Joy to You & Me, Joy2MeU, and Joy2MeU2 Update Newsletter
This is an Update Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency recovery / inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational book: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. This Update is being published for the first time on the new Mobile Friendly Joy2MeU2.com website.
I used to post Update Newsletters regularly 3 or 4 times a year from 1999 through 2009 - and then once a year through 2012. Click to see past Update Newsletters (not mobile friendly.) This is the first Update I have published in over 6 years. It is unknown at this time if / or when I will do another one.
A short announcement e-mail is sent out notifying people - who have signed up for the Joy2MeU e-mailing list - when a new Update is posted.
Hello Magnificent Radiantly Beautiful Spiritual Beings,
This is the first time that I am posting an Update Newsletter and sending an announcement out about it in over 6 years. I actually added two updates last year to the page dedicated to my grandson Darien to let people know what was happening in my life. I am going to share those two updates in the Newsletter portion of this Update, but here is a quote from it to give you a quick look into the reasons that I haven't done this in so long.
"I stopped updating it (the Darien page) primarily for the same reason I stopped doing Update Newsletters. I have this whole family I am involved with now, and telling my story now involves other people. I didn't think I could go into detailed processing about what was going on in my life without taking the risk of violating other people's confidentiality. I am just giving a bare bones summary here - hopefully none of the people involved will be offended with how I relate the story of those years." - Darien (this link goes to a page that is not mobile friendly)
I am doing this Update at this time for a combination of reasons. One is to announce my new Mobile Friendly website Joy2MeU2.com; two is to announce an online event that I am going to be participating in, and third is to bring you all up to date on what is happening in my life. As I mentioned, I put some updates on my Darien page last year - and I post links and announcements regularly on Facebook and other social media - but I haven't communicated with my whole emailing list in over 6 years. I have had an online presence now for over 30 years - and in the course of preparing the emailing had lots of memories triggered of people I have communicated with, counseled, seen at workshops, etc., over those 30 years. A real trip down memory lane.
This is also, of course, a marketing move. I am hoping to generate some income through this as things are pretty tight now. In my early years online I had great search placement because the amount of content I provide was rich in keywords that so much of the search was based upon then. But over the years, as people started using their smart phones, ipads, and other devices to access the internet, the search formulas changed - and my site dropped in the rankings. It also didn't help that Global Priority shipping more than doubled in price in the last 5 years. I actually make very few product sales through my website every month in recent years. My book and ebook sales through Amazon are still pretty steady - but they are steady at less than half the amount they used to bring in monthly.
This paragraph from the home page of this new site Joy2MeU2.com speaks to the dilemma that I have been facing with my site.
"Robert Burney is a pioneer in the area of codependency recovery / inner child healing. His first book Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls has been called "one of the truly transformational works of our time.” His website http://joy2meu.com offers over 200 pages of free original content on codependency recovery, inner child healing, relationship dynamics, alcoholism/addiction, fear of intimacy, Twelve Step Spirituality, New Age Metaphysics, emotional abuse, setting boundaries, grief process, and much more. The Joy2MeU website is designed in an ancient design program which is not mobile friendly. This site - joy2meu2.com - is a redesign of the home and site index pages of joy2meu.com in a mobile friendly format. There are links provided here and on the site index page to both the original joy2meu site and mobile friendly versions of most of the articles on the site."
For several years now I have been grappling with the thought that I had to redesign my whole site - over 250 pages with million of words of my writing. The program the site is designed in - Netscape - is not even in existence any more. I am having to keep an old computer active in order to access the pages to make changes - and that probably won't be possible eventually.
I was procrastinating on taking on the huge task of redesigning the whole site because it was such a monumental task. I got a new computer last fall and have tried out various design programs that didn't work out. One I put in many hours of designing only to have some pages just disappear on me. I got the joy2meu2 domain late last year thinking it would be a good one to start posting new pages on so I didn't disrupt the other site. It was only about a month ago however that I had the realization, that most of my articles were already on Mobile friendly sites. My friend Jeff Sohler - who had attended my first Intensive Training Workshop in San Francisco in April of 2006 - believed so strongly about my work that he created 8 websites with the hub site being RobertBurneyLive.com. Those sites actually are doing very well in the search results.
