Not for Attention This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Howell, NJ
She’s doing it for attention. Attention! Attention! Attention!

Those words became a part of my everyday life at that point. And every time I heard it, I wished it was true. I wished that I didn’t feel the sadness gradually eating me inside. I carried it like a burden. Those rolling eyes and the stop-with-the-act-we-all-know-your-doing-it-for-attention sigh hurt. A lot.

I couldn’t help it if I suddenly break down. I couldn’t help it if I was depressed and sick. I couldn’t help it if I had to run to the bathroom and cry because I didn’t want anyone else to see me. Was it my fault I saw things normal people don’t see? Did I wanna see them? Hell no. Was it my fault that tears weren’t enough to bring out the sadness? No one believed me but my family. Not even those who I thought would surely believe me.

“You gotta snap out of it!” the school nurse once told me. “You’re giving your mother such a hard time.”
At that time I cried harder and harder.
“So, our teacher asked me if you were only doing this for attention,” one of my closest friends told me. “Are you?”
I was speechless at that time and shook my head even though I knew they wouldn’t believe me.
See, that’s the thing about people, they ask you a question and you tell them the truth but they don’t believe you because it’s not the words they wanted to hear.
“Oh, he told me that he saw you passed out on the principal’s office and that you were possessed by a devil.”
How am I supposed to respond to that?
“I’m here for you, we won’t leave you,” are the words I held on to. They slipped away.

Eventually I went to a mental hospital. They woke me up early in the morning to stick a needle inside me to get some of my blood and the nurse would miss my vein again and again. It hurt like hell. I had three roommates in total. One had anger problems. One was a runaway/started fire. One had hallucinations, like me. You had two phone calls and only for five to ten minutes. You eat three times a day with one snack time. No electronics or anything inside your room. They check your room every morning for food, drinks, pencil, pen, etc… The windows were shut and locked. They would always switch my medicine and I became sleepy and dizzy. I wasn’t allowed to sleep until night so I was always tired in the day. Smelled like a hospital. Felt like prison.

It wasn’t that bad as days pass by. I got to see my mom every Wednesday for an hour then it’s time to say goodbye. Actually, I liked it there. I could tell what I felt to people my age without being criticized and judged. We split our sadness and doubled our laughter. We even made the night nurses mad once. We had our doors open and then slam our drawers and bathroom doors one by one. When they told us to stop, we continued until they took the drawers out of our rooms. I was out of there about a week or two. I don’t regret anything. I wouldn’t redo my past. I’m closer to my family. This isn’t some freaky story, this is real life.





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