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February 3, 2013
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I feel I have two personalities, one for school one for home. I feel that every time I go to school I put myself in a padlocked box. Tightly closed and guarded.

I feel that in school I'm not myself, I am better version of myself, Akila 2.0. I am quiet and studious; the student with glasses that sits in the front of the class. The one that talks more to the teacher than to her classmates; the one that is shy and doesn’t initiate conversations; the one that is writing or reading or is in her own little world. The one that would rather work on a project alone even though it’s a lot more work than risk working with a group filled with potentially obnoxious people who could put me down.

My friends don’t know the difference. They don’t see the change that comes over me when I come to school or when I'm outside of school. They don’t see that I listen more than I talk. They don’t see that when I talk I'm careful to not say anything that would offend or give anything away. They don’t see that their offhanded comments plays like a broken record in my mind weeks after it’s forgotten by them and becomes irrelevant. They don’t see that the person they see every day isn’t the real me, it’s a version that’s best suited for that occasion.

My family sometimes sees it; they see it if my true self is locked and my school self is in its place. They see if I'm too quiet, if I don’t talk, if I don’t laugh, if I don’t smile.

But what my family doesn’t see is my transformation. My ugly transformation that is endured every morning to make sure I get the good grades and stay the good daughter. They don’t see the sacrifice I make every morning by locking myself up to pay attention and make sure I focus and keep up my grades. They don’t understand the pill I take every morning is like a net that takes hold of me and doesn’t let go for the next 12 hours.

Yet, there are those days where I can escape my net, where I can be my original self in school for maybe just a day. When those days come I cherish them. Those are the days when I feel like I've had the Felix Felicis potion. I feel like I could do anything, I feel like that in class everyone is my friend and that everything I look at is seen through rose-colored and skewed glasses. I feel happy and that nothing can hurt me or bring me down. Yet there is a dark side to this euphoria. The assignments I have, homework, tests, classwork, notes, all of this suffers. I don’t feel the need to pay attention in class. I don’t feel the need to do my homework. And when I take tests or do classwork, I get distracted to the point that I'm the last one to finish, or the teacher starts something else in the interlude.

When I go home on these days my grandmother complains that I don’t pay attention when she asks me to do work on my mother tongue. She accuses me of being lazy and uninterested. When in fact it’s not true at all, it’s out of my control. I can’t keep my mind on the task at hand, I can’t keep myself from thinking other thoughts or letting my eyes wander.

My father doesn’t understand that it’s not my fault that I can’t pay attention when he helps me with my SAT prep. He doesn’t understand that I can’t focus on the work; that I think random thoughts or that I yawn because I feel tired from keeping myself in check. He doesn’t realize that I care about what he's teaching me and that I'm grateful for all the time he's spending with me. Or that I get defensive because I couldn’t even fathom not caring and not being able to live up to his expectations. I wish he knew that I will never take his sessions for granted.

My mother doesn’t understand the toll the pill takes on me. I feel like I'm in a prison. I feel that I can’t be myself. I can’t day dream, I can’t relax. Even if I'm tired and I want nothing more than to stop, curl up in a ball and forget I have any work to do. But I can’t. The pill forces me to keep working, to stress over every detail, to obsess about it till I get it done and it’s in my bag neatly printed and clean like my 2.0 self.

I'm trapped because of this pill, I'm trapped in this cycle till I can escape, and I want to escape this hell. So badly. Soon I’ll be going to place and have a blank slate, soon I’ll be able to rewrite my own destiny and soon I’ll be able to escape my warden.

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angelwings479 said...
Feb. 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm
This is great! I liked how you compared your experience to having two selves. Keep writing!
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