Between those sites, my wordpress blog (which by the way, was set up by Susan who picked the name codependencyrecoveryexpert - I would not have ever used the word expert but oh well:-), and the wix landing site that I created 5 years ago, I realized that I already had most of my articles on mobile friendly sites. I then created a home page for joy2meu2.com and a site index page that lists over 170 of my articles on mobile friendly sites. The great thing about this - something that I didn't know was possible - is that Google is now indexing joy2meu based on joy2meu2.
(Google logo goes here) Search Console
Mobile-first indexing enabled for http://joy2meu.com/
To owner of http://joy2meu.com/,
This means that you may see more traffic in your logs from Googlebot Smartphone. You may also see that snippets in Google Search results are now generated from the mobile version of your content.
So, this was successful in a way I didn't imagine, and I am now watching to see what affect it has on the search rankings going forward. Hurrah!!!
Here is the information about the online event that I will be involved with. I have done an interview which will air on July 1st.
(Free Online Conference) Overcoming Codependency
Do you struggle with Codependency?
Do you yearn to have a healthy romantic partnership?
If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, I have some great news for you.... Overcoming Codependency AND having that thriving, loving relationship you want IS possible for you! To learn how, you won't want to miss this FREE online conference brought to you by AVAIYA:
From June 25th – July 1st you will learn from over 26 doctors, therapists, psychologists, relationship experts, authors and more, how to break free from your codependent behaviors and live a life of self-love, freedom, and connectedness.
I am to be a featured speaker during this 7-day immersion event, talking about Uncover, Discover, Recover - understanding the core dynamics of codependency.
Register for this content-filled online conference now and join with us on the collective journey to loving and being ourselves, AND building lasting, loving relationships. Register here! After you register, keep an eye out for Ande's email for specific details on accessing the interviews.
P.S. *Replays of all interviews will be available to watch for free, for 72 hours after they air*
In the Newsletter section below I am going to share the two updates that I added to the Darien page last year - that explain where I am now and how things have unfolded. And I am going to include a summary of my relationship with Darien and some pictures on this page since the Darien page is definitely not Mobile Friendly.
First however a few offers that will hopefully be utilized by some of you. :-) Oh, and also wanted to announce, that in partnership with Jeff, we are going to be offering my Spiritual Integration Workshop online - probably before the end of the summer. If you are interested and want to be informed about this, please email me and I will let you know.
A Day Long Intensive Training in Robert Burney's
Spiritual Integration Formula
for Inner Healing / Codependency Recovery / Inner Child Healing
in Morro Bay March 24th & Gilroy CA April 27th 2019
An Empowering & Life Changing Workshop!
Special Offers for Telephone / Skype Counseling
Special Offers for former phone clients to do check in session or four.
Special Offers for MP3 Downloads of my Workshop and my recording of The Dance of Wounded Souls
Special Offers for my books (without latest price increase for Global Priority)
Mobile friendly store to purchase books etc
Special Offers for subscription areas of my site - Joy2MeU Journal and Dancing in Light
This is Darien on the cover.
Books or eBooks from Barnes & Noble
or eBooks thru Kobo
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls "An Audio Spiritual Experience"
"An Audio Spiritual Experience" is the recording I made of my book - as it says in the testimonial in this page (there are a bunch of other testimonials for the audio on that page also) - you can hear and feel my passion in the recording.
Special Offer: Get a free MP3 download recording of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls with the purchase of any two of my books.
Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes can be shared here
"Dear Robert, Your work has divinely touched and spiritually inspired me......I came to your site in my desperate hour and found so many truths, I couldn't hide anymore. I made the choice, to face the fear, look inside through the darkness and pain, to feel who I was and why. . . . You have given me much healing through your generous gifts that I would like to share with you my love, appreciation and gratitude. I am sending a donation ___. Thank you so very much. Blessings and Abundance Always" (Donations to the cause / Spiritual Tithes are always appreciated: Donations / Love Offerings)
I am going to include some quotes from a few different places in the Darien page to give anyone who hasn't read my Darien page a feel for what our relationship is like.
"My life is still pretty much centered and scheduled around taking care of Darien, who is now closer to 2 years and 10 months, than 2 years 9 months. For those of you who are new to my mailing list, Darien is my step grand-son and God-son.
