Chapter 4  '86 - '89


Wednesday — I am so happy in this new year of 1986! I must not fail to record my joys. The weather is perfect. The trees and greenery are perfect. I love it here in beautiful sunny southern California. It is peaceful, quiet and I am so fortunate to be able to be here. Unemployed for over a year but happy for the money in the bank that will pay the rent and feed me and put gas in my car. Each day I sit, read and study all day. It's wonderful to have no stress except studying for exams. I have the time to cram for a good three full days before taking exams. No other problems or stresses.

I am doing exactly what I want to do! I have accomplished much. I love my girls. I feel proud to have raised them as well as I did, by myself. I am truly a remarkable strong woman, competent and happy. I am finally going in the right direction of life.

March 29 ~ ~ I love you Howard for as long as the stars are in the sky, as long as the birds have sung. I've loved you from another time, another place. You are my twin soul. I want to know the real you beneath the surface. I want to see you more, I want to see me more. I cannot dwell on this love because it is something that just is… I love you in a special way; special to me. I love you and I have no expectations in return. You can be who you are and I will always love you. We are twins you and I, we understand the same things. We are on the same path, traveling in the same direction. I hope you understand, but then again you're free not to, I love you anyway.

Another conversation with myself: God will direct, God will guide. What makes us love someone? By knowing myself I know others? I love in others that which I recognize and love in myself? I love the humanness in others? Love is letting go of FEAR!!! Fine tune my abilities to see that which I can love in others. What do I love others with? I must be in touch with God in me when I meet you, so that I may see God in you. I must be in a relaxed peace to experience my God so that, “everywhere I look I see the face of God.” For you, Howard, I will be at peace so that you can experience my love.

May 24 I became at peace when I was with you Howard and you did experience my love. You said to me, “The last few times we've been together I've felt like being sexual.” When someone loves you, is wanting sex present? Do I love the you I identify as me? What is love, Orange? What is sexual drive, Apple? What am I loving you with? These questions I ponder over and over, seeking answers, wanting to know which feelings or lack thereof come from Apple and which from Orange? My Dad always said, “you can't always have what you want.” Was he right?

Exam time comes and I have anxiety. My lack of comprehension kicks in as well as my self pep talk that says, "All I need to do is to do my very best at comprehending the material and answering accordingly. Take my time, focus. Read as best as I can. Comprehend as best as I can. Don't skip over or not read a question to avoid fear."

In one particular assignment we were to pick one of the twelve psychologists we studied and write about their particular approach to therapy. Since I had developed my own apple/orange personality approach, I wanted to incorporate that into my own therapy. I asked my instructor and was granted permission to write about it, as long as I included a point of view from each of the twelve psychologist's. I did, including Karen Horney, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. I believe my personality theory is simpler than any of the others, plus I have the personal experience of it. I received an A.

May 31st  This year’s annual Unitarian women's weekend retreat, is marked by peace and love. “Peace within creates love without.” I feel loved! I am loved! A woman comes and plays her guitar and sings to me! She loves me and I love her. Ma and Dad love me! My daughters love me! Lou loves me! Suzanne loves me! Howard loves me! Tom loves me! Summer is just around the corner. I am a yellow rose bud! It is now springtime! The winter was long and cold!

June  One can only love and understand another to the extent that one loves themselves. I would very much enjoy being in a loving relationship. I want that more than anything. 

I have changed and people have noticed. I can feel self-esteem and self-confidence growing like wildfire in my life. I no longer feel shy and afraid. I spend this fourth of July at home by choice. Not feeling sad… just feeling. Thinking of people in my life. Dick, Howard, Lou, my daughters, De Wayne. What do they enjoy doing? What do they like to eat? Who do they love? What do they feel? What are their struggles? What are their hopes and dreams?

October — All week I look forward to Sunday morning. At church there will be friendly people and a pot luck lunch. I am so drained, reading, studying, reading, studying. Next week I'll be studying for exams and writing papers. Going to bed and getting up to more reading and studying and writing. The girls are doing their own life completely without me. They are all adults now, Sherry is going to college and living away. Katie and Pam are still at home and attending Junior college. They neither need nor want me in their life. They are all learning to be productive adults, as well they should.

