JOURNAL NO. 7
October 1973 - November 1973
Age 15


"I don't see how I can go on living."




Sunday
October 7, 1973

This was Dad's 38th birthday ... so, around 3:00 or so, I walked down to Albertsons and bought him some stuff - a new "Peanuts" coloring book, a box of crayons and a "Little LuLu Magic Slate" ... real grownup gifts, ha ha. A very boring day, just sat around the house watching TV with Dad.

Last night I went and had dinner at Dave S.'s house. I'd been dreading it all week, but since I couldn't figure out any plausible excuse to get out of it, I went. (He and his dad) came to pick me up around 6:00 - we sat around in their living room and "visited" until dinner. It was one of the crummiest meals I've ever had - lasagna made with spinach inside, yuck.  I told them I had a babysitting job at 8:00, and got them to drop me off at Clarence's. It was pouring down rain, freezing cold and pitch dark when I got there. We had fun at Clarence's house - stayed upstairs the whole time, made cream puffs and watched TV and talked. His Dad went out "boozin'" so there weren't too many people around. We got over to my house about 11:30 and he stayed for another half an hour before he left.

Dinner tonight was steak and salad. I sat around, waiting and waiting for Clarence to come by and pick me up for church, but he didn't show up until 7:30. So we stayed here instead and watched TV with Dad (woopee).

I love Clarence so much, I really do and always will ... and when I read what he wrote on the next page, I almost felt like crying. Especially the part that says, "I hope we get married, and all our plans and dreams come true." We do have a lot of plans & dreams, and they all include each other. That's why I don't ever want to break up with him - he means too much to me, and we've been through too much together.

My dream last night: I dreamed that I met Richard Thomas ("John Boy" on The Waltons) and that him and me liked each other a whole lot. Weird.

This is what Clarence wrote in my ledger:

"I will wright it like a letter. Dear Terri, Terri I love you every minute of the day 7 days a week 56 weeks a year, and I'm glad I do have you instead some other dog. But your not a dog. I hope we do get married Terri and all our plans and dreams come true.

I don't know what else to say so I guess I'll go, just remember I love you en thoe I'm not with you, I'll always love you even if your married to some jerk. I'll still love you, Terri. What else can I say and that is I care about you alot to Terri. 

From your loving last boyfriend before your married

CLARENCE

I love you Terri"

 

 

 

Monday
October 8, 1973

This day - hmmm. OK, I guess. Clarence looked really cute today - old jeans, Bob's long-sleeved blue shirt. I like him dressed like a "hippie" - he looks good that way. All the sophomores were supposed to dress up like cowboys and Indians today, for Homecoming Spirit Week, but I didn't bother. English - boring as usual, had to sit and watch that turkey, Mike (or whatever his name is) fawn over Darcy. Yuck. Spanish was pretty good - Steve Morgan and Kirk Utley (seniors) were talking to me, getting me to help them with the assignment. Algebra - the usual. Lunch - the usual. History was pretty good ... Mr. Lien had me draw a grid for him on the blackboard, and then we recorded our Search team averages. Our team's doing pretty good. Study Hall - the usual. Biology - had a discussion on individuals and populations.

After school, Bob (Clarence's brother) gave us a ride home - me, Clarence, Karen, Bob's girlfriend Jody and Jody's best friend Roberta, Jerry Pitts and his girlfriend Debbie. Clarence walked me home from his house, and stayed for a few minutes. I ate a big plate of spaghetti at about 3:15 - then later went over to Boulevard Park school and watched Ron McC. and Clarence playing basketball. After Ron left, Clarence and me were chasing each other all over the school grounds, goofing around, having fun. Something happened to ruin our "good mood" tho - I think I said something "in jest" and he took it the wrong way.

After dinner Dad gave me this lecture on how Clarence and me sit there and "cuddle" in front of him every night, and "lay all over each other like pillows." He said that if it didn't stop, he'd say something to Clarence about it. That made me MAD, and when I told Clarence, it made him mad, too.

 

 

 

Thursday
October 11, 1973

I stayed home from school yesterday and today with "a cold" (supposedly) - it gave me a chance to get away from the pressures of school for a couple of days. I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning the house - spent $1.60 on a bottle of Mr. Clean and some floor cleaner, and then I did everything! I cleaned the stove and refrigerator, scrubbed and waxed the floors, dusted, vacuumed, shined the windows and polished the toaster, cleaned out the shelves and drawers, washed the dishes ... etc. etc. The house looks beautiful now!

Today I took it a little easier - watched Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey in "Of Human Bondage" until 11:30, and then I just sat around and napped for most of the afternoon. We have a three day weekend now, since tomorrow is a Teacher's Workshop, but it won't be much fun because Dad has all three days off too. How nice. I'll probably never get one minute alone with Clarence.

Ice cream soda
Ice cold punch
What's the name
Of your honeybunch?

There are so many things that I should do. I should clean my room, I should write a letter to Dave or Mark, I should do my algebra homework, I should call Jolita Willott (a friend from camp), I should wash the dishes ...

Dad spent his evening in the radio room, typing and working on the Time Capsule. I cooked a frozen little piece of steak for dinner, with a baked potato. Clarence came over and watched TV with me until around 11:30.

