Trapped

By , Aquebogue, NY
I pushed through the crowds, keeping my head down, my blond bangs pulled low to hide my bright green eyes. I already knew how my day was going to go. Pretend to learn stuff in music. Listen attentively to the stories my english teacher told. Be completely overwhelmed by the ten new topics I needed to know by the end of the forty minute period in math. Get sweaty in gym class. Have lunch. Try to ignore the foul-mouthed kids behind me in science. Get a bad grade in Home-Ec because I’m in a group that doesn’t care. Sit, bored out of my mind, while my history teacher tried to understand what the kids that only spoke Spanish were saying. Actually learn something in Latin. Go home.

I pressed myself against the wall and tried my locker several times before it finally opened. I shoved my backpack inside and closed the door, then headed all the way to the East wing for music.

When I was right around the corner, I panicked. I can’t do it, I can’t do it! screamed my brain, and I took an immediate right turn into the nurse’s bathroom, locking myself in.

Calm down, calm down, I told myself, to no avail. Then I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed my mom’s number.

“I’m freaking out and I don’t know why!” I whispered into the phone when my mom answered.

“What?” she asked.

I repeated my message slightly louder, then crouched against the wall, afraid the nurse would hear me.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“Nurse’s bathroom.”

“Try rinsing cold water onto your wrists,” she instructed. “If that doesn’t work, tell the nurse you’re not feeling well, and have her call me.”

By then I was crying freely, and I replied tearfully, “Okay.” We hung up, and I rinsed my hands beneath the sink.

I stood like that until I heard the bell ring for first period, and even by then I still wasn’t feeling better. So I turned off the faucet, dried my hands and my eyes, and opened the bathroom door.

“I’m not feeling good,” I told the nurse.

She glanced up at me, and I thanked God that my eyes don’t get red and puffy when I cry. “You look pale,” she said.

I always look pale, I thought, but said instead, “I do?”

She took my temperature, and tsked. “Normal,” she told me, showing me the thermometer. “Go back to class.”

No! “I honestly can’t,” I told her. “I’m really not feeling good.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Like how?”

“I’m dizzy,” I said. “And I feel really weak. Shaky.”

She looked me up and down, and said, “Fine. Do you have someone home you can call to get you?”

I nodded, and she directed me to the phone.

From there, things just went downhill fast. Each day was worse, because I was afraid it would happen again, to the point where I was so traumatized I couldn’t even go. Eventually, my mom made a doctor’s appointment for me, saying that I needed anxiety medication.

The doctor prescribed a low dosage, and tried to give me a hug. I squirmed out of her grip, uncomfortable and upset and scared. I told myself that the medication would make me zombie-like, and I wouldn’t be able to feel for myself.

I convinced myself this, and when the time came to actually take it, I was shaking so hard I couldn’t even hold the spoon to eat the powdered-up-pill-and-applesauce mix my mom made for me. Finally, she managed to convince me(partly) that the medicine wouldn’t even work yet because it took many doses to even get in my system.

The medicine didn’t work at all. The doctor kept prescribing higher doses, and I started going to a phychiatrist, to no avail.

Then, one night while I was on the computer, my mom got a call from my wealthy aunt. My aunt(Cathy) has always made her kids go to the Catholic school nearby, but we’ve never had the money. Aunt Cathy offered to pay for me to go to this school.

I couldn’t believe it. I “shadowed” a kid I’d gone to pre-school with, and fell in love with the place. Everyone was actually nice to me. They cared about me, and said “Hi,” to me if they passed me in the hallways. It was amazing.

My parents quickly arranged for me to start going there, and soon I was dressed up in my school uniform(something I never would have dreamed of wearing before) and ready to go to school.

It took awhile for me to get adjusted, and even then the anxiety was still attacking me daily. Just when it seemed nothing would ever work, it stopped.

I guess I just got the right amount of medicine and the right psychiatrist. I am proud to say that I am an active member in the school’s community, wear cute outfits even when I’m not in school, and always wear my hair pulled back away from my face so people can see me for who I am.

Because that’s important. Looking back, I saw that I was a good kid trapped in a bad situation, forced to adapt so I looked like all the rest. But that’s not who I am.

I’m Sam. I’m the girl who’s not afraid to express herself. The girl who’s funny, smart, and not-so-athletic. I'm the teenage girl who always makes her friends laugh. I’m… well, me.

Can you say the same?





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