Friday, July 21, 2017.  WOW that was a tough day’s work writing my 500-word responses to the four storytelling conference questions on their application (I mentioned in my previous post).  I decided that at best, I am truly a scrappy writer!  Oh well!  I did the best I could do, even though I am guessing I entirely missed the point of what this conference is all about!

I am posting these little essays here just in case someone wants to read them!


*Tell us a little about yourself (500 words maximum):

My parents (born mid-1920s) were proper, strict and obsessively private.  At the same time Mother’s severe mental illness (undiagnosed) overwhelmed our family. Most destructive to me, she suffered a permanent psychotic break during her life-death fight to birth breech-me.

I believe terrorism used to control Mother from reporting abuse when she was young included her perpetrator threatening her into silence with, “If you ever tell anyone what I am doing to you the Devil will get you.”  During her difficult labor with me her broken mind told her I was not human.  The Devil had sent me to kill her while I was being born.  Hence the terrible abuse I suffered for the next 18 years began with my first breath.

In 1957 Mother motivated Father to seek a civil engineering job in the Alaska Territory.  While I believe she primarily needed to get me away from her mother’s ability to interfere with her abuse of me, Mother articulated her hatred of “houses made of ticky tacky,” suburban sprawl and the “keep up with the Joneses” mentality of the lower 48 as her reasons for our move to The Last Frontier.

We arrived in Alaska a month before my sixth birthday, and I loved everything about that land from my first step upon it.  Before I turned seven my parents staked claim to our 160-acre homestead near timber line up a mountainside.  We became members of the last wave of “free land grabbers” under the Homesteading Act created to “settle” the vast frontiers of America.

I spent the rest of my childhood both in an inescapable nightmare of hellacious abuse AND in cherishing an incomparable beauty that enabled me to fall in love with a nonhuman wilderness world.  While we had no electricity or running water or secure road or telephone or neighbors — and lived in a small dark portable Army surplus canvas Jamesway hut — our family dared to live, according to Mother, The Great American Dream.  Never mind the struggles.  Mother had found her Shangri-La!

Yes, we went to school, and moved up and down that mountain over the years more times than I can count.  Yet it was the spirit of the wilderness that saved me.  I shared its land, sky, wind, water, plants, animals and seasons as this world resonated with my own invisible essential being – the one that Mother could not touch.

Just after my 18th birthday, suddenly and without warning my parents “decided to put” me in the Navy.  A week later, having no preparation for life in the outside world, I flew five thousand miles away from home to boot camp.  Within a year I was introduced to drugs and became an unwed pregnant teen ejected from the Navy.

Then, as happened with so many of my generation, I made my way forward in life – alone – in the company of peers.  I’ve been doing the same ever since.  Like the mountains, we endure.


*Tell us about a social or political issue you are particularly interested in seeing change today and how you are involved. (500 words maximum):

When I was in second grade, before Father figured out how to drag the pieces of the Jamesway hut up to our homestead, we rented an apartment in Anchorage.  I was able, for the only time in my childhood, to attend Sunday school.

We heard Old Testament stories in the fall. In winter we celebrated Jesus’ birth in a manger.  Then we learned about His life until Easter.

I knew in the spring our family planned to leave town for the mountain, so in the innocent way of childhood I told my Sunday School teacher that while I LOVED everything we had learned that year, we would be leaving in April so I couldn’t come back.  I eagerly asked her what book they would read next!  I’ve never forgotten the look on her face as she assured me there IS only one book.

I was so puzzled that these people had been reading this same book for 2000 years!  I KNEW there HAD TO BE more books!

My life took many twists and turns over the next 12 years before I found that those other books DO exist.  My psychedelic drug use ended as I realized no personal “high” matters.  We must work together to elevate the well-being of the entire human race.  We must serve humanity to make that happen.

