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Joy’s Journal 2-23

My cousins Elli and Ana were staying with us for a week. They were very understanding, and did a lot to cheer me up. They didn’t blame me for my mistakes, something that it felt like everyone else did, especially me.

Elli was a few years older than me, but she didn’t treat me like I was an immature little kid.

I think she realized, that with all I’ve been through, I’m NOT an immature little kid. I’ve changed a lot during these past few years.

crayons now my dear

Elli would come hang out in my room sometimes, even if I wasn’t willing to talk, just to be there. We usually did talk though.

And now she is wearing a scruncie on her head

Elli and I had these long talks, about anything and everything. We talked about lamas, food, illness, the future, how crayons are made, everything.

A hamburger now

I remember one day Elli put a tray of food in front of me, then sat down to talk.

And now it's not ana

After a few minutes Elli commented on the food that I hadn’t eaten. “Is anything, wrong, or are you just not hungry?”

“I’m just not hungry.”

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I said something I’d thought I would never say.

“What if I don’t get better Elli? What if I’m like this forever? I ruined everything. If only I’d taken care of myself? Would things be different now.”

Elli took so long to respond that I thought she wasn’t going to.

At last, she started to talk. “I think,” She said slowly, “That everyone makes mistakes. And some of them are bigger than others, some of them have more consequences than others, some of them are more life changing than others. And you can’t change what you have done, no matter how hard you try, you can only learn from it.  I know it’s hard right now, but you will adjust, and, though it make take a long time, you will learn to forgive yourself. Don’t hate yourself for this Joy. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Ana is the best

And then there was Ana. She was several years younger than me, but she loved to hang out with me.

I know she looked up to me, and though that was cool, I didn’t want her to look up to me, a person who had messed everything up with a few big mistakes.

One time I told her this, but she just said “I know that you did some mistakes. I like that you are so brave and cheerful through all of this.”

Colored pencils my dear

Sometimes Ana brought in her treasured colored pencils, and we would draw.

Ana had the most unique, innocent outlook on things, and she was a very cheerful little girl.

I was still stuck in bed, but having my cousins there helped a lot. They gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time.

Hope.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-22

If you want to read the last part.

I was having a really hard day. I was feeling kind of hopeless about getting better, my stack of schoolwork was probably taller than I was, and I felt alone. 

From it’s spot, my laptop started ringing, a video call alert from Savana.

I didn’t really feel like talking to her, but I didn’t want to disappoint Savana.Laptopyop.

The laptop beeped, and we were connected. Savana had moved into a room with Callie, and it was the same as ours, but flipped.

“Hey Savana.” 

We talked for a few minutes, but I wasn’t very enthusiastic. I answered her questions, but she was the one leading the conversations.

Finally Savana noticed something was off.

“What’s wrong Joy? You don’t seem much like yourself.”

I sighed. “Do you think it’s easy to act like yourself when you are stuck in the same room for days?”

“I didn’t mean it like that Joy.”

“How did you mean it then?”

This is not a watch

“I.” She stopped.  “I don’t know. I guess I meant that it seemed like something was wrong.”

“Of course there is something wrong.” I started to explain about how I was feeling, but then stopped.

“Go on?”

“You wouldn’t understand.” I told her.

“Try me?”

“You wouldn’t understand Savana. No one does. They can’t. You can’t understand how hard it is to be stuck in bed, and for it to be all your fault.”

“Joy, I-”

Yup

But I cut her off. “You can’t understand Savana. You have been having fun with your friends, having the time of your life. You are probably glad that I’m not here, probably enjoying your time with Callie!”

“Joy.”

“Even when I was there, all you talked about was Callie, Callie, Callie.”

“That’s not true!” Savana’s voice was starting to rise now. “You spent all your time with the ‘popular group’ You refused every invitation of mine. I TRIED.”

“But-”

“Look, this is hard for me too, okay?”

“You? You have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. You have everything perfect right now.”

“No. I don’t.”

Oops

I heard a clunk as Savana’s tablet hit the floor, and then my screen went black too.

Joy is tired

 

Later in the day, I was trying to take a nap, to forget all that had happened, but it wasn’t really working.

CUPCAKES

 

Mom came into my room. “Hey Joy, want a cupcake?”

“Nah.”

Being a good cupcake

Mom set the cupcake on my dresser and sat down. “What’s wrong Joy?”

“What do you mean?”

“Something is obviously wrong.”

I sighed. “I had an argument with Savana.”

“Hmmm.”

“She doesn’t understand.”

“You know, this has been hard on her too Joy.”

“Her? But I’m the one who has lost everything!”

“Yes, and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. And I’m sure she misses you.”

I didn’t say anything. It was a lot to think about.

The timer beeped, and Mom got up to leave.

“But what do I do?”

turning back

Just before she left, Mom stopped. “You could try talking to her.”

I took a deep breath and pushed the video call button. It rang fourteen times before she finally accepted.

Yay except boo

For the first few seconds we just stared at each other.

Then I started talking.

“I’m so sorry Savana. I know you didn’t do anything wrong. I was jealous of you and Callie, and I thought you didn’t want to be my friend anymore.” I was desperately hoping that she would assure me that she did still want to be my friend, but I wasn’t expecting it.

“Of course I still want to be your friend Joy!” I guess I needn’t have worried. “When you left I felt so bad, like it was my fault you had to go home. Callie helped assure me that it wasn’t my fault, and I needed a friend after you left. And,” she admitted quietly, “I was jealous of you also.”

“Me? What in my life could possibly be worth wanting?”

Savana and her computer

“For awhile you seemed to have it all. You had a big group of friends that you hung out with all the time, and you didn’t seem to need me anymore. You refused every invitation of mine.”

It came upon me, that I had, in fact, refused all her invitations. It wasn’t because I was trying to hurt her, it was because I was too sick to enjoy them.

a couch and a computer

“This has been hard for me too, Joy. You were always my friend, and then you left. Now you are stuck at home, and I’m stuck here. It’s hard.”

“I’m so sorry Savana.”

“I am too.”

 

savananana

“I have to go now.” Savana said. “But if you ever need to talk to me, I’ll be here.”

“Same for you, okay?”

Lexie

 

Joy’s Journal 2-21

This is the part I posted last.

This part doesn’t have any pictures, just words, because I don’t have any pictures for this part, and I don’t have a way to take some.

After that after hike, after I told, I went home. It wasn’t my choice, and I didn’t want to, but everyone decided that it was for the better. 

At this point I was so sick I didn’t really care. I had wanted to go home the whole time, but was too scared to say anything.

“But what about Mom?” I had asked Ellen.

“She’s getting better, and she wanted you to come home.”

So I did.

I took all my school stuff home, and communicated with my teachers to get the assignments and turn them in.

After like a week of doing almost nothing but sleeping and being bored, I started my schoolwork. I had to back up a lot to understand everything that I hadn’t really done before.

It was frustrating. There was so MUCH of it, things I didn’t care about, things I didn’t want to do.

I just didn’t have the motivation to do it. What was the point if I wasn’t ever going to get better. When would I use it? Would I ever get better? Would I be stuck in this bed for the rest of my life? Even if I did get better, would the better be worse than how I was before all this?

I didn’t tell anyone, and my schoolwork just heaped higher and higher, and with no one to help me do it, I don’t think I ever even ended up doing it all.

Savana and I spent a lot of time talking through the internet. She didn’t understand why I came home. Sometimes I felt like she thought I was lying about being so sick, and that I really just wanted to get away from her.

It wasn’t true, but I didn’t know how to tell her that.

 

All these things piled up on top of me, and made it hard to focus on school, letting alone getting better.

I was trying to believe I would get better, but it was hard.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-20

Here’s the link to the most recent part.

It was the end of the year, and finally warm enough to spend time outside. So we had an “educational” hike thing. It was required, but I probably could have gotten out of it if I wanted to. And I wanted to, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. So I went on the hike.

Joy Is Silent.png

Savana and Callie joined forces, but I was left behind. I was last to get to the clearing we stopped at for a break. There were people scattered everywhere, teachers, kids, Callie and Savana on a log, but I felt so alone.

Joy Isn't Paying Attention

Not long after I sat down on the grass, some teacher appeared. She was talking, but I was hardly paying attention.

“Joy? Did you hear me?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry. I heard you.” But I had no idea what she said.

“Go sit with your friends, okay?”

“Okay.”

I really didn’t want to, but I got up and joined Callie and Savana on a log.

Joy Is Not talking

“Oh, hey Joy.” Savana acknowledged me, but kept talking to Callie. I didn’t pay attention to them.

Callie and Savana looked so put together, so cute. Me? I was wearing clean clothes for once, quite an accomplishment, having to do my own laundry. I felt so out of place beside them. They chattered on, and I listened, but didn’t say anything. I’m not sure they even noticed I was there.

I was tired and didn’t want to walk, but I wanted the break to be over, I wanted to get away, to be alone with my thoughts.

Joy Is Left Behind

And finally it was, and we moved on. I lagged behind the others, going slower and slower. I was lost in thought, not even realizing that I was alone till I came into a fork in the trail and didn’t know which way to go.

I picked one, but it must have been wrong because I didn’t come across anyone.
Joy Is Just Here

Eventually I gave up, and sat down in the grass, realizing I was lost, but not really caring. I knew how to get back to the school, I just didn’t have the energy to do it.

Joy Is Found

I didn’t think anyone had noticed I was gone, but later-minutes or hours, I don’t know-Ellen showed up.

“There you are! We were so worried!”

Joy Is Annoyed

Ellen sat down next to me. “What happened?”

I shrugged. “I got lost.”

“Why were you so far behind everyone?”

“Tired.”

“You didn’t have to come, you know. You should have stayed and rested.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Yes it does Joy. I don’t want you to get sick.”

Joy Is Screaming

And then I lost it. I don’t remember standing up, or raising my voice, but I was on my feet screaming at her. “You wouldn’t care if I got sick. No one does. People only get mad at me when I stay and rest, so I had to come. You don’t understand.”

Joy Is Leaving

As tired as I was, as much as I didn’t want to move, I got up and walked away.

I heard Ellen call my name, but she didn’t run after me. She let me walk away.

Joy Is Alone

I leaned against a tree and sat down. For the next few minutes I didn’t care, I didn’t think, I was just there. Like always, but this time I was truly alone.

Joy Is Not Alone Anymore

After a few minutes I saw Ellen standing over me. I don’t know how long she was there. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t look at her, but when she asked if she could sit next to me, I nodded.

Joy Is Talking

We sat in silence for a few minutes. And then I began to talk. I don’t know what I said, but I remember pouring out everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

And then I was silent again. Ellen asked some questions, but I only nodded, or shook my head, or shrugged.

“Let’s go back to school.”

I nodded.

“Can I have a hug?”

I  started to get up to give her a hug out of instinct, but stopped. She asked again, and I shook my head. I had realized that I could say no. It was probably the second time I had done that in my whole life, but I wasn’t ready.

I got up and started walking toward camp.

Joy Is Okay

Ellen joined me, but we didn’t say anything.

We just walked back to school.

Together.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-19

The link to the last part 

Finally, finally, One of my teachers figured out something was wrong. I’m not entirely sure how. I was trying really hard to act normal and not show how bad I felt. But they must have thought something was wrong, so they sent me to the nurse.  

Ellen

Ellen was doing stuff in her office, obviously not expecting me. She was very ingrained in whatever it was she was doing and didn’t notice when I walked in. I stood there for a moment, thinking.

I went to the nurse’s office. That’s all they told me to do. If I left before she noticed me, I would have gone to the nurse’s office, but not have to talk to Ellen.

Joy is talking to Ellen

But as I turned to leave, Ellen noticed that I was there and turned around.

“Joy! What’s wrong?” Ellen asked with concern. 

Joy and Ellen

I hopped up onto the bed. “I’m fine.”

“Then why are you here during classes?”

“Um…We are doing hearing tests apparently, and I was supposed to be first….” I trailed off. It was a lousy excuse, but I couldn’t think of anything better.”

“Oh, well, your teacher must be mistaken. No hearing tests today. But while you are here, how are you doing?”

“Good.” I fibbed.

“Are you getting enough rest?”

I know she was asking if multiple things, not just what she said, but also if I was caring about myself.

