Life Before Foster Care

A few years ago I started typing up the diary entries from my child hood. Some of these entries are silly and what you expect from a child ages 10-12. Some of these get a bit dark.

I have decided to post these to give an adult a bit of insight into the mind of a child who is living in an abusive home. I have left in all the entries I made as a child. Rather than boil my childhood self down to just the “abused girl” I decided to let her keep her voice in its entirety.

I have included some photos of my early childhood here to give you an idea of what the early years, before my diaries, were like.

From my very early childhood I do not remember much. We moved a lot. I was born in Saint Paul, we moved to Northwood Iowa when I was two. When we lived in Northwood Iowa my birth mother dislocated both of my shoulders while at a church function. My parents learned that CPS was becoming involved so we were moved to Menominee, Michigan. We were evicted from our home in Menominee, when I was 5 years old, and then moved to Marinette, Wisconsin. My parents home schooled me from grades 1st – 2nd. When I went back to public school for 3rd grade I was held back.

My bio-mother taught me how to cook and clean at the age of 6 and I was then responsible for a majority of the house chores. My bio-father put me in charge of mowing the lawn at the age 8.

When I was 15 years old my birth mother sent me every photo she had of me stating “you are no longer my daughter.” Without realizing it she had sent me photos showing the exact things she had denied about my childhood in court. In some of the photos you can see in the photos below you can make out my black eye and bruises on my leg.

When I was 9 years old we were evicted from our home in Marinette and moved to Saint Cloud, Minnesota. We only lived there a year. The apartment building we lived in was rife with gang activity.

When I was Ten we moved to Bagley, MN. This is where my Diaries pick up.

Names of some individuals have been changed for their privacy. In some places I have inserted comments in Italics in order to explain what my childhood self did not.

Family Photo from 1996. The van in the photo was ours.

January 22, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, this boy named Andy in my class is so cute.  I am getting my picture painted with Ruth Ann.  I am about to go out in the cold with my sister Sam and I’ll tell you what happened.

                Sam loved selling Girl Scout cookies.  We climbed steep steps of snow. It took us 20 minutes to get to the top. When we did the lady told us we could have used the garage door.

January 23, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, the temp is -20 so I don’t have Flag Patrol. (My first job was working as a school crossing guard. I was paid $5 every other week).

                Dear Diary I went bowling with Emma and Tara. You had 27 points. I wish I had a longer Diary page.  Republicans are very mean.

January 24, 1996.  Age 10. Today my dad taught us a game.  I made $165 from selling Girl Scout cookies.  The car got stuck when we were selling cookies.  A nice man got us out.  I had a fight with my brothers and sister.

January 25, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, today a Black Lady came to school and spoke with us about Black History.  It was horrible.  She even sang us a song. The morning temp was -36 and falling.

January 26, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, today was one of the best days of my life.  I wrote a wonderful story called Runaways and I was told I was a great singer.  I got my report card.  In math I went from a C- to a B, Spelling C- to C+.  I improved a lot.

January 27, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, today I worked on my story the Runaways.  I am thinking about going with Ginny the librarian on her traveling show to be famous. But I’ll be away from home all the time. What should I do? 

                At this time in my childhood I spent much of my time volunteering at the Bagley Library.  The Librarian Ginny ran a show where her kids would travel to schools and perform songs. She invited me to go with them. I also spent time writing fictional stories in which I ran away from home, traveled to Montana by train, and lived in the mountains.

January 28, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, my parents are having a fight. Adam (younger brother), Dan (older brother), Sam and me are hiding up here.  Mom and Dad made up but we are not allowed to come down stairs now.  I played a trick on Adam.  He thinks there is a Hugging Monster.

                From early childhood on my parents would lock my siblings and I upstairs so they could have alone time.  We were given a plastic ice cream pail to use as a toilet.

January 29, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, today my class went swimming.  I’m swimming tomorrow and the rest of this week.  I fixed Sam’s doll and Adam’s bears tail.  I’m glad mom and dad aren’t fighting anymore.

January 30, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, my day was a lot like yesterday.  We went swimming in class.   Nathan’s mom gave us a ride home.  School opened 2 hours late.  It will open 2 hours late tomorrow.   I sewed my bear.

January 31, 1996.  Age 10. Dear Diary, I finished my first Girl Scout Badge.  The temp was -20 this morning.  Dan beat me up and I hate him forever.

February 1, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, school was closed today.  I have to sleep with my sister because it is so cold.  I just yelled at her to quit making noises.

            My family was very poor.  We could not afford the water bill and were only allowed to take one shower a week.  We also could not afford the heat and so we often slept in our coats and snow pants.  What I find odd is that while we could not afford heat, water, food or clothing my parents always had money for their soda, candy and alcohol.  My maternal grandmother sent my mother regularly. Neither of my parents worked.

February 2, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I hate mom.

Dear Diary, I love mom. I just played with Henri’s.  We threw water up in the air outside.  We all got to try and it came down as snow. I lost your keys.

February 3, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I try so hard to be nice to my sister Karen.  Every time I am nice to her she ruins my stuff.  The high temp was -0 and the low was -25.  I played with my best friend Ellie today.  We watched a movie with goblins.

February 4, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I was very nice to my sister Karen today.  I bought 3 boxes of cookies from her with my Flag Patrol money.  It cost me $7.50.  I’m glad she’s happy.  Today I went to the Gents house.  I played with their dog Cala.  I walked on their roof while Jeff shoveled it.

February 6, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, the skin on my hands is ripping off.  We went swimming today.  Someone pulled the fire alarm.  We went to the church when the firemen were in the elementary. 

I constantly had dry cracked and bleeding skin during the winter months.

February 7, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, today we worked on a page in math.  We get new flags for Flag Patrol on Friday.

                I want to die. My head hurts and my family hates me. 

                Dan, Adam, Sam, Dad and me went bowling today.  I had 45 points.

My birth father would ritually bash my head into a wall until I was unconscious. This is what 10 year old me was attempting to explain.  I also contemplated and attempted suicide many times from the age of 5 and on.

February 9, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, today my class went to Daroos Pizza.   I had one glass of water and one glass of pop. 

I helped in the town library today after school.  Ginny gave me a ride home.  I chased her car. 

I watched the rest of Becket and watched Attack of the 50 foot woman.  It was the stupidest movie in the world.

February 10, 1996 Age 10. Today I went to Ruth Ann’s Art. She painted my face. I get free art lessons for this.  

I watched North and South.  Sam and me ran around with our arms in the air to the music.  She leaned on me and I accidentally dropped her.  The snow, when it blows in the wind, it pokes into my hair.

February 11, 1996 Age 10. We celebrated Adam’s birthday today instead of tomorrow.

February 12, 1996 Age 10. Today I got a slip to go to Flag Patrol camp.  Tomorrow I’m going to pose for Ruth Ann’s classes.  At 4-H a man brought a model airplane to show.  When he let it run it blew air in my face.

February 13, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, my brother stole the remote from me today and kicked me in the stomach when I came towards him.  Dan kicked me so hard that I can’t feel anything in my body.  My stupid father took his side.   I would run away from home except if I do where will I go?  I’ll find a place.