This discovery changed the trajectory of my life.  I am one of only five million Baha’is (followers of the light) around the world at this time, 200 years after the birth of its founder, Bahá’u’lláh, whose Name, translated from Persian means, “The Glory of God,”  “The Lord of Hosts.”  Bahá itself means LIGHT, and with this light comes truth I hoped was accessible to those who searched for love long enough to find it.

Bahá’u’lláh’s Teachings for the age we are living in tell us that all world religions have been progressively revealed over time as humanity matured by divine Educators sent to us by the One unknowable Creator God; humanity is one race, one family; the independent investigation of truth is obligatory to all (clergy is no longer necessary); religion and science are in essential harmony; men and women are equal as two wings of a bird; prejudices of all kinds must be eliminated; universal education is compulsory; the solution to all economic problems is spiritual; we need to choose one universal auxiliary language so we can communicate clearly with one another everywhere; we will be creating universal peace upheld by a world federation.

My task for the rest of my life is to encourage all kinds of people to talk to one another about what needs to improve for humanity as we build a better world for all!  Our practical solutions will be as organic as life here is.  Everyone has their own unique talents and capacities, all needed as we learn as a unified yet diverse species how to work together to build an advanced, just global civilization.  This IS our destiny.


*Tell us how you identify with the term “counterculture.” (500 words maximum):

I cried all the way through Forrest Gump as if my heart’s life-vein had been sliced and my tears were flooding out.  If I pair all the suffering I felt portrayed in this movie with my own during the 60s and 70s, I am left knowing that what matters to me is the potential for and the actuality of healing the terrible legacy of accumulated traumas that so heavily came to weigh upon the Baby Boomer generation.

Shortly after I married my second husband in 1974 I checked a book out of our small rural town’s library that so impacted me that I took the book out to read four or five times over the months that followed.  I remember nothing of title or author, but I do know that his statements about young people being so wounded by a lack of love in their childhood that they especially used LSD in a desperate search to discover what love might be felt profoundly true to me.

Oh, that was me, all right!  And while the circle of counterculture people I have met and known in my life is probably small, I never knew one of these people — sex, drugs, good intentions and all – who had not suffered heavily in their early years exactly from the absence of love.

While I wore a long simple hand-sewn cotton peasant dress and walked barefoot except when going to my prenatal doctor appointments when I was that unwed pregnant teen, I still really have NO idea WHY!  I was too young, too naïve, too innocent, too traumatized, too troubled and too lost to be honestly transparent with myself.  But I have worked hard to make progress in growing up.

I have known and still meet counterculture people who seemed to have been paralyzed somewhere along the line of their younger life so that now NOTHING new can enter the sphere of their existence.  They are like a needle stuck in a record’s scratch, unable to detect how pitiful their lives might be.

One can only paddle so far along a river’s narrowing tributary, refusing to turn back to meet some part of the mainstream, before becoming lost.  And yet I was raised in an obscure tributary myself, imprisoned and isolated in lengthy solitary confinements, prevented from ever having relationships with my siblings or any friends for 18 long years.  I was brainwashed into believing about myself what Mother believed about me.  What could I know about others or the world?

From the outside I would ask, were “those people” joining up with one another in a kind of anti-violence gang pattern that allowed them to be defined as much by what they were NOT as by what they WERE?  Yet the era when many believed if enough acid was dumped into the public water supply all would change and be fine is long, long gone.

So who are we now?  Are we who we started out to be?


* Tell us what connects you to New Mexico, your community and what compels you to live here. (500 words maximum):

New Mexico is the land of my soul’s returning.  For all the times in my life of challenges to DO, coming to live in New Mexico feels like a transformation into a clear state of BE-ing — just being me.  For every return here something has changed at my core.

My first episode here happened just after my 12th birthday.  Mother left Alaska with her five children to “rest” in the southwest.  Evidently she INTENDED to go to Tucson, but as she told the story she had given the road atlas to my younger sister with instructions for her to read the required turns to Mother.

