Have you ever looked through a psychology book and began to diagnose yourself? Jennifer identified with paranoia, delusions of grandeur and perfectionism. The perfectionism was real. The rest probably stemmed from the natural self-centeredness of being a teenager.
Jennifer also suffered, and continues to suffer, from shopping guilt. Shopping was always about money--money determined if it would happen or not happen. There was never a discussion of shopping without first a discussion about money. Yes, the two things are undeniably interconnected--but not all children are made continually and painfully aware of that connection. Shopping wasn't a treat, it wasn't fun, it wasn't indulgent, it wasn't spontaneous. It was an ordeal.
Although they were a middle-class family, they usually had "no money" to shop. When they had money, the shopping was strategic--sale rack only. When they splurged, which was rare, the regret set in before she and her mom were back in the car. Shopping was pretty much a miserable experience all the way around. The only part Jennifer thoroughly enjoyed was the ritual stop at Orange Julius!
Jennifer begins to suffer from major guilt her sophomore year! It is related to what happened with Eric and at Whale Park. I looked up dream interpretation. Spiders are meaningful and so is poison. Poison supposedly represents something in your life causing you negativity, disruption or illness. Seeing a spider represents being overlooked by other people. It is also a dream symbol of female protective power. Jennifer was friendless, overlooked, poisoned by her experiences and also trying to protect herself from all of it.
I think it's powerful that images of her experiences would come into her head and she would push them away. She was forcibly trying to block her own memories--this is Jennifer trying to protect herself--but they keep coming back! Just like the sticky spider leg, she ignores it, it terrifies her, she knows that she is the only one with the power to remove it--but she can't face it.
Guilt and shame are major causes of pain for humans, in my opinion. So many of us carry around memories of things we have done or seen or failed to prevent. They haunt us. We don't always feel we deserve happiness. We are humble--but for the wrong reasons. Humbleness because of inadequacy or guilt is low self-esteem, not true humility. Here are some quotes regarding humility as a virtue.
"Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when, in fact, it is a point of equilibrium. The opposite of pride is actually a lack of self esteem. A humble person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as part of this worlds marvels." ---Rabino Nilton Bonder
"True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us." ---Tyron Edwards
"The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient." ---St. AugustineJennifer will hang onto her guilt for many, many years. She will soon begin to punish herself. Her worst years are ahead of her. She will try to atone through self-abuse but forgiveness is the only path to her own salvation. It will take a bold move from somebody to save her. Her parent's love is not enough. Nobody even knows what has happened to her! It will take a monumental display of forgiveness and sacrifice for her to see her own worth. Something so big that it is talked about for the rest of time! But that's later.....
For now, she is stuck. She strives to be perfect. She writes a contract limiting her behavior to only that which is pleasing. She shoves aside violent memories. She confides in no one, not even in her own diary. She puts on a brave face and gets ready to begin her third high school.