I suffer from anxiety. When I was 15 I started having panic attacks. One day I was just sitting at the table and I started stressing.

I blame my father. He's in jail and he's never really been in my life. It's always just been me and my mother, and I feel neglected as his only daughter. Why does he do more for other people than he does for his own child? So I started shutting people out and I became more distant. I don't associate with anybody at school. I sit by myself. I just want to be left alone. My grades started going down because of the pressure, too. Then sometimes I can't deal with my emotions and it affects my work. I can be sitting then I get, like, overexcited. I remember one time I was writing and someone told me something and it made me mad. I felt my hand shaking and they just kept going on. I tried counting to 10 - it didn't work. Eventually I just walked out of class and called my mom to come get me. I wonder if my teacher had a clue of what was going on with me?

Why haven’t you been there? Why haven’t you been financially supporting my mother? And why do you do for other people more than you do for your own children?

People will tell me stuff about my father and I defend him so much. Everybody knows him - I just don't know the true him. Most people at school push me. I've already been in two fights over my father! Why push somebody when you know they're at their limit? At my school, there are academic counselors, but not a regular counselor you can talk to. They don't even have a nurse! They'll just give you some water to calm you down. My mom is very helpful, though. She'll be like, "You can't fight everyone who says something about your dad!"

I did go to the hospital once. I sat there for what felt like forever. I was just waiting around like, somebody come see me. I'm about to lose my mind up in here! In my mind, I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, I can't calm myself. I feel like I'm about to die.' They had all these things hooked up to me and the doctor said my problem comes from stress. He said if it got any worse there was the possibility of death, but he couldn't do much because I was too young to prescribe meds. So what do I do? Sometimes I write poetry; it calms me. I also like to be outside with beautiful scenery...the breeze...the water. I love being surrounded by water - even though I can't swim. I started taking kickboxing classes, too, because I built up so much hatred in my heart. It was a way to get out my anger, frustration, and depression.

Stay positive, like a proton.

The stress is less of what it was now that I'm 18, but every now and then when I think about my dad, that's when it affects me the most. I had a best friend that used to help me with everything. But when we were freshman, she died in her sleep on her 16th birthday. After Katrina when I evacuated to Texas, I had a counselor in elementary school. But since I've been back in New Orleans, I haven't had anyone like that to talk to. My school probably would rush me to a hospital or something, but really we need a nurse. I've been there since 5th grade and I've never heard of us having a nurse. I've thought about going to see someone to talk to, cause I need the help. I want to feel better. I want to get all the things off my chest. But I'm worried I'll get too emotional. The other big problem is that I don't really know where to go to get help.