THE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK

 

The older I get the less I give a fuck. There’s something incredibly freeing about knowing you have limited time left on this earth. I used to give a fuck. Often. About what men thought, family, peers. And then I realized these people had some very stringent ideas about who I should be. For them.

In my 20s I once dated a man who worked in politics in Washington DC. He continually expressed surprise any time I uttered a big word. “You know, you’re really very intelligent,” he’d say, as if intelligence and beauty were mutually exclusive. I got a subscription to the NY Times for him because he so valued intelligence despite me not giving a fuck about politics. Nowadays, I won’t even consider a date with someone who supports my opposing party.

Another boyfriend of mine was horrified I didn’t know the capital of each state. He gave me a list, told me to study hard, and then he’d pop quiz me out of the blue. Before a movie, before bed, “Psst, what’s the capital of Georgia?” I didn’t give a fuck about the capitals, but I performed like a good show dog does for treats. If I had a man do that to me now, I’d tell him to go fuck himself. In Atlanta.

I’ve been called “crazy” numerous times, because I’m passionate. Because I have a temper. Because I like to fuck in risqué places, because I don’t follow the status quo. My mother recently asked me what I planned to do about the family once I published my erotic romance. “Are you going to tell them about it? What will you do if they want to read it?”

I told her, “I don’t give a fuck whether they read it or not. I’m too old to be ashamed of what I do and if people want to judge me, let them.”

I’m done trying to please people. I’m done making excuses for who I am as a person, as offensive as that may be to those with more delicate aesthetics. I own my craziness, my passion, my sexuality, my uniqueness. For every quality that people shame, they don’t realize it contributes to the whole being. “If you weren’t “this way,” you also wouldn’t be “that way.”

Here’s what happened when my friend married a certain man primarily because he’d be a good father. He’s a great father, but as a husband and lover? Meh. Another friend of mine married a woman he knew would be a great mother and housewife. What a surprise they no longer have sex. Another man I know married someone for her efficient organizational skills in the hope that it would help him keep his shit together. “She’s organized all right, but she’s the meanest, most boring person alive,” he told me, “and everyone else thinks so, too, even our kids.”

My point? You can’t have the good without also accepting the bad. You can’t not marry a woman because you deem her “crazy,” and then a few years down the road want to have an affair with someone “crazy” because your wife is so freaking dull in bed. You can’t marry a conservative, stable man and then complain about him only wanting sex in the bedroom. You got what you bargained for, now deal with it.

OWN YOUR SHIT. And don’t ever let anyone else make you feel bad for it. For every thing that people tried to change in me, I wish I had been strong enough to tell them to fuck off. The right person “gets” you; the wrong person shames you. Be proud of your strengths; be proud of your weaknesses. Embrace everything as part of a whole, a yin/yang thing, if you will.

Those who truly love and respect you won’t want you to ever be something you’re not. I know many couples who’ve suppressed their innermost desires with their mates for fear of rejection or humiliation. At what cost, I wonder. I know a man whose girlfriend is fine with him being with another man sexually, but would flip out knowing he was with another woman. So, he lies about being with other women.

2 nights ago I ran in to this 27-year-old who’s been asking me out since he was 21. Finally, I said to him, “Look, being a mother is my first priority. I don’t date. I don’t bring men around my son. All my energies go toward raising him.”

I didn’t care how weird it might have sounded. I don’t care if people think I’m some crazy spinster who will accumulate more cats the older she gets. I’ll fall in love when I’m done raising my son. Or not.

Despite my vow of remaining relationship-less, I’m very open sexually. I love talking about sex. It amazes me how so many are uptight about discussing anything sexual when it’s as natural as eating or breathing. They wonder why they have problems in the bedroom. When you pull the stick out of your ass and actually communicate about your wants and desires without fear of losing the person, that’s when you’re truly liberated. So what if you lose your partner? Is it easier to live a lie? So many women long to be dominated sexually by their man (or men wanting to dominated by women) and yet, they can’t tell them. They’d rather remain frustrated, resentful, unfulfilled. All because they’re worried about losing the other person who they probably shouldn’t have married in the first place.

Stop giving so many fucks.

One life. Limited time. Think about it.

SEX AND THE INTROVERTED BOOK NERD SINGLE MOTHER

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Kids are the biggest cock block known to man. If you want to have an awesome ongoing sex life 1. Don’t get married (There’s something in wedding vows that subliminally tell women to only have sex on birthdays and anniversaries) and 2. Do not have children. Nothing makes the penis limper and the vagina drier than having to cater to irrational, helpless human beings 24/7.