"Being a primary caregiver to Darien - who will be 2 on the 10th (probably a few days before I get this published) - continues to be one of the great miracles and surprises of my recovery. Never could I have imagined being in the position of taking care of a baby at this stage in my life and recovery. The Joy and wonder of watching this precocious, precious little man grow up from the tiny baby I first met in March of 2005, to revealing himself to be a uniquely charming and delightful character who captures the heart of anyone who gets to experience his personality, fills my heart to overflowing with such Joy and contentment. There are times: when he is laying with his head on my chest gazing into my eyes; or when he curls up in my arms with his head laid on my shoulders; or when he burrows in beside me when he is sleeping with us; or just listening to him jabber or watching him run and play - moments that I feel a sense of Blissful Love that is sublimely exquisite. Such a gift!
It brings to mind once again something I have shared in past Updates - that GRATEFUL is not nearly a huge enough word to describe my feelings about what a gift my recovery has been to me. It is not a big enough word to describe how grateful I am for having the courage to work through my fear of intimacy issues to the point where I was willing to surrender to getting into a relationship with Susan, or to describe what I feel about all the richness and abundance of Joy and Life this relationship with her has brought into my recovery adventure - which includes, of course, my precious step grand-son, God-son, Darien. I am very, very, very, grateful that I am having the opportunity to experience this special little man in my life." - November 2006 Update Newsletter
Susan and I have now been his full time caretakers and guardians since April 2006 - the very weekend we did the first Intensive in San Francisco. In late April or early May this year I had one of those light bulb going on / aha kind of moments of insight where I realized that Darien and I had a soul contract. That our souls had agreed to meet up at a certain point in this lifetime to be teachers and helpers to each other on our Spiritual Paths. Despite the powerful connection I feel to him - and that he obviously feels to me - this had never occurred to me before. When I mentioned my insight to Susan, she kind of looked at me funny and said something like, "Well duh, of course. You didn't know that?""
Darien and I 2010 top - Susan, Darien, and I Christmas 2008.
A couple of my favorite stories about him.
"One of the things that touched me the most, was one day when we were laying on the couch as I was trying to get him to take a nap. He started digging in my back pockets and trying to take out some flyers for my workshop that I keep there in case I meet someone who might be interested. After telling him to cut it out a few times - because he does like to stall going to sleep - and him persisting, I finally let him take some of my folded up flyers and he looks at it and says, "It's you!" (Since my picture is on it.) And then out of nowhere he gushes - gushes is the only accurate word for his tone of voice and emotional content. "I Love you! You do this for the whole world." It felt as if his Spirit was speaking to me. I don't know where a little 4 year old kid could come up with that kind of idea, but it didn't feel like a little kid talking to me - I got emotional then, and I am getting emotional now as I write about it. It was one of the most touching and beautiful positive affirmations anyone has ever given me." - February 14th 2010 Update to Darien page
"One more note on Darien 2010 - this is something that happened in summer that really touched me, so I want to share it.
Just reminded me of something that happened a few months ago with my step grandson Darien. He will be 6 in November - and he and I have this powerful connection to each other (even look alike though there is not blood relationship.) One day he was asking questions about various things like he does (wants to know everything) and talking about when he was a baby because of a picture of him on the wall. I told him that the first time I met him (he was about 3 or 4 months old) that he cried (Susan thought it was because my deep voice scared him) - and he says, "From Joy?" It was a mind blower to me that a 5 year old understood that it was possible to cry from Joy - and that that was his assumption about what he would have felt the first time we met. :-)" - January 2011 Update Newsletter
From Joy2MeU Update February 2012
Darien and I on beach in Cambria January 2010 & on Ranch in 2015
February 26th 2012 - There is so much to say about Darien but I have been having trouble figuring out how to wrap this up here. I could talk about how he has evolved in terms of his need for privacy - but that could be an invasion of his privacy.
Or I could talk about his having a crush on a girl - one area where he really needs to learn to have more balance. Early in the school year he had a crush on a girl that he knew from the gym, who ended up being in his second grade class. He would follow her around looking all moony saying I have a crush on her. I tried to explain to him that he had to be cooler than that. It was actually probably a good thing that he ended up being in a different class from her. This past week that girl was riding to and from school with us because of their car breaking down. On the way out of school one day he said to her, "I don't think I have a crush on you any more." Which was bad enough, but then he went on to say, "I am getting a crush on Mary Clare and she doesn't want me to have a crush on you." The girl then started talking about all the guys she had crushes on. Of course, he is at an age now where the girls don't like it if he has a crush on them - and don't like if he doesn't.
