*Age 30 – Journal from September through December, 1981
September 7, 1981 4 AM
Seems like the days go by so fast. Leo was coughing in bed real hard and finally came down here to sleep but I couldn’t get back to sleep. So here I am.
On Monday the 31st I turned 30. Took my brother to the ½ way house in East Grand Forks and went up to see Betty Lou. Mona was sick and only finally better yesterday. Both she and Leo went to doctor last Wed. for meds. Leo has bronchitis.
Wed, Thurs. and Fri. Marlin and I went to Family [therapy] in Fergus Falls. I had a much better/more intense group than last Feb. Got in touch with a lot of pain and loneliness and realized on a deep level for the first time that is what my “wild” feeling is. Realized also that my relationship with Pat was killed by the disease of alcoholism. Also afraid it’s happening to Leo and I.
[2009 note: I think the abuse for both Pat and I is what did it, not ‘just’ the addictions, which are probably a symptom of much greater pain and difficulties.]
Marlin took the diagnostic texts there and was told he is alcoholic. He’s having a hard time accepting it.
On Friday I had a rush of thoughts concerning my future and realized that I feel my Higher Power wants me to use my talents in chemical dependency counseling. Means a big change from my plans for engineering.
I’ve been neglecting my [AA] inventory last couple of weeks. I need it.
September 9, 1981 Wednesday 9 AM
Tomorrow I start at MSU in my new major of Psychology. While at family [therapy] last week I realized I’d like to learn to be a chemical dependency [CD] counselor. It scares me as it means I need to have my own sobriety and spiritual life in good order.
Will drop/add classes tomorrow and already bought books for psyc classes – 12 credits.
September 15, 1981 Tuesday
Went to class Auto teaches tonight and did some sharing. Then over to Donna and Auto’s house as Leo wanted to talk about treatment. He investigated St. Mary’s today and costs $1,500 – $2,000. He’s now considering Fergus Falls and I know it’s hard and scary for him. I’m grateful Donna and Auto are helping.
I have tomorrow off. There is frost in forecast first time tonight for low-lying areas. I hope not here as want to save flowers. I don’t feel too acceptant of fall ‘cause of winter – but . . .
Picked up grant today — $353. Will help.
Visited Jay Sunday at Grand Forks. Really nice. Walked in park. Looked at old mansions. He treated us to Mexican dinner. Then we went to see movie, “Arthur.” Beautiful day and fond memory. Brought him a watermelon and was lovely sunny day. Yesterday was cool and rainy, so perhaps Sunday was last day of Summer.
Last Sat. was exquisite, too. Very warm and beautiful. Spent time transplanting plants and brought into house as might freeze tonight.
Classes going OK – getting into Psych – fascinated by genetics. Like developmental psych best.
Thinking of getting Kay into theater group for children. Need to call them.
Visited Suzi today – saw my yarn hanging with her label. Felt strange, but she’s buying it wholesale at $1 per ounce – soon, I hope. Need $.
Been seeing Bobbi and Rick as they’ve been at Buffalo park camping. I love them. They hope to move back here in 2 years.
Thinking about Leo’s concern on $ while in treatment. I could check into emergency student loan.
I have a lot of feelings tied up in Leo’s going into treatment. All along I’ve thought in-patient at Fergus best. I hope I can keep in touch with my HP and have strength from Him to be supportive to Leo and maintain here.
September 16, 1981 Wednesday
What a long day! Woke up at 5:45 AM this morning because I could hear Marlin using phone downstairs calling the fire department. He had a fire in the furnace room in the building he’s living in and quite a scare. All’s OK though. Water softener caught blanket on fire that was lying on top.
Moved all plants inside tonight. Not at all ready for winter. Enjoy flowers and green, but plants are messy in the house and a lot of work to pot and care for. Moved plant light into front room in front of picture window. Also trying to save $ by keeping geraniums and begonias alive through winter.
Last night seemed night for noises and tonight I keep smelling strange smells. Thought perhaps plant light was smelling. Felt more comfortable with light on own fuse in bathroom.
Got call from Detroit Lakes [DL] today and insurance will cover all but $250 of Leo’s treatment there so Kay and I scheduled for tests there 5:30 tomorrow. MMPI.
