Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sundays with Sam: Fighting for my self

Hi every one. It's Sam. Sam-I-Am.

Except today It's Sam-I-Am-A-Little-Down.

Or maybe Sam-I-Am-A-Lot-Down.

I will try not to bring any one else down because that would bother me a lot. So I will try and tone it down a little bit for today.

The good news is that Rick (MY BOYFRIEND) and I are doing really good. So there is no problem there. As a matter of fact, we are doing super good. We have been having a good time together and we talk a lot about silly things as well as serious things. And I feel like we are getting even closer.

Rick has been able to tell I have been more down lately and he has been wanting me to talk about what is going on. But see? That's the really hard part. It makes me feel really cared for when he wants to know what is happening inside me, but it also puts some pressure on me to open up when all I want to do is close my self down and withdraw.

I have been thinking a lot about why I have had a change in my mood and outlook lately. For the very first time in my life, I have been truly happy since I met Rick. And I mean REALLY happy. We have had a few problems to deal with but they have not been any thing major and we talked about them and got back to a really good place and even feel closer to each other when we got to the other side.

So this is what I have come up with and if you have any advice it would really help me out a lot.

I don't want to sound pitiful or like I am looking for any body to feel sorry for me because I don't think that would help any way. But the thing is, I have been through a lot of extremely difficult things in my life. Yeah, I know a lot of people have been through extremely difficult things and I am not taking any thing away from that. I know I am not unique.

But the thing is, all the things I have been through have made me be very careful about getting hurt again. I am not even sure my parents really care about me, and if they do, it's just a small amount. The only person in my family I ever felt truly loved me was my grandmother and she died not too long ago and I miss her very much.

I had to go into a foster home for a short while because I did not feel safe in my own home. There is other stuff I know I have mentioned before so I don't want to go over every thing again, plus it just ends up making me feel bad.

But what I have come up with is this: After going through so many things that have been difficult, I have finally found some body who really likes me and loves me. Rick has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and this is the first time I have ever felt this kind of happiness. I mean, I feel TRULY happy and more than just "in a good mood," know what I mean? This feels as real to me as my grandmother's love felt to me. I do not doubt it one single bit. And I trust it with out any reservation.

But the screwed up thing about all this is that it makes me realize how unhappy and sad I have been most of my life. I guess I tried to just accept all the sad feelings and I suppose I expected my life to always be like that so I started looking at this as just normal.

I am not sure if I am explaining this in a clear way. You would think I would just accept that I am happy for the first time and not look backwards into my past, but I can't help it. I start thinking stuff like, "Why didn't I have parents who care about me?" and "Why wasn't I able to cope better with every thing?" And on and on it goes.

Don't get me wrong. I am determined not to let this get the best of me. I will fight as hard as I am able to be a good person and a happy person and the best boyfriend I can be. And I will fight to over come every thing I need to so I can feel positive about my self and about life.

But some times it feels so hard and the only thing I feel like doing is shutting my self down and withdrawing into my self and blocking out every person who is good for me. I know I have to fight hard and I am trying, but it is not easy and I do not want to give up. I can finally see there is some hope for my self, but it is still hard not to remember those things in the past.

Am I suppose to just block out my past? Am I suppose to just forget all about it? Am I suppose to just put on a happy face and see all the good I have now and ignore the past stuff?

I am trying to figure all this out because that sign at the top of my post sums some things up for me:

I want my life to have purpose. I want my story to be important. I want my dreams to count. I want my voice to matter. And I want to have some kind of positive impact on the people around me and in the world.

Does any of this make any sense? I promise I am trying hard not to shut my self down and withdraw into my self. There is a lot at stake here and I want to be the best friend to my real friends. And I want to be the best boyfriend to Rick.

I also need to fight to be the best person for MY SELF. I guess that is what is the most important thing. I need to FIGHT for MY SELF, and some times I feel like I am winning and some times I go backwards.

