I knew I was different, but after I broke that bullies nose and eye socket when I was 14, I started to create my own idea of a persona. Sarcastic, not a bully, but hair trigger responses around bullies, pot smoking, drinking. Tough guy crap, learned to exude confidence even when I was clueless and scared. The one thing that remained was the cutting, pin sticking, and other acts of self injury. I started when I was 5 which is very early, and I kept at it, peaking out from 13-18.

Went to college met some nice young ladies, things seemed normal enuf. I never talked about my parents, my beatings, my rapes. It was like it all happened to someone else. Kept up with the self injury when I wasn't active.

Then it all changed. A young women who was fierce in her caring and love sprang up on me when I was a Junior. She was terrific, muse, friend, lover, everything. Six months of bliss. Then one day out of no place I wept like a baby for 10-15 minutes (my youngest part was so happy to have a friend). I had no words, but her concern enraged my protector selves (yes I was DID as well), and after that the kinky sex and distancing behavior was all I had. She hung for a year and fought like the lion she is, then left, I was shattered.

I dove head first into big time dealing, drug abuse, mega workouts, rage coursed through me instead of blood. I indulged in demeaning sex to punish myself over what I had done to her. Got last rites 3 times. Almost died twice.

Then, 26.5 years ago I realized she had been right about all of it - families, caring, kindness, work, everything that I used to tease her was old fashioned and useless. She had been right about me being a fraud too.

It was easy to kick dealing, drugs, move and start fresh, start a career, get involved in wholesome things. But it was on the outside, the inside - the cutting, PTSD, DID, bipolar, sexual addiction - all of that took years to find, admit, and make some progress with. I got married, have children, and except for my occasional down moods and flashes of anger aimed outside of the family, they are growing up as whole and normal as one could ask. It has been my goal and happiness in this life to be part of a functional family.

The past few years I have been fighting the effects of strokes and a botched open heart surgery.

That along with the most triggering person I have deal with in 40 years just stopped me cold. It has ended my career it seems, and made me think I was spent. But I've woken up again, and see that I want to finish my healing work for myself well enough that I can stop having any abreactions around my family, and that I can extend my concerns and efforts beyond my family, and be energized enough inside to establish and maintain myself in these efforts for as long as I can.

That's the short story... thanks for reading