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I have been a real work horse since I obtained my B.A.

Degree in Sociology from

University of the Pacific in Stockton. I was married while I was in college, and
the marriage only lasted for two and one half years. We were both glad when it
was over. My husband's mother wanted her son to have children, and he also claim
ed to want a family. When he discovered through getting the results of my medica
l exam by a obstetrician friend of his mother's, he realized that I was "damaged
goods", because there was a high risk of problems with my being pregnant. There
fore, he cruelly was just miserable to me to me. I guess he hoped that I would d
ivorce him. However, I thought that it would be better for him to divorce me, wh
ich he eventually did after being extremely cruel and miserable to me.
After the divorce, I lost my job with the county in Stockton, and my family woul
d not assist me in any way. They just did not have the means to do this for me.
Since the divorce, I have not re-married. I have just been working and living al
one. I have been employed doing support staff work for about 44 years, 37 of tho
se years have been with the federal government, and I am still working.
One big event in my life was a trip to London in 1997. I went with the Universit
y of California Extension Program, and I was there for three weeks and went to 1
4 live theatrical performances. I also took a van trip out to the British countr
yside, and I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in English life especially sinc
e I have been attending services at an Episcopal Church here in Oakland since th
e 1970s. In the 1960s I had a five day vacation in Hawaii, which was just marvel
ous. I stayed at the beach at Waikiki. In 1997 I also visited my sister, Vicky,
in Boston. We had a lovely time during the visit. Since then she has moved to Ma
ine with her husband where her step daughter resides. She is now retired from he
r full time job but is working part-time. In 1994 I went to Washington, D.C. to
the headquarters of the agency where I have been employed for the last 20 years.
I especially liked visiting the Smithsonian Museums and the National Cathedral
in Georgetown while I was there.
The hobby I have now to keep in shape is working out at a health club near where
I work. It involves quite an expenditure of time and money. I even have a perso
nal trainer who gives me new work-outs every two weeks. I enjoy living in the B
ay Area and riding around on public transit, especially BART, which is so conven
ient. The apartment where I live is close to where I work in downtown Oakland, a
nd I am glad I do not have a long commute to work.
I recently had cataract surgery (August 2005) with intraocular lenses implanted
in both eyes. Now my vision is 20/40 without glasses. I read the news on-line ev
ery day.
My brother also lives in California, and I go to visit him and his wife by AmTra
ck every year in the summer, and he and his wife come to visit me at Christmas t
ime. He also works full time as a special education teacher. I learned about the
perils of single parenthood very well when I worked at the welfare department a
s a social worker in Stockton during the 1960s and chose not to have any childre
n. The main reason why I did not have any children, besides the fact that I woul
d have been living in terrible poverty if I had, was that I had a back injury, w
hich I had sustained when I was around six or seven years of age. This injury re
sulted in considerable physical pain for me all of my life. Besides the physica
l pain, it was inadvisable for me to have children. I believed I could have died
in child birth with such an injury or ended up paralyzed. I was told this after
sustaining the injury, as a young child; however, this news was so shocking to
me that I was unable to fully acknowledge this within my fully conscious awarene
ss. All I knew on a fully conscious level was that I should avoid pregnancy beca
use of some peril to myself. I told people that I could have had children, and I
consciously believed that I could have had children, which I could have had but
with the great possibility of death or paralysis as a result. I chose to not ta
ke the risk, and I am very glad that I made this decision for my own well-being.
Since I am now 69 years old, I naturally have been thinking about retiring from
my government job, but my plans now are to work as long as I am able to work. I
am working on my budget and cutting back on my expenses, but it really is diffic
ult to plan to cut back when I want to have many things, which I actually could
do without if I put my mind to it. I know I will have to live all right on what
I will receive and maybe even obtain another job after I retire, if that is poss
ible, now that I am almost sixty-nine years old and have only done clerical work
all of my life and only have a typing speed of forty works per minute although
my grammar skills and reading comprehension as well as my ability to put my tho
ughts on paper are stellar.
I am also working on my mental and emotional state -- to be psychologically prep
ared for the adjustment of going from a fully employed individual to a retired p
erson, and I now have an understanding of my life experiences and how they have
made me the person I am today. Watching Dr. Phil has made it possible for me to
appreciate, understand and accept many aspects of my own existence. My main con
cern is with structuring my time. I feel the experiences I have had so far in st
ructuring my time in all of the years I have been living are what I should use t
o manage the continuing phases of my life as well. I am working with a therapist
to understand my needs, and I now accept my life experiences so I should be tra
nquil and serene and live an existence, which is a happy and positive experience
for both me and for those within my environment.
