I believe our brains are so powerful that if we believe strongly enough, we can convince ourselves of anything
Makes sense to me.
And I have no quarrel with other people's self-understanding and happiness, or other people's understanding of their identity. People know what they know and feel what they feel.
BTW, just noticed the Northern Ireland location. I lived in Dublin for a year, and England for several years (ages 15-20). Long before I went psycho.
I should have stayed in England. The source of my illness is probably living in fortress America, the great consumer empire.
I was happier in that washed-up fallen empire, the UK. In my doubtless faulty recollection, it was quiet, dingy, a little run down, and utterly charming.
So besides the story of my insides, there's the story of my environment, which, as for all of us, is rather complicated.