Like many boys/men who socially know how to interact with women, I was predominately raised by my mother. My father was this itinerant figure who was off "at work", and beyond the childhood prereq's of how to ride a bike, hit a ball, throw a football...he was often busy working 2 jobs to provide the things my brother and I were socialized to want through media and commercials during Saturday morning cartoons. If I were to tabulate the sheer hours my father has worked versus my mother......it is probably hundreds to one. Seriously. He has likely worked more than a hundred hours if not more to every one hour my mother has spent employed.
Recently, I had a fight with my mother. She was bemoaning the house, my father's stuff being there "in her way" whilst he works out of state as a consultant. She complained that he just "drops in" every few weeks while she has to "deal with the house."
As a boy growing up, coddled by my mother and influenced by media, I felt a vast separation from my father and a closeness to my mother. My mother's reliance upon emotion rather than logic was not immediately apparent early on in my years. My father brought down the hammer and my mother was the shelter. In retrospect, I have grown into the man I am as a result of establishing my own male identity both by his absence and the example he set.
This has been a plus, not a minus.
I responded that my father had paid for the house. That he drops in because he routinely works 60 hours a week or more in a fucking cold upstate part of the US and that his stuff is in the house b/c he is busy working said hours in said upstate part of the US.
My mother gave pause. I could see the short circuits beginning. She decried my attitude and my being combative. I affirmed to her that I was speaking with a room level tone and was simply stating facts.
She bemoaned how much money she has. I pointed out that she opts to work the hours she does and opts to not work other hours/jobs as well.
I felt the chasm forming.
As a boy, when my mother got emotionally and physically volatile, my father, newly sober, would simply leave the house and return some 18 hours later. My mother's tempest had cooled and the house was quiet if not eerie.
As a teenager, when my mother would berate and berate (much of it deserved as my father whilst sober had become nearly intolerable as a person) and my father would simply sit and bear the brunt of it....I wondered why he no longer just walked out and came back later.
As a man, little has changed. There is the vast expanse of my parents "trying to make it work" that is now ending in a bitter divorce and fracturing of loyalty within our family. Lines are drawn. Sides chosen. I have chosen a side out of respect for the fact that she has been there since I was born. My biological father walked out and disappeared. However, I am coming to terms with the fact that all that glitters is not golden. Sympathy and love cannot turn a blind eye to emotional response and irrational behavior, framing of events/facts.
Not an hour after my fight with my mother the other night, she lamented her behavior and admitted she had been overly emotional. This was because I was the stone in the storm. I had not been sucked into the maelstrom of shouting and volatility. Principles of game have vast application in the world and in life. If you think being confident, trusting tested psychology from field experience, and consistency are only for picking up girls at bars....you are missing out on the greatest value.
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