February 14, 1996 Age 10. Today we had our Valentine’s Day party. 

I just put on some tattoos.  One is an Eagle the other has two flowers next to each other.   My sister teased me when I was naked. I climbed up the bunk to attack her forgetting I was naked.

My brother and sister went roller skating with their class.

February 15, 1996 Age 10. Today at school everyone that saw my tattoos liked the eagle better.  My sister is butt naked on top of the bunk.  We were playing a game with her as a baby.  She is singing “Momma’s coming home, that’s show business. Berrrrr.  Mommy and me are going to companionship.  I’m a spoiled brat.”

February 16, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, last night I had a dream that my family locked me out of the house and some people kidnapped me. 

Lately I have been dreaming about saving the school.

This morning I went to Ruth Ann’s and had my face painted.  When I was done I went to Daroo’s and used my Flag money to buy myself a piece of pizza.

February 17, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, today we visited my best friend Sierra.  She lived in St. Cloud with me.  Now she lives in a trailer park in Bemidji.  She was one of the only girl my age nice to me at our St. Cloud home.   She was adopted.  That’s how she became my friend.  We used to take long hikes with her in the forest.  She would go with me to pet the horses across the street from our apartment complex.

Before we lived in Bagley, MN my family and I had lived in project housing in St. Cloud MN.  The apartment complex was filled with minority families from Vietnam, Laos and African Americans from Minneapolis.  There were constant gang wars between the Bloods and Crips. Sierra and I had been playing when a riot broke out after a teen boy named Scooby was stabbed by Keon over a fight relating to drugs.  I remember watching the police officers being attacked by gang members as well as the police beating people in the crowd.  Our families had become good friends and relocated us to Bagley and Bemidji.  We lived 30 miles away from each other.

February 18, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, today I’m sleeping at my friend Ronny’s house with Kristy. Kristy was sliding down the stairs.  B.T. is a brat.  I’m sleeping on the floor next to B.T.  She’s a real life retard.  I miss my mom.  Ronny’s house is a pig sty.

February 19, 1996 Age 10. I hated it at Ronny’s house.  B.T. kept hitting me all night.  My sister’s lip is bleeding.  Ronny has her own pigs. Kristy never wants to go back there again.  On the way home her dad tried to race a truck.  He went 70mph around a turn.  Ronny had to stay in her room because of B.T.

February 20, 1996 Age 10. I just got my trapper keeper.  My sister is like a baby to me.  I had a fight with my sister.  I wrote an essay about the Civil War.  At the end I said “Man does not win war, war wins man.”  Cool ending huh?

February 21, 1996 Age 10. My family is a pile of shit.  I don’t know why I keep liking them.  My family doesn’t care a shit about me.  They all say I’m crazy. My dad said I am grounded and can’t go to Ruth Ann’s tomorrow.  I don’t care what he says.  I’m going and he can’t stop me.  If I’m crazy they are crazier than me.

This is one of the entries which makes me wish I had been better at language at this age.  I do not remember what I had done that night to make my birth father angry.  What I do remember was being stripped naked and beaten with the metal end of a fly swatter in front of my entire family.  This incident led to the first major rebellion of my childhood.  Defying my father and attending art classes.

February 22, 1996 Age 10. Hi Diary.  I went to art classes today.  My friend Tammy was there.  She has a twin called Leslie.  I have big bruises with marks from being hit with the fly swatter. The marks look like this.

My legs and torso were covered with these marks. I had shown them to a few of my class mates and swore them to secrecy.  My father found me at art classes that day and told me I would “get it” when I got home.  I do not remember what happened when I did get home but I do remember staying outside, hiding in a snow fort, until it was dark and then sneaking into the house.

February 23, 1996 Age 10. I worked at the library today.  I went to the writers group and read my story called The Runaways.  I don’t have much to say.  Yesterday it was slippery out.  You couldn’t even walk without falling down.  There was wrestling in the high school today.  School opened two hours late.

February 24, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I watched North and South and Night of the Twisters.  My brother Dan killed a spider for us.  My mom’s the best.  I’m reading a book called The Boy in the Girl’s bathroom that my mom gave me.

February 25, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I feel like my brother Adam and sister Sam are Forest Gumps. They act so stupid.  I just told Sam I loved her and it took her two seconds to answer.  I love my sister.   We just watched the Sullivan Show.  It was really funny.  I played with my friend Emma. I hope were friends till the end.

February 26, 1996 Age 10. The soft sweet wind of a cold day makes my face turn red in joy.  Today was a cold day and I stayed outside.  I don’t have much to say.

February 27, 1996 Age 10. There was no school today it was canceled.  The van got stuck so me and dad walked into town.  It was really cold.  I bought chips and chocolate milk for me and dad with my flag patrol money.  Karen, our next door neighbor, gave us a ride home.  My sister stole you today and read you.

February 28, 1996 Age 10. I went to school today.  I went to Girl Scouts and got my first badge.  My sister is sleeping.  We bought two new movies today.  One is called Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I don’t know what the other one is called.

February 29, 1996 Age 10. It should be March First today but it is a leap year.  That’s where there is one more day in the year. 

Adam set fire to the bathroom.  Dan and I played Draw.  That’s where we would take turns righting on each other’s backs.  I just finished my book There’s a Boy in the Girls Bathroom.

My brother Adam started showing signs of aggression at this age. He would have been nine years old at this time. He used to rip the heads off of toys, throw rocks at birds and kick dogs, cats and other animals.

March 1, 1996 Age 10. Today my mom gave me an early birthday present from my grandma. My own guitar.  It is the most beautiful guitar I ever saw.  I hope you can read my handwriting. Especially because I got a guitar.

Neither of my parents had held jobs for over seven years at this point.  The household income came from Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps, and my grandma.

March 2, 1996 Age 10. We went to the Gents house for their party.  There was a story about a war and the spy’s came back yelling “They are going to eat us, they are sharpening their teeth.”  They were cleaning them with toothpicks.  I practiced playing my guitar.  I’m getting older every day.  The Gent’s gave us a game called World Peace.

The Gents were friends of my birth dad.  They were Bhai and we attended many of their religious gatherings.

March 3, 1996 Age 10. My family just watched a biography of Bruce Lee.  It was very sad.  Tomorrow is a school day.  I played computer with Emma.  I’m so glad my mom gave me a guitar.

March 4, 1996 Age 10. Today is a order day.  March 4th.  Get it March fourth?  I got my Girl Scout badge sash today.   I got my cookies today.  I go to Smart Skate on Friday.  I accidentally hit Ronny with a snow ball.  She hates me. We watched a movie where they dissected an eye. We watched it at school.

March 5, 1996 Age 10. Today I went to art classes.  It was fun.  I made an angel and a flower.  K.C. is in art classes. Also a girl named Vicky.   How did you marry?  Did you get a divorce?   I wish I knew what your life was like. Ronny hates me.  Is she your friend?

