April 17, 1997
(12:49 a.m. 4/18/97)

Beautiful child of yesterday,
	Your pain has been deep ad intense. You've been burned, dragged, and
run to the ground. You are tired and are again ready to give up - and once
again I urge you to hang on. Remember that beautiful evening of peace on
March 4, as you sat on your bed looking over the candlelight out your streetside
window. Listening to the cricket's cadence, enjoying the moment. Pain is a part
of life. No matter how much you focus on learning how to deal with it, help
others deal with it; no matter what you do to avoid it, it is still part of life, and
the only way to get through it is just that. Experience it. The more mulling you
do, the more you try to understand it the longer it will be before you will begin to
feel less hurt, less loss, less sadness, less pain. Don't you see, all this time you
are spending trying to understand, you are just avoiding the experience. I am
right here as I promised I would be. And there are many others here for you
too. Remember last night when Kimberly sat with you as you finally let the
river pour out of your heart. You felt as though the world had come crashing
down on you and look you are still here - still breathing and you even survived
being with that source of loss today. Yes it too was painful, but you are only
going to begin to feel better by 'surviving' these encounters. By facing your fears;
of pain, loss, rejection, humiliation, betrayal. You are stronger than anything
outside of your soul. Remember that day on spring break when you dumped in
the Nantahala? You were being pulled down the river, over rocks and
boulders, in choppy waters, with no control physically, and somehow you
managed to dig deep down and find a way to beat the river and 'survive.' That
trip, I fear you may have forgotten, was filled with many milestones for you.
The scar on the tree, taking responsibility as an adult, making decisions and
choices. What about the sayings on your t-shirts? "That which doesn't kill us,
only makes us stronger." and "Life is an adventure...or it is nothing at all."
And you yourself said "Every fear we have is just one more chance for victory."
So what do you say ? How about a vicotry dance? 
	No your healing journey is not over; it may still be years, but that's ok.
I'm not going anywhere - I promised remember. But I need you to stick around
also. I love you, and without you there would be an even bigger hole than
anyone could ever create by dropping out of my life.  You are doing great -
your tiredness, lethargy, lack of motivation, lack of appetite, are all ok. It is
part of being human. Even your exercise schedule, and driving yourself to wee
hours of the night to get by are ok. You are doing what you can to make it
through this period in your life. It is ok to have conflicting feelings. Please
remember to keep in touch with someone regarding those issues of conflict
regarding dad - especially after calls lzike tonight. You felt so torn yet once
again. How could this be the same man in those horrible flashbacks? You
laughed and shared with him as any daughter would with her father. Do not
get down on yourself , because even you deserve to have a loving relationship
with your father. Perhaps it may be the way to put the past behind you. I
know it is easy to want to trust that this time things are working out well, and
I want you to know I will of course be here if things don't go quite as well as you expect them to . or
hope for. I'm willing to be with you no matter what. 
	Amanda, it's ok to be afraid; come out of your cave if you can and we'll
talk about it. If you can't I 'll come in, but you need to talk, you need to help
me understand what will help you. How can I help you be more
compassionate, and understanding. How can I help you to trust, to reach out
and ask for help. to let someone hold you when you cry, to lean on a friends
shoulder and let them comfort you? I love you and I want you to know that
you can experience these things and have every right to experience them. And
you will. In fact you have, sometime at some point I am sure you have, but the
truamatic events surrounding you perhaps prevented you from experiencing
them fully. 
	So many wonderful memories you have of grandpa - stop hanging on to
your loss of him - let him go. Let go the house at 65 Newton road. This may be
more difficult and will come in time - but I will hold your hand as you let go of
these things. Just think of all the new and wonderful things you will be able to
grab ahold of and experience once you are able to let go.  In time  my dear, in
time. I am patient. And so are you perseverent. I have always admired your
ability to make it through times I gave up on. to make it through situations in
which I was sure I would die if not by my own hand, by someone else's. But
like in the river, you persevered and fought for life. Now I am fighting for
you. So how about that victory dance to celebrate the new and exciting things
we have to look forward to? Open armed, waiting patiently with all my love
for you.
	Amanda 
May 20, 1997

"i love you because in your heart
i see simple beauty and quiet grace
i love you because you have the gift of giving joy,
because you know how to be a child sometimes...
i love you because you invite me to grow with you,
because of the gentle way 
you have touched my life,
because  -  i need never doubt you."
Thankyou little one for being so open and willing to step out of that dark and
gloomy corner into the light. the light of truth, of love, of care and forgiveness,
of understanding, warmth nurturance, acceptance, and most of all of the light
of reality - your existence.