I so far am physically healthy and not impaired in any way. I feel I am very for
tunate and that I deserve my good health because I have chosen a healthy life st
yle for myself all of these years. I did take some risks with very rare sexually
promiscuous behavior just to kill time when it still was safe to be that way ba
ck in my twenties and early thirties, but fortunately the men I had sex with wer
e largely clean and I did not obtain any diseases, which were life threatening o
r that had long term consequences of reducing my longevity, as far as I know. My
therapist is very worried about the fact that I am largely living in isolation
and that will be even more true after I retire and no longer have a job to go to
. I believe, because of years of experience in being alone by choice and circums
tance, that I have deep levels of capacity for being alone without becoming craz
y or being a problem to myself or others. As a man at work expressed it, and I a
m not sure whether he was speaking about me or someone else, but it does apply i
n my case. I am wearing a chastity belt and a chemical straight jacket. The chas
tity belt is there because of my great fear over contracting diseases by having
sex which precludes any desire I might have to indulge in having sex; and the ch
emical straight jacket is due to an extremely low dose of a psychotropic medicat
ion, which I take with successful results, fortunately, to handle chemical imbal
ances within my brain.
I feel I am the results of all of my life experiences and of my genetics. I lead
a healthy life style and for that reason I am now doing extremely well for myse
lf as compared to what could have happened to me if I had not taken care of myse
lf as well as I have. My life has been a real struggle for me, and I have quietl
y led this life of desperation without making any further problems for myself or
for others. I am an unfriendly and critical person, and I really am not very ni
ce in many ways, but I have never been really physically violent, and I have n
ever gotten into any trouble when in distress because I am very well controlled
, and I take the advice of people I respect when making decisions about my cours
e of action in important matters in my life. I feel that I have definitely been
affected by my religious training, and that has definitely shaped me into the pe
rson I am today. I also am interested in preserving my health, and I read a grea
t deal about health matters to determine my actions on such matters as diet and
exercise and other aspects such as socializing with others. I had some good expe
riences growing up which I refer to through my memory and which have determined
at crucial times my course of action although I have not realized it until later
when I have thought about my past experiences. I am fortunate in that I was sha
ped in my early years in some ways by people who had my best interests at heart.
When I attended my forty-five year high school reunion, eighteen of my old frien
ds were there. I very much enjoyed catching up with their news, and I was extrem
ely pleased that they remembered me so well. They remembered that I had played M
other Theodore in the senior class play, which had been presented one evening at
the University of the Pacific theatre. They also remembered that I had sung "Le
arning the Blues" at a singing contest in high school, where I was accompanied b
y the Saint Mary's High School Band. I was a good student in high school, and I
really learned to study, and that was a big help when I furthered my education a
fter high school at Stockton College and University of the Pacific. When I was i
n high school I also was in an elocution contest when I was in my sophomore year
. It was a contest, which was viewed by some of the parents of the students at a
n evening meeting of the parents' club. My mother brought me there, and she was
sure I should have won the contest! It was nice having her so confident of my ab
I still enjoy an audience, and now I satisfy that need by reading from the scrip
tures to the congregation at my church. In years past I used to sing on Saint Pa
trick's Day with a big band at a dance and also sang sometimes at a piano bar.
My specialty was a Janis Joplin song "Bobby McGee". It is amazing that I have do
ne all of that singing in public in view of the fact that I sustained a broken
nose at the age of six years of age, and, after that traumatic injury, I could n
o longer sing with my old perfect pitch, but I did not let that problem stop me
at all. Finally, now I have had my broken nose repaired. It was done almost tw
o years ago. Now I look much better, and I have not tried singing since then, bu
t my voice may have improved, and my personal trainer at my health club says my
speaking voice has improved since my rhinoplasty. When I was in high school I en
joyed my writing assignments and doing feature stories for the school newspaper
"The Kettle". When I was at Stockton College I did feature stories for the new
spaper there, and at University of the Pacific I also wrote for the school newsp
aper. One of the jobs I thought I would like when I was a teenager was to be a
newspaper reporter, but my aunt was afraid that would be a bad environment for m
e because she said a lot of newspaper reporters were alcoholics. I always knew I
did not want to be an alcoholic so I agreed with her that that was not a good
job for me to have. When I was a senior in high school I was very worried about
what I would do after high school, and I wondered what type of work I would ha
ve. The secretary at the high school told me that she thought I probably would d
o the same type of work that she did, and that is exactly the type of work that
I felt most comfortable with for a career after I got out into the working world
. I think friends probably remember that my parents watched me very carefully an
d that my family provided a lot of guidance, which I paid attention to. They tho
ught I should have some fun when I was in high school, and I did -- especially i
n my efforts in my speech class and on speech tournaments which I attended in th
e Bay Area.
