*Age 31 Journal – Sept. 1982 thru June 10, 1983

*Age 31 Journal – Sept. 1982 through June 10, 1983


September 6, 1982 Monday

Returned home at 11 PM from a week-end at Larry and Myra’s in Manitoba.  I haven’t been to their home since Kay was 7 and Ramona turned 2.  They were in Winnipeg then.

They are so gracious.  I enjoyed the visit.  We went to the gardens there today and to the museum yesterday.

I’m anxious, worried, nervous about returning to school.  Also part may be due to starting work.  I don’t feel I’ve done many of the things I’d planned to this summer.


Northern lights

Cathedrals of light


September 7, 1982 Tuesday 9:45 AM

It’s so nice and quiet – girls in school, Leo working.  It seems I have been so busy accomplishing things, I haven’t taken time to just sit and be me.  Life sure isn’t boring with so much always needing to be done.

I wonder, seeing how Grandma Bea only had one daughter, and mom was it, if it was “extra” important for mom to be “perfect.”  I know she probably wouldn’t have dreamt of going as long as I have without writing her mom – but mom does have two other daughters, too.  (Letting myself off the hook?  I do feel guilty).

September 8, 1982 Wednesday

I went on campus today – registered – feel like I’ve been running all day.  I feel tension – free floating anxiety – not ready to go “back out” into the world and to school.

Canceled peer counseling (need to write a letter)  Don’t have to deal with Kolotkin.  Will probably do a thesis.

Well, it’s after 1 AM and I can’t sleep even though I’m tired, so I’m up.

I “schedule” so many things that I can never get them all done, and so am never truly satisfied with myself – never measuring up to my own standards.

Know I’ll be tired tomorrow.

I’m afraid of work – that I won’t measure up – and hard not to be able to share that in the work situation.

I enjoyed seeing and visiting Suzi today.

September 18, 1982 Saturday 2 AM

Worried about school and living any kind of a life.  There doesn’t seem to be time for both.  A week into the quarter, and I have done NO studies, reading or otherwise.

Groomed rabbits tonight.

Said in group last Wed. I am quitting for awhile.  Got neat card from Eileen today.

November 1, 1982

Working toward a 6-month goal:  Anne Wilson Schaef’s workshop  [there’s a list here of things I would need to take with me to it]

December 27, 1982 Monday

Betty says Dave will “take good care of Debbie.”  What does that mean?  When Debbie has children?  Why didn’t I ask her?

Back tonight from a visit overnight in Long Prairie.  Spent 2 days in Cities for Christmas.  Enjoyed it.  Been a long time I guess since I’ve been to any of their houses [Leo’s brothers’].

I’ve been cold tonight – worried about furnace – aggravating Leo with my phobia – but can’t understand why it wasn’t kicking in upstairs when colder there than thermostat set for.

Thinking about creating some space for myself in the front room – wonder if that’s possible.  Perhaps move Leo’s “office” upstairs – then trouble with taxes I suppose.

Job “offer” Echo called me about last week in Lander, Wyoming – fear of moving – winters there, how bad compared to here?

Time goes by so fast, don’t seem to get done what I want and need to, but seem to be busy all the time –

December 29, 1982 Wednesday – Full Moon

I get impatient with my process – not waiting with it, but being scared of it.

Been feeling angry underneath, not knowing why.  “Depressed” – hard time doing what I “should” do.

Bought and wrapped presents for Cindy’s family yesterday.  Up ‘til 3:21 AM.  Ridiculous, unmanageable hours.  [2009 note:  Well, I was sure specific on my times!]

Need to read for social work class – am ½ through.  Also haven’t done any drawing for that class.  Haven’t opened book to begin for learning class final.  Need to do research.

Need to get together my first resume.  Maybe send to Lander.

Did front room yesterday.  Much better.  Leo may build a loft.

January 7, 1983 Friday

Nancy Keating says:  there’s a difference between hurting others or self intentionally vs unintentionally

She says if I’m feeling numb I should talk to Dr. Staton.  She would feel resentful if she were married to a non-depressed person because they’d tend to feel better and it might be natural to want to hurt them.

[2009 note:  Now I’d look at it as the difference between someone abused as a child and someone not abused.  The depression is only a symptom, not a cause.]

A leg when it’s sleeping doesn’t hurt, but it does hurt as it wakes up.

Difference between and similarities:  Religion, religious, spiritual, moral, non-moral.

Dichotomous thinking – if I’ve done one “bad” thing, might as well do all rather than learning from a mistake and trying harder

When others give suggestion – advice, they don’t live with the consequences.  You do.  Must weigh consequences of behaviors before doing them and make choices.


Kay’s 12th birthday yesterday.  Went with Diania to Townhouse.  Tonight took her and Jana skating after dinner at Grandma’s.

January 8, 1983 Saturday

I give men some of my power.  It is very important to me that I look attractive to men.  That I am attractive to me.  I worry that I’m too fat.  I want to weigh less, have more muscles, have a better shaped body.  I wear make-up now, get my hair permed, wear jewelry and bracelets, and am somewhat conscious of what clothes I wear.

I want to be an individual.  I want to look different, not like I came out of a mold.  I want to be creative in how I look, but I still want to be attractive to men.

An older woman is not seen as attractive in our culture.

We as women have power given to us in the way we look.  If we are attractive to men, then we have sexual power over them.  To me it is a double-bind.  Look sexy, but be chaste, holy, pure, faithful, true.  Keep your passions in line.  Men – look but don’t touch.



don’t touch

see our bangles

smell our perfumes

watch us walk

in fashion


full of lie




even sex

our power

over you

we give up our power

our own power

believing you affirm us

by your approval




I am worth something

If I have the power

To attract


January 9, 1983

From session with Kathy [therapist].

There are parts of life I haven’t had the opportunity to experience.  Only alone briefly in the Navy four months and 2 ½ months were in boot camp.

I haven’t the opportunity, because I haven’t chosen it in some ways, to simply try my wings, and only be responsible for me.

Having contractual relationships with others is in a way limiting – one has to balance the limiting aspects of something against the non-limiting to see if that is the right choice for us.

So I really have not had a time alone, and Kathy agrees from her perspective, that that is a significantly important experience for everyone.

It may very well be that I feel a strong need for that and I could work out the option with Leo that I live alone a period of time.  May choose to get divorced and leave the kids with him – don’t really have the opportunity to be alone with kids.  Kids complicate – have responsibility.

I give Kathy a lot of shoulds, and she doesn’t buy into any of those shoulds.

Doesn’t make sense to have another child.

Maybe part of my examination ought to be around those shoulds.

I don’t want to believe I have shoulds.  “Well you do.  You give them to me every time you come here.”

Part of being able to stand on your own two feet means reexamining those values passed on by family, etc. and making choices about which of those you still value.

Something feels real scary to me about this.

A lot tied into your mother so what I do to be good is to buy into a real traditional value system which does not necessarily meet my needs or my lifestyle.

January 12, 1983 Wednesday

I forgot about this pen!  I’m going to smoke another cigarette and write a bit in here, though it is 11:30 PM and I’m quite tired.  Class at 9 tomorrow.

Kathy tells me feelings aren’t genetic, they’re learned.  If they were genetic, we’d all feel the same thing in all similar situations.  She believes we’re born with the capacity for mad, sad, glad feelings and make more up, like guilt.  Hurt is mad and sad.

Questioning values is scary to me, as is stepping into the unknown.  I’m real short on patience, and hard for me to bide my time and see where the flow takes me

January 13, 1983

So here it is midnight and I’m tired.  Went out for coffee with Marlin.  I’ve been disturbed over my own thoughts.

