I recently went up to my attic and lugged down a dusty old box that held my old journals. I cracked open the yellowed packing tape and opened one with a Precious Moments cover, dated 1995-1996. I have only faint recollections of anything that happened in the 90s, or really anything much of my childhood.
I was shocked. Heartbroken. Dismayed. Just plain sad.
I hadn’t realized just how honest those pages would be. I wrote that I was “depressed” so often–I peppered my entries with smiley faces in an obvious attempt to lighten my very dark words. I wrote of emotional abuse, arguments, occasional physical violence between my parents. I wrote that I hated Christmas because it made everyone be so fake and just pretend things were normal, fine. I wrote that I was pushing myself SO HARD because I didn’t want my parents to hate me the way they hated each other. I wrote that I was disappointed in myself for having a 4.21 GPA while my friend (and arch rival) had a 4.26, putting her in the running for valedictorian. (That’s straight A-pluses, for those of you who are curious…) I wrote that I didn’t know when my parents had last said they loved me.
I felt so sorry for that little girl, that broken little 16-year-old who was young for her class, large for her build, and too smart for her own good. She was a victim of so much. But, the grown-up girl doesn’t have to be. Day 17.