It's funny, because I was almost not going to post any thing this week. I was going to say I was really busy or some thing and just skip a week. But I forced my self to write all this out and now I am glad I did. I am trying to just be my self, whether it's HAPPY or SAD or some where in between. And, well, all your comments each week mean the world to me. I don't even know you, but I always look forward to what you have to say.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you for caring.

Love, Sam

32 comments:

  1. Ah, darling Sam! You're title says it all: you are fighting for yourself. To me, it sounds like what you're going through is perfectly understandable. Now that you see how life good life can be for you, it's natural to look back and wonder why and to feel sad. And I can completely understand wanting to shut down and hide, but I'm very glad to see that you're not. It's hard and scary, but you're still fighting and that is a very, very good thing.

    I don't think you're supposed to block out and forget your past: it's made you who you are today. And yes, it's even made you want to heal and change and grow, so even though it was awful, forgetting it isn't the answer. You're already working on healing from it, though. And I have no doubt there will be a time when you can look back on it without all the pain. It's going to take work and time, but I know you'll get there because I can see you're already on your way.

    Big, big hugs to you, Sam. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, and for being brave enough to put yourself out there, even when you want to hide. You're doing great, kiddo, even when you don't feel like you are. It's all part of the process, I think.

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  2. Oh Sam..I'm so sorry you're going through this.
    We all have setbacks that take us backwards when we're trying so damn hard to move forwards and it can be so hard.
    PLEASE don't let it diminish all the fantastic progress you have made in becoming the wonderful Sam-I-Am you are today.
    You can't forget your past, (although wouldn't that be wonderful if we could), it's what makes you fight to be a better person, to yourself especially, and to others.
    You've fought really hard to get where you are, more confident, happy, in love & loved in return. That's huge leaps you took, but you already know that :)
    And Sam, your life DOES have purpose, your dreams DO count and your voice IS heard!
    First thing I do on Sun mornings is read your post, I really look forward to it. When your happy I'm happy with you, when your sad, well it puts me in protective mood and I just wanna shield you from all the mean people who hurt you.
    Happy, sad, angry, whatever your feeling, I'm glad you share, cause its all you and we all care about you.
    I hope someone leaves you some comment or words of wisdom that just click for you and help you feel better.
    Biggest, tightest, warmest hugs for you Sweet Sam

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  3. Hi Sam

    Always remember you are normal, but different. All gay persons are. And very special. So embrace life and take it with both hands. In many ways I see myself in you, and now, with some distance and perspective wish I had thrown caution to the wind a lot earlier and not analyzed everything so much. I am not a promiscuous person, and don't advocate that aspect of the gay life. But get into bed with Rick and enjoy each other with the obvious tenderness you have for one another. All the time we have is NOW. Not tomorrow, or next year or when you get a degree. NOW. Enjoy life now. And remember shrouds do not have pockets so enjoy what you have NOW. May the peace of God, which knows no understanding, guard, protect, comfort and guide you now and forever more. My love to you.

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  4. Sam, feeling down because of your family and your past, despite being really happy with the now is absolutely normal. All of us are the product of EVERYTHING that's ever happened to and around us, not just the parts that make us happy. You're brave and strong to have gone ahead and written out your feelings and admitted them "out loud" to us and yourself.

    And while I agree with the Anon above that says "All we have it now" it's not always that simple, and I disagree with the advice to push forward physically with Rick if you haven't already - if you have because you were ready, that's AWESOME! But don't do it to drown out the sadness, cuddling is a better choice when you want to feel safe and loved. Go into anything sexual because that's what you want, not to make the bad stuff go away.

    As for living in the now and letting go of the past, well, first you have to get away from your family so that they CAN be in the past. While you're still around them, they too are the present, so it's much harder. But there are tools to help you do that. Ask your counselor at school about cognitive therapy or check out some self-help books like "The Power of Now" by Eckert Tolle or any of the books you can find on Amazon for adult children of abusive parents. Not every book helps every situation or every person, but if you can read a few different ones, you'll at the very least gain some insight into ways to manage your feelings.

