Last year I discovered this website after certain events that led me to question my mental health. It was a bad time for me, I was terribly confused, still kind of confused now, but a lot has changed since then.

One of the most damaging aspects of all this, was my harsh criticism of myself, I measured myself against standards I set up in my head from external sources, and even worse is, I was never satisfied with myself, commonly known as self-loathing. I can't remember when this self-loathing started, it was even before the csa, almost like I was born with it. In my opinion I was basically born depressed, feeling inadequate and intensely lonely.

The progress I made to date is years of work, to be exact 24 years of battling depression and all things that come with it. Recently things changed, I started bombarding myself with positive affirmations and forcing myself to remember them during my down times. This accompanied with reading specific books, I've always had an affinity to authors like Ayn Rand and Mark Twain. Their writings on the self, criticism of common language, focus on self identification as an individual and definition of virtue really help bring together all the fragments, good or bad, that made up the psyche that is PoeThePanda.

I acknowledged everything, especially the things that I could not change at those times, the feelings I had and the effects they had on those I loved. I now own myself, I own all my feelings, desires and actions. I love my family, in fact what I should say is, I am capable of loving. I will even go as far as saying I know what love is. It is more beautiful than I imagined, I once loved someone deeply, I thought it could not get any better at the time, but I now realize that that was child's play, but it was beautiful nonetheless. That was my first love, I never got over that breakup. She was one of a kind, the kind for me, but I am now able to look forward to the future, with or without her as a friend or lover. I will even continue loving her from afar, I do this painlessly now.

I love my mom now, we started again, I am her son now, her baby and her all-grown-up little boy. I am working on my father still. To be able to do that came with my new found ability to love and love outwardly and truly. My brothers are awesome, a lot younger than me but they love Big-Bro because they know I love them, and would never do anything to hurt them intentionally.

I can mentally look inwards and outwards, under my control, I experience disappointment and live on, I suffer big loses and learn, I celebrate victories, and kinda know how to relax. The choices I've made are regrettable, but I have no regrets. I own my actions.

I've said a lot of "I's" here, that's because I have taken the "my" out of the phrases, "my brain", "my heart", "my hands", "my legs", instead, it's all just me. I feel whole, a feeling I'd never felt before.

I was abused by women young and old, so I didn't trust any woman, always questioning their motives. But lately I've learnt new and exciting ways to interact with the opposite sex, without the sexual pressure and distrust. I can have platonic female friends without feeling the pressure, need or drive, whatever it was, to engage sexually, or get that victim feeling. Well, as platonic as it can get, because I'm one good looking SOB, they all want a piece of this!

I still get sad though, falling into that dark pit, triggered sometimes by things I could have never suspected. I'm better equipped to pull myself out now, using friends, family and other things like writing. I'm a lot gentler on myself too. Continuously learning to use kind words on myself.

In summary, I think I've delt with that feeling despair and helplessness, less of victim, I guess a lot of this comes with age, but I'm glad anyway, It's nice to be happy.

Random Info: I have a two Rotties, a one Dino and a Venus, A jack-Russel named Pluto and two labs, Alex and Cleo. Alex was crippled as a puppy by his mom. He's the happiest dog you'll ever see hopping on three legs. He's a champ.7 yrs old now. Lives everyday like its new and exciting, he's got an infectious character. He taught me a lot, who would have though that one of the most important lessons I'd learn would come from a dog. Alex the dog. We call him Alex the talking dog, he's very vocal.

That's that for now....recovery is living, so I'm gonna go continue recovering now.
Quiet the noises
And leave your ears free to hear
What is going on,
Right Here.

Do not cower in fear
For when the morning rays mate with the leaves
Through your eyes it will be clear,
That there was actually nothing to fear.