What’s 1000x worse is being a single mom without every other weekend off to get her groove on (as in my sucky situation). Any single mother I’ve known gets her ass out there right away to ensnare another father substitute, but not me, nope. A man is the reason I’m in the position I’m in, so I no longer trust them as far as I can throw them. I do however, still want to fuck them.

I consider myself more like a stereotypical man than a woman. Sex for me is primarily a physical act, a stress reliever. You will never hear me utter the words, “Make love to me.” I’ll never sprinkle rose petals all over the bed, and I light candles to set the mood only because I know I look better in candlelight. My cuddling limit is about 5 minutes if that, and ideally, I’d prefer to be done with you once the deed is, cough, done.

My ideal relationship fantasy is to be involved with a firefighter, not because they’re built and possess a lot of stamina, but because I’d love a guy who’s gone for 3 days at a time, works 12 hour shifts, comes home exhausted, but still wants to fuck, then rolls over and goes to sleep and is gone by morning.

I (an introvert) used to date nothing but extroverts—lively men who always wanted to do something every minute of the day, and in my 20s it was fine because I had nothing better to do than you know, please them, so relationships consisted of constant togetherness. But now in my 40s, I have too much shit to do; I have books to write and read, rooms to paint, leaky sinks to fix, trees to trim, hair to dye, and I value my alone time like you wouldn’t believe. That’s what happens when you have another being constantly underfoot: you crave alone time filled with peace and quiet like an addict craves his next fix.

I remember years ago in a postpartum group I attended one woman said, “You don’t know how much I miss reading before bed.” Oh, I do, sister,” I told her. It was one of the things I had to give up when I got into a relationship. Yeah, I got sex, but I had to give up reading before bed and I’m not sure the tradeoff was worth it.

So now, I’m in this muddy sort of predicament where I want sex, but I also want to read, and I don’t really want to deal with relationship bullshit or needy men, but meaningless sex does get boring after a while, especially if the person is kinda meh, and it winds up being more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a reason men hire hookers; they want sex without all the hassle that goes along with it. Women are a hassle, men are a hassle, kids are a hassle. Life is one big hassle with the one bright spot being sex, but when sex becomes a hassle, too, it loses its orgasmic charm.

Now I’ll admit I have it easier than some. I can literally step outside my door and find someone to have sex with me within 5 minutes, because the thing is if you’re an attractive female, any male will fuck you once. Really. That’s the only criteria they have: Is she pretty? I’m sorry, guys, but it’s true. I have never had any man tell me, “I can’t fuck you because…” Not a one. So, we women do have all the power. (Men know this, they just don’t like to admit it.) It’s called the Power of the Pussy. I know within 3-5 seconds of meeting a man whether they’re someone I want to have sex with. 3-5 seconds. And If I decide no, then no amount of money, success, or cock size will sway me.

The dilemma the single mother like me has is she values her alone time as much as she’s a slave to her libido. So, when my son decided to have a sleepover at a friend’s house this afternoon, all kinds of possible activities floated through my head so I didn’t feel like “the pathetic female who never goes out at night” like I normally do: I could call my kinky friend and have him take me to a strip club or a dungeon for the first time. I could call my rich friend and have him take me into the city for dinner and a play. I could call my 30-year-old hot friend and go out for beer and a game of pool. I could go 3 doors down and Mrs. Robinson the 25-year-old who made a pass at me last week.

All of these dates would provide me with the sex I want, so that’s a given. It’s almost too easy, but the introverted book nerd that I am sits here on the couch, relishing the peace of not hearing, “Mom, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” or rap lyrics blasting and gunfire from Call of Duty. Yes, this introverted single mother book nerd who loves sex, mind you, also painfully realizes she’d have to carry on a conversation with any one of these men for hours and she just doesn’t feel like exerting the energy for what ultimately, won’t be as fulfilling as it sounds.

So, she decides to read a book instead, and eat string cheese and pretzels for dinner next to the cat and dog who could give a crap that she’s wearing sweats and no makeup. And for a short time, at least until the noisy boy returns the next day, all is well in her world.