    You are special and wonderful, but you are not the only one that has dealt with a toxic family and I hope you take advantage of what's out there to make yourself even stronger and braver that you've already become - which is damned heroic thus far, if you ask me!!

    Much love Sam and best of luck!!

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  5. Hi Sam,

    I survived a very similar situation as an abused child who was very fortunate to find the love of my life at a very young age. It did get much better with time. As they say, time heals all wounds. You wounds are very raw and very fresh. It simply takes time for all of them to heal.

    Did my bad chidhood affect my relationship with Jerry.? Of course, it did. I had the lowest self esteem imaginable. I was a screwup, a klutz the person that could not do anything right. Last but not least, I was a queer, the worst type a peson you could possibly be. I had a terrible temper and could break down in tears at a moment's notice, had fits of terrible depression. I don't know how or why Jerry put up with me.

    But just as I had Jerry, you have Rick. He is far more precious than gold. He is not judgmental and has no qualms about totally accepting you for what you are as a person, including your terrible past. A past that was beyond your control and not the least bit your fault.

    Having a supportive person who is behind you all the way is SO important. Plus you have Matt/Brad, your counselor and last but not least, us, your Internet friends who are going to be 100% behind you during every step of the way.

    As said before, time heals all wounds. While the bad feelings about a bad childhood never completely go away, when you are surrounded by love and support, they will eventually diminish to the point of insignificance. That I can promise you. SO KEEP FIGHTING! It is very much worth the effort.

    Andy

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  6. Hi Sam,
    Sometimes we have to go through hard times to be able to appreciate how very good life can be. Because of the past you can appreciate the value and care Rick gives you as a precious gift. Because of the past, you realize the power and meaning of words and your voice matters. Because of the past, you know how to be a good friend. Because of the past, your life has purpose.

    We are all the product of our past. It shapes us and colors our perceptions. How many of us have let something good slip through our fingers because we didn't realize just how good it was. Your experiences have given you the ability to treasure what you have now. You recognize how special it is and you won't take it for granted.

    So, no, don't forget the past. Build on it. Use it to strengthen your purpose to have the life you want and deserve. Best wishes to you.

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  7. Good morning, Sam darling,

    Wow, you have a lot on your mind and I am so pleased you wanted to share it with us. Several items jumped out as I read:

    "Why didn't I have parents who care about me?" and "Why wasn't I able to cope better with every thing?" The only thing I can say about question 1 is, your parents have so much to answer for in how they have treated you, and NONE of it is your fault. Question 2, are you kidding?...you have and are coping just fine. No one is born knowing how to cope. You have done your very best and it is working.You're here and are a beautiful, caring and giving person.

    "Am I suppose to just block out my past? Am I suppose to just forget all about it? Am I suppose to just put on a happy face and see all the good I have now and ignore the past stuff?" Sam, we are all a product of our past. Hopefully we learn and grow from it. You have had a lot to deal with from day one and are still dealing with it. This is not something you can forget, but you do need help dealing with the effects. I would highly recommend you continue seeing your group counselor and any school counselor available to you.

    "I want to be the best friend to my real friends. And I want to be the best boyfriend to Rick." Oh, Sam, can you have any doubt that you are? You have shown us in all your posts, what an exceptional, loving, caring, beautiful individual you are. I'm sure you are considered a true friend to Bradley, Matty, and of course. especially, Rick.

    "I need to FIGHT for MY SELF." And you will. You will keep fighting, because you know that is what will ultinately bring you the true happiness you deserve. You have the love and support of your RL and online friends to surround you. You are not alone.

    With love, affection and hugs.