I could talk about how he is always coming up with facts to share with me that he has learned from one of his TV shows. Yesterday, He said, "You won't believe this, but moose eat acorns." And then went on to share that bears also eat acorns. Many of the shows he watches are pretty educational - so that is good.
The things I really need to talk about however, are related to some things that are happening in terms of his mother and what is going on with her - and a potential threat to our custody of him. I am not going to talk about that here though. I need to do some processing about it all - and keep pulling myself into the present so that I am not projecting a horror movie about the future in my mind. I will hopefully find the time soon to do some process writing about it so that I can clear up my relationship with what is happening - but it is not time yet to share it here. So, I will just reiterate that Darien is such a blessing and gift in our life. He is an amazing little man - and I Love him dearly. I am so grateful for his presence in my life. ~ Robert 2-26-12
The day after I posted this Darien came up with one of his beautiful pronouncements which I posted on Facebook and had to add here also:
Quote of the day from Darien (as we are driving home from school and he is counting the money in his piggy bank), "Some people might think that the best thing in the world is to have a lot of money. But it's not. The best thing in the world is love." - Monday Feb 27th at 2:51pm - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter February 2012
Since February 2012
Update July 2017
New & News July 12, 2017: Announcing that I am changing the date for the next Intensive Training Day in Encinitas to August 6th. Now that I have my grandson Darien living with me I wanted to create the possibility that we might be able to move back to the Central Coast of California. I lived in Cambria for many years and loved it - and always wanted to move back up there. I have stayed in San Diego however to be close to Darien in case he needed me. Now he needs me, but since he is living with me, we can move together - and it seems the schools there are a lot better than down here. It is more likely we will move to Morro Bay than Cambria - because it is a bit more affordable, but it will be expensive to move and I am not sure if we will be able to do it this summer. It is possible we will need to stay where we are for another school year. If we do move this will probably be the last Intensive Training Workshop that I will do in San Diego. I would put the odds at about 75% we stay, and 25% we move at the moment but if I had left the date on the 20th it would have been the day before school starts up there, so am making the change to open up possibilities.
A summary of the years since I have updated this page.
I stopped updating it primarily for the same reason I stopped doing Update Newsletters. I have this whole family I am involved with now, and telling my story now involves other people. I didn't think I could go into detailed processing about what was going on in my life without taking the risk of violating other people's confidentiality. I am just giving a bare bones summary here - hopefully none of the people involved will be offended with how I relate the story of those years.
From April of 2006 until the spring of 2013, I was Darien's primary caregiver. He was living with Susan and I, but she was gone quite a bit - first working in Orange County for a period of time, then doing promotions and Landmark Education and meetings and various things. So, I was the one that scheduled my life around the little man. I got him up in the morning, got him to school, picked him up, fed him, bathed him, got him to sleep at night. As I said above “So far, because Susan is working and we are not at a financial position to put Darien in daycare yet - I have been primarily a nanny. Which is an ongoing, and special gift, in my life.”
In the Spring of 2013 Susan and I started the process of separating. By that time, Darien's mother had returned to San Diego and given birth to a little brother for Darien. She and his brother, London, were living in subsidized housing - and because Susan and I were having difficulties we allowed Darien to go back to live with his mother. By the time Susan and I separated in the summer, Darien, his mom and little brother had moved to Fallbrook where I live now. I moved here to be close to him and because the rent was cheaper here than elsewhere in the North San Diego County. I moved my son Abe - who had been living in a sober living home - in with me in a 2 bedroom apartment in August 2013.
Darien's mother got involved with a marine, got pregnant again and they got married in December 2013 (I performed the ceremony.) They moved into a house on Camp Pendalton. His little brother was born on Feb. 13th at almost midnight - and thus was named Valentine.
Susan and I were separated - and she and her new boyfriend moved to the Bay Area - but we were still co-parenting and co-grandparenting. We still are to this day, and we stayed married in large part to give me more legal rights with Darien if it was ever necessary for me to take care of him again.
