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Handmade Manuscripts ~

Updated on July 28, 2017



The heart pours forth words,
When itself begs release.
'Tis good to express
Its needs;
But too incredible for words,
That clamouring need
To quiet words.
Ah! There is probably a word
For that, too.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

summer, 1971

Many of you know something of my poetry-writing background. It started very young, but mostly was never seen by anyone but me, though one poem written at about 16 was published in a college publication for a writer's club to which I belonged. It's been lost to posterity, but its title was "Soliloquy" and it was considered pretty good.

Of course, as was customary then, I wrote for English classes and many of the other classes featured essay-type questions on their tests.

Letter-writing was also a major part of my life, especially when I was away from home at school. I'm amazed to discover an entire file box full of letters I wrote home!

I can't remember not writing, in fact, and I started school very young, back when penmanship was mandatory and having something to say was also valued. So writing has been an intrinsic part of who I am. I always loved it and sometimes enjoyed exchanging poems with favorite friends and schoolmates who also loved to write. I run across some of theirs in things my parents also saved. I've often wondered where those kids' lives led them.

My own odyssey has been rather unusual, I suppose, and it's very much intertwined with my writing essence.

The reason my earliest poetry didn't survive was that my first husband saw fit to destroy it all, along with other of my keepsakes I had brought with me to our marriage and home. For a time, these things had helped define me to myself in a hostile environment. But he realized that and much preferred that I not know and accept myself that well, for reasons of his own. It wasn't nice.

When those ritual burnings of my most precious personal things occurred, it was not a pretty scene - out behind the farm house where the items were chucked into a big metal barrel and lit, often when the sky was dark and menacing. I was required to witness it as though I concurred that it was the right thing to do. My compliance was the objective, so it was simplest for me and my children to maintain the impression it was intact. My choices were limited. I didn't drive and though I was a strong walker, the road leading up the rugged steep hill to this farmland atop it was not a place for a lone woman to venture. So my world was as isolated as my captor planned it to be, EXCEPT for my inner resources!

Of course, I had hopes that the nightmare would stop, but to stop it was too costly, of that I was sure. There were many factors involved, and there was never any question but that I would lose my MOST precious children if I defied him. I confess that my hero was "The Birdman of Alcatraz"! I took courage from his example.

I know I was unwise in making the choice in the first place. Perhaps there might still have been a chance to escape, but the plan was so foolproof that every avenue for that was blocked with dire consequences. Now that it's well behind me, though, I realize that it was probably the impetus for my becoming all of myself. Had things coasted along, I'd just as likely have become a shallow socialite imprisoned by that even more confining lifestyle.

So, within the parameters in which I existed, at least I found I could retain and/or recapture and develop all of "me" - for me - by ongoing writing which I could protect, knowing the prevailing mood; and this, I did prolifically. At first, those writings, too, were destroyed, till I learned to not expose them to the wrath. This, if known, would have been deemed almost criminally dishonest to keep them private. It was vital for me, though. They were literally a codified journal or diary of my feelings and thoughts about life within and beyond my predicament, and, as such, they were my closest confidante and friend - my truest self survived in their brief words, and they expressed what was truest for me. The other parts of this life were endured and made most of, for a reason I considered greater than myself. I took full responsibility for being in the predicament but the price of escape could not justify implementing it. It was both the poetry and this acceptance of my own responsibility which was to save me when it became a critical mass.

Writing was but one of my creative outlets, by the way, and ranged from design and painting, music, profuse and varied reading, cooking, - many things, so that those eighteen years were not as dismal as it surely sounds, except that it was a form of attempted imprisonment and destruction of myself, and that was the fact of it. But within that, I was able to emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon when the whole thing collapsed around me.

The poetry was my clearest connection to freedom. It's rather hard to put into fathomable words which really describe it, but these pretty well do describe it. I suppose I come off sounding like a woose, but that is far from the facts. I was not a victim, though I was being victimized by someone with a deliberate agenda.

When I've read of others' experiences with writing for relief and fulfillment in horrid situations, though I see some parallels, they are definitely not exactly like this was. So I've wished to be able to attempt to clarify some of the differences and hope that this hub might help do so, for what it may be worth. Nothing is hanging in the balance. It's simply part of "my story".

It was many decades ago, and I've blossomed from the bud which was always intact from birth to beyond then, and though the losses were severe, in spite of my dedication to avoiding them, I have the poetry as a kind of gem mined from deep within that pit. Had my wisdom been equal to my dedication, who knows what the outcome may have been. The point is, though - that wasn't the way it played out. And here I am, still intact and 'going strong'! Perhaps my odyssey will inspire or bring hope to others.

So my poems poured forth and were mostly brief and hand-written, as illustrated in this hub, those many, many of them from all during "then" till this very present day. I still prefer to write in long-hand and transcribe to the printed page. But until Hubpages, I'd really seen few of my poems even in typewriter type. I didn't much like the appearance of them in type, in fact. The arrangement on the page in my own hand was intrinsic to them, as well as the sequences of them, I felt. It seemed to me that just picking one of them was, well, -insufficient. Of course, that was because I needed the sequences for my own "full picture" of Nellieanna, so vitally needed then. I wasn't concerned much how others would evaluate them, in the unlikely event they ever saw them.

In fact, I seldom shared the poetry, but when I did, I simply selected and copied one or more to give someone as a gift, either in lovely "blank books" or in blank greeting cards, or occasionally - a card I painted myself. This was infrequent.

I visualized that posthumously, perhaps the poetry would be discovered and - who knew - perhaps, like Emily Dickinson's; it might even be published. I just didn't visualize myself ever doing so.

When I joined Hubpages about 15 months ago, I honestly had no intention of publishing any of it here! In fact, I wasn't sure I'd 'publish' anything! But I became more comfortable here and my first hubs were prose, written for Hubpages. Occasionally I threw in a poem as an illustration. In that process, I realized how much I needed to transcribe my handwritten poems to my computer, where they could be indexed by title or first line and so much more accessible! Many times, I've searched through seven thick notebooks of the handwritten poems, looking for the exact wording of one I wanted to think about or share!

So - as I began to type them up for my computer files and folders, I realized I actually COULD share some here as hubs! I had no idea if or how they'd be received. I've experienced good responses when I've shared a few before - but I wrote for my own reasons and not to please an audience! So I've been very gratified that my stuff has been well received here!

According to my "Poetry-Album" folder on my computer, I've added 865 poems to that file, and as I look at the un-transcribed books and scraps of paper still to be done, that number is barely a dent in them. But do not worry! I won't impose them all on you here! :-)

Thank you for caring and reading this presentation. I thought it might illustrate my poetic history better than merely explaining it, for those of you who have expressed interest!

Hugs ~

Most of the poems I've scanned to share here in this hub were written 'after the fact' of that direst situation, but were penned while I was still recovering myself, but many I've shared over the past 15 months were written from in the midst of it, and some have been recent.

These I've scanned were simply more accessible without having to disassemble the notebooks, but they illustrate my process of writing which has prevailed. Besides, who I am and how I write really hasn't changed much, though the challenges and impetus to express it has progressed with life's progression. I can't attempt to define the background of each poem. They are simply here to behold and to be responded to by you, the readers, as you see fit. I've had them to myself all along! I don't need them interpreted for my own benefit!

A page from Notebook IV
A page from Notebook IV | Source

Be ready -

Listening for signs

Not seen by eyes

Nor heard by ears.

Be still - and know.

Be moving and yet knowing.

It matters not.

If you can know,

You will.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

As written then ~
As written then ~ | Source


Long silent,

Rises flying in a dream,



Orchestra of one


Joining fully

In the tune

And best of all,

The lonely flute

Comes out of hiding.-

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

As noted, I wrote this on a flight to Ohio when I went to support my daughter in a rehab center for people addicted to addictive people.
As noted, I wrote this on a flight to Ohio when I went to support my daughter in a rehab center for people addicted to addictive people. | Source

Signs and symbols,


From under liturgies

Held too long

Against the wind.

Be reborn

And be better

Than before.-

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Another page from that period in that notebook.
Another page from that period in that notebook. | Source



I remember them ~

Those "Ivory Palaces" -

And know

They do exist.

The other plane

Has homes enough

For all to live

As royalty.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Just another scribble out of a moment in time.
Just another scribble out of a moment in time. | Source

Friggin' -

Fraggin' -


Who cares?

Willow -

Wallow -


Who dares?

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


Book I on top and in front is from those overcast days, though much of the poetry in it is uplifting and far from dismal.  Some of the blank books toppling over contain my "Letters to God" - and my own answers to them.
Book I on top and in front is from those overcast days, though much of the poetry in it is uplifting and far from dismal. Some of the blank books toppling over contain my "Letters to God" - and my own answers to them. | Source

The ungifted

Look upon the fruits

The gifted make

As if a little cheese

To sample with a biscuit

And a glass of wine.

Yet, of these,

Still they like

The peanuts more.-

______© Nellieanna H. Hay



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    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      4 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Michael - And you know how much I value you and your friendship. You’re right that I haven’t been on Hubplages too often lately. My days seems to whiz by so rapidly that I can scarcely keep up. I get up, fix my morning fruit and eat it - which often takes way too long! - and get on the computer, trying to keep current with what’s going on in its various windows (haha), try to eat some brunch and before I know it, it’s suppertime, and all that rigamarole. Keeping electronics in smooth running order is ongoing. Ranch business is always tweaking my attention. Soon it's suppertime & then bedtime. I'm 'it' to keep things going: "If it is to be, it is up to me!" I love it, being independent, but it does mean I am where the buck stops on my little world. The errand-type stuff happens several times a week., then unusual kinds of ‘must do’. Right now it’s dental stuff. I was just giving myself a pep talk, that I CAN. haha. Anyway, it does keep me in motion and alert. Every day is such a rich prize and at my age, when they’re full and I’m independent, they’re all bonus! I have no complaints. Just realities. Reality is good! It’s being alive and active! YES! Each day is so valuable and important!