Is being single terribly lonely?  I have someone to curl around at night, but I don’t do it.  Why is it so hard to know if I love Leo?  Is it so wrong to want to be held by another man?  Does it need to diminish what I feel for Leo?  What do I really want?

People are telling me

The world is more

Like saran wrap


Than like tin foil

Easily creased


And torn


Marlin wants to take me to an NA [Narcotics Anonymous] meeting tomorrow

Leo called tonight – more excited about talking to me than I to him.  [2009 note:  I have no idea where he was.]

January 14, 1983

Intimacy:  A situation in which two human beings are intensely engaged in the mutual exchange of strokes.

Guilt is a response taught human beings by their parents in the service of oppression.

I get sleepy

I want to sleep

To become an “un-me”

January 15, 1983 Saturday

I seem to wake up in the morning fairly free of feelings.  But I know from the past few days that they catch up with me.

Need to do chores this morning.  Girls are at Anne’s.  Leo may call today to tell me when he’s coming home.  There’s something really troubling in my gut about this marriage.  I want to know what I know and feel what I feel about it.

Going through 1974 letters between Leo and I before we married.  9 letters from him to me, 18 letters from me to him.

Leo married me to take away his loneliness – it won’t work.  I missed a man to visit and I wanted to be held – hadn’t had much of that from Leo either.  I didn’t take it?  He never wrote “dear” Linda.  He needed me to be his “glimmer.”

He’s very comfortable with who he is.  What I do is me.  I need to work.  That’s a need in me.  I don’t know whether I need to nurture.  He wrote about don’t want to come off as a mother or father to Linda.  I just want to be Leo with Linda.

[I made a short list here of opposites]  Leo good, mom bad, Leo white, mom black, Leo nurturing, mom non-nurturing.

Get carried away in work.  Workaholic.

I personally believe I have been dependent on you – can see some of that, not all

Values my friendship as a woman friend

I enjoy talking to you as a person

If I took an inventory of myself – I could look at my impatience, selfishness, self-centeredness.

Expecting too much from Leo

Putting myself ahead of him

January 19, 1983

[therapy session notes]

What do I see as my boundary problem with Leo?

My mother = my conscious

Her right and wrongs = mine

Leo’s rights and wrongs = my rights and wrongs

I use Leo:  the whole part of me that would love Linda isn’t there and Leo is that part of me that loves me

Doesn’t feel healthy

My mother is the part of Linda that hates Linda

Kathy [therapist] says:  “In some ways what you’re talking about is pretty profound.”

Need to know mother is good and bad.

Problems develop = overlapping boundaries, mother seen as all good, mother is awful so mother = bad

My mother is my bad object  [2009 note:  well, she WAS 99% bad! I’m not sure this therapist was listening to me, or perhaps she could not comprehend how bad things were in my childhood – lots of people can’t conceptualize the truth of others’ truly traumatic childhoods – and then we get this kind of mumbo-jumbo that really can’t help us.]

My husband is my good object

I see him as all good and her as all bad

Can’t differentiate.

Kathy:  “I think you’re reaching some really incredibly important insights.”

Nurturing does not equal parent (female).  Leo doesn’t know the concept.  My child – part of myself that wanted nurturing then and I might still want it once in awhile now.

I label myself as selfish because I’m not in touch with other people’s needs.  Kathy thinks I need to give myself some room – Why should I be in touch with other people’s needs.  I’ve never had that experience – never taught, except to avoid my mother’s punishment – “You’re not in touch with your own needs.”

This is the time I’m choosing to work on myself and my issues and “you don’t want to negate that”

My work is internal now.  At some point it may be something else.  But I can’t do that as well until I do this first.

What are the benefits I might get from moving out.  Need to think about it, with it, for awhile.  “That fish took line is way behind the boat”

Leo – global stuff – belief in God, someone else is responsible for his life – external.  Marrying a sex partner.  Is Leo strong or is it a defense, protecting himself?  Is he not dependent on me?

Tiedeman supported Leo in the relationship.  He’s dependent on the relationship, on having me be there for whatever it is he gets from me that he feels he needs.

Kathy thinks there’s some dependency and some addictiveness there because he’s given me an awful lot of room without jumping up and down and saying “fuck it!  If you don’t start meeting more of my needs I’m not going to relate to you.”

(to be continued in next session)

Maybe I’ve grown enough and already know too much.

January 20, 1983 Thursday

I bought the great American myth that I’d marry a man, have his children.

January 26, 1983 Wednesday

Talked to the girls tonight about my moving out for awhile.  Kathy [therapist] says it should be for at least 6 weeks.  Ramona seemed real sad.  Wanted to know if she was quiet and played in her room if that would help give me the time I need to myself.  Kay didn’t say much, except about Leo.  Ramona said Kay says mean things about him.  Kay says it seems like Leo favors Ramona because she’s his child and she’s younger.  I told Kay ideally should would have a relationship with Pat, her “real” father too.  I also don’t think Leo ever thinks in those terms.

Wonder about desertion if I leave – is there something that needs to be done to show I am not deserting the girls if that ever came up in a custody fight if we ever became divorced.

Maybe if I was away from Leo I could depend on him more – be able to see it anyway.

February 8, 1983 Tuesday 11 PM

Had class tonight on child abuse issues.  Sue told her story.  Makes me think about my unvisited “cave” where I’ve hidden all my childhood issues.  Wonder when I’ll get in there and poke around.

Met Diane for lunch yesterday and heard how she and her husband negotiated her need for space years ago.  I don’t feel I have the room to get that space in this house.

Leo and I began looking at issues last night and have a “date” after AA Thursday night to work on some more.

Have session with Kathy tomorrow.  [2009 note:  Kathy was a ‘woman’s psychology’ social work graduate professor at the university.  I attended therapy at her house.  I could not remember a single thing we talked about in sessions if I didn’t take notes, or tape record the sessions.  I didn’t know about dissociation then, but I could remember driving up to her house, parking my car, entering the door, sitting down in the chair – and then – I could remember all of that in reverse order when I left a session, but I could not remember anything in between.  Looking back now, would it have been helpful for us to explore and describe what dissociation was and how it was affecting me and my life?  Or would that have been too much for me to handle at the time?]

February 15, 1983 Tuesday 2:30 AM

[This entry may trigger for those with sexual abuse histories – be careful or skip it!  I have never known whether or not I have sexual abuse in my past, but this entry is suspicious!]

I awoke a while ago to the feeling of Leo lightly running his fingers along the contours of my body.  In that state of half awake, half slumber, I remember thinking he was drawing me, and I was imagining all the varying shades of grey as he was drawing them.

Suddenly he touched the area around my vagina, still lightly and tenderly.  But I was instantly startled and turned from my stomach to face him on my side.  It felt like a violation in that it surprised me, like a form of rape.

I wasn’t real honest with him when he asked me if he could make love to me.  I said he could.  I laid passive and the thought at one point was of men raping female corpses in morgues.

I know he loves me.

[2009 note:  I had a friend at this time who I tried to talk about my feelings with who told me she painted her fingernails while her husband had sex with her.  This reminds me of “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  Certainly I had never gone through any of my childhood developmental stages normally.  I was never allowed to be pretty in my teens, to wear makeup, date, have friends, or explore my reality with peers.  At this point in my life whatever self I had knew I was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’, and this knowledge showed up in all kinds of places, including the bedroom and not soon after, even in my own house.]

