Randy that helps one heck of a lot, and Publius thank you so much for your words of support. It know it must be hard for them to see what to them must be my suffering (on the contrary, I've tried to tell them that a lot of what they see now is catharsis, not suffering), and their knowing that a lot of what I was to them was driven out of my defense mechanisms must be overwhelming.
I've tried my best to explain to them that I'm not asking anything of them other than to just talk, and listen.
But those that have stuck by me---those who have been willing to listen, some of whom have even ventured to learn more on their own---have become my closest friends in this struggle. Perhaps it's because they are going through trials of their own (with the exception of one, we've all had less than ideal childhoods), and knowing that even though we all have differing perspectives, we can still support each other in our times of need.
I'm just rolling your words around in my head, Randy; "I was an awesome friend and it's their loss.
This is not our problem, it is theirs."
It's so true. I was, and I am still in spite of my trials, an awesome friend and and awesome person.
But it's not just their loss, it's a mutual loss---and a needless one driven by discomfort and fear. And that's the tragedy of it.