      As you say, it’s wonderful to also have friends and activities in a virtual world! Wow. We’ve been on the HP virtual reality together for a long time~ I celebrated my 7th year last March. You’re ahead of me!!

      This virtual world did NOT exist when I was a kid, and not even when I was a quite mature adult! It came along for me when I was in my 60s! And I've been glad to be able to key into it ever since. Been online since 1996! A lot of wonderful friends and connections are the treasure of it!

      I’m happy that you find my input and presence useful and inspiring. I believe that one’s influence and example should be positive as possible. Can’t be perfect - and who really would want that? Perfect would be static and not the exciting, surprising, challenging, ever-new reality which is life on this Earth. I don’t know exactly what may follow this life, but there should be no doubt that this one is full of lessons - both those we get and those we give by our own input. Being AUTHENTIC is one’s best contribution. There is no one else who can be and do what each of us can. That’s all we have total responsibility for.

      Your own literary progress is amazing but it is only the vehicle for sharing YOUR own wonderful spirit with others! I’m always amazed at how much your skill has grown and improved since I first met you. Your command of language is becoming impressive and you don't rest on your laurels. You keep on keeping on! Meantime, your deep innate human understanding of real values was always in you and has further matured and benefitted from your growing skill in expressing yourself. So keep being YOU! It's just right!


    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      4 years ago

      You know how I feel about your hubs. Well just incase you forgot. You are so inspirational and loving with the perfect touch of eloquent running straight through. I am always amazed and delighted. At the same time part of your writings go beyond my comprehension and understanding. So I am left baffled and craving for more. It pulls me in a new direction I have never gone before. I see you have not been on Hubpages to often. I hope you are well. As each day goes by I realize and always have known how important each day is. My older brother has been gone one year as of the July 25th. Life and death are so real. Both are an important part of life. I do what I can as time allows to write and share the world I love. If my time comes before I am done I will say it was one heck of a run. Thank you for all your comments over the years. I will be coming up to my eighth year as of August eighth. I know we started about the same time. I would like to celebrate your anniversary too. It is so wonderful to find friends in a virtual world that never existed when I was little. Have a sweet and gentle night. Don't let the bed bugs bite.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      4 years ago from TEXAS

      Alexander Thandi Ubani, Thank you so much, I’m truly pleased that you visited this hub and choose to look into some of my other hubs. When I suggested it to you, as a fellow-poet, as an illustration of how I preserve my poetry in the notebooks and how I’m transcribing them now, I’d somewhat forgotten how much I revealed here! I hadn’t read it myself for a number of years.

      I wouldn’t say that reading this hub opens and exposes my WHOLE life to the reader, but it is a quite real mini-film of one major, person-forming 18 years of it!

      I want to encourage you to write-write-write, without self-consciousness about the technique or methods, but with self-awareness about the poet yourself! You write beautifully in your own style, which has music, color, passion and meaning. That is what matters.

      A few years ago I was asked to be a poetry judge for a Hubpages writing contest, and the kernel of real poetry I looked for (and encouraged) was just that, to write with self-awareness, authenticity, always looking for the best wherever possible without denying reality, and being less focused on form and ‘acceptability’ in the writing. Also write a lot. Then one can sort out the best of the bunch if one chooses to share some of it! haha

    • profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      4 years ago

      I'm going to spend a whole lot of time reading your hubs. So rich and powerful poems here, Nell. Great work.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Ah - well, I referred to both my parents & teachers. The only mean teachers I had were math teachers with mustaches (women teachers!) haha

      Maybe you're too hard on yourSELF! Look at doctors' handwriting! Illegible is their standard of excellence!! :-)

      Main thing is to please yourself with what you do, accept it, - or change it. hehe

      I must get on to the atty. documents. Bye.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      8 years ago from Texas

      It wasn't my parents that were so critical, but the teachers. And, yet my handwriting is still about as sloppy as they come. I do notice that sometimes it is more like my dad's and his mother's sometimes now, though, with very slanted letters.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Hi Randi! What a nice surprise to see you here at this ancient hub! Actually, I published it 2 years ago tomorrow, on July 2, 2011.

      You know the saying, "What goes around, comes around." Some of the damage done way back then, - in much more important ways than destroying poetry, was to people. That is right now beginning to right itself, 41 years later - and because THEY have sought it out! Miracles DO happen. As I always thought, if anyone stole or destroyed my creations, I have more where those came from but the poor sucker taking from me showed how barren his/her were. Truth will out and when it does - well, pity whom has nothing of his own to show, including the people he tried to 'own'. I can only pity him, really. Such a waste. Jim Rohn used to say, "There are two ways to have the tallest house in town. One is to tear all the other houses down. But people get wise to you and begin to resist. The other, better, way is to WORK ON YOUR OWN HOUSE!" haha.

      Yes, my confidence was damaged, but not broken. Thanks to writing "me" in poetry, it had someplace safe to hunker down! And finding my true soulmate was worth the wait!! Thank you, Randi! Your comments are quite refreshing!n Thank you again for the visit!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Hi, again, dear shan. Actually, we got vert few reprimands, mostly just guidance or coaching. Since we considered learning to write cursive something of a privilege and doing what one does well, or not at all, we didn't mind everyday reminders. Remember: "Anything worth doing is worth doing well," and all that? I took it to heart. Maybe too much, though my individuality was always in the driver's seat. I never received harsh punishment or putdowns for how I did things. Maybe I didn't always feel recognized for things I did or tried to do from out of my own innards, though if they noticed that, they encouraging it. They had so much of their own going on, though. Mother often praising my 'accomplishments' while I wanted to be recognized for my SELF, even back then. Dad always took time for me to 'recite' my alphabet, multiplication tables, a new poem I'd memorize - even learning to whistle. haha

      Well, "accomplishments' were OK but I guess I figured that ANYONE can do those if they apply themselves, but what is just 'in there' is something no one else but oneself can really do or be. I'm not sure anyone really ever fully recognizes that but oneself. So it's important to not depend on anyone else's doing so. If they do, fine. But if not, one still IS and has those abilities.

      But these were different generations. Both my parents always "did" things and 'themselves; well & probably took it for granted! haha. I remember thinking a lot when young about what, how - or IF I really 'fit in'. For one thing, I was so much just the kid and everyone else was grown up! haha. But it's these things that help form us as we ARE.

      I 'did my own thing' with my penmanship as a teen. I did it VERY measured, so that every letter was exactly the same height & width as every other, as if they'd been measured. Another time I did VERY rounded, and another - back-hand, both rounded and measured. But I have a natural slant and shaping and that's how it turned out.

      When I was a building plan draftsman and Engineering supervisor for 8 years, my lettering (i.e.: printing) really improved; had to be like a pro. I still do it well, though only in special instances. I also do a kind of 'arty' lettering at times, though it's not as pretty as artists' I know. I guess all that penmanship training in grade school helped be able to adapt as needed or wanted. There are skills to be mastered with anything, no matter how 'naturally' and innovatively they come. Even the great Masters had to learn their craft before they began to be the masters they were. It's an old fashioned concept that is sadly lacking in the modern time. They master the computer and think that's all there is to life. haha.

      Some problems with forming certain letters could be due to holding the pen or pencil awkwardly or not putting the guiding 'motion' into it. The penmanship form isn't just picky. It's to make one's movements more fluid and easily controlled. It's not unlike learning proper grammar - not to have to endure the lessons but to have it to use in creative pursuits. Either way, results have to be 'a personal style', of course. I used to fret that my handwriting was so 'ME' and boring. haha. It is, but of course it is! Who else? haha. However it's formed, it is personal, even if it's guided by certain rules of form. Mastering those doesn't cancel out one's individuality! :-)

      I'm sure yours is individual, nice-looking & very interesting, too!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      8 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Oh, Nellieanna, WOW! What a story and what amazing fortitude you displayed!

      I know what it is like to have someone try to take everything away from you, including your c0nfidence.

      I am so happy you persevered, so happy you continued to write, so hapy you met George!

      Thank you for sharing this very important, intimate part of your life......Randi

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I clearly remember being reprimanded for not forming letters just right in a specific manner with the flourishes just right. But, then again, I used to get in trouble in 2nd grade because my 9s weren't formed enough like a balloon on a stick, not circular enough. I guess I just always wanted to do it my way, and so I did. Plus, with letters such as the cursive 'G', I simply had trouble forming them just right. Then, I realized everyone nearly develops their own style of handwriting anyhow, so what did it matter? haha. Even my print does not look as traditional as taught, especially when I'm hurried and it is sloppy as heck.

      My mother, on the other hand, nearly always prints, and even her cursive is so plain and neat anyone can copy it. One time, she had to sign something for school and the teacher joked I signed it for her because it was so perfectly neat.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, Shan! I'm glad you found it of value.

      "Penmanship" was a major subject all through school, especially from 2nd or 3rd through 6th or so. We had to assume the right posture, hold the writing instrument correctly and then do pages & pages of properly slanted properly open consistent circles, upper-case & lower-case sizes, and pages of upper & lower-case 'stick'-like up & downs with beginning & ending flourishes to each line of them. The whole arm movements were monitored & had to be held & moved correctly. We had to do these exercises in pen & ink, sometimes for a whole class period. It was a disciplined exercise which may have taught more than penmanship in the process. It is a shame that the art of nice handwriting - or handwritten at all - is disappearing, along with some discipline in the process of learning skills and abilities to think and apply the principles to other matters.