I got reprimanded by Katie yesterday, because I was supposed to do something according to her. I wasn’t really, but she had to be sarcastic to me. (I might add for the last time.) I went in the living room and cried my eyes out for about half hour. No one comes to find out why I am crying. Afterwards I'm feeling drained, but in a peaceful way. I seriously divorced my daughters right then. The next time they sass me, I’ll slap their face. This I have never done. But now, I've had it. They will do the chores I ask them to do, no backtalk or sarcastic talk, or else they move out. In return they each get a nice place to live and they can come and go as they please. They don't have to report anything to me. I should have had it so good.

I looked up my emotional symptoms in the DSM IIII. I diagnosed myself as having an “attachment disorder” and a “high functioning borderline personality disorder.” I've never bonded to anyone in my whole life, not to my parents nor to my children. Even though I've been in four relationships, I didn’t feel a real love and connection, only romantic. With Becky though I was beginning to be truly open and loving, but I kept it hidden from her out of fear. I had way too much fear, I wonder why it was so great. If I'd shared my growing love, would she have left me?

I'd taken a disability test at the city college and was diagnosed as ADD so I'm now getting extra time to take exams because of my learning disability, which really helps. I have time now to breathe and relax for several minutes before even beginning to read the test questions.

Since I've discovered the two distinct ways of perceiving, with my apple/orange discoveries, I instinctively know I'm moving in the correct direction, towards Peachhood. I experience a shift into it occasionally and it is a wonderfully different and interesting experience. This “shifting” is something I want to do much more frequently. This since discovering the two separate right and left brain worlds inside me, each with their own distinct perceptions, language and ways of being,

Why in all these years, haven't I learned how to make friends? I don't know. I guess I'm trying too hard. My Mother told me when I was growing up, that I should have friends. She told me she had many, yet she never explained how to get them. When my girls were younger, I had them to go places with, out to eat or to the park. Now there is nobody to go places with. So I sit alone in a world full of people because I don't know how to make friends with them. I buy a Baby Ruth, my favorite candy bar and come home to eat it on an already bulging stomach. My only lessons I practice are, “Be still and know that I am God” and “Be yourself” and I do, as often as I can remember.

November ~ ~ Joe, I love you and wish you were still my husband. I have not been a nice person all these years, so I haven't been able to love and be loved by any other man. I'm not so sure you loved me back then, nor did I love you then, I don't know. All I know is I have this big terrible deep chasm of bleak void and nothingness. If you loved me and wanted to be my husband, it would fill the void...but I know better, it wouldn’t. I feel the pain now. It hurts really bad. 

Howard could have helped to fill the void, but now he's taken. Maybe he could be my friend. I need a friend so I won't be so conscious of the void. It cries out to me from its depths; it calls me all the time, saying I was never good enough for any man to truly love. No man was good enough for me really, except Fred, Tom and Howard.


Jan — Now I get to volunteer at Interface Counseling Center in Newbury Park, teaching parenting classes. I am enjoying helping people. A feeling of confidence is growing.

Sitting in my backyard, I see shadows on the roof, sunlight on my daughter’s wet hair allowing the moisture to return to the atmosphere. I am so present with Nature in all its splendor; birds chirping, singing, calling, flying here and there, going about their daily business of what birds do. Flies buzzing around, being what they're supposed to be. The lizard may be searching, sunning or on some secret lizard mission. The bee is certainly doing his or her duty, gathering nectar from pansies and nasturtiums. The butterfly flitters about as only a butterfly can, exploring, exercising or whatever nature has in mind for butterfly life. The grass and weedy plants rooted as they are, do the only thing they know; absorb the sun and exist with untold patience.

