Thank you everyone for your insights. It feels good to have gotten some of this off my chest and I'm glad I posted here.
redpepper, your perspective seems so applicable to where we are right now. You're very right, and I plan to read through as many of the forums as I can.
Celoi, Thank you for the article! These are my new marching orders. It's so true that I have spent a lifetime building up fears and it makes no sense to continue on that path. I know it will be hard, but it's time for me to start confronting and disassembling the fears that have been driving my life. Having committed to this new path, I already feel like a new person!
SeventhCrow, Ten Days to Self Esteem sounds like a great investment. I'll be checking it out ASAP.