Foster Home #2. Ages 13 and 14

7th Grade School Photo

I have to say, this one was a hard read for me. I had typed these entries out 6 years ago and at that time I had not recognized how much anger and sadness was taking over the person I was because I still harbored some of that in 2013.

Reading these entries anger the Mental Health Social worker in me and sadden the mother I am. As I watch myself learn to lie and harm others to survive I find myself cringing on the inside. When I tell people I know that I was an angry teen they laugh it off. The person I am today is nothing like the person you see the girl in these entries turning into.

The mental health professional part of me gets angry reading this because I can see the signs of PTSD in my writings. I was not officially diagnosed with PTSD until my mid 20’s. When reading these diaries the signs are all there.

If there are lessons I could give to professionals reading this they would be:
1. BELIEVE the children. So many friends of mine, who also grew up in foster care, experienced the same thing. Adults not believing us destroyed our trust in the world and self esteem.
2. Always use kindness. Kids who have grown up in trauma take in every single insult you give and are always walking on egg shells placed there by the people that hurt us. Use kindness.
3. Stop forcing medication and reunification on foster kids. Recent statistics show that foster youth are overly prescribed psychotropics and forced back into unsafe environments.

As with my previous blogs I have not edited out anything from the diary entries of my younger self. The only editing done was to change the names of the individuals for privacy reasons.

November 14, 1998 Age 13 Dear Diary, today was so cool.   We performed the play The Three Fairy Godmothers at school.  My name was Hortnse and I was the leader of the group.  It was so funny.  My sister Sam was there with my mom and social worker K.  My counselors were there.  Care was Hepsaba, the second fairy godmother.  Corey was the prince. I think he is so cute. 

                Emma was there too.  She has long hair now.  I took pictures of me, my sister and friends after words.  Tempest was the first lady.  I’m going to miss the play.  I think Corey. is so cute nice and considerate.  I can’t wait till the play next year.  If I’m still here.  My parents want to move to Tennessee next summer.   I hope I never live with them again. 
                I’m going to do other stuff now.

            By this time in the foster care experience I had begun to lose hope in life.  My foster parents owned a butcher shop just outside of Bagley.  On my first day there Mitch and Jene sat me down and laid down the rules of my stay there.  Though I don’t remember the exact words I remember the content.  I was never to refer to them by any name other than Mitch and Jene.   I was not allowed to tell any of my friends at school that I lived with them.   Because their children were popular, and I was not, I was not to bother them in school or attempt to be their friends. I was to work in the butcher shop after school and on the weekends with the rest of the family.  
            After this conversation I was shown the place I would sleep.  I do not call it my room because my space in their home was a twin size mattress next to the washer and dryer.   The only closet in this tiny space was the family closet for coats, helmets and other outdoor items.   After being shown this space I was taken down to the butcher shop where I was forced to watch Mitch shoot a cow in the head, hang it on the rack, gut and skin it.  As a child which had grown up in a non-hunting family this event was traumatizing.   Even though I spent ten months working in that shop cutting meat, skinning deer, and picking congealed blood and brains out of the drain I still cringe when thinking of my first experience in meat processing.
            Though Mitch and Jene did give me a bike of my own and took me shopping for clothing the negative attitude and speech they used with me forever affected the way I communicated with them.  My social worker would only remind me that other children had it worse than myself which made me feel mixed emotions of being trapped and guilty for not being grateful. 
            I missed my foster mother Joanne terribly but my social workers did not want us communicating because they believed it would make my transition smoother.  It did not.  I felt that I had escaped my parents, was given a taste of love and security, only to be placed with people who saw me as nothing more than free labor and a paycheck. The only escape from this situation was to give in to my social workers wish for me to return to my family.   Today I wonder why my social worker did not see my defiance to return home, despite how much I wanted to leave this family, as a sign that reunification would not work.

January 1, 1999 Age 13 Last night we wet bowling at 9:30PM in Bemidji.  We also stopped at a skiing place but did not ski.  Jene, my foster mother, made us go to bet at 11:00PM.  An hour before the New Year.  I could not believe it.
                Today my foster dad’s parents came over for dinner along with his sister and her family.  Mary, my foster sister tied a sled to the back of the four wheeler and pulled us around.  She tried to tip us and one time she tipped us right into a snow bank. 

January 2, 1999 Age 13 It’s 11:35AM this morning.  Jene woke me up at 8:00AM this morning to come and help clean the church.  We took down the tree and stuff.  Mary got to leave early.  Well, when we got home I asked Mitch what we were going to do now and he yelled at me saying “What do we do every day Liz?” He hates me.  Got to go.
                4:00PM. Well down in the shop I helped and did everything I was supposed to do.  Suddenly Jene said to me, “Liz, you should open the door for me when you see me heading that way.”  Then Mitch started yelling at me out of the blue saying I don’t care about anyone but myself.   He said “Do you know what your problem is?”  I stood there not knowing what to say. He said “You don’t care about anyone but yourself.  You want other people to do things for you and you don’t do anything in return. Your selfish and stupid.”
                I don’t know what to do. One minuet they are nice to me and the next they are yelling at me telling me I don’t work hard enough and am lazy and inconsiderate just because I didn’t open a door.  I didn’t know I was supposed to.  I am confused.
                9:30PM I’m even more confused now. One minuet they are yelling at me and then tonight we all went bowling.  Mr. M from 6th grade went bowling with us. I’m going to get ready for bed now.  My scores were 24 and 36

January 3, 1999 Age 13 Today when I got up I put on a pair of black pants and a T-shirt and Jene yelled at me to put a sweater on but Mary was able to wear a short skirt and short sleeved shirt.
                Well anyways, after church I went with K, my social worker, to Bemidji.  I told her about yesterday.  She said Annakin had called my mom about some paper or something.  He didn’t get a hold of her though.  K didn’t call him back because she said my mom might be refusing to sign this paper and if she doesn’t I can’t see K anymore.  But it could be that the paper just hasn’t gone through.
                K and I ate ad Mc. Donald’s and then went to the theater and saw Step Mom.  The movie was so sad because the real mom got cancer.  Afterwards we went back to her house and played Wheel of Fortune on her Nintendo.  Then I finished my Popsicle stick bird house with the birds on it and she drove me home at 6PM.  Oh, and she had a present Joanne sent me. It was The Bible movie, a black sweater and some stuff from Bath and Body Works.

January 4, 1999 Age 13 Today was the first day back to school since Christmas vacation.  I wore my new black jeans and black sweater.  At school the heat went out and it was really cold in English class.  I went to Bemidji after school and saw my counselor Marie.  I told her about the things that have been bugging me at Mitch and Jene’s and she told me to tell my social workers Anakin and Sunshine when I see them tomorrow.  I’m just afraid they will find out I told on them because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
                On a more personal note I went to the Leonardo DiCaprio website today.  I wish I could marry him.

January 5, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I saw Annakin and Sunshine today and they have set a date for me to go home.  They want me to go home March 12.  Can you believe it?  I ran away for nothing.  Well, at least people know something is wrong with my family and will keep an eye out for me.  Sam hasn’t told Sunshine or Annakin about how my parents used to abuse me so I have no proof they did.
                I’m so scared. I’ll write more tomorrow.  I wish the rapture would happen soon so I wouldn’t have to go home. 

January 6, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I felt like crying all day.  I can’t go home.  And the worst thing is after school Mitch picked us up and asked me what I told the counselors about them.  Can you believe it? They told them.  I hope my sister will come forward soon and tell what happened at home. 
                Today Mattis had a bottle of Brute Cologne that started leaking at lunch time.  I took the bottle and threw it on the table where Ian, Dereck, Rock and Jason were sitting.  They told Mr. F but I told him I didn’t mean to.  I feel kinda bad now for lying.  They tease me all the time.  But I shouldn’t have done it.

January 7, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, Tomorrow I go to see my parents at my old house.  I don’t want to go.  I don’t ever want to see my family again.
                Today was a pretty boring day in school. When Mickey and Rat were teasing me in Mr. H’s basic skills class I didn’t get mad or go completely quiet.  I just said stuff like “that’s your opinion” or “OK.” And I even had the nerve that when Rat said “oh your so cool,” I said I was.  
                I broke up with Ian today.  I don’t know if he got the note because he was smiling at me at the end of today.  I’m going to say my prayers and go to sleep.

January 8, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, the meeting with my parents was horrible.  My mom and dad still deny abusing me.  My dad is now the pastor of a Neo Pagan Wizardry church. The dumb witchcraft.  My parents went on and on about how I didn’t respect them or didn’t know how I started to hate them in 5th grade. 
                I’m going to skip over most of the meeting stuff and just tell you the good thing was I got my baby blanket and doll my grandma made for me, and my Deanna Carter tape, without the box.  When I left the tape and box were together.  I hate my parents.

