after nearly 40 years of marriage and a year and a half of therapy i am now finally starting to believe my wife when she says positive and affirming things about/to me. she used to get upset with me because i did not believe her, trust her, take her statements seriously.

part of what was so confusing was that one perp - the step-dad - told me i was useless and treated me like i was worthless. that went on for about 15 years. other perps treated me like i was special - the contradictions were something i couldn't make sense of. but the feelings agreed with the step-dad, no matter what anyone else said - maybe because he was the first. i wanted to believe the others - who told me/treated me the opposite - but never could. and it was obvious that they had their agendas and motives so whatever they said was suspect.
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We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9