“Everyone thinks I’m okay, but I’m not”

From my journal dated July 2, 2002:

It’s just so hard for us to come home – for Joe, Jenna and me, anyway. This house used to be a haven, a fun place where people came for parties, to watch movies, to gather. And now it’s just so blasted quiet. We try to figure out how to leave, and, once we’re out, how to delay coming back. Nobody wants to come here…not even us.

I went to help Mary with the formal pictures today. I’m so glad she called. It’s nice to have some place to go after school. I just hate coming home to an empty house. It was just nice to hang out with her, to have an activity to do while we chatted a little. She gave me a big hug.

Mary said a lot of the kids are still having such a hard time. It’s really hard for me to tell; no one really talks to me about it. I see so few of them, and those I do seem to be moving on. I know that’s not necessarily the case…maybe it’s just an appearance, a front. Yesterday Jenna said something to me along the line of “everyone thinks I’m okay, but I’m not.” Maybe she’s not the only one who feels that way.

I don’t think any of us want to deal with it…it would be easier to just sort of shoves it down or away to think of something else. Maybe that’s what some of these other kids are doing. Maybe they stay away from us because they can’t deal with it, don’t want to make us sad or something. Out of sight, out of mind? I don’t know.