The premise that Tara was searching for “her voice” as she aged and grew can not be reasoned as anything but natural (and normal) - we all search for “our voice”. This is growth, this is change, this is the metamorphosis of all life.
It intrigues me however, how young she was when so many of these challenges occurred in her life. Eight year old children writing serious journals? Ten year old children performing limited but valiant medical treatment on their brother? Oh, I guess it happened (or maybe happened) but it astonishes me from my own personal life experiences. Or maybe my children and grand-children who’ve attained those ages just were not as prepared for these situations as Tara was.
Human development generally follows a broad pattern of growth. We sit before we crawl, we stand before we walk, we reach out before we grab on . . . these are generally the norms. And all of this happens while we are unwittingly in search of “our voice”.
As we confront more situations during our growth, we are often directed by “influencers” (parents, siblings, teachers, friends) how best to deal with these confrontations. When the “influencers” are more limited (in Tara’s case to parents and siblings) our views (and our voices) are in-turn more limited. This usually will lead to an unbalanced (or out-of-balance) voice because divergent directions are not exposed.
It almost seems as though Tara was aware of this “emptiness” at a very young age and reacted to these situations by identifying herself and her other-self in her journaling - and in her looks in the mirror. It also seems to have delayed the “rebel” side of her personality until later than “normal” times.
As displayed by her current life situation, this did not keep Tara from later rebellion or later challenges, it only forestalled the inevitable for such a wise and perceptive individual.
As my own children grew in age, and size, and wisdom - their growth and their changes were often met by my own dogmas and edicts. I knew then (as I know now) that I needed to constantly examine myself (and my role as a parent and educator) with each individual child. I needed to question myself and what I was preaching. I needed to evaluate my own situation and confront my own short comings. I could not, and would not, allow my own beliefs and values to continue unchallenged. And this was for the good of all - myself, my spouse, my specific child, and all of the siblings.
To this end, Tara got the short end of the stick.
Tara was continuously lectured to - not spoken with - and continually categorized according to her families creed. Make-up, skin exposure - these made her a whore. Public schooling, the medical establishment - these made her a government agent.