A dog’s eye view of the outside of the coop/apartment I am moving to. This is a picture of our family dog from forty years ago. No more pets for me now. It’s interesting after so many years that the building is still the same color!

Link to Song Page with more about my song  RETREAT

“I withdraw and suddenly, I feel you surround me”

I had retreated from the tunnel’s opening. It was right in front of me and the light was dazzling my eyes. But the absence of sound was deafening, and I felt like my head was exploding. I had to break the silence. I retreated back into the darkness and remembered there was a perfect song to help me.


I went to work with George and told him I wanted to create an instrumental version of my song “Retreat.” We had worked on it a few months earlier; it was a moody and complicated song with two distinct rhythms. The mystery of my song was who appeared to me. For now, I believe my music has definitely surrounded and soothed me.


I love sharing. Below are two recordings of my song in progress; one has my vocal and the other is my instrumental that is half completed. Click on the blue links to play an instrumental version of my song:

RETREAT Instrumental-Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger 


Once I brought music back into my tunnel, I felt better. I listened to my beautiful song as I fell asleep at night in order to stay calm. But in the darkness, my heart still pounded wildly and I had that feeling of inevitability. I thought I would write some descriptions of that feeling.


Inevitability was when…

I had absolute certainty that I was going to throw up and could no longer hold it back. There was a horrible tight feeling in my stomach; my hands were icy, my face hot and my heart was pounding.


I was on a roller coaster that was rickety and going up, up, up – at the very top there was a hesitation before it began plunging and there was no stopping it.


I checked into the hospital to deliver each of my children knowing there was plenty of physical pain to face before coming home with my baby.


I thought about my own death, someday.


I knew that each night counting down would mark the very last time I slept in the same bed with my husband whom I would soon be leaving after 31 years of marriage. 


Writing for my blog is quite a distraction because I have so much left to do. But it is not a waste of my time. I write for many reasons.


As a writer, my mood and how I see things is very much affected by when I write. To actually write about feelings as events occur is extremely touching for me. I have raw emotions that I am certain other people could relate to. Writing something later on is completely different, because I am more detached. But while things are happening, sharing is my way of expressing myself with complete honesty instead of holding it in. For such a long time, I did not share my true feelings with anyone.


I like to use lyric lines for my post titles, and I was unsure trying to choose which one to use for this post. I had so many ideas that I decided to write about all of them. Therefore, below are many ideas for titles and the reason why I considered them:


NO WORDS (From my song “No Words”)

This morning was the last time I would be eating breakfast with my husband. He planned to go away for the weekend and I was moving out while he was gone. He would return to a house that was empty except for our oldest son. The post title of “No Words” would have been perfect. We both said little to each other, and no feelings were revealed. But inside, I had many words I could not bring myself to say.


I held everything inside. For such a long time, I avoided him because I couldn’t handle the added stress he brought to my life. But as the minutes ticked to the very end, I avoided looking at him. His eyes were filled with pain and mine were half closed. The day before, I had lifted too many boxes and was stiff. I shuffled around the kitchen and served him the last breakfast I would ever fix.


If I could have actually said my true feelings, I might have said, “I‘m so sorry that I’ve hurt you this deeply and caused you so much grief. I wish it weren’t this excruciating difficult. Although I chose this path, I still have good memories and will miss many aspects of our former life together. I still care about you.”


WE TRY AND SHOW HOW WE DON’T CARE (From my song “How We Don’t Care”)

This title is exactly how we both operated for years. Both of us stopped showing our hurt. He was angry about household things and I was indifferent. There was zero affection, although we called each other “Honey.”


I’M FILLED WITH COLD INDIFFERENCE (From my song “Through My Music”)

I hate to describe myself this way. But it is with complete honesty that sometimes it has been the only way for me to cope with emotional anguish. Detachment from pain allows for respite. Unfortunately, it left me in a zombie mode with no attachment to pleasure either. I had to have cold indifference in order to pack this past week and empty our house. Every item I looked at carried a memory of our married life. Moving was hard!


I TRIED SO HARD TO ACCEPT (From my song “Memory of Love”)

Being an artist and appreciating the beauty of nature with my eyesight has been essential for me. My cataract surgeries have affected my vision. The whole process of learning to see with different eyes has been challenging, and I remain hopeful that I will adjust. It wasn’t too hard for me to accept it, because when music entered my life, it blessed me with something that would help me through any challenge I might face. That included eyesight problems. 


LOSING THE LAUGHTER (From my song “Laughter and Tears”)

I loved seeing Peaches Chrenko every week for our voice lessons. I recorded our discussions and often shared those clips on my blog. She is moving out-of-state and I am going to miss our laughter and time together so much. But more than anything, I’m going to miss Peaches. Her support and encouragement really enabled me to improve as a singer/songwriter. One day, I dream of going to Italy with Peaches.


