Sasha was my best friend when I met her in Ecuador. She was 15 at the time. She helped me a lot with the homeless kids. She grew up in California. Then her mother moved to Ecuador and made Sasha go with her. We spent a lot of time together and I also spent a lot of time with her mother, Cherie. I decided to put these pics on here and tell more of her story since it is very unlikely her mother will find this site and try to hurt Sasha even more. But even if the mother did see it, she doesn't feel too threatened by me now since I have left of Ecuador, and Sasha could handle it. Also, she always used to tell me that it was okay if I wrote about her. She always said, "Well it's all true." And I saw enough of it with my own eyes to know that it was all true.

Below is a pic of her with two of the homeless kids/teens we were helping.

Sasha in the middle, with William and Cecilia


At my computer. I taught her how to use Fireworks, a picture editing program and she learned very quickly then used to come over and help me when she had nothing to do. She is eating food that I made her. She was almost like one of the homeless kids


Helping me teach an English class


Here she is buying condoms. The Ecuadorian guys liked Sasha. They especially liked to get her drunk and have sex with her. Sometimes she used condoms, sometimes she didn't. I encouraged her to buy some on this day when we were walking past a store. Before she met me she had never bought any condoms in Ecuador. If they guy had some, they used one, if he didn't, she took her chances. She wasn't sure if she would be able to buy them that day or even where to buy them. So I took her to this pharmacy and told her if they won't sell them to you, then I will buy them. Even though the law technically forbids "minors" from buying condoms, fortunately, they didn't give her a hard time. They were very friendly in fact. This is one of the little things I like about other countries. It is much more unlikely someone in the USA, for example, would sell her something like this if it was illegal, even if it was clearly in her best interest.


Here are some notes from my writing back July through about October of 2004.


First entry on Sasha - around early June

Sasha is Cherie's people.htm file missing daughter and is also my best friend in Otavalo. If things go as planned she will be the manager of the juice bar and sandwhich shop we are planning to open. As of June 2004 she is 15 going on about 21. She has been through a lot. The first day I met Sasha I noticed the scars on her arms and asked her if she cut. She said yes. I asked why and she said she didn't want to talk about it. I said, "Okay." Since then we have been friends. She and her mother have constant conflicts about how Sasha going out at night and sleeping until around noon. When Sasha lived in California they had constant fights about her going to school. Like me, Sasha hated being forced to go to school, so this is one of things we have in common.

Right now I am trying to help her start her own business running a sandwich cafe and juice bar in Otavalo. She had been working at another cafe, but wasn't getting paid and also thought she could do a better job than the owner. I thought she probably could as well, so I asked her if she would like to be the manager of her own cafe. She said, "Dude, that would be hellacool."

As she read my page on cutting she said, "Yep... definitely... yep... yep..." When I told her a lot of adults don't like what I have written and she said, "That's because it is true."

Here is a related story about the day we played basketball with Carolina and her friends.

July 18 - I hadn't seen Sasha for a long time. I am pretty sure her mother discouraged her from spending time with me or working with me. I saw her yesterday and she pretty much confirmed this. I told her about some of the things her mother said and she told me her mother is "wacked" and not to listen to anything she said. I said "I can understand why you cut" and she said "no kidding." She said her mother always makes her go places with her where she doesn't want to go and bitches at her to get a job but then tells her not to take jobs when she has a chance at one. She also said her mother was bitching at her even for cleaning her room. She told me a few other things which I won't repeat here but which make it very clear that it is not healthy for Sasha to be around her mother. I hesitate to write about this because eventually Sasha's mother will read it or someone will tell her about it, but I want people to know what I am seeing first hand. I have read about teens who cut and about their parents on the net for a long time, but this is the first time I have had this much face to face contact with them. Everything I am seeing firsthand supports what I have been writing about for years now.

August 11- Right now Sasha is out of town with her mother. She didn't want to go but her mother pressured her into going. They had a big fight about it the other day. Her mother threatened to lock her out of the house if she didn't go and to put all her clothes outside and lock the door. This seems to be pretty typical of how her mother treats her.

Sasha told me that her mother used to hit her all the time and only stopped when Sasha started hitting her back. She also told me her mother is an alcoholic and all their friends know it but her mother vehemently denies it.

The other day she told me that her mother took Sasha's CD case with all her music in it to punish her.

One day, in the late afrernoon she told me she had just been home and her mother was passed out drunk.


More notes --

- When the mother and I talk, Sasha sits there and says almost nothing. The mother never tries to include her in the conversation and Sasha has told me she is afraid to talk around her mother and can't be herself. But when Sasha and I are alone she is very talkative. She tells me things that she doesn't tell her mother. This is one of the reasons the mother is trying to sabotage what I am doing here. For example, she is spreading negative comments about me and even tears down signs that I put up asking for volunteers to help me.

- Her mother is big into astrologly, like so many messed up people into new age stuff in the USA and around the world. She will say things like "He is a Gemini and you can't trust Gemini's" and "All Cancers are..." and I have two stars in the fith house, that's why I am ..."

- When her mother and and I were getting ready to go walk around the city the mom told Sasha to come along. Sasha didn't want to. The mom said, "Come on. Come with us. You'll have fun." Sasha said, "I'm not ready." The mom said, "Well get ready. It doesn't take that long. This is bullshit. You're coming with us. You'll have fun. Go get ready."

- One of the big problems I see though is that she drinks a lot and does other stuff to avoid feeling her pain. And she doesn't like to talk about things. When something has upset her she often says, "I don't want to talk about that."

- When Sasha took my "mom test" she answered about 90 percent of the questions "yes." This follows the same pattern as the other depressed and suicidal teens I have given the test to.

- One day her mother said this to me:

I am just waiting till Sasha moves out. I can't do the things I want to do because I have to take care of her. I am not living the life I want to live. I want to be in the mountains. I like the beach for a while, but then I want to be back in the mountains. Two psychics told me that I would move back to the mountains some day, it was my destiny.

- One day her mother locked her out of the house to punish her. Sasha had to get a little girl to climb through the window to open the door.

- Sasha is often doing nice things for others. Here are a couple examples. When she met one of the homeless girls and asked her if she would like some clothes, Sasha brought her a bunch of clothes the next day. And when one of the homeless boys stole some money from my friend, Sasha gave her 20 dollars to help her out.

And when I am carrying something she will always offer to help me.

And she has helped me cook for the homeless boys several times.

Sasha hated police. She called them a lot of names. One of her favorite groups was "Sublime" she let me copy one of their CD's. On it, the group talks about smoking pot, shooting up and killing police. With a mother like Cherie, it is easy to understand why Sasha hated authority figures.


Close ups to show her lip piercing


Update Feb 2005

I got an email from Sasha that said she has been "happy" (her quotes) for the past few months. She said she has had a boyfriend and has stopped wearing black all the time. And everything else was "the same old shit."