 

 

 

Friday
October 12, 1973

Slept in late - until around 11 or so. I had some real weird dreams ... me and a bunch of girls from Glendale were captured by Nazis. (?) Got up, ate a tuna fish sandwich and a fudge brownie, and layed around in the living room watching dumb TV shows with Dad. Clarence came over around 1:00, and while Dad went grocery shopping for an hour, Clarence and me had the place to ourselves. Later on in the afternoon, we three drove over to Valu Mart and I bought two records, "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad, and my most super-favorite song, "Dream On" by Aerosmith. I made a delicious dinner by hand - pork chops baked in sliced potatoes, onions and chicken gravy, and creamed peas and port wine. Mmm!

A while later I went over to Clarence's - he picked me up a 1/2 hr. late, which got me all mad and set the tone for the evening. Tim O'B. was there, and I kept getting mad at him (they were working on Clarence's radio). After he left, Clar and me had to go upstairs and watch TV with his family. We got into so many small arguments.

Terri: "You'll never be able to get up that early."
Clarence: "I'm afraid so, Terri."
Terri: "Well, I'm afraid that you make me sick!"

After I said that I got up and went out into the living room, and Clarence, stunned and hurt, went downstairs to his room alone. After about 20 minutes I couldn't stand it anymore, so I went down to see what he was doing. After a few minutes we got back on fairly good terms, but there was still a lot of tension in the air. I decided that I wanted to go home early, so he walked me home in the blistering cold rain. He didn't say one word to me the whole walk home, didn't even try to hold my hand. I started to get upset all over again.  At my house, Dad had gone to bed, so I turned all the lights down low and turned on "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" on TV. We sat there for nearly 45 minutes, and during that entire time he didn't say a word to me, didn't even seem to realize I was there. The more time that passed, the more upset I was getting. Clarence must have sensed this because he started staring at me. I was looking straight at the TV but I could feel those eyes on me, cold and piercing. Five minutes ... and then I couldn't stand it anymore. I looked at him and said "WOULD YOU JUST KNOCK IT OFF." He looked hurt, and I turned around and buried my face into a pile of pillows and started sobbing, as though my heart would break. All the misery of the past few weeks, the fights with Dad, school, everything, all joined together in those tears. Beside me I could hear Clarence stand up and put on his coat and hat. Tear-stained, I turned to him and said with all the bitterness I could muster, "You can take the ring with you, too." 

He looked at me. "You don't mean that?" he whispered.

I couldn't lie. "I don't want to break up," I said, "but I just can't take it anymore."

"Can't take what anymore?" he asked. "Tell me, Terri, please?" He sat down and looked at me pleadingly, as though he were about to cry himself. 

We talked, for nearly half an hour. I told him everything that was upsetting me. The way he totally ignores me, pushes me around, teases me, makes me feel unwanted ... the way he's always hitting me, punching me, "play fighting" he calls it, but he always gets too carried away and it hurts ... the way he gets mad at every little thing I say, and takes things too seriously. He tried to kiss me, tried to hold me, but I struggled and fought him off, hitting him in the back with my fists. "That isn't going to work this time!!" I said. Then he started telling me his side ... how all the other guys that like me have money, and can afford to buy me nice things and take me places, and how all he could afford to get me (he said with tears in his eyes) was "that cheap fuckin' ring." We apologized - we made up - and he was so sweet to me the rest of the night. Things were beautiful.

 

 

 

Saturday
October 13, 1973

A pretty good day. I had to go over to Grandma's, as usual, from about 10:00 to 2:00, and Dad gave me a ride over there. On the spur of the moment Grandma decided to take me to Southcenter to buy my winter coat, so she got her next door neighbor Marion to drive us over there. We bought my coat first, at Frederick & Nelson, for $37.00. It's beautiful - a brown suede pantcoat with cream colored fur at the collar and cuffs, zipper front and zip pockets. I ran all over Southcenter trying to find some swabbies - almost bought these really dorky ones at Bottoms, until I finally got the nerve to say "No thanks" - but I couldn't find any anywhere. How discouraging. I also bought some new lipstick and fingernail polish at Penney's.

When we got back to Grandma's I practiced (the piano) a little while, and then Grandpa drove me home. Dad was out shopping in Rainier Valley for a couple of hours, so I had the place to myself for a little while. Played "Dream On," my FAVORITE song, at full blast, then Clarence and Tim stopped by. They were out riding Tim's motorcycle, and I've never seen Clarence in such a happy, sweet, exuberant mood! When Dad got home he gave me a new blank tape (for the reel to reel) and then fixed the stereo so I could record off of it. I had a ham TV dinner, and then around 6:30 Clarence and me walked clear over to Grandma St. John's, and then to Mom's, just to "visit" and to give them one of my school pictures. Dad was busy typing when we got back to my house around 8:30 or so, so we sat out on the couch and watched TV. I got this tremendous urge for a Totino's pizza, so we walked down to Albertsons and bought one. Clarence stayed until about 12:30, and he was in a beautiful mood the whole time.

I love him, dearly, desperately, completely.

 

 

 

Sunday
October 14, 1973

Had an awful night's sleep - people shouting and talking all night (Dad's drunk noisy friends), it was way too hot and stuffy in my room, all my covers kept falling off. Things. Recorded some songs, sat around in my dirty room. Clarence went fishing with Tim at 4 this morning - they're both OUT OF THEIR MINDS.

Dad had an accident with the car this morning. He was backing out of the driveway and he ran into the open furnace room door.  