September 21, 1981 Monday
Talking to Leo tonight about my need to talk to my therapist Tiedeman and Dr. Staton on my “calm before the storm” feelings and self-destruct feelings coming back after I went to Family therapy.
Beautiful hot day today. First day of fall –
September 23, 1981 Saturday
Read an article in the paper tonight that was published in the Forum on the 23rd. One million dollars a minute is being spent on nuclear weapons – there is one 3 tons of TNT worth for every man, woman and child in the world today and in talking to Jay today when he came down to visit, he expressed fears of a nuclear war. It is terrifying, but worse because I am a Baha’I and feel responsible to do something – and whatever that is, I don’t feel I’m doing it.
Leo and Marlin cut wood today. Blowing, blustery day. Still hasn’t frozen yet, but will soon.
Wanting to plant flowers and enlarge flower beds and needing to study.
Three months ago tomorrow Leo and I went down to see Echo and Larry as they were married. I really enjoyed that day in the woods.
August 19 Suzi took yarn and still no money on it yet. Wonder why?
October 1, 1981 Thursday
Went to treatment a year ago today and Marlin went today. Went to DL group tonight and felt very angry. It’s 12:30 AM now and my neck hurts. Tense, feeling a lot of stress. Afraid to look at myself. I am self-centered to the max and would control everyone around me if I could and yet Lief [therapist] said tonight a lot of anger comes from me not being willing to take the risks I need to get my needs met. I’m not sure I even know what my needs are. Everything seems complicated – feels confusing.
I’m sick from Leo’s sickness, I’m sick from my sickness, Leo’s sick from my sickness, Leo’s sick from his sickness. Where is the end? And it’s incurable, so there is no end? I feel guilty like I’m feeling sorry for myself. I feel scared that if I get honest Leo won’t love me because I don’t know what it really feels like for someone to love me. Lack of trust. There’s hurt under the anger, I know there is – I’m crying – but I don’t know where that’s coming from. It is OK that I feel it though. [there are tear spots on these pages]
And I feel guilty that I can’t do what Leo would like me to to help him recover, but very probably what I do or don’t do doesn’t affect (or doesn’t need to) affect his recovery. The fear and resentment is when Lief says I’ll need to look also at how my using has affected Leo.
October 3, 1981 Saturday night, 12:25 AM
Just got home from driving Jay to the Fargo bus station. His bus leaves in about ten minutes. I always feel too sad when watching someone board a bus but guilty if I don’t stay until the last minute before they leave….
Diania watched the girls 11:30 AM – 3 PM today and Leo, Jay and I got a load of firewood at Hendrum. As we returned home it began to rain and has rained ever since. It is wet outside.
Twelve years ago tonight I boarded a plane in Anchorage and flew to boot camp in Maryland. Last year on this date I was moved to the Wilson Unit and began my treatment at Fergus Falls.
I am very glad and grateful Jay came out here. He really misses his daughter and wants to work things out with Suzi. I love him and will miss him and pray God will guide, protect, and assist him. I’m not sure I’m ready for him to be gone so soon. This was the first week-end he could have spent outside the half-way house – and now he’s gone already. I had thought he’d spend a few days with us first, but all’s OK.
We had enchiladas he cooked for supper and they ere very good. Last Sat. Jay was here and Marlin and Leo were cutting wood. I did some spinning and visited and ran him into bus at 6 PM.
Not feeling depressed today. Did yesterday. Went in to Zimmerman’s last night and played Farkle and visited. (Jay’s bus has probably left Fargo now. I’m going to say a prayer for him.)
October 9, 1981 Friday
Went to see Tiedeman last Tues the 6th and she told me to try 150 milligrams from then until the 20th when I see Saton. I guess today was 4th day already. She said 2 weeks was long enough to tell a difference.
It’s hard to believe it has been almost a week since I’ve written in here. Sadat of Egypt was assassinated this week and that was upsetting. Also went to DL for treatment with Leon Tues. and Thurs. Worked in flower beds 12 – 6:30 Wed. Nice day for it as today rainy. Went into Jim and Casey’s tonight. I was missing Casey. She’s not feeling well. Very foggy on way home.
