Part two here stemmed from the repercussions of my only "real" diagnosis as a pre-teen and the events that transpired from that:
The only thing we ever knew for certain was that I was anemic. It was the only thing "officially" wrong with me. My mother and I both suffered from the same severe iron deficiency. I remember "that" Christmas... I remember my mother begging me to call 911, and my aunt, a dragon of a woman who terrified me as a child, telling me not to. I was torn. My mother was crying, begging me to call 911, and desperately I wanted to help her... but my fear of my aunt held me back. I still remember the feel of the warm plastic in my hands as I gripped the phone for dear life, my hands sweating, almost in tears myself. My aunt insisted that my mother was "overreacting" and she would take her to the hospital herself, an ambulance wasn't needed. She forced my mother to get out of bed and dress herself, a task that left my mother nearly blacking out.
That was the day my aunt almost killed my mother.
I have never, and will never, forgive her for it. If I had been any older, I would have slapped her in the face, called 911, and thrown her from the house. I despise her. Because of her close minded ignorance, she assumed my mother was being dramatic (My mother who NEVER goes to the doctor, dramatic? Really?) and nearly killed her.
She walked my mother to the car, and they drove off. At about 20 miles per hour, because my aunt is terrified of the interstate, driving fast, and other cars. My brother, 14, and I, 12, stood in the house and stared at each other. What were we supposed to do? It was so quiet, I could hear every breath I took, and my heart pounding in my chest. I remember pressing my face to the cold window as they drove away. I held onto that phone. I never set it down. We waited for someone to call us, and tell us what had happened to our mother. It was the most terrifying wait of my life. Later, I would be sent to stay with my mother's best friend for two weeks while my mother was treated at the hospital and recovered from the ordeal. My brother was allowed to stay at home and fend for himself there. It was the worst Christmas of my life, separated from both of them.
My mother nearly died, and my aunt behaved as if the entire incident was no big deal, but I still remember visiting my mother in the hospital, seeing the blood drip through her IV as they fought to get her iron levels higher. Nearly a dozen transfusions. And aside from fear, I felt hate. I think it was the first time in my life I realized that I was capable of feeling the desire to end another human being's life. I love my mother, and I would protect her... even from her own sister. I swore then and there that if EVER my aunt's decision making ever threatened someone I loved I would not just stand by. I would protect them from her. It was this day that I began a transformation. I realized for the first time, adults DIDN'T know everything, and they could be wrong. I began questioning everything, and my mind opened like a wormhole, absorbing all the things I had never before noticed.
I realized, however, that adults still thought anyone younger than them was stupid, and ignorant. By trying to speak to them as an equal, or even as a pupil, was nearly impossible and frustrated me to no end. So, I turned to the internet. Google became my best friend, and searching became an intense passion. I wanted to know the hows and whys of everything that my mind could imagine, and I wanted to learn things I had discovered were taboo to ask about from adults.
Its when I began... not self-diagnosing per-say... but forming theories that I might later present rationally to others.
My ability to understand my own body had always been keen, but now I was able to label things I had before only been able to describe. I even called my mother once to tell her I had fractured my finger. An incident with a thick wire had left a sharp pain in my hand, and so I grit my teeth and bore down on the injured member and felt a small piece of something that I assumed was bone, a quick google search confirmed I was probably correct, so I called my mother at work and told her, "Mom, I chipped the bone in my finger." She was shocked, and didn't understand how I managed such a feat with a piece of wire, but she trusted me and scheduled me an appointment. (I had often called her at work to inform her I had an ear infection, or something, and I was always, without fail, right.) A doctor's visit and x-ray later, the doctor confirms that I do indeed had a small bone chip in my finger, but he assures my mother its too small, and that I never would have known it was there. Offended, my mother tells him that I called her and told her that I had chipped my finger, so obviously I knew I'd done it. He reassures her that such a thing is impossible, and we both stare at this idiot in disbelief. To my mother's credit, she has often stood behind me even when she felt skeptical, but to have someone confirm what I was saying, but in turn call me a liar... it infuriated her.
I only wish that it hadn't taken me until I was 22 to admit to not only my doctor, but myself, that something was very, very wrong. I'd spent so many years ignoring the signs, that by the time they became so debilitating that I was forced to leave college, no one would believe there was anything wrong with me at all.
The dynamics of my family began to change. My own understanding of what it meant to BE a family changed. My fundemental understanding that "blood is thicker than water" evaporated. It was a giant lie. Being blood didn't make you a family, love did. There was no love. My aunt does not love me, and I loathe her. By the time I was 16, I was publically defying her. It has only gotten worse, since, and every time I correct her, or argue with her... all I can do is smile.