Private Journal Entries, C.Kapela – 2001
March 6, 2001 So, what do I want to say? Nothing. I don’t think I’m going to finish this program. Well – I guess I can say quite honestly that I know that I won’t. I feel like I’ve put myself into a box that I’m not going to get myself out of.
March 7, 2001 I have decided to no longer worry about how long I am here. I could be here forever or I could be here a day. In any case, I am going to try and learn from yesterday’s recording and focus on the present. This place has a system, a current – I can master this. I had a really good day yesterday. I’m glad. I drew a picture in which I released a lot of emotion. It represents my desire for life to be different. I feel like I am being forced to dig for issues. It’s like I have to be unhappy and hate myself to fit in here. Today is my 9th day here. I know I’m going to be alright no matter what happens. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
March 8, 2001 I suppose I am getting used to things a little bit more. I really don’t like group at all. I claim that I don’t care if I am accepted, but the truth is I hate being misunderstood. I am very complex person who puts forth a “simple” facade. I miss everyone so much. I don’t know how things are going to be when I get home. I am going to be on my own finally. I know it’s going to be hard, but I think I can do it.
March 9, 2001 I got a letter from my dad last night. I don’t know what I am going to say if/when I reply. I am really angry about being stuck here. I feel like my life has been severely violated. I want to forgive them and I think that by the time I leave here I may be able to. Every night I have some dream that makes me think about home a lot. I had a dream about what happened with M…it seems so far away, along with everything else. I still have the feeling that I’m dreaming and I can’t wake up. It’s getting easier though. I’m relaxing a little and realizing that this place can only be exactly what I make it. When 18 comes, I will leave, but everything is going to be ok. I really believe that.
March 11, 2001 It’s Sunday morning. I like Sundays. I can’t describe how I feel today. My mood keeps changing constantly. One moment I’m fine, and the next I’m falling apart. I try to maintain my mellowness – like everything else, it will pass. What’s going to happen when 18 hits? Will my parents be there? I am really scared – I won’t stay here though, at least I’ve made that decision. I just hope they don’t leave me in Jamaica with $100. I don’t think that they will, hopefully. And that’s a big hopefully… I am actually having quite a bit of fun the past week or so. Today is a Sunday. We will have a big brunch – mmm, porridge – and there’s also a concert of all the girls & guys here today. We’ve been working on a banner for fun day – I got chosen to head up the project. I drew a dragon spewing flames with the word “Integrity” in it. It has been fun working on it and I am glad to have a nice art project to do and what not. I am so hungry right now. I don’t know why I’m hungry all the time.
March 12, 2001 Discovery is going to start soon and I’m very nervous. I’ve decided to take a closer look the issues which brought me here:
– Self Confidence: Proving myself, perfectionist attitude, “everyone is looking at me” syndrome, weight
– Drugs: What I’ve done and to what extent, how it all made me feel and why I did it
– Parents: Very hurtful and disrespectful in an effort to keep them from stopping the life I was living.
– Guys: Hated to be alone, totally based my worth upon what others thought of me, had problems saying “no”
– School/Home/Work: Avoided all responsibility.
– My Rape: Drugs got me into it – my fault. Once again, didn’t know how to say no. Still hasn’t completely hit me – in denial or am just trying to repress my emotions. Feel extremely detached. I’m getting extremely frustrated with the amount of issues I’m coming out with. I don’t know what I want to do – stay, go, open up? I need to share, but I’m really afraid of feedback. I let what others say influence me a lot. I’m hungry. I wonder what’s for breakfast – hopefully a lot of food. I could eat a literal ton. I think I’ll work on my dream food list.
March 13, 2001 Ah yes – another day. I’m so tired. I have to go to study hall today. I know I broke the rules but it still angers me a lot. I feel like I’ve been doing good lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do if my parents won’t let me come home. I refuse to stay here until I’m 19 going on 20. I don’t know how I’m going to get back without a plane ticket but I’ll be alright. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Man, I am still hungry. I finally got put on the no cabbage list finally. I hope we have a big breakfast. I was so sick yesterday and I don’t know what from. I feel like this program claims both to us and our parents that it provides a lot more for us than it actually does. What am I supposed to if I’m sick? Nothing? Ms. B just acts like there’s no problem. Oh well. I’ve been completely dehumanized and am in the process of being programised! I wrote my parents a letter and asked them what they’re willing to do when 18 hits. It kind of scares me – I don’t know what they are going to say. I also sent a letter with it to L. I wonder if they’ll give it to him? They better. I am okay with being here, but I don’t need them to make it any harder.
March 14, 2001 Well – today is my 16th day here at Tranquility Bay. I had a nightmare last night. I hope that those don’t start here like they did at home. I woke up shaking, almost in tears, mumbling “help” under my breath. Still haven’t heard from my parents. It bothers me quite a bit. So much for them “writing everyday.” I found out a bit more about the 18th birthday fiasco. My parents are required to provide me with a ticket to Miami so I’ll take what I can get. I also heard you can be court ordered to stay here. I have no criminal record so I don’t think that’s going to happen. They don’t have to send the ticket on any particular date. I realize that I probably shouldn’t have mentioned 18 to my parents. That’s the only ticket I have out of here, and I worry that if I play that too early, it will lose all it’s value.
March 15, 2001 This is going to be an important entry. I am going to describe for you now exactly what is going on here at Tranquility Bay, prison for the young. I am quite nervous about my parents. From what I’ve heard, getting me to be court ordered to stay here wouldn’t be all that hard. Other than the letter I have already sent, there will be no more talk of “18”” other than upon these pages. I feel like Anne Frank (which happens to be the book I am currently reading) desperately fighting for my freedom in a world that is against me. My parents have now forbidden me from being a vegetarian. It makes me mad. They still haven’t sent any more letters. I guess their plan is to slowly manipulate their way through the system so they can land – much like a sword or even better, a rusty dagger – through the tiny bit of happiness my soul still possesses. I may be all alone now, but nobody can get me down. So what is my general plan? I am going to have to do what I hate. I have to pretend to be all about completing the program – even though the moment 18 hits, I’m out the door! If I give no one any reason to suspect my plan, they won’t. I guess it’s time to play the game for a bit. It won’t be that bad, however. Like everyone always says, Tranquility Bay is like a living Groundhog Day. It’s not all that bad unless I make it so. I will have to get what I can out of it. I can learn some things about myself, possibly become a better person. I’ll have to start writing letters to my parents. All I want is the plane ticket and $50. That’s a given, but if it’s not and I’m wrong, I don’t care. I am going to have to write a letter and say I won’t leave until our relationship is stronger. I’m going to have to tell that to everyone too. I’m going to have to get up a couple of levels too. Wow – what a story I shall have to tell when I do get out. I feel like I’m in jail right now. Oh well, I’m not a lifer. Time to act programised!
March 17, 2001 I got six letters last night – two from my parents, two from D, one from my grandma, and one from J. I cried. J’s letter was so sweet. I don’t know what to think. I must point out that L has not written so much as a word. Why do I wait for L? I know he’s not waiting for me – and that hurts a lot. I guess I’m afraid of change. I don’t want to admit that L just doesn’t care. I think J’s right – I deserve much better. I never realized my true friends were right there in front of me all along. D’s letters were also really sweet. I miss them both terribly, but I know they’ll be there in May. It’s going to be hard for me to go against my parents and just leave in May. I know I will though. I don’t know what to say to them. Dad and Mom each wrote me a separate letter. True, I am frustrated, and angry, but more at myself than at them. I can’t wait to go home again.
March 18, 2001 I must admit that I am getting rather sick of being here at Tranquility Bay. Here is a rundown of my typical day:
6:15am – Bang bang bang “Wake up time, Ladies!”
