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       One morning, after missing a day of school, I went to the Assistant Principal to obtain a pass to get back into class.

                “Young Lady, if you miss any more school you are going to be out of here!”

               I remember thinking at the time, if you only knew what I was going through.  No one ever asked me if there was a problem.  I don’t recall a counselor at school.  But, I probably wouldn’t have told anyone.  Mom said anything that happened at home was not to be discussed anywhere else.

(A person is only as sick as their secrets.)

          My self talk was confusing. One minute I was telling myself, "You are so strong, look how you survive." The next thought would be…"you are a born loser. You're stupid. Your grades are terrible. Daddy Slim would be so disappointed in you."  My mother didn't seem to care what my grades were. I remember making a decision that I was going to bring my grades up. I did try…I wanted so much to be a straight A student. But, they only came up one grade point. I became frustrated and discouraged.  (I would never talk to a teacher.)

          (As I have been writing this…I realize I cannot remember my junior year…except for the vice principal and being sad about my grades. I only remember what I was dealing with at home; and the spiritual question that had come when I was walking home FROM SCHOOL.}