Songs recorded on the reel-to-reel:

"Dream On" - Aerosmith (record)
"Baby I Love You" - Andy Kim (radio)
"American Band" - Grand Funk (radio)
"Top of the World" - Carpenters (radio)

At night - after dinner and washing a mountain of dishes -  I told Dad I was going to church. Instead I went over to Clarence's. We played with this adorable little salt & pepper kitten that Steve and Mike found ... that is, until Joe opened his big mouth, threw a typical 5 yr. old tantrum ("I want the kitty back!!") and promptly had the kitten thrown out. Brat.

 

 

 

Monday
October 15, 1973

Went back to school. Yuck. Mrs. Claiborne was her usual $&#*& self, "Darcy-this, Darcy-that" ... had to read out of these dumb English books about noun clauses. Spanish, nothing exciting, ditto Algebra. During History we went to the library to work on our Search projects, and I had to answer the questions Jeanne Peacor made up for me. Clayton Sine is on my team (I'm the team captain) and he's so sweet. I've known him for years - we've been going to church together since we were just little tykes - and he's really nice. Study Hall was OK. I was a little nicer to Richard  than I usually am: on the other hand, I tried to avoid talking to Pam any more than I had to. Ever since I saw her and Christy (former friends) smoking in the back field, I've felt & seen how far apart we've grown. Too bad.  Anyone who smoked cigarettes was automatically 'bad' in my fifteen-year-old book.

After school I actually got the energy to completely clean my room. That was a big, BIG job, since it's been a mess since even before I left for camp, two months ago. Took me about 4-5 hours, counting the hours I put in yesterday. Whew!

After dinner (hamburgers, Pepsi and "I Dream of Jeannie"), Clarence came over, bringing his Jim Croce album. (Jim Croce died in a plane crash a few weeks ago.) I taped a couple of songs off the record, and I liked the results so much that I ended up taping the whole album (about 35 min. worth). Clarence and me washed dishes while Dad and "Lucky" (Pat O'Brien) talked in the living room. Then we three watched "You're Elected, Charlie Brown" and some special on Channel 9 about Egyptology ... Clarence left at 9:30 when "Here's Lucy" was over.

My left foot is in so much pain, ever since this morning when I stepped on a piece of glass. OUCH!

 

 

 

Tuesday
October 16, 1973

What an awful day ... I feel so out of it and alone in school now. Clarence is the only one I spend time with, the only friend I have left. Even Karen, my former "best friend," gradually and irrevocably has drifted away. I feel so lonely and unloved and unpopular. Why is life like this? Why do some people think they're better than others, and destroy each other in their insane battle to reach the top? What about us, the little people? Not the cheerleaders, football stars, class officers, club presidents. The insignificant people, the faceless nameless puppets manipulated (or ignored) by these social gods. We never win an office. We never get our name in the paper. We never get voted Homecoming Princess of Athlete of the Month or Student of the Year. People don't say "hi" to us in the halls, or invite us to Friday night's party. We're not important enough. We may be pretty enough, or nice enough, or smart enough - but that doesn't really count unless we're important. We're not cool. We don't swear at our teachers, don't sneak cigarettes in the girls' can, don't go with twelve different boys a week. Not for lack of trying, anyway.  No, we're not cool. We do our homework, wear funny clothes, don't swear, keep quiet in class. It's just not fair. Why should other people be able to destroy MY life?

I keep telling myself, "It's only three more years." Three more years of high school, and then I'm getting out. I'll go to some peaceful little Christian college, get married, raise a family. Forget all about high school. But still, it seems a shame. I'm wasted the three (supposedly) best years of my life, and there will probably be so many things I'll wish I could do over ...

Life is a bother.

 

 

 

Thursday
October 18, 1973

Things are better, but not quite. I think something's wrong with me physically. I'm having severe cramps, and I'm not even due for "that time" for another week and a half! Hmmm. Had an awful fit of depression today - actually wishing I was dead. Everything seems to be going wrong lately. Maybe it's just me? Wish I was back at Camp Firwood for another two weeks - I need the soul-straightening.

My Prayer

O Lord, I know you love me. I know that You care about me deeply, watch over me always, protect me constantly. I feel You with me, around me, in me. That's why I trust You so much, even during these troubled times. My heart is heavy, Lord, my soul is lonely ... sometimes I feel I have no friends at all. I don't understand why my life has to seem so terrible right now, but I trust You and love You enough to realize "all things work out according to Your perfect will." Thank You, Lord, for all my trials. Through them, You are making me strong and more perfect in Your sight.

Amen.

 

 

 

Friday
October 19, 1973

This day was a lot, lot better. I still had pretty bad cramps all day, but my spirits were a little higher. Clarence and me got a ride to school this morning from some guy named Dennis, and a ride home from him.

 

 

This entry has no date

I really don't know why I stayed home today ... so far today I haven't had any cramps; and my "cold" really couldn't be considered serious enough to warrant absence. Today has been a total waste.

(Who the heck was THAT??? Some guy in a business suit just opened my bedroom door and said, "Oops, pardon me." !!!?? Oh, now Dad, the bastard, just yelled at me   ...  he said that was some guy from the company that owns the house, inspecting it to see that we're keeping it in good condition. "That's why you should keep your room clean!" he bellowed. To which I retorted, "I don't need to keep my room clean for HIM." God, that really makes me mad. Like I really feel like doing a lot of HOUSEWORK right now ... )

Life is a definite downer. School is boring and lonely, my only friends being Clarence and Jesus ... being excluded from the popular cliques ... having an entire house to clean every day ...