February 18, 1983

Thinking about sending out letters or invitations to a tea when I move into my space.

It could explain what and why I am doing it, as well as invite women to celebrate with me at an open-house – tea.  [I wrote a 2-page list of women I thought of inviting.]

February 18, 1983 Friday 10 PM

Talked on phone to Janet tonight about my exit from class on Wed and fight with Melody.  Her reaction was “She’s not worth it, tootsie.”  I’m going to take her Monday 6:30 dance class.  Feels good.

Leo had thought racing, anger, depression today thinking about me getting my degree and in two years taking off and leaving him and he not wanting that – loving me – and wanting to be around to share in my independence at that point.

In process thinking –

Janet is encouraging me in my “experiment” and has told the women in her Thurs. night group she goes to and they think it’s neat.  She thinks I need to write and publish about it.  Told Leo he could do some writing on his growth, change, process in relation to this.  I also think I could note part of what I see him going through so I’ll have some reference point.  Also may help me get out of myself some.

Need to add in dream journal that someone had a fuzzy brown pet rat (mine was black and white) and it wasn’t mean.

Bought books at MSU today.  Reading “Fear of Life” by Alexander Lowen.  Bioenergetic analysis, grounding.

February 24, 1983 Thursday 10:30 AM

Need to be on my way soon to take the learning class final for psych – finally.  Not sure that I’ll get above a C on this, but don’t care.  I need to be done as I should graduate then.

Wore my new blue nail polish today – not every day one becomes a graduate.

Going with Kathy to Grand Forks to hear Rollo May.  [2009 note:  No memory of this.]

Get to go to my new room Saturday and move furniture.  Could move in Tuesday.  Must pay rent then.  Well, here goes!!!!


Change and growth.  Termination.  Talk to girls about loss.  Assure Leo of honesty and that there’ll be no surprises if we tell each other what comes up for us as it does.  We don’t have models for people to go away and come back.  You’ve said this and I don’t want to push it.


February 24, 1983 Thursday 3:15 PM

Notes on Rollo May talk, “Creativity as Significant Form

Incomplete gestalt.  We try to make form.  There’s no substance, but the form that relates things together.  Pathagearos – Beautiful Form, makes the vision in the Parthenon.  Stars have the music if we only had the ears to hear it.  Without form, there’s nothing.  Genesis is not concerned with the material, but with the form, the image.  Fantasy, sleep, dreams, striving for form – we’re constantly searching – either with passion or with mild curiosity.  We are in a decaying age which is also reconstructing.  Form = essential nature of a thing, not the matter.

(I am a creative person)

Especially creative person can confront chaos and put it into form (similar to God).  Chaos over form.  Challenge, call to make something out of chaos.  Richness and complexity are attractive to creative people.  Chaos makes us anxious.  Challenge to communicate.  Without anxiety = heightened sensitivity, there’s no creative person.

Form and color are interrelated.  Color changes form, form changes color.  Form is embodiment of content – outer shape of an idea – penetration of inner relationships.  Our inner self and outer world are juxtaposed.

In coming together of inner and outer there is born language or symbols – illustrates how we are always living in two worlds.  Abstract – concrete.  Internal – external.  Right (poetic) versus left.  Problem in creativity is to bring the 2 together.

Picasso, looking at photo:  “She’s pretty small and flat.”

Creative people struggle.

Discrepancy of what is real and what is perceived.

Abstract can’t ever be made concrete without altering its essence.

SYMBOL – in Greek – drawing with, drawing together.  The world of symbols is world of culture.

Artist can tolerate the anxiety, not overwhelmed by the gaps, and not tempted to fill the gaps too hastily.

Creative persons have greater courage to face the gap, court chaos, invite it, gives them ecstasy of finding their own internal forms.

Artist wants to maintain this ecstasy – form is always changing every day we start again.  Each time hoping “this time I have it,” but always after it changes, the form changes.

Form = perception of chaos.  Every constructive form begins with de-construction.  Creativity:  The divine madness.  The anxiety of being lost leads to creativity.

We have ways of avoiding anxiety.  None of us can confront our personal hell alone; we need a “buddy”.  People use religion to be this “friend.”

Artist is not only creating the painting, but also are creating themselves – are non-conformers and must listen to their own drummers, create their own morality but are moral.  “Forge uncreated conscious of the race.”

A new vision – great saints are burned by one generation and worshiped by the next.

Grace and creativity – human dilemma as we try to unify abstract-concrete, etc.

Despair – tragic bond [or balm?] can be shown through form.

Balm – present in art, present in tragedy and nobility together.

Reconstruction of order is continually being reconstructed.  Form = new order.  Present in ordering of the present, present in the human spirit.

Making some thing out of no thing.

Eventually bazaar form becomes conventional.  Symbols pull together a meaningless world.

Metaphorical thinking:  “How is spinach like a light bulb?”  etc.  Can get poetry.

The pause is not nothing.  Listen to the silence.  Technology calls pauses depressions.  PAUSING – the kind of aloneness of a creative person

ROLLO MAY:  It is the most dangerous time when an artist reaches success, not when they’re living on bread.

Our society pretends to honor art, but does not really encourage it.  Our society does not like art.  Rollo hopes this will change along with the radical social changes that are bound to occur in the next 3 or 4 decades.

As a country we are not able to face the chaos.

Nuclear arms race – a denial of our culture of chaos – denial of destruction.


February 26, 1983 Saturday 7:15 AM

I felt exhausted last night and not sure why I’m up so early today.  I was able, though, to catch Ramona as she began her five hour cartoon vigil and told her “no”, back to bed.

Ate toast with banana, now drinking hot cocoa and smoking.

It seems strange how I reacted to finishing school.  Leo has been so happy for me – so sweet and pleased I feel angry inside and cried.  He bought me a turn-table and a beautiful card, and I cried.

Ann says she can’t go to school full-time until Twana graduates as she has to support them.  And yet it was hard for me to handle last Thurs. when Leo said, “I think I deserve some recognition, too.”  Mixed feelings.

Went to my first Al-Anon meeting with Ann and Leo last night.  I need to go to Al-Anon.

Need more meetings – need to go back through treatment?

Ann asked if in regard to graduation I was scared – “Losing your security blanket?”

March 4, 1983 Friday

Well, it’s 9:15 PM and at last I’m here in my room.  Made the move.  Boxes of things to put away.  No one’s in the house but me.  It’s quiet, but have the jazz radio station playing.  Sitting here in the burnt orange rocker – comfortable chair – smoking a cigarette and drinking cranberry juice.  I feel sleepy.

It’s really raining out.  Warm.  Seems strange for winter – is strange!

It’s now 11:30 and everything’s put away and I’m going to bed.  I feel the distance between me and my family.  Leo was sad today and tonight and I cried last night.  Kay says she doesn’t want to think about me being gone and doesn’t want Dad to remind her.

March 5, 1983

I can think and not be interrupted – be with myself – get to know myself –

I want to see into the holes in my silence.

I am already feeling a little bored and lonely.  Here I am in my castle tower, waiting for someone to rescue me?


I’m not surrounded by 101 things to do, that “have” to be done.  That’ll feel different.