In January 2015, his mother was unwilling to go to rehab and lost custody of her kids - and Darien lived for awhile on Pendalton with his stepfather and brothers. (His stepfather eventually got a divorce and got out of the Marines - moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado with the two younger boys in the fall of 2015.) Darien started living with his father in the Spring of 2015. His father had been in the army in Afghanistan and Alaska, and he and Darien had not lived together since April of 2006. I was getting to spend time with him twice a week - picking him up on his short day, Wednesday, and after school on Friday when he would spend the night with me.
His father was seemingly doing a great job with Darien until late in 2016 when some warning signals started showing up. When it became obvious that his Dad had relapsed and that the situation was deteriorating I picked Darien up on April 11th during his Easter Break to take him with Cambria with me. When we came back his father agreed to let me take him - and we picked up his books and school clothes and he has been living with me ever since. His father subsequently signed guardianship papers giving Susan and I custody of Darien.
I was focused then on getting him through the school year. He was going to a school that was on Camp Pendalton, so I was making the half hour to 45 minute drive in heavy traffic every morning and afternoon to get him and pick him up from school. He finished the school year with much improvement with his grades which had plummeted when he was going through a difficult time at home.
He will be entering the 7th grade next year - talk about a difficult time in a kids life. He was wanting to go to a different school anyway, because he was tired of his friends moving away all the time as they do when their parents are in the service. He and his Dad were focused on moving to Fallbrook where I live before the problems arose in their situation.
Susan and I have been discussing for the last few months whether Darien would keep living with me or would go up north to where she is living now. Neither one of us is in position where it would be financially easy. We have decided that because of the superior schools it would be best for him to start junior high up on the Central Coast - but that financially probably the best bet is for us to stay where I am living now.
The situation was complicated somewhat by the fact that my son Abe moved back to New Mexico at the end of May. He has a physical disability and needs hip replacement surgery, which was proving very hard to get organized here in California - so he moved back there because it seems more probable that he will get what he needs sooner. He was contributing towards the rent while he was here however - so that makes things a little tougher.
My birthday is on the 23rd, and Darien and I are going to take a trip to Cambria and Morro Bay for my birthday. We will look at apartments while we are up there - and see how things will unfold.
There is something I say to people in my phone counseling and in my workshops that I don't know if I have ever written about in quite the same way. I talk about how I learned that the way the Universe works is that “More Will Be Revealed - on a need to know basis”, and it is not my idea of when I need to know. My ego always wants to know NOW! Often, the Universe / My Higher Power's idea of when I need to know, feels to me like “the last f------ second!”
So, school starts here in Fallbrook on August 14th - and in the Morro Bay school on August 21st. If the Universe wants me back on the Central Coast at this time, then it will be made apparent by how things work out in the next two weeks. More will be revealed at what undoubtedly will feel like the last second! - RB 7/12/17
I posted this a few weeks ago:
**For the first time in quite awhile, I am having to work the third step by asking for help. I posted the following in part on that page in May:
"5/20/17 - On April 11th I rescued my grandson Darien from an environment that had deteriorated to being one that I could no longer allow him to be subjected to. So, I now have custody of him full time, and among other things that involves getting up at 5:30 am and getting him up at 6:30 am to take him 20 miles to his school in heavy traffic. The extra expenses for gas and food and such have put a real strain on my finances - and this week my son Abraham is leaving to go back to live in New Mexico, which means losing a sum of money that he was contributing towards my rent and expenses. Thus finances are especially tight right now - and I could use some help. I am very glad to have him living with me. As I say on my page that is dedicated to him, I believe we had a soul contract to be in each others life this lifetime and that "I can see clearly now that Darien is the first human being - since my parents when I was an infant - that I have ever opened up my heart to completely." So, it is perfect that he is back in my care." So, I needed to put a message out into the Universe that I need some help.**
Darien, his brothers and step father Matt - at Denver Airport where we met them while taking a trip to Nebraska to visit my family. Thanksgiving time 2015.
Here are some pages on which I talk about my relationship with the Central Coast - and also with Darien
In my October 2005 Update Newsletter I talk about my feelings for Cambria as we are confronting the prospect of leaving there. It includes a story about the Miracles that led me to Cambria, and it was written when Darien was 11 month old “- and just the most precious, beautiful, incredible little boy.”
In a page I wrote for Mothers Day, I talk about some of the things I love about Cambria - including otters.
