| Teen Diary Serial |

Metamorphosis: Chapter 9   

“I can’t even imagine how you did it,” Chavala says. “That’s… that’s torturous!”


Igo to school on Monday weighed down by a very large brick called, “I am a terrible person because I ate treif.”

I am a very good robot, and I do everything I’m supposed to, down to cracking jokes when appropriate, but my heart is absent. I’m in a torture chamber of guilt and trying to figure out how to escape.

When I think that nothing can get worse, I suddenly remember about the blue pizza. I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s like two people are stabbing me at the same time. No, it’s worse. And suddenly I’m done. I have to get out of this state of beyond torture, even if it means admitting I have a mental illness.

But this is easier said than done. I should go over to my parents and be like, “Tatty, Mommy, can you please book me an appointment with a psychiatrist so I can figure out what’s wrong with me?”

My mother will say I need more vitamins, and my father will tell me to go to sleep earlier. Or maybe he’ll just say to “snap out of it.”

How do I go about this? I feel like I found the gate to redemption but it’s locked.

Still, I feel a lot better than I did before. I’m not crazy, there are other girls who have experienced something similar, and there is a way out. I just have to figure out what it is.

It’s a day later, and I’m still chewing over how to go about this. I head to the library to brainstorm about how to speak to my parents. I can’t believe that it took until yesterday to realize that something is really wrong.

Suddenly the door opens. I jump and realize it’s Chavala.

“Perela,” she says, “I was looking all over for you.”

“Well, I’m here,” I respond and then feel dumb because of course I’m here.

“I wanted to speak to you,” she begins. “It’s just, well you’ve seemed a little out of it, like I want to make sure that you’re okay….”

I’m taken aback. “Oh.” I don’t really know what to say. Chavala is intuitive, and I’m touched about how much she cares. But I don’t know why I’m feeling so hesitant. “Well, I have some sort of, well—” I stop and contemplate how to explain it. I decide to tell her the story, obviously very abridged, and the conclusions I came to.

“So, for a while I was getting nervous really easily about random things, and I would panic and I couldn’t stop and I couldn’t get these dumb thoughts out of my head and I was going crazy and I thought that maybe I actually was—” I pause my ramblings to catch my breath.

Chavala doesn’t say anything, she just sits quietly.

“Then I read this story about a girl who had depression, and she got it under control after she went to therapy, so I realized I probably have something similar, and I’m just trying to figure out where to go from here.”

“I can’t even imagine how you did it,” Chavala says. “That’s… that’s torturous!”

She sits quietly for a little longer. The bell rings; neither of us get up. It must be a lot to process for her. Finally, she gets up and gives me a hug without saying a word.

Then I get a little teary-eyed. Chavala gets me a tissue. She holds my hand while I cry for a bit. I just need to let some of it out.

“Thank you,” I tell her.

Then I explain my dilemma about how exactly to speak to my parents.

We sit quietly again.

“I think I need to speak to someone else first,” I decide, “someone who’s older and wiser and can help me figure it out. But who?”

“Maybe one of our teachers?” Chavala suggests.

“Yeah, like Mrs. Berkowitz who doesn’t even know my name, or Mrs. Kershner who always has time for girls… the girls who break school rules and argue with teachers.”

“I know,” Chavala agrees. “She doesn’t realize that regular girls might need help, too.”

“Or there’s Ms. Goldstein who’s intimidating… and on and on. There’s really nobody to speak to.”


To be continued…


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 960)

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