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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"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho