What you'll find here are reprints of the scraps of paper I have left from my adolescence. Many are missing, and there are gaping holes during some years, as are noted below. In cleaning through my papers and discovering how much of this I still had, in realizing how amazed the girl who wrote all of this would have been that she made it into adulthood and thrived, I decided to both archive and self-publish it, for her, for me, and possibly, for some other lost girl out there, be she 15 or 45.

These pieces begin at the start of 1984, when I was 13 years old, and continue through 1988, when I was 18. When I began writing, I was living on the north side of Chicago in a household which was highly abusive on many levels. I was depressed, a self-mutilator, suicidal, hospitalized for suicide attempts twice during that year and 1985, and terribly lonely. I was also an A-student.

Most of the material from 1985 and early 1986 is lost. In the spring of 1986, my 23-year-old boyfriend who had helped me through my suicidal impulses overdosed and suicided on his own, and a member of his family -- without my permission -- took all of my writing from that time which was kept in his apartment and had it buried with him "for my own good." The writing of late 1985 and early 1986 which he had was the most violent and depressive of all the work of this period, so while it is understandable why this family member may have felt best it be buried, it is an unfortunate loss.

Shortly before Matthew's death, after a lot of therapy, many near-hospitalizations, and much intermittent squatting, I left my mother's home for good and moved into my father's apartment. I also transferred to a performing arts school. Much of the writing from 1986 that remains are pieces I wrote while trying to heal from Matthew's death and grieve it. As well, some of the work chronicles some very destructive relationships and habits I would begin to form, while at the same time, healing other aspects of myself.

Unfortunately, again, while the majority of the work published here is from 1986 - 1988, much of it, too, was also lost during three floods in our apartment, as well as in my being careless at the time (and not realizing during a solid year I spent doing hallucinogenic drugs that when you wrote things on rocks and sidewalks, they didn't remain there for you to go get later).

These are not fictional works, and I have done my best to type them in their original form. I have not added notes or a very detailed chronology and summation of my adolesence, because I feel the girl who wrote this work would have wanted her work to speak for itself: allowing me to give her one of the things she very much wanted -- the chance to be heard, clearly, with the raw, unembellished voice she had. And perhaps, in my hindsight, see that it was more beautiful, strong and lasting than she knew.