My grandmother kept a diary for years and faithfully wrote entries every single day. I received a diary when I was 11 (birthday present, I'm guessing) and made a rather half-hearted attempt to keep a record of my life. Unfortunately, I wasn't very good at it, and I had a younger brother who kept stealing it to read it (even though there was very little written inside -- go figure).
I did make some notes about life with my new adoptive "family" during my first couple years there. I'm transcribing them now just as I wrote them then.
June 20, 1968
The summer is going to be hard, I know that. Today I feel like Katrina did in the play, it seems like the world is ending. I wish it were. I miss my dead mother and wish she were here.
November 26, 1968
School was OK today. I don't really understand German. I want to go back to Indiana. I miss V.W., Father, Grandmother G, and Penni.
November 27, 1968
I just finished practicing. Today I feel more like a person than I did yesterday.
(Later) I changed my mind. I feel rotten! I'm in bedroom, mom was up here checking on us. S is calling to me. I want to lie down and cry all night.
November 28, 1968
Happy Thanksgiving! It is only morning now. We can have nothing to eat until our rooms are clean. I'm going to clean mine in a minute. I feel like an outcast. I want to live in peace. So why can't I? Why are we so different from loving familys? Have to go to bed at 6:15. Rotten house. Not home. House.
November 30, 1968
Guess what? Can't use telephone for a month. S. going to move to High Meadows. That's a gardien home. Another argument. I miss my home. I miss my mother's quiet voice. I miss my mother's show of love. This mom doesn't show love. I'm crying and I don't know why. I want to go home!
This has been one of the worst months of my life. It has been all arguing, yelling, and screaming. I hope that Dec. will be a lot better for the whole family.
December 5, 1968
If things keep going this way, I can tell that even with Father and Grandmother G here I won't be happy at Christmas. This life is really rotten. Why did mother die? I still don't know. Maybe I never will.
[Interpose: This is a rhetorical question. My grandmother died of cancer and I was well aware of that fact. It's more of a "Why did she die and leave me" kind of question.]
December 9, 1968
Rotten house! Rotten school. Really rotten! Why, oh why?
December 10, 1968
Al mom ever does is treat S special. She got into my purse and whipped me. She blames me for everything! She hates me.
December 31, 1968
This has been the worst year of my life. I hope and pray that we will be able to live together next year. I believe that Mom has a grudge against me. I don't know. It's probably because I don't want to live here. I never have and I don't think I ever will. K, Father and Grandmother were here off and on this year.
January 2, 1969
1st day of school was OK. Mom slapped me on the left ear. I wish that she would leave us alone for just a little while. Going to ask Mrs. C. to give me a new [homework] paper. Mom tried to throw mine away and it got crumpled up and dirty. But it's done!
February 5, 1969
Got report cards on Mon., passed everything. Having picture taken on Sat. for paper about contest. Have to do foreign language report in English. Got 99 on science test.
February 6, 1969
I'm starting to read "Man Against Insanity." It's OK, I guess. Might not have pic. taken on Sat. Called mom what she is, a pig!
February 7, 1969
Not having pic taken on Sat. Definate. I kinda wish I could commit suicide. I'd be too scared to though. Going to bed at 8:40.
[Interpose: Over the next couple years, I would mention suicide several times. I wrote suicide notes and left them where they could be found and read by my uncle's wife, whom I'm sure "snooped." However, she never said anything about them, so I don't know if she ever read them. This first mention of suicide came when I was still two months shy of my 12th birthday.]
May 18, 1969
When I die, bury me by my parents' side. Please! Not the Jrs the Seniors! I love them.
May 19, 1969
I have a sore throat. Had to go to bed at 8:30. Someone got into gram cracker crumbs. I hope and pray that they find me inn. or guilty.
May 21, 1969
Still got cough & cold. Had to go to bed at 7:49. Mom came in when I was taking a bath.
June 21, 1969
Out of school 6/20/69, Haven't got report card. Have to pay back fines. I wish I could lose weight. Please, God, make me! Please, make me!
June 30, 1969
Going to camp on Mon. Down to 139 on these scales. Really! Getting a new wardrobe if I get down to 130. Plus $2.00! Wish me luck!