From Your Little Boy


You idiot! Why are you such an idiot?

How stupid can you get?

Shit, talkin’ to you is like talkin’ to a child, sometimes.

You cotton-pickin’, half-witted idiot!


I know that, over the course of our life together, you said many kind, loving words to me. I know you loved me.

I loved you, too. I admired you. I looked up to you. I wanted to be just like you.

And I hung on to every single word you said to me.

Including all the ones at the beginning of this post.

The ones that sliced deep into my heart. The ones that told me I was a failure in your eyes. The ones that have haunted me ever since, and I still struggle to forget.

As far as I’m concerned, I am an idiot.

And so, for the rest of your life, I couldn’t look at you without imagining you looking back at me and wondering how you ended up with such a stupid son.


I never told you this. I couldn’t.

I guess I thought it was something I had to just get over. Maybe it is.

But, dammit, it’s tough. Even with the memory of how good you were to me. (And you were.) Even with the memories of all the good times we had together. (And we did.)

You’ve been gone nineteen years, but even if you were here now, I probably still couldn’t tell this to you.

So, this is as close as I’ll ever get, I guess. Now that I’m nearly 60.

On some level, I forgive you. I know you were angry or frustrated when you spoke these words to me.

But, I could never convince myself you didn’t mean them, anyway.

Shouldn’t be so freakin’ sensitive, right? Dads say this $#!t to their sons all the time.


At the end of all this rambling, I guess all I really wanted to say is, I wish I had told you.

So you could apologize. And we could embrace. And it could be behind us. And everything would be okay.

But I guess I couldn’t do that right, either. Sorry.


8 thoughts on “From Your Little Boy

  1. Wow! Your daddy never said I’m sorry for saying those things. My daddy never said he was sorry for running out of my life when I was a year old. So it’s up to me to forgive him. I’m 71 years old and still have a tough time with it. What would life have been for me if daddy didn’t run away? maybe he would have called me an idiot, a shithead? maybe he would have loved me when I needed a daddy’s love? We’ll never know. I feel for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the first things I learned in the first of the three introductory courses in the Landmark Forum was:

    At some point early in life, every human being who has ever lived has experienced something that made him or her believe, “I’m not good enough”. That message is embedded so deeply in all of our psyches that we can never get rid of it … BUT, we don’t have to believe it. If everyone everywhere and “everywhen” has the same message, it’s either true of all of us or true of none of us. I prefer the latter.

    When the message pops into my mind, I try to remember to tell myself, “That’s not true”. Sometimes it takes a little while to remember, but with practice, it becomes quicker and easier.

    Liked by 2 people

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