January 9, 1999 Age 13  Dear Diary, Today Jene gave me $20 for helping in the shop and for helping her clean the church.  I feel bad though because yesterday when Sunshine and I were talking she said that she had talked to Mitch and Jene and that she told them to give me a few days and I would tell them what I told Annakin, Sunshine, K and Marie about what had been bugging me about them.  Well it’s been a few days so I guess they are waiting for me to tell.  
                I’m so confused inside.  I wish I had all of the right choices written down in front of me and I could follow them through.

January 10, 1999 Age 13 After church today I practiced a song I learned at Lutheran Island camp in the basement with Lavida. I’m going to sing it at church next Sunday.  It’s called Step by Step.  I hope you still believe in the Lord.
                We went to Bemidji afterwards and we ate at Bonanza.  The people were Mitch, Mary, Jene, my foster grandparents and me.  We go to Bemidji every Sunday.  We went to Church tonight, Mitch, Jene and I, for some meeting they have.  While they were downstairs I watched the last 54 minutes of Titanic and the first part of my new movie.

January 11, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, not much happened in school today. Leslie and I are planning a roller skating get together on Sunday at the Christian Skate. 
                I don’t think Leslie knows about this yet but my ex-boyfriend got in a fight with Leslie’s boyfriend on the way to 8th hour, in the hallway.  I heard Mattis got his head smashed in.
                Oh, the bean plant we planted in science on Friday shows no sign of life.  We got swamp water. Not by choice.  In gym Tempest and I did a presentation on Archery. I did 37 sit-ups.  I got exactly what I should get.

January 2, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I feel really sick and I have to go to bed.  I’ll quickly go over the days events.  In school the class made Mr. H, my math teacher, so mad that he slammed his clipboard against the desk and bent it.  He never gets mad.  Afterwards S and D told him he needed help.
                I met with Sunshine, K and Annakin after school.  I told them what some of my fears were about going home. Like how my dad gets drunk all the time. Afterwards K and I got a malt at the restaurant by the Food-N-Fuel. 
                I’m mad because Mickey called me flat chested in school today.

January13, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I don’t feel too good.  I have a stuffy nose, a lump under my ear on the right side of my neck. My right earring hole is infected, my back hurts and I’m hot.
                The good news for today is in gym I held myself up for 21 seconds on the flexed arm hang.  Last time I only did 10 seconds.  I did it longer than anyone else in the class. On the sit and reach I got 5 inches when last time I only got 3 and a half.  In the shuttle run yesterday I got 10.3. Last time I had 11.1 so I’m doing better in everything so far.

January 14, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I ran the mile in school today instead of Friday. Mrs. L wants us to go outside tomorrow.  I made it in 8 minutes and 56 seconds.  I did it faster last time but I think I did slower because of my cold.  I’m going to sleep now.

January 15, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I should be in bed now so I have to hurry.  Ian still thinks we are going out I think because he smiles at me and playfully trips me in the hall all the time. 
                We went out to play Lacrosse in gym today but because nobody but W dressed for the weather we came inside and played Hacky Sack and had Piggy Back races in the hall.  I ran with Tempest on my back. 
                If I get up tonight when everyone is in bed I get $10 bucks for checking the smoker. I have to go to bed now.

January 16, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I think Mary, my foster sister, hates me. I’ve been nice to her and all she does is snub me.  But do you know what I did?  When we were in the pick up truck in front of Crandles Mitch got out and I didn’t know whether Mary and I were supposed to. So I asked Mary. She said “Yes I’m waiting for you.”  When I got out I said under my breath so she could hear, “Gosh you’re a crabby witch today.”
                Yesterday I was confused about if I was supposed to serve myself supper or not because Jene was gone on an overnight.  Mitch asked what was wrong and I saw Mary serving me.  I said I was just thinking and Mary said snubly “do you always think standing up?”

January 17, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I sang Step by Step in church today.  It was so much fun.  I was nervous and hung onto a shelf inside the podium to stop me from shaking.  After church everyone congratulated me for singing. 
                I called my sister today.  She said she didn’t tell Sunshine what went on when I used to live at home and that she wasn’t going to.  She even said I did chase the boys with a knife.  I can’t believe it.  Why would she say that?  Now I’ll be sent home for sure.
                I watched some of my movie The Bible tonight.

January 18, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I keep digging a hole deeper and deeper.  Today on the school bus I started teasing Ronny.  Well not teasing but I had a mean attitude.  Then Ronny said “well at least I live with my real family.”  So I started poking fun about her family and her dad being a murderer.  Well her parents called Mitch and Jene and the bus driver Paul.  Well I told a lie.  I said Ronny was telling Kathy and I to shut up and now she’s saying we teased her.  I’m so dumb.  I hope the Lord will forgive me.          
                I told Ian that I was going skating tomorrow and now he says he’s going too.  Jene will be so mad.  What am I going to do?

January 19, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I’ll tell you the good stuff first.  Jene is baking Carmel roles and they smell good.  I redid my flexed arm hang and got 24 seconds.
                The bad. I saw Sunshine today and we went bowling and that was O.K. but afterwards we went and saw Annakin and they started telling me that the more I try not to go home the less they will believe I am telling the truth.  And they were saying I don’t pay attention.  And other crap about how I have to go home no matter what. I pray to God he won’t make me.

January 21, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I feel so bad.  Today Unique scratched me in gym class and then called me a cry baby because I got some ointment for it.  Then she got Mo and Lyn to snub me.  At lunch Abby told me that Tamy does not like me as much anymore.  I asked Tamy and she said it was true. 
                Also in gym we had a substitute and half the class left so I thought it was time to go.  Then I find out later I got written up with the rest for walking out five minutes early.  In social studies class, after lunch, I was sitting at my desk, class had just started, I had my hands in front of my face and Mr. B asked me if I was okay.   I started crying and said no.   We walked into the little square in the center of all the classes.  He told me I could sit there and try to collect my thoughts.  I kept crying thinking about my parents, Unique, my sister lying, Mitch and Jene.  No matter how nice I am and what I do I still get teased and stuff like that. 
                Mr. B came back after a while and said I could go to the counselor’s office.  The counselor Gene gave me a lot of good advice.  She also lent me a book called Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.  On the way back to class Mrs. L stopped me and she saw my swollen face and bloodshot eyes.  She said I was a good kid and shouldn’t let what other kids say get to me because I’m a bright kid.  Unique asked me what was wrong in science class and I blew up at her.  At the end of the day we were friends again though.  
                Leslie passed me in the hall and she had that look of concern in her eyes.  I will tell her tomorrow that if she does not want to be my best friend anymore that is okay.  We can still be friends.

January 22, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, this morning I saw Leslie and I said to her straight out I was sorry for overreacting and if she didn’t want me for a best friend that way okay.  She said she still wanted me for a best friend. 
                I met a baby foster girl at my foster grandparents today.

January 23, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, today I went to Mary’s dance competition in Bemidji.  When I looked across the room I saw Minna sitting with Hillary and Tiffany.  During intermission, when Lauren, Carlie and a bunch of other little kids were handing onto me, I walked across the gym to the side where they were sitting and sat down by them.

                Minna, Triffany and Hillary were so excited to see me.  I miss living in Bemidji and I miss Joanne, Nicole, Shelly, Doyle the school and more.  Minna cut her hair and I think it looks better short.  Maybe I should cut my hair.

January 24, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I went skiing for the first time today and it was so much fun.  I started out on the bunny hill and then moved to the harder hills. 
                When I got enough guts to try the harder hills. I was on the harder half of the hill when someone stepped on my ski.  Turned out it was Jay, my neighbor in Bemidji.  I was so happy.  We spent about two hours skiing together.  There was this really big hill I was scared to go down but I finally went down it with Jay.  It was so much fun.  I miss Jay and my friends in Bemidji.  I keep thinking about Jay.  I think I might like him but I still like my old neighbor Sammy.   I wish I had a boyfriend but I’ll have to be patient.

January 26, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, Winter, Daisy, Belinda and Kat were throwing spitballs and insults at me in art.  They said I got my clothes from my foster sister Mary, that I wore high water pants, and that I should cut my hair.   I wish preps were nice to me, and I had a boyfriend, and lived with Joanne.   The more people are mean to me the more lonely my heart feels and then I think about Sammy and Jay.

January 27, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary,  I went with Sunshine after school today and she said it might not work to get me home by March.  I can’t stop feeling depressed but right now I feel OK.
                I saw Marie at 5:30PM and we talked about my parents, sister and brothers.
                I wet the bed last night but I didn’t tell Jene because I don’t want her to get mad so I’m hiding the clothes until she says it’s time to wash my bedding.

January 28, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, today was pretty boring.  I signed up for speech. In science we took swamp water and put it under a microscope.  There were all kinds of weird moving creatures under there. 
                I wore a kindness hat to school today and was teased. 
                Tempest was telling me how, if I didn’t want to go home, I should secretly pack my stuff tonight and tomorrow her mom would drive me to her house and I could hide out there.  I told her no.
                I feel bad about how shatty I was to Annakin yesterday when he came to see me at school.  I’ll apologize tomorrow.

