This is a safe haven for the abused, broken, desolate, and sore. Here, we get to take off our masks and openly discuss our battles with Mental Illness, Huntington’s Disease, and all of the tears, laughter, and hope that comes with it. Read our stories and feel free to share yours. Suffering is good. It makes us all the more grateful for the happy times.
Life is short. Let your voice be heard.
Who is CTC anyway?
She’s a 24-year-old who’s still in college, a poet, an author, a spoken word artist, avid nail-biter, lover to the ocean in a fiery affair with the stars, a C- student, hoarder of antiques, seeker of soul mates, advocate for Huntington’s Disease, a definite dog person, Pepsi-over-Coke, sleep talking, manic, prideful little girl who has just about every mental illness in the books. Drum-roll please….
Hey guys! My name is Leah Barker, and I won an award for “Best Short Story” in second grade. They gave me a T.V. that only played VHS tapes, and I felt like I was on top of the world. After my big break, I decided that I’d done enough writing for one lifetime and that it was time to move on. From there, I barely scraped my way through high school, graduated by the skin of my teeth, and moved on to fail a few, short semesters at a nearby community college.
As I clumsily made my transition from child to adult, I started to notice that something was “off” inside of my brain. I had terrible fits of paranoia that lasted for months on end, but I didn’t want people to think I was crazy, so I tried my best to act normal in public.
That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and I did it for five years, un-medicated.
In a desperate attempt to find an explanation for my madness, I started looking into our family history. My grandfather had just died from Huntington’s Disease, which you can read about HERE. Though I had been told that only men could inherit this awful cocktail of an illness, curiosity continuously clawed at the back of my mind.
When I discovered the truth, everything came together instantly. Me and my family knew that there was something wrong with my mother, but we all chalked it up to her hefty doses of medication.
So I got tested.
I was lost. Depressed. Alone. I spent about six months with my head buried deep into my pillow. I imagined that I could slowly fade away if I just lay there, doing nothing and becoming nothing.
And then suddenly, one afternoon, I felt a deep urge to spill all of my thoughts onto paper so I could look at them and tell them to stay where they were: Away from my mind, away from my body, away from my mother.
I posted the story on Facebook, (I have no idea why), sat down on my bed, and sobbed into my pillow. I was alone. No one else had this disease but me. And the words didn’t obey me; they didn’t stay put.
The next morning, I logged into my Facebook like I did every day. My eyes widened as I checked my notifications.
My story had been shared over 500 times, and my inbox was full of messages from strangers who had HD, too. They helped me join a support group, become a member of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, and empathized with me in ways that nobody else could.
They told me to keep writing, to keep sharing my story, to be there for others who had the same struggles.
And I did…And here we are.
I am Capturing the Corners.
I took off my mask, shared my darkest fears, and found a new family within all of my pain.
You can take off your mask, too.
Read my full story HERE.
And please, let your voice be heard! Submit your story HERE, and don’t forget to subscribe in the upper-left corner of this page.
Much love to each and every one of you.