Now my cramps are starting to hurt. Maybe 'cause I'm upset? And for some weird reason I'm having these awful arthritic-type pains across the bridge of my nose! Ouch.

 

 

A lot of pages are missing from this journal  --  I censored it during the late 70's  --  so some of these entries won't make a lot of sense because they're incomplete or clumsily re-written.

 

 

(This is obviously about my best friend Karen)

... We shared everything - clothes, food, records, boys, interests, friends. Then boyfriends came - specifically Clarence (for me) and Larry (for her) --- and now we hardly even speak anymore. She's just shoved me off in a corner, just like everyone else in the world has.

"Don't be impatient for the Lord to act," it says in Psalms. I wish I could be patient, but it's hard. I've had to endure so much, and it seems so unfair. Why can't I be accepted? It's gotten to the point where I don't even enjoy life anymore. That's terrible - only 16 years old, and I've lost all joy for living. I feel washed out and miserable already. I honestly wish I had never been born.

Why, God - why couldn't you have let Ronald live, and taken me instead?  Ronald was the stillborn baby my mother gave birth to before she had me. That way, I never would have had to learn all the cruel lessons of the world, wouldn't have had to face all this pain and loneliness. Being lonely is sort of like being dead - you're isolated and cut off from the rest

 

 

 

October 30, 1973
Tuesday
English Class

Feels like a Monday - same cold, grey, depressive mood. They just announced over the intercom that "students interested in trying out for the J.V. Cheer Staff should meet etc. etc."  Big deal. It's obvious who'll try out and make it ... former Sunset and Glendale cheerleaders. So what's the use in trying? I'm not planning on getting cut down and hurt again, like I did in 8th grade. No way.

Spanish. Ouch. I have another terrible, pounding headache, at least a migraine. Hmm. That makes two times in a row that I've woken up with a bad headache in the morning. That's bad? Damn Mrs. O. (Spanish teacher) - what a bird brain. ("I can't even think of your name this morning.") That really makes me feel wonderful - like a nameless, faceless nobody that everyone has simply discarded. Wonders for my ego. I'm at least a year and a half ahead of every single student in this first grade level class -- it's so easy, it's like playing with my Barbie dolls or learning my ABC's. Which is why I flunked it the previous year.  My fourth year of Spanish, and they're still stumbling over the present perfect tense. Yawn.

Algebra. A couple minutes to write before class starts. I feel ugly today - crummy jeans, old white sweater, wedgies that I hate. Why do I dress like this? Probably because I just about don't have any other clothes to wear. Oh well, don't start getting all hung up on outward appearances again. That's another trap. I feel too much at peace w/God to fill my mind with plastic desires.

Tomorrow night is Hallowe'en, and as far as I know Clarence and me are just going to stay at my house and pass out treats. (What terrific fun.) I guess I don't mind ... but. I can't help remembering memories of past Hallowe'ens, filled with fun & laughter & friends. Like the Hallowe'en I spent at The Firs, or the terrific party at Cyndi Abel's last year. I think it's symbolic in a way: this year it will be just Clarence and me, no excitement or other friends or social life at all ... just like every other aspect of my life. I've got to cheer myself up, make something worthy of this life I'm wasting. I keep thinking, "When I'm older, I'll do something wonderful that the whole world will love me for, and THEN they'll realize how rotten they treated me in high school!"  My dream.

 

 

She had always wanted to be a ballerina. Soaring, turning, flying across the stage with wings on her heels - she'd show them. She'd be the best; bringing audiences to their feet in wondrous admiration, moving people to tears with her heartbreakingly beautiful interpretations. She knew what she wanted. She'd show them. Or she'd be a lady scientist, hand in hand with the likes of Marie Curie or Lisle Hoppentov. Discovering a cure for cancer - or even the common cold - she would have the love and gratitude of the entire world. The Nobel Prizes would come every year; noted doctors and scientists from all over the world would consult her famous textbooks. She'd be the best. She'd show them. Sometimes she liked to imagine herself as a world famous artist, like Picasso or Van Gogh; or a renowned lady athlete, seven time gold medal winner at the Olympics, the pride of the fifty states; or even an Academy Award winning actress, sweetheart of the silver screen, whose face would be seen on every marquee and billboard in the country. Always the top; always the best. And she always thought, "I'll show them."

Dreams were what kept her going. They were the answer to the heartache and disillusionment in her life. Submerging herself in fantasy was the only way she knew to escape the real world: the only way she knew to find love and acceptance.

The other children didn't understand her. They jeered and taunted to hide their ignorance, as children often will. They rejected her, ignored her, shoved her into a corner and forgot about her. As they did so, she began to retreat into herself, past the point of caring. There was no outside world for her - only the inner world of fantasy.

At first it was other little girls refusing to share their Barbie dolls with her, or calling her a "retard." As she grew older, it was complete ostracism. Nothingness overtook her, days filled with dreaming in class and dreaming at home and nothing in between. Until one day she grew tired of her prison and tried to break free. She tried to reach out a little, started smiling more often, said "hello" to people she didn't know. But no one answered her back. They had grown so used to her walls, they'd forgotten she existed. She had always been nothing to them, and nothing was all she would ever be.

