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.
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"