[2009 note:  I remember having a reoccurring fantasy when I was 9 or 10, around the time of *Age 10 – NIGHTMARES AND BED WETTING.  Looking back, it always felt like a dream, but it happened at night in bed.  It was like taking a repeated turn in a road and ending up in the same place over and over again, night after night.  I would suddenly be alone, having been kidnapped, tied up and sitting on the floor inside a dark truck trailer, like a semi trailer but not as big.  I would be scared in the ‘vision’, waiting and hoping with all my heart someone would notice I was missing and would love me enough to look for me, find me, and take me home.  Nobody ever did.  Over and over again I would be back in that darkness, alone, scared, waiting, wanting and hoping to be loved, found and rescued.  I DID need to be rescued from the time I was born and for the following 18 years of abuse.  Nobody ever did, and I carry that underlying need within me still.  I believe that is a basic human desire when we are in danger and powerless to save ourselves.  In cases of abuse as severe as mine was, the need to be rescued built itself into every fiber of my body.  I needed to recognize that, and I still do.]

2:30 AM

Ridiculous time for bed.  Spent day with girls and at Ann’s playing “Survive” also with Leo.  Stayed late at Kate’s party.  Jenn was home but not here now.

Talked with Leo about dispensable versus indispensable in a relationship.

Old scripting – maiden to be rescued – as child probably hoped someone would rescue me.

March 6, 1983 Sunday

So, I have a need to be rescued.  Preferably by men. Dreamt about another man last night, but don’t know who it was, who basically said to leave him alone and concentrate on Leo.

Book Halfway Through the Door: An actor’s journey toward the self by Alan Arkin

Lack of personal resources.  Shangri-la, Mom called the homestead that.

I’d like to read a biolgraphy on Einstein, reprogramming our brains to clean circuits.  [2009 Linda note:  I wasn’t too far off track with this idea!]

Important breakthroughs (in self growth) are accompanied by feelings of defeat.

FREEDOM from our conception of ourselves

When it is time for something to leave you, it will go.

“We all see only what we want to see; we accept of the world what conveniently fits into our limited perceptions.”  P. 28

The world changes with our vision of ourselves.

“When we attach ourselves to objects in order to make ourselves happy, we do not develop the ability to make ourselves happy.  We depend on things to make us happy.”  P. 31

March 7, 1983 Monday

Today’s the first day of the new quarter and it’s icy and cold, snowy and wind 25-30 mph.  As I’m at the Room, don’t know if Leo left for Lisbon under these conditions or if the girls have school.

Leo just called, so far he’s still at home.  Said the radio announcer spent 35 minutes getting the 5 mile distance to work this morning.  I’m glad he’s not on the highways.

He asked if I’d help “fixate” him so he could masturbate to get semen for the sperm count test.  I said “no.”

I don’t think I want any sex unless it’s self sex in this room.  I’d like to hold to that.

Self talk:  “What kind of a wife are you?”

March 8, 1983 Tuesday

If there’s such a thing as a man who’s a womanizer, is there such a thing as a woman who’s a manizer?

If there is, my mother always thought and accused me of being this.

It was real naïve of me to think I could sleep with Pat’s friend Jim in Calif without sex becoming an issue.

March 9, 1983 Wednesday

Kathy says I need to spend 10-15 [minutes?] each day looking specifically at childhood issues.

March 10, 1983 Thursday

If I had a loving mother she could jar my memory by providing biographical information like photos, dates, places we lived, etc.  But if I had a loving mother none of this would be important and I would probably not be doing this.

[2009 Linda note:  Dissociation plays havoc with any ability to sequentially or coherently remember my life.  All of it happened to someone else.  It is only through efforts that I have been able to claim any part of my childhood as my own because there were so many of “me” experiencing all the splintered, dissociated experiences that it was hard to find a “me” that could – can – hold them all together.  A loving mother?  No, nothing about me or my life would have been the same if my mother had not been so damaged and sick that she had to be THAT mean to me.]

Started a chronological time scale today for my first 18 years.  [2009 note:  It’s only now, 26 years later that I have been able to figure out all the moves our family made through my mother’s letters.]

I probably don’t need to play around with my meds right now.  Leave them be at 150 mg, Linda.  Give yourself a chance to go at this with a clear head and steady mood.

I need to know that what I do and go through in relation to my childhood is real and not bio-chemical.

What a confusing childhood.  I don’t even know where I lived when!

March 11, 1983 Friday.

Don’t know quite what I feel like dong.  Going home and wait for Leo?  Picking up Ramona at Zimmerman’s tomorrow?

I’ve got some “shoulds” going on here.  Also perhaps some avoidance as felt anxious in the room today as didn’t get out until noon.  It’s sunny and beautiful out, would actually like to lay in a park.

(Went out to Glyndon).

March 13, 1983 Sunday

It’s 11:30 PM and I’ve been trying to get to sleep and can’t.  When I laid down, I realized Kay hadn’t called me when she got home from her friend’s house.  I wondered if her choice not to have dad go and get her this morning wasn’t passive-aggressive anger at me.  Now I feel hurt and disappointed and angry at her manipulations.  I could have called her tonight, now angry at myself that I didn’t think of it.  Started drawing and that was that.  I’d call Leo, but he’s probably sleeping now and I don’t want to wake him up.

I want to remember to call the girls at 7:45 tomorrow morning and ask them to take venison hamburger out of the freezer and put it in the oven.  As I went to open AA today.  Can skip tomorrow’s noon meeting and drive out to Glyndon, work on weaving and supper and be there when girls get home from school.  Then head back in at 5:45 to pick up Kathryn and be at dance class by 6:30.

It’s midnight now, and I did call Leo and he was still up.  He’ll take out the meat and tell the girls I’ll be home when they get home from school tomorrow.

I cried real tears, so I know I can cry here.  I miss Kay and I miss Leo tonight (he felt that was neat to hear, and also that this weekend was productive).  Kay went out there to make money babysitting and didn’t get paid any.

When I was laying in bed I was vaguely remembering as a child that I used to go to sleep many nights with my pillow soaked with tears.  A cold, wet pillow – Yuck.

Leo said he held Kay [age 12] tonight and she cried.  She also said she’s angry at me for leaving.  While that’s not comfortable for me to hear (I don’t like people mad at me) I’m glad she could verbalize with him that she misses me and is angry.

I worry about her being an alcoholic and would like her to be able to deal with feelings when she’s younger and maybe it’ll help when she’s older.

I bet she misses me as she can’t tell me she needs hugs if I’m not there.

(I’m losing tears again).

I watched a man at open AA this morning holding his daughter on his lap.  They were in the front row and were looking at a book.  She must have been about 7.  He stroked and smoothed her hair and it was so neat and warm to see.  (Like Leo holding Kay).

I missed my Dad holding me.  I wonder when the last time was he held me.  I’m sure Mom would have or did do her best to keep him from ever fondly touching me.

Too much like sex, or incest, I suppose, in our family for that kind of holding to have occurred.

It’ll be good and special if Leo and the girls get closer while I’m gone.  The gift of having a father that cares and can show it is something I never had or probably will have.

I like sleeping with my arms around Kay’s soft, fuzzy stuffed puppy.

I’m creating a safe place here for myself to be with myself, and, finally, cry.


Trust your process,


It means to be kind

To you.

Everything fits together

In time

You can heal yourself

With God’s help

And the gifts

You’ve been given

A man loves you

And your children



And you do deserve


And their love

And you deserve

To love

And heal


You’re ready now

To do this work

To dive under the waves

I have feared that current

(the “undertoad”)

dragging me down

where there’s no air

to breath


tears that heal

snot in your nose


hard to breathe

and like my daughter said

“You’ll have puffy eyes

for awhile,


I’d forgotten to take my pills tonight.  Ann Shaef says we use our addictions to block our processes.  I still want a cigarette.

Some times I know

When I’m getting close

To my pain

As I cry

I can hear

The ocean roaring

In my head.

