Autobio Chapter 6

Elysian Park

Around Spring of 1967, Robin invited me to a love-in at Elysian Park in LA, which took place on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967. Apparently Robin, who lived in San Diego, had posted a note on a bulletin board at UCSD about wanting a rider to the event and George, who worked as an engineer and took a class there, responded.

At the love-in I hugged a lot of people. I lay down and petted with one guy and then we both stood up and went our separate ways. I hugged and flirted with lots of people, then came back to Robin and George. They were just conversing with people. Robin didn’t seem to want to flirt. I realize now he was looking for more than just a casual flirtation.

I flirted with George touching his foot and smiling with my head tilted slightly. He grabbed my shoulders and said, “You are very warm and sexy.”
Robin had taken me on two really nice dates and had even taken me to meet his parents. He was old fashioned when it came to love. Most guys were so fast, I just didn’t understand Robin. If I could have slowed down and matched his rhythm he and I might have fallen in love, but I didn’t. I would start dating George after the love-in.

Decades later, I would not think much of Dr. Dale’s advice, but at the time, I thought it was worth a shot. A few months after my 18th birthday, I met a man whom I felt was equal to the task. He could do what needed to be done without either of us falling in love.

I dated George a few times. We went to dinner and saw a counter-culture film or two. I was 18 and he was 31. He had never been married.

The Monterey Pop Festival

In June of 1967 there was a huge rock festival in Monterrey. George invited me to go with him, but my mother invited me to go with her. She took me to Monterrey and booked a hotel. I remember a drawing she made of my legs as I slept. She obviously loved me. (Later Jeff told me he had wanted to go, tried to hitch hike there but didn’t make it all the way. I wonder why he didn’t go with our mother and me.)

Then George showed up and my mother left. George kidded me about the cheap hotel my mother had chosen. We attended many concerts at the festival.

Janis Joplin didnt come to my attention until later. In June of 1967, she was just another screaming rocker. I hadnt really been into rock music all that much, but it was a nice date.

After the festival we went on a road trip on our way back to the San Diego area. George took me to Joan Baez Institute for Nonviolence in Carmel, California. I remember waving to her and she waved to me across a large room. I was giddy with joy!
We went driving up and down California staying in nice hotels. I got vaginitis and we saw a doctor who lectured us about our lifestyle. When we got back to Solana Beach I was in no hurry to return home. Perhaps I predicted the explosion to come.

Cooking Project

When we got back to Solana Beach, I stayed with George at his house for another day. During that time he got me involved with a cooking project, some complicated gourmet recipe. I wasnt used to gas burners, having learn to cook on electric burners. Suddenly everything was too hot. Being used to electric, I didnt know that a gas burner would cool down immediately once you turned it off or down, panicked, and carried the cauldron toward the door planning on taking it outside. I had to set it down by the door in order to open the door. Big mistake! It made a black round burnt spot in the wood floor under it! George smelled something strange and emerged from his nap to see the ruined floor. I thought I was going to be in big trouble, but he made light of it, joking about it with his friends who came over later. Then I began to understand that I was not so hopelessly flawed that my mistakes had to be greeted with a draconian response every time (like I was used to with my father). It was good to know that another man could treat with humor and compassion the sort of thing that would have sent my dad through the ceiling.

Century City Protest

On June 23, we attended the Century City protest against the Vietnam war in the Los Angeles area. The police struck protesters with their clubs. I saw a dazed looking young man who was bleeding from wounds on the head.

Angry Ouster

George drove me home to face my parents outrage at me for having been gone for several days.

George had wanted to help me get my drivers license, so I had gotten my birth certificate out of the file my mother kept in order to take it to the DMV. My mother accused me of taking the birth certificate in order to prove to George that I was 18 so he wouldn’t have legal consequences for sleeping with me. I explained to her the real reason, yet she clung to her explanation, bringing it up again and again. George didn’t actually have the chance to help me get my license.
One thing he did have time to do was get me a prescription for birth control pills. I was supposed to start taking them after my next period. In the meantime we used contraceptive foam. By the time I had my period, I would be living in Hollywood. I would take one or two, then decide I didn’t want to be a birth control pill popper, and stop, eventually gave them away.

I’m goin’ ’round the bend
Just to see the other end.
And I haven’t found
Just where I’m bound
‘Cept I’m going ’round
The bend
Just to see the other end.
Just to see the other end.
I’ve gone around other bends before
And I find that there’s always more,
There’s more to see, there’s more to try
And it’ll never stop and I’ll never die
And that is why and that is why.
I’m goin’ ’round the bend
Just to see the other end.
And I haven’t found
Just where I’m bound
‘Cept I’m going ’round
The bend
Just to see the other end.
Just to see the other end.

A lot of abused kids became teenagers during the 1960s. Many of them joined the hippie movement. I wanted to finish college and become a psychologist. I thought the Russians were going to bomb the USA into obliteration any minute. People I knew and people I knew of were coming back from Vietnam all messed up. No one can know how hard it was to get your bearings during that time, except perhaps another abused child who had the fortune to come of age during the later half of the nineteen-sixties.

As I emerged into adulthood, I was an emotional mess and knew it. Although, in hindsight, later, I would have been able to see the way out, at the time, I was in a fog. Mama was willing to help up to a point, but she would not admit that the abuse I had suffered was part of my complex emotional problem, nor even that abuse happened. This made her very difficult to talk to. She seemed friendly, supportive, and willing to help. But broach any of the real issues, and she would suddenly turn angry and distant. I knew she knew, but couldnt get her to admit anything. With her in denial, we could not move forward together toward my healing.
My father was incapable of showing affection, except toward my mother in a sexual way. Toward us kids, I’m just going to say this, he was a bully. Other than during the occasional visits with two of my uncles, the only male affection I had known was what I had witnessed being expressed toward my mother. I figured out what I would have to do to earn some for myself. But it definitely would be with another man, not my father! I was totally alienated from him, wanted nothing to do with him.