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  8. Dear Sam,
    As I see it we have no control over where and when we are born and who our parents are. You have had very bad luck with your parents. Growing up is a process (and for many a struggle) of forming their own independent character. In view of your bad parents I think you have reason to be extra proud of having become yourself, an independent likable young man. ( I am not sure I expressed that thought very well.) Remember even before you met Matt, Brad and RICKY you were very likable otherwise they would not have chosen you as friend, late alone as boyfriend.
    Be proud of what you have become and look at your bad memories as background that that shows how much you have accomplished.
    So much for my 5 cents worth.
    I am anxiously waiting for your future columns,
    your fan TIlmann

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  9. Hi Sam,

    Wanting to shut yourself down, withdrawing into yourself and blocking out persons who care for you is a natural reaction I think. You already described that you're careful about being hurt again because of the things that happened in the past. So you've created a "brick wall" around yourself to protect yourself, which makes it difficult opening up to others. Tearing the wall down feels uncomfortable and less safe, but life will be so much better without that wall. This is a process many people have to deal with in their lives, it's difficult and unpleasant but perfectly normal. It needs time but you will get to a point where you feel totally safe without this brick wall, supported by Rick and Matt and Brad.

    This doesn't mean that you should ignore the past, because memories can't be simply wiped out ( though sometimes it would be dang handy ;) ). Someone once told me this metaphor, I hope it makes sense to you. It helped me a lot.
    Think about your past as a collection of books. Each book contains several chapters describing things you've experienced in the past. Some books are really nice and colorful while other books are very unpleasant and not colorful at all. It it were just regular books,you could simply put away the unpleasant books in a place you won't see them so often while you could put the nice books on display. That would be an easy thing to do. Now with these imaginary books containing your past, this is more difficult but it can be done too. Try to imagine that you're closing the unpleasant imaginary books and putting them away in some remote place. Remember that it takes time because of the nature of these imaginary books. And try imagining putting the nice imaginary books on display so you could easily read them when you want to. Also imagine yourself writing the most colorful and infinite book at the moment: the one containing the story of you and Rick :)

    *Hugs*
    Jesper

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  10. Hi Sam-You-Are. I'm sorry you're going through this rough patch. And that's all it is, I promise. It's understandable that this may be happening now. Until this happiness, every cell in your mind and body was concentrating on mental and physical survival. It was probably a 24/7 state for you. Through your friendships and RICK'S LOVE and their support, you've been able to relax a bit, breathe easier. This has freed up your mind to finally deal with the past. Since you go to counselling already, I would bring this up. IMHO it's like your brain is freed up to assimilate all those details of your past experiences. Now that you know what's it's like to be happy and LOVED, you feel resentment and are naturally questioning - why did you have to go through hell, why can't your parents love you in a normal way? You could also be getting flashbacks - something else that can happen much later when the trauma is over. I'm glad you're talking about it Sweet Sam. It's like a poison you have to get out. Tamping it in will not make it go away. I know it's another hard part you're being asked to go through but I promise it will be totally freeing in the end. Then you can enjoy your fabulously wonderful new life. Thanks for sharing and trusting us Samwise. Love & ((hugs))

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  11. Hi, Sam,

    If one thing in your past had been different - if one, single thing had been different - you wouldn't have ended up stuck outside a convenience store with a flat battery when Rick happened to be there.

    At the risk of sounding dreadfully glib, you have everything in your past to thank for everything you have now.

    By the way, I just want to say that your blog is the most delightful thing I have read in years.

    James

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  12. I personally think it is impossible to "block out" the past. Yes, it's part of you, it's part of what makes you YOU today. I think the take away from all of this is that you need to strengthen the part of you that is vulnerable. The place where the past wiggles in and tries to bring you down. Without a doubt, you are resilient. Many lesser people would already have curled up into a ball and said "to hell with it all" (or worse). But you didn't. As James mentioned above, everything that you've been through, every event, every put down, has led you to where you are today: in a much better place, a stronger person, a HAPPY person for the first time ever.