My sister “made a mistake” somewhere, somehow, which Mother evidently didn’t notice until we entered Santa Fe.  So we checked into a room at the Silver Saddle Motel and stayed four months.  I entered 7th grade and was happier than I had ever been or would be again in the 18 years of my trauma-filled childhood.

For the first time in my life classmates LIKED me!  I belonged!  Of course, coming from Alaska made me an entertaining novelty.  The warmth of their welcoming friendship was a new experience for me, adding something precious and vital to my life that I desperately needed so I could continue to endure the rest of my childhood.

Fresh desert air, brilliant pure blue skies, resonating warm earth tone buildings, temporary freedom from the worst of Mother’s abuse set my soul free so that, for the first time in my life, I could stand up straight, hold my head high, smile and stretch the palms of my hands as far into the air as I could reach – and higher.

And then – we were gone.

My return to New Mexico found me enrolled in the Art Therapy Masters’ program at UNM Albuquerque.  I did not WORK through that program, I THRIVED through it.  I even attended a week-long Storytellers’ International conference with workshops!  And then – again — I was gone.

My next return was to Taos where I heard area stories over coffee of counterculture history too rich to forget.  I lived in an old adobe complex of a sheep rancher’s family.  My landlady Theresa graciously taught me how to build adobe, so I constructed an addition to her house I was renting as a gift to her, and then – yet again – I was gone.

I am blessed to have returned to New Mexico now!  I have resumed my spinning and weaving, and offer a free fun art clinic to adults weekly in my home.  I am hoping to offer my humble studio to families and children, as well.

I walk the streets of this inspiring town and visit about my time capsule ideas.  My car is being repaired so I can greet the wilderness.  I do not want to leave New Mexico – ever – again – but I do not know what my destiny holds.  Meanwhile, I intend to do what I do best here:  JUST BE ME!


Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.


Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame



Thursday, July 20, 2017.  It has been raining here for hours, a deeply soaking New Mexico monsoon rain.  I am living just south of the first designated national wilderness.  I can see the outline of the beginning of the mountains to the north from my little front porch of this 120 year old adobe house I am renting here.  Today I watched the great storm clouds of afternoon coming south toward me, bolts of lightning seeming to march down the streets of town.


I am beginning to heal here and I am grateful for yet another segment of my life, so different from others in many ways.  I can walk just two blocks to find people in shops and on the streets to have conversations with.  Today I spoke with many people and most often I hear what I want to hear – talk about hope.

Interesting to me is what seems to be the fact that while the majority of people I talk to begin by telling me they have no real hope for the world, it doesn’t take long for me to hear what they are really saying.  People seem to be losing touch with what hope might actually even mean.


Every once in a while I encounter angry people.  I don’t visit very long with such people, but I hear their anger.  I can detect what I can “the hard edges” to these people.  I am, rather, searching for the people with “soft edges” to talk with.  I am always listening for the opportunity to point out hope is always with us as a species.  I think we need to know this.

What we need to know, if my worldview, is that together we can begin to TALK with one another about what really matters in the world, and together we can learn how to make different choices for a better world for all.  I think we are mostly doing this as individuals – yet I don’t think we recognize this about ourselves.

I believe we need to!


Today I heard about a storyteller opportunity in New Mexico, and I am thrilled to apply!  You can read the outline of what this project is about HERE.  What is MY connection both to the “counterculture” of the 60s and 70s AND to New Mexico?

