A breathtaking essay, Victor. This was the line that hit me the hardest:
"...my efforts to be truly HARD were hindered by persistent empathy.
Try as I might, I could not rid myself of "weak" emotions."
Thank you for sharing that, and I am so sorry for what you endured. I cannot imagine being in a similar situation as a child.
Dear Chase Eric,
although you posted this so long ago, it still speaks to me now.
thank you for speaking out and reaching out when i needed it.
it would seem that empathy has become my greatest source of power
. quite the opposite of what i was led to believe as a child.