This whole entry was kind of a shock to Jennifer, but not for the reasons you might think. She wasn't shocked that she was enraged at her dad--that was an ongoing thing. She wasn't shocked that she hated herself--that was an ongoing thing too. She was shocked that her dad disciplined her!
Jennifer was out of control in California. She always thought that was because her dad didn't discipline her or give her any boundaries. Yes, he left her alone all the time and he gave her plenty of cash--but he did lay down the law when he caught her doing something dangerous or against the rules. He did nose into her business. He did try to keep her away from boys. He did try to protect her.
Jennifer is stunned to realize today that maybe she left California because of the boundaries, not because of the lack of them. Honestly, it was easier to pull the wool over the eyes of her mom and step-dad. In Alaska, she could do whatever she pleased once her parents went to bed. They never woke up. She sneaked in and out, watched TV all night, made out with boys, smoked cigarettes. How did her dad know she came home at 3:30 in the morning??? He knew because he was paying attention! I think this is the real reason why Jennifer left California. I also think this is why she got into such horrible fights with him!
I was intrigued by Jennifer's false desire to ruin her life. She writes, "This worries me, but I don't care." That's an oximoron if I ever heard one. She totally cares! Jennifer is desperate, I can feel it radiating off the page. She wants to do something drastic, but nothing that will affect her when she's like thirty. Can anyone relate?
She's crying out for help. Even she knows it. Jennifer writes that she wants to see a psychiatrist. But she doesn't think to ask for one. It's the strange time between childhood and adulthood when, I think, kids believe that adults should know what they need.
This is the fragile time when we can only pray that our teenagers do not do something drastic that ends up affecting them when they are thirty!
Her dad's disappointment in her just killed Jennifer. She already felt alone and worthless. She was worried that she wouldn't make friends if she couldn't go out at night. She believed her life was over. She was probably hormonal too. She was living with two men and she had no real girlfriends. Her pets weren't enough anymore. I do believe that teenagers are just big toddlers with acne. I think that Jennifer was having a first class fit!
I still love her though :)
I also feel Jennifer's sadness over the girl she used to be. Jennifer is grieving the end of her childhood. When Jennifer finally grew up and got married and decided to have kids--she hoped that she would never have a daughter of her own. She was openly afraid to raise a girl. She wanted nothing to do with one. So, of course, Jennifer's second child was born a girl!
This child has been a special gift from God. She is a tiny replica of Jennifer herself. She is almost nine years old now. She obsesses over animals. She goes to neighbors' houses and asks to photograph their pets. She writes in two diaries already. One is about her real life pets and one is about her imaginary pets. She writes poetry and short stories. She talks to herself. She buries any dead animal she finds. She rides horses. She plays soccer. She piles her bed high with her stuffed animals. Jennifer likes to joke that her daughter is actually a clone.
Through this child, Jennifer has gotten her own childhood back. Every day with her daughter heals the girl inside Jennifer. She believes that her daughter is a better version of herself. She is Jennifer without the divorce, without all the moving, without all the insecurity. Jennifer watches her daughter grow with pure fascination. This girl is showing Jennifer a childhood uninterrupted.
Jennifer thanks God every day for all her kids--but she is especially grateful for the one she never expected.