My brothers, all of them, whether by blood or by choice, were angry because I let someone make me feel like crap, treat me like crap and most of all, I took it. So they were angry with me too. Don't let anyone tell you that mental abuse is preferable to physical abuse. Neither is better or worse, they just are, they are about control. About having someone manipulate you and take away your self respect.
And here's the thing. You either fight your way back or you spend the rest of your life second guessing yourself, questioning your choices, being afraid of taking risks. Having written about this again and again, it sounds like a broken record. Therapists encourage you to practice introspection in these situations. To look inside yourself, because that's all you can do. This is what I found out...introspection, not a bad thing. But, you can do it so much that you lose yourself to it and end up doing exactly what you said you wouldn't. You analyse everything to death, stop trusting your gut, have complex explanations why you are unhappy. As opposed to: this is a shit situation. This is not for me or whatever the situation warrants. And though the cause has virtually disappeared from my life, there remains the effects of those years and so, always there despite intellectually knowing that it is shit.
Funny how it works, I am the one everyone calls when there is a problem or needing assistance. But I rarely give anyone an opportunity to do the same for me, because if you have no expectations, you cannot be disappointed. My brothers and friends are spoilt by me.... why then am I so surprised that it was them who broke the wall.
Oddly enough, it was a gay man sitting over a dinner table, in a lovely restaurant. Having given up his evening, because I called, because I was crying, to do something nice for me. Over dinner, my wonderful friend said to me, all those things you want a man to tell you...and in that moment, you know that someone loves you. And it does not matter that we will never be more than platonic friends, we have love. And the next day, two gay women, lovely, lovely people, saying, come on over, talking, drinking wine, exploring the fridge, dancing in the living room as I DJed via iPad. And as they hugged me and sang Bruno Mars, Just the Way You Are to me, in that moment, life was good.