About Nan Mykel



HONEST, it’s not my idea to toot my own horn. I started this blog because I wrote a book and everyone said the way to publicize it was to write a blog. Nothing happened, so I wrote another book, and ditto.  I just don’t have the right “hook” to get readers to visit me, although my blog has 11 different pages, not counting this one. My royalties are from me purchasing a few of my own books. It’s kinda lonely out here in blogland with nobody “liking” me. So, I wrote a third book–fiction–and it includes…no, I don’t think telling you will matter.  Will telling you I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology matter? Oh, well…I was number one on the Miami Jackson tennis team in 1953…

This is me! I am Nan Mykel.

Be gentle with yourself

Be gentle with yourself

I think my most valued trait is my sense of humor. True, it’s an introverted sense of humor, but it stands me in good stead, especially during trying times.

Now that I have published my highly informational book “FALLOUT: A survivor Talks to Incest Offenders (and Others),” birthday nan I am continuing to publish with Create Space, since my assistant Shannon Stewart and I have mastered that publishing procedure. And I don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else (tho I realize that pleasing just myself may have a detrimental effect on my sales).

Shannon is helping me with my efforts to become a functional blog producer,  so I’m off on a new adventure. My pages cover Down Syndrome experiences, since my youngest is a Down Syndrome child and I want to provide a venue for sharing both fortunate and unfortunate experiences with Down Syndrome. (The other blog I read only welcomes positive experiences, and I know there are also sad times with the condition).

Another page involves  encouraging and sharing creative and/or therapeutic journaling, including dreams, both for myself and others. I have a page for my books, including excerpts. There is also a page called Our Shadow Selves, based on the Shadow as initially envisioned by Carl Jung. Let me add that that page will NOT be subversive. Another page will be called Secrets, which include quotes, literature, thoughts, etc. that excite me,  a  page called “Relief,” containing images and words that give one that warm, snuggly feeling,  a page on INCEST, from a survivor (me), and one on poet/try, which may include some prose. Plus one called Life Issues, which includes almost every life issue I come across.Oh did I mention my page called POET/TRY?

So, who’s Nan Mykel? Mother of three, plus a fourth who’s disowned me, and grandmother of four; a woman born in Virginia, partly raised in North Carolina, also in Maryland, South Carolina, and Florida, who  birthed four in Georgia, and lives currently in Athens, Ohio.  Graduated from the U of F, PhD from Georgia State, psychology license from Georgia and Ohio, work years with Woodland Centers in Gallipolis and Pomeroy, plus Hocking Correctional Facility in Ohio. Volunteer public access producer in  Athens, Ohio, most notably Athens Kaleidoscope (see image to left).  I’m an atheist who hopes there’s a pleasant afterlife, and an Obama liberal Unitarian—all three of which I hope don’t run you away from this site.

My second book just appeared on Amazon. As opposed to FALLOUT, the second one was pure fun. It is a book of verse and short stories. Most fun was selecting illustrations from the public domain to go with parts of the book.  The book is titled  Time Wrinkles,  and is “a plebian portfolio —-down to earth and over the top  in story and verse.”   And then there’s a third book which came out last year, and I’m already dissatisfied with it. In fact, I’m in the process of revising it, a little bit every day, even to the point of giving it a new name–from Shattered Boundaries  to The Switch.  


Sallie and Nan at the airport. New Years Eve, 20152016

Nan and daughter Sallie at the airport New Years Eve 2015


Nan and son-in-law John same place same date





(The vulture climbing the tree was doing just that–he didn’t fly up)

hen party

I put this here by accident — it was to go on Life Issues, but I decided to just leave it here.


The Old Woman I Will Be

REMEMBER, when you read this, that it’s by a woman 15 years younger than me (Nan), who is 80.

Another birthday.

A big one. 65.

Over the last few weeks, I have been preoccupied with the significance of 65.

Two thirds of my life is behind me. Maybe more. Do I have 30 years left? What if it is only 10?

I’ve wasted a lot of time in 65 years.  John Lennon said, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” But have I enjoyed it? It’s gone now… all those hours waiting for boys to call or vegging in front of TV or playing online games or shopping for shit that I hardly ever wear. I can’t get those hours back.

But I want to make the most of whatever time I have left – and to enjoy that time. Maybe that still means television and shopping. But maybe not.

I will soon (not quite yet) be an old woman.

