Having contact with people who will listen without trying to convince me that my experience could not possibly have been as bad as I claim, who then have their own stories that line up in tidy parallels to mine makes me feel like I'm suddenly whole, real, verifiable.
"You'll act as I demand, or no more fast cars and vacations and living in a dimly lit castle for YOU!"
Sometimes, it takes being in those naked spaces where we can't hide anymore to find out what we're made of, who we are, and how we behave . . .