Monday I was feeling depressed and that evening went to AA in West Fargo with Donna. Wed. at AA in Haley I got my first year medallion with Betty who was my room-mate in treatment. That was special.
Tues. at DL Kathy talked about family games. Persecutor (anger), victim (guilt), rescuer. True feelings are in the center of this triangle dynamic — hurt, fear, guilt, etc. and must take risks to get to them.
Laid a lot on the line Thurs. with Lief on our marriage. “Fell in love on acid” – both of us running, lonely, depressed (me) at time of marriage. My detachment feelings from Leo bother him. He stated Thurs. doesn’t feel I care. Still trouble with sexual relationship.
Lief asked both of us to list our angers and relate to using or not to using as we see it. Hard to think of right now because I’m not feeling angry.
Took test today in personality class. I feel angry they are considering putting hazardous wastes 4 miles from my house.
October 24, 1981 Saturday (actually 1:40 AM on the 25th)
Two weeks ago my medicine was increased 50 mg. Has helped, saw Staton last Tues. morning and back seeing Tiedeman.
Leo and I danced tonight together for the first time in our relationship. It felt like a start. We never had a dating relationship before we married.
Just got home from DDRC Alumni party at Fergus. Took girls and got to see Marlin there. He told me his greatest fear was to get out of treatment and not to have changed enough for me. It bothered me, but didn’t say anything at the time.
1) I resent being made out to be an ogre with a “big stick” over Marlin’s head.
2) I hope if I have expectations I can look at and deal with them honestly.
3) Marlin is not responsible for how I handle things.
4) I fear he will go away to the Cities?
Leo and I moved into separate beds two weeks ago tomorrow. His cough has been bad and he uses Vicks and I wasn’t sleeping well and sex was a problem. We have agreed to seek marriage counseling after Leo’s out of treatment. I am assigned by Lief to write feelings about this for 7 days starting last Tues. The only thing I noted was that my toes felt cold. [2009 Linda note: Now, that made me laugh out loud!]
Tonight driving back from Fergus we talked a little about it.
1) My sexuality is boxed up. My sexuality as expressed in past relationships does not feel like something I can bring out and talk to Leo about.
2) I used to “play” in sex, and there was a lot of chemicals involved in other sex relationships – especially alcohol.
3) If Leo has been able to numb his body against pain, also may have (probably has) deadened his feelings in our relationship.
4) Our problems in our sexual relationship belong to both of us. I also feel much more inhibited that I’d like to – especially in relation to touching.
[2009 Linda note: I could not bring myself to the point of knowing and admitting that while I loved my husband, I was never, never ‘in love’ with him. That marriage was more like a sister-brother affection relationship – not a marriage. I didn’t, at the time, know the difference.]
5) Something is missing and it’s hard to specifically say what
6) Communication is more than sex.
7) I feel my thoughts/head are more present in lovemaking than I like.
8) I like to sleep alone as I like my space. Would like – ideally – a king-size bed. Then could have sex, intimacy and could also have space. Then our sheets wouldn’t fit and I don’t think a king would fit up the stairs. Maybe a mattress would and we could build a frame for it.
9) Perhaps there is a book and format available for learning/relearning touch and tenderness/openness in a physical relationship.
After 7 years marriage missing now the courting-romance we never had. 7 years of fog. Need to reacquaint.
October 25, 1981 Sunday
Daylight time moved back an hour today so got dark real early today.
Leo, girls and I went to matinee today and saw beautiful move about the northland this afternoon – Silence of the North. True story done in Canada and very good.
Bringing back feelings
Creeping silent shadow
On unruffled snow
Blueness spreading from the
Toes of my boots
Outwards in darkening blue
Spilling down mountain
Protected new cubs
A mother’s warm winter lair.
Called to help my father
Hack apart moose
Carcass in the lower field
Dragging moose legs around the homestead
Sharing secret moments
Piling meat high
On the toboggan
As marrow in those
That spirit of mine
Once longing for
October 30, 1981 Friday
Went with Ann to see “Silence of the North” again this evening. I had looked forward all week to seeing it again and going out for coffee with Ann.