    It takes time to get used to this. After one of the most traumatic events in my life, it took over 4 years to get back to a place where I could be happy again. Have I forgotten about that event? No sir, not at all. But I, like you, won't let that drag me back down if I can help it. I think you can expect to occasionally feel down, depressed, unable or unwilling to cope. But time will help a lot. Having Rick and Matt and Brad in your life will help. They can help soften the edges that poke and prod. And as you know, they are examples of how life can and should be: not perfect, but certainly great.

    {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} Sam. You'll make it through this. It's just a bump in your new, happy life. It won't be the last, but each one will get easier to cross. {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}

    Oh, and this is NOT a pity piece, a woe is me kind of thing. This is you being honest with your friends out here, and allowing us to do what friends do best: cocoon you with the love and support you need when life does get rough. We'll always be here, Sam.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  14. Sam, it's simply the luck of the draw whether we get to learn through positive or negative example. The trick is to let the negative bring out the best in you. See, the people who've hurt you have taught you how not to treat others. And that means you’re already growing past them. Let that be your strength.

    Don’t hide from the monsters in your closet. Open the door, however slowly you need to, and confront those bastards. Tell them, "Get out. You're wasting your time here. You'll never consume me, because I'm better than you. I have the heart of a hero – and many minions who love me for that." :-)

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  15. Sam your memories will become "an echo of a memory' ... loved the book comparison ... it is so true! Keep telling us your wonderful story & it will become wonderful & awesome to you. And, yes, all of this is & has to be for you first. Every comment has been as excellent as your post ... never miss a Sunday with Sam! Love from Alaska ... Ann Alaskan

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  16. Am I suppose to just put on a happy face and see all the good I have now and ignore the past stuff?
    No You don't forget about the past and the pain you've experienced. You may never understand it or the causes for it, But you leave it in the past. It's not you and it doesn't define who you are now. And from what I can tell, you're a good kind loving man.
    Learn from your past about how to treat people, how to make the feel appreciated and loved. Most importantly learn how to accept the love of others. Because in the end Sam, you're worth it.

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  17. I think it's totally normal to withdraw at times. As long as you don't stay there too long! I know these two quotes sound trite, but they are easy to remember and I pull them out occasionally when I need to give myself a kick in the pants and start living for today:

    "If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are pissing all over today." (That's my personal favorite...and so true!)

    "There are only two things we have no control over. Yesterday and Tomorrow."

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  18. Sam sweetheart, all of your feelings count and are valid. By writing this post right here you are fighting hard for yourself, for what you want, for your life. You opened up to all of us and that is a huge step. Don't ever think that what you feel isn't important to us (me), because it is. Thank you for not crawling into your shell. I know it hurts and it's hard, but talking it out can really help.

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  19. There are many who have the thought, "Why am I not good enough for my parents?" If you haven't yet, you might want to talk to Brad about it, seeing as he's gone though something similar with his father. He'll understand how you're feeling, if nothing else. And Matt would certainly understand the concept of not wanting to be a burden to everyone around him and could help you talk that out. As you've noted at the end of this post, sometimes just getting it out is cathartic.

    Most people eventually have the feeling of "I don't want to be a burden," but you have to remember that there's a difference between leaning on friends to help work through things, and whining about your problems without trying to resolve them. If you're not trying to make yourself better or resolve those problems, that's the point when it becomes whining and a burden to those around you.

    That's NOT what you're doing. You're working on accepting yourself, on enjoying your "new normal," and on working through what happened in the past. Those who care about you will not look at that as a burden, but as a sign of your trust in them, that you care enough to open up about those things bothering you, to work through them with their assistance. Friends do not mind helping as long as they know that you're trying your best.

