Jamie Sanders: "I have Tourettes. Please, please, don't tell anyone." That's what I said to my teachers on my first day of sixth grade. A new start, after a loathing of my own mental state, was conditioned into me by my sweet, innocent peers for years before my school switch escape. "This time, it will be different. This time, they'll understand. This time, I won't be set off, and offset any chance of my friends not staring." But the pens on the paper, all around me, are so loud. And I start tearing at my hair, as if it can grip the strands of my affliction, and tear it out, and throw it down. So, I can stick it with a stake. And that was a mistake.There may be small errors in this transcript.
And as I come out of my moment, and look into the eyes of my new sixth grade classmates, I see fear, and then, amusement. Two reactions most commonly seen to occur at a freak show. And as my circus tent collapses on my head, all my mouth can muster up is, "This time, this time, this time." This is my syndrome. My issue. My, "What's wrong with that kid?" But, see, my words that are forth in a manic manner, make my mind settle, in a way I can't explain. And so, I, "This time, this time, this time," in high school. And I got a little better.
And this time I'm okay because I can see every "This time," is me. They say I might grow out of it, but why would I want to grow out of my skin, of my veins because they grew so well, with me." Because now, I tick the rhythm of my life. I tick the same way you breathe. So, to those kids who watched me do tricks, thank you. Thank you for whispered words, behind cupped hands. Because I'm ticking, like a metronome and everything is music. The pounding at the base of my neck is a drum and your laughter is strings. And when you and your friends called me a "freak," and pushed me down a flight of stairs, you only wrote me a symphony.
I suppose now is the part where I wish they were me. Walking a mile in my shaking shoes, but they don't deserve the privilege. I have Tourettes. Please, tell everyone.