      Really, that is the main, most valuable lesson of education: not the specific this and that learned, but that each thing learned teaches one to use all knowledge in resolving all life's challenges.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Nellieanna, so much I could say about the prose, but I think you know already. I am glad, though, that you directed me here. Of these poems, I particularly like the first one, be ready.

      Your handwriting is lovely, by the way. Mine is so sloppy much of the time, especially my cursive, unless I slow down enough to concentrate on. I'm not even sure my son will be learning that next year - though he'll be in third grade, which is when I learned. 'Tis a shame.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, dear Debbie. And especially for discovering this hub. I don't always review my archived hubs! But it's good to do so!

      I'm pretty transparent! :-) I even wrote a poem about that once.

      But who really 'knows' another human being, even one with whom one lives and is very close? We all have those areas which are secret, whether by purpose or not! And another person brings his or her own perception to it, which changes what's observed, no matter how sincerely it's desired to see it accurately. It's the way it IS!

      I'm glad you enjoy reading them!! Hugs.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I little bit of your secrets.. I adore them.. but the beauty still shines forth so much more.



    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Yes, Ken. It is an amazing journey of discovery. But not "has been" one. It's one "in dynamic progress" - and I exaggerate NOT!!

      Just about the only reason to preserve close-to-the-bone poems or prose is if they might encourage or help forge a path for others. As for me, I'm still eager to see what's around the corner for me and whatever it may be I will use the lessons of the past to wend my way through those, too!

      Yes, I'm the butterfly emerged! But I enjoy knowing that all the butterfly 'makings' were in that cocoon all along. I emerged simply able to fly, of course - unscathed, but wiser. George, indeed, liked butterflies newly emerged and I helped free him from his cocoon , too. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that humans descended from butterflies!! :-). . . or caterpillars.

      I'm so thankful that our window in time was lengthier than the first dismal one!

      At first when I really discovered Emily Dickinson and recognized our similarities, I honestly felt so intimately akin to her. It seemed to me that her life never broke out of her cocoon, even though she was a glorious cocoon. I began to feel that I'd been born to take it up where she left it off. I'm not sure that being proud of me fits as well as feeling reborn in me for her. In that, of course - have to surpass her if I was to take up where she left off!

      Indeed - my life has provided ample opportunity to emerge better than I entered! I like me as a no-nothing kid but I am pleased with the survivor.

      Thank you for another of your wonderful comments and deeply penetrating understanding!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      10 years ago

      What an amazing journey of discovery you've been on Nellieanna Hay. The comments and replies from you to all your many admirers here at the Hubs alone is enough to fill a few volumes of excellent reading and education about life. I am some what familiar with your background as we shared some of those less than intimate moments many months ago after both feeling a little secure with each other enough to share those past ugly moments in both our lives.

      I must agree with you however in your comparison to being a butterfly that has come out of her cocoon. You emerged unscathed from your 18 year ordeal to not only meet a wonderful man in George, but yet to share your lives together for that window in time. Your poetry no doubt if discovered by the powers of be who decide that it should be recognized and believe me when I say this Nellieanna. IT SHOULD BE FOR SURE...Emily Dickinson would be so proud to see that happen, you and her have similar styles, YET I truly feel you my dear could surpass her.

      I am so humbled to have been able to read you, share with you and be one of your many followers and dedicated fans. Even though I slip away from time to time, I find my way back to you and your soothing mind cleansing scribes of beauty. I savour each word and your comments are poetry within themselves, you are yes most definitely a teacher and so kind with your dedicated lengthly comments to your followers.

      This special reveal Hub of yours speaks volumes of your endurance and coping skills and also your destiny to emerge a better person and to conquer your fears and move forward, onward and upwards to greater heights and meeting the love of your life in George. All was not lost in the end your abuser was the loser. You my dear are a shining star here at the Hubs and I wish you continued blessings. You will never be forgotten, you have left a trail of exquisite beautiful, heart rendering scribes and they will survive and past your lifetime and mine into the future. Big hugs from this old Saddlerider to my Shining star and fellow poet Nellieanna Hay

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Hello, Dan. Thank you for coming and leaving your heart-felt comment. It sounds as though you are in a place of much reflection and amid ample pain.

      I hope you'll see your way clear to do all you can for it, while accepting the realities and investing into each day as a fresh new screen on which to write reality as you see fit. Your son will find his way in it and hopefully will feel your love and value it.

      I've visited your hubsite and read about you and one of your hubs about subjects of your interests - the justice system, specifically. You sound like a mature person who needs little advice, but perhaps encouragement can always find a place to alight, whatever the diversity of the challenges!

    • danfresnourban profile image


      10 years ago from Fresno, CA

      It has been interesting to follow this recap of parenting from this perspective. My son is 15, I guess I am still in the middle of "it" still to close to it, to accurately be able to reflect on it. I appreciate this hub and the comments because it has made step back and look at life from a different view. Thanks

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Jama, I don't know I could honestly ever claim "clever" nor do I see what I may have said here that seemed clever, but thank you. It would be a frightful thing! hehe ;D

      I like the idea of mentoring or doting over someone else's children!! Experience with all my grands and great-grands has proven its BIG advantages, - especially when any of them hit the terrible teens! It is great to know that they are the responsibility of the parents! By the way, I'm "Granny Annie" to all of them.

      Many people do, but I've never seen myself "raising" my grands, though my circumstances really haven't presented that possibility, so I never had to face it. Perhaps telling my daughter when she was hell-bent on marrying at age 18, that if she were woman enough to become a wife and mother, she needed to plan to be woman enough to take the full responsibility for those choices. ;-> She did proceed with it and has seen it through.

      We did have my eldest granddaughter (the one resulting from my daughter's first marriage @ 18) here with us for the summer when she was 13, and it was a delight, plus she's the one to whom I'm always closest. So there are certainly advantages to it. Now she has two big teenagers of her own & occasionally I actually have opportunity to offer advice. But I am very happy both to have my advice valued and also to be only an "occasional" authority!!

      Hugs, dear friend!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Well aren't you two just flightfully clever!

      I don't intend to avoid children altogether in my next life, only the heartache that came with the ones I had in THIS life. Doting Aunt or mentoring someone's else's children will suit me just fine next time around. ;D

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Yes, Keith! (smiling at your great metaphor) Absolutely! In fact it was quadruply fulfilling, because George's liftoff in his first marriage was also rocky and his had been 35 years on the tarmac! So then, we enjoyed nearly 30 years in lovely flight together! There's not a day passes without my deepest feelings of gratitude for them! :-) Mission definitely accomplished!

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for your kind words Nellianna. I'm so glad you found a soulmate worthy of your love, kindness and intellect. Those days and nights together must have been doubly fulfilling. You could say you had a rocky liftoff, but mission accomplished.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      So true, Jama. In my case, I laid aside any real hope for personal credit beyond knowing I did a good job, given the situation, so long as I were just able to manage to fulfill the goal of being there for them as long as possible IN that very real situation. My maternal instincts must have outweighed all else. I have no one and nothing else to blame for my choice and decisions but my own inner guidance, and it turned out to be almost for naught. But who can judge how much worse it might have been for the kids if I'd have taken a different position? I can't. I know it's not been smooth sailing for them, but I can say that I can be proud of their character, after all is said and done.

      I certainly didn't map it out per se, but it was the prevailing motive of those years, though I also saw and found ways to preserve my own being, if somewhat diminished, sort of the way one is advised to put on one's own oxygen mask in an airplane emergency before putting one on the children in one's care.

      I could write volumes about the cleverness of that man's agenda. The one book in his early home was a Sherlock Holmes novel and he had incorporated the careful mindset of that character to format his own approach to his life's challenges.

      And, as you so aptly describe it - it was FLAWLESSLY executed. Up close and personal, I didn't see every detail unfolding, but it is like a map, seeing it in retrospect even from before we married. He chose me as a way up and out, based on his rather unrealistic impression of Texas ranching families which he picked up in and around Houston during his cadet days stationed nearby. My West Texas family was not at all the same as those Houston-area families, but it was quite unlike his back in Indiana and it represented a chance to change his "luck". And he played it like a violin. The children were never anything to him but pawns to play for advantage. Sad, but true. Right up to the very end, he played them.

      I wouldn't be eager to bring children into the world in any possible future life, either, although I probably would - because they are the only hope of the future.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Sadly, when Mom is considered by a controlling Dad to be little more than the family's unpaid servant, all the effort she puts into maintaining that buffer to keep the children safe and providing them opportunities to escape a similar fate is rarely, if ever, acknowledged by the kids, let alone appreciated. It's a total mystery to me how such women can be considered the "bad" parent, but all too often that's exactly the perception Control Freak Dad wants the children to have, even after they're adults and **should** be able to figure out Mom was NOT the bad parent, but never do because the brainwashing has been so flawlessly executed.

      I've vowed NOT to have children in my next life, btw.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Keith! What a sweetheart you are.

      To be accurate I knew almost exactly what effects it would have on the children. He'd made it perfectly clear at the start as soon as I became pregnant, so I had no difficulty knowing the side effects on them. The net effect for them was just what he'd guaranteed in so many words which kept me powerless. He didn't hesitate to destroy their mother for them, but all along, I knew I was all that stood between them & growing up with no break in the dysfunction which was his own natal family along with several generations of more of the same clustered about us up there, as soon as he left the Air Force and insisted on our living among them, a couple of thousand miles from my people. He knew just what he was doing, I am sure.