I always wanted to move to the Bay Area when I was in high school, and I finally
achieved my goal of leaving Stockton and moving to the Bay Area to live when I
was thirty years old. By that time I had had some work experience on my own, a
nd I felt I could manage the move all right and be successful in a new locale.
I really am glad that I made that move then! I needed to strike out on my own to
establish a life for myself. I hope old friends remember me as a person who lis
tened to the advice of her parents and family and teachers to do what was right
for herself. Also, I am a person who has had definite ideas of her own about ma
ny matters that are significant, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to
put into practice and fruition my goals and aspirations within the limits of my
resources. I feel I could have done more as far as achieving more advanced colle
ge degrees, but I really have not enjoyed studying much, but I have had the self
-control and self-discipline I have had to muster to achieve what I set out to d
o in my early years as far as my educational achievements. Afterwards, I was con
fused by what I had learned in terms of the reality of what I faced in my life,
but I was able to adjust to the circumstances in which I found myself and find p
leasure in hobbies such as attending a church and exercising at a health club as
well as enjoying some of my experiences I have had with friends over the years
. I still have left more healthy years to enjoy myself and to experience my life
Last month (this is September 2010 when I wrote this), I had a wonderful experie
nce at a work conference in Washington, D.C. The people there were so nice and k
ind and friendly. We all had a lot in common because we all do the same type of
work, and we were able to share our experiences and learn from each other. It w
as good to get away from the routine for five days to share with others and to t
ake such a long airplane trip. I had not been on a plane in thirteen years, and
that was somewhat daunting to attempt this year, but I found it exciting and cha
llenging and a thrilling experience.
This month (September 2010) I entered my story and picture into a contest for t
he healthiest story of all, which was sponsored by the heart association. They e
mailed me that they would feature my pictures and story at their heart walks thi
s month in the Bay Area. I am very happy about this news and very glad that I ha
ve done as I wanted to do in Ms. Benerd's health education class at Stockton Co
llege when I was nineteen years old -- I am living the healthy life style, whic
h she told us was possible for her students. She was truly a remarkable woman, w
ho donated over one million dollars to UOP to build the Benerd Education Buildin
g on the Stockton campus.
I also am thankful to Father Xavier at St. Mary's High School. He gave us some e
xcellent advise in his classes and by his personal example when he was principal
of the school. One of the most helpful things he told me was to say nihil tang
ere which is Latin for nothing to touch when hassled by others -- men or women
for sexual favors. I have followed his advice, which may be the only reason why
I do not now have HIV. I know that HIV and Aids are no longer the quick death se
ntence they once were, but who wants that. I certainly do not want that for myse
After all of my years of living experiences, I no longer have the desire to be
sexually active although for myself I enjoy having a good physical appearance an
d a good weight for my size -- two issues which I currently am able to afford to
provide for myself after several years when I felt that other issues to spend m
oney on were more important to me and when I also had less discretionary funds b
ecause of a lower income level as well as expenses associated with my living exp
enses. Most professionals feel, I know, that after I retire that I will not have
enough money at my disposal to present myself physically as I like and besides
that I am a real nobody that nobody would invest in helping out. All of this ma
y well be true. I will discover when I retire and find out what my money situati
on will be then. At least I know that I will not be frequently soup kitchens for
food. I should always have enough money for the basics, I hope.
Therefore, I am very optimistic and hopeful this holiday season, and I could not
care less whether some of my more fortunate friends are waiting for my face to
fall from lack of filler and my body to become pudgy from a poor diet and for me
to succumb before their eyes from the infirmities of old age. I probably will
of my own free will withdraw from sight, view and mind from those in my enviro
nment by "blowing the scene" in which I have found myself for the past over thir
ty years in order to not face scorn, ridicule and further rejection from those w
ho know they are superior to me socially and economically. I can understand thei
r feelings on this issue when they are inflicted with regret with my presence, w
hich they avoid except rarely when I am in view. I likewise feel the same way a
bout some people I have known in my life and two people in particular that are
in my environment at the present time. This situation is a normal part of the h
uman condition of life -- especially in this country where there is such opportu
nity for free association and where there are rules in some venues which make it
exist a lot. I am not complaining about this issue -- merely acknowledging that
it does exist, and I am very grateful that I live in such a free and open socie
ty. Therefore, I am having a very happy life largely because I have sorted every
thing out for my own satisfaction -- at least for now.