuting to work.
My family is further away but I try to make an effort to see them; they're older. Sons are 60 miles away and I see them monthly as their work schedules are hectic.

People in my town seem to have a different attitude(more relaxed and friendly), because whenever I travel East the pace seems more frenetic and I can't wait to get back home. There's just my husband and I here and we're friends with a few neighbors but not particularly close where we visit each other daily.

I like my solitude but there are times it gets downright lonely, especially during the winter when travel conditions are sometimes compromised by the weather and it's difficult to get out and about.

We're really busy here, too, but I don't want to be too tied to the house and disengage from everyone else. Sometimes I just hop in my car and take off. We're also members of our local parish church and volunteer for various things. And we got some kayaks so we can explore the river in town and we attend the occasional political rally.

I try to find a balance between my social and home life and look at it this way. Whenever I'm away, shopping, visiting friends, family and former co-workers, it's really nice to come back home again.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Gunns » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:34 am

I am not a housewife by any means but I can understand your reluctance to interface with people. My wife is a lot like you in regards to strangers. She is leery and keeps a close on eye on them.

Me on the other hand must have that face, the face everyone wants to talk to. I don't know why, because I would rather not talk to them and I am not a very good speaker. But we can't go to town without a few people walking up to me and start conversing. Drives my wife crazy.

I wouldn't sweat it how you feel. Someone has to be the watcher.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Mollypup » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:17 am

I don't live in the countryside and I have many of the same issues. I swear I could easily become a hermit. There are plenty of folks I like, but in general people annoy me.....their rudeness, their behavior........Sometimes I look at them as if they've come from another planet. Shopping I dread. Once upon a time I enjoyed it. Now? No. Youngest daughter and I took the wee ones to the park for a hike along the creek........and spotted 4 pervs socializing on a picnic table.........avoided them, came back from the hike and walked right into the middle of a drug deal. Thankfully in both cases the kids were fairly clueless. Well the 2 yr old was.......my granddaughter takes in much more than she lets on. This is a small town, not a large city. *sigh*

The vast majority of the human population has gone whacko, have little to no morals, and don't care who knows it, get offended when people don't agree with their behavior. No thanks. I'll just stay in my own little world as much as possible. I don't mind observing from the outside.....but I sure don't want to interact very darn much with them.

ALWAYS trust your instincts. ALWAYS. Even if you can't come up with a "good reason", you've picked up on cues that have set off your alarm system. Listen to it. Keep yourself safe. Predators have become quite skilled at blending in with society.

I wish I could have a place in the country far away from people. If I could manage to be self sufficient, I'd probably never bother with people ever again. Like I said, I could easily become a hermit. Give me my plants and my animals, my family......and I'm happy.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby pastornator » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:18 am

The simple fact that you now identify potential threats instead of just blidly trusting people to be who the purport to b e is a plus in my book. Of course, be wary, but also of course, don't become stressed because of your wariness. Excess stress leads to more sudden implimentation of fight or flight in the human body and you may eventually find yourself in tose grips, where higher order thinking shuts down and the body purely reacts. That can lead to all sort of unwanted consequences (prime reason for abuse situations -- any little thing lights a physiological fuse that goos boom with no regard for the future).

Otherwise, congrats on learning how to just live in a sustainable way that is more like the 99% of human history than out moderm city-life conviniences galore lifestyle.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby AuntBee » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:49 am

Mollypup, +++++

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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby TaffyJ » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:59 am

Wow, I feel so much better. Thanks, guys! I'm not the only one. It's not like I'd change myself even if I was the only one, because I happen to enjoy being me. But it's good to know maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought.

We are so much alike in some ways. We are active at church, though I pick and choose my volunteer work because too many people too often makes me grumpy. We have kayaks, too, and us and the kids SO enjoy the river or finding a cypress swamp to glide through.

I do trust my instincts, but I fear that I will over-react someday to a perceived threat in a way that isn't socially acceptable. I know, I know, better safe than sorry. The contractor that was giving me weird vibes yesterday straightened right up when I had my husband come visit the job site this morning. So, at least I didn't have to deal with any unpleasantness there.

So many of your comments are dead-on to my life experience now. Especially about strangers near the driveway and visiting 4-wheelers. We had a problem when we first bought the property with people joyriding on it, but we put up a few t posts where they were coming in, not even any fencing, and they took the hint and quit trespassing.

I just had another thought... With the way many of us apparently feel about intrusion into our personal space, even if that personal space is 25 acres, I pity the unprepared fool who thinks they're going to bugout to somewhere in the country and ends up on my land. I know every tree, every fence post, every muddy creek crossing and every hump of grass. I walk the place and I notice when things have been messed with. Townies really need to think hard before they head out. I would welcome a pre-arranged arrival generously and with a smile. But squatters beware!
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby TaffyJ » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:10 am

Exactly, pastornator!! That's how I feel, as if my fight or flight is on a more sensitive trigger. Maybe it comes from spending so much time with livestock. I know that how I move among the animals will move them in certain ways that I've gotten used to. That kind of movement has become familiar enough to me that when I'm in town and somebody's standing too close in the checkout line in the store, I feel I should move away or turn and attack, just like my geese do.

But I'm not a goose! (Laughing). That would be so funny if I spread my arms wide and high, honked at a person and pinched them in the rump when they didn't give me enough space. Or square up and kick them in the shins like my rooster would do. On the farm, I am the boss. I stand my ground and don't let the animals herd me. My inclination is to do the same in town.

I suppose I'm looking for that viscerally understood sense of personal space and animal courtesy. Country folks have that. City folks, maybe not as much.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby Lynda » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:54 am

"Wow, I feel so much better. Thanks, guys! I'm not the only one. It's not like I'd change myself even if I was the only one, because I happen to enjoy being me. But it's good to know maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought.

We are so much alike in some ways. We are active at church, though I pick and choose my volunteer work because too many people too often makes me grumpy. We have kayaks, too, and us and the kids SO enjoy the river or finding a cypress swamp to glide through.

I do trust my instincts, but I fear that I will over-react someday to a perceived threat in a way that isn't socially acceptable. I know, I know, better safe than sorry. The contractor that was giving me weird vibes yesterday straightened right up when I had my husband come visit the job site this morning. So, at least I didn't have to deal with any unpleasantness there."

Or a perceived threat that isn't a threat at all. Situational awareness is great in certain circumstances, especially in public, but I find the majority of people in my area extremely pleasant and polite. It really just depends where you are but an occasional foray into an environment other than your own is healthy, I think. Dwelling on what could happen all the time isn't healthy. BTW, no offense meant by this but I'm in no hurry for complete isolation which is what would happen if the worst happened.
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby daaswampman » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:58 am

I think certain personality types are drawn to rural life. Some people need a lot of human interaction and others don't. My life at work and home are opposites. Work is constant human interaction and at home it is blissful solitude. I like people and interact very well with them (I am the guy who talks to everyone in the room and starts conversations with strangers), but I simple don't need people or miss them when their not around. Three x-wives will verify that as a fact. Swamp
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Re: Housewife syndrome

Postby TaffyJ » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:17 am

I understand, Lynda. No offense taken.

It's not complete isolation out here. But my neighbors don't bother
me and I don't bother them, except for occasional welcome visits.

They are welcome because they come on noisy 4-wheelers and I can hear them coming, so there's no surprises.

Swamp, it seems like you've got good balance between the two. You've got the job to keep you accustomed to a lot of people. That's what I mean by 'housewife syndrome'. Since I don't have to get out more than once a week, I find myself not wanting to. When I go to town, I don't dally unless I'm on a rare date with the hubby. Most weeks I hurry and get what I need and get back home.

Except the first of the month. I avoid town like the plague on the first few days of the month. Too many entitlement types are clogging up the place then.
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