I remember it being a Friday when my mom pulled me out of school for good. I never knew I would be homeschooled. I used to make fun of it, but it essentially saved my life. All of my teachers are have been kind and supportive so far. They care about me and they make sure I am successful when it comes to education. I have learned more than I ever have, and I even have made new friends.
The advantage to it is that I can keep my sanity and not be made fun of. The disadvantage is that I don’t go out very much, and my social anxiety worsens. But I have been working on that, and I am a lot better at talking to people than I used to be. I would deal with a vicious cycle in the outside world. My normal nerves would make my social anxiety worse, making my tics higher, making my nerves worse, and so forth.
At 14 years old, I decided I wanted to make a page on Facebook. At first, I didn’t know what my page would be about. I ticked, and then the Tourette’s Syndrome idea happened. I decided I would make a Tourette’s page. Then, I had to figure out what to name it. I couldn’t think of anything until my second mom gave me the idea of the title sounding like a tic.
That’s how I came up with Twitch and Jerk. I added the (Tourette’s Syndrome) at the end because I didn’t want people thinking I was making fun of people with Tourette’s. I was so nervous when I started it. When I posted my first post, I said to myself, “This will never work out! Why would people ‘like’ a page run by a teenager about Tourette’s Syndrome?”
Time has gone by fast. It is now turning into a success, slowly. The people who I talk to on Twitch and Jerk have become my friends — my “second family.” Some have become my friends outside of Twitch and Jerk. I just hope that, even when I’m not a teen anymore, that people will still like my page.
Tourette’s has helped me turn into a better person. I used to be a little bit of a bully right before I was diagnosed. Tourette’s was a wake-up call. I see the true colors of people. I have a different perspective on the world. I don’t judge people on their religion, what they look like or who they are. I only judge when I don’t realize it. But I do have best friends and family who love me for who I am.
I see Tourette’s as my best friend because it is always there with me, it is a part of me, it changed my life, and it is irritating sometimes. I am 16 now. I write poetry on Twitch and Jerk about my tics, my feelings about Tourette’s and sometimes just about how nature makes me feel free from Tourette’s.
I want to make sure that my page is always a positive and honest place to go. I do not lie to my fans, and I don’t want to spread negativity. I just want to help people as much as I can. My page makes me feel like I’m not alone.
Soon, I am hoping to go to the 2012 Biennial National Tourette Syndrome Association Conference in Virginia. I want to make a difference in people’s lives — not just for those with TS, but those who are different.