The date, 9/11, will never be the same for my generation. The images of the planes crashing into the buildings are burned into my memory forever. Even this entry, 16 years before the terrorist attack, brings the events of that day in 2001 right back to me just because of the date on the top of the page, September 11th..
Anyway, it was not lost on anyone that 9/11 consists of the same numbers that all Americans call in case of an emergency, 9-1-1. Jennifer's 9/11 entry is her own 9-1-1 call to herself. She's terrified to live and terrified to die!
As a parent, I find it alarming that Jennifer is having suicidal thoughts and NO ONE around her has a clue. She's a middle-class, straight A student. She's applying to volunteer at a hospital. She has dreams for her future. She just needs to survive high school!!! Even Jennifer is aware that she just needs to get through. High school is the long dark tunnel. She knows there is light at the end. She can see it! Yet she has no confidence that she will make it there.
Jennifer also knows she needs help. This is the second time she's mentioned wanting a psychiatrist. Jennifer, reading this entry now, is not sure why she didn't talk to her parents and ask for help. She remembers thinking that they should just know. They knew when she needed clothes, when she needed a doctor appointment., when she needed to go to bed, when she needed to clean her room--dependent children don't always realize when they need to take care of themselves. Jennifer was also shy. She didn't want to talk to her parents about WHY she needed a psychiatrist.
I think we should all offer our children someone to talk to privately--a trusted friend, a professional, a youth pastor, a relative--just somebody that the parent trusts--and more importantly--someone that the child also trusts!!! Offering the wrong person won't do any good at all.
Jennifer went from being daddy's girl to not getting along with her dad for many, many years. He was Mr. Spock--rigid, unemotional and logical--classic Silicon Valley computer programmer. Jennifer was passionate, sensitive and irrational--classic teenage girl! She kicked him in the stomach to get a reaction out of him. It didn't work. He didn't raise his voice, never shouted, never hit--he frustrated her to no end! Looking back, these aren't bad traits to have! However, Jennifer craved a relationship that was more dimensional.
BTW--I googled "J.A. high school meetings" because Jennifer couldn't remember what J.A. meant. It seems to be a national Junior Achievement program.
I like Jennifer's quote "My job is to take all the paths that lead to the light and not to stray. Then I can assure myself of life and, hopefully, a successful future." Jennifer is still on this path!