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Nobody's Perfect This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Recently I began my sophomore year of high school. I am 15 and I'm a "normal,"friendly student with average grades, nice clothes, lots of friends, a terrificpersonality, parents (who are still married), a ten-year-old brother who caresabout me, and I'm involved in many extracurricular activities. The perfect life,right? From the outside ... yes ... but take a closer look. Behind the disguiselies a very frustrated, confused, shy, depressed teenager with low self-esteem. Ofcourse, most people would never know this since they do not know me, the "realme." They only know the girl who has it all going for her, but deep down inside Iknow, and the very few others whom I have opened up to, know it's all an act. Avery good one, too. I play the worry-free girl with no problems, fears or evenfeelings. A walking, talking robot basically. I answer questions and have casualconversations with my so-called "friends," but nobody really listens to what Ihave to say.

Since I look nice and never seem to have a bad hair day,some people think I'm a snob or stuck-up. Even though the people who know "thereal me" find just the opposite - someone who thinks she's ugly, stupid, unlikedand not as good as anyone else unless she spends those two hours each daypreparing and getting ready. Somebody so mature that she can't seem to findanyone to relate to - that's me. I actually relate better to college students,teachers, people 20 to 25 years older than I am. But even most of them can't seepast my act.

After a while, however, the act becomes more difficult, and Igrow tired of being someone I'm not. That's what happened in April of my freshmanyear. The harassment by students who felt I looked too perfect became too muchfor me to handle on a regular basis. I began missing school and I attemptedsuicide. I had been in counseling for depression and suicide attempts in thepast. But this time my parents and counselor decided that I had gone too far. Icouldn't even sleep anymore, and they thought that I should go away for a whileto a treatment center where I could receive more intense counseling and therapy: "a crazy house," in my opinion. A place where I, a popular, honor roll student,was placed with teen drug-addicts, alcoholics, gang members, thieves, abusedchildren, and other "psychos." There, too, I was rejected by my peers, but gotalong with the adults. I felt abandoned even though I went of my own free will. Ifelt like I was a prisoner. All my belongings (hairspray, nail polish remover,shampoo, safety pins, etc.) were locked up for my safety and the safety ofothers. I was safe, all right. And I guess that was the main reason I was sentthere in the first place, to insure my safety.

It's easy to talk aboutnow, but I am still on the road to recovery. I've tried to commit suicide oncesince my visit to the treatment center, and death is always in the back of mymind when someone hurts me badly or I get depressed. At the time of my lastsuicide attempt, I had been reading Go Ask Alice, which made me very depressedsince I thought I was just like the girl in the book; and she dies at the end ofthe story. It scares me to think that I might not even be here writing this now,had my suicide attempts been "successful." But I'm glad I can be here to share myexperiences and daily struggles. I hope I can help others understand that thereare other ways out, and I made it. I still feel depressed, but I try to findother solutions besides death because all death is, is an easy way out.

Icontinue each day in my life one step at a time, trying to remember that eachnight, a brand-new day awaits me in the morning.

It's strange, but evenafter all I've been through, people still treat me the same. Most of them don'tknow my history. And I'm sure you wouldn't believe it either if you knew who Iwas - all because of the act I put on each day. But just think of the mostperfect, straight, positive, "goodie-goodie," worry-free person you have ever metand then think about what I just told you. Nobody is perfect; and if you don'tknow someone too well, I hope you won't stereotype them, because behind theirgood looks, intelligence, style or "perfectness," who knows what they're reallythinking or feeling. It's easy to act.

Also remember that everyone youmeet wears an invisible sign around his or her neck. It says, "Notice me. Make mefeel special." Maybe after reading about me and my experiences, you'll thinktwice before talking about the "nerd" who sits in front of you in biology or that"snob" who wears expensive clothing.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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