The only thing about me that ever really bothered my mother was this toughness "My God, this doesn't even faze you, does it?" she would yell, in the face of some miscellaneous catastrophe. But she didn't know the half of it, or the worst of it. And neither did anyone else.
I've been a chronic nail-biter since I was six. I was diagnosed with a "nervous disorder" when I was seven, when the skin on the palms of both hands puffed up overnight into little pillows of air and then sloughed away.
That same year, in shaking anticipation of a terror the cause of which I can no longer even recall, I burst a blood vessel in my eye.