*Age 30 – Journal from January 1982 through April 1982

*Age 30 – Journal from January 1982 through April 1982


January 2, 1982 Saturday

Took the Christmas tree down tonight as wanted to have all done without girls around.  Was such a nice tree was hard to take down.  Girls start school again the day after tomorrow and I have a good deal of reading to do before I start back on the 11th.  Things need to get back to some kind of normalcy.

Snowed almost a foot and tonight is 20 below at least.  We’re trying to finish taping and plastering Ramona’s room – we’re on last coat today and almost finished before ran out of mud.  Also been tearing off siding –

Kay got her ears pierced today.  Has wanted it for a long time and is really pleased.

Played Uno with girls.  Marlin and Leo tonight – speed Uno – Marlin won.  Sewed 2 shirts for Leo. One flora print he’s real pleased with and a plaid I still need snaps for.

January 4, 1982

Just finished reading biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton – first suffragette – contemporary with the origination of the Baha’I Faith.  This religion is the first in the world in which a Prophet, Baha’u’llah, has ascertained the complete equality of men and women.

January 6, 1982 Wednesday

Kay turned 11 today and had a party at Grandma Alice’s – lots of lovely gifts from Larry and Myra, Sue Lang, Lynn, Marlin, Grandma and pa and us.

I find it hard now to imagine not having kept her – she’s such a part of all of our lives.  I love her!

Leo woke up not feeling well today and tonight not well either.  I have mixed reactions, but he is going to the Chiropractor at 9 AM tomorrow but then he gets some relief and doesn’t go back.

The 2nd Baha’I National Spiritual Assembly of Iran has been captured and shot I learned yesterday from Judy and there is a memorial service Monday in Moorhead.  Need to tell Marlin and talked to Kay about it today.  I feel real inadequate.

Seed catalogs are coming in and last night was 25 below zero.  Should get Ford back tomorrow.

Today has been a good day and I think my Higher Power for it.

January 10, 1982 Sunday

I sometimes see myself as a cynic –

I begin school tomorrow again.  Last night’s wind chill was minus 90 below.

January 11, 1982 Monday 8:30 PM

I just took a bath and feel refreshed.  I seemed to get real tired today and not sure why – probably a combination of school stress, needing a chiro adjustment, too many cigarettes –

I feel guilty that I didn’t drive into Moorhead for the 7 PM memorial prayer service for the martyrs in Iran tonight.  I am tired and it’s another hour of driving.

January 16, 1982 Saturday

Leo took me out to Marlin’s tonight for a “card party.”  Roxy was there and some kids from Thurs, nite AA.  Minus 20 degrees.

Spent most of today studying for Bremer’s attitude test on Mon.  Wonder if we’ll have the statistics test as school was cancelled last Fri. due to storm and he hasn’t finished his lecture.  Need to study tomorrow.

January 19, 1982 Tuesday 4:45 PM

I’m feeling lonely tonight sitting here in Wendy’s easting salad by myself. No one to share feelings with or to talk to.  Found myself complain today when I really didn’t want to….  About having to come to class from noon – 1 tomorrow and not having class then until 6:30 PM.   I do feel tired having to be in town that long and resent the high cost of gas that prevents me from being able to go home in between.

Conflicting messages, too.  When I saw Dr. Staton this morning he asked me how I was and I answered “I can’t complain” and he asked me “Why can’t you?”

In the process of feeling sorry for myself I don’t expect others to agree and pity me, but would like them to just feed back to me what they see me doing – identify it for me and not buy into it.

I also tend to feel resentful of people who can put their “nose to the grindstone” and not complain or think anything of it.

“You do what’s got to be done.”

“Sometimes it’s got to be that way” (coming to work when you’re sick).  These people seem to have a certain compassion for each other I might lack.

I’m lacking in exposure and experience in the “Real World or “the world of work” as Tom Becker refers to it.

I was never socialized or given any experience as I grew up in getting along in this “real world.”  I was practiced in being extremely obedient, being isolated.

I bought a neat little paperback book today on touching.  I think I’ll enjoy it.

I’m feeling very full from this salad;  it was good.  I’m now drinking a hot chocolate – watching the cars going by as it will soon be dark.  Head lights on now.

Tomorrow before class at 11 AM I’ll be meeting with the group from class to go over those items for our survey.  After class, maybe I can go to the library and start a literature search.  Time to go back to school for a night class.

January 26, 1982 Friday.

Had my ears pierced today.  Helen had a Valentine coupon with the paper today where you could do it for $7.50, so, as Kerensa had hers done I got up the courage and did mine.

School’s been seeming overwhelming.  Lots of reading, lab reports, memorizing for abnormal psych, statistics test, recopy notes I missed last Wed. nite when roads were icy, type attitude class note, etc.

