Our Intent

We focus our intention and skills, as mental health peers and as neurodivergent individuals, on building communities designed to incubate lives experienced as worth living.

We especially invite individuals who have been discarded by society due to physical or mental differences...

...because we are the ones experiencing our lives. The buck stops with us.

Our Members

Photo of Marie Kenfak, a woman with black skin and a gentle smile, wearing a vivid red-orange hijab, against a gold mosaic background.

Marie Kenfak

I haven't been a mental patient and I only had a fifteen-minute session with a psychologist, after which she discharged me, saying that I didn't need her help.

I healed from two rapes, from 6 years of verbal and emotional abuse in a marriage, from a predator-prey relationship following that marriage, from the constant influence of a nightmare neighbor, and from the betrayal of a family member who offered to take care of my first-born while I finished my university degree...

Photo of Dana Dunlap, a woman with white skin, shoulder-length blonde hair, an open smile, and silver-rimmed glasses. She is wearing a royal blue shirt with an open collar.

Dana Dunlap

As a peer support specialist, I’ve gathered over 30 years of recovery work from various mental health challenges. I offer my experience to you—who are yearning to survive and thrive in your own way.

I’ve completely recovered from chronic childhood abuse (due to substance abuse and mental illness in the family), PTSD, severe depression, anxiety, and bipolar II disorders...

Photo of Becky Lewis, a woman with white skin and long, brown, wavy hair, cut with bangs. She has an open, laughing smile. She is wearing a blue geometric-patterned shirt with an open collar.

Rebecca Lewis (Becky)

By profession, I write and illustrate instructions for building and testing aerospace and robotics hardware. I also create knowledge sites for special projects.

I have struggled, over the years, dropping out of the workforce and then finding my way back in, multiple times. I historically attributed all of that to complex PTSD and major depression, but now I'm starting to understand a larger picture of neurodivergence...

Photo of Jane Engleman, a woman with white skin; short, blonde, straight hair, cut with bangs; and blue eyes. She is smiling and looking directly at the camera. She is wearing a dress with a geometric pattern of blue, gray, and dark green and with a wide v-neck.

Jane Engleman (Janie)

As a poet and graphic designer, I have lived in Los Angeles for forty-two years, twenty-five of them as a "client" of the U.S. mental health system.

I was raised on the Navajo Checkerboard Reservation in New Mexico. My stage name, Blancabear2Feet, derives from my rather ungainly, probably comic, dance between cultures in the Western United States...

Blog Posts

Closeup photo of a decoratively engraved fountain pen and an open journal page, covered with handwriting in black ink.

Self-Parenting Journaling Exercise

by Dana Dunlap

My way of dealing with pain, for many years, was to remain very angry at my abusers and to spend most of my thoughts on self-criticism and abuse. One of the ways I learned to successfully resolve the anger and self-abuse was through a journaling exercise that I created. This exercise is also effective for relieving pent-up feelings.

It may sound like a strange process, and you might feel a little awkward in the beginning, but I promise you that if you stick with it, you’ll experience great amounts of freedom and relief from pain.

So, get out a pen and paper, or you can type on the computer if you’re more comfortable with that. I find pen and paper to be more effective because, at points, you might be expressing anger and you might even find yourself tearing the paper with your pen—and this can create a sense of release.

To start off, you will identify a few different parts of your personality. I’ve found that pretty much everyone who is experiencing depression, or who has experienced former childhood abuse or neglect, has these three parts as portions of their being...

Closeup photo of the printed word, 'focus,' on a dictionary page, magnified through the lens of thin-black-rimmed reading glasses and highlighted with a green marker.

My Sisters, My Family

by Marie Kenfak

We are miles apart, yet so close
We are so different, yet so connected
We have felt so isolated, now we have a family
We set up a zoom meeting
We exchange greetings and news
Then each of us does her thing...

Abstract colors and shapes representing diversity

Thoughts About the Social Experience of Living

by Becky Lewis

I think the toughest thing for me to survive has been something I share in common with refugees, migrants, immigrants, and survivors of domestic violence: I have had to juggle multiple sets of “social norms,” simultaneously, and the consequences for “messing up” have sometimes been dire, severe, and unforgiving.

It has been very confusing, even after accounting for my neurodivergent trait of not understanding some social cues because I no longer carefully copy the behavior of the people around me. I made this comment on Facebook, recently...

Either a microscopic photo or a drawing of particles and waves behaving in ways that make it difficult to determine which they are

Intentional Performance of Particles

by Jane Engleman

It seems that particles are waves that cause movement in other particles and waves. I don’t know. Just seems we splash.

Everything in the particle is in the wave it is, particularly in physical dance and physical poetry. Everything that we do is contained in the dance, in the activated muscle, the bone and the integration of the sensory neurons, within the context of arterial systems and the Vegas nerve. Maybe particles move the way the Father becomes the Son and the Holy Ghost, the way that ice melts to waters that become steam. The way gifting moves from stillness to energy.

I am definitely not a dancer, performance in the art sense, in the dance sense. So why is meditation and Medicine Dance so important to me? For 25 years I was lost in self-care, studying origins without ever being here inside my own body. I was taught, without feeling, that I could heal...

Elephants demonstrating attachment-like behaviors and holding trunks

Thoughts about Human Attachment

by Becky Lewis

In my own generation, scientific research is starting to catch up with something that has always caused agony for orphans and adoptees, even if they could not articulate it. Humility and grief are my responses. I wish I had understood the experiences of others around me as I grew up. I wish I could have made a difference for them.

We, as adults who forget what it was like to be infants, are learning about the ways that our biological drive for human attachment impacts us.

Nicolae Cousescu, dictator in Romania for decades, had many orphanages, in which the orphans, including infants, received very little or no human interaction...