January 29, 1999 Age 13 I went to my parents’ house after school today.  My mom was saying that they didn’t work because my dad was disabled, HA, and that she was too weak to work. Whatever, she is too fat to work.   I started getting sad during the meeting because in the next room Sam and Adam were saying mean things.  Adam said, “I wanna kill her,” and Sam said “she is a snob.”  I got mad and said “Mom you live off welfare” and she kicked me out of the house.  Now I have to wright an apology note.

January 30, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, The Broncos are winning the Super Bowl. Mitch and Jene were having a youth group party but only one kid showed up.  
                I started working on my script for speech.
                I pulled out half of my right eyelashes and some of my left.   I don’t know why I did.  I don’t have much to say.  Mitch said he would take away the books I read because I don’t watch TV with the family.  I stay up reading using the moon as a light when I’m supposed to be asleep.

February 1, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, Winter, Deana, Rat, Daisy, String and Belinda all teased me throughout the school day.  I worked on my script for speech.  My first speech competition is Saturday.  I wish I could spend the night at someone’s house.
                I see Sunshine tomorrow.  I wish I had lived in the old days.  Well, too late for that now, literally.
                I wrote the apology note to my parents.

February 2, 1999 Age 13  Dear Diary, today in school Mattis started calling me a bitch.  Harmony said that I said Rat, J, Mattis, Z and a bunch of other boys asked me out.  I never did.  Now everyone’s calling me a liar.
                Sunshine read my note, to my parents, after school today and said it wasn’t a good apology.  She said it wasn’t really apologizing.  She also said I am not trying to go home which makes it look like I’m not telling the truth.   I HATE HER!
                Well, I don’t hate her. I’m just mad.  What am I going to do if they don’t believe me?

February 3, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I ended up sitting in the Doctors office from 7:40AM till 10:20AM.  Sunshine came and picked me up. They took me to school. They gave me medicine for my eye and aching back.  Katie’s family was there and her younger sister threw up on the floor.
                I went to my first speech meet today.  Mrs. B says I am a good writer.

February 4, 1999 Age 13 My grade average for this quarter was 3.07. Not much happened today.  I made belated birthday cards for the people in band.  I can type 42.5 words per minute. 
                I don’t feel as depressed today.  I prayed to God to help me control my feelings and I guess it worked.  I love the Lord.
                I miss my sister.  I also miss the times that my mother was nice to me.  I can’t tell anyone I miss the nice times though because then they will think I made up the abuse.
                I wish kids wouldn’t tease me.

February 5, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, Leslie and I got to run the party in band today. Last night I made all of the belated birthday cards for the kids in band who had their birthdays.   Leslie brought the candy prizes for the games and Mrs. L brought the cake.  I handed out the birthday cards and explained what we were doing.  Then Leslie and I sat on the side of the room picking kids to play a song for the class to guess what it was.  When someone guessed it right they got a prize.
                Tyler called tonight pretending to be J.  I hung up on the jerk.  I hate being teased.

February 6, 1999 Age 13 Today was the first speech meet I ever went to.  It was so much fun.  Our team is called the Foston Bagley team. I got up at 5:00AM, left at 5:25AM to pick up Cassie. We left the school at 5:50AM.  On the bus ride over George took Becca’s stuffed moose and pretended it was Barret. It was so funny.  He stripped the Moose.  I wish Corey wasn’t dating Alice.
                Next week I get to compete.  This week I observed.  I’m helping Mitch build a model engine.

February 7, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, I have to tell you some things I found out about myself lately.  On Friday at school I pulled out all of my eyelashes on the top lids of both eyes. Lately my migraines have been coming back along with bed wetting.
                Yesterday I went to my first speech meet and this African American girl stood up and did a speech on self-mutilation.  She said one of the things they do besides cutting themselves is pulling hairs.  Well I started getting memories.  I have not picked at my eyelashes since I lived at home.  When I went to Joannes’s house I felt relaxed and the hair plucking, bed wetting and migraines went away.  I started remembering when I plucked all of my eyebrows and eyelashes and all of the short hairs on the front of my forehead.  I also had a memory of once, after my father beat me, I took a needle and stabbed myself in the leg many times over and it didn’t hurt.  I remember thinking how much better I felt.
                I just had another memory come back to me.  I think I was six or seven and I am holding this mug in my hand and I keep hitting myself with this big plastic trucker mug over and over again trying to knock myself out.
                Now I remember choking myself, many times when I was five or six, trying to kill myself.  It didn’t hurt. 
                I remember me parents beating on me down in the basement. 
                I remember my dad, drunk, talking in different languages while dragging all of us kids out of bed.  He’s yelling at us and I can see his face moving but I don’t know what he is saying.  I feel like I was sad and in pain at the time.  It’s hard to explain.  I want the memories to go away.
                I remember being six years old. I was in kindergarten and my brothers are by me while I am doing the dishes.  My brother Dan was being mean to me. He was pulling my hair and stuff.  I took a butter knife and held it in front of me.  I threatened him to go away and my mom walked in and took the knife from me.  That’s all I remember of that.  That must be what they mean when they said I attacked my brothers with a knife.  But I didn’t attack them or chase them.  I was defending myself.  I stood there with the knife hoping they would go away. I was scared.
                I don’t want to remember anymore.  These feelings hurt.  If I tell anyone about this they will think I have been lying to them but I just remembered it. I’m sad and scared.  I don’t want to go home. I don’t want kids to tease me anymore.  I’m going to eat some cereal.
                I went to church today, and then I went to Mitch’s mom and dads.  K picked me up there today and I bought her lunch ad Mc Donald’s.  I showed her I had no eye lashes. We watched a movie at her house.  I wish I lived with K. 

February 8, 1999 Age 13  Dear Diary, today in school I told Mr. F that Tyler had prank phone called me.  Now J and Tyler are teasing me calling me a baby. I don’t care.
                I stayed for a speech meet after school today.  I think my speech is dumb.  I pulled out all of my bottom eyelashes today. 
                Sunshine picked me up from school today and took me directly home.  I don’t think she likes me. Or she thinks something is wrong with me.  I don’t know.  I could be imagining it.
                Right away after I got home Jenegot home and we went to Mary’s dance competition.  Jene won’t let me be in dance because she says it won’t be fair to Mary.  I am going to try to join dance next year.

February 9, 1999 Age 13 I have had a pounding headache for hours.  My migraines are back.  I hate light.  It makes my head hurt worse.
                In 6th hour today I wrote “Lick It,” and “Let’s do it,” on pieces of tape and stuck it to Deanne’s back.  Jen and Mo egged me on to put the tape on her. I know I shouldn’t have.  I could have written something less crude like “I love Rat.”  She just gets me so mad.  She took a picture Abby and I were working on and ripped it up because she said drawing a Jewish cap was rude.  Jen and Mo egged me on to put the tape on her. 
                Now I could look at it as maybe she was right but she makes fun of all races and religions all of the time.  She just said that as an excuse to rip it up.  She says she is going to burn one of her sweaters because I have the same one.  I finally got up enough nerve to do something back.  I know revenge is wrong but she keeps hurting my feelings to where I couldn’t stand it.
                Deanne got sent to the office before I could tell her there was something on her back.  She came back to 7th hour and Mo told her what I did.  She was so mad she told everyone.  Then everyone who had been teasing me started calling me a mean bitch.  Harmony said she was going to tell Jene on me.  I feel really sick.  I guess we’ll see what happens.  Goodnight.

February 10, 1999 Age 13 I never got in trouble today for what I did yesterday.  I think what I will miss most about 7th grade is the fooling around we do in the lunchroom.
                Mitch yelled at me today telling me not to brag about having no eyelashes.  I had only talked to my counselors about it so I said I don’t brag about it.  He yelled at me not to talk back.
                I taught the second grade for adventure club today.

February 11, 1999 Age 13 Not much happened in school today.  The popular girls seemed to all get balloons from their boyfriends. I wish I had a boyfriend.
                My mom called me tonight.  She called me and we talked for about an hour.  We actually talked.  We didn’t yell.  I think I sensed tension but we quickly changed the subject.  We both agree that Annakin is moving us to fast to get back together.  My mom also hinted in there that she would let me go. She meant it. If I don’t want to come back she didn’t want to make me.

February 18, 1999 Age 13 Today Mitch said “I’m going to learn you how to do things right.”  I didn’t tell him that the correct way to say that sentence is I’m going to teach you.
                I drew a picture today of what I think I am.  It is a girl who is split.  It is hard to explain. The one half is who I think I am and the other is who my parents and social workers say I am.  I wonder which one is real.

February 19, 1999 Age 13 Today the most handsome boy in the school walked up to me, took me in his arms and kissed me hard and gentle. It sent shivers down my spine.  NOT!
                Instead I got teased today for how ugly my clothes are and that my pants are high waters.  Sara threw my book behind a cabinet while J took my sheet that I was studying.  When I got my sheet back J punched me in the back.  I chased after her and when I decided to stop she laughed saying I couldn’t beat her up because I was too weak.  I wonder why she was running then.
                 I love Jene even though she yells at me.

