*photo credit: Tiffany Lucero
By Rebecca Swanson
A grimace here. A grimace there. No one has to know. Lock yourself in a bathroom stall and twitch, take a deep breath and head back to class. I could hide it. Except when I couldn’t.
“What’s wrong with your face?” People asked, in real life, years before the anonymous cloak of internet avatars. Classmates. Friends. I knew these people.
“Nothing,” I said. “What’s wrong with yours?” (I didn’t say, as I held my cheeks steady and retreated again to the ladies’ room, second stall from the left).
They rushed out when I got home, a frenzy of tics, a wild, flapping flock of pigeons startled from a perch. But quieter. They lasted through bedtime and woke me in the night. Gasping, sometimes, when I held my breath over and over. Is that even a tic? My abdomen muscles shredded, despite being an athlete. Do people know that it often hurts? Continue Reading…