I know I back away.

It’s not OK to make noise.

No wonder I couldn’t sleep.  I’m starting the 7th page here.  A lot was going on inside.

Just learn to “be with”



As women who cared

Used to “be with”

Each other in child birth.

I miss Betty Lou, too.

And this wool blanket

Is so warm on my

Legs as I sit here,

She gave it to us for

A wedding present.

I’m going to have a cigarette now.  I’ve been crying for ½ an hour.

March 15, 1983 Tuesday

Men are raised to be rescuers, saving women from all the world’s woes.

It’s a myth, a lie.

Women are raised to believe they’ll be rescued, that life will be a joy of healthy, happy, rosy-cheeked children.

If they have a good man.  That’s all they’ll ever need.

This also is a lie.

So women are shocked to find they can’t be rescued and men are shocked to find they can’t rescue.

People expect others to take their loneliness away from them.  I think part of Leo’s missing me so much is maybe my not being there for his loneliness.  I’m not rescuing him from that.

I hope he can learn to enjoy his own company; if that’s the problem.  He said on the phone tonight that he’s feeling distant – that he’s withdrawing.  What is that?

“Am I supposed to feel threatened?”

Are we asking too much of each other?

March 16, 1983 Wednesday

Sitting here at NDSU eating a taco and writing.  Just finished with dance class – before that, chiropractor, work and class.  Wednesdays are busy days.

(There must be a big fire, trucks and sirens going.)

I wonder if Leo could translate any of his “missing Linda” feelings to how one could feel without their chemical – addiction?

Work sure has been busy.  Don’t have the help from work study I’ve had before.  Keeps me running.

March 17, 1983 Thursday – St. Patrick’s Day

I can’t actually remember much about getting spanked.  I’m sure there were times when I had to take my pants down and I wonder how old I might have been if she stopped that.

[2009 note:  I could not remember them as beatings at this time.  The bare bottom beatings continued until I was at least 12.  I think that part of the abuse ceased when I was old enough to menstruate, but the physical power of my mother’s beatings, and their duration and intensity continued to escalate through the last summer I was at home, before my 18th birthday.  I have never gone back into my body to remember a beating – and I doubt I ever will.  I see no purpose for that, and no healing.]

I don’t think I ever really squirmed when she spanked me.  Times when I put my hands back to protect me, they would get hit, too.  I know, too, there were times I had many bruises on my legs, thighs, buttocks and back.

She used to hit me with things and then make me pay for them when they broke.  (hairbrushes, kitchen utensils, etc).

Mom literally expected perfection of me, especially where domestic chores were involved.

Talked to chiro Whittenberg yesterday about what I’m doing and he talked about faith and fear being opposites and about Got being everywhere and no place where He’s not.

He also said all those childhood experiences are literally a part of me.  He offered help if I need it in talking, etc.

[2009 note:  I am thinking about ‘sanitizing’ abuse memories, even what we might possibly remember about extreme brutalization in childhood.  I think about it in the medical framework, how as soon as possible a rescuing EMT person would assess damage, stop bleeding, try to stabilize, sanitize wounds.  Our internal wounds are with us the rest of our lives, unlike the colorful bruises.]

March 19, 1983 Saturday 12:30 AM

Ramona is here in my Moorhead room spending the night.  Kay is at Ann’s.  Leo just left us off here.  He and I went bowling and ate out.  He planned to bring girls but Kay chose to stay with Tia and Ramona at Grandma’s,

It’ll probably feel lonely to Leo to go to Glyndon alone.

He showed me the letter with test results on sperm count and they’re normal – 133 million.  He’s blaming himself that we haven’t conceived a baby in these 5 years we’ve been without birth control.  Neither of us are willing to take permanent steps not to have another child, though certainly not now – and I’m not sure ever.  [2009 note:  Hard to believe – being that dumb?  The last thing we needed was to bring another child into this MESS!  I was so tied and bound into my past, and I could not escape it.]

I’m not near as interested in sex as he is as I feel blocked inside myself.  I did decide today to start telling him I love him – take the risk and see what happens.  I felt tears come into my eyes when I told him that as we drove to the bowling alley tonight.

I brought Kay in with me today as I spent yesterday afternoon at Glyndon helping Colleen sew her read dress, and spent the night there.  Had external studies conference I’d agreed to attend today.

Sue [no idea who this was] was here until 4:30 AM Thurs. evening and we talked, so was tired yesterday.  Also have period, but felt good today.  Enjoyed time with Leo.  He really does love me.

Jay married Sue who has 9 children and drinks.  My need to control says I’m not pleased with his choice.

I want to write Dad.

Been feeling paranoid while out today and interpreted it as fear of car accident.  Sort of seems like a premonition, but probably I misplace the feeling as don’t know exactly where it comes from.  FEAR = unfaith as Whittenberg says.

Figured out grid and distortion for art assignment.  I’m excited about it, combining fern and glacier pictures into a circle.

Don’t know if I want to see Kathy [therapist] every week.  Perhaps do need that “guidance” now, though.

Leo is getting more used to having me gone.

March 21, 1983 Monday

Never knew as a child when I was going to get into trouble, so felt premonition-fear-paranoia most of the time.  Free-floating fear, heightened awareness.

People that love me make me be good.

Crawling around under fresh windrows [in the fields dad cleared on the homestead] smell of soil.

Holding mirrors up to [reflect] in each other.

March 22, 1983 Tuesday

I don’t want to die – I don’t want to be dead.  I want to live.

March 23, 1983 Wednesday

I’m at NDSU for class.   I feel angry tonight.  Very lonely, too.  In that lonely place nobody else can come to.  Maybe lonely for myself.

I thought of walking in front of a fast moving car on 11th street today.  That’s a game I used to play with Pat in the Navy.  He used to keep me from doing it.

I wanted to take my money out of the bank and go to San Diego or Alaska today.

I wanted to kill myself, or someone else.  Fuck someone.  Take some acid.  As Sue said, to go backwards.

[2009 note:  I believe the deep desire to be rescued is somehow connected to the deep desire to escape.  Dire traumatic experiences, especially from childhood abuse and traumas, create a bond between these two desires that becomes like a physical overwhelming force inside the body along with a conflict to ‘give in’ or ‘give up’.]

I don’t want to be a student right now.  I don’t want to read and study, or do my drawing assignment.

I’m letting things pile up and feeling pressure, and part of me doesn’t care.

Part of me wants to quit eating.  I want to control others.  A game.

Cried a lot last night.  Terribly restless (desperate) today.

Maybe I can go to Kathryn’s to draw.

Resenting “ordinary” people.  I don’t deserve what I have.  Some cosmic joke.  I should be dead.

Crisis – mental hospital – afraid I won’t make it.

[I made a little drawing at me at the edge of a crevasse, with a bubble saying]  “I won’t make it!  I’m alone.  No one cares.  Please, won’t someone help me!”

[There’s a drawing of a large woman with a big stick beating a tiny picture of me]

Linda, Pat withdrew from you because you were crazy and he couldn’t handle it –

I met Dawn here and she says I can come over Saturday and talk with her a little, but basically read at her house.

March 24, 1983 Thursday

I wonder if that incident where mom threw me in the puddle over and over and made me say “I am a pig” had anything to do with Steve’s dirty diapers I changed and left outside and didn’t clean out.  That would have been the summer after Tucson.

