Ghost’s of Haley’s Past: 5th Grade Haley


Last night, I was rooting around in the pink tub of journals I keep in my room of all the years of my writing, and I was feeling upset. I wanted to be alone, so I wrote myself a “Dear Haley” letter like I did when I was a kid and had no one to talk to. It is either genius or completely delusional, but when I was a kid and couldn’t run away, I always dreamed about an older version of me coming to beat up the stupid brats that were teasing me, or tell my parents that they needed to get their acts together, or something along that line. Older Haley always came to my defense in the cranial shaped walls of my imagination, and the best part is that Older Haley still does. I haven’t listened to her for a while, so I decided to write a Dear Haley letter so she could speak. It worked.

It worked so well I was skeptical that I ever didn’t have it mostly figured out in the first place. This is why you keep a giant pink storage tub of journals, you guys, for those moments where you are trying to figure out what Older Haley would say.

This is what Older Haley had to say in fifth grade. Reading this, I felt like my heart was literally ripped out of my chest. Not sure why, but it was like I had seen a ghost. A really classy, sassy, confident ghost. I really like that ghost.

This is what the Ghost had to say in 5th grade:

(*I have removed all names from this journal entry. The bizarre typing symbols are something that Haley liked in 5th grade, she was just beginning to learn to type at school, and somehow they made their way in (idk, ask her). The misspellings I have kept because it’s her writing, not mine. And if you can’t decide whether or not I have schizophrenia or not at this point, read the poem that comes after the journal entry she starts with, and make your judgment call based off that). 


L*** hates me. I’m screwed. Here’s how the story goes. Ok L*** has this big secret about how ___ had a crush on her and ___________________. And of course it’s not true. She probably just adzaggerated. Any way, L*** tells me the secret. Later on I acidentily blob to Lauren, but it gets worse. Later @ the after school program me, L**** (6th gr.), R******, M****, A*****, and C***** are sitting around telling secrets and it slips out (probably cause I didn’t have nothin’ juicy) And somehow the Word got out. Now T***’s as mad as hell, N*** is hysterical, C***** (bitch wad)’s using this an an excuse to be mad @ me.

(Poem: Untitled)

And just like it started,

That year of bliss is over,

Back to stepparents and the corrupt which with she’s forced to dwell.

A woman past her prime, once pretty, chip on her sholder and no happiness, with enough emotional baggage to tilt the world.

A man w/ a booming voice,

Booming temper

Never striking but unlike pain of the mind, physical pain fades.

A man gone corrupt w/ intense longings of his childhood, being spoiled all the while, can’t express himself without hurting others.

The weak, the sad, the challenged, it’s all the same to someone w/-out a heart.

A woman so vexed by a childhood w/ an abusive, alcoholic mother and a marriage with this man before she lets the bitterness out in small doses, but still enough to sting those around her.

And with these people, life still goes on.

Is it evil to think, to wish the man w/-out a heart has a heart attack, even when one’s been caused so much grief and sadness by he?

It ends to fast,

She can’t cope. She’s mean to those around her,

Envious to those happy,

Untill the light at the end of the tunnel flickers.


Something she wants but never enjoys comepletely.

She’s mean to her teacher,

A fragile thing like her stepmom,

Another teacher she adores,

Unlike her Angel in disguise,

This one is a grandmother,

Urging her to change.

To which she’ll always be thankful.

Friendship ends too fast.

Changes, changes, changes.

And one day a girl that makes herself questions herself is introduced.

She would be seeing a lot of this girl.

Her rare free nature.

But thankful.

Forever thankful for enlightenment.

She relizes one weekend the truth.

She’s been mean to all around her, save precious few,

Because she’s afraid,

Afraid of being hurt.

So she puts on an act of independence,



But inside she’s breaking.

She can’t escape the hell that is home.

She can’t decide to trust the girl or to keep her mouth zipped.

Sometimes, the girl gets thinking, forgetting the world around her.

If only she could tell the girl how she wishes she would stop this, and how she shouldn’t let others call her stupid:


And all alone no longer,

With friends,

The girl,

Upon a tired night,

Decides to stop.

To not care, but instead love.

And to write a poem…


Published by


I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s