      He had taken his cues from his mother, who bullied & virtually emotionally destroyed his father in the same manner. I'm sure my ex didn't want to end up like his dad, so he chose the 'effective' M.O. of the powerful one in his own parents. Their household was full of violence and devoid of gentility. I was a misfit & my influence was continuously being minimized to my children, but I HAD to be there for them at any cost and I had no doubt that I wouldn't/couldn't be if I balked. I didn't even tell my parents about it all, though I saw that they took its measure on several occasions when our situation erupted enough to need their aid, if only financially.

      He was consistently so emphatic in that he would never relinquish the kids, no matter what, that I honestly knew he might be capable of harming them not only emotionally but physically if he had to, to make good on his threat. It was not love, but power he sought. Of course, as long as I complied, things were less obviously under such duress. He did bully the kids but also led them to almost regard me like a paid servant. Still, I was THERE with and for them every single day of theirl lives till the implosion fell around us. So I'd been able to be somewhat of a buffer and at least, they were nearer their own maturity @ 15 & 17.

      It was not my choice but it was brave, I suppose, to venture out into the light after those years of undermining. But bear in mind that I was not a "nobody" by any means when I entered into the marriage. My educational qualifications were limited up there only because my lifetime certification was for teaching inTexas, not Indiana or Kentucky. Having had no freedom to go for the courses which would qualify me, I couldn't enter that profession there, one which my parents and I had provided for him!

      But I'd had some prestigious work experience between graduation and my sister's death, which helped, plus building & keeping up with learning on my own during the marriage, including helping him study.

      For sure, the actual experience of juggling the many factors and tasks both which I expected of myself and which were demanded of me all during that marriage proved its value when I did secure a position where I could show my stuff. I'd become something of a master of efficiency & handling impossible problems while hardly making a surface ripple! ;-> haha. Looking back on my everyday performance all those years, I can hardly imagine how I did it! But my kids had been conditioned & convinced that I was inconsequential & that they wouldn't be able to go on to college or have any kind of a normal life with me! How much of the stuff they believed, I don't know. But they did go along with it for what they thought was their best choice - for then. I thought they'd see beyond it - and my daughter did. My son soon left for college and more or less left it all behind, I think.

      My futile hope of winning my children's trust back kept me up there for a year, and it was a test of my ability to handle it on my own. Actually I found it easier than handling most of the same things for the past 18 years, but under duress! ;->

      As for the kids, they were still being manipulated & refusing to respond to my attempts to contact them and remain their mother. I didn't want to destroy whatever security they had left, so I accepted that as the present reality and focused on doing what I had to do to continue intact. I felt that at least, my example of courage might dawn on them eventually.

      Had I come home to Texas immediately, perhaps things would have worked out differently. But how it DID unfold is the reality and I guess I worked it to as effective results as the circumstances allowed.

      In many ways I, too, had to grow up - but mine was more like an emergence from social isolation, knowing how to do many things but within a separation from 'most everything in my early 'start' on life, as well as most of what was all around us during our marriage. It was challenging, for sure. I think that when I married the man, at age 22, I may have been about 13 in reality! haha. I love that way to express it, Keith. In addition, my sister's tragic and untimely death and my condition of being unforgiven for having defied HER control loomed over it all. We married in 1954 and it ended in 1972.

      By the way, in 1977 I was 45 & had been out of that nightmare marriage for 5 years & was busily sorting through my next personal challenges, still growing but with much more freedom and confidence, thus proving that the beat goes on & as soon as we learn one lesson, we just graduate to the next one where we must apply what it is we learned! It's still that way for me!!

      It was several growing years before I found my real soul-mate & a fulfilling life together.

      In retrospect, one sees how each part of our lives really fits into a personal destiny & the life one is ever-learning to navigate better & better. It is non-productive to anguish incessantly over any one phase. We must do all we can at each plateau and move ahead - up or down - with vigor as required, gaining in compassion, capability and wisdom.

      We are, indeed, dealt certain cards, and a sequence of "hands" - and we must continuously learn and decide how best to play them, based on our trove of wisdom and experience. This is not for sissies, LIFE! :-) Your own story proves that, Keith! I admire you greatly for your own courage and willingness to embrace the challenges! Hugs

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Hi, again, dear Jama. Yes, we certainly do share a rapport. It's bit of a delightful surprise. :-)

      I love that you were "there" in that time in which I began the website. So few people who visit it can quite get the picture of how it was in those early years of personal websites. I'd seen one published by a fellow chatter and admired it and decided to try it, knowing less than zero about it. His was on Geocities, where most of those early sites were located. And they were offering 25 mg. free space for making a personal website. One just needed to apply for an "address". Those were sorted into areas of interest with actual cities representing each of those areas. I chose Art & the city for it was Paris. So I found myself with an address on one of Geocities' fictional streets in Paris, thinking I'd coast along while I figure out what to do next. As best I can recall, it was : (I'm not sure about those 4 numbers, but that's close; anyway, Geocities no longer exists, so it's a moot point.)

      That blank page was wouldn't accept my attempt to start writing on it, of course. What it was was the File Manager to which I could upload my picture and/or music files and where my finished webpages would be stored and found when accessed by their complete address. I had NO idea what it was for or how to start that or anything else. How intimidating!

      Before long I was notified that unless something was posted on my site, I'd lose the address, and their addresses were being snapped up rapidly! I could see that for myself. I'd had to search for a "vacancy" among the available addresses on any street! But there I was, staring at it in a fog that could have fit London better!. I'd grown fond of my Paris addy, so I knew I had to do something without delay!

      I asked the friend with the site what to do next! He simply emailed me 5 pages of simple html codes and suggested that I right-click on his page & access the "source" of the page to display its html code and studyhow it fit his finished page. That was the sum total of my instructions! haha (I found a copy of those 5 pages just now as I was looking for something else! Mostly I stuck to the first page of simplest codes! haha)

      I managed a page to make sure I didn't lose my address but the raw results surely didn't express my intention to use the site for self-expression, which had so inspired me in my friend's page. But I did find I could hide my ignorance with pretty good writing. haha - still, I had no choice but to push ahead.

      I know exactly what you mean about speaking HTML! In many an all- nighter of concentration & frustration I learned to think in html & to easily pinpoint errors which puzzled & buffaloed me at first! I found how unforgiving it is & so learned it to the core of my being; though I must confess never becoming a really sophisticated codifier. I mastered it, though, by responding to a basic tenet that 'if I can't understand and do it myself, why even have it on MY page?' I had to know what I know of it well enough to accomplish my goal. I wasn't competing for more or less than that!

      So it expanded as I ran out of 25MG of free space and was adding pages about other people which I couldn't delete to make a new page. I bought a few more megs at a time till I saw that the extras cost more than an upgrade, so it eventually mushroomed into the several domains and expanse it is.

      I've been asked by a few folks to teach them how I do my web design, but to be honest, my method is so unorthodox and personal, I hardly know where to begin, especially when it becomes clear that the person wouldn't choose to do the independent homework to internalize it, which is the only way I really know to do it! :-) I have a feeling you know what I mean, since you plunged in and learned it on your own and put in the time and effort, too! Thank you so much for looking into it!! Hugs

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Hi Nellianna, of course a mother can't think of walking out of a difficult situation without considering the effect it would have on one's innocent children. As you said you did what you did knowing that whatever your children thought, you had brought them into adult hood via a stable base. It was still brave of you to venture out into a new challenging life not really sure of where you were heading or where you would end up. We learn so much more when we have to scramble out of the bottom of a pit and grow so much more rapidly. I moved to Australia in 1977 aged 24 on paper, but 14 in reality. I had never cooked a meal, lived independently, or had to think too much for myself. On the first anniversary of my arrival i remember thinking how little had known about life and how much i had learnt and still had to learn. I met my wife in 1981 and the same process commenced. I had to grow up, she demanded it and i'm still growing as a result of our union. We are all dealt certain cards and have to decide how to play them. Lovely to chat. Bye

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Nellieanna, we do have quite a rapport, don't we! I'm enjoying it too!

      I visited your website this afternoon, but could only stay a few minutes as there were errands to run that couldn't be put off until tomorrow even though I very much wanted to! I was amazed at how much is there, and will go back when I can stay MUCH longer!

      Had to laugh about your learning html to set up the site. I too taught myself (1996) and remember thinking my brain would explode before I finally "got it". Those who were in diapers (or not yet born) in the early days of the internet have NO idea how much effort was involved in writing code for even one web page! But I learned it well enough that, before plug and play web templates came along, I taught others to do it too. Still use the knowledge now and again to tweak my blog. Was often tempted to add "HTML" under "Languages you speak fluently" on job apps, along with medical terminology and campaign finance laws.

      Hugs! ;D

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Jama - I'm so honored to be enjoying a kind of special rapport with you. I love it. Thank you!

      It's healthy, I think, to examine the past for its lessons and find those wonderful crystals of pure perception we sometimes find among the debris to be discarded. I was very fortunate to have been sort of forced into a daily crystallization process right when it was going on, in the writing of the poetry. At the time, it was a essential outlet for me, too, one which would not betray me if found and read, since it was almost codified. If it raised alarms, they remained unspecific, since he really had no idea what I was talking about. They simply represented some kind of mysterious reality to which he had no access, which was alarming. He had no respect for or interest in art or literature, actually and considered them contemptuous, if not abnormal. haha. Anyway - for me - it.