 

WRITING, MEN, INSANITY, AND CHAOS

crazy-bitch

It’s been forever since I’ve posted, which makes me feel bad about myself because I used to post much more frequently. On the other hand, I’ve been working on my book and that has taken up all my time and energy. Writing a novel is all-consuming in that it becomes the only thing you think about morning, noon, and night. It’s like having an obsessive crush on someone who feels only Meh about you. If they show you any positive attention, you’re on top of the world (much like one feels when writing goes well), but most of the time, they could care less about you, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and frustrated (much like one feels when they think what they wrote that day stinks, or they haven’t written a single word at all).

I’m not going to lie. It’s freaking tough to write when you’re a single parent. My writing needs to be done while the boy is at school or it doesn’t get done. I remember reading an article about Jacquelyn Mitchard, the author of The Deep End of the Ocean whose husband’s sudden death left her needing to come up with a way to support her kids. She wrote that book sitting at the kitchen table with her kids running all over the place, amidst chaos and confusion.

So I tried it the other night. Writing amidst chaos and confusion. I sat my ass on the couch, Friends reruns on the TV, with my son sitting next to me, constantly interrupting to show me asinine YouTube videos he finds hilarious. The fact that I was trying to write a sex scene is neither here nor there. I wrote 2 sentences and then gave up. Even now, while writing this, the boy is in his room, blasting rap music and shouting at his Xbox. I know I’ll be lost once he gets older and moves out, but at the moment, it’s a picture this lover of peace and quiet is having a hard time imagining.

Sometimes novels and all the research that goes in to them are wonderful for self-realization. One of my main characters is bipolar, so I’ve done a crapload of research on bipolar disorder, only to come to realize I’m 99% sure my father is bipolar, which is why he’s been such an insane asshole all these years. Not that people with bipolar disorder are insane assholes, but left untreated and choosing to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, a lot of their behavior is very asshole-y.

You would think I’d have some revelatory A-ha moment and feel sorry for him for having an illness he can’t help, but I don’t. Truth is, he’s known he’s had a mood disorder for many, many years. God knows his entire family has told him as much. But when he went to his Beverly Hills physician years ago to discuss his “possible” mood disorder, the doctor excused it by telling him he was simply a Type-A personality and intense, and every Type-A person was like that.

He came home so proud after that, like a peacock strutting his colorful feathers, because he had gotten validation from a “physician to the stars,” and therefore, he didn’t have no stinking problem. Hey, here’s a heads up. When family and friends don’t want to be around you more often than not, if your moods go up and down like the strength tester game at the county fair, if your wife threatens to leave you every time you go through a particularly intolerable heinous period, then you got a stinking problem!

But it’s not my problem anymore, plus I’m out of the will anyway.

So, what else is going on? Well, I’m still single. I tried dating someone casually, but that didn’t work out too well. I went in to it stating, “I don’t want a serious relationship” (meaning You will never be my priority), but he took it as, “I hear what you’re saying, but I will eventually wear you down.” Ah, men and their love of challenges. I get it though. The first (and last) time I pursued something with a man who, straight off the bat said, and I quote: “I don’t want a relationship,” I completely ignored those words, too. Because after all, who wouldn’t want a relationship with me? I’m fabulous.

Turned out he did in fact want a relationship. Just not with me. He ended up marrying my son’s elementary school principal, and is now happily living in an all-White neighborhood where everyone makes six-figures (despite him being a tatted-up Hispanic custodian).

Anyhoo, back to this guy. After a few dates, he said to me, “I’m wearing you down, aren’t I? Tell me you’re not falling for me just a little bit” to which I responded in all my blunt honesty (since I don’t know how to be any other way), “I’m really not, and I meant what I said from the get-go.”

But he still kept at it. The situation reminded me of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoon: What we say to dogs versus What they hear. The owner points to his dog, saying “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!” But the dog only hears, “blah blah Ginger blah blah blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah…”

So, since we always seem to refer to men as dogs, I’m guessing what this guy heard was pretty much the same thing.

In all fairness to him he dodged a bullet, because I’m certainly no prize. I have my hands full with an ADD son who randomly sneaks up and attacks me much like Cato does with Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movies, which has turned me in to a woman “on the edge” at all times, a 6-year-old diva dog who still pisses on the one remaining carpet whenever she feels like it, and a bulimic cat.

Then there’s me who, while you’re talking, is thinking about how to solve that plot problem, instead of listening to you.

 

What’s new with you?

VANILLA, BDSM, WHO CARES?

cage/whip

I finally started a new novel. It’s an erotic romance, which is a complete departure from the 2 romantic comedies I have written. But my muse writes the story. I find I have very little control over which way it goes.