The mighty tree in all its splendor, looks over everyone, protects its feathered friends and provides a safety haven for the little kitty cat who runs from bigger things. The wind is part of it all. It carries seedlings to where they're supposed to be. The rooster crows his song as only a rooster knows, and the butterfly returns to me again, making me wonder why. The sun in all its splendor and warmth bathes us all on site. It is doing what it can do, how could we ask for more?

I know my orange brain part is fully functional now. It allowed me to be present and experience all this beauty and joy. I'm so very grateful.

June   "Dear Journal, I need a friend really badly. One is not expected to struggle endlessly and have no one to share it with, are they? No one to get support and encouragement from. One should be strong and love oneself. To need others is to be weak. No, to need others is human! I want to have economic security, a sense of loving and being loved as well as a sense of belonging. These are basic psychological needs aren't they? Aren't I entitled to them?" 

"Yes, I am a human being. I am entitled to be weak sometimes. Even Oprah says nobody can do it alone, meaning a person needs some support, I believe her. God…grant me one friend, please! One friend will make the road easier. Since I must live, I need to make it easier. I've made it too hard for myself, it's got to get easier. I'll not do my thesis if necessary, but it's got to get easier. Peace Corps? End my isolation. I need to get with people that will appreciate me, hear me and support me in my endeavors." 

July 29  I cry when I go to the food because now I know why I am eating. I watch myself frequently put off and avoid doing homework or studying and eat junk food instead. I eat to numb and cover up the sadness I feel. I live with the pain that lives in me. There is no escape. Death is not the answer. Living through this excruciating, nearly unbearable pain is what I must do. Why? I do not have an answer. This is hell; emotional hell. I do not want to be here. Why am I here? I am here because I am so strong; I can still function through the pain. School's almost over...only two more quarters!

The pain is trying to tell me to give in and learn my lesson, but I'm terrified and my fear is strong. I want peace. What tricks must I play in my mind for peace? I value nothing here; not guns, not freeways, not drugs, not evil people, not junk food, not violence, not rejection, not destruction of wilderness, not population growth. I only value a connection with people who are true, honest and have no meanness in them. These are people I want to be with. Where are they?

Oct.  Part of my Masters program requires volunteer counseling at the Ventura County Mental Health Center, working with one individual at a time. It is an interesting and wonderful experience. The woman I am assigned to is happy to see me each week. I am so pleased to be able to support her in her life. I'd love to have this kind of support for myself, especially now with daily studying, homework and then exams.  


January 1st  A new year! A great year! I will graduate! Sherry will graduate! I spend several enlightening volunteer hours at Camarillo State Hospital with patients who were supposed to be “crazy.” I did not find that to be the case with everyone there. I strongly believe that if most of them had always been loved, recognized, heard and respected from infancy on, they would appear more “normal.”

May I attend my graduation and receive my degree, even though my thesis is not completed. I am told I can take up to a couple of years to finish it. My daughters attend and I am so pleased. They surprise me with a gift of a beautiful telephone, which makes me very happy. There is no license attached to my degree however. I was certain I could not pass the state exam for a marriage and family counselor so I switched my major to psychological counseling instead, with no license attached. I do have a slight desire to go on for a PhD in clinical psychology.

June  I have my first airplane ride ever on a wonderful vacation to New England, visiting nieces and kids. It was great! Back home again I re-read my previous struggles. It still goes on. There's only the pressure now to finish my thesis and get a job. Will I ever get a forty hour a week full time job that will allow me to support myself? Been trying for twenty years to earn a living and failed big time. Kids all grown and leaving home and I failed them. That feels bad; really bad. Now there is just me. Will I fail me?

The voice in my head says, "Finish your thesis, top priority and then concentrate on people. Learn to feel comfortable sharing your fear! Earn respect! Feel worthy! Then try to get a job as psychological assistant. Find a purpose or goal to win at and go for it! Speak? Bowl?" God help me to achieve these worthy goals. I am a worthwhile person aren’t I? I deserve love and respect!

I volunteer at the Colston Youth Authority Juvenile Detention Center as a life skills teacher, in order to carry out my thesis research project. I plan a program and develop it for five or six boys at Colston. I call it "Anger Management for Juvenile Delinquents.” 

