Hi I guess I'm here, like a lot of you, because I'm lost and I need to talk to someone, sometimes... someone other than those around me, who I don't want to upset, because I love them dearly and I know what I have to say would upset them, and... for other reasons, for one very good reason at least I can't let people around me see how messed up I really am, I HAVE to hide it. My name is Mike BTW, I'm 43, although told I look older (world weary I suppose), and at the moment I sit at home all day pretending to sell things on Ebay and be a single father to my son (who is 9 and the happiest, most caring child you could imagine). I used to have my own retail business, and before that I was a research scientist, I won awards for my research when I was younger, I was called a 'high flyer' and a 'rising star', but that was all a long time ago, now I'm past it and, frankly, no longer the bright, young optimist I once was, life has beaten all that out of me with set back after set back, abuse after abuse. Sorry, I've just read this and it reads like a shed load of misery - you wouldn't think that if you knew me, everyone says I'm 'strong' and 'independent', but it's all a facade, inside I hurt, hurt like hell. Sorry, this is not how I wanted to introduce myself at all, sorry, but it's all got to come out, I need to tell someone how I really feel and how hard it is to keep up a front of being 'strong' all the time. Okay, having said that I feel a bit better, thank you for bearing with me, maybe I can find people to talk to here, I actually like to help other people, it's one of the few things that makes me feel better about myself and the mess I'm in, so having said all that you'll see a more optimistic Mike on here now... but, maybe you'll know (unlike those around me), how messed up and fragile I really am inside.