Jill grew up in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma. Though home to many residents who made their fortunes during the oil boom, Ada, as Jill remembers, was a town where "nobody traveled through on their way to anywhere." For much of Jill's life she felt like her hometown; out of the way and out of place. She
owed that feeling to Frances,
Jill with correction, when what she needed most was affection. She received the latter from her father,
but too infrequently, since he was gone from home months at a time on business ventures. For fear that her child’s marks in school would reflect on her, Frances did Jill’s homework for her through grade school, high school and college. "You have to hurry up and get your Masters," said Frances to Jill, "while I still have the brain power to help you." Jill claims to have been born depressed. She remembers in high school asking her mother if she might be so, and her curt reply was, "You’re
too young to be depressed. Besides, you have nothing to be depressed about."
Jill is an active alum of Camp Longhorn
which provided much needed support in her formative years.
Jill graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Education and went on to attain her Masters of Behavioral Studies from Southeastern State University. After several false starts as an elementary school teacher, Jill found her niche as a School Psychologist in the Tulsa school system.
Jill maintained her professional career in spite of a personal life that crumbled at many times in many places. Her first marriage lasted less than six months, her second just over six years. In 1969 she began traditional therapy; in 1993 she turned to her seventh therapist. Through it all, Jill fought bravely
a good front, for Frances’ mantra of appearance is everything was driven into every fiber of her being. But it was difficult to maintain an appearance
that nothing was wrong in her life, when in fact nearly everything was wrong. In 1992 she hit bottom. Unbeknownst to all, an allergic reaction to a prescribed stomach medication triggered a psychotic episode. She was hospitalized at a psychiatric facility in Tulsa, mistreated by the staff (they failed to connect her psychiatric problems with her prescription for stomach problems) and abandoned by her friends at her hour of deepest need. Jill feared that her mother's prediction was coming true - that she would
never get her life together. She was, just like her hometown of Ada, on her way to nowhere.
She credits much of her success to three of her last four therapists.
But Jill never gave up. In 1994 she attended a workshop in Wisconsin that would be her first step in beginning a depression-free life. Through the workshop’s structure, Jill experienced a “moment of integration” where her emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual selves "came together". She believed she was normal and that she possibly would never go back to being depressed.
Since 1994 she has been free of depression. As testimony to her new life, Jill found the confidence to start a greeting card company, called MAGSHOTS. "Born of friendships formed while surviving life's adversities, Magshots
helped us laugh at ourselves while sharing our humor often described as a bit on the edge". To date, her company has sold well over 30,000 cards, and she is exploring offers for a buy-out.
Jill volunteers with the National Alliance for Mental Illness and the National Association of Investors Corporation. She is a sought-after speaker, and has given talks at Entrepreneurs of Tulsa, Successful Businesswomen's Association, and the Local Chapter of AARP. She also attends writing/creativity workshops, whenever the opportunities arise, and is active in Tulsa Nightwriters. She works as a consultant with Healthnet.
Jill spearheads reunions of "old" friends, who gather regularly in Ada, New York, Hot Springs, and other resort locales.
Jill gives thanks each day for finally feeling "good enough" and being able to accept – yes, even enjoy - who she is.