Childhood is Not a Mental Disorder

My senior year after discovering I was gay, I was taken to a psychiatrist by my upset parents.  The psychiatrist spent 10 minutes with me while my divorced parents waited outside.  Then he brought them in and said, “Your son is completely well-adjusted.  There is no problem here.”

I was already a really good actor at that point although my attempts at acting on stage were often stiff and not-yet developed.  Off-stage I could convince anyone of anything.  My first survival mechanism came into play very early on when I had to pretend I was not hurt, not crying, not pouting, not being a baby, not playing with my sister’s toys, that I didn’t have to go to the bathroom…again.   Unfortunately, I learned well how to separate from what I was feeling, and eventually, when that became harder and harder, I started to use drugs, alcohol, and self-harm to help me in that journey of compartmentalization.

I love this video.  But I also know I could have used some help after my first suicide attempt at 12.  Perhaps childhood is not a mental disorder, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard as hell sometimes, and worthy of professional intervention.

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