Received a beautiful cream sweater and a blue skirt from Mom today.  It feels good that she loves me and I need to write thanks and love.  She’s moving into a motel I guess now.

Had my interview with the review board at NDSU today for getting into the Mater’s in Addiction counseling.  I thought appointment as at 10 this morning but was real embarrassed to find I was late and it was at 9 instead.  Awful.  But I got in as they made room and should find out next week if I’m accepted or not.

Realizing today I have an unrealistic picture of life and other’s pain.  God knows if he wants me in this field or not and I’ll trust Him.  Perhaps could find more comfortable way to go, but hope I can do some good.

Need to write Jay or even give a quick call?

February 10, 1982 Wednesday

Wasn’t accepted and applying at MSU.  [2009 note:  I was not prepared for applying for that program AT ALL.  I had no idea what the ‘’real world” process even was, or that it even existed.]

I need to spend today studying for my abnormal psych 400 level midterm – tonight’s the night.  I haven’t felt I could study before and am afraid of the test as there’s so much to cover.  Still working on survey project for Bremer’s class.

February 14, 1982 Sunday Valentine’s Day 1:30 PM

Leo and the girls are at the folks.  I’m expecting Marlin and Roxy for a visit as she’s flying out at 3 PM for a week in Arizona where she’s taking an new job as CD counselor.

I’m studying for an attitudes psych test tomorrow for Bremer’s class and am finding it very hard to concentrate as it’s so boring and I feel sleepy.

It’s almost a year ago that I started this journal and went on my bus trip.

(Just got a call from Marlin and they’re on their way out here)

I’ve been wondering about school.  After my 18 credits next quarter I’ll need one 4 credit lab I can’t get until next fall and then 12 more credits – some of which I hope I can get through external studies.

3:20 PM – M and R just left on way to take Roxy to the airport.  I know I’ll miss her when she’s gone after it seems more real.

She was saying maybe I could consider getting training at Fergus Falls for CD counseling like she did and that having an undergraduate degree would really help.  That would mean a lot of time away from my family except for week-ends.  I wonder if it would be useful then to still try to get my Masters in counseling besides that training.

[2009 note:  After Leo and I divorced I tried to get into that program, but it was not set up for single parents as had to live there for a year of training.]

February 25, 1982 Thursday

Played hooky from AA with Leo and took Kay, her friend Jana and Ramona tonight into MSU for 75 cents each to see “Fiddler on the Roof.”  Leo had his car in Dilworth and I left him there on the way home to pick it up.  He’s still not home yet and wondering if he had trouble.  Hope not.

I took my first final yesterday (last night) in abnormal psych.  I’m seriously thinking about staying home tomorrow as I have a lab report to write, a final to prepare for anthropology, both due Tues. night.  I need to type notes for Bremer’s class and have finals Wed. and Thurs.

That was neat in the movie how “papa” could talk as a friend with God.  When his 3rd daughter married out of the Jewish Faith he couldn’t accept that.  Without his Faith he felt he had nothing.

Leo called from Marlin’s.  He said M came in shortly after I left and he went in to visit.  Finally, I took the Great Horned owl we’ve had all these months in the freezer we found on highway 10 into Marlin’s who will bring it into NDSU and they will stuff it, I guess.

I would like to move the geraniums down under the plant light over break and cut them back so they’ll bloom.  I wonder if I started some seeds for marigolds if they’d bloom.

Want to work in Ramona’s room over break, too – get the wood trim on window, get a carpet remnant and perhaps make strawberry print curtains and paint the green dresser white and the black shelf and maybe get Suzi’s bed for Ramona.

It must be 11 years now since I became a Baha’i.  These last years I’ve sure felt isolated.  I would sure like another Baha’I in Glyndon.

Leo and I have been sleeping apart 4 ½ months now.  I wish we could get a larger bed upstairs –need a new coat of paint in the bedroom.

I would like to take a drawing course first summer session 1:30 – 4:30 in the afternoons.


Spring.  Ferns, tight fisted, relaxing, finally, on the forest floor


March 9, 1982 Tuesday.

It’s a full moon tonight, and it’s almost 1 AM.  I hear one of the girls flumping around upstairs and wonder if one’s awake.  Kay’s been up to bathroom twice already.  Wonder why.  Ramona had flu real bad Sunday and still has a cold and missed school today.

Marlin came out with Leo to help side the house and stayed the night and is sleeping on floor of living room.  Leo is sleeping, too.  Stayed up late working on the bathroom – plastering sheetrock.

House is a mess.  Will be nice when remodeling’s done.  Almost done with Ramona’s room.  May paint the floor as carpet is very high.  Checked at stores and could cost almost $100 and room is only 10 x 11.  I wanted to buy material and make curtains on break.

