Looking in the mirror... Finally loving myself.

I can now look in the mirror, and feel love for myself, instead of loathing. I'm not the most handsome guy, but I am a guy, and happy for that. Overweight, but that too can change, now that I have a reason to work on it. Indeed, I have been slowly loosing weight over the past few weeks, and with adding in exercise now that the surgeon has released me, I hope to see the weight come off a bit faster - and forever.
If you've ever seen or read "The Lord of the Rings", the scene near the end when Gollum finally gets the Ring back, he dances for joy, shouting "FREE! FREE!" ,... well, that's how I feel every day, every time I catch a glance of myself in a reflection. I just hope I don't fall into a volcano, like Gollum did. LOL
I still struggle with depression, and those terrible tear-down thoughts crop up in the back of my mind from time to time; but I know them for what  are now - echoes of my father's controlling, judgemental voice. I can shove them aside, and keep stepping. I have hope that once I get on T, it will fix the chemical imbalance in my brain, and the clinical depression will also fade away.
Yes, I have scars, big ones, but the physical scars will heal and fade; and someday, so too will the emotional scars. In his own way, my father was trying to do what he thought was right - trying to protect me from myself, and the world in general. He could have gone about it better, but he did things his own way, and for his own reasons,... He had no way of knowing the things we now have discovered about gender identity and sexuality, personality and physiology. So, for all that, I can forgive him. I forgive you, Dad.
I used to think I could never say those words, after all that happened. But, I have taken several steps back, looked at the world from my father's viewpoint, and realized he had no way of understanding, no concept of what I was going through, and wasn't in a position where he could have blindly accepted me as other than the female my body appeared to be. So, I let go of my anger and bitterness, and forgive him for everything. It wasn't his fault; it was no one's fault. It was just how the world was.
Thus I free myself to love myself, as I am, and as I hope to become.