[2009 note:  Dissociation in action.  It was not many months after this that my sister told me about her memory of this incident and as she told me the memory came back to me instantly because at THAT moment she was telling me, I had no memory of this every happening.  Very interesting to see that I wrote about it here.  Shifting, transient recall of memories – and then, gone again — see *Age 13 – DIRTY DIAPER AND PEPPLES IN MY KNEES]

March 27, 1983 Sunday 9:45 PM

Leo and the girls have been here since noon.  Leo brought pork steak and potatoes (already peeled) for dinner.  We played “Survive” but I got upset and wrecked the board after a whirlpool took my boat.  Had gone to planetarium but no more seats and had seen Debra there who was rude last Wed. and wouldn’t say hello, and I was upset at her.

Finished my round distorted grid problem today due tomorrow in drawing class.  Went bowling at MSU.  Feel tired.

For a long time I used to say I didn’t believe in cameras.  If one couldn’t capture something by eye when it happened, then one didn’t need it.

One grows to see people differently over time.  I hope my view of Leo grows richer.

When I left the homestead I took pictures.  I knew it was “the end” that day and I was leaving.  I was given a camera for graduation.

March 28, 1983 Monday

I was Kay’s age when the earthquake hit 19 years ago yesterday.  Then I got my period for the first time.

After spending time with the girls yesterday with Leo I could feel the difference from being with him alone.  If we didn’t have any more children, we’d have more years.  God willing, to be with each other alone.

I wonder if I’d stood up to Mom what Dad would have done.

[2009 note:  Reading my words from 26 years ago, I can see that I’ve always had multiple levels both to my thoughts and to my ongoing experience of life.  I could (can) never tell when I was going to fall through one ongoing level of experience down into another one that runs parallel but not “in” the current one (interference with current ongoing experience that creates incoherency within a lifespan).

This is part of the dissociational experience, part of the problem with organization and orientation created in the brain by ongoing severe abuse during critical brain developmental stages.  Things are layered for me, associated and organized within me in their own way – the way that formed within me to let me survive overwhelming repeated and nearly continual ongoing traumas in childhood

The experiences of my life could not be coherently connected together in an ongoing thread of experiencing my life.  These trauma memories are stored concurrently, and can be activated like state shifts happening with the switching of channels on a television set – only they are real and perpetually stored within me.]

March 28, 1983 2 AM

Just finished reading By sanction of the victim by Patte Wheat.

I remember the sunrise the night Mom made me sleep in the car all folded up with my head under the steering wheel.  [see  *Age 15 – FORCED TO WATCH AN ALASKAN SUNRISE]  She’d come out and check on me.

Standing in the corner by the back door of the trailer and she’d peel of hunks of bar soap [she kept stuffed in her apron pocket] and make me eat it.

Locking me in the crate that was to be a shed or for the generator when it was by the front of the house.  [see  *Age 14 – Gardening and the Sabotage]

Throwing me in the mud puddle over and over and making me say “I am a pig.  I am a pig.”

Rolling around the bed in the trailer bedroom while she tried to hit [bash] me with a long chunk of firewood.

Swinging me around the living room on the base where we lived when I was a senior in high school.  [see *Age 17 – What My Parents Taught Me About Racism]

Making me ride in the back seat floor of the car and hitting me.  [see *AGE 7 – MUD PUDDLE INCIDENT]

There’s a point where you go numb and you have to choose not to feel any more in order to survive.

The thing about money and having to pay for things – and pay for things that were broken when they were used to hit me.

Being put in a room without any furniture with baby Steve at LaMay’s apartment to play with him all day and I remember picking raspberries.

I used to think my mother was “just” an overly critical perfectionist.

Writing thousands of sentences and being allowed “out” to watch war movie on Poland.  [2009 note:  I was banned from watching TV in the apartment we were living in when I was in the 8th grade – mother let me out so I could watch the WWII movies about the bombing devastation and death in Poland – telling me I should have been there so that would have happened to me, that’s what I deserved.  I had a ‘take in ironing’ job at this time mother had demanded of me so that I could earn money to pay her back for the things I had ‘ruined’ and that she had broken on my body while she beat me.  See *Age 13+ – MY MOTHER’S RIDICULOUS LIST.]

Steven playing with pebbles on stroller tray in Oregon on trip back to Alaska from Tucson.  [see *Age 14 – SILENT TREATMENT.]

I remember scrubbing and waxing floors, on my knees, the winter at Flint’s apartments (8th grade?)

Going to the hospital while dad visited mom when David was born (4th grade).

April 2, 1983 Saturday 3:30 PM

I’m meeting Marlene here at Sher’s for coffee – she’ll be here in about ten minutes.  Walking in I saw my art teacher – she honked, smiled and waved – I waved back.  I’ve just spent some real frustrating hours trying to figure out how I’m going to do my drawing assignment for her class.  We’re taking features from 6 artists’ portraits and putting them together into one.  I didn’t want to do a man, but nothing much of drawings of females to work with.  I wanted to make some kind of statement of mood, but it’s not coming together very well.  Will do one fair, young face and behind and to left probably do an old woman’s face.  Wanted to work a unicorn in there to represent eternal youth, and do heads in frame of a mirror.

7 PM – I’m in Glyndon now.  Leo and girls are at Larry and Echo’s.  The house is very neat and clean.  It’s my home, and yet I also feel like I don’t have a home.  Alienated – That’s how I feel.  From people, my family, pets, home, even my body and myself.  I feel sad, like I want to cry, but I can’t.

Jay married Sue with the 9 kids, if I haven’t mentioned it before.  He hasn’t said anything to us about it.

They colored some beautiful swirly eggs.  I like them.

I feel hopeless like I got made wrong and I can’t get fixed.  My body is healed of the childhood wounds, bruises; but inside I haven’t healed yet – I don’t even know if I’ve started yet.  I don’t have the option of getting high to forget this all like I used to.

7:30 called my sister Cindy.

April 7, 1983 Wednesday

Trying to get all reading done for midterm at NDSU tonight so I’ll still have time to go to dance class.

Leo called at 7:45 this AM to tell me checks are bounding at the bank.

I get in this office and my mind wanders, but no $ to buy coffee at Union and it’s free here.  Very tired of school and reading text books.

Wednesday 12:10 AM – Took my final at NDSU tonight and found myself becoming angry at the test.  I hate tests.  Asking about all these studies – names and results.  There wee hundreds of studies cited in the text.  A person would have to memorize them all to be ready for 10 questions?  Crazy – I think!

Afterward at 9 I picked Alice [Leo’s mother] up from work and we had coffee.

I felt scared that she’s right and I just need to forget my past and continue from here.  I haven’t been spending my 10 or 15 minutes a day remembering.  I’m not convinced it will help get to the feelings or unfreeze me.

One wheel on my trike drawing came out smaller than the other one.  Uh-oh!

April 14, 1983 Thursday

This is the 2nd week I’ve missed an AA/NA meeting.  Totally forget about Thursday at 1 PM – or Tuesday night.  Today I’m depressed, angry underneath.  I need to cry, but class is in 20 minutes.  Probably will have 4 or 5 women and men speakers on alcoholism.  Appropriate.

Have letter here from ‘Mom’ I’m going to try to read.

April 15, 1983 Friday midnight

At Larry and Myra’s – saw the play Larry directed on “Jonah” I liked it.  They are all at a party after the play, but I chose not to go.  I’m feeling tired and am ready for bed.  Girls are at home – Kay with Mark, Mona with Grandma.

Thought about federal jobs coming up and possibility of Alaska move at some point.

Talked about “looking down my nose” at people up there – maggots.  Sourdoughs versus Chechakos – [my mother’s attitudes]

April 21, 1983 Thursday 1 AM

Had fish bowl exercise in class tonight.  Men and women need to learn to be friends not in lines of sex or sexes, but as friends.