I have a history with Morro Bay also.
“The place I am living now (the place I was trying to get back to for most of the year) is called Morro Bay. It is a bay, with a huge rock guarding the entrance to it. And I mean huge - Morro Rock has peregrine falcons nesting on top of it. The past 10 days or so, there has been a whale in the harbor. A juvenile gray whale that obviously got off course on the annual migration to the gulf of Baja. When I get this sent out I am going to go down to the bay and see if he is still there. (I refer to this whale as a male - not because I have the slightest idea of how to tell gender in whales, or because of some sexist bias - but rather because it obviously has issues about asking for directions. ;-) I hope he is still there, but rather he is or not, I plan on sitting for a few moments in meditation and prayer. I am going to ask the Holy Mother Source Energy for a little more kindness and Love to be manifested in a tangible way that we can feel, in all of our lives - here as the Millennium comes to a close - and for some easily discernible, concrete manifestations of Love, Joy, and Prosperity as the new Millennium dawns.” - Update December 11th, 1999
September 10, 2017 The Latest News
As I said above, “My birthday is on the 23rd, and Darien and I are going to take a trip to Cambria and Morro Bay for my birthday. We will look at apartments while we are up there - and see how things will unfold.” We did make that trip. I was looking at apartments that potentially had room for him and I to live together - although he didn't stay for any of the ones I looked at because Susan came and picked him up for a visit to her house on the 24th. The plan at that time, was for him to visit her for a period of days and then depending on whether or not I found a place to move to on the Central Coast, she would bring him back to me prior to when school started at whichever place I was going to be living.
We kept going back and forth - multiple times a day - trying to figure out what would be the best option for us. There was urgency involved because of school starting soon. On the morning of the 26th, while I was at a motel in Morro Bay, Susan called me to talk about the situation. She had become convinced that it would be best for him to live with her.
One of the factors involved in our decision making was that he had no health insurance. We felt we needed to get an official guardianship through the court - not just the temporary one his Dad had signed - in order to insure that we had custody, and then we could get him medi-cal and child support to help with expenses. In order to get those things, it was necessary to apply in the County where the child is living. Since we didn't know which of 3 counties he was going to be living in, we hadn't been able to do that yet. And what Susan focused on was the reality that the system is set up in favor of blood relatives. Since I am his step grandfather and not blood related, it would have been much more difficult for me to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops.
I had already admitted to myself, to Susan, and to a couple of friends several weeks before that there were some good reasons why it would be better for him to live with them right now - but that wasn't what I wanted to have happen. And I was devastated when we made the decision. I felt gutted and cried and cried for days afterwards. I still cry today as I am writing this from the pain I feel when I think of him not being here with me.
The school in the town they live in (Tracy CA) started on August 7th, so it there was no time for him to come back before that. So, I packed up his things and sent them via UPS. There was so much grief that came up. And it was a completely selfish grief. I could see that it was probably better for him to be there right now, but I was gutted by the thought of not having in my life at least some of the time.
I had applied for the apartment I am now living in the day he and Susan left. And I applied for us both to live here. It is a small one bedroom place, so it would be tight for the two of us - but doable. It is all electric place and below another apartment with a studio apartment beside it. One of the reasons I like Cambria so much is it is small - only about 6,000 - and can't grow because of water shortage. That means water bills are high though. So, the landlord pays electric and water but it would have been $150 more for Darien and I to live here than for just me.
As I said, I applied for the two of us, but then called the realtor who was acting as an agent for the owner back after we made the decision, to tell her I wanted to change it to applying just for myself. I was afraid that they would think I was flaky or was trying to get them to approve and then change my story. But eventually they did approve it. So, I made my plans. I call the disabled american vets to come and get my big furniture and a lot of other stuff I had. I rented a Cargo Van with the stuff I was keeping and drove the 350 miles up here on Saturday, then back down on Sunday - and came back with my car and computer and all on Monday.
I spent my first night here on Saturday - and when I woke up on Sunday morning I went outside and there were 4 deer right beside my driveway. I posted the picture of the deer on Facebook and sent pics to Darien and Susan and other friends, saying something about them being my new neighbors.