“Yes.”

I tried to convince myself that because I was getting enough sleep, I wasn’t lying, but I knew I was, and that I should tell the truth, but I couldn’t do it. What would I even say. I wanted so badly for someone to know, but it would only make things worse. At least she didn’t know I was lying.

Looking back on that day, I realize that she probably knew I was lying, but decided that if I didn’t want to talk I wasn’t going to talk, and I’d talk when I was ready.

“Well then, I’d better get back to class.” I wanted to get out of there before she started asking questions I couldn’t answer.

“Yes, yes, you probably should. Have a good day Joy!”

And so I walked away.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-18

And I am back with another part to Joy’s Journal! Things are starting to get interesting now. (Sort of)

Anyway, here’sthe last part.

I felt really bad that morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed that morning. Savana had left, but I stayed in bed.

Finally I realized that if I didn’t show up in the next few minutes people would start to wonder.

So I finally pulled myself out of bed and threw on a jacket over my pajamas.I dropped my shoe

I struggled to shove on a pair of shoes, being so frantic to get them on that I dropped them.

 Hair everywhere

I finally was ready, and hurried to class, but I was really late and they had started already.

I was late

“And tell me Miss Joy, why are you late today? Are you sick?”

“No Mrs Green.” I avoided looking at her. I didn’t want to see the disappointment in her eyes. 

“So why are you late?” Her voice was gentle, but her eyes had a harsh glint.”

“I just overslept.”

“I’ll let you off with a warning today, but I’ll have to write you up if it happens again.” 

I was a few minutes later than everyone else to the rest of my classes, because I just didn’t have the energy to go fast. My classes seemed so far apart, like climbing a mountain, rather than walking to the other end of the hall.

Gym class is always hard, but that day was worse than usual because the teacher targeted me.

Explainy

We were working on cartwheels. I have no idea why the whole class needed to know how to do a cartwheel. Mrs Andy probably explained, but I wasn’t paying attention till I heard my name.

“Joy, will you show us a cartwheel?”

“I can’t do a cartwheel.” I whispered. Actually I probably could, but it had been so long, and I really didn’t have the energy.

“Come on now, don’t be shy.”

This is Joy

 I tried. I really did. But I didn’t have any energy, and just being in front of all those people freaked me out so much I could hardly function. 

Falling of course

And when I tried to do the actual cartwheel I fell down. Everyone laughed. Laying on the ground I wondered if I had to get up, or if I could just stay down there forever. I wouldn’t have to face everyone.

But I knew they were staring at me, so I got up.

Talking to them

And there was Savana and Callie. They had seen everything. Savana gave an apologetic smile, but I walked away. I was sure they were laughing at me too

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-17

I’ve procrastinated a lot, but I’m working on finishing Joy’s Journal. I have most of the pictures, which are old and not good quality, but I don’t have the stuff to take new ones, so I’m going to use these.

The parts will probably not be consistent, but here’s one.

If you have no idea what is happening, here’s the link to the series so far.

So I pretended that nothing was wrong and went to classes anyway, despite feeling so sick. My teachers didn’t notice that anything was wrong, but I was trying pretty hard to act normal.

The next day I felt worse, but I went to class again.

Every day I felt worse, and it got harder to function, but I pushed through it.

I knew that I should stay back from my classes and rest, but I was so scared.

I went to the classes, but I wasn’t really learning anything. I found it really hard to focus on what my teachers were saying, and I often went to bed before I finished much of my homework.

My grades went way down, but my teachers didn’t seem to notice.

Really no one seemed to notice how awful I felt.

 

One morning Savana was trying to wake me up, like always.

Savana waking joy up

“Hey sleepy head!” She teased. “Are you okay?”

The true answer was definitely not, but I couldn’t tell her that. “Nah, I’m just tired.” I told her with as much strength as I could muster.

“Do you want to go get ice cream with me and Callie after classes today?” Savana asked.

Joy and joy

I knew not going might show her that something was wrong, but I just couldn’t do it. “No thanks, not today.”

“Are you sure? We could bring you back some ice cream?”

“It’s okay. I’ve got homework to do.”