      Jama, you and I seem to be similar - mulling over things like miners panning and sifting through shallow samples of waters off a mountain to filter out little bits of real gold. It needn't have a definite objective, though. Just thinking is a joy. The revelations from it ARE beneficial, and though they can't undo any past choices, they help clarify them and can affect our future by helping us better center our present moments as they happen.

      You're right - opening up has positive potential. There's little to fear about it and if it helps just one other person feel more safe & "OK" with his or her own unexpressed experiences or haunting terrors, it is well worth one's own time to express it and allow it to be available.

      I began that website in 1997, shortly after getting online and kept it very current up till fairly recently. Starting it required learning how to write html and put it together from scratch, on my own - and that in itself was such a fun challenge. It was like many of my most fun activities over a lifetime of brashly treading where I'd never before set foot! And more, I saw it as a way to express myself in more than one way, so it contains much of "me", though possibly less than the things I've shared here, all these years later, in mostly raw writing! I didn't intend or expect my site to attract a lot of viewers That was not my objective. I just wanted it to be there for folks I knew would key into it. I actually went out of my way to not advertise and get traffic and "hits" on it. In the beginning, my old guest list entries were like conversations with dear friends! Then as creating personal websites became more commonplace and the old "chartrooms" dwindled I doubt that mine ever fit the more recent mold or model. But it remains my own personal "oasis" and a "salon" for those who bother to look, and those are the folks I want to look. I know you'll be such a visitor, and thank you in advance. I must warn you, though - there are something like 150 pages tucked in there! Not a quick pursuit if one wants to see what-all is there! Plus it encompasses a lot of past online experience and friendships which may have little bearing on anything now. There are many things, though, just personal and matterful to me which are possible insights into who I am, too.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Chris - thank you! How good to see you! I hope for it to be understood that I haven't needed catharsis for all that experience so many years ago - honestly; except perhaps just to be accurately understood. I would like very much for the poetry and perspective it distilled for me to be seen as what it really is, too. I'm not wild about explaining myself, yet there are things requiring a little "author's" explanation, aren't there? :-) It can make a possible difference in interpretation and perceptions of its true meaning for readers. I know that learning a bit more of your background deepened my appreciation & understanding of your take on life! I appreciated it so much, to be given that glimpse.

      Yes - the very best outcome for me was finding a partner in my George who was not only positive, but keenly perceptive, fitting and satisfying. It was just about the best reward imaginable and the best 30 or so years of my life! I am a most fortunate gal and the goodies just continue with my wonderful friends here like YOU! I am, indeed, honored to be considered an amazing woman by you, who I know does know amazing women, and as close as by your side! Hugs!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      You are soooo right, Nellieanna, that who we are NOW is the result of everything we brought from whatever happened to us previously - good AND bad - and the people who were in those parts of our lives. I don't know that I'd be as "strong" as I am today without having survived the trials and tribulations I did, but like to think that I would, that I'd still arrive at this point in my life with a spine of steel, but one formed in a much different, more pleasant forge.

      Lately I've been indulging in woolgathering, examining bits and pieces of my life. Not to cry over the "if onlys", but simply to determine why I chose one fork in life's road over another. Too late for such revelations to be of any benefit in this life, but hopefully they'll favorably affect the outcome of my next.

      I agree that we should open up more in a safe, online environment so that not only will others know more about who we are NOW and how we got there, but to let others experiencing (or who have already experienced) the same unwise life choices know they aren't alone. You have a way with words that makes a reader WANT to open up and share, so I'm checking out your website! ;D


    • ChrisLincoln profile image


      10 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California


      I hope that expressing this gave you a much-deserved sense of relief. I am also happy to know that you experienced life with a positive partner, George.

      For those of us who have come to love you vicariously through Hubpages, I'm sure I speak for many when I say you are an inspiration. You bring beauty into our worlds and for that we all want the very best for you...

      And thank you for sharing.You are truly an amazing woman (And I know amazing women - I live with one!)


    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Keith - Yes, there were permanent losses which cannot be retrieved, but then - yes - my spirit is intact and enhanced. Thank you for noticing! :-)

      And fortunately my parents saved a lot of my early "tracks" so I have those now. But the best treasures are always the ones which are carried in one's heart and mind, and those are abundant and full of light.

      Yes, I think it is beneficial to be/share the real person one IS among our good HP friends. I'm not especially into moaning & groaning or just "dumping" one's issues incessantly on captive audiences. But to share who one is and a bit of how one got to "here" has much value.

      Often one's appearance and manner - especially if one has resolved old issues and laid them to rest -- can present an image to others which really doesn't quite fit all one really IS. Plus it can be difficult to communicate one's real empathy if one seems to have never had a problem greater than a broken fingernail, a bad hair day or being left on the bench during a major playoff game! So we do need to try to bring all of ourselves (in non-oppressive ways) to this time and place in order to really be able to communicate our truth with others and to receive theirs.

      I never considered having a stiff upper lip. I was simply behaving as I knew to over most of my life (remember those much older bossy siblings) and more especially under the intense duress involved in my 1st marriage. The consequences of doing otherwise were too grave to risk, plus avoiding those highly likely consequences was my main reason for enduring & staying in it at all, other than my own abiding determination to be a good wife and mother in whatever my situation, which was a real goal to me into which I'd planned to invest my all - talents, dedication, the whole 'nine yards'. It was who I was, for sure. It was a strong propellant, even though I'd made an unwise choice of partner.

      I'm glad in many ways I stuck to it, though I see from this perspective where it might have been wiser to do otherwise and risk the severe fall-out. Of course, hindsight has no exchange value other than lessons gleaned from it, which I've internalized and I do know that my motives were worthy - and not just a typical "staying in an unpleasant marriage for the children" sort of effortless response to many disappointing marriages. It wasn't even remotely probable or foreseeable that leaving could have had any good results for anyone concerned, unless, possibly, I'd done it when first pregnant with my first child! The way it imploded -(my not even instigating it, but the children literally losing a dedicated mother, as promised if I'd have ever made a move) - proved enough that it was too untenable to have casually or even angrily risked just walking out (which would have been my only mode of transportation, as well - in a place far from any of my own people.)

      That there were some outstanding values gleaned from it all which I cannot regret is my focus now. Fact is,- it was the way it was and I wouldn't be the person I am now, otherwise.

      It's offered mainly to flesh out who I actually AM among my peers here and to allow for honest interaction among us. Prior to being in HP, I only rarely tried to share it, and then only privately, one-on-one in instances where I saw it might be helpful.

      At first, when it imploded, I as much too busy getting my feet on the ground. I had to learn to drive at 40, get a job after all those years off the job market, and make my way alone, still hoping my children would realize the absurdity of the stuff they were being fed. Of course, it was a punishment for "being" cleverly designed to present to anyone not well acquainted with it (as few were) - to cast me in the worst possible light: - a bad wife and mother which he and I knew wasn't the truth - but . . . ! I hadn't really cared about that risk, but it was certainly a reality when its time rolled around! So I chose to learn from it all and move on, - and found that to be my most beneficial response, anyway.

      So I do have strong feelings of empathy and caring for others and here, there actually seems to be a place for it.

      Hugs and gratitude for your friendship & comments, Keith!

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Hi Nellianna, although its sad to hear that your dearest treasures were destroyed, your spirit remained intact. It's called keeping a stiff upper lip in England and to be applauded. We can't change the past, but we can learn from it and move on as you have done. We don't write enough about ourselves on hubpages, perhaps we should, as many traits lie hidden between the scant lines we normally write. Wrong impressions can easily abound and opening up a little more might bind us closer together. We are all like minded people with regard to our desire to write. It was nice to discover more about you, so thank you for sharing your thoughts. From your Aussie/English mate Keith.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Yes, Christopher - that describes it pretty well. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, with virtually no one who spoke my language, and everyone being part of his "troops" in case of any question of who was right or whether I was behaving as expected. I had to develop finesse to work around his family's raucous insistence that my children were OK using 'ain't' and refusing to eat nutritious foods. One aunt was another trapped butterfly but she had been there so long, she no longer flapped her wings. Otherwise, they were all stuck in that other world. No art or music, no books or magazines, infighting at every holiday meal at his folks' - etc, etc. It was stifling. But I knew that if I were not there, my children would surely grow up just the same as they. I had to be a quiet buffer, but at least I was THERE.

      Thank you for your lovely comments. I am happy to have escaped it, though I'd have stayed for my children indefinitely if I could have. But he made a move and it boomeranged. So I got out alive and intact.


    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      10 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom


      You must have felt like a butterfly trapped in a volcano, in those bad days.

      I'm glad they are over.

      Now your beautiful poetry, and your lovely sentiments, can spread all over our lives, like golden butter soaking into the thirstiest of toast.

      Thank you.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      OH - nothing boring about that, Jama! If I could squeeze one more project into my days, it would definitely be to pursue family history with today's technological tools! I'm sure it's all there in the genetic code, and some is also written on the many lives -- even on the wind, possibly. Just one person's personal history is chock-full of evidence!

      I love your phrase, "The gene pool is most definitely a whirlpool"! hahaha! Then when one realizes the double-helix form of DNA - well, the geometry is more than coincidental, no doubt.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      lol! Yes, I rewind the clock on a regular basis...and will continue to do so until my last breath! Thanks!

