Welcome back, from someone who’s been in what sounds to be a disturbingly similar place. More than once.
When you give someone, anyone, the power to control whether and how you express who you are, what you feel…in a very real and important way, you stop being the person you are. I’m glad you overcame that enough to voice that as explicitly as you did. That took me ten years the second time and nine the third. “Progress,” you say? How many more decades do any of us have to throw ourselves away for like that?
Keep writing, even if only for yourself. Keep thinking. (Not necessarily in that order.) Above all, keep being true to who and what you think you are. Aspects of that will change; that’s life. It’s good to listen to advice from people who have earned your trust, but it’s your life. Even the most well-meaning advice will twist you if you give it veto power over you. More so if it happens to be well-meaning but wrong.
Peace, happiness, and hope.