From a reader:
I have been lost with who and what I was for most of my life. At an early age all of the therapists couches I ever haunted, the basic conclusion was always the same, just a simple case of manic depression. I never really had the ability to come clean on the mountains of issues I hid behind that fact. For me it was enough, I never saw the logic behind all of that honesty anyways. I was under the impression that there was some slightly different inside of me. I made it my entire goal in life to control my urges as much as I can. Besides just manipulating people just for sport I would also spend hours of my young life practicing emotions. I got so incredibly good at pretending that sometimes I would lose my self-inside of the fabrications. It was so easy for me to make friends and get into relationships with women. I had to create a code of conduct I needed to follow that encompassed almost every situation I would ever find myself in.
To me all of this was normal until I opened up to a friend and was informed that no one was like that. Like being taught that masturbation was a sin at an early age by your church, I spent the rest of my life ashamed of what I was. The worst was I was never really ashamed, I just told myself that I was. I have never been able to feel most emotions directly. I knew what emotion I should feel in any situation and would convince myself that I was feeling it. I have always said the easiest person to lie to is yourself.
After getting older I have come to a massive amount of conclusions on the subject of my self-identity. Thanks to this web site and what you have posted, I found the courage to openly admit to my family and friends what I was. I feel so much better. Not treating myself as an enemy has done wonders on so many other facets of my life.
Thank you again and I look forward to seeing more.