It’s no doubt that I’m so critical as I learned well from my mother who was never satisfied and talked viciously behind the back of her own best friend. With God’s help I can hope to overcome this without trying for the rest of my life, or even trying – it may take that long. CRITICAL. I AM CRITICAL.
Lots of homework to do this weekend. Social Psych exam on Mon. ISH! Scary!
It’s weird Leo’s pulling out of carpentry right when our house is at stake. He seems angry. Seems real ironical. Admitting defeat.
November 1, 1981 Sunday
Girls spent last night and today at Grandma Alices’ and I studied and Leo worked on this 4th step. It was a gorgeous day and got up to 70. I combed two of the rabbits as I went over notes.
Last night Leo and I ate at Highway Host – his treat from money earned yesterday at Bibow’s job.
Going down to Fergus after classes tomorrow to get Marlin. Leo leaves at one to do 5th step at DL. Tues. is our last night there and he will graduate. [note in margin, lost water pump on Ford so couldn’t go.]
Mom called last night and said Cindy had a baby boy a week ago. [2009 Linda note: That’s sad, that I heard that way and so late!]
November 10, 1981 Tuesday
Already time has slipped by without my having written in here. I got a check for $60 by surprise at MSU, a grant fro fall quarter and I used it last Sat. to put a curly perm in my hair. I like it. Actually, they are quite popular now.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on my term paper for social psych 320 these last few days. Started typing the final draft at 10:30 tonight. I’m way behind in readings for all classes, but this paper is due Fri. and I can’t concentrate on anything else until it’s finished – or so I think.
I’ve started swimming at MSU and go with Debby Tues. and Thurs. Went with Ann yesterday. I really like it.
Had conferences for girls a week ago and they’re both doing very well. Teachers like them both and I felt grateful.
Marlin also got out of treatment a week ago and is making decisions on what he’s going to do.
Called Jay Sunday. Mom called twice Sunday for an hour each time. Cindy had a boy – Luke.
November 11, 1981 Friday
Leo left for Long Prairie for deer hunting. I stayed home to study and to get girls to dance classes tomorrow. Heather and Mary are staying over night and are upstairs watching TV.
Went with Echo and Larry to Minneapolis last night for Bill Sears’ tape conference on situation with the Baha’is being persecuted in Iran and what we can do to help.
I remember as a child whispering to my sisters as we carried on all kinds of conversations in bed when we were supposed to be sleeping and Dad would come in and tell us to stop again and again. Having these girls here tonight and not having them go to sleep up there reminded me of this. I feel angry when they make noise up there because I want control – Quiet – I’m also tired and want to go to bed myself.
November 14, 1981 Saturday 11:50 PM
Well, I sure didn’t quit smoking.
Julia [rabbit] had babies – they’d fallen through bottom of the cage and I found them when I cleaned. Looks like 7 are OK.
Leo called and said they’re doing OK hunting – shot 3 can go for 3 more tomorrow with 6 of them having permits. Was very glad he called as I do need him and love him. Wrote Mom and Dad tonight.
November 17, 1981 Tuesday
I came home from treatment a year ago today. I remember Leo taking me down by a creek and we walked and it was quite warm. When we got home it felt comforting and I felt loved.
This morning I found all the little bunnies dead. I felt sad and angry and powerless. It was cold last night, but I really don’t know why they died. I’ve been reading the last chapter of developmental psych and it was on endings. I also remembered my dream where they all died. In some ways it’s like I’d experienced their death before hand and was in a sense prepared. I also remember one winter as a child going out on a winter night to feed my rabbit on the homestead and finding the bloody little babies all over the cage and telling Dad and he went out to take care of it. I was scared.
I have felt a little “off” today. Was the last day of classes and have finals. I wish they were over with and I was free until the next quarter started.
Last night I dreamt of Pat. Then today I had vague feelings like I haven’t yet completely “let go” of that part of my life. In my dream it seems like I asked Tiedeman, my counselor, if Pat could come in to her office and we could talk because I wanted to see him as a real person instead of a haunting phantom.
