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I was a cute kid. I have the pictures to prove it. My parents’ first child, with my dad’s parents living across the street and Mom’s mother in the next town, I got lots of attention. Mom was a singer, so there was always classical music in the house on the radio, or sometimes Broadway shows on the record player. I was bright, too – how many kids know the second verse of “Deck the Halls” at age 2 ½? I did, and I have proof of that, too.
But I was also born with the seeds of manic depression. Always wanting to be in the spotlight, I was, under that bubbly exterior, horrifically sensitive to being laughed at or otherwise humiliated – something that would worsen severely as the years went by. Continue reading