August ~ ~  Fear, pain, loneliness, terror mostly is locked in this prison of mine. It’s deadly. It is time to find the key, dear God. Please help me God, where is that key? Answer... "Finish writing up my thesis! Devote time to making friends. Open up, risk, feel myself with and in front of others. Share my fear at the Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) meetings I have been attending." 

At the last two meetings the topic of fear came up at the end. I identified strongly. I wanted to share, but was too scared to open my mouth in front of others about deep personal stuff. Damn it, I am worthy of being listened to, of expressing how I feel, of sharing my thoughts, or sharing my terror. Why don't I get it?

I find myself more and more focusing intently on what is going on inside. I'm paying attention to the thoughts I'm having and prying into where they came from, especially if they are negative. That in addition to noticing how I put off writing my thesis and eat instead.

Nov. Today the sun is hidden by clouds, but the beautiful birds are singing and chirping away. Sounds like many varieties out there; the chirpers, the ones that sing a tune...sounds heavenly. This week, except for Wednesday, I feel really good. I've begun eating less junk food and more protein.


January — Feelings of despair and loneliness take over as I collapse in tears. Haven’t had these feelings since last summer! I need to get rid of the shame of being somehow flawed and defective. My basic self…is flawed somehow…a wretch, a sinner, a worm, lowest of the low. I can still hear Ma's messages to me that still stick in my brain. Words like, “You should to be ashamed of yourself.” “You don’t deserve a boy friend.” “You don’t deserve to walk this earth.” 

Like darts and daggers her words come at me…penetrating my very soul and leaving their poisonous venom…Why did you tell me those things so often that I could never forget them? If I'm unworthy of even my mother’s love, who then can love me? Myself? Hmmmm.

I find the twelve steps in the ACA meetings to be superb directions for living that I had never encountered before. I am an adult grandchild of an alcoholic and did not experience the violence others did in their household, however our lives are very similar in that we all felt different growing up. 

I gradually learn to trust ACA people. I also made a friend there named Don, but my ulterior motive was to have him for a lover and he did not want a relationship. I identified greatly with others, but was often too shy (scared) to speak much at the meetings. I did begin to recognize some of my negative behavior, like how I always try to impress people, verbally and otherwise in an unconscious and desperate attempt to get people to like me.

Only an ACA person would understand the pain of isolation that makes me feel like I want to die because no one cares or even knows I exist. No one knows how hard I try to be nice, friendly, kind, empathetic, generous or polite. I always end up being a nobody, who means nothin’ to anybody.

I wanna die, but I can't leave the children. Some say that's cowardly… well for some maybe… however… I do want to die, but since that doesn't seem to be an option, I'll have to stay alive. I don't want to fight pain anymore. I don't want to fight loneliness, friendlessness and isolation anymore. I am powerless over life and this pain and it's unbearable! That means I can't allow any more pain to come at me. 

"How is that done exactly?" I ask no one in particular. "Build a wall? No. Let the pain melt all over me and then flow off of me? Yes, maybe I can do that." 

It is a big mistake to birth children when you were raised in a dysfunctional household! 

The morning after Friday nights ACA meeting there is a feeling of complete relaxation, a feeling of peace so to speak. A bunch of people sitting around a table, were willing to listen to me speak my true feelings. Even though I didn't speak I felt acceptance in this great group. This makes tears come to my eyes when I say that. Acceptance is what I never felt growing up. Only with the four people I was in a significant relationship with, did I ever feel accepted.

I like Don a lot and it feels so very good being around ACA people. The normal way for me to be is fearful, terrorized and anxious and I usually feel tension in my body. "But, I am valuable and worth friendships and a boyfriend, so there, Ma! You are wrong! You are fiendish…you couldn’t mold me into a perfect little girl to love you. How could you love a little girl, such as I…You were ashamed of me. Is that not enough? Must I be ashamed of me also? No, I will re-program myself. I’ll prove to you, and to myself, that I am worthy of love and even respect."  My fears of intimacy are lessening, ever so little.