March 6, 1996 Age 10. Today T.V. people interviewed kids that have had Kindness Cards.  I got interviewed.  They are going to show the movie to the whole school.  I went to Girl Scouts.  Me and Dad gave cookies to the people that ordered them.  The moon is big and the stars are shining bright.

March 7, 1996 Age 10. Today we went to Bemidji to hear Ojibwa and other Indian stories.  One of the story tellers asked “what was the last thing General George Custer said.”  A guy in the audience said “where did all these Indians come from.”  The guy on stage said “I’m going to sue.”

March 8, 1996 Age 10. Today my class went to Smart Skate to roller skate.  I hated the music except for the YMCA.  Excuse my handwriting but I’m trying to write on a messy bed.  I’m reading a new book called Karen’s School Picture.
Sam has a runny nose. 

March 9, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, we went to Hidey’s house today. We watched North and South.  I don’t feel good right now. I finished reading Karen’s School Picture.

March 10, 1996 Age 10. Today I went to the Jent’s house.  I sold cookies.  Sam just asked me what it would be like to live with a boy.

I have a blister on my foot that popped.  Tomorrow I have school.  School is getting out a week early.  I’m going to join a kids book club.  Boy I’m tired.  Goodnight.

March 11, 1996 Age 10. Today I had 4-H.  The leaders have puppies.  Are you in college now?  I signed up to get three books.  They are The Easter Bunny that Ate My Sister, Rock’nRll Jokes, Return to Gone Away. I am paying for them with my Flag Patrol money.

March 12, 1996 Age 10. Just a little bit ago a spider crawled out of my math book and I smashed it.  When I went downstairs I told Dad about what happened.  I was getting my stuff to go upstairs when mom came out of her room and yelled at me for being there.  Not even knowing what was going on she yelled at me and sent me to bed.

My birth mom had slept in her own room, separate from my father, since I was 7 years old.  She spent the majority of my childhood locked away in her own room eating Snickers bars, drinking Mountain Dew, reading romance novels and watching soap operas.  Sometimes she would let me come into her room so I could shave her back and legs for her.  My mom was severely overweight and needed me to put baby powder in her back fat folds to stop the chafing of her skin.  When she did come out of her room it was usually to yell at my siblings and me.  Every now and then she would come out of her room to watch movies with the family.

Also important to note that our Bagley house was infested with mice, centipedes’, and other insects.  It was not rare to wake up and find a mouse in your shoe or running across the floor.

March 13, 1996 Age 10. Today I had the hardest math problems ever.  I am very tired.  I feel sick.  The Girl Scouts went for a walk downtown today.  I want to earn a lot of badges.

March 14, 1996 Age 10. Anne might come over tomorrow.  We were making plans for when she does.  I hope she can come over.  I’ll show her my sewing project.

March 15, 1996 Age 10. Today we watched a movie with aliens and stuff.  I feel sick.  I feel like something is watching my every move.  My stomach hurts.  I’m hearing strange noises.

March 16, 1996 Age 10. I watched North and South and Red Green.  I’m coming to Bemidji tomorrow.  I went to 4-H today.  They had a birthday party for all the people at Greens View.  I’m having horrible headaches.

March 17, 1996 Age 10. I got to shake hands with Red Green a TV star today.  He signed his autograph.  I am very sick.  My throat itches.  I have a horrible headache.

March 18, 1996 Age 10. Dear Diary, I have tonsillitis.  I can barely talk. It hurts to swallow.  I’m still proud that I got to shake hands with a TV star. I’m so tired.

March 19, 1996 Age 10.  I missed school today.  I’m still sick and I have to miss school tomorrow.  I just tried to pull this circle white thing out of the wall by the book boxes and got cut trying.  I showed dad the white thing but not my cut.

My birth father was obsessed with buying and collecting books.  Our house was filled with shelves of books.  Boxes filled with books were piled in corners of every room in the house.

March 20, 1996 Age 10. I missed school again today and I’m going back in tomorrow. I am way behind on my math.  Sam is throwing a fit.  It hurts to yell at her.  1×2=2, 2×2=4, 4×4=16, 16×16=32, 32×32=64,  64×64=128.
And they say I have trouble with multiplication.

March 21, 1996 Age 10. I went back to school today.  Emily is back.  I scraped my ankle.  I have library tomorrow.  Dan is a fucking asshole.

March 22, 1996 Age 10. Do you like my red pen?  I’m very tired.  Grandma bought me a book called “Hey World Here I Am”.  I love my grandma.  P.S. Do you like the color of my red pen?

March 23, 1996 Age 10. I went to a Girl Scout meeting in Bemidji today.  Did you know that Jeanett Raken was the first woman elected to congress?  Did you know that she went door to door asking people to vote for a woman’s right to vote?  Did you know she led a march at 90 years old asking the president to end the Vietnam War?  I do so ha ha ha.  I learned a lot about women’s rights and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

March 24, 1996 Age 10. I’m afraid that the comet coming by will hit the Earth.  Then everyone would die.  Mom say’s it’s not possible but I think it’s possible.

My birth father raised my siblings to believe that monsters under the bed were real, WWIII would happen any day, aliens were controlling everyone on the planet and that doomsday theories were very real and could happen at any time.  My birth mother agreed with him on most of these things so even when she disagreed with him I did not believe her. I was conditioned to believe that death and destruction was always around the corner.

March 26, 1996 Age 10. I’m very hot right now.  I think I am sick.  I showed Vicky around town today.  She wants to be the first woman president and so do I.  I have Girl Scouts tomorrow.  I watched Surf Ninjas.  It’s funny.

March 27, 1996 Age 10. I was the leader of Girl Scouts today. I get to be the leader for two more weeks.  I am making plans like a play or something.   My ear hurts.

March 28, 1996 Age 10. Today Tim has a seizure.  He couldn’t hear me.  I rolled the ball to him and he started to groan, shake and drool.  Me and Leslie ran to get Sue and the nurse.  I’m still worried about him.  We were having a fine time and then he got sick. I’m crying right now and most of the day.  Why did that have to happen?

I had begun volunteering in 4th grade by spending my recesses playing with the kids in the Special Ed room.  My friend Leslie would help in the room when it was too cold to go outside for recess.  Jene, one of the special Ed teachers that I did not like, ended up becoming my foster mom two years later.

March 29, 1996 Age 10. I went to writers group.  Dad says that maybe I can have friends over for my birthday. I hope so. Bye.

My birth Dad attended a local writer’s group meeting in Bagley.  He brought me along to brag about my writing abilities.  If the members did not like what I wrote my birth dad would beat me when we got home.  To avoid beatings I started copying other author’s works and pretended they were my own.

March 30, 1996 Age 10. My grandma sent me eight dollars.  Her dad was born 118 years ago.  I’m probably not going to get my party.  I wrote to two of my friends in St. Cloud.  Fawn Fandle and Jessica Powel. I miss them.  My parents are mean.

My birth parents liked to use holidays and birthdays as a way of hurting my younger siblings and I.  On my 9th birthday my parents took me to the dollar store to pick out a present for myself.  When we got home I had to give my present, a ball, to my brother Adam.   They took away my sisters 4th birthday because we were not quite enough when they were sleeping.  On my 8th birthday my parents invited some native Spanish Speakers from the local Marinette University to or house.  The day after my birthday my mom sold my birthday presents for money to buy VHS’s.

March 31, 1996 Age 10. Hi.  Do you want to know what Sam said?  She said “I declare war on my buttocks. They have been dropping bombs in the toilet.  Today Emma and me went bowling.  I got four strikes.  We played two games.

April 1, 1996 Age 10. Tomorrow is my birthday.  Sam and I are playing a spelling game.  See you tomorrow.

April 2, 1996 Age 11. Today was my birthday. Ellie gave me a chocolate egg, chalk, and lip gloss.  Mommy gave me a hair ribbon.  She also gave me a guitar last month.

April 3, 1996 Age 11. Lately I have been crying for no reason.  I’m going to ask the principal and music teacher if I can put on a talent show.  Wouldn’t that be great?  I have to go to sleep.

The year before this I had written a play and my third grade music teacher Mrs. Kimble thought it was good enough to put on as a school play.  I spent weeks painting the sets for the play and recruiting kids from my third grade class to be in it.  I was beat up on the school bus on the day of the play but refused to go home because I wanted to see it through.  The play was a success and because of that by fourth grade I had confidence that if I went to teachers with ideas for events or parties the ideas would immediately be accepted.

April 4, 1996 Age 11. I hate my mom and my dad, my sister Sam, my brother Adam, and Dan.  I showed my mom my free meal at Bonanza card and she yelled at me to get in the kitchen and do the dishes.

April 5, 1996 Age 11. I love my mom. I love my dad.  I love Adam, Sam, Dan.  Went to Bemidji today.  At the new clothing shop in Bagley a T-shirt says London, Paris, Rome and Bagley.  Tomorrow I am going to Hidey’s.

April 6, 1996 Age 11. Today we went to a party at Hidey’s.  We got back at 11:58PM.  I’m tired.  My ears hurt from the medicine.  Good night.

April 7, 1996 Age 11. We dyed eggs.  We watched the movie Joseph. We watched the movie Moses.  We ate ham.  We did a relay race to the bathroom.  Sam, Dan, Adam and I did that.

April 8, 1996 Age 11. There was no school today.  I went to Bemidji with mom. First we went to school and she took a test.  Then we took Spanish.  Then we went to Bonanza. On the way to the University we went to Mc. Donald’s. After she bought me a belt.

My birth mom went to college in every town we lived in.  It took her 9 years to obtain a degree in social work.

April 9, 1996 Age 11. I went to school.  Dad picked me up when I was on the playground to take me to the doctor.  I went to the library and the grocery store. There was a guy whose dog had six toes.  Emma’s dog followed us to Crandles gas station and went inside.  We chased him out.

April 11, 1996 Age 11. Hi. Nothing happened today except going to school. Going to art classes. Walking down the railroad tracks with Emma to the stream and leaving pennies on the track to see what happens.  Chasing Peatry, Emma’s dog.  So nothing really happened to day.

April 12, 1996 Age 11. Well dad says I can’t go down to the stream anymore.  But I’m going to sneak there.  Brandon kept singing “Let me tell you about the birds and the bees.”

My older brother and younger siblings did not have friends. My brother Dan would often complain that it was not fair that I played with other kids and I was often banned from hanging out with kids my age.  Luckily my birth parents were more interested in TV and the computer so they rarely noticed when I was gone for hours playing with friends.

April 13, 1996 Age 11. Mom went crazy today.  She left the house and said she was never coming back.  She just did and now mom and dad are fighting.  I went to Ginny’s today and she taught me stuff on the guitar.

April 14, 1996 Age 11. Hi Diary.  I am sick of this weather. How are you?  Is it summer where you are reading? Are you sad?  Are you lonely?  What year is it?

April 16, 1996 Age 11. Ruth Ann painted me today. At the library today from 6:30PM-8:00PM an author and read a book of hers.  I handed out popcorn and milk.  A dog barked a lot. I stared at him. So did Sara.   All the kids would ask me go ask the lady for more popcorn.  I gave a girl my plastic ring because she didn’t have any popcorn.  I still laugh when I think of those kids saying “go ask that lady for more popcorn.”  I’m only 11.

April 17, 1996 Age 11. I went to Tempest’s house today.  They have 100 baby yellow fluffy chicks and three horses.  The boy is a stallion, one is a girl pony and the other is a girl horse.  The stallion made both pregnant.  He has a black dick.  Tempest’s mom sucks. I like playing jump rope.

Tempest’s mom had spent the day telling Tempest and I that we were dumb losers.  She had also threatened to shove her foot in my anus if I kicked her car seat while riding in the back.   My eleven year old writings lacked description for the complexity of emotions.  It seems that the more emotional something was the less I said and the harsher my language.

April 18, 1996 Age 11. I went to school sick today.  Mom said she had wanted me to stay home but she never got the chance to tell me.  I’m tired. I’m sick.  Adam’s bed was peed and it smelled like skunk.  Sam hurt me by jumping up so hard my jaw slammed shut.

Though both of my parents stayed home 24/7 they were never available to help my siblings and I with school or getting up in the morning.  They both stayed up at night watching movies. They usually woke up around 3PM in the afternoon.  Because of this my siblings and I were responsible for waking ourselves up, getting dressed, and getting to school in time for the free breakfast in the cafeteria.  Because I was in Flag Patrol, I had to be out of the house before my siblings. I was often beaten and grounded for not getting my younger brother and sister up before I left for school.

April 19, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I stayed home sick today.  I wrote to Highlights Magazine.  I watched Gilligans Island. I watched the Marx Brothers and I watched African Queen.  I watched a talk show about teenagers having sex with people. Not just one person but 22 men.  One girl had sex with men at the age of 9 and the other six.  Good Night.

April 20, 1996 Age 11. I played at the park with Emma today.  I made a picture for my teacher.

April 21, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I do not believe I am a part of this family.  Or at least am like this family.  They are all different from me.  They all just seem different.  Dan, Adam and Sam always take sides against me. So do mom and dad.  I think I was adopted. Good night.

April 22, 1996 Age 11. I studied with Sammy.  We played with Emma because Sammy got her work done. I am tired. Aren’t you?  I have been getting lonely a lot lately.  Good night.

April 23, 1996 Age 11. Art class was canceled today so I worked at the Library.  Dan’s letting me use his Walkman.  I hope it’s not because I went deaf or pretended to be deaf.  Last year I pretended I went deaf.  I don’t know why.  I told Sam but she doesn’t believe me. Good night.

            In the third grade my father beat me severely while I was sick with an ear infection.  He hit me upside the head, hitting my ear.  I lost sound in that ear for a while and my parents were very nice to me during the short period of time I could not hear. Because of that kindness,I pretended to be fully deaf for more than two weeks.  My parents took me to Dr’s to have my hearing checked and no one could figure out why I was deaf of that I was faking.

             A year later the guilt was eating me alive.  I used to spend hours thinking about how I would tell my parents the truth.   I eventually did tell my parents the truth and they denied that I was telling the truth.  I think it was too hard for them to believe that they had been fooled by a 9 year old. 

            In 2013 I had a conversation with my eldest brother Dan in which he brought up the subject. He still claims I actually was deaf and lied about faking it.

April 24, 1996 Age 11. Today I went on a field trip to the water treatment plant in Bemidji.  When I was at the water treatment plant the water stank.  We also went to a park to watch the water move.  Well good night and keep your stick on the ice.

April 25, 1996 Age 11. Sam and Adam pretended that they had put away the laundry.  Now when I saw the laundry upstairs I tried to do something about it and got yelled at.  The when Dad found out I was mad at Adam…   Oh forget it. Why do I wright in this stupid diary anyway.  It is a book to read but why would or could I read it with such bad hand writing.

April 26, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I think that today Tempest’s dad came to kidnap her.  Her dad just got out of jail and he swore he would kidnap her when he got out one day.  A man was looking for a girl named Tempest at school today.  I had writers group.  Goodnight.

April 28, 1996 Age 11. I made two dollars selling dream catchers.  I made them myself.  I earned two dollars today.  I am giving Adam and Karen $2.10 each so that they can go on a bowling field trip.  Mom and dad cannot afford it right now.

April 29, 1996 Age 11. Hi Diary, I made dream catchers today although nobody bought any because I was in the backyard where Dan told me to go. Goodnight.
P.S. I’m reading Goosbumps the Killer Dummy III

April 30, 1996 Age 11. Hi.  Dad overreacted and threw a plate with rice and a fork at me.  The fork hit my stomach so I am not talking to him. So there.  I played with Emma today and Care was there.

May 1, 1996 Age 11. Tim had a seizure today but this time it was worse.  He wouldn’t breathe and he turned purple. I’m scared that he might die tonight.  He had a seizure yesterday. 
Dad and I went for a drive today.   A baby cow got out of its fence. Dad and I told the farmer.  The farmer’s big dog chased us in the car.  He was faster than us.  We saw four deer.

May 2, 1996 Age 11. Hi.  Sammy is really sick. I found a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I’m going to read now.  I hope Sammy gets better. 

Sammy was a boy in my grade who lived across the alley from our house.

May 3, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, Tim had another seizure.  I’m tired.  I started reading to Adam and Sam.

May 4, 1996 Age 11. We went to a Pow-Wow. A guy yelled at Adam for some reason. I’m still reading to Adan and Sam.  I survived two nights. 

May 5, 1996 Age 11. We went for a family ride today but mom did not come.  We saw Eagles nests.  I’m  going to Grand Rapids this Tuesday.

P.S. Your address was 213 Oak Ave SW Bagley, MN 56621.  694-3094. You like 104.9

May 6, 1996 Age 11. I colored my shoes today.  One is green and the other is purple. I can do acrobat stuff on the playground.  I have a fieldtrip tomorrow.

May 7, 1996 Age 11. On my field trip today we went to an old logging camp. People were dressed like it was the old days.  The man who made tools said “you boys look too young to be looking for jobs and you young ladies must be looking for husbands.” In the lumber yard camp they did not have fresh apples.  When they made pie from dried apples they called it pregnant women pie.

May 8, 1996 Age 11. I finished sewing the pillows for Taylor, Cassie, Ronny, Joey and Tim from the handicapped room.  I have a headache.  Goodnight.

May 9, 1996 Age 11. I gave Taylor, Cassie, Dale, Joey, Tim and Ronny their pillows today.  They loved them.  When I told Taylor it was a pillow for him to sleep on he said “I sleep at home okay. I sleep at home.” They are all dears.  I have school tomorrow, and Track and Field. Goodnight.

May 11, 1996 Age 11. I went to the Jent’s today to help rake.  I do not feel good right now. I have a stuffy nose, a stomachache and my throat hurts.  I’m going to watch T.V.

May 13, 1996 Age 11. I got a letter from Fawn Fandle after so long.  I also wrote to old friends.  Sam does not play autoharp good.  I missed school today.  Leslie called and said Deana helps in the handicapped room now.  I’m pissed about that.

One of the reasons I volunteered to work in the Special Ed room was to escape the teasing I endured from children on the playground.  Because my parents were poor I wore my brothers hand me downs and second hand clothing from elderly women.  I had poor hygiene as well.  These factors led to me being on the receiving end of continual torment from my peers.  The Special Ed room was my safe haven.  Deana was one of the “popular” girls who teased me so I had been very upset that she began working with me in my safe space.

May 14, 1996 Age 11. I ran away from home today and hid at Emma’s house.  I am home now and tomorrow I speak at Sam’s Class for show and tell.

May 15, 1996 Age 11. I sprained my left elbow so I am writing with my right hand.

May 16, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I am writing with my left hand now and it hurts like hell.  Last night and all day today I’ve been writing with my right hand.  Goodnight.  Sincerely Elizabeth Eowyn Lizzy Anne Waibel

May 17, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, the wind is blowing really fast and the basement is flooding. We are in the basement with no power. Just candles.  I am so scared.

May 18, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, power, trees, houses sides are all knocked down. Leslie’s house almost got knocked down by two pines.  Emma’s house has trees down and much more. Goodnight.

May 19, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, not much happened today.  Dad gave me my one match book.  I arm wrestled with Adam. Me and Sammy tried to hit the flying kite with a ball. And I would throw a Frisbee to him and try to hit it.  The score is 6-6.

May 20, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, we played outside in the rain for gym.  Dan had a band concert today.   Well I hope you read or are reading this, or it was a waste of time.

May 21, 1996 Age 11. Tomorrow I go to Indian burial grounds for Ojibwa class.  I don’t want to go. Well we will see. Now I am going to read.

May 22, 1996 Age 11. We walked over old Sioux burial grounds and Ojibwa burial grounds on our field trip. I climbed to the top of a swing set today.   Giga-wa-bamin-minawa

May 23, 1996 Age 11. Tomorrow is the last day of school.  Today I went to Mrs. Dahl’s house. We rode horses, played baseball and ate potato chips, brown beans and hot dogs.  Today I told dad I want to be in the army.  He said only stupid people join the army.   I listened to Pocahontas on the swing set until the sun set.

May 24, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, today was the last day of school.  Deana, Leslie and me went down town with the Special Ed kids.  When we got back my class went to Dairy Land.  I’m going to miss Trent, Tyler, Joey and Ronny.

May 25, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I ran away from home and went to Sammy’s house for protection.  I was going to sleep there but the cops were called and brung me back.  Now my family hates me and I can never talk to Sammy again.  Now I’m a juvenile.

            I do not remember all the details from this day. What I do remember was my birth dad strangling me. My birth mom cut a line in my wrist with a knife, I still have the scar, and my brother David kicked me in the head.  Sammy encouraged me to tell his mom what had happened.  She told me to stay the night and that we would go to the police in the morning. 

            My parents called the cops while I was gone..  When the cops first showed came to Sammy’s home I told them the truth about my parents and what they had done.  The police officer accused me of lying.  When I told him to read my diary because I had drawn a picture of the bruises he said that was not enough evidence.  Tired and scared I eventually stopped fighting the officer and told him he was right and I was lying. 

            At home my parents told the cops I had cut myself with the knife.  The cops told them to send me to a juvenile detention facility to teach me a lesson.  The next day they took me to the Evergreen Group Home.

May 26, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, my parents are taking me to Evergreen. Goodbye.

May 27, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I loved it at Evergreen.  They had a pool table, a T.V., and all the food you could want and more.  Mom just brought me home.

May 28, 1996 Age 11. Adam and Sam are sleeping in the tent and I feel like the Grays are watching me.

            The Grays were the Aliens my birth father believed were controlling the planet.  He taught my siblings and I that abductions were common.  He believed he had been abducted more than once and they had only let him live because he was extremely intelligent.

May 29, 1996 Age 11. Mom let me sleep with her last night.  Tomorrows a Smart Skate party.

May 30, 1996 Age 11. We went to Smart Skate for the Elvis.  The Moose Kids Club Party.  Tomorrow I get my own room.

May 31, 1996 Age 11. We’re switching rooms today. I got Adam’s room and he shares with Sam.  His room was full of bugs.  I hung pictures all over the room and I’m reading comic books.

June 4, 1996 Age 11.  Today Leslie, Tammy and I had a picnic.  We went fishing and a lady gave us a pike. We bought minnows from Crandles. They spilled on the driveway when we tried to put them in a jar. We saves most of them.  We walked on the railroad tracks farther than the stream.  All three of us were on top of the swing set.  I have more to tell but have no time.

June 5, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary.  We went to Fargo today.  We ate out.  We saw Niome. Mom, Dad, if you are reading this I pretended to be deaf in St. Cloud.   Anyway we raced storms home.

Niome was the wife of my dad’s Biker and Truck Driver friend Rick.  We were close friends with them in Marinette, WI.  My dad could never hold any friendships for long periods of time.

June 6, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary, I slept at Emma’s house yesterday.  We watched Chuckie 2 and Chuckie 3.  We stayed up to 4:30AM.  We had a water fight today with Care.  We went to our secret spot in the woods.  We built a bridge that goes to a rock in the middle of the stream.

June 8, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary, I got a purse, 2 high heeled shoes, 2 new dresses, 2 cups of lemonade, 1 cookie, 1 flower pot and 1 vase at Leslie and Tamy’s garage sale.

June 9, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary, my family sucks.  If my brother and sister tell the truth and I lie I’m grounded.  If I tell the truth and they lie what they did doesn’t matter.  If Dan, Adam and Sam call me names it’s sibling rivalry.  If I call them names I’m horrible.

June 11, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary, I got to use the internet today.  I love Sam.  Andy is in my class next year.

June 12, 1996 Age 11. Today 4-H planted flowers around town.  We skipped the Gaylon’s picnic because it was crowded.  I hate Dan.  He threw a seat belt at me which made a scratch in my glasses.  He shut the van door on my hand when I tried to get in.

June 14, 1996 Age 11.  Last night Sam and Adam were making banging noises.  So dad said “Get in your own fucking room bitch”.  Then I got mad. Dad found out it wasn’t me. Said he was sorry.  He went down stairs and mom let me sleep with her.  Watched the Joy Luck Club today.

June 15, 1996 Age 11.  Me and Sam had a fire in the backyard.  Now we are going to sleep in the tent.

June 16, 1996 Age 11.  Last night when it was dark Sam and me snuck to the park.  Today Emma and I went swimming.  My head hurts.  I have a sunburn.

June 18, 1996 Age 11.  Somebody ruined my room.  My pictures are torn. My stuff is everywhere.  Now I must clean it.

June 19, 1996 Age 11.  Today we played hide and go seek.  Trent, Cody, and Adam were against Sam, Cala and me.  Emma’s sister Tara let me and Sam, Cala hide in their camper.  She gave us popsicles and let us borrow Pocahontas.

June 20, 1996 Age 11.   We went swimming. I almost drown and Dan saved me.  I acted and sang a sad song to Adam and Sam.  They cried.

June 22, 1996 Age 11.  Dear Diary, the Jent’s screwed up a Pagan ceremony by reading Bhai.

June 24, 1996 Age 11.  At Girl Scout Camp we made a banner, went swimming, sang songs, made name tags and had fun.

June 25, 1996 Age 11.  I had fun at camp. We made Pizza’s with the Pie Iron.  My pizza had spaghetti sauce, olives, mushrooms and cheese.  My pie was cherry.  We went on a bog walk.

June 27, 1996 Age 11.  I slept at Girl Scout Camp.  Tempest and Abby are keeping me up. There are two funny Cadets here. Amber and Jacia.  

June 28, 1996 Age 11.   Yesterday we were going home when I saw mom pass us going to pick me up.  We got her and went to Dairy Queen.  Mom told everyone about her health problems.  On the way home there was a big storm.  When we got home I went in the garage roof and cleaned off the gutter.

July 4, 1996 Age 11. It was beautiful.  The fireworks were big.  The lake would splash when sparks hit it.  I finished reading Fool Proof Plan.  I hate being gifted.  I’m reading A Month of 7 days. Goodnight.

July 6, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I saw grandmas plane come it.  I was so happy.  She hugged me a lot. When I started to bug Dan she said “Quit bugging him for a week so I can.”  Mom says I can’t tell grandma we are Pagan.

July 7, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary. Grandma spent most of her day cleaning Adam and Sam’s room.  Now she is sick.  Mom and dad are yelling and I don’t know what to do.  I wish I could lay down and die.

July 8, 1996 Age 11. Today my cousin Kristen came from Texas today.  We played at the city park and went to her hotel.  We played cop’s where we made up a bunch of laws and any buddy who breaks um goes to jail.  Dan did not like our game. Dad hit me when he got home for making Dan mad. I went to a store with grandma and she got me a binder.  

July 9, 1996 Age 11. Baby cousin Emma came today. We went for a ride.

July 10, 1996 Age 11. We went to Itasca today.  Cousin Emma taught us a song. Mom and Daddy had a girl and Emma was her name o.  E M M A and Emma was her name o.  Dan hit me so I hit him back.  Mom yelled at me and I yelled in front of everyone.  I hate myself.  I’m always in trouble.  I don’t know why I hit him back.

July 11, 1996 Age 11. Today Aunt Karen went to Bemidji with Aunt Martha and them and Kristen stayed behind.  We made dream catchers and bought chocolate cake for Karen.  Emma said her goodbyes. I saved her from a sick black dog.  Kristen is sleeping over.  We’re eating cookies and Cheetos.

July 12, 1996 Age 11.  We went to the airport today to say goodbye to grandma. We went to Taco Johns and we went on rides at the Paul Bunyan place.  When Kristen left she forgot her Taz Shirt, toothbrush, chocolates and pillow.   I work at the library tomorrow. 

 July 13, 1996 Age 11. Today I worked at the book sale for the Library.  I put books on the racks and I collected money.  This one lady bought me a hot dog and a small pop for .25 cents.

