It hit me today that I needed to thank you. Not because you caused me 20 years of pent up anxiety, or because I ruined relationship after relationship due to the inability trust myself, which was a byproduct of you. And what you did. Not because I suffered mentally and emotionally over the thoughts of not being good enough, and hating myself for my lack of belief in other human beings because of you. Not for the way I am unable to fully love another soul because you instilled in me very young that the people closest to you, hurt you the most. Not because you violated me physically and emotionally. Not because you deserve any sort of recognition for being a decent human being. No. Not for any of that. But instead for this. Her. My best friend. My constant compaion. Because I became so anxious over the years that the best treatment for my "condition", became her. This beautiful, loving, amazing creature I've come to know as the only thing in life that hasn't let me down. The incredible heartbeat at my feet. Who has seen thousands of tears, taken away years of heartache...just by being. By existing. By placing a head on my lap when my heart begins to beat rapidly. And not because I'm excited or hopeful, but because I'm overwhelmed and terrified. I've struggled to fit in...stand in a crowd and not panic. But with her, I've learned to breathe through the uncomfortable. Teach a class without holding my breath. Make new friends...over and over again. Get up, face the day, and then rest peacefully. So thank you not for all those hurts, but for this one thing that doesn't hurt. Not even a little bit. Thank you for this feeling, this love, this bond. Thank you, for Vandal.