I’m passing along a collection of excerpts from my personal and therapy journals to whomever desires to read them. I’m sharing my story so that those of you who are on a similar journey can know that you aren’t the only one – and so you can know that there is a way through. It is my intention to tell my story with both authenticity and dignity.

The title of my blog comes from a phrase I penned in the Fall of 2007:

“I feel like I am walking through a thick forest and I don’t know where I’m heading, I only know to follow the compass. I believe someday I will come out of the trees and into a clearing. I believe that, when I enter the clearing, I will finally know my primary life’s calling. Until then, I have to walk in faith.”


To start at the beginning of my story, click here: First journal entry

If you would like read a synopsis of the story (an alternative to reading all of the posts – of which there are currently 900+), click here: The condensed version of my story

Or, if you want to pick and choose which posts to read, you can browse the
archives pages anytime.

And, you may contact me via email: magnalady1@aol.com
(please put “Coming Out of the Trees” in the subject line so I know it’s not spam)


Here is my Bio
Screen name: Marie
Age: Mid 40’s
Single – married once for 10 weeks about 15 years ago
No kids
Live in a smaller town in northern Colorado, USA
Live in modest but comfortable/cozy diggs
Drive an old but reliable car
Earn my living teaching piano lessons
Got a modest education (AA degree from a little Christian school)
Grew up in a small town (farmer’s daughter)
Came from a very conservative/religious family
Dad died when I was 23, Mom lives nearby
I’m the baby of four siblings, we are scattered all over the country
Our family members all get along with each other
Universalistic in my spiritual beliefs
Liberal in my political views
Love to read — mostly non-fiction (random, off-the-wall topics)

Me as a kid

Me as a kid


Here are the people who regularly show up in my blog

Mark – my first therapist

Dr. Barb – my second therapist

Edward – my third (and current) therapist

Melodie – my very best friend of 20+ years (college roommate)

Susan & Erik – my current housemates

James, Cindy and Sara – the cop dad, paramedic mom and their daughter, the dad and daughter are my piano students

Jeff – my student, the psychiatrist

Matt – the 9-year-old savant/autistic neighbor to whom I teach piano

Jerry (also called “X”) – the guy I believe molested me (the music director of my childhood church)


Here is the story behind the photo in the header

The photo in the header was generously provided by Jim Dollar through creative commons licensing. I encourage you to check out the rest of his photos on flickr.

The photo was taken October 3rd, 2009 and it is of Pyramid Mountain in Alberta, Canada (Jasper National Park). Although this peak is located about 1,000 miles (1,600km) to the north/north-west of where I live, it belongs to the same mountain range (Rocky Mountains) that I can see from my town. In fact, the photo looks as if it was taken in our “neck of the woods” — the trees are the same, the dramatic rawness of the peaks are the same, the clear mountain streams are the same . . . so, I figured the photo was a great fit for my blog’s header. Thank you, Jim!


Here are the sources of the quotes displayed in the yellow boxes
“Instructions for Life” by the Dalai Lama
Apples of Gold by Jo Petty
Excuses Begone! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
For the Love of God by Benjamin Shield and Richard Carlson
Ask . . . by John L. Mason
Sharing Hearts: Little Chats for a Sweet Life by Dee Appel
What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life by Niki Anderson


  1. Hi Marie, I’m sorry I haven’t been over yet to leave comments. But I will! Your blog is now in my RSS reader :)

    • Hi, Svasti –

      Glad to you see your comment! Welcome aboard! Thanks for reading!

      – Marie

  2. Hi Marie,
    Just visiting for the first time. I will catch up with a little reading. I have seen your comments at Wellness Writer and also I suspect Blisschick.


    • Hi, Emma –

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting — I hope to “see” you again in the future!

      – Marie

  3. Dear Marie,

    Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gretchen Paules and I am the Administrative Director for a newly formed nonprofit called the Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation. Our mission at LGLPCI is to help heal and support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse worldwide. We are actively seeking adult survivors who would be willing to post their childhood photo & caption, their story, or their creative expressions to our website http://www.letgoletpeacecomein.org. By uniting survivors from around the globe we hope to provide a stronger and more powerful voice to those survivors who have not yet found the courage to speak out or have been cast aside with disbelief. Please consider posting to our website. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me directly at this e-mail address. Together we can; together we should; together we NEED to stand up and be counted.

