September 23, 1987
I REALLY don’t want to do this.
I don’t like talking about my life as it is.
But, I have to. My therapist says it will help. Help what, I am not sure, but she says I should start journaling. And not only journaling, but I also have to share it with the group. Like it isn’t bad enough I have to talk to these other kids about what happened to me, and how it makes me feel, but now I have to commit it to paper?
So there. There you go. First journal entry. Happy?
September 30, 1987
Funny thing. At group today, it sounded like every one of us wrote the exact same thing. How we didn’t want to do the journaling. Didn’t want to talk about our situations, or lives. In a way, it made me feel a little better, to know I wasn’t the only one.
Ms. Becky was all smiles and encouragement. She always is. Sometimes I wonder if she is patronizing us. We may be kids, but we are still smart. I’m ten, but I know a lot more than a ten-year-old is supposed to know. So, don’t. Don’t patronize us, okay? I get you have to be positive to help us, but please be real about it?
October 6, 1987
Ms. Becky didn’t like my last entry, but I think she took it to heart. She held me back after the other kids in the group left and talked to me about it. She asked me to be a little more open in my writing, and not so combative. I will think about it.
October 13, 1987
Plodding along in school. Helping at home with my brothers. My mom, I really feel bad for her, but I understand she is the only one bringing in money to pay the bills, so I have to do my part. Cooking. Dishes. Laundry. Cleaning. I am ten, but this is kind of my fault because I told someone. If I had kept things to myself, Mom wouldn’t be working two jobs. Wait, yes, she would. She was working two jobs to begin with because HE wasn’t working, only sitting at home. So, I get how hard it is, now that I am the one who has to do all the chores since HE is gone. Mom can’t do everything.
October 20. 1987
Ms. Becky asked me to talk to Mom about everything. All the chores I have picked up. All the stuff I am doing for the boys. I don’t want to. I don’t want it to sound like I am complaining, when, in reality, this is all my fault. If I hadn’t said anything, then things would be the same. Of course, that would mean EVERYTHING would still be the same. I would still be enduring his touch, his … I don’t want to talk about this.
October 27, 1987
Halloween is just a couple days away. I am looking forward to it. I always look forward to Halloween. Mom is helping me get costumes together. We don’t have the money to buy them, but she is so good on the sewing machine. Maybe I should learn how to use it. She taught me how to crochet a few years ago, maybe she could teach me that too.
I want to go as a bride, but Mom said no. I don’t know what else to do. I could go as Princess Leigha, but that won’t work, either. I don’t have the robes for it. Maybe I will just go as myself, and just take my brothers, like a chaperone. Besides, the candy isn’t the reason I love Halloween.
Halloween is the one time you can be anything you want. And there is a spiritual aspect of it that most people have forgotten. Yes, I will admit, I have started to explore the idea of witches as a religion. I don’t agree with Catholicism. There’s too much that is, to me, made up.
But the old religions? They had it right, I think. Awareness of self through awareness of the world.
Too much to think about, let alone write about…
November 6, 1987
School is rough. But everyone has started to leave me alone. Monday my teacher, Mrs. Eagle, decided that it should be a day for awareness. She made me stand up. She made me tell everyone that I had been molested, and by who. She made me a horror object, and an object of pity. Everyone shunned me before because I made it hard for people to get close to me. I would rather read than talk and play. I would rather work ahead, instead of do just enough.
Now, they shun me even worse. I’m a pariah. I understand on some level why she did it, to try to get anyone else to feel like they could let someone know if it was happening to them, that they weren’t alone. But I don’t really think she thought it through. I was quiet and sullen before, now I am even more quiet because I don’t want anyone probing for details. It was hard enough to live through.
And, surprisingly, this journaling thing isn’t so bad. I can write out my frustrations here without being judged, condemned, or pitied. Maybe Ms. Becky had the right idea?
November 13, 1987
I really didn’t like sharing that last entry. Ms. Becky wanted me to explain how it made me feel. I don’t like talking about my feelings, mainly because it is hard to actually put it into words. I love words, and she knows I have a gift for writing, which is part of the reason she is encouraging me to continue journaling. Words flow better onto paper than when I am talking. She knows I would like to be a writer one day, because I have told her so, and because of the books I have been reading. She sees my imagination, and my flair with words.
Of course, she wants me to start writing every day, instead of just once a week like she is requiring us to do. It might be a good idea. I will think about it.
It is hard to listen to the other kids in my group, and their journal entries. Hard, because I am not sure what I am actually hearing. Some of them are talking about feelings, but not really saying anything other than “sad”, “bored”, or “angry.” They are feelings, yes, but they don’t actually express why or what is causing them. That is why I have such a hard time with talking about my feelings.
Others have the same refrain: “I don’t want to write this.”
Rebellion in all forms, right? I really don’t want to write anything down either, but it is helping clear my mind. I am sleeping better after I write. That’s helpful, right?
Maybe I will try to write here more than one day a week.
November 17, 1987
This week at school is horrible. I will be so glad when Wednesday gets here. Thanksgiving break, finally. I know, it is only a four day weekend, but still. Yet, I don’t want to be stuck at home with my brothers for four days. I don’t like holidays. Any of them, except Halloween.
Thanksgiving is about food. I am too fat as it is. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to help. I want a couple of days where I don’t have to do anything.
More food means more dishes, means more cleaning up. Means leftovers, for days.
Maybe Mom will listen to me and agree. It’s just the four of us now, and no one will be coming to visit. We can do simple things, instead of a huge dinner that we won’t all eat, and won’t eat all of it.
December 3, 1987
It has been a couple of weeks since I have written anything. I haven’t been able to concentrate. I’m worried about Mom, and the boys.
Court is next week, and Mom says that it won’t be so bad. That the judge will want to talk to me privately. That nothing will be said in front of a bunch of people.
I don’t want to repeat anything anymore. I don’t want to talk about what happened. When it happened. How it happened. I don’t want to explain again why I didn’t tell anyone for so long. Not like they would believe me anyway.
I don’t want to write in this stupid journal anymore, either. I have better, other things to write. I’ve got this great idea for a story. A girl going through a hard time.
My English teacher says that most writers write about what they know. So that story should be a no-brainer, right?
Ms. Becky said she would be there at court if I needed her to be. Mom says it might be a good idea, and that I should bring my journal. I don’t want anyone to read what I have written. I don’t want to read what I have written. I don’t want to write what I have written.
I really just want to get past all of it. Move on. Act like it never even happened.
I am done. Really. I am so done.
December 15, 1987
Court sucked. I had to see HIM again. He doesn’t look the same, but I couldn’t look at him, either.
Mom cried a lot.
So did I.
I had to talk to the judge. I had to listen to the doctor explain the exam he gave me.
It’s over. Right?
So is this journal.