February 21, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, Jene is in Idaho because her dad died.  I miss her.  I taught Mary some card tricks today and then we filled feed pails together and fed the cows.
                I had to go with Mary to babysit tonight.  We watched the Simpsons while I played the computer.  The little girls sat on my lap and watched while I played. 

February 22, 1999 Age 13 At 1:15PM today Sunshine picked me up from school and we went to Bemidji for an appointment with some guy counselor.  My mom was there and she told him, when I wasn’t there, all of the things she was afraid of happening when I came home.  Then he asked me dumb questions like do I hear voices in my head and am I afraid people are always watching me.  I told him no and he did not believe me. 
                Now he wants me to have some dumb tests to see if I have seizures.  He said I have an IQ of 136 so I should get straight A’s but because I don’t there is something wrong with me.  He is crazy.

February 26, 1999 Age 13 Jene is home. I’m so happy.  I wanted to run up and hug her but instead I stood back and said hi. I hate being embarrassed.
                When she was gone Mitch and Danny, my foster brother, had us rub their feet after we got out of the shop.  I wonder why they never rub ours.  When Jene is there I don’t have to rub as long.

February 28, 1999 Age 13 I wish I could loosen up to make friends like I used to.  Before this last year I never was shy making friends.  Now I get scared around people who are more popular than me.
                Today pastor asked me if I would sing in church on Sunday and I told him I would think about it.  Megan and I did volunteer babysitting.  The kids were so wild.  We tried to give the one a time out but he tried to climb out his bedroom window. They wrestled and fought each other.  When the parents got home the two younger ones were spanked and forced to apologize.  When the grownups had devotionals Magan and I got the kids ready for bed and read to them.  Megan and I had fun talking about boys and preps.

March 1, 1999 Age 13 I saw Marie after school in Bemidji today.  I told her about my pretending to be deaf and asthma attacks to avoid abuse. 
                I have to go to bed now.  I wish I had a boyfriend.  I wish my wish would come true.

March 3, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, nothing happened at school today.  I stayed after for speech.  After speech Corey was trying to call his Mom and couldn’t get through.  I picked up the phone and we called 911 and hung up. Well Corey and I stood by the phone chatting when a police man interrupted us. “Did you see anyone dial 911?”  Corey and I said no.  I couldn’t help laughing after the police man was gone.  I like Corey.

March 4, 1999 Age 13  Mattis and Rat were teasing me today.  Instead of sitting there and avoiding eye contact I talked back to them.  It felt kind of good.  Mattis was calling Leslie a slut and a bitch today because they broke up.  I lost it when he threw a pencil at me and the tip hit me. I scribbled on his homework.

March 6, 1999 Age 13 The second I got on the bus for speech today Barrett yelled over everyone “Thanks a lot Liz for telling Mary what we were doing on the bus on Thursday.  They had been playing truth or dare and made fun of my foster sister.   I told him I didn’t but he did not believe me.  Later when I was walking down the hallway I heard him say “Look here comes the slut.”  I walked right up to him and yelled into his face to stop spreading rumors about me.  I had never yelled in someone’s face like that before.  It felt good.  Later he found out it wasn’t me but I wouldn’t forgive him.       
                On the way home from our speech meet I was passing notes with a boy from Foston.  I said I like him but I don’t.  He said he likes me. I want some boy to like me so I lied.

March 7, 1999 Age 13 I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up anymore.  I sang in church today and after church everyone said God gave me that voice and I should use it.
                After church we went to Crookston for Mitch’s grandpa’s birthday.  They had me sing there.  Tonight at a hymn gathering at the home of a lady from church they had me sing there.  I think God might be telling me to be a singer.  That was one of my childhood dreams but my dad always told me to shut up because I sounded like a stupid Disney character.

March 8, 1999 Age 13 Today in art Mattis scribbled on my art project so I scribbled back on his.  He kept calling us names.  I cut out the picture of a shoe I made and put squiggly marks to represent smelly and wrote Mattis’s shoe on it and glued it to his picture.  He tore it off and right when he was going to stick it on me I said “Mrs. J.”  She turned around just in time to see him put it on me and got sent to the office.
                When he left Abby and I took a picture he had drawn of Garfield out of his art drawer and colored it really sloppily.  We wrote I Love Leslie all over it and wrote By Mattis on the bottom.  On the way to fourth hour I hung it between the girls and boys bathroom.  Someone took it down and gave it to him. Now he’s really mad.

March 10, 1999 Age 13 Deanna was nice to me again today.  She asked me to write my name and address in her address book.
                I’m getting along with preps better now. Well, at least Deanna.
                I got my hair cut today.  It used to be half way down my back. Now it’s shoulder length but rounds down in the back.  And I have more bangs.
                 I am either going to be a singer or a teacher when I grow up.

March 11, 1999 Age 13 I have to stay up 24 hours for the head tests in Bemidji tomorrow.  No one is staying up with me so I am supposed to scrub the blood off the shop walls when I get tired.

March 17, 1999 Age 13 I went to that psychiatrist in Bemidji today.  The one who had me do that test where I had to stay up 24 hours.  He said I am perfectly normal but he wants me to take some dumb anxiety pills.
                I bought Jene a Daffodil today at school for .50 cents.

March 18, 1999 Age 13 Today, after the speech meet, we played truth or dare on the bus.  I had to make out with the window for ten seconds.  Then I dared Barret to spank Bens sister.  On the second dare I had to sit on Barret’s lap and talk dirty.  He said “Oh Liz you are so sexy.” Jessica told me to say Ditto so I did.

March 20, 1999 Age 13 I made up my mind today that I do not like Ben.  He is okay but he’s not my type. And he’s not a Christian.  He said he thinks the world will end by overpopulation or clones taking over.
                I went to my foster grandparents after speech today.  We watched a movie called The Mark of the Beast. 
                When I got back today Jene gave me a brand new bike as a birthday present.  I’m so happy.
                My foster grandparents came over tonight and we watched a movie about the rapture and what happens afterwards.

March 21, 1999 Age 13 After church today we went to Bemidji and then went to an auction.  When we got home I rode my bike and then worked on my science report. I rubbed Mitch’s feet for half an hour.  I’m tired.

March 22, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, not much happened today.  I handed in my science report, worked on my cat project in art, got three wrong on my math test. 
                Mitch was crabby today.  He criticized everything I did.   I went for a bike ride down the dirt road while the sun set.

March 23, 1999 Age 13 Dear Diary, exactly one year ago today I ran away from home and got put in Evergreen Group Home. 
                I picked spiders for my book report.  I hate spiders and hope that if I learn more I won’t be as scared of them.
                I went for a bike ride today.  I rode for about two miles and stopped when I came to some cows .
                I am allowed to be in track now.  Jene and Mitch did not want to drive me.  My foster siblings are in track but Mitch and Jene did not want to make them drive me.  My friend Katie’s mom said she can drive me.

March 24, 1999 Age 13 Dereck and Rock are spreading rumors about Katie. Rock said in front of the whole social studies and basic skills class that he saw Katie and Dereck making out in the back of J’s car at Smart Skate.  They made Katie cry.  Unique and I yelled at Rcok and I confronted Dereck and Eric at lunch.  I want to hurt Dereck. 
                I went to my parents’ house for a meeting and taught Sam how to make geckos.
                I went to Adventure club and played with the little kids.   Norman works with me now.

March 26, 1999 Age 13 Today was the last day of the third quarter.  Today Tamy and I practiced our high jump moves.  I sold four tickets to the Blenders concert.
                Katie went to a sleepover at Abby’s after Track but she said her mom would pick us up.  Katie’s mom never picked me up.  I ended up riding home with the Nets.

March 28, 1999 Age 13 Kpicked me up after Church today.  In church I sang our King song with the choir.
                My mom called tonight and said Aunt Martha and Aunt Karen don’t want me. My only hope now is Grandma.

March 29, 1999 Age 13 I went to a speech meet in Crookston today and there were four people in my group.  I got second place. I got a medal with a Lady Slipper on it.
                Ben and I held hands on the bus and I laid on his shoulder.
                Awards got over at 9:40 and we didn’t get home until 11:55.  Mitch was at the school with Jene and other parents. Mitch and Jene were really mad.

March 30, 1999 Age 13 I had a meeting with my mom today and she yelled at me nonstop about how I cannot change my religion when I am a kid.  She yelled about how Marie is a bad counselor.  I don’t think she likes K either.
                I had a junior high band concert tonight. It was fun.
                I called my grandma tonight.  I asked her about living with her and she said she would think about it.
                I better go to bed now.

March 31, 1999 Age 13 Mattis makes me so mad.  He kept bugging me and threatening to put rubber cement in Abby’s and my hair.  He kicked me twice so I took his I Am Special book and ruined it.
                In health he hit me 3 times and when I told Mr. C.  He asked why I don’t just hit him back. So I kicked him and he fell out of his desk. 
                I got a headache at track today.