April 22, 1983

What would I do if tomorrow morning I woke up a man?  What would be different in my life?  My first response to Kathryn was “I’d go to Alaska.”

[2009 note:  26 years later I can say that the homesickness I felt was connected to my attachment to that place, but I can also say that if I had found a way back there, it would have helped my healing.  I still felt in exile with my parents still being up there.]

I finished my collage last night and I actually like it.

I feel as though I’m wasting time today.  Whenever I’m not doing something constructive – doing anything at all – I’m wasting time.

Kay’s going to be with me tonight.  We’re going to a carnival at Riverside school and then she’ll stay with Echo and Kathryn and I will go to NA meeting.  Tomorrow she and I are going to West Acres mall to get our hair cut.

I need to do my dream drawing this week-end.

April 22, 1983 Friday 12:45 AM

Just returned from Friday NA.  Kay’s here, sleeping.  I chose to own a thought I had in the bathroom just now – I’m not sure I want to go home, be married, be a parent.  It feels confusing.

Like the sinful, bad Linda would say this.  [2009 note:  It is especially difficult to find, claim, heal a child abused self when sectioning off what parts of us are OK and which are not means there are parts of our ‘self’ we cannot allow ourselves to accept.  Hard to achieve any sense of wholeness that way!]

Also wanting to be close to Marlin – now sexually – just close to him because I value him as a person and as a part in my life.

April 24, 1983 Sunday.

Slept long and well last night.  Hopefully flu bug is gone.

I am keeping a lot inside.  Especially my fears.  A lot of fears.

What if I don’t want to be married?  Merle Shain says it’s an even balance 6 of one and half a dozen of the other as far as being married or being single.

Diania reminded me of this.  Why does part of me rebel against going back to my house/home in Glyndon?  She says we have to compromise like she does – not wanting to live in Glyndon and being a parent all the time, but, as far as parenting goes, liking the other choices less.

Marlin was talking about communes yesterday.

He is a special person to me, but I probably need to let go of that.  Leave him alone.  I want nurturing from him.  Like Diania says, neither he nor I had any of that in our childhoods.

Professionally:  Growth groups for both male and female victims of child abuse.

April 25, 1983 Monday – before dance class

I think I’m missing Leo tonight.  I would have liked to have seen him for a little while.  Ramona called me 4 times today – she says she’s bored, no one to play with.  She’s probably lonely, too.

Spent time with Marlin yesterday.  It felt safe and OK.  I’m not sure I want to go to dance tonight.  My body needs it.

April 27, 1983 Wednesday after dance

At NDSU with my taco again.

I’m concerned about going to Glyndon tomorrow night for Kay’s program.  Right now I don’t want to spend the night there.  I should oughta ‘cause Leo would probably like company in his bed.

I like sleeping alone.  I toss and turn enough by myself.

Later – 11:10 – Right now I feel very comfortable in my room.  I feel like I could stay here for quite some time.  I still feel guilty that I haven’t had more contact with Kathryn downstairs, but am concerned that we’d get too close and I need space.

I had a good session with Katy last night and want to listen to the tapes.  Had lunch with drawing teacher Deb Rockman today and that was good.  New outside assignment, captive, surrender.

Got an A on midterm at NDSU, was amazed.  Going to Glyndon as I mentioned.

Starting to feel like a separate person from Leo and I like that.

I want nurturing touch.  I don’t know how to do this for myself – or to have  a man do this for me – or a woman.

Midnight – I just spent some time naked and massaged my front and legs with oil and listened to ½ hour of my tape with Kathy from last night.  Needing to touch myself, heal myself.

Not ignoring my spiritual side.  Tempting to be carnal sometimes.  Getting to know myself.  Who I am.  Who I need.

I’d like to draw a wolf for Marlin for his 25th birthday.

April 28, 1983 midnight

Went to Kay’s program and I’m back in my room – tired.  Had thought about spending night in Glyndon, but felt restless and uncomfortable . . .  like I was late for an important date – here – with myself.  Like I merge into myself here or a part of myself.

Kay’s program was about movie scores and was very good.  Alice and Roy came out.  Met Diania there.  Leo made dessert dumplings afterward.

He started to read “By Sanction of the Victim” tonight.  I asked him to take notes if he will or can on his feelings and reactions.

Stopped by Jim and Casey’s for a few minutes at 4:30 today.  Haven’t seen them for a long time.  Jim’s graduating Sun.  I wish he’d get help with his drinking.

Leo loves me and is very good to me.

— Just thought about being in the gym in Eagle River for lunch, eating an orange (a treat) and noticing the tiny, tiny waist of a Mexican girl in my class.  She was new in school, and had quite a figure for 7th grade.

April 30, 1983 Saturday

Don’t I let Leo be my friend?  He is my husband.  Can’t I let him be my friend?

Sex is the fruit of labor.  (Struggle/work with the relationship)  The flower has to come first.

May 6, 1983 Friday

Leo just came by and Marlin was here.  Either I’m supposed to be alone or with him.

May 7, 1983 Saturday 8:40 AM

Here it is.  One week into May.  Strange times.

Going to a Mother-Daughter brunch with Alice at 10 this morning.  Still waking up as in bed at 2:45 AM.

If I trusted my process more I’d be able to say “I’m doing the things I am because I need to.”  Instead, I feel guilty being with Marlin, but I think it is good for me to be with him and get in touch with some things in me that haven’t been present.

Cuddling a sleeping Marlin in my arms last night felt nice.  I’ve never experienced that before.  I don’t remember sitting at night in a car with a man before.  Mark said we were “parking.”  We talked about boot camp, mostly.

I’m going to take a shower.

May 8, 1983 Sunday

Today is Mother’s Day.  I feel sad I’m not home with my family.  They’ll be in at 11 AM for the open meeting and then over here to get me – 1 PM big relative crowd at Alice’s’ but we’ll eat there, then to Glyndon for a barbeque.  My stomach feels tight – like I’m nervous or scared.  Maybe Leo and I can go to the river and talk for awhile.

Pat asked me to marry him on Mother’s Day 1971.  Then went out to sea and came back in the brig.  I did love him, and told him, and it was dangerous, I think.

I have my period.

Supposed to be 70 degrees today.

They’re supposed to be calling me from Bemidji tomorrow.  [2009 note:  This is the first journal reference to a specialized victim and addiction, very intensive out patient treatment center in Bemidji, MN.]

They’re playing “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” on the radio.  I miss my Grandma.  I’m sure mom is also thinking of her today.  I didn’t send mom a card for Mother’s Day.  I don’t think I know what I feel about that.

May 12, 1983

(for external studies newsletter)

It’s been a long journey from the Alaskan mountain homestead where I was raised to receiving this degree from Moorhead State University.

Linda’s interests in women and minorities has led her to pursue training in the 14-month chemical dependency counselor program at the Fergus Falls State Hospital.  She eventually hopes to research women and addiction from a feminist perspective and possibly complete a doctoral program in psychology.

May 12, 1983 Thursday

Did validation exercises in class tonight.

May 18, 1983 - A list made my a 31-year-old in crisis
May 18, 1983 - A self in crisis - but I had a list, by golly!

May 19, 1983 Thursday 3 PM

Just received my Graduation present delivered to my door.  It’s 3 helium balloons, and a certificate for a hot-air balloon ride – from Leo.  What a sweet heart.  I first realized I wanted to do that a year ago when Eileen T. was leaving.  The balloons say “congratulations graduate” class of ’83.  [2009 note:  I never took the ride.]

