In the part of my family in which I grew up, mental health struggles weren't discussed- but, looking back, I can recognize the pins in the fabric of my mother's world; the coping mechanisms for holding it together, those which can't be removed lest it all fall apart. I look back at the advice she gave & it feels like tracing rays back to a child's drawing of the sun, everything pointing to her own depression or flitting mind. Me taking decades to understand the shape of these mental illnesses that I inherited from her because I grew up on their slopes without ever seeing the mountain.
And yet I must have been aware of something, because no other grown ups were like my mother, none so fun or compassionate or charismatic or imaginative. There was some sense that she and I were the same, and a knowledge that, even if I could choose to walk instead of this difficult way of flying, that I absolutely never would.