Immediately after Zlata leaves, this student prepares to take some drugs. This habit makes her feel ashamed, as she feels that she is not worthy of the change that Ms. Gruwell’s students have all been taking part in. She feels guilty about lying and fears Ms. Gruwell would be disappointed in her. She does not expect Ms. Gruwell to trust in her, because she does not trust in herself, as she often steals money to buy drugs.
This student’s expectation that Ms. Gruwell would be disappointed in her is extreme and probably misguided, given Ms. Gruwell’s capacity to empathize with her students. However, it reflects this student’s sense of low self-esteem and disappointment in herself. Her knowledge that she should be behaving differently meets a powerful obstacle: addiction.
She describes being high in Zlata and Ms. Gruwell’s presence but notes that neither of them noticed, since she knows how to control herself. While she is currently in rehab for marijuana, she has now become addicted to speed, and fears that she is becoming an addict, despite her outward appearance as a model student and daughter. She feels that she will not be able to put an end to her drug habit and feels relieved that Zlata has left, because she doesn’t feel that she deserved all the attention she and the rest of the class received.
This student’s fear and shame about her addiction leads her to feel unworthy of other people’s care—a harsh judgment of herself that focuses only on her negative habits, overlooking the positive qualities and achievements she probably does deserve to feel proud of. These thoughts reveal the dark, negative powers of addiction on the mind, as it makes this student feel helpless and isolated.