Resilient is a personal essay about a newspaper article that portrayed my family as being highly dysfunctional and abusive, while looking at how I saw my family growing up.
Chris and I had been chosen specifically because of our background. We are considered the epitomes of resiliency in teenagers.
“Look at all you’ve been through,” the woman exclaims. “Who wouldn’t want to do a story on you two?”
I give an unsure glance towards Chris, who merely smiles and shrugs.
My best friend, Rebekah follows me to the bathroom during lunch. As we walk in, the smell of cigarettes wrenches my stomach. The pink tiles in the bathroom glare at me in the fluorescent lights. I bend down, looking under the stalls to make sure no one is here. Rebekah leans against the wall, folding her arms across her chest. She is a cynical person who is slow to trust and quick to doubt. She watches me for a moment before blowing out a long sigh and rolling her eyes.
I begin to tell her about what has happened with my father. I tell her in a low, hushed voice that he’s Bi-Polar. I explain that he was diagnosed years before I was even born, which must seem like forever ago since I’m fifteen now. She doesn’t seem to understand, but I want her to. He ran out of money to buy his medications shortly after my parents’ divorce was finalized. He had been somewhat unstable before the divorce, but everything was just worsening now.
He was committed to Shepherd Hill, a local mental hospital the night before for observation. I try to get Rebekah to understand how upset I am. He hasn’t had to be committed in almost twenty years. Why now? What happened?
She gives me a confused look and then laughs.
I’m hurt at first, but then I get it. She thinks I’m lying.
The food court is busy with people today as the reporter, with her short brown hair and light blue eyes, digs in her purse for her notepad. She looks about as old as my grandmother who sits on the edge of her seat, looking excited at the idea of her name being in the paper.
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