      At the risk of boring you or your other fans about the "hobby" of family history, if you do it for any length of time and go far enough back, you can't help but see traits from long-dead generations in yourself, your children and their children. And in many instances, get a good belly laugh to boot over how Mother Nature re-cycles them. The gene pool is most definitely a whirlpool. Never know what might get sucked to the bottom only to pop to the surface again years later. ;D

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      JamaGenee!! Oh, thank you! Indeed that is a marvelous recreating of your original message. That was so embarrassing to have deleted it. First time ever. I realized I'd replied to yours before the person's just before yours. I was trying to delete my reply to you, saving it to place back on after posting my reply to the prior person. Instead I deleted your post! ugh. That procedure is much more permanent than deleting one's own on one's own hub comments! I was so miffed. I tried different ways to recover it - but to no effect. So I decided to "come clean" and beseech you to both forgive me and restore it, if possible.

      And you've done well! In fact it's been deepened! Thank you.

      All you've mentioned brings to mind many factors in my own life and those of my children, including how it "played out" for them and how it's all overlapped and interwoven from way back then to the present time. I'd written a lot more of those details in this reply but saw fit to save it for my memoirs, perhaps. haha ;->

      The bottom line is that these unfortunate sequences of happenings do not just fade into the past and become finished. They continue to reverberate in places and ways over which any one person who was a part of the scenario, has no control over the others. The unfolding responds to and encompasses the many personalities and 'gene pools' involved, along with each of their own sequences of events, including both the truths and the fabrications. So it is a branching "tree", indeed, with roots unseen from generations past, and all their truths and fabrications. Human life is simply like that. I think of its 'subjective reality' whenever I have to deal with any of it. People are dynamic, partly formed entities trying to matriculate in a complicated social order we loosely call "civilization" - sometime smoothly but often with many bumps and grinds. :-)

      However, something I read today sums up my own location on the compendium & its perspective pretty well, as far as anyone's own progress can and will flow; and it seems a fitting thought on which to conclude this reply:

      "You cannot turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again" - Bonnie Prudden   

      Thank you, dear Jama, for returning and sharing more of your own experience. - Hugs.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Nellieanna, no - boo hoo - I didn't keep a copy of my comment, but remember the first paragraph was along the lines of congratulating you for remembering you were (and still are) a special person most of the time that you were married to a man who only knew to be a different sort of "special" by being a control freak. And that at the end of the day, control freaks control NOTHING.

      The second paragraph was about you giving me an idea what to do with the pile of journals and unique photo albums I can't help buying then put away because they're "too pretty" to use. I'd also recently come across slips of paper or whatever else was handy on which I'd scribbled my own poems and pearls of wisdom. The light went on with this hub - to copy the poems and such into the journals, and add an explanation of who or what event was the inspiration for each. Also that doing so might be an eye-opener for my (grown) children, whose perception of me is - borrowing your words - "frozen in their minds" as a parent and not as a person. A person, I might add who bears little resemblance to the frazzled single working mom they grew up with.

      How's that for recreating my comment from memory? Just PLEASE promise you won't delete THIS one - I used my last working brain cell to write it! ;D

      That said, I too think the grandchildren - and if I live so long! - the great-gr-children will be more apt to see and appreciate me as a PERSON who might actually be fun to be around. Sadly, two of my children inherited the mean gene from my mother and her mother and have made something of a career of painting me in a bad light to their own children, forgetting there's better than average chance those kids inherited my curiosity gene. So I've NO doubt they'll eventually figure out they've been lied to and want FACTS, not more BS, just as I did when I began doing genealogy and discovered much that I'd been told by my mother, her sisters and their mother about themselves and various relatives was pure fiction.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Alelxandra - such wisdom. Yes, I believe that the debris does promote an environment for growth for a "plant" with internal integrity, and possibly has the opposite effect if not.

      Your experience with probing your family history is fascinating. My Dad's Mennonite heritage includes a 2-volume family history record which traces them back to Switzerland in the 1600s. I grew up reading Volume I (which I just barely made) and feeling like I knew all those folks I hadn't even met, since my parents left Indiana and settled in Texas long before I was born. The second volume - even thicker than the first - traces ongoing generations. My kids are in that one.

      Mother's genealogy was traced by her niece years later but it goes back to the American Revolution and mentions that they came from the British Isles, mainly Scotland.

      But putting more personality to the names is a revelation, I'm sure. In Dad's family history, each person of consequence is praised for his high standards & leadership, as might be expected by a highly religious group, but I picked up vibes from Dad that his father was a bit of a rebel, careless with his financesl and used thoroughbred horses for the farm work! The religion frowned on horse-racing and he loved race horses. So… the story is included that one of his horses was sold to the British royalty for their stables. This may not sound very far-out, but for a Mennonite, I guess it was. My Dad was no longer a practicing Mennonite from WWI on, though; and I met very very few of his folks and never visited his home-ground, where many a Mennonite Church bears the family name even now.

      Mother was the eldest of three girls. The middle sister died young and the youngest became a nurse and struggled with alcoholism for years before joining AA and staying sober from then on. Dad had taught all the sisters at one point. He was only a senior in H.S. but then they allowed good students to go out in rural areas and teach.

      Mother had a stack of American Civil War letters written from and among members of her family - some from the Confederacy and some from the Union. I have some of them, in fact. She sometimes told family lore about the men who wrote them, as had been passed on to her. Also she had an original deed to property awarded to veterans (a family member) of an earlier war in the 1800s - signed by the then President of the U.S.

      I have this document.

      They were both such hoarders of anything pertaining to family history that I sort of grew up feeling I knew those people, though I only met a few of the kinfolks. For one thing, many had died before I was born. My parents were the rebels, I'm sure - setting out to the wilds of West Texas, as they did in the early 1920s and carving out a very different lifestyle here. But I felt immersed in family history from my youngest days in spite of it. Thinking back on it, it was rather unusual I guess. I'd love to explore further, using the technology now available.

      I love hearing about your probing into yours. I guess if we could probe back far enough, we'd find most of us on the planet have some common ancestors!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Ah, horseback - thank you for the desire to right a wrong. It was so long ago. I rather suspect that, for him, living with it has been a degree of punishment and awareness that the material gains are bitter fruit for him may exist. I can't say I empathize in the least with him, but neither am I vengeful - not for his sake but for my own and my personal example. All would be for naught if I had let it change me to a bitter vengeful person, which might have pleased him more. But it does raise a person's ire to see such actions as his.

      I'm educated - even with some graduate study, but not as a poet. My Dad insisted on our getting "practical" training. I am a qualified teacher, though I haven't taught except in practice teaching. My love to study was in fashion design and I was able to get that into my minor study, with a major in Home Economics. The graduate work was to get the teaching credentials finished. I felt myself to just 'be' a poet all along. It was like breathing and almost that effortless. Whether or not it meets any criteria for "poetry" has always been incidental to me.

      I consider that my 'education' really began at 'commencement', though. Also, I tutored my husband through his college work to become a science teacher. He'd never learned how to study by himself, so I had the opportunity to virtually participate in all the required courses for his training, up to and including a Master's degree at Arizona State on a National Science Foundation grant which I helped him acquire.

      In his early home life, his grandfather always helped him study so he never had to develop his own study habits. And if he didn't excel at school, his mother blamed and confronted his teachers. In contrast, when I once complained that my C in English was because no one liked the teacher, that she was "mean", my Dad set me straight very quickly and firmly. I was to get along with the teacher, not vice-versa! I 'got it' and my grades after that improved. I couldn't remember ever being dependent on someone else to help me study or to drill me in the memory stuff. Having independent study habits just seemed natural.

      There were many contrasts in our backgrounds, but they were not so obvious to me before we married. He was a cadet in the Air Force stationed near Houston, where I worked after graduation. I met his family only when they came from Indiana for our wedding.

      So many factors and choices lead to and at whatever destination one arrives. It's why one shouldn't be judgmental of others. We never really can fathom others' challenges or reasons to be where and how they are. Besides, If one is a typical human being, there is quite enough of one's own stuff to sort out and deal with! :-)

      I really appreciate your coming by and leaving such supportive comments.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nellieanna, your mention of the OWN presentations of the Judds and the tangles that persist for generations is very appropriate for me, too, at the moment. I am doing a family history that is unwinding slowly and revealing the real people behind the faded photographs. It is not only interesting, it is therapeutic and cathartic.

      In our family, so many things persisted because they were never given voice or light or air and so remained in the dark and therein twisted into nightmares. Like the shadows that are cast by an autumn moon in our childhood bedrooms, they have far more effect this way. In the end we, and all who came before us, are just people and not shadows after all. There is such freedom in forgiveness and in my case, it is a thoroughly selfish act. The trick is in the recognition. Because I often tend to see things in others before seeing them in myself, the family history has been nothing short of one revelation after another - a series of aha moments. Perhaps we do need the debris to grow... like compost?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nellieanna , Attrocious is the 'man' who would push a woman down! Cowards all! And I would hang them for you! However , to reach out as you have in your love is angelic. And yet , I understand and feel for you in this whole writing thing. I , on the other hand, wrote nothing until I was about 45 years old , is that strange or what? No matter , you are a gifted , gifted writer! I know nothing of an education , but I know a true poet , a true writer! And you my dear woman are an angel!...:-}

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      OHMYGOSH, JamaGenee! I somehow deleted and lost your lovely comment while trying to rearrange my own replies!!!!! Ack! Did you happen to keep a copy? If you did, please come and repost it! I'm devastated and so sorry. :-(

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      JamaGenee! what a delightful response. Thank you so much for the visit and comments. It's been ages since we've crossed paths!

