When I was young, I wanted to be old; old as in sixteen. Teenagers were the coolest thing around, from their ripped jeans to the pimples on their face. At the time, “a teenager thing to do” was look at magazines such as J14 or People. I would never try comprehend anything I was reading, just looking at the celebrities clothes or the pictures of boy bands, specifically the Backstreet Boys, is what I would find entertaining. So when my mom gave me a Backstreet Boys diary for my seventh birthday I vowed to myself I would use it. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. It was small and came with a key and lock that I carried with me everywhere at the time. I even tried making my friends jealous because they didn’t have one. My theory behind making them jealous was “I have a boy band diary that means I’m cool. I keep my diary locked to make it seem like I write secret things in there and since I have secret things to write about that makes me even cooler.” How rude of me.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t have any secrets to write about. I would draw stick people, rainbows or hearts, and that wasn’t okay with me. I didn’t want my diary to be full of “little girl pictures.” I wanted my diary to be full of illegible cursive handwriting that covered the pages front and back. I wanted people to wonder what I was hiding. I asked my mom what to write in a diary. Her answer was “whatever you feel like honey.” I didn’t like that answer. I was seven and my writing skills hadn’t even started to flow yet so I felt like I was left with nothing. During the occasional times I tried to write, it turned out something like “I had a good day. *smiley face* It was a pretty day outside. *rainbow*” So all I ended up hiding from anyone was a couple sentences about the weather or what I wore that day. After a couple months of trying to get in the hang of a diary, my sacred Backstreet Boy diary was thrown away.
The rest of my years in elementary school went by pretty well. I had a baby brother I would play school with, trying to teach him how to do math problems or read and write, but other than that reading and writing slipped away from me.
I began to act out toward fifth grade and by the seventh grade I had already spent a night in a juvenile detention center. Things escalated quickly. My world was out of control and for years I would shut down any help that was offered. I began struggling with anxiety and depression, which lead me to drugs. For years, it was an uphill battle. I was failing all my classes and getting suspended every few months. My motivation and common sense was gone. I eventually got caught shop lifting and what the police officers found in my bag along with the stolen merchandise landed me in a long term court ordered sentence to treatment. I was not at all happy.
Just as I predicted, treatment was boring. I, just like many others who were there, had bad attitudes that lasted from when we woke up to when we went to bed. Having a bad attitude made it hard for me to be open minded and enjoy my time there (as much as possible anyway). The majority of my first couple months there were painstakingly boring and tedious. We sat in the same room, every day, and colored, every day, and played cards, every day, for months. They did not let us use the phone often. The phones were supervised…