I am stuck, and that is why I have not been so frequent. Digging through old boxes and memories forgotten only serves as a reminder that despite distance and seven years, not a thing has changed. You can never go home, and you are not welcome. You are orphaned. Cram everything you can into tiny cupboards in a home you can barely afford, and throw the rest. Throw things that mattered enough to hoard when you were fifteen, but that you can’t remember why. Torn up paper and burnt CDs don’t mean so much with time. You’d think that they would mean more. In my nostalgia and exploration I remembered that I used to keep diaries; rigidly, daily, obsessively. Hidden in there was a little more truth than in the photos and the keepsakes. Painful truths and things I had forgotten – that there was something wrong. I drank and I took pills every day and I had to spend my time at other people’s homes and borrow their clothes. I was thirteen and I couldn’t go home. I feel something for that thirteen year old, the one who couldn’t be the same as the other children because she didn’t have a family. I am still the same. I still cannot go home and I understand why. I keep diaries much less and I talk about it rarely, because it feels self-indulgent to think about it anymore. Soon I will be 150 miles away and perhaps then I can gain a little distance from that sad little girl seven years ago who had nothing to do but hide away and write all day long. I want to help her. I wish someone else had, I wish someone had stepped in rather than laughing and saying sadly between themselves that something was wrong. Yeah, her mother drinks herself into a coma and drops her at friends’ houses on Friday. She doesn’t pick her up again til Monday, and then she forgets to take her to school. Her only clothes were hand-me-downs and she got put on anti-depressants when she was eleven. I have lost most of my faith in people since then. I am not sure what kind of a state a person’s soul is in if they let a child be dragged up that way, but I don’t want to know. My faith now lies in the people my own age who felt a lot of sympathy and still do; in their parents who I inspire and who are impressed by my growth. I feel like family ties and bound by blood means much less than I ever thought it did, and distance has at least gained me that. I am still a victim and I still let things happen that shouldn’t, but if I can step in for the eight year old who lives in my place then I will. I am sorry for my absence, dear diary, but realisation and self-reflection are far more painful than they were when I was thirteen and unaware.