I’ve been asking myself:

What kind of old woman do I want to be?

I’ve haven’t decided, but I know a few things.

For one thing, I always thought it would be a relief to be old, and no longer concerned about my appearance. Not true. I care. I want to always care. How I look on the outside impacts how I feel about myself. This has always been true, and in the past, it was often in a negative way.  I never even felt pretty until I turned sixty. But surprisingly I found I liked my sixty-year-old looks. And at 65, I feel quite beautiful. That’s such a lovely feeling. I’m keeping it. I don’t want to look like an old woman trying desperately to be young. But I will be a beautiful old woman, with good hair and makeup and carefully chosen clothes.

I want to be a smart old woman. I’ll stay interested in politics and the environment and literature and the arts. My father suffered from mild dementia late in life, and I recognize that could happen to me too. If it does, I hope people will be as kind to me as they were to my dad. Maybe I will at least be lucky enough to stay smart in something. My father could still follow the football game. If I can still read a book, I will be happy enough.

Some people tell me they look forward to the freedom to be outspoken. But I come from a long line of non-boat rockers. (Or is it boat non-rockers?)  Either way, I’m not sure I would be happy as a crotchety old lady. I like being a nice person. I don’t even have a resting bitch-face.

But I do think I will let go of caring so much what other people think of me. I have long been distressed when I find someone doesn’t like me. Even to be disagreed with is tragic to me. But I am well on my way to getting past it. Right now I am working with someone who very obviously dislikes me. And you know what? It doesn’t matter that much. I don’t have to win her over.

I do want, however, to ask for what I want. As a boat non-rocker, I have always had a difficult time expressing my desires. I always do what everyone else wants to do. I’ve acquiesced so long it’s hard to even know what I want. I remember back in 1976 – forty years ago. I was 25 and Dorothy Hamill had charmed the country at the Winter Olympics. I very badly coveted her hairdo. I went to the salon, and the hairdresser said, “How about if I give you a Dorothy Hamill haircut?” And I said, “I don’t know. I’m not sure I’d look good in that style,” and he cut my hair differently. Differently and Badly. What the hell was wrong with me? This guy was offering me exactly what I wanted, and I turned it down? That stupid little incident haunts me. And I have not changed much. I can’t tell my friends what restaurant I want to go to. I can’t tell my boss that I deserve a raise. I can’t tell my husband what I want for my birthday.

I want to hug and kiss everyone more. I’m a very restrained person. I love my family and friends, but it is difficult for me to be openly demonstrative. But these last few months I’ve changed my mind. It’s my puppy. I love to hug him. He loves me to hug him. Shit, if a dog feels that way, imagine human beings. We all need affection. I’m giving it. I was at a family party this weekend, and I went around the house and hugged and kissed everyone there. I kissed my sisters. Do you know how long it has been since I kissed my sisters? I am going to kiss them all the time.

I’ve been writing this blog for 4 1/2 years. If it’s a waste of time, it’s the best waste of time ever. Does it take me away from working more on my second novel? Yes. Writing a novel is so solitary. And I am a solitary person by nature. So I love that. But my blog is social. I write and people respond. It’s like getting hugs back. I need that too.

And about my blog: every year on my birthday, I post a new photo. Unretouched. (Although I’m tempted.) But I want to show people – especially younger people – that being old is not so bad.

In fact it’s pretty good.


me-2-7-16 r

                                                                      Me [Nancy Roman]–  65 today!


There goes my mind! Catch it!

Me [Nancy Mykel] — 80 years

There goes my mind!  Quick! Catch it!”


The very first thing I did on my 80th birthday was fall out of bed.  The very next thing I did was go back to bed,


O B I T U A R Y     (A little premature)

Retired prison psychologist Nan Mykel passed away last week at the age of 79*, with her boots on.  As reported in a recent interview, she said her workplace had expanded from a small prison to embrace the entire county of Athens, Ohio, where she had lived since 1981.

Whether it was volunteering at the local public access television channel in Athens where she produced Kaleidoscope, a weekly show,  caretaking her 6-page Word Press blog or squeezing out words for the library’s poetry and writing groups, her mind remained in a frenzy, searching for new ways of looking at things.

It is reported that even on weekly trips to Gallipolis, where she took her Downs Syndrome daughter to lunch Sundays, she drove with paper and pen on the car seat beside her to capture elusive poetry ideas.  (Now that she’s gone that illegal practice can be recorded).