July  “Don't forget bowling,” Katie yells carelessly to no one in particular. But since Mom is the only one left in the house, you almost have to believe it was meant for you. I don't yell out a reply. No, no use responding. Wait, she’s coming back in, maybe to ask me if I'd like to come with them and practice bowling with them, I think with slight optimism. Such a small thing it seems, but oh! would feel so wonderful to me. I would feel wanted, thought of at least. But no, she's going back out. Maybe she was going to ask and saw me “doing things” like taking out trash and washing clothes and assumed I would not gladly stop the machine and come running to feel included. I begin to feel so rejected and sad.

Then oh, wait, the door! She really is coming in to ask me to come with them. She couldn't ask me before, but why would she come back twice if not to ask me to come with them; that they wanted me to come bowling with them. My hopes rise again, but soon dash to the floor and the tears flow. No, I didn't hear, “Mom want to come practice so our team can do well tonight?” No, she just left. With tears flooding my eyes, I write this small episode in my life. Pud, the cat is desperately begging for love, oddly enough, with the same desperation I feel for love.

Oh, for some small bits of attention, some small recognition, some sign of love. Have I always waited for this small gesture from the ones I have loved? Yes, but no more. My apple/Anna kicks in. "Go out into the world Keri and lick it, if you have to have a heart attack doing it. At least you would be trying! Demand recognition, attention and love. Stand up for what you believe in. Go for it!"


I leave the Religious Science church, in which my Metaphysical adventure began and begin attending a Unity church. The same philosophy prevails except the Unity church seems more "orange," heart centered. I find myself crying a lot initially during Sunday talks. When I mention this to a member she confirmed that it usually happens when someone new first comes. 

I discovered “The Course in Miracles” also, but when I went to a few meetings, it seemed to be about my apple/orange concepts that I'd already discovered, so it wasn’t interesting to me. The whole Unity experience and philosophy is opening me to a new path upwards in life. I am especially interested in the spiritual as well as the psychological aspects of humans. I see connections between the two now that interest me greatly. I need and want more self-improvement. 

I want to learn the “language” of Unity and incorporate it into my psychological and apple/orange “language.” I enroll in Unity “practitioner” classes in an effort to learn it more. In my ongoing search within to discover what I'm made of as well as my attempt to find my life's purpose, I notice a lot of fear, especially fear of people and of life in general. Unity’s teachings help a whole lot, in combination with the 12 steps from ACA. Now I begin to see a connection to my apple/orange philosophy.

On Saturday I attend an all day Unity workshop called “On Course.” During one of the exercises everyone sat in a circle which was fairly large. We each took turns being in the center on our knees quietly going around facing each person, but everyone was looking straight ahead in such a very serious manner. They seemed so serious that I burst out laughing as I got to each one. After laughing so hard in front of a couple of people, I said to the leader that I could not stop laughing and that everyone looked so serious. I was told that it was okay. I kept on facing a couple more serious looking people and felt it was okay to laugh hard. Now I understand that something had touched a place within where the giggling of the Universe was happening. No one else was even smiling. I must have gotten the hidden cosmic joke.

August  I am recognizing I never really cared a lot about others just like I felt nobody really cared about me. I begin thinking, why don’t I care about other people, children included? Well, because I have never felt cared about, so why should I care about others? I have survived for fifty years without care from anyone, except Ma briefly in my infancy. Is there something about me that keeps people from caring about me? Or, do all people closest to me not know how to care about me because they are dysfunctional? The latter is probably true. Well, I do care about me! For the first time in my life, someone really cares and it is none other than yours truly, Keri Lyn.

Two new insights just came to me: 1-Not to control and 2-Not to judge.

1—About control: Once someone in ACA told me my tone of voice did not match my behavior and I was surprised. That gave me food for deep thought. After a while I realize I have controlled others by explaining my behavior in a tone of voice that probably didn't match what I was saying. I am always wanting people to understand me, because I feel they never do. The way I went about it, was to tell them everything about me so they could see me as I did. In effect I realized I was actually trying to control how they perceived me, but I wasn't achieving what I wanted to achieve. I wanted their perceptions of me to be exactly the same as how I viewed me. It wasn't working.