Missed AA for 2 weeks and miss it.  Donna came by today and I missed her.  Need to call her.

Combed 2 rabbits today and have one left to do.  They sure have a lot of lose hair [angoras]

Took Bremer’s final today and gave him my paper on the attitude scale.  I saw it on his desk as I was leaving and saw it got  50 of 50 possible pints.  Glad winter quarter is done and buzzing a little tonight because of that – 18 credits and I think all A’s.

Got bladder infection last Wed. night and taking ampicillin 4 times a day.

March 11, 1982 Thursday

It’s been 6 weeks since I had my ears pierced – guess I could change earrings!  After Kay finally had hers done before her birthday, they got infected when she changed earrings and she’s not letting them close back up.

Perhaps I am now a “feminist.”  Don’t particularly like the word, or “women’s libber.”  Terms – hiding the real meaning of issues –

Betty Lou called tonight.  Sometimes I get the feeling I’m somehow threatening to her.  She, with her 4 children, is at this pint totally committed to “mothering.”  I suppose in some ways, I’m jealous of her ability to maintain that role.

Haven’t been too into the housework mood – holding resentments about how, as a woman, I’ve been “trained” to take care of a house and feel guilty if I’m not living up to “expectations.”

March 20, 1982 Saturday

I bought tickets for Leo and I to attend a ballet performance tonight at MSU.

It snowed 8 inches last night, and has already started to melt.  It’s supposed to be 40 above by Monday.

Wanted to work on the 2nd part of the contract for Tiedeman [therapist] as I think we go see her next week.  I see Dr. Staton Tuesday and am wondering if the medication has affected my desire for sex, as I have virtually none.  Was thinking about my Grandma who was divorded in 1930 and never remarried, and actually, even my parents who can separate for long periods of time.  How necessary is it to have intercourse with one’s husband on a frequent/regular basis?

[2009 note:  A sad, sad state of affairs, and I had no clue.]

April 6, 1982 Tuesday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken time to write here.  The snow is gone, but there’s some in the forecast.  It seems amazing this winter broke a 40 year record for snow fall.  And I even made it to town all winter for classes!  Good girl, Linda!

[2009 note:  That’s the first nice thing I think I said to myself yet in a year’s worth of journaling!]

Last week-end Leo and I put $108.95 down on a waterbed at Gunthars . . . king size . . . but need another $200.00 and wonder where it will come from.

Gene is late paying Leo and Chris on this Glyndon house.  They did finish this one, and got paid $700 which is gone already as insurance was due – house payment yet to pay.  God does provide, though.

The siding looks really nice on the house, and the bathroom is a pleasure to be in and that change is amazing.  Oak trim, tiles, closet, new vanity, sink, door, window, and even a shelf for the violets!

Went Saturday to the Relief Sale and enjoyed the day.  Bought some gift items and a lovely silk scarf from India.  Lee’s bought a lot, and I felt envious and jealous at their money and sorry for myself.  But, I did buy a doll from India, and felt comfortable later and now.  [2009 note:  I guess that means, not guilty.]

Have my first exam for this quarter tomorrow in Statistics and it’s already the 4th week.  Have an appointment for the counseling and guidance master’s program Monday.  Wonder if I’ll get in.

Leo’s mother and brother came out tonight for Kay’s program.  She was a ‘saloon’ girl as was a western program – well done and fun.  She was really excited about it.

I would like to take her to town on Sat. and maybe go to the Old Broadway and do something alone with her.  It’s been a long time, and we both need it.

Went to a kimono party at Linda Friend’s last night and bought a cotton one for $15.  It was different, and the kimonos were all beautiful, a whole pallet of them.  Lots of color and silk.  Pat’s wife was there.  It gets less strange and strained every time I see her, but invariably a few pangs follow.

Tonight as I watched all the young children in Kay’s class at the program, I thought of myself as a child and the things I’ve gone through from there to 30.  I wonder how many of them will have their hearts “broken,” and thought about the craziness of my past.  [2009 note:  How far back did my thinking really go when I thought about craziness?  Just since 18?  Or could I think about my childhood as well?  I doubt it.]

Been thinking of staying home this summer and wondering how I’d handle all the time and lack of structure and pressure.  I’ve been going to school straight since last June.  I don’t see how I can afford to go this summer.  It would be nice to see if I could ‘mellow’ out and do things around here – stay motivated, not get crabby, be relaxed, and yet get some cleaning, sorting, refinishing, etc. done.

I reduced my medication by 1/3 starting yesterday – dropped 50 mg to 100 mg now.  I hope I don’t feel a major change.  I increased it last October, but weather is getting better now again.  I see Dr. Staton again June 1st.  He was talking about taking me off all meds this summer – taking a ‘drug holiday’ he called it.  That idea is scary as I think I’d change – subtly and for the worst and not be aware of what’s happening.  Would have to trust that Leo would “keep me posted.”

