When I was old enough to write in a diary, (I received one in blue leather for a birthday around age eight or nine) I did not understand its purpose. I knew it must be for something private because it had a lock and key. Is there a difference between private thoughts and everyday descriptions? I wondered. What should I write in this little book that seems intended for secrets? What if someone finds the key? It was boring to write about my dolls, my cat or the Lilac bushes where my brothers and I played house. Instead, I recorded the scenes that frightened me; the times when my father became angry and broke furniture or kicked in the screen of our TV set because it refused to work.  The times I saw my mother cry. The problem was that the scenes were so scary that I didn’t want to reread them. So, I tore them out and eventually I had only the blue leather cover with no pages in between. Perhaps it was a childish way to make painful images disappear; write them down and tear them up. Today, I can still recall some of those scenes without benefit of the torn out pages and, most importantly, I see a small girl who used writing intuitively, unwittingly, as a way to manage  anxiety and fear. The act of writing gave me a modicum of control over an uncontrollable situation. The choice to tear up my words built my resilience by making me think I had at least a small choice.