I have decided to let go and give up trying to control other’s perceptions of me, because trying is not doing, it's always only trying. So by stopping the trying and allowing others to have their own perceptions of me, I can spend my energy on being as authentic as I can be. Others will then perhaps see me more accurately. Big relief; to not feel like I must control others perceptions of me. If they perceive me in a way I don't feel is accurate, it's either their problem or I'm not being real and maybe being being dishonest in some way. I remember what Teri Cole Whittaker said, "What people think of me is none of my business" and that helps me stop controlling what others think.

I need and want friends. I have become so isolated again in my life, like when I was a teenager, so out of desperation I start interacting with people, ignoring their defects and making friends. But then I feel a bit superior. I'm not being real and honest. I'm still afraid of people, but I am shedding the superiority layer. Now I'm making friends in a different way, I am much more aware of what I am doing. Before, I sought connection with people, but kept myself hidden. Now I'm seeking connection with people more open and honestly, so I can learn something new. Big step.

I'm not perfect either. The problem I notice is, I can't really relate if I'm judging people as imperfect. When I can accept their humanness without judging I should be able to relate to almost everybody. That is what I am learning now; how to relate and connect to the humanness in others. The humanness is one bond, one constant that goes deeper than anything. If I can touch that, I will. The judging must stop and it will. If I stop judging myself, then maybe I won’t judge others. I'm guessing the humanness might flow then. 

I can be deliriously happy. I can almost allow myself this ecstasy even though it goes against all I've believed about myself, like "I can only be truly happy with a partner." I only need a little security; a partner would give me that security. The people at the Unitarian church will give me that soon, when they see me. I am beginning to show them "me." I am in charge of coordinating the summer events and they will see me and my performance. I am allowing them to see and judge me. I know they will judge me as fine. As soon as I feel their good judgment I will be free to feel secure. I get on to the Board at church where Tom is president. It is my way to spend further time around him.


I wrote my life's journey in metaphorical language today, encapsulating my emotional, physical and psychological journey, so far.

My metaphorical Life journey….

I awoke and looked around, it was dark. I couldn't even see my hands in front of my face. I could stand and reach over my head, but I couldn't touch anything; neither above nor on the sides of me. I walked a few yards and came up against a cold stone wall, then I turned and walked in the opposite direction to another stone wall. Cold and frustrated, I turned and walked in a third direction which seemed to be going downhill. I was in some sort of a dark and very damp tunnel, but I traveled on. 

I spent many years walking in this darkness; banging into large boulders because I just couldn't see them in front of me. I tripped and fell over many rocks that always seemed to be in front of me. I wished someone would tell me what was happening. It was so dark. My arms and legs were painfully bruised and scratched. 

One day, after a particularly hard fall, I just couldn't get up, so I began crawling on the cold damp ground. At least now I couldn't fall, I thought. Crawling downhill made the going easier, but it was still slow and I had no idea where I was going. One day I came up against a huge boulder. It seemed to totally block my way, but I managed to climb over it with great struggle and determination. 

I continued on all fours for a very long time. I was cold and extremely tired. Just when I was feeling like I couldn't continue any longer, I reached a huge stone wall with no way over or around it. At this point I sat down with my back against it. I was ready to give up completely when I thought I heard a voice calling softly “over here, come over here, come this way.” I headed towards the voice and it wasn’t long before I noticed I was crawling uphill. My spirits began to lift a bit, but I was still cold and very lonely. My knees and hands were aching from crawling so long. 

Once when I stopped to rest, my left hand touched something that wasn't earth or rock. It was a cylindrical object. Surprised, I clutched it to me and stood up. I continued walking, shuffling and stumbling over and around the rocks until I took another particularly hard tumble. I hit the ground so hard that light burst forth from the object I'd been holding. I was surprised and pleased. I picked it up again and pointed it in front of me. 