Sometimes I feel as though I were haunted by things from my past. Not as many as before, but just a general feeling like the “real me” is not all here. Maybe it is the “real me” that haunts me, or the “ideal me” that will never be. A general dissatisfaction at times with everything around me. Ties in with my powerlessness as I have not been able to control my life. It was so hard for me to admit that I was powerless, over Pat – even that I still am.
It’s funny, but sometimes I feel lonely like I miss him, and always want to say that this is only of my “imagination.” But like my dream of the rabbits’ death, maybe my reoccurring dreams of Pat allow me a chance to work on a part of me unconsciously that I haven’t been able to work on consciously. I remember how over a year ago in treatment I wanted to see and talk to Pat. Those feelings still remain.
In some ways reoccurring thoughts seem like a real waste of time.
November 19, 1981 Thursday
Took a final in Personality class today and will find out Wed. how it went. Also drove to 1st bank and took out a loan for school. Felt scary as I don’t like to be in debt, but will take some pressure off this winter if that $2,500 is accessible, especially for cars. Also went to St. Vincent’s thrift store.
Leo and Chris started on the house today. I hope we can all get along in the mess things might end up in as we move into this with the $9,800 grant. We need to remain here 5 more years not to owe any back. Nov. 12, 1986 I think is when we could sell the house and owe 0% back.
Yesterday I was home and spent a lot of time working on my feelings to my past and Pat. Spent 3 hours at lunch with Elsie talking and came home and talked to Leo. I think because of my father and Pat rejecting me, and my taking that rejection as important, I have come to see an intimate relationship with a man as threatening. Seeing Leo is a man it has come between us.
I also want to begin working on a 4th step and do another 5th step with Ralph in Fergus.
This afternoon when I got home at 4 PM I was incredibly tired. It is 10 PM now and I feel better but would like to see the chiropractor soon.
Spent an hour reading to the girls tonight and read old Raggedy Ann book from Mom’s and my childhood. Also Kay saw film about menstruation in school today. She felt good and so did I that she can talk with me. She said she used to think her mom was mean because I wouldn’t let her go to the store, etc. but now she sees we can talk where many of her friends can’t talk to their moms. Thank you God for helping and healing.
November 22, 1981 Sunday.
My expectations of myself as I’d like to be are higher than what I really am. There is a process I go through to even learn these tings about myself. Supposedly the first step to changing one’s self is to realize (accept) where one is and then move onward. Tonight I see myself as competitive, critical, unforgiving. I see myself with fear of accepting reality for what it may be. Of course – reality may be constantly changing as everything has affects on everything else.
Why don’t I feel closer to Leo? I see him as “good” and more than willing to try – and yet something seems missing for me. Is it my desire to have reality other than as it is? I, too, feel scared for where we are in our marriage. I wish I knew how to make Leo’s body better. His hives are bad tonight.
God, I need to let God in and to start doing what He wants. I am trying to learn, I think – I hope.
November 24, 1981 Tuesday 11:20 PM
Leo just went to bed – angry, lonely and tired, he said. First he said he wasn’t angry – but feeling depressed and inadequate. He’s worried about money, I know. I got a grant check today and bought country ribs and cooked them tonight, but didn’t cheer him up, which is OK.
As I was just making this cup of coffee I felt guilty and selfish for not sleeping with him. I feel both of us in this growth process need to find and understand ourselves on an honest level before we can share ourselves.
Leo brought up the idea tonight of God and sexuality. I don’t feel my reading these human sexuality text books for class is wrong or that I want to leave God out of our relationship. Science and religion are in harmony.
November 30, 1981 Monday
First day of my 18 credit winter quarter today. I spent over an hour waiting for time to see a financial aid advisor – must wait ‘til mid-Jan. to apply for next year.
Got home at 3 same time as girls got home. I feel scared as there was no opportunity at all for study until girls went to bed at 8 PM.
Leo was stripping off shingles when I got home. Had just started. Had John out to check on insulation and they’ll give us some. Leo said he’d had a real slow start today – felt tired maybe from his cold. I feel scared as it is December 1st tomorrow and bills are due and only money coming in is a few days’ work at Rollag from him and my loan should be in hopefully before break on Dec. 18th. He borrowed $100 from Roy last week – and no news from beet plant –
How do I get enough time in for study?