    It's completely understandable to want to know why the past was as it was, if for no other reason than to make sure it doesn't repeat. But you have to remember that situations are a combination of you, the others involved, and the environment. You only control one of those things: yourself. There will always be situations which don't go the way you want because you don't control the other aspects involved, like what your parents think. What matters most is how you handle yourself in any given situation. Remember what you are in control of, because that's your path to happiness.

    *hugs*

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  20. I was going to say the same as Mary. I think sometimes when we go through traumatic events we're too busy surviving to really process our feelings. It isn't until we come out on the other side that we have the time and ability to sort through our emotions and grief. Although I know it doesn't make the process any easier, I think that's a good sign. It means you're leaving a dark time in your life and you're moving in a positive direction.

    I'm so glad you posted, even though you wanted to shut down. That takes a lot of strength - you're definitely a fighter. I hope our words helped. Hugs to you. :)

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  21. Sam, you had no control over how others treated you. No one would have any right to condemn you for your perfectly valid feelings now, when some days the past will be weighing heavily on your mind. I trust you to be able to work your way through it, though, because you have emerged a strong, caring, sensitive, lovable (so worthy of being loved!) amazing version of yourself--your authentic SELF. You did not let that past turn you into some kind of faux Sam with no feelings. So proud of you. <3

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  22. Oh, Sam! I think the fact that you're so aware of this process of working through your feelings (and I'm always so amazed at how self-aware you are, what with your youth and all you've had to process!) is a good sign in itself. There are good days and bad days for everybody (and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that nobody has it all figured out, even [maybe especially!] those whose lives seem perfect from the outside), so you don't have to feel that sometimes feeling overwhelmed, angry, or sad is a setback. It's all a part of healing! And hey, I've never even met you and I can tell you're very worthy of being loved, so I know that your loved ones will understand that you need to work through these feelings and will want to help. Sending you lots of love!

    --Trix

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  23. Sam,

    "I want my life to have purpose. I want my story to be important. I want my dreams to count. I want my voice to matter. And I want to have some kind of positive impact on the people around me and in the world."

    Your Life has purpose, Your story Is important, Your dreams count, Your voice matters and You do have a positive impact on the people around you and we are very happy to have you in the world. Where that leads to is Your journey. What happens to us in our lives, especially those things beyond our control can be scary and painful. When we are kids we look to the adults to take care of us and when they don't it hurts. We can not undo the past but we can try every day to move forward and not let those people that hurt us have any more power over who we are and who we want to become.

    I think you are strong and brave. I love that you share your thoughts and feelings with us. I cheer you when things are going well and also when you are feeling down.

    Sending love and hugs. <3

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  24. Sam, honey, I want to hold you and rock you and whisper in your ear how wonderful and loved you are. That's what a mom is supposed to do!

    After being hurt so much, it is really hard to a) Let your self open up fully because you believe everyone you ever fully trust will hurt you b) Believe that you deserve to be happy. All you have known is pain and vulnerability.

    It is a long process to get to the point where you are able to believe you DESERVE love and comfort and great things in life because all you have been taught is the complete opposite. It is an equally long path to get to the place where you can trust that someone you care about (Rick, YOUR BOYFRIEND WHO LOVES YOU) is not out to hurt you. The more you trust him and confide in him, even tiny little bits at a time, the easier it will be to fully trust him with your heart. The same with Brad & Matty, you open up and show them pieces of your heart and they, in return show you love and respect.

    Everyone isn't bad. There are people who love you for yourself and want the best for you and are worthy of your trust. You just have to be the courageous young man I know you can be and open yourself up to the risk. Slowly, but you can do it.

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  25. Sam, you are a beautiful and precious soul. It is hard to deal with the past, while trying to move forward and have a happy life. I send you love and hugs, and positive thoughts. You deserve good things.

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  26. I've read that when you experience frostbite and are then exposed to warmth, the blood returning to the affected area can be very painful. For some reason, when I read your post this is what popped into my head.

