Thanks, guys. Larry - that's a cool visual because I know you guys understand it so well.
I re-read this poem last night, it's the first time I've re-read it since I wrote it and posted it. As I re-read it, there were a couple of places that still really evoked an intense emotional response from me, made the tears well up. They were:
Wounded already by my father, mother,
and soon to be wounded by others.
You're seeing it all,
all those wounds,
how broken I am becoming.
A broken boy.
I felt a lot of hurt when I read that, hurt that someone I liked and admired so much was seeing all this happening, understanding full well how vulnerable I was (he was a psychologist by trade), and yet he used that vulnerability to exploit me. What a fucking betrayal.
I want to call you "Father",
to be your son,
I want to be
whatever you want me to be.
As I read that, it made me remember all the ways I was a failure to my real father. All the ways I never could measure up, all the ways I would never be "acceptable". That hurts to think about, because I know there was really very little I could do to change that way of thinking in him. Basically, it's the "It's not my fault" thing, but that still doesn't make it hurt very much less.