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born this way

by reason

I called the hotline again. These calls vary from thirty minutes to an hour. I hoped Tanya would pick up, but it never is her. I wish I told this complete stranger, a volunteer, that I loved her. She did more for me in an hour than eleven years of therapy. I saw over a dozen psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. I don't dare discredit those eleven years for they prepared me for that talk. It gave me the words to what I experienced.

I call that hotline daily -if not twice on any given day. It's never the same person. I act as though I am giving a progress report. There's the inevitable summary at first, and then there follows the silent tears . . . sometimes they're not so silent.

After I hang up, my teeth gnash together because I know I won't find a cure. These sessions of crying make sleeping afterwards near impossible. I roll around. A shrill cry escapes my throat. I mute it with blankets. It is the frustration that neurologists won't see me because I am an adult. It is the agonizingly slow process of finding phone numbers, calling only to reach voice mail -and the WAITING that kills me. My hopes rise only to fall, shattering with each failure: "No, we only treat children."

I vow to call experts -tomorrow and the next day until I can get someone. Someone that will inform me there is help. That my insurance will cover it. Someone who can tell me I am not crazy; anyone that can offer a solution. My father amongst other loved ones cry. I need a solution because I am too uncomfortable to reassure them with a hug that I will be okay.

I don't feel okay. Eighteen years without a diagnosis, eighteen years of knowing something is WRONG but not having a word for it. I internalized it early on: I am bad, I am lazy, I am broken, and I will forever be inadequate. Now, at twenty years of age I have the words -but I need more than that. I need a plan. Calling experts, I hope to get a consultation. I make plans go to the library for books on what I have. I fight by day so that I can call that hotline by night with progress. And I will cry until I can let go of twenty years of hurt, sadness, frustration, and rage so that I can one day forgive myself.

I was born this way.

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1125 Reviews

Points: 53415
Reviews: 1125

Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:50 pm
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StellaThomas wrote a review...

Hey reason :) Stella here! Alright, since this, as you say, a personal piece, I can't really comment much on content. The problem with the "Other" section is to be honest I'm never entirely sure how to approach anything, but here, I'm just going to focus on technicalities.

That all caps: It looks... wrong. I think there's a better way to emphasise it. Actually, when I thought it was just the "WRONG" that was in all caps that it worked because it looked wrong. But with the "waiting" as well, I don't think it's doing you any good.

Overall structure: I think things would feel more complete if you begun and ended with the hotline. As it is, you reapproach the hotline towards the ending but your last line jumps off onto a separate theme which I think in itself could be explored a bit more. Symmetry always helps in narrative, I think, and ending with the hotline would be neat, if a little bit... cheap? I don't know. It's up to you. But I did feel upon reaching the end that it could have been ended a lot better. It doesn't feel complete at all- in fact, the last line feels like an introduction, a bit like a prologue or preliminary piece to something bigger. You need something a little more closed if you want this to stand by itself. Ending with the hotline would make it a closed circuit.

Depth: While I realise personal issues can be difficult to write about, I feel like the reader misses out on details here that would make us a lot more sympathetic. As I read I was just going through it waiting for the next tidbit of information...that never came. Readers are hungry creatures, you need to keep feeding us new and interesting material, without it the narrative feels a little bit empty. A bit like you're cheating us by only telling us half the story.

Overall: This was interesting and very emotion-fraught. I think there's a few things you could do to make the expression a little better though!

Hope I helped, drop me a note if you need anything!

-Stella x

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27 Reviews

Points: 5634
Reviews: 27

Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:39 am
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alanafiredancer wrote a review...

Wow. This piece of writing has left me speechless. This is... phenomenal. It is so emotionally charged, that it almost brought me to tears. You should seriously consider submitting this to a magazine or newspaper. I am sure the sheer skill of your writing will get you publicity enough alone. I just don't know how to express my feelings for this piece. It was beautiful. It was moving. It was heart breaking. I must say, good job. Good job.

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6 Reviews

Points: 843
Reviews: 6

Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:07 am
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KevybearsBunny wrote a review...

Hello reason! :)
For one I did enjoy reading this! I can only assume that i might know what this person is going through. I don't know if you purposly made that more of a mystery or not. I saw some spelling mistakes, but that happens to everyone! (Stupid keyboards anyway! :P ) But other than that it is a good story! I am not going to give you to much critisism because from what you said I take it this is a personal story. So you probably didnt right it to get people critisizing you left and right!

reason says...

i wrote personal story to dissuade harsh reviews. i typically can handle such a thing, but this piece is no ordinary story for me. the actual condition or conditions are irrelevant, an invisible handicap regardless of the name is something readers can relate to. or so that's what i believe.

criticisms are welcomed so long the work itself isn't diminished. i am sure mechanically speaking, it could do with more sentence structure variety.

thank you for taking the time to read this and jotting down a review. it's appreciated. i did catch the spelling mistake you were making a reference to: shrill rather than srhill.

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
— Madeleine L'Engle, Author