6:20am- Stand in four lines…say purpose, do jumping jacks, etc during head count
6:30am – 7:00am – Do jobs – make bed, dust shelves, mop floor
7:00am – 7:30am – Cold Outdoor Shower #1
7:30am – 8:00am – PE time on the field
8:00am – 8:30am – Breakfast
8:30am – 10:30am – School
10:30am – 11:30am – PE time or laundry
11:30am – 12:00pm – Lunch
12:00pm – 1:30pm – School
1:30pm – 2:30pm – Group meeting
2:30pm – 3:00pm – Story time
3:00pm – 3:30pm – PE time on the field
3:30pm – 4:30pm – Leisure/Dinner/Brush Teeth
4:30pm – 5:30pm – Art
5:30pm – 6:30pm – School
6:30pm – 7:30pm – Reading
7:30pm – 8:00pm – Music
8:00pm – 9:00pm – Educational Videos
9:00pm – 9:30pm – Reflections
9:30pm – 9:35pm – Headcount
9:35pm – 10:00pm – Shutdown
I keep re-reading the letters I received. Why hasn’t L written me? What were my parents thinking and are they ever going to let me come home? Time is creeping by here. 21 days have gone by and I feel like I just got here. Only a couple of months to go and I’ll be home. Tomorrow is seminar day.
March 21, 2001 Today is Wednesday – my one month date is going to be here in a week. Wow, a month. I’ve come a long way since I got here. I just graduated Discovery yesterday. That was the most powerful experience I’ve ever endured. I’m a level 2! I think my hatred for the program really stemmed from my “I’m Not Good Enough” complex. I don’t want to just slip by. I want to really get something out of it. “I’m a Beautiful, Intelligent, Passionate Young Woman!”
March 22, 2001 “I’m a Beautiful, Intelligent, Passionate Young Woman”
We’ll today is Thursday – cereal day!!! I haven’t heard from L, but I don’t really care anymore. I think I’m anorexic. I shared that with the group (family) yesterday. I don’t want my parents to know. I really hope Ms. S does not tell them. She will though. I am doing so much better. I am going to leave but I’m kinda trying to keep that as down low as possible. I’m working this program for me and me alone. Ugh! I’m starved! I’m so glad that it’s cereal day though. Right now I’m waiting for Kelly to finish sweeping so that I can mop. Sounds like any and every other morning. Food, food – I want food.
March 23, 2001 – Day 25 at Tranquility Bay
Well, today is a nice, cool, Friday. I slept so good last night…except for a couple of weird dreams. My parents won’t let L write me, and are angry that I haven’t dumped him. I was angry, so I talked to Kel. If L really cares about me, he’ll still be there when I get out of here.
April 4th, 2001 – Day 37 at Tranquility Bay
Today marks my 37th day here in Jamaica. I just received this new journal yesterday and I’m really glad. I am wholly devoting the pages of this book to my experiences here at Tranquility Bay. I want this journal to be something I can look back on. I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot. Ms. S told me that they say “hi”. I really am looking forward to a letter from them. I have been working on a long confession letter to my mom. My body image issue has been coming up a lot.
April 5th, 2001 Today marks 38 days here in Tranquility Bay. Last night I was actually full! Then I had a dream that I weighed 150lbs. I haven’t gotten a letter from my parents in over a week. My brother and my mom are both celebrating their birthdays this week. I am going to give them the best gift possible. I’m going to come home a strong daughter and sister. I didn’t think that I would gain anything while I was here, but it turns out I can choose to gain from any situation. I’ve been working with the program and not against it and I’m doing well. I was looking in the wrong places, seeking in a manner that was not producing my desired results. I see now however that I will always get exactly what I intend to get.
