I found some old notebooks at the bottom of the box last weekend – including one my first ever journals. The first three entries frankly brought me to tears. They are all about my first cat Cinnamon.
Thurs, Feb. 18, 1997
Today I haven’t been feeling well so I called Mom and came home sick. I’ve slept most of the afternoon and I am about to go to bed.
Vic, a kid in my class, asked me on the 4 if I would go out with him. It was the morning after Cinnamen [sic] had been put down so I was still upset. He kept on pressuring me until Brittney started to beat him up. [I feel like I need to define “beat up” was usually with a piece of PAPER]
I am having a rough year so far. Vic is only making it worse. [God, I feel so sorry for him. His timing was TERRIBLE – but it doesn’t excuse his behavior] I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do. I am terribly confused and frightening. [over 20 years later – I don’t remember why I used the word “frightened” but it makes me ANGRY. Fear is not one of the steps of grief.]
I don’t want to go out with anybody right now because of Cinnamen, [sic] but if I don’t go out with Vic he will act like an idiot. [and this is MY problem?]
I DON’T KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO!! [all caps doesn’t do justice to the middle-schooler’s ability to express herself… :)]
I wish someone could help me understand my problems and work through them. [Nope. Pretty sure that’s called “growing up” honey.]
Firstly, writing really helps me cement a memory. That is almost EXACTLY how I remember that month. I put down Cinnamon on the 3rd, Vic tried to ask me out THE NEXT MORNING, I told him “no, I just lost my cat” and he spent MONTHS harassing me (literally, in my diary the entry is in MAY when Mom and I got the Vice Principal involved and this is AFTER the entry “I talked to the school councilor ’cause he threatened suicide if I wouldn’t date him.”) I am so glad I don’t have that kind of drama now. I didn’t realize I was such a dramatic little brat then. But reading those entries now… wow.
And almost every entry “I don’t feel good” just reminds me that I don’t feel that way anymore ever since I (essentially) stopped eating peppers. I was a little icky over the weekend but that was my own fault (I went to a Mexican restaurant) and it still wasn’t THAT bad. It was 12-18 hrs of “meh” attitude towards most foods.
So yeah, there we go. 21 years ago I wrote through my own personal “horror.” I thought it was then – I have more executive function now to process the choices I was struggling with them. Literally, look it up! You don’t finish growing your brain until about 25, so at ~12 I didn’t have as much brain power; and these were HARD things. Ok, some of them are STILL hard and scary for the post-25 age group. Relationships (even ones that aren’t romantic) are HARD.