      I realized somewhere along the line that the controller is the one who is most DEPENDENT on the relationship. Once in the secrecy of night he admitted to me that he wished people loved him the way they loved me. His own sister told me she didn't know how I lived with him, she couldn't have. So much for his lovability. Of course - blood is thicker - - and he had his kin at his beck and call and made sure I was thousands of miles from any of my own folks. I wouldn't have summoned them anyway. That would have touched off the activation of the threat that anything I did would result in my losing my children, which ultimately he did manage, regardless of all the truth of those 18 years of his bullying them and my being there for them.

      YES - do use those journals and blank books! I'd love to see some of those poems,too! It's amazing how our children's concepts of us gets not only frozen but STALE. It's another example of "subjective perception". They see what they're able to perceive, limited by a stereotype of roles, I suppose. By the way, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are actually more able to see us as more than fixtures provided for their convenience. haha.

      I think of my parents and what real PEOPLE they were. I'm not sure I always realized it, though. I recall something in the early 1960s during the emergence of that phenomenal generation of "beatniks" and everyone determined to cast off the reins, to defy conventions and assert their individuality. I was in that marriage then and apart from what was going on, but it was depicted on TV. I remember seeing the bra-burners and oh-so-cool people being defiantly 'non-conformists'. It occurred to me that my own little mother, born in 1892, had always been her own person, not a follower, had always realized her own uniqueness and yet had been able to do her own "stuff" (an artist, designer, humanitarian, - - etc.) and still put 3 hot meals a day on the table and manage to take care of most of the "tiresome details of living" for her family. How unique was that? I thought! She had friends from every spectrum of society - the local social leaders and folks that lived across the tracks. She didn't see that class distinction, though she was sensitive to those who were overly "precise" - in other words, who had such unbending standards that they were obnoxious.

      She certainly didn't need a movement to BE, although I learned from reading her diary in 1912, - she was very much for women's voting rights almost a decade before that became a reality; she encouraged the other girls to understand that they had very few! She could have been a suffragette, but life took priority. Her school yearbook mentioned her determination to "prove that woman is man's equal", along with her "boundless energy". What a gal! Dad was certainly no less a person in his own right and a champion of the underdog.

      I came along when they were 40 and 42, by the way. That was a lot more unusual then than it is now. Mother said I was her "nest egg". hehe

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Alexandra - my dear lovely friend. I am certified as a teacher, though I've never professionally taught. I have been associated with many teachers in my family and enjoyed friendships with others. The teaching I most admire is that which is "by example". There is an unmistakability and authenticity about it which can never be imposed on other methods. My mother was such a teacher, as well as being a trained classroom teacher. Dad was both, as well, though he firmly believed in "rote teaching". But without knowing it, his most effective lessons were those he demonstrated.

      I found a path through the debris out of necessity. So I must give credit to that debris for making me aware and alert. Yes - the ultimate destination is truly "here and now" and full of heart. Thank you!

      I've been very touched by a OWNetwork presentation about Naomi Judd and her two daughters and the chain of dysfunction which plagues their lives. How good it would be to slough off those unresolved - and unresolvable in methods - tangles woven in families. One has to wonder why it persists for generations, huh?

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Martie - my cyber daughter - thank you for reading and writing such a wonderful response. Yes - that is a psychological disease. In my daughter's case, it ties in with her strong impetus to NOT be controlled like she saw her mother being, so she chooses men who can be controlled - ie: addictive men. I understand her dilemma and wish it were otherwise for her. But of course, - that is wishful thinking, and futile.

      She has a life - she's a grandma several times now and struggles with her strong tendency to dominate her kids and their strong resistance to it. But she's a devoted mom, too, and has in her own way made the best of the breaks that peek through the curtain of her own questionable choices. I respect her for it. Sometimes I even suspect that she's grown to respect her mother. But I long ago dispensed with waiting for that in order to be and I never based my self-image on whatever picture she could see of me! For her sake, though, I feel it would benefit her to know me more - if it is her choice. "Families - everyone should have one!" hehe

      Thanks much for understanding a lot of my story. It's always nice to be perceived.

      Hugs and love - NHH

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Sonia! What a lovely tribute. Thank you. It doesn't show, probably becausenI am not a typical abuse 'survivor'. I hung onto mySELF throughout it and built upon all my experience since then.

      I always found outlets for creativity and I believed in my purpose to endure the bad parts. Yes, I became 'beaten down' by it at times. But I just couldn't 'buy into' it. In fact, that was probably the challenge to him. He didn't really know how to deal with it and didn't have it in himself to just be. So I guess I invented passive resistance. haha. I didn't know it but my BEING was what he wanted to annihilate because it didn't just crumble on demand or threat. Though I was compliant, he felt it as a hollow victory, so he tightened up more in hopes of finding the key to destroying me and establishing himself as 'victor'. I didn't challenge him except by BEING. But that being was gentle and optimistic. That must have really infuriated him. His background was full of violence and ugly control between people. Plus he had a specific agenda and goal in my case, which he began to see was slipping through his fingers. He thought he had to tighten the cords and step up the ante, - only to find I was not destroyed. I didn't oppose, I just didn't vacate myself. His next step was more desperate. He planned to have me committed after making me sign over everything we had and that I'd ever have to the kids, which he'd control. He misjudged when he thought to line up my brother (long distance) to back him by telling him his plan for the next day. Instead, my brother stepped in and the rest is history, but with collateral damage for the children.

      I really don't know if I could have held intact, though,without the poetry outlet. I also painted, designed & sewed for everyone, cooked everything my family ate 'from scratch', kept a perfect house (which had to just be perfect but I wasn't permitted to show myself doing it and had to look like I just stepped out of a bandbox at al times), and I found my nourishment by having and making music and reading profusely - and I was not in a fiction mode. On my own, I studied history, philosophy, psychology, even science. My expenditures for books ordered by mail via book clubs, as well as records became the only real "case" against me he could find to present to the judge, in fact, though he had no compunctions about lying big-time to the children. But I was "there" all along. When I forgot or misplaced me, I could read my poetry and there I was! It was a main reason I wrote it and my only real sustenance.

      I only wanted to share this here for encouragement to others who endure various levels of self-doubt and/or abuse. I read so many heart-rending stories and feel the anguish for them. I am OK myself, so I don't need it, though it is a living part of who I am. If any of it will help someone realize his or her own value, though - it is worth the sharing.

      Thank you - and love back.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nellieanna, beyond the beauty, wisdom, and sometimes surprising notes contained within your writing, there is a teacher. Today, I have been searching for a tranquil place from which to assemble my thoughts and once again, your spirit guides like a lighthouse in a storm. Thank you for letting your 'little light' shine.

      Yes, there is much injustice in the world. There is confusion, anger, and a desperate need to be heard and to be 'right' that creates the opposite of what is truly desired by so many of us. Becoming aware of the value of each and every part of the whole is a difficult process and usually takes a lifetime to even begin to understand the concept. You, dear soul, have drawn a map. But where does this map lead? To here. To now. To El Corazón.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Nellieanna, something you’d written in here hit me like a hammer between the eyes, for that is what I was until a couple of months ago – “...addicted to addictive people...” It is always good to know the name of a disease you had/have.

      Each of these poems exposes your unique personality – you are, indeed, a team all on your own – Nellie, Anna and Hay – A deuce-ace.... complete trinity. You know divine trinities were widely known ages before Calvyn (or was it Luther) declared the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a Holy Trinity. Anyway, you just seem to be (in my view) an equivalence of a three-in-one-completeness.

      I guess, beside the strengths and talents you were born with, your ‘position’ as a child, ‘overshadowed’ by extremely intelligent superiors, forced you to become slowly but certainly the you you were and eventually are today.

      I (humbly) believe it is now the time for you to share the wisdom you had gathered through the years with ‘the world’. Please impose (your word) all those poems of yours on us. Personally I regard them as seed growing in me, and believe me I am reaping the fruit of the poems you’d already published daily.

      Take care, Nellieanna! Tot weersiens.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Will - how happy I'm that you saw fit to return and continue our discussion. Your account of that girl you've known since schooldays really did suffer at the hands of an abuser. He wasn't in fear of being discovered and accused of abuse as mine was, I guess. I never felt I needed or deserved abuse, but I was used to being minimized in my family of much elder siblings who just didn't "see" me as an entity other than their baby sister. There was such a discrepancy in ages that they never noticed my progress or accomplishment and growth into a woman. I was frozen in their minds in my childhood with my bouncing golden curls, poor eyesight and sweet smiles.

      Briefly, some unusual events, including my sister's untimely death, set me up for walking headlong into the marriage which would be so grim both for me and my children, in spite of my determination to be good at it. I shouldn't go into it here - but it will be in my memoirs. It's water under the bridge anyway. I am not haunted or dominated by it, except perhaps in a strong determination and purpose in life. So I can look back at it as "education" and training to BE a fully functioning authentic person one IS, rather than a reflection of someone else's role-casting.

      Yes, I was courageous, I admit it. But - heck - if one is a rabbit being pursued by a fox, what are the choices? I hope your friend comes full circle to knowing her value and letting go of the bad stuff, especially any residue of self-doubt.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Sally - what a pleasure & treasure to have you come and visit! Of course, today's world has spawned many other skills, but it is sad that many graceful ones are fading fast, dwindling in the shadow of Big Games, electronics, fast-paced pressure. Minds are perhaps too racing and overstuffed to take in quieter things, if, indeed, they are even aware of them. But there are/were no ideal times and places, no "Utopia" other than in the minds, hearts and souls of individuals willing to shine forth.

