I have had Tourettes Syndrome for as long as I can remember. My ticks are that I twitch a lot, my hands my head, the whole nine yards. As a kid my head would be bouncing like im at a metal concert, my hands move outside of their own accord, and I make unpleasant guttural spitting noises. The other children would of course tease me for this, as children often do. This is was incredibly hurtful to me as a child and I had a hard time making a lot of friends, the hardest part was that I didn’t even know what Tourettes was, until I was in high school and taking a medical anatomy class, when it was covered briefly in the course. That day there was so much clarity, while we discussed it I kept quiet as I thought about what had been discovered. My condition had finally been given a name, and I knew what made me so strange, not that it helped, knowing what it is was nice for sure but the damage had been done, I was already Twitchy.
I have distinct memories that i think I will continue to have until I die, of other children teasing and ridiculing me throughout my life. This didn’t end as we got older I was belittled and mocked as far as college for my ticks and twitches. Its caused me to be very distrustful and not wish to speak of it to anyone unless I absolutely have no other choice. My long distance friends who I have known for years didn’t even know I had Tourettes until I let it slip in conversation by accident once, and I wonder if for them it made sense. The reason I don’t use the face camera when I we speak on Skype, why I might start being out of breath during conversations as I becoming so excited and freaking out twitching uncontrollably. While all of my friends now recognize and accept what I have and how it affects me (and I could never be more grateful) I don’t know how long it will be before I stop being afraid of the words that are always asked of me; “Why do you do that?”
In high school, as I stated before, I had few friends. But my friends often had other friends that I would sometimes meet but never wanted to associate with. There was one who was kind of a bad kid. He was a bit of a thug, lived in a bad neighborhood and had a reputation for always getting in trouble, a skinny, long greasy haired guy, he resembled a Jay without his Silent Bob . One day while sitting alone at lunch reading, I heard the remark “Hey yo! twitchy! you seen [insert friends name here]!” I quickly stuttered out no I haven’t and then went away as I didn’t want to be anywhere around that guy, but that word he had used always stuck with me “twitchy”. which is even more ironic as I can’t even remember this guys name. I think I heard he went to prison for robbing a gas station a couple of years back? Anyway the fact that I was the twitchy kid was still alive and well in my school it seemed. I also remember these two young girls that would also tease me, whats worse they would never do it close to me or to my face, or even talk to me, but they weren’t afraid to mock me within sight of them a distance away. They where two young black girls, both Freshmen when I was a Senior, they would always make it a point to insult my head banging whenever they saw me. By this point I was starting to realize people where always going to see me as strange and started accepting myself as the spazzy retard i obviously am. However I can’t lie when I said when I saw these two particular young girls making fun of me I would become very angry, and I wanted to just go smack both of them upside their faces. Of course I didn’t as I have more control than that, and also am a little pansie. I won’t forget ever though, the night of my sisters end of the year choir concert, in the last month of my high school. I was there with my family watching with pride as my little sister was singing beautiful songs. I was in no way hurting or bothering anyone, and I look over and see the two girls getting my attention to make fun of my twitching. I don’t know why, there seemed no reason to do something like that at a public school concert, maybe they were bored, maybe they just saw me with my parents and uncle and grandparents going in to see my sister, all I know if that the memory of my sisters concert is forever going to be the time the two young girls decided to mock me in public. I don’t know where they are now, I don’t really care, I just hope they’ve matured enough to realize that what they did was hurtful.
I didn’t mean to type this blog as a reason to be whiny, I realize that it may come off that way. I don’t want a victim card, or anyone’s sympathy. I’ve just been wanting to put theses thoughts and experiences into words for a long time, a way to work some of these old pains and aggressions out so I can can start truly moving on. My current friends like me and know I have Tourettes, as do my co workers. No one makes fun of me anymore as an adult, which is great, I know that there is some light in the tunnel, at least for that. And who knows, if the thing that used to give my life so much hell has turned out to be nothing in retrospect, than maybe other problems that still affect my life can also turn out to be truly non important later on. Until later friends.