April 6, 2001 Today is my halfway point. I’ve been here 39 days and I’ve got 39 days to go. I’m really giving myself a hard time today. My skin on my back looks really bad and it’s getting worse. I need to share, but I don’t know what to say. How can I explain that I HATE the way I look, that I can see so much beauty in others but not in myself? I had a really difficult day yesterday. Before PE, I was in the bathroom changing and I saw how bad my skin was getting and I almost cried. I wanted to lock the door and never come out. I always wanted to be thin and “beautiful” when I was young and I still do. Now, every insecurity and body issue that I ever had just exploded into my head. A lot of memories that I had tried to forget about sprang up yesterday also – like being in restraints, letting my desire to be perfect eat away at my soul until there’s nothing left. I don’t think it’s really possible for me to get over it until I get it out. I just don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll just try. I’ve kept it in for way too long and I don’t know what else to talk about but it.
April 8th, 2001 It’s Sunday and I’m in a great mood. Good food, movie, bag juice, one hour of sleeping in, shaving my legs…definitely the best day of the week. I get to write letters today too and I’m going to make a birthday card for my little brother. I can’t believe I’ve been here 41 days. Only 37 days left and my parents FINALLY said that I was welcome home!! Things are going to be a lot different when I get there. I’m already a lot different. It’s going to be so nice to be a part of my family again. I want to see my family so incredibly bad. I’m just really homesick right now and writing letters is going to be the only way I can solve it. I get very angry with myself for pushing them away. I have begun to talk about my rape. I’m scared about pressing charges, I don’t know if I can deal with it. I worry because it’s going to be me against him…my word against his word. My reputation isn’t very good – neither is his – but I feel like my whole town will be against me. Is it rape if I didn’t say no? I didn’t say yes – I just pretended to be still passed out. I’m scared, I’m lonely – I’ve kept it inside for so long, and now I feel that there isn’t anyone who could possibly understand. I’m incredibly scared.
April 9th, 2001 Today, on my 42nd day, I am going to study hall! I’m not upset about it. I’m actually pretty content with the whole idea. I’m not losing my level, I didn’t do anything major to get there (unmarked pajamas) and I have a lot I would like to put down on paper before I go. So, I’ll say about 30 words a minute? Man, that’s a word every two seconds. Well, as far as I’m concerned, I’ll finish my 5000 word essay in time. I bet it will help me to feel a bit better and I just get to sit and journal for three hours. On a more serious note, I finished the letter to my mom. I’m so happy, excited, nervous, etc. to send it (today) and finally get a reply. This is the first major step towards a new life. I’ve changed. I am ready to start again. I can’t wait until they get to see the changes that I have made. I don’t want to write too much. Got to save my writing energy for good old study hall.
April 10th, 2001 43 days in paradise. I really am losing my mind. I cannot wait to go home. I am trying to keep my mind off it but 5 weeks and 6 days isn’t that long. I want to see all my friends and my family. Not much is going on with me right now.
April 11th, 2001 Well, like I always say, at least I have myself, right? I got my ED plan yesterday. I want to go back and get my degree from Dexter, though, so I really am working just to cut down on the number of classes that I will take. I may go to Stone School – that sounds like a better environment for remedial learning. I got the best acknowledgment that I have gotten since I got here. I was told that I am very honest with myself, that I internalize a lot in a positive manner, and that even though I’m status-wise only a level 2, I’m a level 6 in my heart and I have come a far way. In 34 days I will be home – or at least on my way. It’s not time for me to leave right now but I can’t help but be excited in a sense. I am very mellow at the moment. Wednesdays are always nice. I just saw that my one-month-left date falls on Easter! 3-weeks-to-go date is Fun Day! I hear we have a Sunday schedule on Friday. Today also means yummy breakfast and lunch. Fried Dumplings, Bun & Cheese. Kat is leaving soon and I’m sad. I feel really close to her. Her, Amy, and I all decided we would find a way to meet up once we were all OUT!