Nan was of the old, old school, growing up in a world of mechanical typewriters.  The advent of wires, cords, connections, monitors, mice and internet passwords caught her unawares and it was with grim determination that she cautiously inched her way into the computer age.  Once on its threshold, she rushed to self-publish three books, which comprise her legacy, along with the refurbished hp and other “stuff” that occupied her home office.

Rumors that she was not a good housekeeper are apparently true, as we discovered on our post- mortem visit.

Incidentally, as an aside, the germ of this obituary was conceived on the Nustep machine at Heart Works in Athens, Ohio, the day after her first and last poetry group’s session.

And now it can be told: her password, which is etched on her tombstone, was “hairballs.”

*She was always cagey about her age. She could have been 80.


Beautiful, blue eyes, blonde hair


My little Sister  April 11, 1942 –   April, 1983

Allison Buckman Bassett Mannng

(Nikki, short for Nickname, named by Nan)


Gone but never forgotten


42 responses to “About Nan Mykel

  1. Sages of the ages..
    where pens write
    from beyond
    free floWinG
    Wisdom as wise
    and Old as the
    UniVerse iN
    InFiniTy n0w..
    Truth in
    as far as
    we feel..
    and move..
    Star dust iS
    uS.. wE fly

    SMiLes my
    friend.. couldn’t
    find a place to
    so i leave
    it here as
    theRe is alWays
    another way to
    get stuff done
    for those
    to never
    ever give
    up.. now..
    and quite
    honestly i thInk
    it was my favorite
    one.. but you know
    F E E L N O W..
    folks these days..
    if the rules don’t
    tale ’em how
    to do it..
    they just
    take tHeir
    toys with them..
    hehe.. i never give up..
    the lesson of over 14.5
    billion years.. change

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks…I bought and read The Sin of His Father and enjoyed it. I guess it had your card stuck in it. When I came across your card recently I thought maybe I had gotten it at the Writers Fair in Athens, Ohio last fall, but I just looked at the video of that and see you weren’t there. Your small avatar face did seem familiar, however.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I must check out your books…I just finished The sin of his father as well. And I see we are one year and a month apart…almost twins…well, sort of…I turned 64 March 9th this year:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, cousin. I just ran across this and checked to be sure you are still keeping up this site. Now I will send people to visit you. BTW Sunday’s paper had an article I wanted to send you. No. It was an NPR interview I heard on the way back from church. Now I may be able to find it. … I have found it. It was on Georgia Public Broadcasting. An interview with Kathryn Harrison about her recent collection of essays, True Crimes: A Family Album.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there. Great to know yyou have such a wonderful sense if humor. We desperately need that in these times. I am a conservative Goldwater republican meanjng I want our government to stop wasting our tax dollars and to keep its nose out of our bedrooms and churches…hope that doesn’t make you want to run away. When you post on dVerse, I would dearly love to comment on your linked poem bug see no way to do that. So thank you for joining us over there. Please continue to visit but try to just link the poem you want us to read and let us comment. I think you would enjoy getting positive remarks! Also if you got yo Mondays Quadrille, you will find some excellent poems. I posted about my mom’s Alzheimers. Take care. Have a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nan, I have enjoyed exploring your blog! I turned 50 last year and had pretty much the same thoughts about wasting time. It’s wonderful to see how prolific you are, and it is also a great example…whether or not you set out to be that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Nan! Love to see the interaction going on here. How are you? Thinking of your cat that’s no longer with you. She’s (was it a female) will be visiting you, you can be sure. You will notice when she has to go. Please be positive about this. My heart really goes out to you. I have my cat on my lap right now and have been appreciating her a lot more/better, after you posting about yours having had to go. Be strong. Much regard. Petru.


  7. Hello Nan! What fun to find a new follower all the way across the world! Thanks for looking me up and following! Hope to keep you interested in the goings on of a nearly 50 yr old in Cape Town! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nan, about that photo of young you looking out over the mountains and a lake. Are you at Hawkshead? I went there years later with Sam or my mom (I can’t remember which or when), maybe in the 80s, and the trees had all grown up so it was’t possible to see the lake (Lake Grenville?). Some Est guru from California had purchased it and used it as a retreat.


    • Well, I’d delighted someone has it who can enjoy it.too bad about the view, tho that is something they can do something about I guess. Ian and I tried to find it once without success.