I MAY BE STRESSED (From my song “My Dream”)

This title would be self-explanatory. After I’ve moved, I plan to see my doctor to do more tests regarding my irregular heartbeat. I need to follow up on this while I still have decent medical insurance through my husband. Unfortunately, that will change soon.



This title is also very obvious. Soon there will be lawyers negotiating our divorce settlement. I can’t help anticipating that it might cause both of us to become angry at each other. Sometimes, I do get very angry. But it is extremely unhealthy and causes me to become physically ill. So I accept, understand and take comfort in knowing that I am moving from anger to peacefulness.


ONE DAY, YOUR PAIN WILL GO AWAY (From my song “Hang On”)

I believe this line is the one I need to remind myself of the most. I hear it every moment of my day. Not only will my pain go away, but I will also be very happy!


I loved the guitar I had for many years; it was an Epiphone. My guitar that I now play is from Ireland, a Lowden.

Email exchange with my cousin, Dorothy (my words are in blue):


Dear Judy,

I am thinking about you and hoping your eyes are better and things are going well for you. My daughter never lets a Saturday go by without a prayer for you. Since she has such a good heart, her prayers usually work. I hope it has for you.

Love, Dorothy


Thanks, Dorothy. I believe in her prayers and please let her know how touched I am.


Her prayers definitely work, because I feel very blessed with where my life is heading. I am close to getting there. I called today and arranged for the movers to come this Sunday. It is going to happen! I wish my eye wasn’t bothering me, but I plan to see the doctor soon and hope it has healed more.


Love, Judy


Dear Judy,

I am happy that your life is moving on.  I pray the days ahead bring you only the best of health and peace and success in whatever you chose to do. I will pass your message on to my daughter.


Your eyes are still healing so on Sunday try not to lift anything to heavy.  I know it will be hard but keep thinking of your eyes.

Love, Dorothy 


I’m seeing the doctor on Friday and will let you know what he says. I haven’t been feeling too well and today I did music, which helped me feel better.


Love, Judy


Judy, in a few weeks you will be settled in and you can begin to rebuild your life.  I know with her prayers, it will be a good one. You are in for great surprises; you have always succeeded with what you have done, however, for now take care.

Love, Dorothy


Dear Dorothy,

I don’t think if will take long for me to settle in. It feels very comfortable being in the home I grew up in. I can feel my parents’ love and presence everywhere I look!


My biggest surprise already has happened – that I found the courage to change my life. Everything else will be icing on the cake. I look forward to success in the form of doing what I love and my dream that I will be able to support myself doing that financially. The greatest gift would be to touch and help many, many people. 


Please let your daughter know that she has made a difference already!


Love, Judy


I loved your e-mail. I will tell my daughter and it will make her so happy. You will definitely touch other people’s lives.  

Love, Dorothy


Oh, Dorothy, you tell her! I know I will help people and look forward to it.


Love, Judy



I don’t mean to be a pest, but take care. If you do, then you can take care of all the people who trust you to make a difference in their lives.

Love, Dorothy


I don’t think you’re a pest. I was a very bad girl today. I carried boxes and made 20 trips from my car into the apartment. I knew it was wrong, but couldn’t stop myself. I listened to my music on my iPod while doing it and it was like a workout dance. I am so sore right now.


I am nervous about my eyes and will see the doctor tomorrow. I am sitting at my computer now and feeling a bit teary. I saw my mom today and told her I was moving, but I don’t think she understood. She’ll visit me there next week with Miriam.


I heard my inner voice today. It said, “You are valuable and the richest woman in the world.” It made me feel better. Thank you for caring about me.


Love, Judy


You are valuable and you are the richest woman in the world, and these are the reasons you have to take care of yourself. Remember the longest journey starts with the first step.

Love, Dorothy

I sure miss playing tennis – it has been a long stretch for me to not play because of my eye surgeries. This image is from a claw-like device that is hanging on the fence where I play. It retrieves tennis balls from bushes. The manufacturer is UNGER. I have decided to keep my last name. 

Email update about my eyesight:


Dear friends and family,


It has been one week since my second cataract surgery. From the beginning, I didn’t feel too great after the surgery; my left eye was slightly foggy. The day after surgery, the surgeon told me I had a minor complication called a cortical chip.


When I saw the doctor today, he said my cornea was slightly swollen and it would be best to surgically fix my problem. Even though the procedure is considered minor, this time I will accept sedation!


My surgery is scheduled a week from Monday. The surgeon said my complication is very rare, and I’m the first patient he’s done this with in five years. I did become a little choked up and said that maybe I wasn’t his best patient because I had possibly done something that caused this. He firmly told me that it wasn’t my fault.


I am moving Sunday and will be living at my parents’ old coop in North Hollywood. I’ll continue to send updates. Thank you for caring about me.


With much love, Judy

This image is from a lesson I videotaped with Peaches when we first started working together 2 1/2 years ago.

© Judy Unger and 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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