Ojai – my favorite escape…

Posted on February 18, 2008. Filed under: Adoption emotions | Tags: , , , , , , , |

By Joy A. Kennelly

Sure helps to get out of town when you need to clear your head. My favorite place to run away to is Ojai. If you’ve never gone, you’re really missing out.

It’s about 2 hours outside of L.A. on the way to Santa Barbara and has some great spas, restaurants, art galleries and festivals. However, generally I skip all that and run away to my favorite secret spot where I can sit, pray and gather my thoughts while sitting on a mountain top with an amazing view that overlooks the valley spread out before me.

I would tell you where, but this time it was so crowded, I’ve decided not to. Sorry. You can find out though if you go to the visitor’s center. Here’s some pix to show you why I’m being so protective. At least I think it’s stunning, but everyone’s taste is different:


Any time I’m feeling down I either run here, or another couple special spots in Malibu when I’m craving an ocean view instead. Nature is so healing. I highly recommend getting away!

What does this have to do with adoption? Well, earlier that day I attended my favorite Al-Anon meeting and finally felt safe enough to let my guard down to share what was really going on with me.

I’ve been fighting a very public battle in my hometown which I won’t bore you with here, but I didn’t feel safe emotionally or physically anywhere after an especially bitter attack by someone I thought was a friend and when I didn’t feel backed up by people I considered friends also.

However, I always feel safe in Al-Anon and was so glad I went to my meeting. It’s like there is something in the air there because I always feel like I can be so soft and vulnerable in the rooms which isn’t like me anywhere else in my life.

I don’t have a lot of places or people I feel that safe with.

I know there were women there who knew me from my public image, but there’s like this unspoken agreement that we will allow you to be who you are even if we don’t like you. Does this make sense? If you’re in program you get it, I know.

I just sat there crying during my share. Afterwards, one of my friends was very sweet to me. She hugged me and let me just sob on her shoulder until I calmed down again. Not even my mom is that understanding to me very often, but she loves me in her own way.

That’s what I mean. I can be my true self there which is very freeing. I thought I was done crying, but when my little nieces called to say thank you for their Valentine gifts and that they loved me, I just lost it again.

After we hung up, I drove sobbing loudly, pouring out all the pain and sorrow over the past couple of days for what seemed to be a long time, but was probably only a few blocks. I haven’t cried like that since I was attacked by a relative over the phone last November. (We’ve since made up if you’re wondering…)

I guess the tears had been building up. I haven’t grieved the end of my fantasy of ever having a true relationship with the adoptive parents and possible loss of a relationship with my son; I felt betrayed by a friend I was depending on for support; I also had been brutally, brutally attacked via email by a man I thought was a friend and had thought I had treated as such;

And I had been single and alone throughout it all.

However, God is good and met me on the mountain top when I was in Ojai. I had brought all my study materials with me to center myself again. Since I joined my church group half way through the Beth Moore‘s study Believing God I wanted to catch up.

I decided to start my Bible Study lesson from the beginning of the study guide that day because the lessons are so empowering and wonderful. I’m so glad I did. It was exactly what I needed to study.

As an aside, I’m watching the Posh & Becks story on E! True Hollywood story and am surprised at how much animosity David Beckham had to deal with over in England. Hate to say it, but nice to know I’m not alone in experiencing public attacks. That couple has really endured a lot of hatred! Who knew? I wish them both much success!

Anyway, back to my Bible Study lesson. It’s all about having faith in God and learning to trust that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do! Amen and amen to that!

I read this in Psalm 35:17-28 and secretly hope it will come true in my home city. Wait, change that. I believe God to take care of me. Read this and see what you think.

Psalm 35:17-28:
17 O Lord, how long will you look on?
Rescue my life from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.

18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.

19 Let not those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
let not those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.

20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.

21 They gape at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent.
Do not be far from me, O Lord.

23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.

24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God;
do not let them gloat over me.

25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him (her) up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.

27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The LORD be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will speak of your righteousness
and of your praises all day long.

Isn’t that nice? At least to me! Anyway, it’s been a very healing weekend and I needed to go through this to come out the other side.

Tomorrow, I’m going to call a woman who is a friend of my best friend Kirsten who has some interesting insights on adoption and my experience which I look forward to hearing. I’ll pass them on here too if it will help you.

Have a great evening! Can’t wait for Desperate Housewives to come back on! I’m so desperate I’m watching the The Sentinel!

Okay, that’s all for now.


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