  9. Wonderful! Thanks for stopping by with your kind thoughts today.
    I think an introverted sense of humor is the best kind to have, because I too am an introvert.
    I love your voice, you’ve got yourself a new follower!


  10. Hi Nah! I laughed hard all through reading you. I think you are someone that I definitely would like!
    I, too, have a background in psychology….20 years study and schooling and I never finished. Poetry took me away. You know who Heinz Kohut is….or was, and I am struck with that sword. I have been writing about Pathological Narcissism for 20 years, as it is a plague in my birth family. I’ve also been disowned by that family but it’s good to get away from manifestations of
    Evil. M Scott Peck had it just about covered.
    We share a lot of things, as I am 68 now, approaching 69, and fighting for space every day. And I do understand about your books. I have 5 on the market and royalties would make me a starving artist for sure!

    I’ll be back.
    Jane Kohut-Bartels who is also Lady Nyo in a better form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I loved Kohut. I remember arguing with my (silent) psychoanalyst to the effect that I wanted to be a narcissist rather than borderline! Kohut seemed to have admired narcissists–from my reading at that time, anyway!


      • Well, I don’t believe he admired narcissists, from the description about his mother (crypto-psycho) I think he realized how dangerous these people are. I, too…with a mother at 96 who is very much in line with this.
        I think that people raised by narcissists have fleas…we are always checking for narcissistic fleas. At least I am. It’s also so wrapped up in power and public. I have been in therapy for 11 years with a lovely, elderly Bavarian therapist, and though she tells me I am not, I keep checking. Narcissism is a horrible disease…for others in the line of fire. A daughter especially suffers from a pathological narcissist mother. It’s a life-time of doubt, suppression, unworthiness. I have had to fight to actually survive. When I became a writer, it was another way for mine to demean me. But funny enough, like Rollo May says….that internal push to create…that courage to create, comes through for many of us. I am thankful for Rollo May, and also M.Scott Peck (who made a hash of it in the end) who wrote one of the first readable books on Evil and Narcissism. Kohut is hard going…his books of which I have several and have tried to plow through. Hard going like a concrete wall. LOL!
        Also, I think those ‘experts’ writing about pathological narcissism, malignant narcissism, etc…skirt the edges or fall into the pit.

        Good to know you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really can’t say why I liked Kohut so much. I might read him again to find out. I do have a bad habit of holding a grudge against people (not many) who belittle me. Thanks for the response!



  11. Oh! I’m an atheist also, and disowned by my mother. I have spent my life since 19 when I left home with my violin and my Betsy Wetsy doll and a few (very few) clothes….looking for a mother. Or a mother figure. Now I am looking for a young woman to mother. LOL! Roles change but when you have lots of love to give, you are rich!



    • I’m kind, but still have walls around me, and suspect my heart is barren of love. It must have been difficult for you to absorb lots of love to give. Thanks for sharing.



  12. I’m sorry, Nan. I know that these horrible things make it very difficult to love and accept love. We are twisted up by the abuse we have been given in childhood and it usually continues into adulthood.
    I hope your heart isn’t so. I think it takes years for trust to build, and I can certainly understand. I always doubt that it will be returned, but animals have been a ‘place keeper’ for my heart and affections. At the very worse, I sought out stray cats and dogs, and today I feed 8 cats on a schedule….all strays. I better get out there before 9am or they are pissed. LOL! I’ve been doing this with these particular cats for 6 years now. I also have 8 of my own at home…I certainly understand those walls, though. My family is full of narcissists and these are miserable people. First they make everyone around them miserable, and as they grow older, except for the other narcissistic supplies, they are alone.(and deserve to be.) When people who are narcissists call themselves ‘Christian’ that is a double whammy. Forty years with this treatment from family, and they can keep their Jesus. And they can keep their oppressive, misogynistic religion. We can recover from their abuse, but only with time, distance and therapy. And No Contact. Meaning it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Nan….just stopping by to say hello! I love looking at your beautiful and compassionate face! You soothe my soul. Shinto blessings. Especially from my two favorite guys: Jizo, who is the deity that protects children, unborn and miscarriaged children and sorrowing mothers…and my Fudo: With his lasso to pull you out of hell, and a whip to make you not try that again. LOL!

    Jane (Lady Nyo)

    Liked by 1 person

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