Below is a timeline that I think will explain how Kyou was able to find self-love with the help of all of the supporting characters starting from his childhood all the way up until the end of the series. Obviously this is my opinion, so you may not agree with all things I have here, but feel free to check it out. The information will be in bullet forms because it makes it look nicer and takes up less space on this page! Enjoy~

→ Mrs. Sohma, aka Kyou's mother, is the only person who tells him that he is loved. Although this also hurts Kyou because she is forcing a type of love on him that he doesn't necessarily want, it still gives him someone that supports him as a child and also protects him from his abusive father.
→ Kagura Sohma, a young girl approaches him while he is playing by himself. She tells him its okay that they play together because she is apart of the zodiac as well. This is Kyou's first friend and first person who holds his hand through the dark times.
→ After his mother commits suicide, Kazuma Sohma approaches Kyou and tells him that it isn't his fault that his mother dies, which is different from what everyone else is saying.
→ Kazuma asks Kyou if he would like to live with him from this point on, taking Kyou away from his abusive father and sheltering him from painful comments that others whisper.
→ Kyoko Honda, an older woman, takes time out of her days to see Kyou. She understands that he is struggling, but can see his big heart and tells him that he is a good boy. Although he pushes away from her, he does comment that he wants to always protect her and her daughter that he sees from afar, Tohru Honda.
→ Kazuma tells Kyou that when he grows up, he will definitely overcome all of his fears.
→ Kyou leaves for a few months to practice his marital arts with Kazuma in the mountains. This allows him to clear his mind and also get some of his anger out.
→ When Kyou comes to attack Yuki, he ends up running into Tohru Honda. He transforms into a cat in front of her, and she tells him that she has always loved the cat and wished it was apart of the zodiac.
→ Kyou registers into high school with Yuki and Tohru because Shigure makes him. Becoming friends with Uotoni, the female version of himself, and playing cards/getting competitive in a healthy way help him learn how to let out steam without being nasty.
→ Kyou learns how to work together with Yuki in order to get Tohru to come back to Shigure's home after she leaves to go live with her grandfather. Kyou states to Tohru that "when you aren't there I can't calm down, and I don't know why I just get more agitated!"
→ Tohru, Kyou, and Yuki all hold hands together as they take Tohru back home.
→ Tohru tells Kyou that he is special in his own unique way, and he just can't see it because he can't see his own "sour plum," but he can see others.
→ Shigure calls out Kyou and tells him that he needs to stop blaming Yuki for the hatred he feels in his own heart. The only way the hatred inside him will go away is if he works on himself, not hating Yuki.
→ Kyou is able to hold back the anger he feels when he finds out Tohru spent all of her money on Valentine's Day gifts. This is the first time we see him not freak out when he gets an emotion.
→ Kyou learns how to become a bit more passionate and caring when he is willing to go on the trip to the Sohma Hot Springs because Tohru wants to go as well.
→ Kyou makes Tohru food in bed when she is sick. We see him go out of his way to take care of someone else. Tohru's smile and giggles make Kyou know that caring for her is worth it.
→ Kazuma comes back and sees Kyou smiling and laughing with Tohru and Yuki down the street. Kazuma has never seen Kyou so happy.
→ Kazuma risks Kyou hating him for the rest of his life:

