Daddy issues
Daddy issues

Baby Mark is very cute.

News: Posted November 14th, 2019 by Alina

^ 48 Comments to “Daddy issues”

  1. Sable Says:

    I think this is a fascinating example of Mark’s mediocre white man syndrome. He’s flown into a rage, verbally abused a partner in public, physically assaulted her and to a greater degree a bloke he doesn’t know, and he teased at Dustin that he has a terrible secret, a dark past, a source of his mighty anger.

    He’s a bit embarrassed about larp and didn’t always get on with his dad. This he treats as the ultimate explanation for being, as an adult man, unable to control his temper. He broke his own hand because daddy preferred him to play sports twenty years ago.

    Mark. Come on bro,

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 2:25 am
  2. DaveC Says:

    Yep, right there with you, Mark. Dad called me a F****T for playing RPGs

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 2:43 am
  3. Jonathan Says:

    OW! FEELS!

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 2:58 am
  4. Hfar Says:

    Not going to lie: when I was going to therapy, I think about 70% of the issues I talked about eventually my therapist and I traced back to originating with my father. So this? This moment? I get this.

    I like to think many, if not most father’s are good. But the ones that aren’t? The ones who try to push you to be something you aren’t or unload their own issues on you? Those leave you messed up something fierce.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 3:15 am
  5. Bagge Says:

    I don’t like Mark’s dad already.

    That single panel conveys so much background without a single word. Very well composed.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 3:42 am
  6. Rich K. Says:

    Yeah, I love my dad, and he taught me a lot of things, but I never felt like anything I did was ever “good enough” for him – never a word of praise or encouragement, and a lot of times if I did things my way instead of his way, it was “wrong”. I still have self-confidence issues because of it. I asked him a couple years ago WHY he never told me when he felt I had done a good job, and he said it was because he EXPECTED me to do well. I expect MY kids to do well, but I also praise and encourage them when they do.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 5:36 am
  7. leoness Says:

    Ouch, called it. It is amazing the damage a parent can do, and how deeply it can affect your life without you even realizing it later.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 7:04 am
  8. Old Brit Says:

    … daddy preferred him to play sports twenty years ago.

    and all the intervening twenty years. It’s not just a single incident, but a continual drip, drip, drip of disparagement.
    Also Mark’s just started on revealing his past. There may yet be a real dark secret.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 7:58 am
  9. Killiak Says:

    @Sable
    Are you just trolling it up, or are you just seriously ignorant of the significant and lasting damage a parent can do to the psyche of a child, and thus to the adult it becomes?

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 8:38 am
  10. Dru Says:

    So… is it just me, or does Mark’s dad look like one of the Hunters?

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 9:36 am
  11. argentlupus Says:

    It may be a played out trope, but there is a good damned reason it is effective. A lot of mental issues that men have today can be kind of traced back to their father’s view on things. I know there are exceptions to the trope of course.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 10:09 am
  12. N0083rP00F Says:

    There are really good fathers.
    There are really horrible abusive fathers.
    Most fathers fall into the muddling through as best they can.
    The same can be said for mothers though the damage they do can go much deeper.

    My dad was more of the “If I ignore it long enough it will go away” in latter childhood onward, though early on he was “the source of all terror” until he went one step too far with us kids and mum gave him the or else.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 11:04 am
  13. Will Says:

    @Sable, I don’t think that’s fair and I feel you’re just using your dislike for his character currently as a way to link two separate issues, trying to unpack his issues and what he actually did.

    He’s explaining this and thinking it out with a therapist. He’s not using his father as an excuse, the therapist is just trying to suss out where this all started. This wasn’t some grand scheme or revelation of him thinking back and being like “Oh of course, it’s all my father’s fault, I’m not culpable!” It’s someone answering a question that a therapist asked in order to better understand where this all begins in his head.

    His jealousy issues, his grabbing Ravenia, his shoving Ravenia’s prime, his feelings of shame about his friends… Those things aren’t blamable on his dad and I don’t think anyone is (or at least should be) implying that. But starting from the most basic and seeing what factors led to creating the state he found himself in is extremely important in him understanding -why- he did what he did and preventing it from ever happening again in the future.