April 12th, 2001 The days till I leave are getting fewer and fewer. I have noticed that I keep putting off writing my dad. I know it’s because I feel very disconnected from him and very much misunderstood by him. I guess it really goes back to his detachment. I know he loves me, but as for other emotions – well, he has such a hard time expressing them. When I think of my dad, I picture a stone. Fear, sadness, hurt, pain, anger, frustration, boredom and anything that causes him to feel uncomfortable cause him to detach and react to situations in an angry manner. I know it all goes back to his dad, because he has tried to explain it to me. He doesn’t make it any easier for me though because he detaches and no longer notices or cares about what he says or who he hurts. It’s as though he switches from dad to counselor. The personal side is gone. I don’t know my dad. I guess I just don’t feel the connection with him. I feel bad because I know that it hurts him to see that I don’t have the ability to feel close with him anymore. I also know that my dad is really stubborn and knows why things are the way they are between us. Now, he’s always doing what he does and it frustrates me. It’s always so mechanical – he says what he’s supposed to but the emotion just isn’t behind it. I don’t know if I want to try. He’ll always say the things he thinks he should say.
April 13, 2001 It’s Good Friday, and Friday the 13th also. I have a feeling some interesting things will go down today. Thank you for shift change! I think Ms. J’s holier than thou attitude is so rank. Why work in a place with people you obviously don’t care for in the least? I wonder if she has any dignity! I’m just venting… We are on Sunday schedule for the next four days. I can’t get any consequences. I got a BRV yesterday and I don’t think that I deserved it. I haven’t lost my level and I don’t want to at all! Kat’s birthday was yesterday and it made me excited for my day. 32 days and I will finally get out of here. I think that I need to get my focus back on though. I hope that I didn’t drop from level 2 but I think that I have enough points to maintain. I had a really fun day yesterday. I went to bed with food in my stomach for the first time in a long, long time. In 2 weeks it will be Fun Day.
April 14th, 2001 I was wrong, we don’t have Sunday schedule, but today is Saturday and that means I get three meals, all day reading, and a snack. Only 31 days left. Mac’s 18th birthday is today! I can’t wait for my birthday. Fun Day will more than likely be the best day of my stay here. I feel a lot better physically lately. I want to write my dad this weekend. I have two hours and three shut downs to work on it so it should be a fairly long letter. I wish that mail wasn’t so slow that I could actually get replies around relatively the time they are sent. Tomorrow is Easter. Sucks to be stuck here. Oh well, I gave up 2 and ½ months of my life (well, I will have once I leave) and that’s a whole lot better than the years and years some people have given up.
April 15th, 2001 I know that I’ve been counting down and all, but with only ONE MONTH LEFT I feel that I can start really making the days go by. Kat may be leaving as soon as Tuesday – she lives in Boise, Idaho. I’m going to try and get in touch with her and Mac for sure once I’m out of this place. Today is Sunday. I’m happy. Only 5 more Sundays. I’m going to enjoy (as much as is humanly possible) my last 30 days. It’s really not that long. On a different track, I’m going to write my dad today. I don’t know how it’ll go.
April 18th, 2001 51 days I’ve been stuck on an island, 27 days until I go home, 9 days until Fun Day. I was supposed to go on a doctor or passport run today. It didn’t happen – oh well. I look at it like this – at least I know what to expect all day, right? I’ll get to go on my excursion soon enough. Kat’s parents gave her a bus ticket from Miami if she decides to leave, but she can’t live at home or have any contact with her brothers or sisters. I feel bad, but at least I know my parents won’t do the same thing. That is some comfort, right? Just found out my parents are coming to visit on May 11th!
