Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thanks for the help... not!


 I was thinking about the odd relationship I had with my parents, especially when young. This was sparked by a friend who remarked how our parents taught us that emotions were bad, they were weak and something to conceal behind closed doors. Some of my friends grew up without a father and some ask what my relationship was like with my Dad, they wanted to know, did he talk with me about becoming a man etc?

 My Dad was a good man in his belief of duty to provide and take care of his family. He had a lot of input regarding things like honesty, integrity and definitely manners. He didn't have sit down discussions, it was pretty much, "don't ever let me catch you doing...." fill in the blank. He also warned me that if I ever embarrassed him by doing something that landed me in jail, don't bother calling because I could rot there for all he cared. I knew he meant it, so I behaved. There were other cues of his that I followed because I wanted to be a good person like him. He was big on responsibility, taking responsibility, acting responsibly, taking things seriously.

 The one thing though that he had zero and I mean absolutely zero input on, was me growing into a man, anything to do with sex, sexuality or male anatomy. Even just me the boy, growing into me the man, not one single word. That's strange to me, I don't know if he was too embarrassed to say anything, or just really hated the topic. I would have appreciated a heads up regarding puberty, I had no idea what the heck was going on in the beginning. There were times I was actually scared.

 The thing that is so strange about it, is you must remember I grew up on a farm. Often at 9, 10 or 11 years old, we would have the following conversation, "young-lad come here, I have to go to that meeting tonight, number 12 is tied in her stall, Mike the AI (AI= artificial insemination) technician is coming because she's in heat. Tell him she had slime running out of her vagina this morning, so she's ready to breed. Make sure he uses semen from AU78, that's a good bull". I might then ask does he have a second choice incase they don't have semen from AU78. This was a very common conversation between us, a little later he would even sometimes let me pick the bulls because I could understand the heritability numbers better.

 Even with all that between us, I could never ask him a question about the changes happening to me or information I needed about growing up. At an early age I took note of his ears turning beat red and him changing the subject immediately. Either that or he would give me this look of complete disgust and make that "tsk" sound, as if I had just asked him to watch me pick my nose. I immediately knew that I could never go to him about anything, not only that... but I knew he wouldn't want me coming to him.

 Even stranger, if I had to talk about something, I went to mom, at times it could get weird, if I had a man part problem, I was talking to mom, sometimes she spoke to Dad seeking information, yet instead of Dad saying, "ok I got this", he would relay information through mom back to me. By the time I was about to turn thirteen, I never spoke to either of them about sex, nudity or sexuality ever again.

 The sad thing for them is that I learned about sex, erections, puberty and all that jazz from a guy who was total white trash, the kind of guy that they wouldn't want giving me information but young minds want to know and his guy loved telling all he knew. Also it was his cheap version of sex and sexuality, no mention of love, caring or anything positive about it. Speaking to friends I seem to be in the norm, unfortunately I think that the father and son talks in our day, were only something that happened in movies.

22 comments:

Old Lurker said...

Honestly! Should you really be calling your public school teachers white trash?

Old Lurker said...

Here is my conspiracy theory: your dad knew you were gay, and just did not know how to talk to you about it. Who told your sister about the birds and the bees?

Ur-spo said...

this is a common sad tale.
I vowed when I had sons I would be open and unashamed with them about sexuality.

Mistress Maddie said...

Same here tootes! As sexual as my Dad could be we never had "the talk" either. And I never would have talked to my mother. I learned all from a older neighbor friend. I learned even a lot more at our sleep overs. To this day he is straight as far as I know. I sure wouldn't have believed that then. I was 12.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Never had 'the talk' with my dad either.
I think it was through my mom that some things were discussed but I think I stopped any talks about it by being an avid reader and letting them know in few words that I knew already how things worked. Not to mention that I started fooling around with boys very early, so theres' that.
What I find interesting is that he would be so open about the obviously sexual part of breeding farm animals. But some people are just like that.

XOXO

anne marie in philly said...

sex was NEVER discussed at my house. I had to "learn as I went".

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Men of his generation were pretty uniformly bound by shame and toxic gender roles. Modern fathers do seem more liberated to me but I wonder how far that really goes?

Bob said...

My mother told me about sex when i learned an unmarried woman was pregnant because I always believed you had to be married to do such a thing.

My father, I think, always suspected I was a queerling because I was the anti=sports, anti-Boy Scout, anti-camping little boy who liked music and art. So what did my Dad do? He made a point of having days with just me and we would go to art shows and museums.

Now, that said, he was slightly taken aback when I came out a few years later, but he was never, ever, less than loving and supportive.

Richard said...

No talk here either. I learned everything on the "streets".

Willym said...

My father died when I was fourteen and we had never had the "sex" talk. Mind I had been having sex with boys in our neighbourhood since I was 12. Theresa next door took "What Every Girl Should Know" out of our local library and I took "What Every Boy Should Know" and shared them when we were around 13. As I recall they were fairly responsible texts for their time.

My poor mother decided when I was fifteen or so that she should have a talk with me - my older brother wouldn't??? Her idea of that sort of talk was very concise and consisted of two sentences: Sex is something that a man and a woman have after they are married. And the woman does it because it's her duty." I didn't have the heart or nerve, nor was there the necessity, to tell her what had been happening in our coal shed or my bedroom when she was out. So we left it at that.

Strangely many years later we were sitting after dinner one night and she confessed that one of the major things she missed being a widow as "doing her duty".

Sooo-this-is-me said...

You are slipping in your obsession over me, I went to Catholic school. Actually they did a good job, a nurse used to come and talk about sex etc.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Trust me, dad didn't know I was gay. I think mom had to go over some things.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Dr Spo, lol I felt the same way. Unfortunately things turned out different.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Maddie, oh no... you turned a gay boy straight!!!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Sixpence, I wish I was your neighbor growing up! Lol

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Anne Marie, did you get a lot of practice in? ;)

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Debra, yes that generation was really chained down emotionally. I know a lot of young fathers do equal diapers etc, but I'm not sure about fathers and sons talking about becoming a man.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Bob, your dad sounds awesome. You were lucky, most dads would have made you do typical things only making matters worse.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Richard, well then that explains a lot doesn't it! Lol

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Willym, your poor mom, good for her in being able to admit she missed doing her duty. I didn't have opportunities to experiment with other boys but I also was terrified something would get back to my dad.

Old Lurker said...

Slipping? Thanks for boosting my anxiety. Next thing you know I'll inadvertently leave the burner on.

If you had an educational nurse why did you need White Trash Guy?

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Lurker, slipping because you usually never make a mistake like that. You really should worry, maybe there is a problem... or maybe I'm being a bast... and trying to add to your anxiety.

The nurse was sent when I was thirteen, white trash guy started my education when I was nine or ten. To be honest at least he made me feel normal at times.