April 1, 1999 Age 13 Not much happened today.  We cut bacons, ham, and killed four hogs. 
                I wrote letters to Aunt Karen, Grandma, my godmother Dona (Joanne’s Aunt) and Shelly, my best friends from Bemidji.
                My mom and sister are coming tomorrow to give me a present.
                I hope my grandma will let me live with her.  She’s my only hope.  My birthday is on Good Friday.  The day that Jesus died.

April 2, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I’m 14 today.  My mom and sister came over today.  I showed Sam our dog Bandit.  I got a dollar store Barbie Doll from my mom and a box of Mike and Ikes from my brother.
                The meeting went terrible. My mom lied to me about everything she had done to me.  She said she never cut me.  I showed her the scar on my wrist and she said that a mind can change things on the body and make things appear that are not real.  More witchcraft stuff.  I told her I am not a witch and don’t do that and she told me that she is the reincarnation of mother earth so I have some of her powers.
                Today we went to a Good Friday service at church and then came back and we had cake and ice-cream.

April 3, 1999 Age 14 Today after Mary, Jene and I cleaned the church we went to Bemidji with Mitch.  Jene bought me a cool red dress and underwear and leggings.
                Tonight when we were alone she talked to me about my life and taking all possible opportunities in life.  She also said my parents and I have to stop looking in the past and see the future.
                I love Jene.

April 4, 1999 Age 14 Today I wore my new dress, I have two dresses now, to church.  After church we went to my foster cousins in Foston.  We had a turkey dinner.  After Mitch’s sisters family came and then the grownups sent all of the kids downstairs.   When we came up the grownups gave us bags and I went on my very first Easter egg hunt.  I found 22 but only have 20.  I gave two to Sheila. Now we have the same amount.

April 5, 1999 Age 14 Mitch and Jene drove me to a meeting with Marie in Bemidji at 11:00AM.  I told Marie all about the court ordered reunification plan and the meetings I have had with my parents.  I had a lot of pent up anger I didn’t know about.
                K picked me up from there and we went to the Great Wall to eat and then we went back to her house.  I re-vented all of my anger to K too.  At K’s house I made geckoes and we watched soap operas and went on chat rooms on the internet.

April 6, 1999 Age 14 Not much happened today.  I went with Jene for her Doctor’s appointment.  While she was in the clinic I had to wait in the car with Seth, the kid with downs syndrome she babysits.   I finished my spider report today.
                Jene gave me the book A Child Called It.  She said I would not think my life was so bad if I knew how bad other kids had it.
                I think Mary and Danny might like me because I heard Danny tell Mary in the kitchen that he brought home a treat from Dairy Land for us.  Mary asked me if I wanted some and I said no.  I did want some but I am scared that if I ever say yes to treats and stuff it will make them think I am selfish and only want people to give me things.   I don’t know.  I wish someone would help me figure out my feelings right now.

April 7, 1999 Age 14 Today was one of the worst days of my life.  First we had a hard meet at track and we ran two and a half to three miles.  Then my mom picked me up after track for our first unsupervised visit.
                It went alright for the first half but then my mom asked me what church Leslie went to.   I told her I didn’t know and she called me a lying bitch.  I really didn’t know.  Then she got up to call Leslie but I beat her to the phone and called Leslie first.   I told Leslie not to tell her because my mom was going to do something bad. 
                My mom called Leslie back and she did not answer.   She pushed me down and when I started to cry she said “what are you going to do? Tell on me. No one will believe you. Two months and I can push you whenever I want.”  Then she called Sunshine and Annakin and told them I was keeping secrets from her and that I told Leslie my mom was a fat slob.  I didn’t.  I told them my mom pushed me.  They said I did not have any marks so there was nothing they could so.   Now I am in trouble for not doing what my mom said.
                I’m scared because I am starting to think Devil thoughts.  My mom and dad lie and everyone believes them.  Maybe if I start lying people will start believing me too.

April 8, 1999 Age 14 I did my speech in front of my English class today.  Mattis, Ivy and Rock made faces at me during it.  I pretended not to notice. 
                I changed into my dress for the competition at noon.  In basic skills class Rock called me a slut and J called me a skank.   Deana asked why I was wearing a dress and I didn’t answer.
                I placed 6 out of 12 in speech today. I made it into the final round.

April 10, 1999 Age 14 Today Sunshine picked up Leslie and I and took us to Bemidji to see Never been kissed. I’m nervous about how bad my left big toe is getting.  The nail has been cutting into the skin and lots of yellow puss keeps coming out.  Mitch told me to stop being a baby.  I’m going to see if I can trim the side of my nail. 

April 12, 1999 Age 14 I went to court today. I wrote a list of all the reasons I did not want to go home.  My parents, their attorney and my social workers fought my attorney saying I should not be allowed to show it.
                The judge got to read it anyway.  The court decided today that I will still get sent home but at a slower rate.  They said my mom and me have to see a counselor.  I’m glad they did not send me home today.
                P.S. did I tell you about my boyfriend in speech? I guess my wish in March came true.

April 13, 1999 Age 14 Today Mattis tried to beat me up in health. He yanked me out of my chair, punched my head, shoulder, back and kicked me in the butt. When I put my elbow on the back of my chair he caught the skin of my arm and ripped off a layer of skin. Tammy and I told Mr. F. He called Mattis down to the office and said if he heard one more complaint he would report him to the police and suspend him for 15 days. I had a meeting at my parents’ house today.

April 14, 1999 Age 14 I had a home meeting with my family today. It was okay.  It was just my sister and mom and brother.  The meeting went pretty well.  We made fry bread tacos.  Adam and I talked about religion. 
                After we ate I ended up cleaning the counters and the kitchen.  They were so messy. There were plates with mold and the counter and tables were sticky and had old food on them.
I raked the yard when I got home.  One of the cows came up to the fence and let me touch it.

April 15, 1999 Age 14  I did my speech for personal resources today.  We left for State Speech in Minneapolis at 12:00PM. 
                We are staying at the Dayz In and we went shopping at the Rosedale mall.  I bought a new pair of pants and a Pooh ring for Katie. I bought two necklaces for my sister and a necklace and sucker for Jene.  I have $30.00 left of the $51.00 Jene gave me.
                Andy and Corey are in the same room.  Becca and I share a room.  Brianna and Juli share a room.  We prank call each other.  We caught the boys watching porn.

April 18, 1999 Age 14 Mitch’s sister came over today and Sheila and I went for a walk in the woods.  We found a low spot where all the melted snow made a small pond.  There were logs forming small bridges.  We walked across the logs and tried to form full bridges.  Sheila fell in twice and I fell on a log and got stuck.  No matter where I moved I would start to fall in.  It was fun.

April 19, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I saw that Dr. J today.  He is raising my anxiety dosage from 10mg to 20.  He says that if the medicine was working I would not be afraid of my parents or going home.
                Yesterday Mattis was making fun of my friend Andy from church, and other kids he says are gay.  He made me so mad. I made up my mind to do something about it since none of the teachers do.  I photo copied a photo I have of Mattis riding on Vicktor.  The picture is of a male butt and Mattis on top.  You can’t see Vicktor’s face.  I wrote “who is gay” and “Mattis likes boys” on them and then Ivy helped me hand them out to kids in the hallway.  My foster brother Danny saw me making the photo copies and called me names.

Adult me needs to interject here for a moment. Reading the above entry makes me feel ashamed. I had been raised to believe people who were in the LGBTQ community, a term I did not know back then, were bad people. The small town I lived in was then, and still is, very homophobic to this day. If I could go back in time and lecture younger me about how wrong what I was doing was I would.
Adult me fully supports individuals who are are intersex or identify as transgender, transsexual, lesbian, bi-sexual, gay or other.

April 20, 1999 Age 14 Today was just a regular day.  I told Ivy the story I had told Mr. F about Mattis’s pictures and she said she will tell him it the same way.  
                I went to the dentist after school today. They said I had a $4,000 mouth because I don’t need braces.

April 21, 1999 Age 14 At school this morning I found out that Emma’s sister Tara is 5 months pregnant. She is only 17 and she’s not even in 12th grade yet.
                Mattis is still being a jerk.  I’ve missed two doses of that pill now because Jene never got it and I can’t control my emotions.  Or I just feel sad all the time.
                I went to track and then to Adventure club and helped in the store.  I rode my new bike.

April 22, 1999 Age 14 Annakin picked me up in 6th hour today and took me to a meeting with my mom at the community center with Dr. G.  He said he could try to talk Annakin into permanent foster care placement if neither party wanted each other.  My mom said she does not want me. In the beginning my mom agreed but in the end she started to hesitate. 
                I went for a bike ride today.  I am tired.  I finally got my pill refilled after two days.

April 23, 1999 Age 14 I had a visit with my parents today.  K was there.  It sucked. 
                I went to the Blenders concert tonight and it was cool. I got the tape for free for selling the most tickets.  I liked the youngest one. He is cute.
                When I got there I saw Karla and Unique sitting on top of the bleachers and they told me to get lost so cool kids could sit by them.  They did the same to Jennifer so we sat together.

April 24, 1999 Age 14 Today I worked really hard on the farm.  I miss Jene.  She’s been gone since Thursday.
                I picked rocks at my foster grandparents today.