April 19th, 2001 Like I somewhat mentioned last night, my dad is coming here on May 11th. I got an e-mail last night. It reads: “I can’t wait to see you. I will be flying to Jamaica on May 11th and will be visiting you during that time. So, we’ll have time to talk and plan the future.” I am excited but also a little nervous. Planning the future means talking about going home. I am so afraid he’ll just fight me and disagree with the whole 18th birthday thing if it gets discussed here. Maybe I will be able to leave with him? I don’t know what is going to happen but that’s only 23 days away. My parents said they sent me a package of art supplies for my banner but I haven’t received one. I hope I get it today – we barely have any time to finish it as it is and our supplies are basically gone. I don’t want the visit to be bad, but I’m very scared. My dad and I have old routines that go way back and I’m afraid that we’ll fall back into them again. I need to talk about it to prepare.
April 23rd, 2001 I still can’t believe all that is going on right now. I got a bunch of letters on Friday. I found out from J that my dad was bringing a ticket home when he comes and I will get to GO HOME. I don’t really know what to expect, or what to do about certain situations. I know that my self-esteem, strength, and confidence have gone up a lot. It’s hard, as I still care for L and I don’t know what to do or think about it. Everything is working out for me in my life and I’m scared that I’ll give it all up. Fun Day is Friday. I’m so excited. I want my art supplies to get here! The banner got wet and now needs some repairs. Ugh – I’m so hungry. I want some food. I hope it’s crackers and fried egg and porridge. Yum! Mad food on Fun Day. So excited.
April 25th, 2001 Focus in five days! I have done all the work – now I just need to put it on paper. I’ve heard I’m going to rock it in Focus. I’ve got a feeling I will too. My two month date falls on Fun Day! That’s pretty cool. I read some entries in my older journal and I saw how far I’ve come – from my “I’m just going to pretend I care” attitude to where I’m at right now. I’m really proud of myself – I am strong. Kat left yesterday. She wrote me a really sweet goodbye letter and I cried. Hopefully, her and I will get in touch somehow. Mac and I are becoming close friends also. She’s really cool and Rae too. There are a lot of people that I would like to keep in touch with. 17 Days until Parent-Child Seminars…and 20 days till I go home. That may seem like a long time to some, but after 58 days – I don’t agree. Mmm. Fried dumplings. Maybe we’ll get fish & festibals for dinner. Or maybe we’ll get the fried egg meal today. Yum. Tonight, during last period, I’m going to do a bunch of seminar work. I don’t know if I should be missing L or not, but in some weird way I am. I want to talk to someone about it, but I find I run my old routine when it comes to this topic. I know I just need to keep my head up.
April 26th, 2001 Tomorrow is Fun Day! I can’t wait. I shared in group yesterday and I’m hoping to be able to today. It helps a lot. I found out the family would support me on level 3 if I graduate Focus. That makes me a lot more positive about the whole seminar situation. I’m really hungry! Today is cereal day! I keep thinking about L. I think that I use him to represent my old lifestyle. It really isn’t just him that I miss – it’s the old, comfortable cycle. Spoke with Mac about it. It helped. Well today’s Thursday. Tuesday is seminar, or so rumor holds. I don’t know, but I’m excited. I know I’m going to rock it in Focus. 16 days until Parent-Child – I’ve heard it’s like Accountability with my parents. Whew, heavy month. Going to work my butt off Sat/Sun for seminar work. Wow – I can’t wait! Level 3 is right at my fingertips! Can’t wait for breakfast.
April 27th, 2001 Well, my two month date was by far one of the best days of my life. I talked to Rae and Mac about our philosophies on life. Fun Day was awesome – I’ve never eaten so much food in my life. Mac & Rae both said that they sense something about me, and Rae said that she personally believes I will be a part of something great. Soon will come sleep – and a dream. I plan to do some deep thinking and meditation. Man, I’m dead tired.