Unfortunately, the writing has been very slow going because the muse has chosen to add certain facets to the story I am completely unfamiliar with, resulting in me having to do a crapload of research. One of my heroes is an artist, another is a pediatric neurosurgeon. My heroine owns horses. She teaches Gothic architecture at a college. I know of none of this stuff. Write what you know, they say. There’s a reason for that. You get your book written in half the time.

But my muse is stubborn and her ideas are firm. She wants elements of BDSM. I groaned when she first informed me of this. “No, no, no, there are enough Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs, for goodness sake,” I complained. But the bitch wants what she wants.

Now, researching the BDSM lifestyle is interesting because it has obviously exploded since the 3 Fifty books came out. I understand the BDSM community has felt misunderstood in the past, that outsiders think it’s all about abuse, and Fifty is in no way an accurate representation of an authentic Dom/sub relationship.

I’ve been reading tons of blogs. I’ve talked to both men and women involved in the lifestyle. I’ve joined private groups on Facebook, and followed many pages of Doms, Dommes, subs, and littles. Private groups on Facebook, and even certain blogs on Tumblr portray the lifestyle pretty accurately. Their main objective is to provide accurate information, which is vital so participants don’t get taken advantage of, or worse, injured.

The public fan pages on Facebook mystify me though. Obviously, erotic authors have professional fan pages with provocative photos and/or relevant articles related to whatever they’re writing about, but this is done to sell books. I can’t figure out why any Dom or a Mistress would create a fan page just for the hell of it. Entertainment? A creative outlet? Ego? And they have tons of followers, mind you. We’re talking thousands. It’s like they’re celebrities.

Dommes post erotic photos (within FB guidelines), which are like the clean version of porn stills, so the comments are all by middle-aged to older men wishing it was them being stepped on with spike heels or paddled or walked outside with a leash. “Yes, Mistress,” Please, Mistress,” “I love you, Mistress.” But Mistresses make it clear they’re not to be solicited for business.

Dom pages are even worse, because women as a whole seem to be particularly vulnerable to men who come across as assertively sexy or provocative. Doesn’t matter that these women have no idea what the man looks like. Hell, he could be posting while sitting on a dirty, ripped couch in stained underwear, swigging a Bud, but if they portray themselves as sensitive and in touch with women’s feelings (while being DOMINANT, of course), women swoon like prepubescent girls paging through Tiger Beat Magazine.

“Oh, Sir, if only I could find a man like you.” “Sir, your words hit me right in my solar plexus.” “Sir, Sir, Sir…”

It feels a little cult-like to me. Why should a stranger call someone they don’t know “Sir” if he’s not your Sir. No one addresses a “Daddy” as such. It’s way too personal a title. Another thing I’ve noticed is a lot of middle-aged Doms prefer emotionally-broken 20-somethings. I’m not sure if this is because they feel they can save them or mold them, or what. And FFS, does every Dom have to be a polygamist and an exhibitionist? Seems like their most important pastime in life is going to dungeon parties, picking out a new, young impressionable thing, getting her up on a St. Andrew’s cross and going to town on her.

It’s bad enough practically every single kinky picture involves young, thin, and firm. (Isn’t this what “vanilla” people complain about all the time?) In a lifestyle claiming diversity and open-mindedness, where the fuck is the diversity? Where are all the middle-aged, thick women? Surely, there are plenty. And in a community that preaches non-judgment, they’re pretty freaking judgmental when it comes to a vanilla lifestyle. If a couple wants to have vanilla sex and it’s satisfying to them, who is anyone to judge? Just because someone enjoys being whipped or humiliated or tied up doesn’t make them any more edgy than someone who prefers being vanilla. (Oh, how I despise that banal term.)

I guess what I’m questioning is the need for some people to have their sexuality right out there in the open. Is it really anyone’s business what their kinks are? Why do they feel the need to share them with the rest of the world? If I came out as a lesbian, I don’t think I’d start a public Facebook page and only post things regarding homosexuality. By making it your sole identity, it goes against what gay people ultimately want—to be like everyone else by not having their sexuality singled out.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just a cranky, private, introverted, non-exhibitionist monogamist.

I’d love to hear anyone’s views on the subject.