I never did end up finishing that night’s homework.

lexie-sign-off

Joy’s Journal Part Two-Sixteen

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much. Summer’s been crazy. However I started school last week, and I have blogging as one of my subjects, so I should be posting more often. I have lots of Joy’s Journal and reviews to post.

Anyway, I think I’ve procrastinated long enough on Joy’s Journal. Here’s part sixteen!

I was sick of everyone being so mean. So one day I confronted Serenity’s group.

Confronting

“Why are you being so mean to me? You begged for the truth, and I gave it to you.” I told them.

“Why won’t you just admit you lied? We know you didn’t tell the truth.” One of the girls said.

“I did tell you the truth.” I insisted. 

“Joy, we’ve all lied to get out of class. It’s okay, you can tell us.” Serenity insisted.

“I didn’t lie to get out of class. I wasn’t feeling good.”

Because

“Riiight.”

I sat down on one of the beds. “Truly I didn’t.”

“Joy, if you can’t even tell us the truth about something small like that, how do we know you aren’t lying about bigger stuff?”

“Because I’m not.”

Most of the girls rolled their eyes.

hiding

“How can I get you to stop being so mean?”

“By telling the truth, admitting that you are lying to get out of class.”

“I’m not lying.”

“Fine. We won’t be mean to you when you aren’t lying. No promises for anything else.”

Cinnamon

Cinnamon got up and pushed me out of the room. “But we don’t want to be friends with a liar.”

So all I had to do was not skip classes. All I had to do was what everyone else was doing. It was so simple really.

It couldn’t be that hard, right?

lexie-sign-off

Joy’s Journal 2-15

Finally, the much awaited (For some people) next part of Joy’s Journal, part fifteen! There are thirty parts in this series. 

When I went back to classes the next day my ‘friends’ set out to make my life miserable. It worked.

Lockbox

I remember seeing them crowded around my locker as I pulled my stuff out if it.

Mudjuice

I jumped back as a jar of dirt and bugs spilled everywhere. It was positioned to fall out as soon as I opened the door.

By the way the girls were laughing I knew they had done it on purpose.

DSCN7168.JPG

The janitor handed me a broom, and I heard Roberta whisper something to Serenity.

“Stupid girl.”

By the time I had finished sweeping the mess up I was late to Art, and the halls were deserted.

Talking to ze teacher.JPG.jpg

I hadn’t had time to grab my art supplies, so I went to the teacher to try to explain what happened.

“I’m late because some girls put a jar of bugs and dirt in my locker and I didn’t have time to clean in up. I didn’t have time to get my art supplie-”

Ri's lie.JPG

One of the other girls in Roberta and Serenity’s group waltzed in.

“She’s making things up Mrs Oakwood. She’s lying. No one did anything to her, she just didn’t want to paint.”

“Is this true Joy?”

“Of course not! It’s-”

“You are going to believe JOY?” The girl asked. “The one who lied to everyone about her illness to skip school?”

“Good point Cinnamon.”

“You are going to believe Cinnamon?” I burst out. “What abo-”

Mrs Oakwood cut me off. “That’s enough Joy. We need to start.”

emtpy easel.JPG

And so I got to stare at an empty easel the entire time.

lexie-sign-off

Joy’s Journal 2-14

Bedred

That next morning I could barely pull myself out of bed so I didn’t bother. It wasn’t like anyone wanted me there anyway. I would have asked Savana to take a note up to the office, but she had already left so I just went back to sleep.

A couple minutes after the bell rang I heard a knock on my door.

“Can I come in?” It was Ellen.

Blondeish

“What’s wrong Joy?” She asked

“I don’t feel good.”

“That’s understandable, but why didn’t you tell someone you wouldn’t be coming?”

“Savana wasn’t here, and I didn’t feel like getting up,”

Layers

Ellen sat down in the chair. “Is everything alright?”

I thought about just telling her that I was sick so I wouldn’t have to tell her about the girls picking on me, but I told the truth. “A few girls have been picking on me because of my illness.”

“You know, you can’t let them hurt you.” She told me. “You have to decide that you don’t care about they they are saying.”

“Sure.” I said sarcastically.

“I have to go now,” She said. “but if you need me I’m here for you,”

lexie-sign-off