May 27, 1997

Journal Excerpt:
How uniquely interesting...a few days ago i was noting how i realized i was
the one restricting what i could and couldn't discuss with your therapist...an
issue of trust...i see now that something much bigger thb the acknowledgement of
the abuse has occurred - much bigger even that accepting the abuse as my
experience...i have begun to take the risks and trust others with me...being
myself...being real...no more lies and secrets no more shadows - no more walls
between me and those i love and want to love me - no more barriers no more
questions about what is wrong - about not knowing how to help her daughter -
honest - in a way i've never known before...i feel like over the last few weeks a
warm and loving aura has begun to live inside of me and accompanies me
throughout the day ... even though i struggle with this or that, it seems
wonderful, wholesome, caring experiences are popping up everywhere...i laid
my worries regarding friendships down and trusted that things would work
out...in everything as well i kept and keep this notion that things will work out.




June 15, 1997

My dear Amanda,

i recently sent an email to a friend in which i shared some thoughts on healing
and wanted to record them for you because there have been some rough times
behind us and i am sure there are still going to be times we reexperience the hell
you went through so long ago. My hopes are that you can looks back at this
and remember that flashbacks, as horrible as they can be can also have a
beautiful gift in them. i wrote : " recently i was told that healing is a journey
not a destination. Until i was able to stop looking for the end of the road, i was
unable to move forward in healing. No flashbacks don't feel like healing - not
durng, not or right after, but as time passes, healing will come and grow with
you as you take risks, yes RISKS, of learning to trust again. Be patient
though, healing from the many experiences you have had is not going to happen
overnight - it takes a lifetime. That is what i think i have finally come to
realize. i hope this brings you a little encouragement and ability to look the next
flashback in the eye and find the gift within it has for you...we all learn, grow
and as we learn to forgive ourselves, we learn to forgive others. (i'm still
working on forgiving myself 0h i hope that as you work through the issues
regarding your childhood abuse, you will be able to see your own progress and
realize that the flashbacks are necessary (never thought i'd say that either) for
us to reach the point that we can look at what it has for us and decide if we
want to accept or deny its existence and truth within. Once we can accept our
own truth then we can begin to live!" 
	Amanda, you have endured more than any child should have to endure,
much less be exposed to. i admire your strength and ability to hang on through
the original abuse and now through the healing process. If it wasn't for you i
would not be able to continue healing and i want to thankyou you for reaching
out for help. For reaching out for someone to save you from a life of misery or
worse from ending your life of misery. Thankyou for striving to love again and
giving trust another chance. You are beautiful. you are that spirit, that aura,
that i sensed at the end of may, and i must apologize because i lost my
connection with you. i got caught up in what would be happening in the future -
camp, ending therapy with your therapist, school - and forgot that i needed to
connect with you. Even after i promised not to leave you again. i made a
mistake, and that is one of the biggest lessons i've learned and want you to
always remember. Everyone makes mistakes. your sister, me, mom and Kevin,
grandma, everyone, even your therapist. Nobody can be perfect. Nobody that
is human at least. Remember what your therapist told me one the phone the
other day "giving up the perfectionism allows you to embrace your humanity."
Humans are imperfect. Humans hurt and make mistakes. Humans also laugh
and cry, smile and get angry. Humans feel. And you are human; you too feel
and deserve to feel the good along with the bad. You don't have to work so
hard to be happy. Everything doesn't have to be 'in order' before you can relax
or sit back and have a good time or a good laugh with a friend or by yourself.
You are too precious to only let yourself experience the sadness and fear. i am
proud of you for beginning to step out and experience the different feelings you
have had over the last few weeks. Remember i am trying hard to remain here
for you. i will not forget you, and i will never stop loving you. i need your help
here with this loving bit. i see you and i love you for who you are - a human,
and i mean it when i say i will never stop oving you, and yet when i look at
myself in the mirror i do not love me, who i am. Even though i know you are a
part of me. Maybe together, we can help eachother to et go of the perfectionism
and embrace our humanity as one. As the individual that we make up. It
won't be easy, and it will take alot of dedication and consistancy, but with
comittment, together we can do anything. What do you say, we go out and
knock em dead? i love you always and forever!

Love,
	The child and human being of today - Amanda

August 7, 1997

Journal excerpt :

...i am terrified. it hurts but i canít stop. i donít stop it. i have no control over it.
iím trapped. then it stops - sudden;y and i am alone. curl up into myself
holding rocking ignoring the pain, the stickiness and sweat. crying silent tears
while i wait. i wait for someone to come and help me...but eventually i have to
get up and go home, find my way home. but what is home? where is home? who
am i ? who was that? and why did he suddenly disappear? aware of woods -
stream, wet pants, and a tiny body. i feel so little, so powerless. the forest is so
big. i am so lost. so weak?
	i can be powerful. i want to give tjat child power. strength. Somehow she
made it home. She found her way back and she continued to live.She survived
because she is a survivor. She is a fighter hanging on at times to threads and
even threads of threads but always hangs on. Two steps forward one step back,
two steps forward one step back...iíll stand on my own, all by myself. i donít
need anyone at all, i know iíll survive - i know i will stay alive! That is what i
will do - what i MUST do...
...Need to have faith. Must have faith. Need to love yourself. Your body,
your ideas, and methodical processing, socialization skills...
	i love you dear Amanda - you are the light in my life. i live to fulfill
your dreams - you can speak, i am your voice. you are my voice. You give me
life. i love you!!!