April 28th, 2001 I feel like I partied last night – or as though I’m suffering from a heat hangover. Today is Saturday – got to finish my seminar work. I can’t believe I’ll be 18 in 17 days! I ate so much yesterday. I am going to find recipes for the coconut-sugar stuff, potato pudding, bread pudding, curry beef, fried and boiled dumplings, kidney bean rice stuff, bread fruit, festibals, and a ton of desserts. Parent-Childs are in 14 days exactly. Here is how I’ve blocked out my time. Tomorrow is Sunday. 3 days until Focus, which lasts 3 days. Then my parents come the week after that. Then, the week after THAT I turn 18. I’m really excited about Focus. Fun Day definitely gave me a lot more confidence and made me feel happier and much more like myself. I have made a lot of friends and two weeks is not long at all. I think Ms. S is full of crap about my parents wanting me to stay for my 18th birthday but this gives me another thing to look forward to. I’m going to have to wait until next week when I get a crap load of letters. I haven’t gotten any in over a week, so I’ll probably get a million and a half. I wish we got letters when they came, but we don’t. I’m so sunburned. It sucks. Well, I’m going to go before I get yelled at.
May 2nd, 2001 Focus Journaling.
Just within the first day of the seminar and even more so throughout the homework I learned a lot about myself. I feel that I am finally getting to the point where it is becoming possible for me to move forward and not just backwards. I am really proud of myself for how I came out in yesterday’s seminar. I stood up and shared both in large group and in small group. I put forth my opinion and I stood behind it. It’s something that I know I haven’t been able to do in a really long time and I didn’t do it in Discovery. I came to realize that my anorexia has a lot more to do with control than it does with any other thing. I did a lot of thinking and made a lot of connections between events and feelings. I used to fight with my parents all the time, but I never understood the whole reason behind why I pushed them away. When I was younger, I didn’t hold anything back from my parents. I was especially close with my mom and told her all my secrets. I felt that she would always be there to help me. When I started getting made fun of it became really hard for me to understand my feelings. I wanted to run away from them but I couldn’t. My mom knew that something was going on with me but the last thing that I wanted was to feel the pain. I pushed it down and tried desperately to pretend it wasn’t there and that it did not exist. My parents became some kind of threat. I saw their help as inflicting pain as it would have meant that the feelings I had been stuffing would be brought out and discussed. I realize that I also have an issue of feeling unworthy. I tend to look at myself as being unworthy of the love of others or of myself. During the empathy process, someone said that I was worth so much more that what I was giving myself, and I realize that it is true in a lot of ways. I look at myself as though I deserve to feel a constant flow of pain and rejection, but now I recognize that this isn’t so. When I go for my second day of Focus, I want to get in touch with the magical child and keep bringing out my true self. I want to know that I got the most out of Focus that I possibly could. I felt yesterday that I came out a lot more than I have in any other major activity and I learned that taking risks with getting up in front of others doesn’t lead to my getting cut down, rather it leads to myself feeling better about who I am and what I have accomplished in my day or situation. I feel really proud of the work that I did during yesterday’s seminar. I feel so free right now that it is really unbelievable. I never thought it was possible to feel as confident or as proud as I do right now. I am “Lady in Red” for the Stretch Day skits, and I know I was given that because I need to learn to express how beautiful I really am. I want to shine because I haven’t in so long. I want to get up there and dance. I truly believe I can do it. It’s not about the makeup, hair, or clothes – it’s about letting out the radiance of the essence I contain within.
“I am a beautiful, sweet, free young woman”
May 5th, 2001 In 10 days I will be 18, and in 7 days I will be in a seminar like Accountability with my parents. I got a bunch of mail last night and now I’m frustrated. I have changed – I really am so much better than what I had before, especially the people I was hanging out with. I really want to leave but I don’t know what’s going to happen when my dad comes. I’m scared of Parent-Child and I’m even more scared that if I do choose to leave I’m going to lose all of the support I’ve worked so hard to gain. I just don’t know what to do. I’m going up to level 3 soon. I am excited about that. I realize that I have changed so much and that the rest of the world really has not and I’m frustrated.
