Michelle was 16 years old when she
wrote this. She is graduating from high school June 2003. She is at risk for HD and lives in California.
What Issues Do You Deal With Living With HD That Is The Hardest For You?
The hardest issue for me is probably my at risk status and not having a daddy like everyone else. Sometimes I just need
some testosterone in the house some stupid male advice to make me laugh. J Its also hard knowing that it was my choice not
to see him very often and now hes dead.
Has Living With HD Affected Your Education? (Absenteeism/Lack of Concentration/etc.)
Definitely. Not so much absenteeism, though I am gone a lot, but concentration.
I find myself not being able to concentrate on anything or worrying persistently. "The worrier" and "the crazy one" are my
two nicknames at school.
What Things Do You Do To Help In The Care of an HD parent? Do You Feel This Is Fair?
I didnt care for my HD parent. He was always in a nursing home. I did care quite a bit though for my non-HD parent. I was
very angry with the fact that I was caring for someone who was fully able to care for herself but who wouldnt.
How Does Helping With Your Parent's Care Affect You Socially?
It feels weird to answer this question. Finances are something I am pretty
much in charge of now. I am 16 and my income is what we live off of. I think we are all affected personally. Over the years,
I have become a mini version of my mom, which is not a good thing. Ive got a lot of things to twist back into shape and figure
What Advice Would You Give to A Young Person Living in A Volatile HD Family Environment?
Dont be afraid to ask for help. Take time for yourself, even if its only
a few hours every week. Talk to people! friends, relatives, anyone you trust. Counselors are good. Counselors are very
good. Just find a safe place for yourself.
How Have You Handled The Anger You May Feel Living With HD?
What Has Worked Best For You?
I have yelled and hit and refused to talk. I have turned it against myself
and into depression or into denial. Dont do that. It gets too confusing and it hurts. The things that have worked best for
me have been food, writing, talking, and sleep.
Also, if I can get away from the situation, by all means, I do. It gives
me some time to cool off and think.
| What Is The ONE Thing In HD That You Are Most
Afraid To Discuss With A Parent? Why?
I am afraid of upsetting her.
How Open Are Your
Parents In Discussing HD With You And How Does This Make You Feel?
Shes not. I dont think shes mentioned it in literally years. I honestly dont
remember her ever mentioning it at all.
It makes me feel like Im all alone in this confusing thing. Like Ive done
some-thing wrong, or its not acceptable to associate with HD. It distances my heart from her even more.
What Things Have
You Done To Help You Live With Being At Risk For HD?
First of all, Ive prayed a lot. When I feel like I cant get anywhere, I pray.
It brings me peace to tell everything to God uncensored. Ive written a lot of letters. When I was in fifth or sixth grade,
I started writing letters to people I didnt even know dance teachers in Tennessee and Georgia. I needed to share with someone
and it seemed safe to send my life off in an envelope never to be seen again. Ive written to them now for six or seven years.
Lots of letters and at times a drought of words. Ive never gotten a letter back, but when I see them they thank me for the
letters and it feels like someone cares, even if they dont understand.
I've talked to a therapist and become very attached to ice cream and stuffed
animals. I tend to stay super busy too.
If You've Tested
HD Positive, What Are Three of The Most Important Things You Feel Would Help You? Are You Getting
one form of support I would fall to is others in the same situation...as well as fellow NYA members.
What I love
most about conventions is within the group of young people, statistically, half of us will get
Huntington's. But there is a very comforting feeling that no matter what
happens to any of us, the others are always there to support.
What Type of Support
Is There Available In Your Area For Young People Living With HD? Would You Recommend This Support To Others? If So, Please list Contacts.
Would You Be Willing To Communicate With Someone
Your Age Dealing With These Things?
Anytime. I don't care if its three oclock in the morning. And if you
someone and can't find the words, just call me. I understand.
Just make sure to tell my mom its important if I'm
asleep or she
won't wake me up. :) And
don't feel bad! I'd want someone to do
the same for me. Okay?