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Vicky Bowker Jeter

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My Journey Through Aloneness
By Vicky Bowker Jeter
Sunday, October 20, 2002

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Aloneness for me began with my earliest memories and has had far-reaching
effects on my life. Two conditions powerfully influenced my experiences.
First, my mother was an alcoholic. She was in and out of hospitals for recovery numerous times while I was growing up, and I learned quickly that there was not any behavior or outpouring of love that would guarantee that she would not disappear again, without warning and without adequate explanation for a child. Second, I was born with a mild case of Spastic Cerebral Palsy. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck at birth;
this caused serious impairment in my ability to walk. I was successfully introduced to crutches when I was five years old, but I was not really good at walking with them until I was seven or eight.

From the time I was about four, too big to carry for any distance, my mother would often leave me in the car to wait for her while she did the family shopping or other errands, and drink, if she was drinking. Even though I had a strong sense that my mother loved me and would not intentionally desert me, love and my mother's intentions had little or nothing to do with her staying around in my mind. Every time she left the car a fear of being alone engulfed my senses like a storm that had no name. I would feel sick to my stomach,
and there were times I could not control my bladder.

This waiting began at an age when I was too young to understand or conceive of what I could not see. Even though my mother would tell me she was going into a store and show me where the door was, she may have fallen off the face of the earth for all I really knew after the doors closed behind her. To say that "minutes seemed like hours" when I was waiting would have been sorely understated in my case. I imagined what it would be like to have to go for help countless ways; what really got to me, time and again, was that I did not feel capable of following her, even if I did get up the nerve to try. Each time I would wait until I thought I was sure she would not come back, and then I would cry.

By the time I was old enough to consciously understand that the inside of a store was not the edge of the world, "the storm that had no name" was embe dded deep in my subconscious. I experienced that overwhelming fear
every time I was seperated from companions in a public place until I was well into my twenties. I was no less amazed than I was relieved when I discovered through the candor of a dear friend that not everyone carried this debilitating potential for panic in daily living. Knowing this has enabled me to begin to let it go.

This article was my first national publication.
It was published in Science of Mind Magazine, Jan. 1992
Since then I have benefitted from a tremendous about of
support in personal growth, and rarely grapple with these feelings.

       Web Site: Vicky Bowker Jeter

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Reviewed by Denise Contreras 9/28/2006
Writing is healing. I am sorry you went through all that. But God is working through you to help others.
Thank you for sharing this part of your life I know it is not easy to do.
Hugs Angela
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/7/2003
Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson 10/21/2002
now maybe i can began to understand the why's for me thank you for sharing this.......
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 10/21/2002
such a sad write, sorry you had to go through this. glad you are getting your feelings out; that is the best form of therapy, and writing about them costs nothing!! great write, vicky!!

Books by
Vicky Bowker Jeter

Call Me Victoria: Life Poems and Stories from Trial to Triumph

Henry Hudson, Doomed Navigator and Explorer by Anthony Dalton

Captain Henry Hudson's four Arctic voyages are recounted here, along with tales of survival, Arctic winters and mutiny at sea...  
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Arctic Naturalist, The Life of J. Dewey Soper by Anthony Dalton

Dewey Soper was the last of the great pioneer naturalists in Canada. He was also a skilled and meticulous explorer, particularly in the Arctic and sub-Arctic...  
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