My life’s difficulties would have annihilated many. My birth parents met in a mental hospital where they were both patients. My father was there for shooting his ex-girlfriend, but only in the arm,” according to my birth mother. My mother was there, she said, because she didn’t need to prove she was crazy to anyone. My birth mother was white and so wad the couple who had planned to adopt me before my birth. My mother, for whatever reason, did not tell them that my father might have been black. We didn’t have DNA testing in the 1970’s but one look at me on my birthday convinced the white couple that I was half black and simply would not do. Eventually I wad sent to live with a black family who had been influenced by society’s view of unwanted black children and I was regarded as a consolation prize not nearly as great as what you get when you win. Like going on a gane show and the winner gets the trip to Hawaii and the loser gets the toaster. I was the toaster. But I was sure when I reconnected with the foster parents of my early childhood my status as Harvard student would cause them to regret their earlier decision to send me away and I would be taken into the family forever. However, my relentless anger, endlessly expressed” caused them to cut all ties once I graduated and could be considered self sufficient and not in need if a place to go during school vacations. Through it all, when things were particularly hard, I actively applied disassociation and dropped out of the scene. My other side could handle things bc she could withstand all manner of insult and rejection. I think repression and denial are underrated. These coping skills allow you to live through painful events without ever fully experiencing them. How else can you have sex with strangers for dope? Maybe if I had been sane I never would have gone down that path. But if I lacked sanity better to put insanity to work for me.