The test was in front of me. The problems were compliant, pliable; they yielded to my manipulations, forming into solutions, one after the other. I handed in my answer sheet, then stood in the frigid hallway, staring up at the screen that would display my score. When it appeared, I blinked, and blinked again. One hundred. A perfect score.
My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.
I was sitting in Psychology 101 when the professor read the symptoms aloud from the overhead screen: depression, mania, paranoia, euphoria, delusions of grandeur and persecution. I listened with a desperate interest. This is my father, I wrote in my notes.
…a student asked what role mental disorders might have played in separatist movements. “I’m thinking of famous conflicts like Waco, Texas, or Ruby Ridge, Idaho,” he said.