I will need to think deeply about this – but it’s exciting to me!  These are the questions I will need to write answers to:

*Tell us a little about yourself. (500 words maximum) –

*Tell us about a social or political issue you are particularly interested in seeing change today and how you are involved. (500 words maximum)

*Tell us how you identify with the term “counterculture.” (500 words maximum)

* Tell us what connects you to New Mexico, your community and what compels you to live here. (500 words maximum)


I figure I qualify for SOMETHING relevant to this project!  I can’t be the ONLY person who cried as if my soul was bleeding tears ALL the way through my watching of the movie Forrest Gump!  How does that kind of deep sadness, a profound aspect of the Baby Boomer psyche, connect to my deepest connection to and love for the wilderness, my total love of the creative process, my deep commitment to a spiritual healing of the human race and therefore of the planet, and my profound belief that moving forward the human race will not only be HEALING the trauma that has accumulated for us throughout our history, but will be ENDING IT?


Oh WOW!  Don’t even get me started!

Well not tonight, anyway.  Tomorrow I will write my answers to those questions in the application for consideration as one of the ten people to be selected.  I really am curious to see what I will say!


Healing our personal and our collective life narrative doesn’t end with us.  Our healing reaches forward further than we can begin to imagine!

One of the things I am out on the streets finding people to talk to about has to do with a strong idea I have to “create” two time capsules – one 50 year one and one 100 year one – to be held (I finalized this stage today) but this town’s museum.

These capsules are about more than hope.  Hope has to be part of our organic living process as human beings.  Hope is intimately tied to ACTION – to putting our highest and most practical ideas into action – together – all of our lives.

THIS is the process that will collectively create the world that the people who open these capsules will be living in.  It is this entire process that I am trying to become crystal clear about….

So that I KNOW what I am inviting people to be a part of.

Right now I am thinking the 50 year capsule will be dedicated to artwork, poems, words created by those (probably) under the age of 25.  Those people might still be around when THIS capsule is opened.

The other capsule?  I am not sure yet – I will keep you posted!  This isn’t about what any of us want individually.  Quality of life is created by the actions of ALL of us.  We need to become empowered enough to realize that if we think about it, the life we might write about to put in a time capsule to be opened 5 generations from now is most likely one that is BETTER than the life currently lived by the over 7.5 billion people sharing this planet with us right now.

HOW are we going to BEHAVE – ACT – to create this better world?


Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.


Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame





Tuesday, July 11, 2017.  Over these past months most of the posts I hand write, I throw away.  Today’s?  I WILL post it here!  Please keep in mind as you read this that what I am saying ‘between these lines’, so-to-speak, is that one of the most fundamental new things I have learned about myself in these past four years is that I have been created to be “on the autism spectrum.”  Hating this fact about HOW I am in the world, though continually tempting, is NOT a useful approach for me to take any more than it has ever been helpful for me to hate the horrors of the abuse that happened to me during the first 18 years of my life.

I also do not specifically mention in this post as I have written it by hand that LANGUAGE itself is NOT wired into the brain of an autism spectrum person in ordinary ways.  I am understanding for myself that most of my experience of life is processed through what can be called my right brain hemisphere — a region that, while indeed having capacity to work with language — does not do so in ways a predominately left-brained culture/society/civilization usually recognizes.

As I circle around ever more closely to my own truth about who and how I am in the world, I understand that the written word can often be as troublesome to me in its processing as is the spoken word.  This learning process is part of the reason why even writing blog posts has become sporadic.


Today’s writing:

It happened a few days ago as I stood on one side of the sales counter visiting with the owner and her most pleasant employee standing on the other side of the counter of this interesting, large consignment variety store on the downtown strip of this small town.

I went blank.  (No longer an infrequent situation for me while engaged with other people.)

They noticed.  They watched me in what I knew was my “lock down” mode until the store owner laughed, “Wow!  Talk about a poker face!”

I have no idea what the conversation was about prior to my freeze.  Basically I am learning, finally, after these past 65 years of my life, that someone has said something I cannot understand — and by this I mean — I have no idea what a person meant by what they were saying.  The MEANING is missing.

When this happens to me it is like my ongoing experience STOPS.  But not entirely.  I simply leave the ‘regular world’ where other people seem to so comfortably reside as I switch to a kind of inner world where I search for — sense.  I have often wondered if people notice my ‘pause’ — and if they do, what does this feel like, seem like, to them?  Now I have a clue.

