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I have been told this about myself, as well. There are so many people throughout my life that don’t understand how I didn’t succumb to the demons caused by the pain and abuse. Yes, you and I both have strength of character.

Please use all your inspiring strength to see beyond your devastation. I will share this with you. There was a time when I didn’t care whether I died in my sleep. I didn’t think about suicide, but I didn’t care whether I lived or died. I lived with a constant cloud over me that didn’t allow me to feel animated enough to see beyond my depression. Even as a child, I didn’t have any ambition. I didn’t have any hopes or dreams.

One day about five years ago, the fog lifted. I began to see things differently than ever before. I used to think life was shit. I used to even say “Life is shit and then you die.” I wish I could tell you that there was something in particular that happened to change me, but I have no clear idea of what it was. During this time nothing in my life changed except that I got a dog and began taking a medication for depression and anxiety. I also left a miserable three-year marriage. But I had taken medication on and off before, and I had been married, divorced and single, and married again. And nothing ever made me happy.

I wrote in a story that I want to share with you here that I didn’t know what it meant to be happy until just recently. I used to have to have something to look forward to like going to the theater or taking a vacation or a special dinner or a first date. I would spend all my time looking forward to “the event” but then when I was there, I could never really enjoy myself because I was always wondering if I was really having a good time and then worrying about the fact that I wasn’t.

Soraya, I am now in my sixties, so it has taken the majority of my life living in pain to finally find peace. I wasted so many precious years being miserable. I wasted my youth when I was pretty and smart and funny and probably could have done anything I wanted or achieved anything I wished! But I had no wishes. I hated myself and always wondered why no one else loved me. Now I see why. My life is almost over now, and ironically now is when I am the most interested in living.

I see myself a bit through your writing. I was madly in love when I was twenty-seven. He found me difficult to love. We were in an unhealthy relationship for almost three years. He was in psychoanalysis, and so was I. I finally did the breaking up because I was always either crying or trying not to. I couldn’t get past the knowledge that he said he could love someone else more. I spent another year talking to my therapist about him. I said, “If Michael can’t love me, no one will.” Why couldn’t I see then what I see now? Why couldn’t I understand that Michael had his own set of issues that had nothing to do with me?

You are giving this man that can’t love you way too much power the way I gave it to Michael. Your man is unworthy of your love. Everyone else can see these things except for us when we are in it. We are too deeply invested to see clearly.

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