Journey 2 Joy: My Story

Journey to Joy: Mastering the Art of Controlling My Destiny

I’ve mastered the art of surviving.  Some days I thrive.  But, joy?  Joy’s been illusive.

After I saw the movie Julie & Julia, I found myself reflecting on the year-long quest of Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love:  One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.

What did I feel passionately about enough to spend a year on a quest to master it?



 My Mother Threw Me Under the Bus: I’ll Be Homeless Next Week

I thought I’d be celebrating the new year tonight.  I was ecstatic and hopeful that in 2010 I would finally cross the bridge from profound disability to financial self-sufficiency.But, my mother had other plans.  And, I have decided to break down my own walls of silence.  I’m sure many of my astute visitors have figured out why I know so much about abuse and the dysfunctions of the system that is supposed to provide safety nets and protection from abuse.

 Bravo: One Dad’s Life

I have hundreds of relatives, but no real family.

Nobody had ever had OneDadsLife’s courage to step up to the plate to protect me.  My aunts and uncles, who I wanted to believe were very loving and nurturing, witnessed the abuse and neglect and did nothing.

 My Life as a Dog: Done Begging

From now on, I’m going to do it for love or I’m not going to do it at all.  It is time to surrender.  I’m done fighting and begging for scraps from someone else’s banquet.

There’s a lyric I love from the movie It’s My Turn that I promised myself would become my motto way back in the 1908s:  “This time’s just for me. . .for years I’ve seen my life through other people’s eyes. . .But, now, it’s my turn.”

And, I think I just might take a cue from Saffire:  Uppity Blues Women and become a “bitch with a bad attitude. . .bad attitude.”  I’m done being the good girl.  From now on, I’m making my own rules.

 Blowing the Whistle on Callous Indifference 

The upside of all these empty plates, glasses, and cups is that I won’t have to worry about fasting before tomorrow morning’s blood work.  And, I don’t have any dirty dishes to wash.I’m writing this post and blowing the whistle because I’m done begging the system for help.  There is absolutely NO excuse for me to have nothing to eat today.  I have four case managers assigned to keep shit like this from happening.  For one of them, I have to prepare a detailed budget each month.  They knew weeks ago that I was going to run out of money long before I ran out of month.

They also knew or should have known that almost every damned expense in my budget is what the government calls “medically necessary.”

In plain English, this means I need to spend that money to keep my health from sliding further down the rabbit hole.

We Aren’t Expendable Pawns: Sometimes We Have to Tap into Our Inner Bitch with a Bad Attitude

Saffire:  The Uppity Blues Women have a raucus tune, “Bitch with a Bad Attitude” that seems to automatically play in my head when I face adversity.  Like many of you, I was conditioned to be a good girl. . .to play by other people’s rules.  It has taken me a long time to develop the audacity to assert my right to live my life by my rules. . .to be a bitch with a bad attitude. . .to “kick ass and take names.”  The first time I got really assertive on my own behalf, I think I shocked the hell out of a lot of people.

  My Protection Circle

We all need “protection circles” ~ to be surrounded by people who are there for us ~ to celebrate the good times and to weather stormy seas.

Yet, by definition, domestic violence is isolating.  We can become alienated from those who were once dear to us because we are ashamed about what’s happening behind closed doors or because a controlling person in our lives demands we cut our ties or is hyper-critical of our friends, family, or colleagues.

Practicing What I Preach

Did I fail to pay my rent?  Nope.  My crime is feeding the squirrels and stellar jays who light up my life each day.  My crime was escalated to a capital offense because I decorate my balcony with beautiful flowers.

Does this little guy look like a criminal?  He’s about to get me evicted!  Serious!

Practicing What I Preach, Part 2

My landlord “dropped the charges” that my flowers constitute a capital crime (lease violation).  So, we’re just left with this crafty co-conspirator and peanut shell “evidence” of our remaining alleged capital crime.

Path to Victory




V-Day 2010: Celebrating My Blog’s First Anniversary

Thank you to all my visitors ~ especially the ones who took the time to leave comments.  I pray that y’all are safe and happy this Valentine’s Day!  May y’all be blessed abundantly and find true love.


Anne Caroline at Magnolia Marina

New Day ~ New Look: Navigating Uncharted Waters

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.
It is about learning to dance in the rain.

Today seemed like a good day to launch a new look for Navigating Uncharted Waters.  And, it is a great day to thank my nearly 30,000 visitors for their interest and loyalty.  I’ve met some amazingly awesome people via this site and treasure the love, insight, wisdom, support, ideas, compassion, brilliance, and feisty spunk y’all have brought into my life and my work.

Be kinder than necessary.
Everyone you meet is likely fighting some kind of battle.





Celebrating 50,000 Visitors with New Look & Expanded Features

WordPress has offered new themes which allow bloggers to nest pages.  I’ve had my eye on this theme for a few weeks, and I’m hoping it will allow visitors to more easily Navigate Uncharted Waters to find the information, inspiration, and resources they need to survive, thrive, and find joy.


Bridges” Chapter One  [Short Story by Anne Elizabeth Bellingham]

 Sunshine knew it would be no good if she rescued Billy. He had to make it across that bridge on his own. By now, she was almost across the bridge. She wasn’t about to risk the perils of turning back. She desperately wanted him to have the courage to cross that bridge. She needed for him to make it to the other side.



“Bridges” Chapter Two [Short Story]

 Sunshine was lying in a hospital bed. The light was gone from her eyes. With a death rattle in her voice, she grasped her husband’s hand, “I’m sorry you never knew me. I am not who you think I am.” He asked gently, “well, then, who are you?”

“Anne Elizabeth Bellingham,” she croaked. He was worried. She seemed to be having the hallucinations of a dying person. He was right about the dying. “Who the hell is Anne Elizabeth Bellingham?” he demanded hoping she would drift back into reality. “Bridges,” was her whispered reply, “bridges. You must write the story.”

2 responses to “Journey 2 Joy: My Story

  1. Dear Anne,

    Thanks for all your thoughtfulness and kind words. This is an excellent blog – seriously good stuff and I do like the new look! Happy Thanksgiving – a wonderful holiday season (however you interpret it) to you!

    Well Seasoned Woman

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