Relating to men – as a man

That totally reminds me of my dad. All my life I hated the man and with good reason as he hit me and was drunk a lot and loved to make fun of my weight but there was always something really unnatural to the idea that I would hate my own father but I did with all my heart.

Later on in life, as I got better, I started to see the whole picture of my childhood more clearly. Because he was an alcoholic and less than the ideal husband for my mom, she turned me into her surrogate husband – I went everywhere with her, listen to her issues, her problems, commiserated with her about other men and especially about my dad. We would even go so far as ganging up on him and mocking him openly to his face. I would protect my mom at any price and he was no exception.

Now that I’m 40 and so much better inside and out, I can see how that dynamic ruined how I saw my father, how I ganged up on him for my mother and how her issues and inner hatred were transferred to me…a child who needed his father.

These days I have a horrible time relating to men which is all the more weird because I am heavily into sports and guy things but have very few guy friends. I am also rediscovering my ‘guy’ side and trying to do more guy things to offset this empty feeling I have for my father and for the absence of men in my life. I don’t blame my mom so much as she was doing what people do when abandoned by their alcoholic mate but I can now see how much stuff was put on my dad unfairly and without being true. My mom’s hatred became my hatred and my relationship to my dad has never been the same.

Now don’t get me wrong, he was a shithead for the most part but because of this sick and crappy dynamic of an alcoholic family, I was never able to see who he really was and I can now see that that guy was more than just a drunk – he was my dad.

PS – this exact same dynamic can happen in any dysfunctional family – not just for alcoholics.

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