      I've always been touched by injustice in the world and one wonders, "What can I do?" But over the years, it becomes obvious that one's own "little light" is the most and best one really has to "do" or contribute. It needs only to be real and authentic. It won't reach many perhaps; but most great changes came from just one someone shining out "this little light of mine". After all, there are plenty of little lights which , if shone, would give all the light needed. No government has that kind of "light". It only comes from people. Well, that's pretty cheesy but "who cares?" :-) I suspect there are those among the somnolent aware if it too.

      Thank you so much for your visit and lovely compliments. Hugs.

    • sonia05 profile image


      10 years ago from india

      Dear Nellieanna,I am so very touched by this hub of yours. Seeing your profile pic which speaks volumes of love,laughter and hope and your vibrant poetry,I could have never imagined that you had to face abuse by your ex-husband. You are one courageous lady who has immense strength,determination and grit to overcome hurdles and come out of it smiling and learning.

      Your history of poetry reveals that poetry has been your release and how beautifully you have described in the very first few lines: "The heart pours forth words,

      When itself begs release"!

      I am truly honored and privileged to have known you through hubpages because I have lots to learn from you. You and your poems are like a breath of fresh air,bright and beautiful,heart tugging,loving and what not. Its a great gift for all of us!

      Thank you for sharing this hub!



    • WillStarr profile image


      10 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You're correct of course. Most abusers are actually full of self-doubt, and believe the only way they can keep someone is by terrorizing them to the point that they are afraid to end the relationship.

      Unknown to me at the time, one of the girls who went to school with me in the midwest, lived with her abuser (he too went to that school) just miles from me here in Arizona. He beat her almost daily, and it only stopped when he developed cancer and became too sick to continue. He finally died, and she promptly found herself another abuser, as so many do.

      She is only just now realizing that she does not need abuse and that it is not love. I have spent many hours convincing her of that truth, and of her own special, self worth.

      I admire your courage.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Thanks, Will. Studies show that it is often sweet folks who are exploited and abused. In my case, I had other things he wanted for himself and nothing was too out of bounds in order to accomplish it, so long as it didn't "show him up" publicly, reflect on his image and/or incriminate him. My part for which I was responsible was letting it stay hidden, which was essential to prevent the threat he'd laid down.

      I'm thankful that - until the final scene - it was not physical, per se. And I know I wasn't sold into it. I first of all, got into the relationship in spite of red flags & warnings, and then allowed it, though I did so for deep-rooted convictions and fear of something I couldn't allow if there was breath in me to prevent it. It was later that I fully saw the agenda was being worked out - and which was working for him, unfortunately.

      Anyway, I also realized how afraid - no, terrified - he must have been. Anyone who behaves so atrociously is a coward and weakling, no matter how many guns he straps on and parades around or how many others he bullies and intimidates. He did all that. Pitiable, really.

      My point in writing about it is to illustrate that one can maintain one's sanity and true BEING, in whatever the situation. As I said - "The Birdman of Alcatraz" was literally my hero! I figured if that poor man could survive and triumph in that situation, mine was a piece of cake, so long as I kept myself intact - which poetry helped accomplish. I never resorted to "poor me" pity-party poetry, even during the darkest of times. I wanted myself to survive - not a victim. He was to be pitied, not I. Even then, I knew that. :-)

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thank you so much for taking me to a special place, far away from my day-to-day mental landscape, if only for a few precious minutes.

      "I started school very young, back when penmanship was mandatory and having something to say was also valued." I do sometimes wonder today, "Who cares?" or "Who listens, anyway?" But you know, Nellieanna, when the words speak so from the heart and soul, even some of the too many somnolent minds out there will come to listen, will come to care.

      I love the side-by-side handwriting and printing.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      DRBJ - you can't know how heartwarming it is for you to offer your kind word of approval and understanding! Thank you, and big hugs!

      BTW - that little red book with the Chinese art on front was a book of my selected poems written out in longhand to give George when we first became friends in 1979. The one with my picture (with my face in my hands) pasted on front was my effort to sort out some I considered best so I could find them more easily. There is a beautiful burnished journal with its own lock and key lying under the red one and small paper-back one and some other small arty blank books (all filled with my stuff of course) in the left-hand view.

      I've been currently writing recent poems in the lockable one (though not locking it - its key is in a little pocket charmingly mounted on the back) and in the blue spiral book - unless I think of one and grab the nearest sticky note or back of an envelope. Old habits die hard. But in the times when I wrote on notebook paper and kept it all in those 7 brown covers, I didn't resort to scraps. I was always at home alone and the notebook paper was always within reach!

      I have a drawer-full of unused blank books, in case I decide to hand-write other selections in them. Whenever I saw an inspiring blank book, I would buy it. I haven't done much hand-transcribing though. So I'll use them for composing when I fill the ones I'm using now.

      I'm trying to keep things a little organized, though my left brain rather sizzles and cavorts creatively in chaos! If it's right-brain stuff it has to be very organized. It can get a bit hairy at times! Heavy, too! It took me years to understand this natural battle for dominance in my head. I just knew that if I were designing something -the more chaotic, the more productive, though at the end of the day, it all had to be put back where it belonged. If I had to buckle down and do taxes, it all had to work like clockwork from start to finish. haha.

      Took me years to understand the battle for dominance in my head! Now that I do, though- it's all the better and more fun and productive - either way. Whoopee! And I better understand why I was never that good at teamwork. Guess I have my own internal team working. hehe

    • WillStarr profile image


      10 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Quite a revelation, and certainly an unexpected one, since I can’t conceive of anyone mistreating a treasure so sweet as you.

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Merlin - Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Yes, feeling safe is vital in sharing such intimate parts of oneself. I'm moving toward making sure that the words are better preserved, though, of course - there are always those notebooks and scraps of paper stuffed into odd places! I'm constantly running across some more I'd forgotten.

      Emily Dickinson's lifetime poetry trove was secreted in the bottom of a bedroom drawer, scribbled individually on little note papers and assembled into small packets tied with little silken ribbons. During her lifetime very few of them saw the light of day or others' eyes.

      Some friends of mine to whom I sent a couple of mine, knowing my isolated situation at the time and seeing my writing style, compared me to her. For a time, I honestly felt a vivid kinship with her and felt her presence, once I became more acquainted with her work. It was long after her passing that some kinsfolk realized the value of her poetry and published a tentative volume of it. Now she's revered as one of America's major poets and literary figures. I happen to love her letters as much as - maybe more than - her poetry. She was such an odd little character, full of wonder and wisdom mixed together. Her letters are almost unintended poetry. I have just about everything written by or about her. Amazing person and writer.

      One of the loveliest sentences to my knowledge comes from one of the letters:

      "Morning without you is a dwindled dawn."

      It's especially poignant because there is no actual record of her ever having a real-life romantic liaison. The letter was written to her nieces!

      I'm certainly gratified that others seem to key into these of mine - and in my actual lifetime! - Thanks again - and thank you for encouraging me to join HP, my dear friend!!

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Susie, thank you, dear friend. I'm pleased beyond words that you found it worthy and enjoyable. That video features music used in "Kismet" - a popular musical about the time my eldest sister and her family were killed in a horrible car/train accident. It seemed to "speak to" me during the dark times that followed that tragedy and it lifted me.

      "The musical is credited to Robert Wright and George Forrest. Like all the music in that show, the melody was based on music composed by Alexander Borodin, in this case, the "Gliding Dance of the Maidens," from the Polovtsian Dances."

      So it has those classic roots. This instrumental version in the video fit perfectly for this hub, but the words to the melody in the musical are quite lovely too:

      Stranger In Paradise lyrics:

      Take my hand

      I'm a stranger in paradise

      All lost in a wonderland

      A stranger in paradise

      If I stand starry-eyed

      That's the danger in paradise

      For mortals who stand beside an angel like you

      I saw your face and I ascended

      Out of the commonplace into the rare

      Somewhere in space I hang suspended

      Until I'm certain that I know there's a chance that you care

      Won't you answer this fervent prayer

      Of a stranger in paradise

      Don't send me in dark despair

      From all that I hunger for

      But open your angel's arms

      To this stranger in paradise

      And tell him that he need be

      A stranger no more

    • Nellieanna profile imageAUTHOR

      Nellieanna Hay 

      10 years ago from TEXAS

      Augustine, thank you for your lovely comments. It's all so far in the past, though a few byproducts will persist interminably, I suppose. But I am fine, and actually emerged almost intact, even immediately when it was crumbled around me.

      My hope here is to share how beneficial writing is when one is ensnared in very difficult circumstances. Mine lasted 18 years during which I was virtually cut off from anyone else to whom to turn, so it was vital to have access to my own inner resources. Doing so nurtured them and my determination to not allow any of it to embitter or change me into something else was kept alive by the outlet of the poetry, mainly. I honestly pity the person who instigated it all. He is surely the victim of his own spirit. I'm not. ;-)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      We on Hubpages are blessed to have you post your from-the-heart writings here, Nellieanna. The above is one more example of your indomitable spirit, inner strength and outer beauty.

      Your compassionate prose and poetry are living tributes to you, my dear. :)

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 

      10 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Beautiful sentiments from a beautiful mind, I’m so glad you felt safe enough here to share your wonderful talents with us. As you know I for one do not want to see a single word of your lost but I’m sure I am no longer alone in that thought.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Words just can't describe how much I loved this hub. It's absolutely beautiful...every bit of it. Even the video!!! Thank you!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Nellieanna, I had no idea. Your poetry and reflections are beautiful. You've suffered enough for 10 lifetimes, but your indomitable spirit held true. Thank you for sharing your reflections.


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