One day they found her dead in her room, her mother's empty pill bottle by her side. The high school buzzed with gossip for weeks. "Why do you think she did it?" they asked. "She was always so quiet." But after a while people forgot about it, and discarded her memory forever.

She hadn't shown them, after all.

 

 

 

Thursday
November 1, 1973
Spanish

Gosh, my rear hurts!! (laugh, laugh) I'm not kidding! I woke up this morning and my whole right leg and rear end are stiff and sore. Ouch. 

Clarence and me are mad at each other again, but what's new? Watched the last hour of "A Tale Of Two Cities" during English - what a terrific, sad, touching movie. Maybe I should find a copy of the book and read it.

 

 

Friday night
November 2, 1973

Sick and sad and feeling like I wish I were dead. Clarence and I broke up tonight for good, after the most miserable Friday night of my life and a horrendous fight (3/4 his fault, 1/4 mine) - (our dog) Lawnmower is gone for good, probably dead - and I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant. Well well well isn't THAT a nice trio.

 

 

 

Saturday morning
November 10, 1973

I think I'm going to have to break up with Clarence sometime soon ... I can't take it anymore. His callous, unconcerned attitude towards me, so different from the kind, loving person he used to be - he enjoys putting me down, insulting me, pushing me around. I'm tired, SICK and tired, of being the brunt of his emotional problems. He takes everything out on me, he really does. He hits me, shakes me, says he's "just kidding around" or he's "in a mean mood." I'm sick of it. I'm not his punching bag, and I'm not his whipping boy. I'm a human being, a complex, troubled, lonely person who needs love, reassurance and kindness the same way I need air, food and water. He is so negative all of a sudden. He puts down anything he sees on TV, or anything he hears. He never praises me for anything, never gives me a kind word or a tender smile. He never even says "I love you" anymore. I feel pushed onto the floor. He'll be sorry. He'll regret taking me for granted.  God, it's gotten to the point where the only way I can reach him is through sex. What a horrible, twisted relationship we've made for ourselves. And even when I do let him make love to me, there is no love in it anymore ...

I'm losing my love for him - through no fault of my own.

Later:

Like, here is it 1:30 a.m. and I'm still awake and alive (barely). All torn up by the movie "Sunshine" that I just watched ... just what I needed, a real tearjerker to cheer me up (ha!) Sitting here in my room with lighted candles, still fully dressed even, listening to Elton John singing "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself." I like that song a lot, think I'll play it again. That was actually something I considered, when I first realized I was probably pregnant - - I thought "Hey, I can't go on living. I can't face all the shame and degradation and scandal. So I guess I should consider suicide." Now I think, What for?? Why should I have to die, just because of what all these freaks have done to me, taken away my innocence? You gave it away. I don't have to die for them. I don't want to talk about that anyway. I feel sick. I bet everybody thinks about killing themselves, at least once in their lives. You know, sort of as a means to get "revenge" on everyone that contributed to their messed up lives. I've thot about it lots of times, even before the baby thing. But never in reality. I couldn't ever

 

(interrupted - pages torn out)

 

.. stop it this time! It's a pattern, an unmistakable pattern ... I'm about to lose my boyfriend to another girl who has managed to sneak in unnoticed. (Roberta B.) It's obvious. He's always talking about her -- one of the first things I ever heard him say about her was "she's pretty."

 

 

 

Monday
November 12, 1973

I hardly know where to begin. There's so much on my mind tonight, so much of importance.

I guess that first of all I should tell you my wonderful, exciting, beautiful news - I'm NOT pregnant!!! I'm so happy and filled with joy, I can't quit praising the Lord. My period started today and I love it, love God. All my worries, fears - gone! Like, it's terrific!

Only one thorn in my flesh left - no change in Clarence's attitude. At all. In fact, he's getting worse. He won't do anything anymore ... wouldn't hold my hand, put his arm around me, or anything. Now he's mad at me again. During Biology I asked him, "You like Roberta, don't you?" and for some reason that really ticked him off. He didn't speak to me the whole walk home, so I didn't bother going home with him like I usually do. Now he hasn't called or come over - it's 7:15 - or anything, and I realize that this might be "it." I've entrusted the whole thing to the Lord, because I know there's nothing more I can do to patch things up and win back Clarence's love. So I just trust God to take care of it, like He did my baby. And He will!

 

 

Here it is: the worst day of my teen years.

Tuesday morning
November 13, 1973

I just woke up - it's 6:20 or so - and before I go to school I've just got to write in you a little. I'm scared, and I feel so lonely ... Clarence didn't call me at all last night, so I went to bed early at 7:00 and got 2-1/2 extra hours of sleep. I feel terrific healthwise because of that extra sleep, but still I know this is going to be a very tough, lonely day. Clarence won't break down and ask for forgiveness -- too much newfound pride. And I sure won't. Well, I trust the Lord to take care of it.

5:00 p.m.

I don't see how I can go on living ...

If it isn't one thing, it's another. Yesterday I was so happy, finding out that I wasn't pregnant; and then today was the blackest day of my entire life.

I can't talk about it. I'm in so much pain and anguish. My whole world has just collapsed, and I feel like dying. Clarence and I have broken up, forever. He likes Roberta, and apparently has been two-timing me behind my back. Robin Smith saw them kissing yesterday.

