The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Father Knows Best II

From The New Male Sexuality:

Therapist Terrance O’Conner relates this story:

I was struggling in my first year of high school. My father had just given me holy hell for the scores I had received on a standardized test. I felt terrible. In my room, I went over the results again and again... Suddenly I realized that the numbers were raw scores. They needed to be converted. I was astonished. In percentiles, my scores were in the nineties. Vastly relieved, I rushed out to show my father. “Then why in hell don’t you get better grades?” he yelled. It was a dagger in my heart. Never a word of love. Never a word of praise.

This is not to blame our fathers, who were only doing what was done to them. Nonetheless, the wounds opened by this lack of care run deep and are rarely healed. If you want to see grown men cry, give them a safe setting and get them talking about their fathers. That’s all it takes.

Because the boy is wrenched away from his first real intimate relationship, does not get to experience one with his father, and is taught a body of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are not conducive to intimacy, he will arrive at adulthood quite unprepared for the requirements of a mature relationship. The point is simple and frightening: The socialization of males provides very little that is of value in the formation and maintenance of intimate relationships.

Remember what I said about bad parenting being the cause of so many of society’s ills? This is an excellent illustration of my point. Screwed up kids growing up to become screwed up adults who, in turn, have screwed up kids.

I think I’ve identified one of my childhood wounds, or at least the proximal cause. If I can work with this further, I may be able to break this down into finer details.

It’s funny how some men, who go through similar experiences, are able to turn things around and become good fathers themselves, are able to have quality intimate relationships. Examples can be found on this rant line, I’m sure. Will I be one of them?