    Warmest Regards,
    Gretchen Paules
    Administrative Director
    Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation
    111 Presidential Blvd., Suite 212
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

    • Hi, Gretchen –

      Thank you for sharing this information . . . I have been looking over your website and I can see how valuable it is for this community. I’ll leave this information here so others can read it, and I’ll see what I can do in the near future to bring attention to your organization.

      Thank you!
      – Marie

  4. Thank you so much Marie. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any questions.

  5. Hello Marie!
    I just wanted to reach out and say hello and thank you for linking to my site! (Blogs about Wholeness) I love the transparency of your writing and your blog period. Some of my best therapy has come from sharing myself through my writing. Thank you for providing such a valuable resource!

    • Thank you, Tony! I have found your site to be very educational and well-written, as well . . . I’m glad to recommend it as a resource!

      – Marie

  6. Hi Marie,

    I am amazed by your blog and if you notice you’ll note over the next few days me reading your entries! Thank you for commenting on my blog and if I may I would like to add you to my blog roll.


    • Hi, Gabi –

      Wow! Well, thank you! And, it would be an honor to be on your blogroll!

      Welcome to my blog and I’ll watch for you!

      – Marie

  7. Do you have an rss on your blog, or can we follow only by email site updates?

    • Hi, Wendy –

      No, I don’t have rss on my blog . . . however, if you use an rss reader like iGoogle, you can pick it up that way . . .

      Thank you for your interest!
      – Marie

  8. First time reading your blog! :)

    • Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Dear Marie,

    As a fellow survivor of domestic violence and child abuse (I was repeatedly raped by a deacon of a church), I’d like to commend you on the good work you’re doing to lead victims of abuse on a path to recovery and help them find their purpose in life. Like you, I’m a survivor and started my recovery through journaling, which led to my published book titled ‘And Yet, You Still Chose Me’, my redemptive, true-life journey of child abuse.

    My novel is now being adapted to the silver screen. Like the novel, the film is being produced for 1 reason – to help victims of child abuse walk a path of deliverance from their past. But, the film will do even more. It will show the impact of abuse on the entire family unit. It will also send a message to pedophiles, bringing awareness to the havoc that their perverted acts cause innocent children, both boys and girls, and society as a whole.

    As you can imagine, it’s been difficult to find our market because so many of the abused are still victims, still suffering in silence, never to have appropriately dealt with this atrocity, due to no fault of their own. It’s time out for that. It’s time for them to be liberated. And, it’s by survivors like you and me, partnering to help them, that they can begin their recovery. I’ve chosen to make a difference through the arts with my novel and this film titled ‘Picture Me Blue No More’, due in theaters in late 2012.

    We are currently raising seed money to start camera roll and to demonstrate to our prospective investors that there is a market for this film. Donations have been slow and we’re running out of time. Can you help me by blogging about this film, about this movement? We need to get the word out and this is not a message that mainstream media has embraced. But, we know how timely this story is. Don’t we?

    For more information about this movement, visit the official movie website at http://www.onyxpearl.com/picturemebluenomore

    A portion of the film’s proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations established to help victims of domestic abuse.

    Let me know if you are able to assist me.

    Warmest Regards.

    Kimberly Ray
    Author, “And Yet, You Still Chose Me (the book)”
    Producer, “Picture Me Blue No More (the movie)”

    • Hi, Kimberly –

      Thanks for sharing this information with us . . . I trust that things will come together for you and your team!

      – Marie

  10. Hi!

    I recently starting hosting my own wordpress-blog.

    The new address is http://prozacblogger.com and the name is: Journal of a Male Childhood Abuse Survivor.

    Would you mind changing it in your blogroll for me?

    That would be great :) Thank you.


    – Prozacblogger

    • I updated your link in my blog roll . . . thanks for the new address!

  11. Very nice blog!

    bill krill

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