The kitchen--it's location in the house, all the chores attached to it, the food issues and the money issues it can bring up--the kitchen is the heart and hotbed of the home! Jennifer remembers a lot of family meetings regarding the kitchen!
I feel for Jen in this entry. She speaks the truth--her parents are right--she is self-centered. She's not apologizing for that either. When Jennifer lived with her mother--she was a latchkey kid from about the age of 8. Her job was to take care of herself so that her mom could work. When Jennifer lived with her dad, she remained a latchkey kid and she was unsupervised even when her father was home. Jennifer fed herself all her meals, rode her bike wherever she needed to go, purchased her own clothes and supplies for school, went to bed when she felt like it and was 100% responsible for her own homework--basically, she made all of her own decisions. She used to tell her dad her plans, she didn't ask for permission. This is a lot of freedom for a kid in junior high.
Now, she's in high school. She's trying to change. She's trying to consider the family as a whole. She is feeling pressure from all sides. Teens in general live in pressure-cookers--they are making huge life-changing decisions, they have no perspective of time or mortality, they have jobs, they drive cars, they have tons of homework, they can be their own worst critics, they have no idea how beautiful they are, they are expected to act like adults but they are treated like kids, they have raging hormones, they can reproduce and that's scary and all of it can be overwhelming. It was hard for Jennifer not to live in the center of her own world during this time.
I think Jennifer is suffering from extreme anxiety. It would be cool if some kind of "forensic psychologist" could review her diaries and diagnose young Jennifer. I know she's not insane, but her gut was telling her that she needed help and I think she was right. Jennifer's normal teen problems were amplified through anxiety, depression and mood swings.
While I'm not a fan of medicating children--I think Jennifer might have benefited from some kind of anti-anxiety medication along with therapy. Jennifer did not know how to ask for this kind of help--but she found it anyway--in illegal drugs. It's amazing how resourceful humans are, for better or for worse! Jennifer finds a drug that reduces her anxiety and she takes to it like a duck to water. It was not good behavior on her part, but it may have helped save her life. I wonder how many teens are using drugs just to survive the day?