I want my roll of film!  There!  I found it and Richelle took a picture of me with my balloons.

Just ironed my gown.

It bothers me that I have no conscious memory of my high school graduation.  No picture of me in cap and gown.  I had a tassel for years, but Pat got rid of that.  Am I going to forget this graduation as completely?

[2009 note:  Again, see *Age 17 – What My Parents Taught Me About Racism .  I didn’t get to go to my own high school graduation – and THAT’S what I forgot!]

May 20, 1983 Friday


It’s 9:30 and just finished my workout.  Going at 10 for practice graduation.

Things I’d like to do this summer:

Find a place to live

Find a part-time job

Take one art class

Go to groups

Go to counseling

Take a dance class

Spend time in the woods



Finish incompletes

May 24, 1983 Tuesday

It’s grey, cold, windy – a good day to lay around in bed except I’m going to get cheese from clay Wilkin and bring Kathryn from downstairs this AM.

Trust your Higher Power

I don’t need someone in my life who can tell me what an awful person I was when I was 5 years old.

It looks like today’s a good day to work and try to finish there.  Maybe there’s boxes from the butter and cheese.  Wednesday I can sun tan.

I need to say I hope Marlin had fun camping rather than be jealous.

May 25, 1983 Wednesday

Went to Tuesday NA meeting and really liked it last night.  Then out to coffee which was surprisingly good for me.  Got to talk about “staying in today” and how that’s hard when one is experiencing feelings like anger, jealousy, and envy.  But they are feelings and I stayed with myself with them.

Finished my work-study job yesterday and today need to go over and get my things out of the office.  Some termination stuff going on, probably.

Graduation was a real closure process and was nice.  I tried to be with myself during the day, but felt some depression.

Bought bedding plants yesterday.  Hope they’re OK in my car trunk.

I thought about going to dance class this A> at 9:30 but it’s 9:45 and I’m not going.  Want to sun tan today and dry my laundry.

Didn’t send a birthday card to my Dad.  Have a grad card for Steve, but no money to put in it.

Was told at NA meeting yesterday that there’s often real pain under jealousy as we’re afraid that person doesn’t love us anymore, or not enough.

Mom used to say I had a baby face.  [2009 note:  Interesting, totally different handwriting in the journal with that sentence just thrown in here.]

It sure seems easy to collect a lot of junk over the years.  Clutter.  Just seems to grow of its own accord.

I wonder why I’m waiting for Marlin to call.  What a dumb waste of time.

May 27, 1983 Thursday midnight

Kathy Powel [therapist] called – she was in a car accident –

May 28, 1983 Friday

Went to NA meeting.

Marlin came through Glyndon this afternoon and I ignored him as feelings came up right away.  He told me he’d call later – and like an idiot I waited, but no call.

I was wondering how I’d handle seeing him at the meeting but he wasn’t there.  Fine for me.  I’m glad I practiced letting go of that one.  I think he probably ended up with Roy and Alice at his brother’s graduation at Detroit Lakes.

Hope to spend some time here Monday as have to move out Tuesday night.  Henry doesn’t want to give me my deposit back and I’m angry about that.  I’d like to spray-paint this room for him so he gets his $100 worth if he keeps it.

Going to the woman’s AA meeting tomorrow at 10 AM with Kathryn downstairs.  [2009 note:  I have no memory at all of Kathryn.]  Michelle called and wants me to come see her at the hospital tomorrow.

Thought I might go out to Glyndon, but maybe won’t tomorrow as will be with family all day Sunday and was out there twice yesterday and again today.  Feel like I may need time here to do my termination and loss stuff about this room and the time I’ve been here.

May 28, 1983

Marlin says I’m an owl to him.  That he saw one while he walked alone in the woods and he thought of me – that time, and many other times.

But sitting alone here in my room, it still hurts.

I just spent time with Michelle.  Good time.  I’m glad I did.  She mentioned that Marlin and I could go see a marriage counselor together.  I laughed.  I’d have to admit there’s a relationship, then.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to deny or avoid pain.  I don’t spend much time here in this room alone – with myself.  I feel what’s going on is scarey.

9 PM – Nancy Keating came over.  Kathryn downstairs has been drinking.  She handed me a $100 bill – my deposit, but she told me not to tell Hnery –

midnight – Nancy just left.  I enjoyed our visit – a lot.  Almost felt spoiled between that visit and the one with Michelle.

I was surprised, but Marlin called me, and wanted me to know he’s going to the lakes Monday, but would like to go to Bemidji with me and help me find a place to live.  I did, in now way, expect him to call.  He said he’ll find me on Tuesday.

I’m trying to call Leo, but the line’s busy.  Hope it’s not off the hook.  I called at 8 and no one answered.  I want to talk to him about tomorrow.

Phone call with Leo:  I’m not 80-20 anymore.  Linda’s sick.  Leo maintains by remembering this.  When I was angry at Marlin the other night Leo identified with Pat.  I have a series of men.  Leo sees he’s the last on a list when I’m hurting and need people – go to him because he’s got the kids – low on the call list.  He tries to accept this and tries not to control.  Leo isn’t the cause.

Hope for Bemidji – do closure work on first 18 years.  Start a new relationship.  We’re not who we were 9 years ago.

Men – me and a “man” – sexually that’s where it would end.

Agreements – contracts – control.

Addiction of needing to be needed – Leo sees that as being a pattern of our relationship

May 31, 1983 Tuesday

Have to be all moved out of my room by midnight.  Will put a lot in the Ford to take to Bemidji.  May-should be able to go up there tomorrow to find a place to live.  Marlin offered to drive up with me and Leo said he wanted to take a day off and do it.  I don’t know why it feels important for me to do this without Leo.

Stayed up until 3 AM.  Took a wonderful bath.  Did laundry, dishes.  Did exercises twice.  Going to dentist today and bringing the girls.  I’m afraid of going.

[evidently I was now in the little trailer I rented in Bemidji and was starting treatment out patient at Counseling Associates  – they required no medications]

June 9, 1983 Thursday

After second group, and at DQ eating medium butterscotch sundae.  On way over to Marcene’s.

There’s someone inside wanting to get out and not knowing how.

Not the time to be super strong.  Use Marcene’s offer and stay there at night while going off meds and building support.

Body rushes from med withdrawal – light headed, heart thumps, blood rushes.

Worked on unpacking trailer – kitchen yet to do.


Body dead

No one can do this work – take these risks for me but me.

I wonder why it is I’m missing Marlin.  I must also be missing Leo.

One must see where they are before they can move on.

When will my dam break?

Torrents of feeling

Washing me

On their way out

Layers of feelings

And layers of defenses

Leo and the girls are coming up Saturday.  Ramona will spend the week with me and go back with Diania.

When I want to be close to Marlin, he goes away from me.

Alienated – I feel hurt – (are there the “finer” feelings?)

June 10, 1983 Friday

Stopped by the food co-op today and worked a couple of hours and then bought some food.  They have a potluck and business meeting in the part at 1 on Sunday.  Bought stuff for granola.  At least I was around people for a while.

Bought some fish for my bowl and spent $12.  Worried about money.  Need a job.  Looking for work reminds me of bad time as a senior in high school, and also when first in Fargo when I was 20.  I feel real worthless.

Still missing Marlin.  I like his company and like him around.

I’m feeling lonely and depressed today.  Going to go to open NA tonight.  Think I’ll take a nap.


this is the end of this journal composition book


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