I realized quickly when I moved here some months ago that these two women in the shop were safe people for me to experiment around in terms of being ME in light conversation with THEM.  Having realized this I occasionally stop in for social contact that does not scare me.  Mostly these two people make sense to me.  And I have been correct.  When something in our conversation the other day overwhelmed by ability in-the-split-second-moment to comprehend, I DID learn something more about myself:  My autism does complicate my experience of being human — and always has.


We did not return in any way the other day to whatever the topic had been in our conversation.  One of the women described how she and her father could understand one another while her mother could often not understand her husband.  So I know versions of complexity I encounter does appear for others.

But I hit a brick wall sometimes, like I did the other day.  I never see it coming, nor can I smoothly extricate myself from whatever has happened to me — triggered by WHAT?  I really cannot predict any of this!

I do know enough now, however, to guess that when I fall off of the inner cliff of understanding (meaning) my brain had automatically switched into a non-verbal mode.  At such an instant the thread that binds me to the meanings of others – the best I can connect to them — breaks.  When that happens my body/brain does NOT give me any detectable choice.  The “call” gets “dropped” without warning — and there I am standing, evidently, in my poker-faced mute silence.  (I hate it.)


Part of the problem at my age, soon to turn 66, is that I AM a person now.  On increasing levels and in more and more complicated ways, I know at every nanosecond that I exist.  And now I am beginning to be able to look back over my life to see all the clues about how gradual this process of my “being born a self” has been.

The most simple way I can put this into words is that everything about the first 18 years of my life as captive in my mother’s psychotic abusive hell demanded that, in order to stay alive, I — as an individual person in my own right — could not live.  Could not exist.  (I could not fight, from my first breath, against my mother’s profound, pervasive, invasive maniacal madness that was psychotically targeted at me – see book at link below.)


(I am noticing as I write these words here how much more difficult it is for me to write.  Tough.  It’s tough, and I do not know exactly why this is so.)


I forever thus far have lived at the cusp of one nanosecond becoming the next one, and there was so rarely a moment without peril that there was nothing for me to do but endure and survive.  Becoming a person of self-hood evidently requires some downtime of safety when there are no survival-only pressures present.

I have evidently been left over the course of most of my life accepting — without conscious thought — that other people exist and I do not.  Not really.

Yes — as if I, as an individual entity — am completely invisible and without form or substance.

And now that I am ever more clearly becoming ever more aware that I DO EXIST I am lacking all the trillions upon trillions of human interactional learning (both due to autism and severe abuse from birth) opportunities others have had which gives them the ability to engage with one another in this world in any way that makes sense.

One way or another most people have built within their brain/body all the neurocircuitry required to determine to a functional degree what people MEAN when they are communicating.


I am, then, at a double disadvantage.  My autism spectrum would have altered my communication abilities no matter how safe and secure my first 18 years could have been.  Reality gave me unremitting abuse, torment that included ostracization and extremely complex and bizarre patterns of solitary confinement and imprisonment.

Not only did I have no access to any adult to help me, I was also barred from having relationships with my siblings or with any peers.  Even when I was in school I was essentially fundamentally absolutely alone.


For all these decades of struggle I have evidently crossed some invisible line of awakening:  I exist.  Not only do I take up space with this physical body I am connected to, I now know I take up some nebulous form of inward space that is, of course, as invisible as everyone else’s is.

I notice how others seem to carry the combined wholeness of their visible and invisible self around with them (or is it vice versa?) as if they are comfortable being in the world this way — because this way is FAMILIAR to them all.

It is a known.  A GIVEN.  This is an accepted way of being alive.

There is nothing familiar about this state to me.  The human-to-human interactions and TRANSACTIONS are not familiar to me.  They are not familiar and they are not known.