PORN AS SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT OR DEVIL’S CANDY

mosaic

I’m a Facebook slut. Or nympho—meaning I like to be on it, all the time. I do have limits though. I don’t post a new selfie every other day. I don’t poke or poke back (All I can think of is The Three Stooges poking each other in the eyes). And I try to refrain from outwardly shaming people whose opinions I consider asinine crap.

I do however, post way more cat memes than any human should. I divulge information about the boy that will probably come back to haunt him. And when I’m feeling particularly feisty I like to voice my strong opinions or play devil’s advocate on random sites just to evoke argument.

So I’m scrolling through my feed last week and up pops this meme from an anti-porn site. Now I’m not anti-porn. In fact, I like my porn—in moderation. I think it’s only a problem if your SO doesn’t want to have sex with you anymore because he’s (or she’s) wanking it 7x a day to these silicone, Botoxed beauties. Or males with 14-inch penises (24-inch when erect). Or petite she-males.

This anti-porn meme quoted Jonah Mix: “I’m not interested in a world where men really want to watch porn but resist because they’ve been shamed; I’m interested in a world where men are raised from birth with such an unshakeable understanding of women as living human beings that they are incapable of being aroused by their exploitation.” (Yeah, well, unless we’re going back to Egyptian times, good luck with that.)

So, because I was bored I posted a comment: “And I’m interested in a world where women are raised from birth with such an unshakeable sense of self-worth that they are incapable of considering the option of having to f*ck for money.”

And then I waited for the shit storm.

And it came. From both men and women. Not only did I get the “Women who do porn are sexually-empowered and they have the right to choose their own career,” but I also got “Some women actually enjoy doing porn, and it’s not because they’re drugged-up losers. They enjoy sex and like being in business for themselves.”

I fired back with examples citing former porn stars who have exposed the realities of this ugly business (like anal and vaginal tearing, and drug and alcohol dependency), as well as the running joke that women who take off their clothes for money almost always have Daddy issues, and that it became a joke only because it’s true more often than not. I stated that if these women were able to work the same amount of hours for the same amount of money sitting on their asses at a desk, instead of on someone’s face, they would choose the desk job. I also made it clear that not ALL women who get in to the porn industry have low self-esteem. Some are in fact, nymphomaniacs, and others thrive on the money and attention. But one has to ask why they thrive on the attention (self-esteem problems) and what drives them to be a nympho in the first place (trying to fulfill the emptiness inside themselves because, um, they have low fucking self-esteem!!!)

And back and forth it went. Now, when I engage in controversial discussions on Facebook it serves only as a form of verbal masturbation for me. In fact, I get more excited when I make a logical point than I do watching any porn. I realize I’ll never change anyone’s opinion, just like I’ll never convert someone who’s pro-life to pro-choice. I simply thrive on offering up intelligent, thought-out responses which maybe, just maybe allow someone to see the issue another way.

I could care less who chooses to do porn and why. I’m not an advocate for a porn-free world, and as long as viewers are paying big bucks, women (and men) will be fucking…and sucking…and spanking…and flogging. But I stand by my opinion that if women grew up with a greater sense of self, there would be fewer hookers, strippers, and porn actresses in the world.

My comment has received over 600 likes so far, so evidently there are men and women out there who share the same opinion.

What say you? I’d love to hear your opinion on the subject of porn. Is it the work of the devil filled with sinners OR empowering, sexy entertainment?

HO HO HAH

Not finished with your Christmas shopping yet? Need some ideas for that impossible-to-buy-for person in your life? Thankfully, you have me to help you decide on a gift that will undoubtedly wind up being truly memorable. Ready?

Scrapbooking is so last year. We’re in an age now when we’re realizing our resources are precious and nothing, I mean NOTHING, should go to waste. Including cat hair. Have a friend who’s constantly taking out that lint brush to remove cat fur from their black clothing? Waste not, want not. Give them this book so they can get with the times.

cat hair

If you know someone with a young daughter, it’s imperative you give that girl this doll so she can learn early on how vile body hair truly is. How else will she ever attract a man? Or aspire to porn or stripper status? Give her a head start on knowing what’s important in life, because it’s certainly not education or being a humanitarian. I mean, please! Who is ever going to take you seriously with hairy legs? (This gift not appropriate for European babies.)