I just want to die.

8:30 p.m.

I think I can write a little bit now, before I go to bed ... I still haven't been able to absorb the shock. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and I almost wish I were dead. I still love him, and care for him very very deeply ... it's going to take me a long, long time to get over this ... I feel more alone than I ever have in my entire life.






The Day After.

Wednesday
November 14, 1973

Am writing this at 6:30 a.m., after I got up and washed my hair. I feel so scared and shaky inside. This is going to be one of the hardest days I've ever had to face in my whole life. I've turned it all over to the Lord, because there is nothing I can do about it, Ledger. But I'm still so scared ...

I wonder what I'll be writing on the next page in nine hours. I shudder to think.

4:30 p.m.

Just finished straightening up the living room ... it's raining and cold outside, Dad just got home. This day wasn't too awful, but it was still depressing and lonely. Didn't see Roberta once (darn, ha ha). During first period English, Clarence didn't say one word to me - he smiled at me twice, but when I failed to respond and just looked at him with sad eyes and a heart filled with pain, he turned away, disgusted. But during Biology - this is what really confuses and upsets me - he was just as sweet and friendly as always. He drew me two "Tumbleweeds" pictures, and signed one of them "To Terri, Hope ya like it."  I almost started crying; it was so hard to act friendly and nonchalant, as tho nothing were wrong. He was treating me like a casual friend, and I almost died, it was so hard to take. After school he shot out of class like an arrow ... I guess I was dumb to expect him to wait for me. I walked home with Ron McClamrock, a sweet understanding guy that I've always liked. Clarence, Duane and some other guy walked behind us.

On the next page is a letter I wrote to Clarence today. I'll never give it to him, but it does express what I feel in my heart.

"Dear Clarence,
I suppose that you probably won't even bother reading this, so I don't know why I'm taking the time to write ... 
But Clarence, there are some things that I have to tell you before you say goodbye to me forever. Please listen to me. Remember that you once loved me, and listen, one last time ...
Clarence, I love you very, very deeply - I always have, in spite of all the bad times, and I always will. Even though your feelings towards me have changed so much, mine for you haven't. I never knew how much I could love you and miss you until now that you've gone. I just can't believe this has happened to us - I've always thought we'd last forever. I guess I was wrong.
Whatever it was I did to lose your love and make you hate me, I'm sorry. If I didn't give you enough freedom, or was too jealous or possessive, or whatever, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm SORRY! I can never say it enough to show you I really mean it. I love you, and I swear I would do anything in the world to get back with you and give it another try. That's how much I care!
I don't think I'll ever be able to understand why you did this to me - why you would want to hurt me like this. I've never felt so terrible in my whole life. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!
All I want for you, though, is for you to be happy. I love you so much, I only want to see you living in joy. Understand that, OK?
Well, I've said everything that's in my heart.
All Love Always,
Terri

 




I feel like writing and writing ... pouring out all the pain in my heart. I love him, I love him, I really do! I never knew how much until now. How could he hurt me like this? How could Roberta?? I would never DREAM of trying to break up a happy couple, the way Laurie and Roberta did ... it's inhuman!  She knew, didn't she, just how much Clarence meant to me??

I keep having dreams - daydreams that will never come true. Clarence gives me a love note during Biology, begging my forgiveness & declaring his undying love for me. Oh, I WISH. If I had Clarence back, I'd be so different ... I'd follow Paul's instructions concerning love in I Corinthians 13 ... I'd truly love him, not just falsely. I'd love him with all my heart, all my soul - God first, of course (I'm sorry, God). I'd love him unselfishly, wouldn't be so jealous and possessive. I'd give him all the freedom he wanted or needed, and I'd be so careful of his feelings. When I had him, I really treated him like a dog, I know I did. I was indifferent, cross, ill-tempered, pushy, jealous ... I didn't care if I hurt him or not. When I think back now on all the cruddy things I did to me, I could kick myself. I never thought he'd really leave me!

 

 

 

 

Thursday
November 15, 1973

An all right day (considering). Still very lonely and depressed, and I still love him fiercely. How long is this going to go on? He was so sweet to me today, I felt like crying. During English he gave me a "Love Is" cartoon that said "Love is ... when your knees turn to jelly when he kisses you." And he signed it, "Terri, even though we're not together anymore, doesn't mean I can't give you anything." What a dick.  I felt like crying. Then during Biology we had to do some experiments with the microscopes and drops of water, and since Clarence & I are lab partners, we had to work together. He was so sweet then, too, but I could see right through him. I know what he's trying to do: he's giving me false hope, and it's killing me. He does little subtle things, like wearing the shirt I gave him, or writing my name on his pee chee, things that make me think, "Hey, maybe he still cares." But then he does something just the opposite - like laughing at me with John, or eating lunch with Roberta in the middle of the cafeteria where I can't help but see him, and once again I feel that gnawing sense of loss. It's like a nightmare. He knows I still love him, but he's enjoying playing these games to hurt and confuse me. How could he like Roberta??? I just don't understand it. She's pretty, sure, but she smokes, and she's a non-Christian. Just what Clarence used to hate in girls! Why can't she go and find herself with some nice dope freak like herself to go with? And leave Clarence to me, like things used to be?