My parents thought I had dove into the decadence of the sixties with no moral rudder. I would hope that a daughter of mine would have told me about the psychologist’s advice. Mama would have tried to talk me out of everything I knew if I had told her anything. There would have been the usual communication breakdown. I had learned from long and bitter experience that the less she knew about me the better.

My mother seemed to know about something that I had told no one in the family. Perhaps I had written about it and she had snooped in my journals. She knew that I had dated a married professor from Palomar, and seemed to guess correctly about how far we had gone. Of course I had neither confirmed it nor denied it to her. What would have been the point?
I used to go to Bill’s office frequently because I had caught the bus near his office during my third semester at Palomar. He always seemed friendly and glad to see me. He had told me about an analogy comparing protesting the government to driving a bus. You can get the bus to go where you want by driving it, better than walking around it with a sign in your hand.

For some reason, near the end of school, Bill and I went driving together in his car. We went to Lake San Marcos, but there were people there already, and he wanted privacy, so we went to the Deluz wilderness. All these years I thought I took advantage of him, but he actually took advantage of me, or tried to. He was impotent.

George had picked me up once from Palomar and I had introduced my two lovers. It seems so odd to me now that I would have done that. I hadnt a clue about sexual etiquette.

Couldn’t Mom have learned more about me by keeping the channels of communication open by listening and expressing empathy, than by snooping in my journals?

George had loaned me a book called, Confessions of a Promiscuous Housewife, about a woman who didn’t even know which of her lovers was the father of one of her children. Mom had found that book in my room and shared it with Dad, prompting another one of his famous lectures, as if by borrowing a book I agreed with the contents. All I had wanted was the truth. This thing of sexuality deserved a thorough, unbiased study, not just the acceptance of pat answers. I didn’t believe that the people who had lied to me about Santa Claus were reliable sources of information.

Was it with the viciousness of love spurned that my mother lit into me? Neither one of us understood the tremendous forces unleashed during the 1960s that turned mother against daughter and daughter against mother. There was supposed to be peace, love, joy and flowers everywhere. We were the new generation and we would make it happen.

I was suddenly thrust out on my own at the age of 18. Up to that point everything in my life has been decided for me by others. I wasn’t even allowed to have an opinion. Any bit of autonomy or control over my own life had to be stolen by stealth by me prior to then. I was totally unprepared for the everyday choices one must make in the adult world. Later I would try not to do that to my children. I would try to give them the freedom to make increasingly significant choices, and live with the consequences, as they were growing up.

My two brothers were not subjected to such draconian reactions if they stayed out all night after reaching the age of 18. I noticed that my brothers were never told that their dad did not want to subsidize some woman’s sex. This was clearly a double standard.
I was ready to return to school in the fall, but Dad was tired of me. He didnt like it that I had a boyfriend and felt free to spend the night with him once in awhile. During this confrontation with my parents about the fact that I had spent several nights with George, I was asked to pack my things and be driven to the bus depot. There was some discussion on where the destination would be and which bus I would get on. My father said he would buy me a one-way ticket to anywhere I wanted to go, expecting me to go to Solana Beach, where my boyfriend lived. But I felt that just landing, suitcase and guitar in hand, on George’s doorstep would have been too much for him — and also too much for me. I did not want to be totally dependent on George for my existence. I wanted more options than that, but not for the reason my mother declared. Anyway, I didnt love him. He had served a function, and it was done. I wanted to go to either Haight-Ashbury or Hollywood, settling on Hollywood for the one-way ticket Dad was willing to buy. (He wouldnt spring for San Francisco.)
I had heard about the teenage runaways converging on San Francisco and Hollywood in 1967, and that services were in place to help them. I would join them, I thought, although I’m being thrown out not running away. I knew that on Fairmont Avenue in Hollywood a group calling themselves the Diggers were finding jobs and places to live for the hippie runaways. That life, I thought, would be more satisfying than shacking up with George (even assuming I would have been welcomed into the household of a 31-year-old bachelor).

I realize that my mother made a viciously snide remark to me at the time that had unconsciously affected me. The whole experience was viciously demeaning because it did not seem to be done for my good. Viciously snide remarks from my mother were nothing unusual. She seemed to gain enjoyment from the putdown of others. She considered petty name-calling beneath her but enjoyed making snide remarks with a little more substance to them. A younger me had dealt with things like being called a guttersnipe, perhaps a little more creative than calling someone a bitch or a slut. What is a guttersnipe anyway? Ive never heard it other than from my mothers lips. Perhaps it was her way of saying I had a filthy mouth because, at the time she first used that epithet, I had not yet committed any sexual transgressions.

Why did I choose these particular parents? Was I briefed about the physical, the verbal and the emotional abuse that I would suffer? Perhaps I chose them because of the natural food diet that they would feed me. But couldnt I have found parents who would have raised me on natural foods and also treated me with gentleness?

Even though they were kicking me out, and I had no choice but to go somewhere else, my mother accused me of choosing Hollywood for more penises, not once but several times. My father said he was, not going to subsidize another man’s sex. My mother liked repeating that phrase as well.

“What do you expect to find in Hollywood, more penises?” she accused sarcastically, and I totally ignored her, or thought I did.

As a result of my dad’s reaction to my spending the night away from the house (mind you I was past the age of 18), I no longer had a place to live or the means of continuing my schooling, thus blushing in school had become a moot point.

Next Chapter

Last Chapter, Chapter 5: Bicycle Accident

First Chapter, Boy’s PE

2 thoughts on “Angry Ouster

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