When I spent my second night on Monday night and went out on Tuesday morning there was 1 deer there. Having those deer standing outside my new place those mornings was so important and such a message from my Higher Power that I was right where I was supposed to be. I had been saying for years that one of the things I miss most about Cambria is seeing deer all the time. When Darien and I were here back in April, I was complaining to Darien that I hadn't seen a deer - and he had. The day before he had spent some time with Susan and they had seen a deer. Just after I said that to him, as we are on our way down Main Street to our favorite pizza place - 5 deer cross Main Street right in front of us. Magical. And it was magical the first two mornings when I went outside - and has continued to be magical for me here in Cambria. In my blog about The Medicine Cards I talked about what deer symbolized for me and how wonderful it was to see them regularly.
“As I would walk through the woods, I would see deer. Deer in the medicine cards are about gentleness. Whenever I see a deer, I take it as a direct reminder from my Higher Power to be gentle with myself. I get to see lots of deer around here – to help me remember gentleness. (My landlady doesn't like it that they come into her garden at night and eat the flowers – but I think it is cool.) As I came out on top of the hill where I could see the ocean, I would sometimes see whales. A whale – again in the medicine cards – is the record keeper, the keeper of ancient knowledge.” - The Totem Animals of the Medicine Cards
Once I knew I was moving up here, I started making plans to go and visit Darien's new home for Labor Day weekend. They live about 240 miles from Cambria - and at first I made reservations for 2 nights at a Motel there to be able to spend time with him. Then I decided that I wanted to bring him back over to Cambria to see my new place - so he could see if he might want to live here with me. The plan at that point was for Susan to get the official guardianship worked out and then maybe he would come to live with me if he wasn't liking it there.
That possibility seemed to become a real long shot when Susan found a dog for Darien. He has wanted a dog for a long time - and he especially wanted a husky. I had felt bad about not being able to get him a dog, so I was happy that his dream was coming true - but also felt like it kind of sunk any possibility of him coming to live with me. Like I said it would be tight here with the two of us - and there certainly isn't any room for a dog.
It turned out that Susan and her boyfriend were going to be gone for the weekend, and her son who lives there also wasn't home - so it looked like I was going to have to bring the dog on the trip back to Cambria. I checked out kennels there because I wasn't sure about how well the dog would travel - or behave in my new apartment. I actually found a good looking and reasonably priced kennel, but Darien was set on not leaving the dog that he had only had for about 2 weeks.
So, I went over there on Friday and met him when he got out of school. Susan had given me a cage that they put the dog in at night because he chews things and whines and makes a nuisance of himself at night. So, Darien and I went to the motel and got a room - and set up the cage. Then went back to his house so he could show me his room and such. That night the dog went to sleep on his bed with him and was very good and well behaved the rest of the night. On Saturday morning we went back over to his house so we could feed the cat and the birds and water the yard for them - they had taken their other dog and the rooster with them. Watering the yard twice a day is important because the temperatures had been over a hundred for quite awhile - was 109 on Friday afternoon.
It was a 4 hour drive back over to Cambria - and it was just so wonderful to be with Darien again. We got to my new house, pulled in the driveway and got out of the car - and 4 deer - 2 does and 2 fawns came bounding up the arroyo next to my driveway and ran up the road. Darien said, “You weren't kidding about your neighbors, were you?” We went to our favorite pizza place after taking a walk on the Ranch (where the dog was going crazy about all the ground squirrels - and Darien and I saw 4 more deer) and sat outside. People kept stopping to ask about the dog and remark how he looks like he has some wolf in him.
Since the dog had been so good the night before, we didn't set up the cage - and the next morning the dog was a pest. Woke me up and I took him out for walk. Just up the road half a block from my apartment we saw a flock of wild turkeys. That day turned out to be unseasonably hot for Cambria. Actually got over 90 which it almost never does here. We took the dog to the dog park hoping that he would take care of his business there. It turns out that the dog - who is about 9 months old - had always lived in a yard, and was not trained to take care of his business on walks. He also didn't know what to do at the dog park.
Later in the day we went to a local Labor Day Celebration called Pine-dorado where Darien won some prizes but we left the dog home locked in the bathroom because dogs weren't allowed there and it was too hot to leave him in the car - and I didn't want to go through the hassle of setting up the cage. We went for another walk on the Ranch and got to see an otter this time - and some more deer. Picked up some food and went home - where we found that the dog had trashed the bathroom. I took him out for another long walk while Darien was doing his homework - but he still seemed to have no interest in taking care of his business.