September 7, 1997

Journal Excerpt:

...i keep getting this idea that the young child within me wants to grow. to
blossom - this scares me. i am afraid of her truth of what will happen. but how
i long to be free from all this ďcontainmentĒ , constriction. The safe
moderation....

February 23, 1998

Journal Excerpt:
...a hurt and broken child...locked in a dark and suffocating room. no labels.
no more suffering in silence...no more loneliness...i am here. you are here. she
reaches out to me - i reach out to you, to her. we allow the embrace. she begins to
cry and so do i, although maybe not on the outside. Together in this moment we
hold each other. We are there for one another - because we are all weíve got.
Sheíll remind me how to have fun, and iíll remind her how to accept herself how
to be love..? Can i do that? Oh how we so need each other. i am there with you
now. You are so lonely. Your heart bleeds for your friend...and yet you can
somehow connect with her and your heart bleeds for you and i. For someone to
be there for us.

February 25, 1998

Dearest little one,
	You are so lonely. So am i. At times. i am scared to be alon because i
have kept the door closed for so long things seem like theyíre going to come
plowing out when i open the door. i once had an everlasting love for you. and i
think itís still there somewhere. My heart aches for you. i see you huddled into a
ball.Comforting, trying to comfort yourself and i want to hold you and make it
all go away; but i know i canít make it just go away, and your emotions are so
deeply intense i get scared. No wonder you huddle. how scared you must be.
How alone and isolated. You challenge me and others, my family, to look at
truth at reality and choose whether to accept or deny itís existence. Each time
they deny it, a part of you dies and just the same each time they accept it,
something within you is sparked to life - hope begins to grow again.
	But weíve got to start living based on our acceptance of the truth -
because those around and closest to me maynever fully accetpt and therefore you
would be stuck in this continuous cycle of death and destruction. Being eaten
away by false illusions of hope.
	i am working on accepting the terms of the incidents...yes it happened.
incest. i was abuse. Yes there are many good memories but the truth still
remains. You, my little girl, my sweet angel, were abused. You were hurt,
broken and torn to pieces. Your image of daddy was shattered and now weíre
both torn apart about how to deal with him day to day. You are going to be
okay. We are going to make it. Together we can. Together we will. We are
stronger as one. i love you...and i am trying...so hang on...for me.
	All my love i give to you...
	Amanda ... your child of today.







A Response: April 10, 1998 3:30 am

Dear Mother Amanda,

	Why do you avoid me? Am i that awful that
you canít stand to be around me? i just want
to be loved by you. i just want you to care
about me. to believe me. i know you do. you
have before. i just donít know what i did to
turn you away so harshly, again... to leave me
alone in the darkness of OUR house...because
even as i sit here in this dark and dreary
place where you have chosen to put me, so do
you sit here with me. i want to go out and play
in the sunshine under the bright blue sky and
to feel the squishy grass on my babysoft bare
feet. i want to swing into the trees and float
down the rivers. i want to soar like the birds
in the sky, but i canít as long as you keep me
chained up here in this hole of a house. not
even a home. 
	why do you hate me? do you really think it
was my fault? i didnít know what to do. i did the
best i could. i was hurting, so i ran away. i
didnít know how it would hurt you now, then. i
didnít know...iím sorry. so sorry i hurt you. i
love you and just want to be loved by you. i
want to have fun with you again. i want you to
show me your favorite things, places. i want to
be with you. by your side, in your arms...in your   
thoughts. i donít want to be forgotten 
again...please donít forget about me...i am
still here. and you can try to starve me all
you want, but i will hang on till the very 


end...i wonít die until you die and that would be
a horrible thing to happen...there are so many
people who love you, who want to see you
succeed and be happy again...to  ďlet goĒ of
everything and to embrace life, love and
happyness. to embrace the now. to live. to live
today. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but today.
this very moment. if you are sad and feel the
tears let them go - 
i wonít run away from your pain. 
i am your pain.
i know that i hold so much feeling for you, but
that feeling is also joy and happyness and
you have to trust me...yes me. trust this little
kid. that i contain your joy as well as your
pain. so cry, because with those tears comes
lafter and anger and peese. cleansing. an
emptying / letting go and freeing yourself.
let your gaurd down for a day...let love in
and see what happens, 
i know how scary that is...
because i did it once and was almost killed. 
but i remember a time when there was only
love...not really remember but just know
it...you have to get back there. weíve been
there before. together even. in the hands of
God, our creator...He loves us and, we are
still in his hands. open up your heart, please,
and let us back in.

	love,
		amanda, the little girl of yesterday
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