July 20, 1996 Age 11. Today I went to Bemidji’s Art in The Park.  I handed out band programs and played with the toys at one of the tents.  One had a monkey that climbed a rope.  It was wooden.  You pull the string and he climbs.

July 21, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, Flag Patrol Camp is fun. Our counselors name is Ann.  She has curly blond hair.  Our cabin went swimming and we watched a movie in the Barn.

July 22, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, I failed the swim test. 

July 24, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, the talent show was fun.  I liked J.C. Penny and Nener Nener Nark Nark, and Life’s too Long to Live as Friends.

July 25, 1996 Age 11. Dear Diary, today when they were switching movies the T.V. had a big sign that said SEX.  I graduate from Legion Ville tomorrow. Everyone at camp got mail from their parents.  I did not get letters.

July 28, 1996 Age 11.  Today at the fair dad bought us a white rabbit with red eyes. We named him Rainbow Rabbit.

July 29, 1996 Age 11.  Today Bunny woke me up.  He cuddled with me in bed.  He tried to run away but we caught him when he did.  Today I sewed a harness for the bunny.  The bunny likes me.  He licked me.

July 31, 1996 Age 11. Today Ronny came to visit and we found a leather backpack.  We found a skunk in our garage.  In August we will have lived a whole year in our house.

August 3, 1996 Age 11.  Today Mom, Adam, Sam, Dan and I went fishing at the place Ema showed me. I was supposed to keep it a secret. Dad kept hitting me until I told him. Dad caught a pike.

August 6, 1996 Age 11.  Today I went swimming and taught Sam how to swim underwater and float.

August 7, 1996 Age 11.  Today Leslie wanted to come over after she showed me her TV computer.  They announced life on Mars on the News today.

August 11, 1996 Age 11.  Sams’s birthday was today.  She got Beauty and the Beast, a bow and arrow and more.

August 19, 1996 Age 11.  Emma is sleeping over tonight.  Adam came running downstairs holding his crotch in his underwear.  He embarrassed me so bad.

August 26, 1996 Age 11.  I’m sick. My throat hurts. I went to a Dr. in Bemidji today.  Dad ran for City Council.  Today we went to my school and I saw Mrs. Frank and Mr. Lake. We went to Dan’s school and had a cake in the shape of the new high school.  I liked the Dark Room.

August 29, 1996 Age 11.  I sold a dream catcher to an old lady. I made a bag and a dream catcher for Ronny.  She will give me a dollar on the first day of school.  I read some books to Adam and Sam.  We went to Crandles this morning.  I had .50 cents so I asked dad for .50 cents more so that I had an entire dollar to share with Adam and Sam.

September 2, 1996 Age 11.  Tonight’s a school night.  Tomorrow’s the first day of school.  I can’t wait.

September 3, 1996 Age 11.  Mrs. Frank is the best teacher in the whole world.  I can’t wait to go back to school tomorrow.

September 9, 1996 Age 11.  Tempest’s telling everyone at school I hit a deaf girl.  Tempest threatened to put rotten muffins in my locker. Tempest said Friday the 13th will be the worst day of my life.  She gave Leslie a coded letter saying H 13, W me and Hell 13 Waibel.  I was elected as Reporter for 4-H.

September 12, 1996 Age 11.  Today Kim, the yard lady, asked me if I wanted to work in the school Library.  I said yes.  I had to take a test.

September 13, 1996 Age 11.  Today was not the worst day of my life.

September 14, 1996 Age 11.  Today Emma and I made a game where we crawl through tall grass trying to attack each other, and another where there is a princess and a kidnapper who hides the princess.  A detective then then finds the princess.

September 16, 1996 Age 11.  Today Leslie invited me to her birthday party.  At school they tested us to make sure our backs were straight. I had to take off my dress so they could test me. Mine is not straight.

September 23, 1996 Age 11.  Today a cat followed us home from school.  I went door to door and no one owned it.  I asked dad if we could keep it and he said yes.

October 22, 1996  Age 11.  Today I got $5.00 for working in someone’s basement. The money is for my field trip to the traveling Smithsonian on Friday.  I finally found you diary. We have a cat and I sleep with her.  Goodnight.

            My parents could never afford to pay for the school field trips.  I typically paid for my trips with the money I got selling art projects and from the money I earned from Flag Patrol.  The trip to the Smithsonian cost $26.  I earned enough money to not only go on the trip but also had an extra $18 dollars to spend on myself during the trip.  That was the most money I had ever had to spend on myself during my life.  I spent a month going door to door in Bagley asking strangers if I could clean their house, mow their lawn, or do any chore for money to go.  My parents did not worry about me being kidnapped or harmed.  They never knew where I was.

            This is the point in my diaries where huge spaces between entries exist.  Part of the reason is due to my parents ripping out pages of my journals.  I found some of my diary pages in my case file which is owned by Clearwater County Human Services.  Other parts where I had described abuse in detail are missing and I can only assume my birth parents destroyed them. 

            During the time between the last diary entry and the next I had begun to pull away from my family.  My close friends were Christians and I converted to Christianity.  My parents were horrified by this and beat me every time I refused to convert back to my father’s Neo Pagan Wizardry beliefs.

            My birth father believed that all organized athletics were made for humans who were not intellectually developed and were ape like.  I forged my parent’s signature and signed myself up for basketball in 5th grade.  When my birth mother found out she supported my decision to be in basketball simply because she liked making my father angry.   My father came around to me being in basketball and attended one game.

            I started sneaking out of the house on Sunday mornings and I volunteered to watch the kids in the Lutheran Church Nursery while the kid’s parents had choir practice.  As my parents hate for each other grew my mother began to support anything I chose to do be involved with that my father did not want me doing.  My mother let me take communion because it angered my dad.

                My 5th grade teacher Mrs. Frank began planting the seeds in me which would eventually lead to me running away from home and telling on my parents in the 6th grade.  Mrs. Frank knew my parents were abusive.  Every morning she would come to school early and we would talk about our lives before I went to Flag Patrol.  She told me stories about her abusive childhood and would ask me questions about my life.  One day she came to school with a bag of clothes and personal hygiene items which she gave to me.   My birth mother was angered by this and the next day she showed up at my school and yelled at Mrs. Frank for “sticking your nose whose it does not belong”.

            The more love and kindness I received from teachers and friends the more I began to see how unhealthy my home life was.   In court my birth parents would state that during this time in my life I became an angry and troubled child who willfully disobeyed them and caused issues at home.  Looking back I see this as the time in my life where I realized I was a human being who deserved love and if my parents could not give it to me I would get help.  I knew that lying to everyone about where my bruises and broken bones came from was wrong.  I began to believe that if I could get help for my family the abuse would stop and we could begin to be happy.

November 11, 1997 Age 12  Dear Diary, I need a friend to talk to right now.  I don’t know who to talk to so I’m turning to you Kitty.  About 5 weeks or 3 weeks ago my mom turned to me, she was trying to say something to me but couldn’t get it out.  Finally she turned to me and said “Lizzie I’m going to quit college. “  I turned and looked at her.  She only had four semesters left.  “Why?” I asked.  “Because, “she said, “I’m sick.”
                A while back we found out my mom had a sleeping disorder.  That means you can hardly breathe at night and day, but it is worse at night because she isn’t awake enough to know what is going on.   Anyways today my mom came to me and said, “Liz I told you I was quitting college but I didn’t tell you why.  I went in to see some doctors about my health and they discovered a problem with my heart.  I will probably die from the problem.”
                I want to kill myself because of how bad I feel. To know your mom is dying is very hard.  I’m glad I have a friend like you Kitty.