    You have been slowly coming to life, sweet Sam, discovering yourself and experiencing love and acceptance in ways you never have before. Which is so great, but with any rebirth and growth there will always be pain. And wondering...why? Why did this happen to me? It so breaks my heart what you went through as a child and what you continue to go through with your parents. It isn't fair, and frankly they have failed at their number one calling on this earth, which was to nurture and accept their beautiful child unconditionally. It is their loss. Your painful childhood represents a loss for you, yes. But it is also an opportunity to take that pain and use it to help others in your position one day. You are *very* smart, Sam. And empathetic and a caring, loving person. You will be able understand and help with other people's pain in ways that other people never could. It won't always be easy, but you will work through this. Love is always worth it. I believe in you. It wasn't your fault. You deserve to be loved.

    "Forget what hurt you in the past. But never forget what it taught you." - unknown

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  27. Sam, I think you have been so busy surviving that you haven’t had the emotional space to process your experiences, as many have said here.

    One of my favorite song lyrics is from Leonard Cohen: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how light gets in.” Your past experiences have left some big cracks in your psyche, as it does for many of us to some extent. Now, however, you are shining light in through those cracks to face the damage and to deal with it. A part of that process is to feel what you need to feel . . . without letting it take control of the “now.” The counseling you are taking part in will help you do that.

    You will be able to use the wisdom gained to shine your light to help others, just by being the very-much-loved wise and compassionate you. You get that you are receiving an outpouring of love from people here, right?? You have already made a difference, Sam, to all of us who read your words every Sunday. And you have no way of knowing how something you have shared here could have resonated with someone who needed to hear that happiness isn’t limited to those with perfect lives.

    Jane

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  28. Dear Brave Sam, Thank you for being honest with us about the way you are feeling right now. I'm honoured to be trusted this way. I agree with what others have said - it's because you are feeling happy now and letting down some of your walls that the bad memories and feelings are surfacing. There's a part of us, which wants to protect us, which says 'No, it's not safe. Remember what happens when we let down our barriers.' Be gentle with that part of yourself, Sam, it's not sure yet that the bad times are behind you and it needs to be nurtured. (((((Sam)))))

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  29. You are very worth fighting for, Sam, and you will ALWAYS be worth fighting for. The world needs the brave, caring, funny, thoughtful, inspirational, good person you are. And if writing a post about how you feel about your past helps, and we can help, that could never be burdensome. To us, the people who care about you, it's an honour that you can allow us to give you love and support in the times you need it most. The past is impossible to ignore, because it's a part of you. That doesn't mean it defines you, though. It's a layer, not the whole thing. By acknowledging it, and working with the repercussions of your past, you give it less power over you in the present. Please remember, the actions, attitudes and behaviours of those who ill treated you at that time is on them and only them. They are not your responsibility to take on because the only one who has control over the way they act is the person choosing those actions. Your thoughts and feelings about that past are completely natural, and now it's your chance to take the positives you can learn from that and apply them to your life moving into the future. Big *HUGS*

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  30. wow. Thank you to every one who left me a comment. I called Brad and Matty last night to see if they saw all these comments and all I can say is wow! And Thank You very much.

    So far I have read each comment about 3 times and I am going back over them a little later because they mean so much to me and have helped me feel cared for.

    I woke up this morning feeling a lot more hopeful and I am SO HAPPY all of you are here. Love you all so much! :)

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  31. I am a firm believer in bio-rhythms. It doesn't matter how happy or how sad I am things will inevitably change. Good when going through a rough patch, not so good when you are riding the crest of a wave. My advice would be to sap the life out of the good days and pray for the bad ones to pass quickly.

    Luck.

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  32. You make perfect sense Sam. "I want my life to have purpose. I want my story to be important. I want my dreams to count. I want my voice to matter. And I want to have some kind of positive impact on the people around me and in the world…." Those are exactly what I want too. Keep going. I think you are doing well to achieve those goals. Your voice DOES matter!

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