April 25, 1999 Age 14 My foster family went to Grand Forks today and they dropped me off at Mitch’s sisters house.  I jumped on the trampoline with her kids for a while and then we went to Dairy Queen.  We then went to the school playground and played Kidnapped. When we got home her son shot a Gardener snake in the head. 
                I have a headache.  I’m going to sleep.

April 26, 1999 Age 14  I felt so sick yesterday.  Mitch was really worried about me.  He kept asking if I wanted to go to the hospital.   I said no and went to bed.
                The usual happened today.  I went to school, wrote notes, took tests, ate lunch, had band, more classes.
                I had a home visit at 4:00PM with Sunshine.  Then I came home and filled feed pails and did homework.
                That’s not all true.  Today my personal resource teacher told the class that she has breast cancer.  She has two little girls. I wonder what this book will say about her in the future.  This book holds my future!

April 27, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I blew it.  Today in health Mattis kept hitting me so I stabbed him in the back with my pen.  No one saw.  Mrs. N sent him to the office for not staying seated and five minutes later I was called down to the office.  Mr. F said Aaron was bleeding on his back and that we were both going to get suspended for three days.   I told the whole health class that Mattis stabbed himself.

April 28, 1999 Age 14 I half won.  I went down to Mr. F’s office today and I told him that I did copy off that picture but that I didn’t stab Mattis.  Mr. F came down to the English room right when Mattis pushed my books off my desk so he gave Mattis in school suspension all day.
                I ran the cake walk for the last day of Adventure Club today.
                I came clear with Jene about the picture thing and stabbing Mattis.  I feel bad about not telling the whole truth.

April 29, 1999 Age 14 I went to Dr. G’s today with my mom and dad. I told him why I don’t want to go home. 
                After that K, Sunshine and I went to my parents’ house.  My father said he never wants me to come home.  We made very little progress and now Sunshine says were at a dead end and she doesn’t know what to do now.
                K says I remind her of her bad daughter.  I feel really bad now.

April 30, 1999 Age 14 Today is Mitch’s birthday. He’s 40 now.  
                I called Sunshine today.  She said she is not doing anymore home visits until we put forward an effort.  Sunshine said I have to call my mom and dad tomorrow and come to some agreement or else we go to court and I’ll probably go home that day. 
                We went to Bemidji and I saw Tiffany at the mall. She had a friend with her.  We saw a girl who had a slit in her pants where her butt is.

May 1, 1999 Age 14 Boy do we ever work hard out here at the foster home.
                Today, after work, Jene, Mary and I went to a ladies tea party at the church.  Then we picked up balloons and cake for Mitch’s surprise party.
                After that we went to the grand march for Danny’s prom.  He’s in eleventh grade.
                I called my dad today and I am going to call my mom in a minuet.

May 2, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, today I went to church.   After church Spencer and I went to our Sunday school teacher Don and Lois’s place to watch the movie The Bible and eat pizza. Mary couldn’t go because she had to go home for Mike’s birthday party.
                I love their house.  It was so beautiful.
                I played tether ball with my foster relatives when I got home.

May 3, 1999 Age 14 I called my dad at lunch today to see how he was doing.  Can you believe I did that?  I am trying to get along with them. 
                I went to a track meet today.  I did not place in the long jump or high jump.
                Tammy, Vicktor, Leslie, Pete, and I played truth or dare on the bus.

May 4, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I called my dad at school today and then when I got home I called my brother and sister.  After that at 8:00PM I called my mom.  We talked.  I told her I loved her and then talked to my dad.  I must be going crazy. I feel dirty.
                Jene and Mitch are gone for two days.

May 5, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, today was another boring day. I called dad at school again.  I’m going to a track meet tomorrow.
                Danny and Mary are watching TV.  I rode the bus home.
                 I found a wood tick on me.
                I kinda like it without Mitch and Jene.
                I’m bored and reading Pig’s Don’t Fly.

May 6, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I went to see Dr. G today.  He is an okay guy.  I saw my parents after that.  I let my mom play with my hair and scratch my back.  I gave her a hug.  It makes me feel dirty.
                I found a wood tick on my bed.
                Mitch and Jene are back.  Jene frosted her hair.  They started working in the shop the minuet they got back.

May 7, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I didn’t get elected for student council president today.  Oh well.
                We watched a baby be born in health.
                I went to a meeting at my parents’ house today.  My mom and brother Dan were gone because Dan got a job in Winona and my mom’s helping him move in. I’ll miss him.  Kind of.
                I feel so sorry for my sister.  When I was there she was dressed in all black. She says she is Goth now.  She said Dad and Adam are such weird jerks.  I love my sister.  Goodnight.

May 8, 1999 Age 14 Today was boring. We worked in the shop.  I got up at 8:30 and worked in the shop from 9:00AM to 12:00PM.  Then we mowed the lawns.  I got to use the riding mower. 
                We thought Bandit, our pet deer, got out of his cage so I rode my bike around looking for him.  Turned out he was in his new pen and Mary just didn’t look hard enough.

May 9, 1999 Age 14 I sang in church today. I thought I did really bad but people clapped when I was done.
                I bought two birthday cards for Joanne and Nicole and gum for Mitch’s birthday present.
                Mitch’s relatives came over tonight.  Sheila brought me a message from Ben saying “I love you. I miss you.  You’re pretty.”  Dear Diary I don’t know what to do.  I don’t like Ben.  I think I like Danny, Corey, Jay, Shane and Sammy.

May 10, 1999 Age 14 I went to school today.  Man there was a really bad thunderstorm last night.  
                Tempest keeps asking to spend the night.
                Marie told me my mixed emotions about my family were normal.  I also told her about the infection on my vagina and she told me to tell Jene about it.  I did and now I have a doctor appointment.

May 11, 1999 Age 14 I feel sick. I was in the nurses office from third hour to seventh.  Then Sunshine picked me up from school during 8th hour. 
                My head hurts. I think I am getting migraines.  My eyes blank out and my knees and back hurt.
                I saw Dr. J today.  He says I have to keep taking the anxiety pill.
                K picked me up after and we went to her house and ate chicken.

May 12, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, Today I signed up to run for student body president.  I probably won’t win but if the Lord wants me to I will.
                We watched a movie on puberty in health. We got pictures of privates.  Whole naked girl and boy body parts.  I won’t learn it because it is not holy and I don’t think God wants me looking at these things.
                I went to my parents’ house after school today.  I tried to clean the living room.  But it is so dirty it would take me more than an hour.  I’m going over there tomorrow.

May 13, 1999 Age 14 I sang for Tammy, Leslie, Kathy and Leslie in my Opera voice.  Tammy likes it but I don’t know if I do or not.  Tammy wants to be best friends, or better friends.
                My mom and I had a meeting with Dr. G today.  It didn’t go well.  The beginning was fine but when I told my version of the last night I was there she got mad and yelled “It’s not true,” and then left the room.  Oh, and she also told Dr. G that when Jene was at or first unsupervised visit I told Jene that my mom abused me.  She is such a liar.   He is going to ask Jene if it is true. 

May 14, 1999 Age 14 Hello, how are you?  Leslie has been acting weird lately. 
                Tonight our church youth group went bowling in Bemidji.  I hung out with Megan, Sam, Katie and Andy.  Andy is in Sam and Adam’s grade.  I started to like him but I can’t because he is so young and it would be wrong.

May 15, 1999 Age 14 Today after we cleaned the church we went to Bemidji.  We went to three different greenhouses and spent over $60.00. When we got back I helped Jene plant.  I had no idea it would be so much fun to plant.  The last time I remember planting was in Marinette when I was between five and seven.  I think we were planting beans.
                I rode my bike over to Katie’s today.  She showed me her tree fort.  I love their house. It has four stories.

May 16, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, Today when we got back from church I helped load feed pails on the bob cat.  Then I watched a little T.V. After that I went on a four mile bike ride around the country block.  I called my mom.  That went ok.
            I planted 3 daffodils in the wishing well and then rubbed Mike’s feet.
               I just got done watching the first half of Joan of Arc.  I wish I as her.

May 18, 1999 Age 14 Mrs. L is being such a jerk lately.  Or maybe it is me.  Lately I start acting weird.  Like talking when the teachers are talking and talking when we are supposed to be quiet.  I don’t know why.
                I sprained my ankle trying to answer the phone today.  It was Katie.  She picked me up for my band concert.  My ankle really hurts. I started marking prices on the stuff I want to sell for the garage sale.  I hope I make some money.

May 19, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, another boring day at school. 
                I watched the end of Joan of Arc today.  It was so sad.  I wanted to cry. Or should say I did cry.  I had no idea that a knight liked her and was present at her crucifixion.
                I wish I could have recorded the end, or have seen the whole thing.  Katie kept changing the channel.

May 20, 1999 Age 14 I had my SEP interview today and my application was approved.  Now all I have to do is pick a job from a list of jobs.
                I went over to Katie’s house to work on our science report.  We played Baby I Love You Will You Please Smile.  It was fun.  Katie rode her bike back with me.  I showed her Bandit.  It was pouring rain.  It was fun.