I look human and adult to others who have no clue about — not only WHO I am but more importantly to me — HOW I am in this world.

So I do not KNOW what most others know, and evidently now that I cannot instinctively ignore my reactions in favor of what others seem to continually want and expect from others, my invisible self bumps into others’ invisible selves nearly all of the time and I am experientially AWARE of this.

My patterns do not match others’.  I can sense their discomfort, surprise, sometimes fear, rejection, confusion, puzzlement, uncertainty and at times even astonishment when my existence jars against theirs.

Mostly I continue to sacrifice myself the best that I can for the comfort of others — as I always have tried to do.  There is no reason why others would CARE to know anything about me.  Yet I now know that I am missing that vast history of human givens — what they Do automatically know about one another without ever noticing consciously what they know or how they know it.


Because my mother’s mind broke during her birthing of me, I may well have built within me one of the most comprehensive physiological systems of aversion to others’ frustration with, anger toward and rejection of me that anyone could create.

So while my ability to exist since birth has meant by default that I could not exist as a self at the same time I lived at all, I am finding now that my invisible self is HERE — that those options of using those patterns of interactions with people that have been familiar to ME — that have been the only ones I have ever known — are no longer available to me.

(I still, of course, have the same sensitivities to the reactions of others (true about all KINDS of things within and about them, as well), as many sensitive people have no matter what their background might be — autistic or not, abused or not.)

As a result of ALL I am describing here, I feel anxiety and grief “at my condition” that I have never felt before.


As I see it, TIME itself is both my greatest ally and my greatest foe.  I need at times to STOP!  (Most of what goes on in the society I live in moves too fast ALL of the time.)  Now I know those times I seem to freeze look like a poker fact to others.  It takes TIME for me to try to understand within myself what other people MEAN by what they are saying — AND what they say MEANS no matter what — or why are they even TALKING about “it?”

(Of course, trauma, abuse and autism ALL alter the perception of time and of its passing.)

In my case, I have to nearly continually disassemble, assemble, reassemble the very semblance of order and therefore of meaning to what others simply rapid-fired with their words, expressions and gestures back and forth with one another.  While others possess a lifetime of experiences in the human world that always give them the advantage of having the meaning their shared backstory of familiarity gives them — I only have pieces and parts acquired almost entirely through conjecture and guesswork.


Of course I would rather “keep up with the beat” so that interactions feel smooth and therefore coherent (and safe) to others in their reality.  I learned how to mimic doing this by not having my own “invisible real self” present.

I have no way to test my self-given hypothesis that most people do NOT CARE about hearing the reality of anyone else.  There are certain, specified game pieces on the board when “talk” is going on.  There are rules for how patterns proceed throughout the TIME it takes for people to “transact” their negotiations with one another.  (interesting:  online search for “Grice’s Maxims for Polite Conversation”)

So what I predominantly detect is that most people want — and may desperately NEED — to be listened to, heard and understood.  (They need to matter.)  Usually this means they need to be agreed with.  They need attention/attending to.  These patterns are not what I consider, actually, to BE true conversation.  They are “a something else.”

In this line, now that my invisible real self exists, I see that asserting the truth of real selves often creates discord and conflict and is to be avoided.  This entire process appears to be/is powerfully controlled through socially accepted mainstream culturally created, maintained and accepted patterns of verbal exchange between people in nearly all situations and settings.


It’s a dance.  A dance I do not really know how to do.  I do know that I am not yet at inner peace with any of what I describe here.  To a large extent I am suspecting that the fact I find no one to talk with about any of this contributes to my pervasive sense of being alone.  Because no matter what I AM a member of a social species where being alone is tantamount to imminent extinction, whatever peace I might be able to come to seems always beyond my reach.

Yet I do consider my writing of this piece to be at least some step in the direction of attaining some sustained and sustaining peace.


Here is my first book out in ebook format as it provides an outline of the conditions of my malevolent childhood.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.


Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame