Chapter 10    1981

Pain, Desperation and Rising up


July — It's been two months since I talked to you dear journal. How do we express the pain we feel inside? Where's the escape hatch from feeling isolated, detached from humankind? The pain is real. It aches in the throat and behind the ears. Is this all a reaction to my environment? Will no one ever know my pain? Doesn't anyone see, does no one know or care what pain I feel? I think not.

Sunday I went to church this morning. I watched Tom whom I love, talk to someone he is sexually attracted to, it hurts. Then someone yells at me to be quiet. I get up and leave, reacting to the environment with more pain. One of the hardest things to do in the world is to cover up my deep feelings of isolation and loneliness, by pretending all is well when it is worse than worse. I can’t pretend for some reason.

So I go on with my dilemma hoping to be rescued. I want someone to be concerned about me, to help me and care that I am hungry and stuck. Nobody even knows or is proud of the talents and abilities that I do have.

Today, sitting in my brown recliner ruminating in deep depression for what seemed like a long time, I suddenly noticed simultaneous and equal desires of not wanting to get up, but also not wanting to stay there either. Then something unspoken inside urged, "get up and take the depression with you." The next moment, I was standing up walking to the sink and began washing the dishes.

Suicide Thoughts…

July— Blue is beautiful! I'm holding back my tears. Quiet desperation is awful to live with. Words don't adequately describe the feelings. I can tell you what I am doing, but I can't tell you what I'm feeling. Half my life is over. Still living in survival mode. Will my children live the same way? I hope not. I'm terrified. I want to give up; thoughts come of not wanting to live. Ahh, the peace of leaving this world and not feeling desperate anymore is almost overwhelming. And the question comes, “Am I going to give up or keep going?” 

It's like this. Many, many things pile up on you. They hurt. The pressure is so great you feel like you’re being crushed. I try and fight back. I can't. My hands are tied so I suffer and try to use my head/mind to conjure up a way to get out from under the huge pressure. 

I tried daily to rearrange my thoughts, to somehow relieve the pressure, but it doesn’t work. They just move around somewhat because they're too unbearable to stay in one place all the time.

Depression sets in big time and suicide seems like such a good choice.  What is this blasted pain I'm suffering. I don't want it anymore. I say I don't want it anymore. How do I get rid of this endless pain? This pain that is coming more and more to my conscious mind. I am closer to giving up than ever before. 

I want to end all the pain, what a joy and relief it would be, to not exist. My whole parenting life are just years of self-sacrifice. My girls, my lovely girls, you don't understand my pain. It's my own pain, created for me, by me and of me. 

I continue to live on, in quiet desperation. I need an end. Must it go on? No it can’t. But I can't kill my own self ‘cause my kids, in their vulnerable adolescence, would suffer too much. They’d be suffering just because I couldn’t suffer anymore, is that fair? No, it would not be right to do that to them. But the energy it takes to live seems to be way too much. I must decide whether to end my life now, or not.


It seems like it's wrong to want to feel loved and cared about. I want that and I want to love and care about someone, or some two or three. But in 41, almost 42 years, I cannot say I have felt loved. I think I may have been loved and cared about, but I could not feel it or let it in. I want to become able to love in return, but there is no one loving me. 

After much deep deliberation and searching within, it suddenly came to amazing conclusion, which is that I need to love myself! That is the greatest love of all!

My decision to live has an attachment to it that says, "It MUST be a good life, not like the one I've had." The ONLY reason to live… is to give and receive love. That is the only purpose I can see to go on living, besides bringing up my girls. I need to continue functioning in light of #1 no career coming after a fifteen year dream of one. #2 no big income and financial independence in sight. #3 I'll work at a “regular” job with maybe not much future and #4 The fight's gone out of me to go to school and succeed, so....

Today I surrender and accept that this will be my life and it is totally OKAY!I can be something. Yes, I can be something, without school or money. I can be a loving person to myself and others. I can connect emotionally with others. There is a danger living mostly from my "orange" world without apple  thinking, which I’d been doing. Things I'm supposed to do are escaping my mind. I'm not remembering all the things I should be doing today. 

~ A New Beginning ~

Aug.  - I begin this morning to exercise. It feels good. I will continue to exercise every day. I am losing some weight. I joined Overeaters Anonymous and find the twelve steps a wonderful set of directions for living. I wish my parents had given me directions on how to live. 

I want to jog eventually. I want to ride my bike also and I got it out to look at. I need two new tubes and tires and a soft seat cover. (money) Last night, I experienced the soothing power of candles in the dark. I want more candles. (money) I want to have lovely gardens, flowers and vegetables. (money) 

I'm almost forty-two years old and haven't been able to give myself simple pleasures. I have an utterly undefinable and depressed feeling about myself and the world. I am deeply angry at myself. I'm angry at the forces that contributed to my being unable, (at my age and experience in life,) to love and give myself what I truly need. This gives me pain.


Aug. 8 - Thoughts of money had left my Being for a few months and didn't enter it again until now. The rubbish collection charge went up again to $6.55 a week. I am beginning to realize I may financially fall before I can begin to rise. 

Sherry, age sixteen and a half, is in college taking business courses with management for a goal. Working since she was fifteen, she's creating a good future for herself and seems self confident and happy. Just what my mother wanted me to do, but with a good husband. Pam is doing well with her therapist and Katie is doing great with the drill team. This was a positive day. Will there be more? I hope with all my heart and soul there will be.


Sept. 1981- Sunday - The church sponsored De Benneville Pines women’s weekend, is over. It was an intense and loving weekend with about 80 women. I simply loved it, because during it, my orange self emerged big time. Driving towards home, there was a strong urge within to have some kind of closure for myself. I parked in a safe area shortly after leaving the campsite to write down my feelings. 

"I feel sad leaving. Tears are in my eyes and I don't know what that's about. Nol, Mim, Rusty, Ruthie, April are all special women. This feeling I have will leave, but I'd love to keep it. There exists a special emotional bond with these women, unlike any I’ve ever had with others. I’m not sure how it happened; the country, the grass…so very peaceful.

One of the workshops involved imagining a young girl. As I closed my eyes, I saw her standing on a mountain side. She had a bonnet on and was holding a bouquet of flowers. As she stood there, I wanted to go to her,  pick her up in my arms and hug and cuddle her, but I couldn’t, even in my imagination. Maybe that is why I can’t approach, acknowledge, accept and love children in real life. I am usually emotionally afraid of them. Why, I wonder.

I am feeling the loss of the collective. Don't be critical of little children, love them. Love people who feel I'm important to them. Let people mean something to me and tell them so. Next I imagined green pasture grass, soft and cold. I'm naked, rolling in the grass and feeling free. Maybe I can bring the little girl to the grassy area and play with her. I think I am that little girl.

I feel calm, peaceful, centered and loving. The wine colored yarn that we all held at the closing transmitted so much energy, then lay crumpled on the floor in a heap, swept up with the trash. Someone rescued it. Will it be transformed into a ball to gather energy again for next time? 

As I lay in bed last night, I looked out the open door of cabin seven. The moon light was pouring in, but the light was corralled and restructured into a rectangular shape on the floor. The pieces of cabin, wood and fence that I could see outside blended with shadows from everything. It was tranquil and beautiful. The sky was a deep blue and women's music drifted up from the main lodge as I fell peacefully off to sleep."


Aug. Desperation! I have $700 in savings. I will use $200 this month. That will leave me $500 in my checking account to allow for free checking. In October I will use $200 more. In November I will use $200 more and by December, I must be working. I can begin January 1982 with optimism or if I still have no job I can be destitute!!!

October 20th —A conversation takes place inside me…. Orange Orna speaks…(as an immature apple) "I want to be loved and cared for so that I will feel it. I would love and care for anyone else, or two or three people if they also cared for me in return.”

Apple Anna speaks…(as an immature orange) — “If you got on your feet instead of slobbering and falling, hoping someone would rescue you, poor babe, then love and admire you. Get yourself together girl, for if you go down the tubes, you take me with you and I do not want to go there. I want you to straighten up and fly right. You're developed enough for now Orna, so I'm taking over for a while and map out a firm structure for us to live by for now. Eventually you'll get your love, but right now you don't have it and can't get it by yourself. So I ask you to let me run this ship for a couple of months; until the first of the year. Then we will discuss this again. What do you say?”

Orange / Orna responds “Well it feels good that you know what to do in order to live and you sound like you could do a good job. I will keep out of your way as much as possible, but if you don't stay strong I may seep through. I want you to push me down if I come up though. I don't really want to die, but if it's left to me I can't go on living, it's too damn hard without love. If you get me love I will enrich your life. You know I'm here and quite developed now. I won’t wither and die in a couple of months.”

Apple / Anna…”Okay, sounds good to me, let’s try it. You rest while and I take charge now.”


In retrospect: My year long sense of disorientation had left me, as my right brain orange became much more developed thanks to neuroplasticity, which I hadn't known existed.    My left brain apple also came back on board, so to speak, but it was quite weak. There was no more ego, desire for control, self centeredness, anger or any negative mind activity for that matter.


I want to be open and be willing to be hurt again and again and again. What I am wanting most of all is that feeling of closeness. I want it with just people in general.

Leaving an event at church one evening and walking up the stairs to the parking lot with Tom, I had a very noticeable orange experience that I call, a “fog blanket.” The night air was moist. The redwood stairs climbing into the night felt wet on the railings. The fog and moonlight were a backdrop for a single threaded web that hung from a tree, glistening. They stood there. She felt his presence. They hugged and said good night. Later I write, 

"Two Friends"  


When the tears had dried 

and she was hugged,

 there was a caring in the air, 

unspoken, with a 

calming effect no words could give. 

She was peaceful 

and carried the tranquility 

home and into bed 

where it wrapped around her 

and rocked her to sleep."


Gone are the days when life was full. Only traces of pain remain. Traces of warm sunny days and my mother’s soft, warm fully freckled arm. Never did I remember my mother caressing my face with tenderness. Nor did I feel her arms around me holding me with love. I don’t remember any loving physical contact with her. What a loss of love between us we suffered. What could have been between us, wasn't. 

“When I look at your picture Ma, or when I see your name with Daddy’s, I cry from the pain of what never was.” So permanent the loss, so sad the feeling." 

Even if Ma was here today and saw my tears and my pain she would not comfort me. She’d scold or criticize me, in some way. 

"Why did she hate me so" I ask? 

It only feels like she hated me. She must have loved me, but I just couldn’t feel it. 

"I forgive you Ma and Dad...for everything and I love you both."

In retrospect: I see this first year without Becky as being without a doubt, the most traumatic I will ever spend in my lifetime. I could never see or even imagine my life without her in it. But now that life is an acceptable fact. They say God doesn’t close a door without opening another. I slowly, very slowly, am recognizing something opening. 


Sept.  Somewhere an inner peace, a quiet something, is taking over more and more. I seem to have cleared space in my life for me to do what I want to do, like painting the hall walls. I loved the feeling of being present with each and every stroke of the brush on the wall without a desire to finish even. 

I am purposefully slowing down my life. I empty my calendar so I will have only a few things to do or places go to. I enjoy being able to concentrate fully on what I am doing at the moment and feel the sense of ease and peace, like I felt painting my hall walls.

For so many years I struggled, not able to convince anyone of my plight. My girls are doing well, no discipline problems to speak of. We have a piano, color TV, stereo, and two cars. I know I can't make anyone feel sorry for me, especially men. 

Just hanging on, surviving, which is what I've been doing seems like a very unproductive way to live. However, it is making me look at each day and evaluate what I am doing and what I'm enjoying. I can now see what I'm not doing and what I'm not enjoying. I wasn't actively looking for a job. I've been doing positive things like paying attention to the yard, the house, my car, my living space, which I enjoy.

I am enjoying my recently freed up energy. I can zero in on yard work and be present with the grass or my garden plants. It seems like a strange thing to feel. I can wash and wax my car with a deliberate regularity just doing a little bit every day. I can zero in on a pleasure like playing chess with Pam. I can laugh and sing because I have the energy to be here now. I can zero in on my room with my stereo and let the soft music soothe me. I can get interested in eating more healthfully and losing excess weight by dieting and jogging.


Oct.  How easy it is to go down to the depth of depression and feelings of suicide? How hard to fight it and stay on top? I hear something respond internally, "Stay in the good place you have built for yourself. Nourish your body with good food and natural supplements. Keep it fit by exercising. Keep your eyes on your future, your career and making money so you can provide  things for yourself and your family." 

This is my creed and formula. I will not depart from it! I will never, never let myself fall from it. Apple/Anna is still in command and is doing well. Orange/Orna is resting until Anna has made a place for us on top with room to stretch. Fight we will, no matter how long it takes. We will get what we want together.

My disoriented experience of life, which has been ongoing since Becky left me groundless, seems to be dissipating. Left brain Anna is not as defiant or controlling as she used to be. There's a lightness now and feelings of being present and seeing everything in a new light, that I hadn't experienced prior to Becky leaving. I can focus more on getting a good job.


Nov.  I finally get a job helping Jim Font, owner of the now defunct Scotch & Sirloin restaurant to straighten out his business accounts. I was very good with figures and was able to set up his computer with a payroll program where payroll checks and year end employee W-2 forms could be printed out. Jim is very pleased with what he considers my “computer expertise.” What I had learned in computer programming school and with computers in general, came in very handy.

I talked with Jeremy Taylor, who is giving another dream workshop. He gave me what I wanted in the area of dreams. He felt, as I do, that I'm ready for advanced dream work; introduction to myths. This is the time for that. I am connecting with people in my regular waking world. This is only an extension; this learning the myths to learn of my connection with the whole of humankind. 

This is a new step, a new beginning, a previously called growth step, but now seen as part of a process.





























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