May 21, 1999 Age 14 I saw K today.  She told me that we’re out of time and she’s not supposed to see me anymore.  She said she will try to keep seeing me till our original deadline date of June 4th.  But that means she will only see me two or three more times.
                We went fishing today and I made a bird house for Jene.  They had their garage sale today and I made $9.40.

May 22, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I woke up late today. I think Jene was mad.  I woke up at 11:00AM.  She is supposed to wake me up anyways.
                After working in the shop I stayed home and watched T.V.  When they got home I helped Jene and played with the cats. 
                Katie. came over today. We went for a walk in the woods and climbed the fort.

May 23, 1999 Age 14 After church today we went to Bemidji. I bought four pansy’s and a flower pot for $3.50. 
                Mitch’s sister came over today.  I dared their foster kid to climb the front tree for $10 dollars. He climbed pretty high but I only paid him $1.50.  He didn’t care.
                Sheila says Ben says he loves me.  I love my new kitten Limbo better.

May 24, 1999 Age 14 I have had a weird day.  We dissected a frog in science class today.  Katie was my partner.  The frog squirted juice all over my track shirt.   Leslie let me wear her Champion sweater and I let her wear my Pooh one. 
                In personal resources I got red paint on her sweater.  I ran out of the class room and scrubbed it off but I got soaking wet.
                Then in social studies Rat spit in my hair so I had to go wash it out.  I was soaking wet.

May 25, 1999 Age 14 I had to miss the choir concert today because I have the flu.  I started feeling sick half an hour before it was time to go.  Then when Mitch and Jene left I started throwing up.  Mary’s sick to. I caught it from her.

May 26, 1999 Age 14 I stayed home sick today.  I read the whole Sweet Valley High book called Once Upon a Time.  I’m bored.  I’ve been bored all day.  
                Mitch gave me $5.00 for rubbing his feet.

May 27, 1999 Age 14 I went back to school today.  I gave the notebook to Leslie. The notebook is our book of notes.
                I took the reading test in Basic Skills.   I finished it right when I had to leave for Dr. G and Mr. H could not believe it because it takes the average reader two days to finish it.
                I went to my job interview at Pine Ridge today.  It went okay.  I’m worried about my sister.  She seems sad.
                Jene told me I couldn’t talk to people at my job about them.

May 28, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary,  I can’t believe there is only three days of school left. 
                Today after school K picked me up with her four month old baby niece.  She is so cute.  She fussed a lot.  I got to carry her in the grocery store and feed her the bottle.  I sat with her in the back seat of the car to keep her company.
                I love babies. I made geckos at K’s house.  I sell them out of my locker for .50 cents each.
                I love my cat. How am I going to tell my mom about him?

May 29, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, today has been a busy day.  We have been graduation party hopping. 
                I hurt my knee.  Do you remember the scar you got on your knee in South Dakota when you fell of the bike going downhill?  Well I must have squished it between two feed pails because it is red and swollen.

May 30, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I had a fight with Mary and Danny. 
                After church today the family and I went to Bemidji.  We ate at Mc Donald’s like always and then went to Target where I bought a roll of film.  When we went to Land M and then we went to another graduation party.
                My mom came and picked me up for an unsupervised visit and I brought along my cat Limbo.  My mom said I can’t keep him.  Now I have to find him a home.  Mitchs cousins are still here.  I played cards with Mitch’s sisters foster child.

May 31, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, Bandit got loose sometime last night.  We rode all over looking for him but never found him.  We had lost all hope when one of our neighbors called and said Bandit was in their pasture.  “Hurray!” Jene is going to give him to a wildlife refuge now.
                Mitch’s cousin and his family went home today.  It will be nice to sleep without a baby crying in the background.
                I worked on my memory book today.

June 1, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, not much happened today.  I took pictures of friends in school. We are taking final tests in all of our classes.
                Mary and I had a fight about popularity.  I told her there was no normal or real popular kids.  She believes there is.  Then she had to bring Danny in on it.  He is such a jerk. 
                I’m working on SEP application forms now.

June 2, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I made it to Flyer Day tomorrow. I’m so happy.  We had ice cream and went outside in band today.
                I got 95% correct on my reading test in basic skills and a 77.65% in math.  75% is passing.
                I can’t believe Jene and Mary. I was to Kathy on the phone tonight and had only been on 10 min when Mar told me to get off.  I said one second, said good bye and hung up.  When Jene got home she came and told me only 15 minuet calls not 30.  She was mad that I told Mary to shut up and mind her own business.  I told Jene I didn’t say that and she didn’t believe me.  She said I’m no perfect angel.  I hate them both.

June 3, 1999 Age 14 School is out. Hurray.  We went roller skating at Smart Skate at the end of the day.  I bought a purple light up rose.  We played tag with it.  Whoever was it carried the rose.
                Leslie and Abbt got in trouble on the bus after for having a lazer.  They almost got suspended for the first three days of school.  Mr. O let them off. 
                I went with Kathy to her youth group tonight.  It was fun. It started off with a water balloon fight.  I got soaked.  Luckily I had an extra pair of clothes.
                Then we all went into the church to change. Deanne and Sarah came but they didn’t know there was going to be a water fight so they had to go home to change.  I let Deanne borrow my sweater when she got home and she forgot to bring it back.
                After we changed we ate dinner around a camp fire.  Then everyone went to play volleyball.  Katy, Beth and I kept feeding the fire.  After that we went in the church, we played 4 on the couch and we watched veggie tales sing along.  We got done at midnight and I rode the church bus home.

June 4, 1999 Age 14 I’m so happy.  I went for my interview at Pine Ridge today and I got the job. I’ll make $662.25 this month.
                I’m having a bad time now.  Annikin came over today and when he left Jene told me that he said that I said they left me here alone for two days while they went to Idaho.  I don’t know where he came up with that.  I have to prove I am telling the truth.  How?

June 5, 1999 Age 14 Today Jene, Mary and I cleaned the church and went to Bemidji.  We ate at Mc. Donald’s and then we went to the mall.  Jene bought me a pair of brown leather sandals and a pair of shorts.  She is so nice to me today.  I wonder why.

June 6, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, not much happened today.  Danny sang at church with some girl from school.  They sounded so good.  I wish I could sing like that girl. 
                The K’s came over today.  Their girl Tiffany and I played UNO in my room and talked.  She doesn’t like my foster family a whole lot either.  Me and Tiffany imagined we were being kidnapped at Tony’s house.   It was fun to Imagine again.  I can’t wait for tomorrow.

June 7, 1999 Age 14 Hey Diary, Wuz Up?  Not much here.  I went to the World of Work convention today.  It was fun.  I got lots of information.  I start work tomorrow.  I got paid $26.20 for going there today.  I sat and Talked to Tanya during breaks.  I think we will become friends this summer.

June 8, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I went to my first day of work today.  I had my TB shot.  Brenda went over the rules and safety stuff with me.  I got to meet the residents today.  One of them kissed my hand and then he ran up the stairs.  I start a full day’s work tomorrow.

My first job title was activity supervisor.  I worked at a home for mentally disabled adults.  For confidentiality purposes I will not be documenting any of my experiences at Pine Ridge.  I will say that this job was an amazing experience and positive experience for me.

June 9, 1999 Age 14 Today K picked me up at 9:00Am today and took me to Bemidji. I made a soldier candy holder out of a Pringles can. 
                Then at 1:00PM Sunshine picked me up and took me to see Dr. J and then she took me to see Marie.  She had me take a MMPI.  Don’t ask me what that means.
                Dr. J hired my Paxil Doseage to 30Mg.

June 10, 1999 Age 14 My life is total Chaos.  I went and saw my mom today and she told me that dad and her are splitting up.
                I don’t know why this makes me sad.  I’m so happy to get rid of dad yet I’m sad about it.  I’m to confused to think. Goodnight.

June 11, 1999 Age 14 Sunshine picked me up after work today.  She brought her daughter along and I got to meet her.
                My mom picked me up from Sunshine at Target in Bemidji.  We went to that pizza Pizza place and got two pizzas.  Then we went and saw Adam and Sam in the Wizard of Oz play.

June 12, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, Limbo is dead.  You know who Limbo is don’t you?  He’s my little kitten.  A stray cat attacked him last night.  We couldn’t find him this morning.  Mitch said that when I was at work he showed up with cuts on his head and he had to shoot him. 

June 13, 1999 Age 14 I’m so tired.  I went to church with the residents today.   I worked from 10AM to 6:00PM
                Danny just asked how long I work tomorrow.   I told him and he said “You be rich.  Want to finish paying for my 4 wheeler?”  I have a long day tomorrow so I have to get to bed.

June 14, 1999 Age 14 I went to my school classes on job skills this morning from 8AM to noon.  Then I cashed my check from the World of Work.  I rode my bike around town and went to the library.  Then I went to work from 3PM-9PM.
                Now I’m spending my first overnight visit at my parents’ house.  I’m sleeping on my mom’s floor.

