As the research and writing for my second book (working title: Crazy for You) moves forward, I have come up against some interesting dilemmas. Be warned: there are a lot of unanswered questions in this post.
The situation: I was raised singlehandedly by a mother who has paranoid schizophrenia. While her symptoms grew much worse over the years, they were definitely present throughout my childhood. A lot of the time, she presented as ‘normal’ (whatever that means), especially to those who didn’t know us well or see us very often. For the people who played a consistent role in my life, though – a ballet teacher, the Girl Guides leader, various figure skating coaches, our neighbors – I have often wondered why no one ever reached out to me or my sister. I was under the care of a woman who tried to whiten my teeth by having me brush them with Comet cleanser. Didn’t anybody notice that she was kind of ‘off’? Or were they just too dazzled by my teeth? Continue reading
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