Kazuma: If you can't accept your 'original form' you will never be able to move forward!
Kyou: I accept it already! My life has been miserable because I was born with the cat spirit... It's all because of the mouse! Yuki... he's the source of it!
Kazuma: You haven't changed at all! So are you going to keep living like this? With your eyes shut, and your ears plugged? Is that the only way you can support yourself? Then as time goes on, you will die alone. You said earlier that you hated it here, but I know you don't really hate it, you are just trying to run away from it! You know that place that you described as 'luke warm water?' It's slowly healing you but... you don't want them to know your original form. You are afraid that you will lose everything if they know about it... So you are trying to run away from those ambiguous circumstances... In that case, I will grasp your hand as you run away... I will lead you to the final result... to see if you will lose or not. Kyou, are you really born with a miserable life?
→ Tohru runs after Kyou even after seeing his 'original form' because she cares about Kyou for who he is, no matter what. She tells him she is afraid of him, but the form he is in is just temporary and when Kyou comes back she will be better. Kyou appreciates Tohru for running after him and telling him the truth about how she feels. Kyou doesn't think he deserves her caring for him, but he never will forget the warmth she makes him feel.
→ States that he no longer only has despair in his heart because Tohru is in his life
→ Kazuma tells Kyou's father that he is going to protect Kyou against anyone, even if it took his own life because he will never let Kyou go back into the darkness
→ Kyou's love for Tohru, and his understanding that she loves him, helps him overcome Akito's harsh words. Akito gets mad that he is using her to stick up for himself, so she attacks him harder. However, this shows that Kyou is finally understands that not everyone hates him, and he isn't a monster.
→ Kyou calls Tohru his precious flower in his own mind, the same thing he heard Kyoko Honda call Tohru when she was little. He runs towards her on the beach because he is excited to finally be by her side again.
→ Kyou is able to calmly go on a date with Kagura because Tohru has helped him learn to be more gentle. On the date, he finally tells her he will never come to love her. However, Kyou holds her against him as she cries until she is able to stop crying at the end.
→ Kyou agrees to be part of the school play because Tohru is in it as well, and he doesn't want to let the school down.
→ Tohru asks Kyou if he loves her and he says, "Are you stupid? I didn't think you were that stupid. I have to go." This is because he is so unsure of his life and doesn't know if he is actually capable to be there for her. This is the final moment of weakness that Kyou needs to get over in the search of self-love.
→ Kyou tells Tohru he saw her mom on the day of the accident, and he immediately recognized her. He tells her how her mom gave Kyou a picture of Tohru when he was little, and asked what he thought of her. The day she went missing, Kyou said he would go look for her and protect them both. However, Yuki beat him to it. He tells Tohru that he could have grabbed onto Kyoko's arm and held her so she didn’t get hit, but he protected himself as the "cat" instead. Kyou was convinced her mom said "I won't forgive you," after she got hit.
→ Kyou finally tells Tohru about how his mother committed suicide as well. This shows that he has finally opened up to her about himself and is trusting her response.
→ Tohru tells Kyou that she doesn't believe her mother would say anything hurtful towards Kyou, but if she did, she has to be against her mom. She tells him, "you don't understand. I just love Kyou!" However, Kyou hasn't fully found a way to love himself yet, so he tells her that love is simply an illusion.
→ Tohru ends up slipping off of a cliff. When Kyou walks over and sees her, Yuki is already by her side. Yuki tells him not to touch her because she hit her head extremely hard. Kyou cries out, "" She opens her eyes a bit and tells him she is going to be okay. Kyou tells her not to speak, and leans down and kisses her on the lips.
→ Kyou tells Yuki that he has always wanted to be like him, and how he is never going to be able to protect Tohru. Yuki tells Kyou that he's always wanted to be him as well, and that he is stupid for not realizing that he didn't have to be a superhero to protect Tohru. He just has to be himself, and Tohru will always smile and be happy.
→ Kyou goes to his fathers house in order to finally confront him:
Dad: Who said it was ok to let him in? What did you come here for? What business do you have to so calmly enter this house?
Kyou: Aren't people usually at work at this time of day? You don't seem to have a steady job.
Dad: Shut up. I've been working steadily... just recently I haven't been feeling well. I'm taking a break. And who do you think is the cause of all of this?
Kyou: Are you saying it's my fault?
Dad: Yes that's right! You'd better admit that you killed your mother!! Don't think that you were forgiven because you weren't directly involved.
Kyou: All right. It was my fault.
Dad: Well, then, ha finally! Finally! Accept... Accepted! Finally accepted! Hey you heard it too! Call the main house!! Right now! Let them take him away!! With the guilt of being a murderer on your shoulders, you'd better never come out!!
Kyou: That, I refuse. I am not going there. I live on the outside... Indefinitely. I came to make that clear. Besides. There is someone I want to be with from now to forever.
Dad: Not good. What are you talking about? You who cannot be forgiven? You for whom becoming 'normal' is not possible? I don't forgive you! No, you have to pay for your sin to me! Because of you, how much shame I've felt! You've ruined my life! All because she brought you into this world... because you were born!! Fuck you! You guys rubbed my face in the dirt of shame, and I'll bet you were enjoying every bit of it!!
Kyou: Did you... Did you say such things... to my mother?
Dad: Are you shifting the guilt to me? It's not my fault, you forced her to do it! It's not my fault! It's not my fault that this kind of a monster... that he was born! It's not my fault! Everything is your fault!
Kyou: I will not throw anything away any longer... Anymore. I will do what I can, as long as I am alive, to live.
Dad: He's going to kill me! Somebody, somebody come quick! He's going to kill me!
→ Kyou thinks to himself on how much he wanted his mom to still be alive, and how they could get back everything they lost. He wondered if she suffered alone.
→ Akito frees Kyou of his destiny and has the cats chambers destroyed as a symbol of his freedom.
→ Kyou states that there is nothing that will stop him now from accomplishing his dreams and aspirations. He is also determined to get Tohru back and give her the love she deserved from the beginning.
→ Kyou tries to approach Tohru, but she starts running away. He runs after her and tells her not to run so hard when she is recovering from the hospital. When he finally catches up to her, he apologizes for not thinking about her.
Kyou: I... was only thinking of myself... selfishly reflecting on only myself. Only saying what I wanted to say. And I completely ignored your feelings. And I should have known that it could happen. To never be able to see each other again, to never have the chance to apologize. That it could happen. I should have known. For me to repeat the same mistakes again and again, it's as if I had never known. I'm sorry that I let you cry. I hurt you, a lot and I'm sorry. This is the last time. I won't need a second chance. Just give me one more chance to be with you. I want us to be together from now on. Living with you together. I hate not being with you! Because I love you!
Tohru: So... then so... does that mean that being with you is ok?
→ Kyou promises Tohru that from this moment on, she will never have to be without him. They can be hand in hand, together, forever. He tells her that with her by his side, he will never be beat. He says there will never be anything to be afraid of if she is with him, and he is with her.
→ Kyou breaks his beaded bracelet off if his wrist, and cries when the blood bond is broken. Tohru holds him close. She also goes and picks up each bead afterwards and keeps them so that he won't ever have to regret not getting them.

Kyou goes on a long, tiresome journey to find self-love and respect. He learns not only to love what is right in front of him, but what happened in the past, and what will be happening in the future. He states that when he looks at Tohru, he sees love, life, and a journey. Without all of the following players in his life, Kyou may have never been able to get past being an angry, hurt, child. However, because he was aided by so many loving people, and most importantly, Tohru, he was able to move past the hurt that was in his life. He will never forget it, but cherish it for what it brought him: Tohru and happiness.
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