Finding and Trusting the Right Therapist
Names have been changed. My father sexually abused me as a child and, a few days shy of my 13th birthday, I entered foster care. When detectives were first assigned to my case, I had to explain the what, when, where, who, and how of the assaults over and over.
Writing Contest Winners Spring 2023
Four times a year, we ask our readers to write about the impact recent stories have had on teens around the country. In spring 2023, we had a range of responses from writers connecting to stories about family, addiction, generational trauma, and finding one’s voice.
Of Course I’m Smart Enough
by Enoch Naklen
“OK class, we’re about to transition to community meeting! On my count. One!” announced my 4th grade teacher. One was the signal to push out your seat from the desk. “Good job we’re moving with urgency! I like it Morgan State!”
I Am Not My Inheritance
While I was close to my mom growing up, my father was emotionally absent and only seemed happy when he was highly intoxicated. Like a ghost, he came and went. I only saw him briefly before he left for work and after he came home, or during the weekends as he binge drank in the living room.
I Look, Therefore I Am?
Names have been changed. It was the day of my friend Amanda’s bat mitzvah. She was more of a recent friend, someone who, with my implicit permission, tended to degrade me on a daily basis. Nonetheless, I liked her, and at one of the final parties of the year-long bat mitzvah season, I wanted to look my best.
More Than a Game
by Erika Yeung
I fell in love with gaming when I was 9. My dad came home one day carrying a blue Best Buy bag with an imprint of a small, rectangular box sticking out the side. My eyes shifted like a cat following a ball of yarn—from his face, to the bag, and back to his face— until I noticed him smile, reach into the bag and pull out a bright green video game box.