My Father Wept And So Did I
As a child, I did not know I was being prepped to engage with a Me Too culture. Many years later, as I edge into the old guy category, limping along with stiff knee syndrome, I become aware of being taunted for being an old, ugly white guy responsible for all sexual wounding.
Interesting. My overall expertise mostly comes from my many, many treks into the sexual wounding field memories, and actually, I seem to know more about this than those who want to marginalize me.
My father was born on April 12, 1929, in Great Falls, Montana, USA. I arrived, the second child of four, in Bozeman on July 18, 1955, twenty-six years later. I grew up believing that the first child was cursed in some manner, but now I think maybe all children are cursed in some way; parents, grandparents, and beyond. I watched my father die for nine years, age forty to age forty-nine. Towards the end, I mostly remember him frantically scribbling on paper with a pen, effusively crying as he struggled to leave me notes I might use as I continued to clear the path of the sexually wounded expertise claims.
OMG, come on, Dad! You want me to do what?
So, at twenty-three, I found myself on the path of learning to cry as a man. It wasn’t so bad at the beginning. It was 1974, I was young and strong, inspired to tell the truth through writing and theatre. Lots of expressions there! But, that express motivation paled as I got more interested in getting married. It didn’t seem a good fit, being who I truly was and fitting in. I desperately wanted to fit in. Little did I know my father, from the great beyond, actually nudged me to take the “fit in” path. Now I understand that he wanted me to uncover all of the many cover-ups he laid down.
Next month I turn sixty-five. In these many years, I have learned to face-cry, body-sob, embrace shame and fear, forgive, and knock on doors to feel-safe for asylum. It’s been challenging, but I thank my father and all of my family for cheering me on, even when they didn’t know they were doing it.