For half my life, I felt like some kind of awful, monstrous presence—peculiar, pessimistic, and pathetic. I had a dark secret that even I didn’t know about, and almost every action I took was viewed as negative. At home, I was a scapegoat, and at school, I was a crybaby; but wherever I was, I always felt like something from another planet. After years of therapy, including therapy for eating disorders, I finally had a breakdown after a series of losses. I recovered memories of sexual abuse and began to heal. I was referred to a psychoanalyst, and she told

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