I could now see the rocks I'd been stumbling over for years and walked around them instead of tripping and falling over them. I was able to proceed much faster now and with a lot less pain, although I still had no idea where I was going. 

Later, as I was resting and rubbing dirt off of my newly found light, I noticed a bulge on the side of it. Out of curiosity I push it to the side and am plunged into darkness again. As my spirits sank with thoughts of living in darkness, I pushed it in the opposite direction. To my delight the light came back. Lo and behold, I realize now that I had the power to walk in either light or darkness. 

I chose to live with light and walked on until I came to another very large rock. I shined my light all over it and discovered a large opening just above my head. I then used my light to look for something to stand on and found a wooden block that allowed me to climb up and into the opening. I was on the other side in no time. I treasured my light and wished I'd found it years ago. 

In the months and years that followed I came upon others traveling in this tunnel with me. Some had lights while others didn't. Some were traveling downhill while others were traveling in my upwards direction. No one seemed to notice or talk with anyone else. We just plodded along separately in a silent desperation. 

One day, while feeling particularly hopeless, I caught a glimpse of what seemed like a very faint light; maybe the end of this tunnel, I thought. It was a steady white light, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. With every passing week the light seemed to grow larger and I began to believe that someday I would be close enough to see what it was. I was hopeful yet extremely terrified of that light. In my fear I begin to walk slower. 

When I looked around I noticed others near me were talking, sharing their lights and helping each other over and around the rocks, even those who were headed downhill. On a few occasions I joined in to ask what their journey was like compared to mine. Some had been in this tunnel longer than I and some not as long. Those of us traveling uphill were looking forward to the day when we would reach the light. We held a belief that life would somehow be better when we did; maybe the end of our misery. I now felt guided, for the first time in my long life. 

After several more months, I find myself climbing what felt like like a long steep incline. Even though I want to reach the light, it was so hard traveling upwards. I rested frequently. I was still afraid of what might lie beyond this cold, yet very familiar tunnel, that I'd been in, for seemingly most of my life.

Eventually, I reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Outside I'm in bright sunlight and can see everything clearly. With much trepidation I sit down on a flat rock near the opening. I look around, slowly drinking in the beauty of the sky and foliage around me. It feels quite foreign. I am not used to such warmth and pleasant feelings. I laid down on a patch of soft grass near me, letting the warm sunshine seep into my body. 

Although it felt strange at first, it now feels like I have reached heaven itself. This feeling is indeed well worth the long struggle to get here. However, I keep wishing I'd gotten here sooner and without so much pain and suffering. Maybe there's some reason why I had to go through all that misery; maybe a price to pay. In retrospect, it seems well worth it and I'm so happy I continued on, in spite of all the pain and suffering I felt.

I stay at the tunnel's edge for several days not knowing where to go from here, but I knew I didn't ever want to go back into that tunnel. I felt lost, alone and terrified. I saw people coming to greet other tunnel travelers as they emerged into the sunlight and walk away with them arm in arm. They seemed to take this beauty for granted. Some others came out, two and sometimes three together, hand in hand. They seemed to know just where they were going, while I had no clue. 

One day I got the courage to get up and search my surroundings. I ventured over to an old wooden gate, pushed it open and went through. I found myself in a magnificent garden. I went over to a hammock and laid in it, smelling the wonderful fragrance permeating the air. After a few months however, it got colder, flowers died and the garden became clogged with weeds. It looked pretty ugly. I left. 

I wandered all over this landscape for many more years, searching for some place to put down roots and call home. Most of my days and weeks are sunny, but many are cloudy and nights are cold. I don't like to be cold, but I am not sure yet where to get the warm clothing others seem to have. Some people here have nice shelters with gardens and people around that seem to nourish them physically and emotionally. 

I don’t know how they manage to accomplish all that, but maybe someday, if I ask the right questions to the right people, I could learn how. Finally, out of desperation, I get up the courage to do just that. Their answers seem to point me in a direction that will bring me closer to finding a home in this here world. Time will tell….

