I know that my parents were proud of having a smart, good kid. I even know they loved me, and would be horrified to know what their parenting resulted in. But it doesn’t change the fact that no one saw me as a kid.
Sometimes dealing with complex mental illness feels like you’re carrying around a list of diagnoses on your back. For a while, every time I heard something new, it was like “oh great, there’s something else wrong with me.” I’m coming to realize now that being able to find the right labels and understand them is a gift–at least for me.