Emily: Chill & Spill
“You open it up, and it doesn’t talk about you. It is listening and it doesn’t talk back to you.”
Like so many families in our city, state and country today, Emily’s father lost his job. The family had been living paycheck to paycheck, and it wasn’t long before they faced eviction. The pressure of such uncertainty took its toll on Emily’s father, who took it out on his 12-year-old daughter.
Emily suffered physical abuse and reflected it back on the world around her. Says Emily, “I was angry at people every day. And so I started doing bad things.”
She began to hurt other kids in her class. She threatened the life of her principal as well as the life of her father – and eventually threatened to take her own life.
Emily was expelled and sent to an alternative school, where a therapist gave her a copy of Chill & Spill. They began to work through the pages together. As another young girl told us, “My Chill & Spill journal lets me write what’s flying around in my head so I can see it more clearly.” It had the same impact on Emily. She used the book to confront and deal with her overwhelming feelings of anger and betrayal.
“This is a great book. All of it. You open it up, and it doesn’t talk about you. It is listening and it doesn’t talk back to you. It likes whatever I am drawing. When I’m sad, I draw a picture that connects to [what I’m feeling]. I look at it every day and I write in it every day. It helps a lot.”
Her discoveries led her father to confront his feelings, as well. Through Emily’s Chill & Spill writings, he realized the impact his behavior was having on his little girl. He stopped the abuse… and it opened up a dialog of healing and hope between them.
Today, Emily is back in a regular school and she’s doing well. She still writes in her book… and calls it her best friend.