December 4, 1981 Friday.
Went to see Tiedeman [counselor].
December 11, 1981 Friday
Well, it’s been a week since I was gong to write in here, but I was really tired and didn’t get much down.
I’ve been knitting tonight and making a sweater. Blue.
My student loan came in yesterday and opened a savings acct. today. Put $300 in checking and bought knitting needles for $10. I want to knit something in handspun. Preferably a man’s vest. I need to get the yarn back from Suzi as she’s not paying for it.
The house is almost shingled. They’ve been working really hard on it.
It’s snowing first good snow tonight and I bet it’s slippery. Leonard has external studies class tomorrow and I think I’ll do something at home with the girls.
Need to brush 2 male rabbits again and have lots of reading/homework to do tomorrow. Had my first statistics exam today. It wasn’t too bad and hope I did OK.
Decided to start a portfolio of Ramona’s art work as I really enjoy her abstract art. She lost first tooth last Saturday.
Both Leo and I had separate appointments with Tiedeman this week. She wanted me to look at my roles and why do I seem to need to make choices instead of being OK all roles being me. Also Leo and I are supposed to try hardest to talk about those things we don’t want to talk about. Also:
“We are not in this relationship to satisfy each other’s expectations.”
December 18, 1981 Friday
Christmas break starts today until Jan. 11th. I was really ready for some time off and had a hard time going to school yesterday, but did.
Last Thurs. night a half grown black kitten showed up in our yard. He was very friendly and it was cold out so we let him in. I called him Apache ‘cause he looks like an Apache tear. Don’t know if we’ll keep him.
Leo and I went to the counselor’s again last Thurs. and began working on the contract. It’s going well but we’re still sleeping separately.
Brought books home from MSU library on women and sexism etc. to read on break for attitude scale we’ll write for Bremer’s class.
Wrapped Christmas presents last night and went to be at 2:30 AM. Having folks here Christmas eve.
December 19, 1981 Saturday
I remember the first time I saw “@” was in a note Pat had written me when we were separated and I didn’t know what it meant. I imagine after working retail trade in shoes he did.
I spent most of today working on dolls. Finished one for Kay’s friend Janna and one for Kay and did clothes for those. Also sewed doll for little Patrick and need to do Laurie Jean’s, Becky’s, Kathy’s and Ramona’s, a horse for Pat’s if I could figure it out – Not at all sure I can so will do others first.
Very windy today – first wind we’ve had for a long time. Marlin and Leo worked on roof all day. Will be having Roy, Alice, Lynn, Sue and Lenore’s and Myra and Larry out for Christmas eve. First time since we’ve been married have tried it.
Leo applied for food stamps and will get $79 for Dec. and $81 for Jan. I don’t qualify as I’m a student –
December 27, 1981 Sunday 11 PM
Just got back from the folks’. Also went to see movie “REDS” with Larry. Main characters were both journalists and ended up in Russia as Bolsheviks during revolution. Also quite a love story.
We had the family here for turkey dinner on Thurs. Eve. Went to folks’ Christmas day, last evening and today. I managed through the holidays with no real anger, — quite different from last year – have no expectations for next year.
Leo finished sheet-rocking the little room last Wed. Girls haven’t been getting along real well. While I sewed they were on top of me a lot and want to be downstairs and seem to have a hard time playing together or alone – both make awful messes with their clothes if we’re not after them constantly.
Christmas trees are pretty. This year’s is a balsam and really is nicely shaped. — on Christmas Leo gave me (and him) a pair of cross country skis. (Leo is out now splitting logs and hauling in wood as I write.)
I have work to do before end of break on school work – not looking forward to remaining 7 weeks of this quarter.
December 28, 1981 Monday
Ended up taping and plastering the sheetrock in the little room most of the day. Marlin helped some as id Leo. First coat pretty well done. I think Ramona’s really looking forward to having her room done soon.
Combed 2 male rabbits tonight.
Going to Roxy’s graduation at Fergus tomorrow with Marlin. Leo will be working in Rollag. Have sitter for girls coming at 10 AM but may take Kay – Leo has appointment with Tiedeman tomorrow and we both go Wed. afternoon.