After helping Lori tidy up Paige decided to go and do her homework. Her new school set a lot of homework and she was desperate to succeed, set a good impression and pass all of her GCSEs. Paige also wanted to escape the tension in the living room where Lori and Jack were about to discuss Tim, Tim’s proposals and what was happening with Ryan. Ryan knew what he wanted but Lori and Jack were uncertain, Paige felt that an argument was brewing. Paige went up to her room to find her work, she felt thankful she didn’t have to share with Rose or Sophie anymore. Everything was starting to fall apart for Paige and she longed to be alone. Paige picked up her dark brown leather diary, curled up on her bed and began to write.
Diary Entries - December
It’s beginning again, and it is only the end of December.
I’m feeling stressed from exams, controlled assessments and coursework. I feel unable to cope with everything that is going on in my life, not even my amazing supportive friends will be able to help me now. I don’t trust them enough, or myself. I can’t rely on other people, I want everything done properly, efficiently and effectively. I guess I’m just an OCD perfectionist as I have always been. I know Tamara, my biological mother, was a perfectionist too and she was always even more extreme than I am. I have never felt so bad before so, really, this is definitely only the beginning.
It began, I guess, when I felt really upset and depressed; I skipped my lunch, chucking it all away except for some black grapes. I had to stay healthy. I needed a few calories to live off to begin with. I don’t know why I did it, it was just an action but it seemed to be a catalyst for something bigger. Lori and Jack would notice that something was happening if I hadn’t eaten the grapes and I didn’t want to worry them, it gave me an extra sense of control too. I could give and take whatever I wanted. Lori and Jack already feared that they weren’t caring for us enough and they might have felt even more rejected like me and my siblings occasionally felt with Nathan and Tamara if I admitted all my feelings and emotional turmoil to them.
That evening, I cut my arm with a safety pin, my hand ended up with cuts all over it too and a tiny bit of blood. Nothing excessive but then there was nothing else I could find. It hurt quite a lot but I felt calmer and happier afterwards. It eased away the momentous pain I had been overwhelmed with. It was self-harm though. I understand that, I’m not actually stupid though I seem it sometimes. The scars are still there at the moment, over a month later, seeing as it is now the end of December. You can hardly tell but they’re visible to me. I knew they were there before so I suppose they’ll always be visible to my eyes. A constant reminder of what I experienced. Hanna and Louise had already taken the scissors off me that day, seeing that I was going to hurt myself during our Chemistry lesson. Even Isabelle seemed disappointed in me then. I wanted Isabelle to be happy; she had become the only one who understood me as me. Someone I could act normally around without hurting her feelings and she had been one of my first friends when I started at the college.
I regularly skipped lunch after that, it made me feel good but then I started to feel depressed again, especially when Indigo and Isabelle saw my hands. Indigo questioned me and Isabelle just listened. I couldn’t do anything without them realising and giving me the third degree. I wanted to live my own life and let the sorrow out in my own way. Cutting seemed to be the only successful way for me to do this.
That’s when I wrote a short story, to try and explain myself to them and to help them realise what and who they were dealing with. I’ll print it out and paste it on the next page so that it won’t get lost and I can help myself not to get so low and depressed again. My heart was crying out for help but my brain told me I didn’t need it, that I shouldn’t let it in. I couldn’t face the knowledge I was no longer in control. I didn’t realise then, I still don’t know it half the time now either. I just want to be perfect and there doesn’t seem a way to turn this into reality.
I have done self-harm again; on the side of my body where no one could see and criticise the way I have been trying to express my feelings and the pain I kept getting weighed down by. Safety pins were useful to remove the sadness and confusion that I felt. I felt more alone than ever at school and at home. Ryan was gradually progressing in his mission to convert Lori and Jack into believing he would be capable of studying academically and doing athletics training with Tim everyday whilst Rose and Sophie seemed to love school and talk of nothing else at dinner and throughout the evening. I could talk to no one. I felt as though I was a desert island and I couldn’t explain myself to anyone. I couldn’t tell whether I was angry, afraid, scared or just wallowing in self-pity.
Lori noticed my negative, depressive mood yesterday. It looks like she realised that there’s a problem. I don’t think I can deal with her interfering in my private personal life. It only makes me feel worse about myself and usually leads to greater damage. Why does she do this to me? I was under control of my life, my weight and my health but now I’m going to be struggling again. Sometimes I wish Lori hadn’t adopted me, I wonder what it would have been like to live with another couple in a different environment and whether everything would have turned out differently. Maybe I could have escaped this turmoil.
You won’t understand, or you might, but when I do eat I feel like a fraud, disloyal to what I’ve been ‘told’ by my friend Anastasia. Anastasia says she knows what’s best for me and forces me to obey. She is very strict and I suppose I’ve never known such a harsh, domineering companion. Afterwards, I punish myself with self-inflicted pain, verbal abuse and an even longer period of starvation. Eating is giving way to temptation and cannot be tolerated. I have come to view it as a sin, especially when I eat more than I have trained myself to consume. I cannot go against my ideals or I will be a total failure in life. Perfection is all I can aim for, but it’s so hard. It seems like I’ll never become perfect. A wish that is beyond my grasp.
To explain it to you, reader, it’s like I’ve been possessed but it’s only an internal effect. No one on the outside has noticed and this astonishes me. It seems blatantly obvious to me. I have become more closed and I can feel myself retreating, ready to lock the doors between me and those who were once close to me. I cannot let them in; not now, even if they try techniques that should work. I am a rock, I have no cracks, and no one can get in and wear me away. No one can shoulder my burden, whatever they say. I cannot admit it to them. Too soon they forget and think I’ve got over it all when inside I’m screaming and shouting for help. But they don’t hear, they just turn and walk away.
So much of my life is fake; being happy, saying ‘I’m fine’ a million times a day, smiling, eating unwanted meals, sleeping. Where is the truth? My brain is a war zone, different thoughts and feelings surrounding me each and every minute. I can’t control them. I have complicated arguments in my head and I don’t even understand them myself, I get utterly confused. I don’t know where I stand; I even believe that Kitty and Indigo are deserting me. I know they have their own problems but I thought that they cared a bit and would still support me. Kitty promised we would discuss our problems to help lighten the burden but she keeps changing her mind.
My emotions are running riot, it could be puberty but I shouldn’t feel the way that I do. I can’t even explain it. That’s partly why I can tell no one about this. I can’t find the words. I just feel fat and ugly, unwanted and a failure. Oh, this diary has become such a mess and barley any of it makes sense. It is just thought upon thought upon thought with random feelings stuck in at odd angles. Although, this does represent a true picture of my brain at the moment.