Client Journal: There are many 9 year olds

I am in Oman, and mom and dad leave to go out a lot. The nanny stays with my baby sister. I write letters and leave them on the stairs for mom and dad to find. I ask them to say if they love me or not. I am surrounded by maids, chauffeurs, cooks, tutors, cleaners, and nannies all day. My mother is not very present, and I wait for my dad to come home. He’s always happy to see me.

I play by myself a lot, make up scenes and sounds in the crushing silence of the afternoon. It’s very lonely and scary.

I still sleep with my parents.
I am now in New York. It is cold here and very scary. Daddy has gone to Florida to find a job and left me alone with mom. She scares me with her tight grip on my arm, face and hair. Why does her touch always feel so cold? I feel like I have to impress her all the time in this new foreign place. It’s hard and she doesn’t help and screams at me a lot. She stays in the apartment and waits either for me or daddy with my baby sister. I don’t feel carefree like I did in Oman. I feel trapped.
I am now in Florida. It’s like mommy has left the building. She is always hitting me, and I can’t ever show how much it hurts. I feel like I have to be perfect or she will scream or hit me. And then daddy comes home and I put on a smile on my face. How come he never knows how mommy treats me when he’s not here? But would he care? I don’t know. I feel lost here. Everyone is white, and I feel like I have to impress them too. I don’t know how to say, “I hurt. I’m sad, I’m scared, I want to run away from here” it’s like I’m not allowed or supposed to. Daddy only wants to hear how well I do at school.

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