Yes. I was always very happy on the outside, but tortured on the inside. I never learned how to deal with my negative emotions. We were taught to suppress them. Which only makes things worse. That all changed after my world came crashing down around me. Once that happened, I didn't know how to stop all the negative emotions. Sorrow, Anger, Despair, Hatred, etc.. I couldn't stop the emotions, which basically short circuited everything. Suddenly, like a switch, there was no emotion. I suppose that should have been a beacon of danger. I did something stupid to myself, but was stopped in time. After that I sought help.

I guess I'm still a work in progress. I still feel uncomfortable in certain situations, but I'm not as bad as I was. I have never liked to be touched. Only people REALLY close to me have been able to do so. Lovers were the only people I have ever gotten comfortable with, but it always took me awhile to get to that point. I have never thrown around the word love (to people) casually. I could say I loved this and that, but I didn't say it to people.

I've learned to deal with my emotions. I have learned to shake hands with confidence. I even hug people close to me. Most important I have learned to say I love you. My whole family has come a long way since what happened to me, and then with my father's death... Well we have all learned that life is fragile, and precious.

I still don't like to be touched, but I'm working on it. I took a crucial step for myself recently. Now keep in mind I do NOT do well around people I do not know, and crowds. I get nervous and fidgety in such situations. Well at my brothers wedding I stood up, and made an emotional speech for him and his new wife. When I sat down I asked my family how bad it was. They said I was a bit much. I was crushed. Then after the speeches & toasts were done, the brides friends came over and thanked me for the beautiful words, and for us (my family) taking such good care of her. Then the bride & groom came over and hugged me for what I had said. They knew what it took for me to do it. And they both said that my words were beautiful (she cried). She later sent me a note thanking me again. I have to be honest though... I think the three vodkas, three glasses of champagne, one glass of wine, and two beers may have bolstered my courage.