shavethebaby

Has there ever been a time when you’re horny AND hungry at the same time? And you’re going back and forth in your mind like, “I could eat a sandwich first, and then have sex, but I’ll probably just want to nap instead, OR, I can have sex first, but I’ll need to hurry because my stomach is growling like an angry dog…” Yeah, tell me about it. It’s a real dilemma. But not anymore! This is perfect for the man or woman in your life as it cuts out a huge amount of wasted time thinking, when you could be, um, eating? (wink wink)

brief jerkyWhat if your partner has trouble getting in the mood in the first place? You need to combine sex with a positive association. Rub some of this baby on whatever, and he or she will come running. Probably along with the dog and cat, but still…(Not appropriate for vegetarians, although a hummus-scented lube may be in the production stage as we speak.)

bacon lube

Now, me personally, I don’t need this book. I could have written this book.  But everyone has that one smug friend who thinks their kid’s shit doesn’t stink. Give her this book so she can see all the ways she is, in fact, unknowingly traumatizing her child. Then watch her scramble to catch up to all the money you’ve already saved in the jar labeled, “My Kid’s Therapy Fund.”

kid book

This probably isn’t in the Kid Trauma book, but here’s a surefire way to traumatize a kid. Wear these socks in their presence. Around their friends. Extra points scored for wearing them out in public. Like to the mall or the movies. This is a perfect gift for the husband of the uptight wife you buy the Kid Trauma book for!

sandal-socks

What if you’re completely broke this year? It’s cool, you don’t need to spend any money. People LOVE homemade gifts. Try this one and make sure to remind the recipient it’s the thought that counts.

CHRISTMAS-sanitary-napkin-slippers

Hope this helps!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

WATER IS THICKER THAN BLOOD

father and daughter

It’s been five years since I’ve seen or spoken to my father. Five years since he flew into a rage because I looked at him wrong and he threw me out of his home. Five years since I decided I’d had enough of being his verbal punching bag.

Occasionally, I’ll get news of him through my stepmother—how he’s ailing, and not handling ageing well. I often wonder how I’ll feel when he dies. Will I regret not letting bygones be bygones? Glorify the good and forget the bad? Long for closure? He was my father, after all. The only thing that comes to mind if I were asked to describe him in one sentence is: He was the nastiest man I’ve ever known.

That’s it in a nutshell. My male role model, first male figure in my life upon which I model all men and relationships (which probably explains why I’m single). The experts say that a girl who doesn’t grow up with unconditional love and support from her father suffers from poor self-esteem and an inability to form healthy relationships with men. Go into any strip club and ask a stripper how her relationship was with her dad growing up and nine times out of ten I’ll bet you they’ll say, “He was distant, or emotionally unavailable, or abusive, or had unrealistic expectations, or…”

Some women can channel the burning desire to win Daddy’s elusive love and make him proud by turning into an overachiever, a workaholic, an anorexic even (if he’s overbearing and critical, and it’s the only thing they can control about themselves). Or they can go the other route like I did—assume the victim role and become depressed. I internalized all his anger and verbal abuse.

If my parent, who’s supposed to love me like no other, claims I’m no good, then it must be so. If my parent thinks I’m a failure, I’ll never succeed at anything. If my parent doesn’t love me, it must mean I’m unlovable.

Well-meaning people think you can just shrug this stuff off. “You’re an adult. Get over it.” But you can’t. Not without years of intensive therapy anyway. Your formative years mold your entire state of being. They influence your psyche in a more pervasive way than even genetics do. So if you’ve been screamed at your whole life and made to feel worthless, it’s going to impact you negatively no matter how many positive affirmations you recite. And when you’ve been forced to deal with a parent who’s unstable and explosive, you learn you can’t trust anyone, because you’re expecting to be ripped to shreds at a moment’s notice.

I remember one time being in the car with my dad and half-brother, who was around two years old. We were stopped in front of my father’s office and my brother was climbing all over me. “You’re such a little monkey,” I told him, laughing. And my father stopped what he was doing, and began screaming at me. “Don’t you ever call my son a monkey again. Howard Cosell was fired for calling a player a monkey. Did you know that? How would you like it if I called you a cow?”

Wait, wha-?

Instead of telling him what an asshole he was like I should have, I always took the passive approach just to try to make the screaming stop. I held back the tears and clammed up. My entire childhood and young adulthood was spent holding back the tears and clamming up whenever I was around him. So when I look back and try to remember something, anything nice, like him telling me he loved me (never) or giving me a compliment (only one in my lifetime and it was about my nails looking nice), or being proud of me (He once told me a monkey (that word again) could do my retail job), I can’t seem to find a thing.

So will I have any regrets when he dies? Yes. I’ll always regret he wasn’t a better father.

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