We had read the Diary of Anne Frank in school and had decided to call my diary Kitty as well.

November 12, 1997 Age 12  Dear Diary, I told my friends about my mom.  I don’t know if she likes the idea of me telling people she doesn’t even know.   I can’t keep the burden to myself.  Kathy came up with the idea of making cards for my mom.  I don’t know how my mom would feel about it but I said yes that’s a great idea.  I have to go to music.  See you later.
                I’m in science class right now.  I asked Jenny and Monna to make a card for my mom too.  I wonder how my mom is feeling right now.  In science class Mr. Moen said the reason he was gone yesterday was because he was at a funeral. 
                I’m kind of glad that my mom might die and I’m kind of not.  I love my mom but she always blames everything on me and says she hates me all the time.  If Sam steals my money and I yell at her to give it back I get sent to my room.  Yesterday my mom said she wanted to quit college but she didn’t want to stay home because I was there.  I held my tears when my mom told me that because I didn’t want to make her feel bad.  Sam told me mom hated me because she thought I didn’t care about her.  I have to switch back to homeroom now.  See you later.
                We saw a play called the Trial of Goldilocks.  It was really funny. 
                What I said earlier about being glad my mom will die wasn’t true. I just feel bad and want to blame her.  I have to make my mom a card now. See you later.
                At recess Leslie said, “Maybe your mom will die before we give her the cards.”  I’m so mad right now.  I have to go.  See you later Kitty. 
                School will be over in two hours.  I’m starting to think I did the wrong thing telling my friends about my mom.  But I needed someone to tell.  I had to.  I hope my mom won’t be mad.  I hope my mom will like the cards I give her.  I have to go to band.  Check you later.

November 13, 1997 Age 12 Dear Kitty, Well school started just now.  My cat’s Watches and Micheco, went to the bathroom in Sams’s room last night and this morning my mom said she would get the tests on her heart back next week Friday.  If her heart isn’t that bad she should live a few more years.  If the test shows up bad and her heart is really bad she won’t live really long.
                Yesterday at 5:30PM Adam came running up the stairs with blood squirting out of his hand.  My dad rushed him to the hospital.  An hour and a half later Dad and Adam came back.  Adam had a bandage on his thumb.  He said he got five stitches.   What happened was he was carving a present for mom without asking anyone.  He slipped and sliced his thumb to the bone.  He hit a major blood vessel which was what was squirting all the blood.
                Adam is always causing trouble.  Like one time during the summer he climbed really high in a tree and let go of the tree to see if he could stand up there with no hands.  He slipped and was hanging onto the large branch for his life.  I ran up there, grabbed his hands, and pulled him up.  All the grownups came out because they heard him screaming.  He told mom and dad that me and my friend Mona chased him up the tree and he was so scared he fell.  I got beat and grounded because he lied. I hate him.  I have to go.  I have class.
                Hey, I’m in Reading class right now.  Every desk I sat in was too low for my legs.  I finally found one but it’s uncomfortable.
                We just got in from recess.  Me, Leslie, Tamy, Anna, Scott and Care played tag.  It was lots of fun.  I think I have a crush on Scott.  My mom loved the cards we gave her.  Joy, Leslie me and Kathy made cards for her yesterday.  Tamy and Care made her one today.  I have physical therapy today at 3:15PM.  I don’t like physical therapy very much.
                We are reading a story right now.  I forgot what it is called.  Mrs. Beltz said we are going to do an art project after she is done reading. 
                Physical therapy is boring.  My knee muscles are weak again.  I have a bruise on the top of my left knee and under the knee brace on my left knee. 
                It’ almost midnight.  I have to go to sleep.  I built two lego houses and then I built a lego tower.  Well, see you tomorrow.

November 15, 1997 Age 12 Dear Kitty, at 10:00AM this morning Lelie, my best friend called to see if I could go ice-skating.  My mom said I could.  Leslie’s mom picked me up at 1:00PM.  November 8th was the first time I had ever been ice skating.  Today was my second and Leslie + Tmmys 3rd.  Anna, Tammy’s best friend, met us there. 
                Tammy and Leslie are twins.  We took chairs and pushed each other around the ice rank.  Excuse my handwriting but my cat Watches is sleeping on me.  I wish Emma and I were getting along better.

November 16, 1997 Age 12 I hate my family!  I wish they would all die in a car crash and I could be adopted by Leslie’s family.  I was sitting in an orange chair writing when Dan said, “I claim that chair Lizzie”.
                 “I’m sitting here,” I said. 
                “I don’t give a shit,” he said. 
                “I’m not moving,” I said. 
                “Fine then Bitch,” he said.   Very mad at what he just said I didn’t feel like writing anymore.  Simpson’s would be on in ten minutes so I turned the channel.   “I get the remote,” Dan yelled from the other room. 
                “I already have it,” I said.  Dan came into the room and tried to yank it out of my hands. “Stop it,” I yelled.  Dan looked at the TV.
                “Turn it off,” he said.
                “No,” I said.  Dan walked up to the TV and stood in front of it.  “MOM,” I yelled.   My mom then came into the room and yelled at me for not solving my own problems.

November 18, 1997 Age 12 I wish I was pretty.  The water cycle is boring.  I know how it works.  I’ve known since 2nd grade.  The only class I enjoy is reading.  I fell asleep in Math class yesterday.  I almost fell asleep in Science.  I have to watch channel 5 to watch the humidity.  See you later.

February 7, 1998 Age 12 Dear Diary, it’s been a long time since I wrote.  I’ve been busy.  Today is February 7th.   I had my first period the day before Thanksgiving.  I had surgery on my leg. Sam got her own cat.  I got a cat.  Leslie and I have two secret codes that we write with.  Cool huh?

February 11, 1998 Age 12 Today in reading we started part two of Anne of Green Gables.  I wish it was the olden days and everyone lived in the countryside and went to a one room school house.  I wish I had a boyfriend like Gilbert.

Published by lifefromtheashes5332

Hi, I’m Elizabeth. I am a wife, mother, gardener, adjunct professor, philosopher, former foster child, former homeless adult and Master in Social Work. My website covers all the things listed above!

3 thoughts on “Life Before Foster Care

  1. It is heartbreaking to read these entries, and amazing that you managed to survive. That precious little girl, I am sure, lives on inside you. Treat her tenderly. She is long overdue for kindness. ❤


    1. Aww. Thank you. Luckily, after my early 20’s, life finally went well for me. I hope that sharing these entries, and the others I have yet to type up, can help professionals working with kids from abusive backgrounds, understand them better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very sad … I haven’t read the other posts but knowing that you posted this here and that there was a case opened against your birth parents shows that you came out on the other end. ❤


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