June 15, 1999 Age 14 My mom dropped me off at jobs skills class this morning.  After class was done I went to summer band class.  After that I rode back home and took Adam out to get some Ice-cream at Dairy Land.  Mom had given me $2.00 in the morning to spend on him but I spent more than that.
                I went to work and then I rode home to spend the night again.  Adam and I stayed up until midnight watching That Thing You Do.

At this time my sister was spending the summer in South Dakota with my aunt Martha and her kids.  My mother continued to receive state child support for Sam and Adam.

June 16, 1999 Age 14 Mom left at 7:35AM this morning. I watched Anastasia with Adam until Sunshine picked me up at 9:00AM.
                Sunshine and I got breakfast subs at Crandall’s.  Then we drove down to Eirskin and picked her computer up at the Garden Valley.  Then we went to her place, vacuumed her car and she dropped me off at home.
                When I got back we worked in the meat shop and then mowed the lawn.  My mom told me that they are getting a divorce.

I am slightly shocked by how little I wrote about my parents’ divorce.  I remember this being an emotional event for me.  I cried for more than a week straight about it.  I do not think any kid deals well with the separation of the individuals who created them.

June 17, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, Jene let me sleep until noon today.  I was so happy.  Mitch, Jene, Mary and Danny are going to the cities tomorrow to take Danny to Police camp so I have to spend two nights at my parents.   I don’t know how I feel about that.
                Today I went to a Dr. G appointment with mom and Adam.   I came home, pumped hams, watched T.V. and am now going to bed.

June 18, 1999 Age 14 Mitch, Jene, Mary and Danny left today.  They dropped me off at a respite home until my mom got back from work. 
                We went out for ice cream and then they dropped me off at home.
                When I got home Adam, Shane and I went for a bike ride.  Shane didn’t have a bike so we pulled him on his skate board.  I pulled him down a hill and he almost fell off.
                Shane and I mowed the back yard and clipped the bushes.

June 19, 1999 Age 14 Today was a bad-good day.  When mom left this morning Shane came over and we tried to clean the house.  I even bought and put on a new toilet seat.
                Then one hour before I had to leave Adam went into a mean spell and tried to hurt me with a metal rod, dirty clothes basket, threw something at me, and tried to bite my thumb off.  I told Dad and he didn’t care.   Adam said sorry and I went to work.   I told mom and she’s going to call Sunshine.
                Also, the lady at Crandles gave me too much change and when I told her she gave me a free movie rental in return.

June 20, 1999 Age 14 Shane spent the night last night.  I got up at 9:00AM and mom drove me to church to go to work.
                After work I walked to my foster grandparents.  Mitch and Jene picked me up and I went home and watched Apocalypse.  My dad left for good today. Yay!  And he arrived in Winona just as Dan had his asthma attack.  He took him to the hospital.

June 21, 1999 Age 14 Today was an ordinary day.  I got up at 7:00AM. Ate breakfast.  Jene drove me to Job Skills classes.   I got done with classes at noon and went to band lessons until 1PM.  I took a peek into the new theater then came home and worked in the shop until 5:00PM. 
                After dinner I read some of The Step Sister from Planet Weird.
                My mom called. We’re getting along.  Goodnight.

June 26, 1999 Age 14 This morning I got up and went to Jobs Skills until noon. Then went to band until 1:30PM.  I only have to pass 4 more songs before I’m done with the Red book.  I have been on that book since 5th grade.  Only one other 7th grader passed and that was Kyle.  I walked halfway downtown to get a ride from Sunshine to my parents’ house.
                I trimmed the bushes at my parents’ house.  They had trees growing out of them.
                Sunshine, mom, Adam and I had a talk about when Adam bit my thumb.

June 23, 1999 Age 14 Today was an ordinary day.  I got up at 9:45AM. Mitch was mad because he said Mary had woken me up earlier.
                We mowed the lawn until noon.  Jene took me to work after lunch.  Then Mitch and Jene picked me up and took me home.

June 24, 1999 Age 14 Today I got up at 8:00AM.  I helped cut hams and bacons in the shop. Then we cut a pig.  After that we ate lunch and Jene took me to work from 1PM-9PM.

June 25, 1999 Age 14 K picked me up this morning.  We went swimming at a lake in Bemidji.  It was fun.  No one was there.  Then we went back to her house for lunch. It was pizza and pop.
                After that K dropped me off at work at 1:00PM.  After work my mom came to pick me up at 9:00PM.  Adam and I watched a movie.  I’m still sleeping on mom’s floor.
            My birth father had taken the beds with him when he left.  His room was to become my room.  It was still filled with garbage and buckets filled with pee from when he did not want to leave his room by going down stairs to use the bathroom.  

June 26, 1999 Age 14 Today Mom, Adam and I tried to clean the basement.  I cleaned out Sam’s room while they worked on Adam’s.  It took us basically all day.
                Mom took Adam out to eat at Perkins.  We stayed up until 1:00AM watching a movie called The Pianno.

June 27, 1999 Age 14 My mom dropped me off at church.  I wore my red dress.  Mitch and Jene dropped me off at home after Church.
                I spent most of the day cleaning Sam’s room in the basement.
                Adam and I went down town today and played video games at the place next to Food-N-Fule.  Then we went and played at the elementary park.
                I miss Sammy.

June 28, 1999 Age 14  Dear Diary, I am so mad at my father.  Last night Adam told me he had read some letters between some lady named Kris to my dad.  He said they had been having sex and when he went to Tennessee they had an affair.  We told mom together.
                I went to work at 2:00PM today and got done at 9:00PM.

June 30, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, It’s been a confusing day.  Jenedropped me off at Marie’s at 9:00AM.  I told her about their separating and getting divorced. 
                K picked me up from there and we went to the mall.  We saw Adam there so we took him out to eat with us at the Great Wall.  Then we dropped him off at the comic book store. 
                K dropped me off at home at 1:00PM.  Sunshine was waiting for me.  We went and cleaned up my mom’s living room. I went to Mitch’s great grandma’s birthday party.  I talked to her husband about the Lord and my plans for the future. Then he and his daughter prayed for me. They each gave me $20.00. I love them so much.  They said I can call them grandma and grandpa.
                I love the Lord so much.

July 1, 1999 Age 14 I’m spending the night at my mom’s today.  I cashed my check for $226.35. 
                Adam and I went to the carnival in Bemidji today.  We went on all the rides.

July 2, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, today Adam and I were dropped off at Target by mom at 8:15AM and I went clothes shopping.  I bought a new pair of pants and many shirts.
                Then Adam and I walked down to the mall.  I bought one pair of pants and one shirt there.
                Then on our way to Diamond Point Park I bought a thing of strawberries.  Adam went swimming at Diamond Point and then we walked around Bemidji State University.  Then we went and visited Joanne.  After that we went to mom’s work place at 3:00PM and went home.

July 3, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, The Kris that dad was supposed to be having an affair with came over today.  It turned out she wasn’t the one that wrote the letter.  We’re so happy.  She’s the only one we thought he had one with too.
                I rearranged the living room today.  It looks a lot better.

July 4, 1999 Age 14 Dear Diary, I missed church today because it was raining. 
                The rain cleared up about noon so we saw the parade at 1:30PM.  It was good.  I got lots of candy.  I gave some to little kids
                I bought Adam and I some party poppers and Whipper Snappers.
                The fireworks were canceled because of the rain.

July 5, 1999 Age 14 I went to work today and the lady said I missed two days of work.  My schedule never said I had to work last Thursday and Friday. 
                I’m spending the night at my mom’s again.  We went and say the fireworks with Ashley’s family.  I played with Andy.

July 6, 1999 Age 14 I brought my schedule to work today. It turned out I had the wrong one.  I’ll have to make it up.
                I’m back at the foster home now.  I’m tired and worn out.

July 7, 1999 Age 14 I went to Occupational Classes today. We’re reading the play Twister.  I have the part of Jo. 
                K picked me up from classes today and we went to Bemidji and had a picnic with Joanne, Nicole, Mike and Troy.
                We had so much fun.  I took lots of pictures.  There is one of me jumping off a tree into the water.

July 8, 1999 Age 14 I packed all of my stuff last night.  I’m ready to move out physically but I am not sure emotionally.
                I chased cows with Mary and Danny today.  I watched Mitch butcher two pigs. Then I went to work.  I got a check for $41.20 today.  It was an easy day at work.  I held one of our dog Missy’s new puppies.

July 9, 1999 Age 14 Today Sunshine and I cleaned out my dad’s room and cleaned out the carpets.  You should have seen how black the water was.  Jene and Mitch went out to eat tonight so it was a very sad night.

July 10, 1999 Age 14 I can’t believe it.  I’m actually home.
                This morning when I got up Mitch and Jene had a little talk with me about how all good things must end.  Then they all helped me load my stuff.  They also gave me my mattress, the dolphin sheets, and bedspread.
                When mom and Adam went to Bemidji Leslie and Tammy came over and helped me unpack.  Then we went to Crandles and over to their house to play.

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!

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