Started the medication, I see from looking back a year ago on April 14th.

I don’t think I dwell on things the way I used to.  I know I don’t.  I did want to make a move on a water bed purchase and couldn’t let go of that – but I don’t question myself all the time anymore on what I’m doing and am much better at getting through days and doing what needs to be done and what I want to do.

I’ll have to watch this as meds change and be sure it’s not something that is really affected by the depression.

My head feels clear and I like that.

April 9, 1982 Friday – Good Friday

Not much new happening.  It’s almost 1 AM so almost time to end the day.

Started a few seeds tonight and have them in low boxes on the counter under plastic.  It seems every year I try this and dry them out and they die.  Planted petunias and salvia.  I need more potting soil before I can do any more.  Also worked on violets for a while.

I bred Julia [rabbit] last night and hope she’s pregnant and that the little ones survive.  Would like to do something different for cages this year.  I’d like to run cages along the outside of the garage wall, and then on the inside with holes in the wall so they can go in and out.

I have an animal behavior exam on Monday and seminar exam Wed.  Haven’t studied for them yet but need to tomorrow.  Did my first interview tape for education 410 and my self analysis paper for education 107 today.

Kay had Jana over last night.

April 15, 1982 Thursday

Well, I’ll have one more cigarette before I go to bed.  Leo’s still having coffee with AA people in Dilworth [2009 nasty note:  And probably flirting with……].  It was an open meeting.

Another week is almost over.  25 class days left of the quarter and then finals.  Best not to think that far ahead.  One day at a time.

The situation with England and Argentina over the Falkland Islands is getting tense – Leo just got home – with junk from Jensen’s.  He’s cute.

April 21, 1982 Wednesday

Went to folks’ for dinner after growth group at 7 PM.  Was sure sweet of Alice – she says she gets lonely.

School feels really hard, and I feel a long ways behind.  I hope it all pulls together by finals –


clear system

female system

reactive system

“White male”


getting clear

all those tapes


from day one

“Your mother was

mentally ill”

and you tell your childhood

like some story

you read somewhere

who’s learning in this relationship?

Knowing what you know

Seeing what you see

Finding who you are

In spite of all that’s happened

Those clear rippling streams

Those molten forest beds

And tiny



Forcing to the surface

Inner strength swelling


Newly green

They’ve never seen

The sun before

And after their season



The same questions pounding

Shores of distant ocean’s sands

Palms pressing forms

Belonging to me

“I had a child to catch

my man”

and was he there

when I wanted him?

Brown skin tan

Blond hair bleached

Blue eyes bloodshot

And his square nose

I’ll never forget that nose

I left him for another man

Dark, mystery from Chicago

Who drank too much wine

And never brushed his teeth

And when we went

To Disneyland

It wasn’t the same

And so that child made me


And wanted

To be born

But no man owned her

When she was born

I could not hold her



Lie behind some nurse’s mask

And I threw that stainless steel

Pitcher at that doctor’s head

And swore in rage

(I could still feel anger then)

That Doctor

Who told me

“no one wants a scarred child”

and I cried

in rage

and went home swearing

she’ll not live in your cold world

of polluted values

and lies.

So I bought a dresser

And welfare gave me a layette

And the night I was

To bring her home

I retreated

To a safe place

Acid tripping

Cliff walls

Black ocean


[tempting me]

I was rescued by strangers

Who fed me oranges

And listened all night

And I went with them

To West Virginia

And postponed

Bringing a baby home

As I was no mother yet.

And years later

My mother told me

“We would have taken her”

and she lied

over disowning me

as garbage

thrown out

with a vague thought

of retrieval.


2 thoughts on “*Age 30 – Journal from January 1982 through April 1982

  1. You were really busy–kids, school, house projects, AA–makes me tired to just read the schedule of your life back then! I’m a grad student with 3 young kids. I could not take the amount of credits you took and accomplish anything else such as laundry or dinner! Your journal sounds like the life of a very normal young adult. You were functioning effectively–at least on the outside. You mention your childhood a few times–seems like it was tugging on your sleeve even back then when you were unaware of its full impact on your life. It is obvious how unaware you were, especially when you mention that it feels good to know that your mother loved you!

    • Yes, thanks for that perspective. Plus the marriage, commuting on terrible roads with old car, heating with wood, going to therapy, spending quite a bit of time with in-laws, etc. I had then, but don’t seem to have now, incredible ‘coping skills’ — and I used them to DO what I now see I needed most: Find things in a life I created that allowed me to organize and orient my dissociating self while at the same time finding ways, including the meds, to keep myself completely numb and self-wise, completely in the dark.

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