Fourteen years later, in 2003 I have a trailer home of my own, in a beautiful peaceful Oregon forest, where I commune with Nature daily.


Tomorrow I begin volunteering at a County alcohol treatment center in Simi Valley, counseling addicted individuals as part of my Masters program.

I am now experiencing life mostly from my “Orange brain state,” so I write another metaphorical message to nobody called, "Searching for a Rose in the Snow." 

I went away to a weekend retreat during a cold winter. It seemed like it had been a long, lonely and especially cold one, but I knew Spring had to be around the corner, yet I haven't seen many signs and I certainly don’t see any rose bushes. It was chilly in my room, so on the second evening I put the heater on for warmth. It felt wonderful and I knew I didn't want to be cold anymore. Unbeknownst to me, I felt the warmth of a woman listening to me talk. Some snow was melting and I thought I felt the sun.

During my sleep that night, my deceased Mom and Dad, my brother, whom I haven't seen in years, my three daughters and my ex-husband all rap me inside petals of love. I awoke feeling the love and peace within. The cold winter had turned to spring and a yellow rose bud is about to unfurl.


Sunday   This morning at the UU church there was a guest speaker and her talk was one of the greatest I'd ever heard. She shared that that we all actually create our own lives. I was shocked.

"Wow" I thought, if I created my sucky life, why couldn't I create a much better one for myself? I suddenly realized that, on some level I had chosen the life I had; a crumby, worthless, angry, poverty stricken, victimized life. The way I'd been living, is not the fault of society or the people who raised me, as I had always believed. Suddenly I felt like my old self has vanished and a new, more powerful self was being born. 

I didn't realize how hard I’ve been working to make some guy feel sorry for me and want to marry me. I am now of the belief that nothing just happens to me! I alone make my life work or I don't. For many months now, I've tried hard to get a job and haven't been able to. I wonder what connection there is to my being unable to find a job with all the training I've received in various areas. 

Answer....It's that Cinderella syndrome; my hidden fear of financial independence and success, period. I now know I can create a better life, the same way I created this sucky one. This is a powerfully new insight for me.

After that talk on Sunday, I had a strong urge to share my new discovery with someone, so I go out to the patio to tell a man I know pretty well. He is sitting on the concrete wall which surrounds the patio. I say to him, "I feel just like I’ve been born again, like the Christians say." I describe how I suddenly realize I have a new power and can create a much different life than the one I've created. He agreed with me.

I'm actually feeling quite different from how I used to feel. I'm able to see how it has actually been my choice to live as I did; an uneducated choice nonetheless, but a choice. This is a huge turning point for me. I'm not used to succeeding. I've been terrified of succeeding. Now that I am aware and can acknowledge my fear, I will overcome it somehow. I will be a winner and people will know it and I will feel good. It is all in one's attitude.

It isn’t long before I notice my inner life beginning to change for the better, without my planning or direction and my outer life also unconsciously begins changing for the better. At home, driven by a lightness inside, I begin to thoroughly clean up my messy home. I have a new focus and now there was only my thesis to complete.

These days when I do projects, I pay close attention to what I am feeling and I don't force myself to clean. I had heard somewhere that I ought to, “solve the problem closest to me and I will reap the benefits.” I seemed to be following that idea and it seems to prove true. I have intentions to do many things, but seem to wait for the mood to be right and then a certain cleaning chore presents itself and I enjoy the doing more than the end result. It is different then when I forced myself to do a chore. I am feeling quite a bit lighter on the inside also. Most of my excruciating pain has subsided, but I still get depressed occasionally and sad and lonely more frequently than I’d like.

In my silent inner reflections, ideas and images come to me, like envisioning a clean house and all the fun things I’d love to do before I die. I'm finding such a strong drive to clean and organize my total external surroundings. I organize the garage and demand the girls organize and minimize their stored belongings in there also. There are no thoughts going on for me, to distract me from yard work etc. I'm totally present and aware of the feeling of neatness and order around joyous a feeling.