May 7th, 2001 I plan to start over, and I am so scared, but excited at the same time. I want to be close with my family and use their support to help me stay on track. I want to live my life for me, and me alone, and I know I will be able to. It’s been so long since I’ve wanted something good for myself and now that I am on my way towards getting it, I’m not going to stop. Wow, quite a change since when I got here. I certainly went in a lion and came out a lamb!
May 8th, 2001 Basically my mind is pretty caught up with going home. I can’t help it and I must admit that I am letting other things slip a bit. I see my dad on Saturday and I’m scared that leaving will be some huge fiasco but somehow I know that it will be alright. I feel really good lately. Rae & I have become good friends, and so have Mac and I. I feel like I can just be myself around them. I don’t have to sit down and puke up a bunch of program jargon. I can say how I feel, but most importantly, I don’t have to all of the time. I feel like everything really will work out for me back home. I have a lot of plans and goals and a lot of time within which to succeed.
May 9th, 2001 Well – in 6 days, I will finally be 18. I had a really hard night last night. I kept thinking about how my life used to be, and then I started feeling like I was caught in an acid flashback. I got my level 3 paper and now I’m going to go for it. I’m scared because I feel like I won’t have staff’s support because I’ve been here for such a short while. In the back of my mind though I also feel that I definitely deserve it. Mac and I had a long talk yesterday about our 18th birthdays. We both want to go home. Ms. C and I talked yesterday and I let her know how I felt about leaving. I told her that my plan was to go home and that I knew I could stand on my own two feet. I didn’t give her much of a chance to argue with me. During group, I watched Ms. C and Ms. B launch into a full fledged attack against Mac. It brought up all my former feelings about the program. I talked to Mac a bit about it. Well – I just gave Ash my level 3 papers so now begins my worrying over whether I’ll get it. I really want to be level 3 before I either leave or see my parents. I don’t know if staff will support it, but in any case I’m giving it my all.
May 10th, 2001 Five days till I turn 18, two until I see my dad. I really don’t want to go back to all my old crap – I also really don’t want to stay. I am going to talk to my dad this weekend. I can’t believe I’m going to see him. I haven’t laid eyes on him for two and a half months. I had a crazy dream last night. There was this long rocky beach that I kept wandering down. This guy kept following me. He liked me, but wouldn’t leave me alone. I was in this cottage and he was coming. I’d hide, but he would always end up finding me. Somehow, I was getting ready to go on a date. I was putting on my make-up. It was dim and there wasn’t a lot of light. My date didn’t show up. I got so upset, and then I wanted to kill myself. I ran and jumped into the sea, but “fate” kept saving me. Then, I was back home. I was eating all the food but I could not enjoy it like I thought I would. I have made the final decision that I’m not going back to the life I had before. I take the lesson from the dream that I will have to stand up to persistent desires or else I will lose my will to live or never find the happiness that I thought I would be able to find. I have to keep a balance between mental focus and physical freedom.
May 11th, 2001 Sometime today my dad will be flying into Jamaica. Tomorrow, I will finally see him after two and a half months. In four days, I turn 18 – I’m going home! I keep making a lot of excuses for myself, mainly out of fear. I really don’t know what terms it will be under. In any case, it’s going to take a lot of strength and willpower on my part to rise above and not fall into the same old situations. Yesterday, I had a lot of ideas come to me. The book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” inspired me a lot towards seeking inner peace. I can’t wait to go home!
May 11th, 2001 Well, at 3pm today, Ms. C told me that she needed to see me alone after group. I followed her to the office, walked in, and saw my dad! And guess what? I’m at the Treasure Beach Hotel! I’m out of Tranquility Bay – time to face the real world. I have so much running through my head right now and I have learned that writing is a very powerful way for me to channel my emotions. I feel so good, and so strong. It’s very odd being outside. It seems like a dream. I am incredibly happy about the strength of my relationship with my dad. I gave him feedback, but I also talked to him about accountability. I love myself and my family so much and it is finally my time to face the world!