Before my assault, I was constantly writing. There's a closet in our house that's filled with literary clutter... half-finished novels, short stories, essays. Not everything I write is good, but some of it I'm rather proud of. After the assault, my mind had trouble focusing on things other than the assault. It was difficult finding something to write about that was meaningful to me, and keeping all the negative thoughts about myself inside made me think that I no longer could compose anything worthwhile.
After I began therapy and talking to people here at MS, I feel like I am getting some of my creativity back. One of the things I've noticed is that a lot of men here have had fathers that may or may not have been abusive, but neglected to prepare them for the experience of authentic masculinity. I've read stories about fathers who never taught their sons how to shave or take care of themselves. I don't know how long I'll be in my son's life (I'd never leave him but I'm fully aware of my own mortality) and I'd hate to leave him without a roadmap to guide him through life. After my dad died, when I was 17, I wished that he would have written me a guide to getting through college, buying my first house, getting married, balancing a career with family and eventually coping with life-changing illness.
So I've decided that I'm going to write my son a guide to becoming a man. Obviously there are things I'd rather tell him about in person (like teaching him how to drive a car), but who knows if I'll get to that moment? Sample topics include:
How to deal with a bully at school
How not to get picked last for every team in gym class
What to do when girls stop being icky,
Hygiene, personal grooming and dressing well
How to talk to women, get a girlfriend and break up with her respectfully
making and keeping friends
Drinking: if you're going to do it, you might as well know about the good stuff
the list goes on and on.
Is there anything you wish your dad told you about? Questions you asked him but never received a good answer? Please feel free to share your experiences.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
- Saint John of the Cross