I went for my eval today. It just never ends, the medical stuff. It is something I hate talking about because I see the shutters close. I don’t blame you. What do you say to me?? I really just need validation. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. For me personally the struggle with illness started early.

The school bus is loud and the ride is bumpy. I shift uncomfortably in the seat. I hate this part of the day. My stomach rolls in that lazy mean way. I feel so sick. Another stab of pain shoots through my head. “Please go away, please go away.” I’m whispering under my breath. Closing my eyes and putting my head against the cold window. Beads of sweat are rolling down my face. Closing my eyes trying to get away I see the sunlight flickering pink underneath my lids. The squealing brakes tell me this is our stop. Being at the top of the hill he gains too much momentum and my books hit the floor. I learned a while back to put my feet on the back of the seat to keep from sliding off.  Leaning over I hear the whooshing in my ears. Thump, swoosh, thump, swoosh. “Hurry up!”, The driver is in a rush. I stumble down the steps and off the bus. My feet hit the dirt and dust flies. The steps are high and I’m dizzy. I can hear the horses braying. Slowly I walk down the drive to our Pink House. 

I enter the house and smell coffee and cigarette smoke. The radio is on country. Dwight Yoakam croons from the radio. 

“Mom, I feel sick.” 

“No you don’t. Amber, you’re fine”. Mom says it with frustration.

“What’s she saying now”? My stepfather has walked in the room. 

“She has another headache.” Mom is smiling but I can’t figure out why. Not then. Now I figure it was to downplay the situation for him. Keep the peace.

My step dad approaches me. “You know what? I’m really tired of you saying that you have a headache. How about this. We make you an appointment. And here’s what they do. They take a saw and open up your skull. They will look at your brains and see what the problem is. Is that what you want”?

I stand there looking into his eyes. They are blue but not pretty. Right now they bug out at me and I’m so scared. I can see a chainsaw come at me already.

“I’m fine!”, I scream it in rage and fear.

As I run up the stairs the whooshing sounds gets louder in my ears and my face is hot. I touch my ears with cold hands and just say over and over” Please go away, please go away.”