Later that evening the dog pissed in my room. And on the way driving Darien home he shit in the back seat. So, the dog is no longer invited over here unless he is trained. It was so great to be with Darien however.
I am not sure when I am going to see him again. Over Thanksgiving break for sure when I have an Intensive Workshop scheduled in Gilroy for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Susan says that she will bring him over some weekend before that - which I hope happens. It is a long drive for a regular weekend - and there are only two 3 day weekends at Darien's school between now and then. Once of them in October for Parent Teach conference - and then in November for Veterans Day, which actually falls on a Saturday this year. So Darien's birthday November 10th they get out of school. I told him he could tell his classmates that they were getting out of school because of his birthday.
He seems to be doing okay there. One of the reasons that I thought it would be good for him is that both Susan and her boyfriend are very into physical fitness. Darien and I were going on walks almost every day while he was with me but no real strenuous exercise. Darien has been doing squats and push ups and running a mile some days. He has lost weight and has a flat stomach for the first time ever. He has always been just a little on the chubby side - as you can see from the picture in the kayak. (On Darien page are pictures from July 4th, 2017 in Nebraska where he was playing on a lake by my sisters house - this link goes to a page that is not mobile friendly) He feels good about being thinner, about how he looks - and that is especially important at his age. So, that is great. Not having him here of course gives me more freedom, but I would still move him back in with me in a heartbeat. It is still not impossible that he could come and live with me - but it will have to be without the dog, who needs a yard since I don't have one.
As usual, More Will Be Revealed. I am very happy and grateful to be back in Cambria. I do love it here. I am glad he is doing good for the most part. He has one teacher that was giving him a hard time for some reason, so we shall see how that works out. I do Love that little man so much - and he has brought so much Joy into my life. Something I was really reminded of, while working on this page. And I am so grateful that I got involved with Susan so that I got the chance to be Darien's Papa. - RB 9/10/17
Update June 17, 2018
So, I have gotten to see Darien regularly - at least once a month, and some months more. And the great news is the dog now knows what to do on a walk - so he has been coming to visit regularly also. Darien and the dog came over when school was over the last weekend in May and stayed for almost 2 weeks until I took him back up there. I am going to get him next Wednesday for another few weeks. There is a chance he could come and live with me and go to school here for 8th grade come August - more will be revealed about how that works out.
I am soooo incredibly grateful to be back here in Cambria. I take a walk on the Ranch at least once a day - and twice whenever I can. I see otters and deer almost every day. I saw dolphins one day last week and a whale on another. I haven't seen any turkeys for a couple weeks but when Darien is here with his dog - whose name is Hunter - and I take him for a walk in the morning I can usually hear them gobbling. I also have seen a weasel on the Ranch a few times - cute little thing. And lately a skunk - I do not want to have any close encounters with it!
I love living here - and want to be here for the rest of my life. I feel so much gratitude and Joy on a daily basis. I started a CoDA meeting and it is really great. The meeting yesterday was so emotionally honest - such great recovery happening. There is also a CoDA meeting in San Luis Obispo that I go to most weeks - one of the few times during the week I leave town. After all the driving in traffic in San Diego, I am all about staying in my little home town as much as possible now. Except of course when I am going to pick up Darien. ;-)
I have cried a lot while getting this Update together - especially today. I am just so very very grateful for my recovery and all the gifts that have come into my life over the last almost 34 1/2 years (on July 3rd.) . I just had the 32nd anniversary of my conscious commitment to codependency recovery - what an incredible gift it has been. Joy to You & Me, Joy2MeU (the story of where those brands came from is told in the anniversary story I just linked), and now Joy2MeU2. What a ride! What an incredible adventure!!! LOVE IT!!!
With wishes of Joy and Love to U & Me,
The weasel and twin fawns - it is that time of year.
Darien decided to try suspenders his last visit to my place - he has a mustache! And Darien and Hunter chilling out. The Turkey was all puffed up - at the end of my driveway with a whole harem with him.
My Codependency Recovery Birthday was June 3rd (32 years); on July 3rd I will have 34 1/2 years clean and sober; and on July 23rd I will have my belly button birthday (70 years old!!!! :-( I can use all the help I can get. ;-)
Love offerings gratefully accepted: Working the Third Step