November 2, 2009

Teen Aged Angst




A diarist by 1956; here I am in 1958.



Himself: He thinks he’s going to live. Great speaker last night.

Herself: Life devolved to the symptoms of a common cold. We took a long nap yesterday and only coughed a few times. Only woke a few times in the night too. Progress at last. Following a theme of journal and diary writing.

Reading: Rereading Harry Potter 1.

Balance: That nap.

I began keeping a diary in the middle 1950’s. I used a small, blue fabric covered, three ringed notebook that I’d been given when sent away to boarding school in 1954. When I wasn’t “invited back” to that school mother had to find another solution. She sent me to a military prep school where I was one of only two girls.

No one understood learning disabilities there, but I didn’t care. All those boys. Who cared about anything else.

I began writing about those boys, those young men. I kept their names not only on the inside of those boards but scribbled everywhere on the outside. A diary is a very personal thing, and these writings were very typical scribbles of a teenagers discoveries of boys, boys, boys, and school failures.

Oh, there were other things. Friendships. My grandma. Once two acquaintances burned in a house fire. I remember saving the newspaper clippings and taping them on my pages. I didn’t understand a lot. Perhaps whatever I was went beyond socially inept.

And of course, I whined about my over-educated parents on page after page. My drunken parents. I counted their drinks. I wrote how cruel they were, and I vowed I would never be like them. Never. They vowed I needed an education; I couldn’t understand what I found in school. Life wasn’t simple for a teenager with learning disabilities and alcoholism herself.

I cried, I whined, I wrote endlessly. My teen aged angst filled page after page, and the pages survived my joining the army, marriage, two kids, and only after separating from my first husband in did they vanish into the fire that consumed the Garrison House. From a continuing madness into a cleansing….yet I still have the notebook.

1 comment:

  1. What a valuable insight into how you came to be. We all are bits and pieces of the good and bad of those who touch us and out job is to carve something strong and true out of that. Your picture reminds me a little of my neice and less of my young sister (her mother) who died a number of years ago. Not saying that to make things somber...just commenting. Photo is so intriguing.

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