I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him! I love Clarence, nobody else. I just CAN'T say goodbye to him forever, I can't. I know I'm just torturing myself by wishing and dreaming and turning it over and over in my mind, but my hopes and dreams are all I have left now. He's all I can think about anymore. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate in school. Every time I close my eyes I see him and Roberta together in my mind, and I can't help crying. I'm run-down, I'm nervous and touchy, and it's all I can do to stay calm and poised around him. If only he would come back to me. Oh LORD, PLEASE! I can't bear this any longer! He was my whole world, and I know that at times I loved him even more than I loved God. I'm sorry, Lord!

 

 


November 16, 1973

Only a few spare minutes to write (before Karen comes to pick me up for school). I've prayed and prayed and prayed so hard, God must have heard me. I've just got to place all my trust in Him to take care of this! I love Clarence, but I love God more.

After school:

Well, the bleakest, most painful week of my life is over, for a little while at least ... all I have to look forward to now is a long, boring, lonely weekend. Of course nothing happened today, except that everywhere I turned I saw the two of them together. Oh, I'll never live through this pain ...

Crying so hard ...

I just can't take it, I can't. During Biology, leaning so close together over the same microscope, the smell of his hair, the soft intangible feeling - it split my heart in two. I wanted to just reach out and kiss him so badly.

I just took a bunch of Midol, which should make me good and sick. I wish I had something I could really get off on.


From "Tales of a Keepsake Heart"

 One night at the height (or was it the bottom?) of my heartache, I decided to get high.  I had never taken drugs in my life, and furthermore I didn’t have the slightest idea how to lay my hands on any.  So I walked down to Albertson’s and bought two bottles of caffeine pills, figuring they were the next best thing.  In my bedroom I swallowed as many of them as I could keep down, maybe half of one bottle.  Then I listened to sad songs on the reel-to-reel and wrote “farewell” letters to everybody I could think of, including my little sister and my friends from church.  When I got bored with that, I walked around in the night feeling sick, stupid and lonely.  I walked past Clarence’s house and cried, imagining that he and Roberta were in the basement doing the things we used to do.  I walked to all the places Clarence and I had gone together, and I cried.  I sat on the steps of Boulevard Park Church and cried some more.  Finally, I went home and sat on my bed for the rest of the night.  I was more wide awake than I’d ever been in my life.  My ears rang for two days and I was horribly sick from all the Vivarin I’d taken, but the worst of my heartache seemed to dissipate after that night.



Before bed:

I don't believe what I did tonight. God, what's happening to me? Am I losing my mind?? Now my ears are ringing, my hands are shaking, I feel like puking or dying or something. I'm coming down now but I'm sick sick sick. Went walking the streets alone until 11:00, met some OK people, but I was really trying to get picked up and raped ... all because of Clarence ??? Oh, I love him so! I must have taken - hmmm - about 16 of those damnable pills. (Vivarin.)   My ears won't stop buzzing, and I'm hearing weird sounds. Oh God, God, God, I can't go on without him ....

Morning:

I'm sick, I'm sick, I'm sick. The ringing is worse, I can't even stand up. I told it all on the tape I recorded, so listen, OK? I feel like a fool. God. I gotta talk to somebody and I don't know who.

 

 

 

Monday
November 19, 1973

I survived ... barely.

Here are some notes Shelly (my new best friend) and me wrote in first period during "Jamaica Inn":

Me: There's something that's really bugging me, I feel so guilty about it that I have to tell you. Please don't get mad. Saturday night when we were at the Coffeehouse I started to get this feeling inside me ... that I had a crush on Terry ... and I thot I wanted him for a boyfriend. So I started watching to him and talking to him a lot. But then I prayed, and God made me realize that it would really kill YOU if I took him away from you, and how sad & hurt I felt when Clarence left me for another girl ... and I decided I didn't want to be the cause of similar pain for anyone else. I'm sorry.

Shelly: I want you always to be my friend, but I love Terry and I don't think you could love him like I do. You can like him for a friend. I don't know what I'd do if you took him away from me. You probably wouldn't be my friend. But I love him so much and wouldn't want to lose him, and it's God who decides. Let's be friends forever. You lost Clarence to another girl but you still love him. Pray. Maybe in time God will lead you back together. But right now you're searching too hard for another guy. I'm sorry if anything I've said has offended you.

For some reason I decided to carry on with the delusion of being pregnant. It kept me feeling "connected" to Clarence, and it was getting me lots of sympathy and attention from my new friends.

Shelly: Are you pregnant for sure? How do you know?

Me:  Yes I'm pretty sure, because I'm 3 months overdue.  I might not be, of course, but I really do think I am. 

Shelly: Have you gained weight or gotten fatter? I thought I was, but I'm not.

Me:  I gained 5 pounds this month, but when I went without food all last week I lost it.  

Shelly: How far along are you? How many times did you and Clarence do it? I've done it once with Terry, 3 other times with other guys but I never loved them as much as Terry.

Me: About 2-1/2 months or 3 months, probably.  We did it, hmmmm, about 20 times.  Towards the end it was the only thing we did together. 

Shelly: That's the way me and Terry don't want to get. I don't think we'll do it again for a while and maybe not at all. I just hope he's not mad at me.

 

During Study Hall:

This has been a startling day. I've learned things about some people that I never even dreamed they were capable of doing. Talked a long time to Shelly during first period, about Clarence and Terry and drugs and sex and all that stuff. For instance, I had no idea before today that Shelly used to be such a dope freak, especially last year. It sorta shocked me. Then, she told me that she and Terry went to bed together once, and I almost died. Just COULDN'T believe it. Terry & Shelly??? She asked me about me and Clarence, did we ever go to bed, and of course I told her the truth. I admitted to Shelly that for a while I had a little crush on Terry, especially on Saturday night at the Coffeehouse, and I told her I wasn't going to do anything about it. I'm pretty confused, tho.

Robin (Smith) still likes John D.  I don't see why ... he's a real jerk. On Saturday night at the Coffeehouse he was asking me if I smoke, or take drugs, or any of that. As if it were any of his business! I just said "no" and let it lie at that.

I don't understand what's happening to me, I really don't. It's like, I don't hardly even care if I live or die. Life is so black and white. I'm living a real lie ... on the outside I'm starting to circulate, reaching out to people and being more friendly ... but inside I can see myself slowing rotting away into nothingness. Everything I say, everything I do - all lies. With some people I act one way, with others another way. My Christian friends still think I'm the straight, upstanding girl I've always been ... only my very closest friends can see what's going on inside me. I feel like the world's biggest hypocrite. Something awful, something dark and ominous is trying to get at me. I've learned to play the game of changing masks so well - I'm like a split personality, two completely different Terris, that I'm really beginning to wonder ... who am I really? Anybody?

I was starting to think about branching out from caffeine pills and trying "real" drugs.

 ... Those dumb pills I've been on ... they're becoming so ineffective. All they do anymore is make me shaky, big deal. I want something harder, stronger, better. But I'm NOT about to try and ask the kids at school. I'd feel like a fool, and besides I don't want this kind of rumor going around at school about me.

I wonder sometimes if I'm on the way to losing my mind. Sometimes it's almost as though it isn't me doing all these rotten things, but somebody completely different. I just sit back and watch this other person poison herself, swear, turn her back on God, hang around with dope freaks, try and steal her best friend's boyfriend ... and I think, What's happening to me??? I never used to be like this! I used to be so clean and straight, concerned with things like a messy bedroom or a clean pair of jeans or whether or not John Riley would ask me to go with him. Look at me now: on the brink of the nightmare world of drugs. I've already been through the sex trap. I'm not exactly "worldly and experienced," but a lot more screwed up than I've ever been before. I'm so glad that I'm starting to make a few more friends now, at least ... Shelly, Robin, Diana, Julie and Denise, etc. Especially Shelly - she's so neat.

 

 

 

Tuesday
November 20, 1973

I wonder what people are going to think of me, and of my life, and of what type of person I was, when they read these ledgers after I'm gone. I don't think I should have taken those pills this morning. I feel all shaky and nervous, and besides I might hurt the baby. The fantasy continues. I told Shelly about it during English and she couldn't believe it!

Why am I in such a good mood? I feel like singing and dancing and loving everybody. Saw Roberta a little while ago, and I didn't even flinch. No hatred, no jealousy, just passive indifference. It was really cool. I think it was me, learning to accept this.

Study Hall is exciting and thrilling, as always. Big joke! Surely this is the most boring class in the whole world ... nothing at all to do.

Here's a note Shelly just gave me:

Terri,

Tell me anything you please. I like listening to your problems. You're probably getting sick of hearing mine, so we're even. If I can be of any help or comfort, I'm always here. Talk to you later.
Call me.

Shelly

I'm not really sure yet, of course, but there's a chance - maybe a good one, maybe a bad one - of me getting back with an old boyfriend of mine, Marty. I don't know. Maybe. I went with Marty one summer about a year and a half ago, but during the two plus months we were together things just didn't work out. I don't know why ... maybe we just didn't get to know each other well enough. He went to a different school, associated with different people. Gradually we fell apart, but I was glad - I liked another guy (John), and besides, my best friend Karen had simply been drooling over Marty, so I stepped aside and let her have a go at him. I pretty well forgot about Marty until the beginning of this school year, when we both started going to the same high school. Of course, I couldn't have cared less, since I was all wrapped up in Clarence. But now that THAT relationship has fizzled, Marty keeps giving me this "look" ... the same one he always gave me that summer. HMMMMM???? I wonder if anything will come of this.

Maybe I'm just trying too hard, like Shelly said. Maybe.

 

 

In Conclusion:

I am going to conclude this ledger with a few of my own thoughts.

I know exactly what broke Clarence and me up ... we became too close and too involved. We lived only for each other. We discovered that we'd trapped ourselves ... no other friends, no other outside interests. So Clar got tired of me, and of my constant depression and my nagging and my crushing need for affection, and he broke away while he could.

Things are starting to shape up, barely. I have a lot of friends at school now, I talk more, smile more. Sometimes it's hard, and I start to feel sorry for myself. Then it's tough to hide my real feelings. I still really love Clarence, but I can now accept the fact that I've lost him. We may get together again one of these days - or years. Who knows? But I can't just count on that hope and ignore all the other things in life.

I have a terrific new best friend, Shelly, and other guys are starting to take notice. Life will improve.

 

 

FAVORITE SONGS DURING THIS JOURNAL
 
"Dream On" - Aerosmith
"All I Know" - Art Garfunkle
"Paper Roses" - Marie Osmond
"Let Me Be There" - Olivia Newton John
"Showdown" - Electric Light Orchestra








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