    Therapy is not absolution from the things you did in the past. Therapy is understanding why it happened, working through those issues (if they’re even workable through), and working to come to coping mechanisms so it doesn’t happen in the future (among a myriad of other things, but oversimplification). And I think Mark is at an important stage.

    So while:
    o His actions were inexcusable
    o If his ban is permanent I don’t think anyone would say that that’s unfair, and
    o If Ravenia never wants to see him again, she has every right,

    Let’s be a bit more fair to the person trying to avoid inflicting this harm on himself and other again in his search for why this entire clusterfuck happened. You don’t have to like him as a character anymore, but he’s not inherently trying to find an excuse in this comic. He’s just trying to find answers.

    Now if he goes to his friends and is like “This is all my dad’s fault”, then your point is completely fair in my mind and I have no defense. Or if he tries to weasel his way out of responsibility with his therapist, etc.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 11:28 am
  14. Grampybone Says:

    Repressed Anger and PTSD.

    @Bagge You nailed it. That panel conveys so much. Remember folks, that panel, is but a glimpse. I have a feeling there is a lot more to that story that it yet to come.

    Repressed anger and embarrassment is like Newton’s Law.
    Think of it like a spring.
    The more you compress the spring, the more energy builds up, until…
    That spring pops (or is triggered) and the energy is released with explosive force.

    Anger and embarrassment are the same way. When they are repressed, and for years and years that anger and resentment is built up.
    More and more is piled on and it is repressed further and further. Until you don’t even know (or remember) what started it.
    Or why you were even originally angry, embarrassed, or frustrated,
    all you know is you must bury it.

    But it is always there, lurking under the surface, waiting, waiting for it opportunity to escape…
    And then; some innocuous (or in this case significant) event can be the final straw that one last thing
    that just makes all those pent up Frustrations and anger, just come spilling out, until you stand there screaming
    like some mindless rage filled maniac, at someone you love, or some Poor hapless person who happened to be the poor unfortunate soul who was the one final trigger that caused everything to come to a boil.
    And you end up lke Mark.

    However, Mark was very lucky. Yes he wound up in a very bad situation where he threw a hand grenade in to his relationship and
    And got banned from his LARP group, and very easily could have alienated all of his friends if they weren’t such good friends.

    But it could have been much, much worse. I am very glad to see him working this out. Keep it up Mark, the healing has begun. It is a long road, but the first step is often the hardest, and my friend have taken it.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 11:50 am
  15. Leon Stauffer Says:

    Yeah, should have seen this coming.

    My dad was cool, within the limits of rarely expressing his opinions of pretty much anything, it was my MOM who was the problem. But really, despite the rather different details (my mom didn’t give a darn about sports) the base effect is the same. Just with less yelling and more “subtle” manipulation and constant criticism.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 12:23 pm
  16. Eva Says:

    Ah, there we go.

    This isn’t the worst part, Mark, but you’re just about through to that bit. Hang in there.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 1:31 pm
  17. greyhobbit13 Says:

    I get this. Not just about geek stuff. My parents were thankfully fine with it, though they never got it. But most of the people I grew up with never got it, so small social group. No big deal. But the other stuff: being gay, being liberal (in the south), being an atheist (at a catholic school). I get not feeling comfortable being able to show your true self. But you have to work through that without taking it out on other people. Not easy for all.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  18. Valtharr Says:

    @Sable Sorry, but that’s *such* a dickish way to look at this.

    “Oh, his father emotionally abused him to the point that, even as an adult man, he wouldn’t want to even mention his passions to him? Ugh, typically entitled white guy!”

    Like, don’t get me wrong “I was abused, so I’m absolved of all my own wrongdoings” is a terrible mindset to have, but 1) nothing in this comic suggests that’s what Mark is saying/thinking and 2) “He broke his own hand because daddy preferred him to play sports twenty years ago” is just as much a simplification of a complex situation as “I was abused, so I can abuse others” is.

    Anyway, I can only say that I’m lucky enough to have parents who are pretty geeky themselves. Like, not “cosplay and go to cons” geeky, or even “have a framed Star Wars poster in their bedroom” geeky, but it was my dad who got me into Doctor Who, my mom really like Stargate and the Harry Potter movies, and they both like Star Trek. In fact, when I was still a young kid, it became kind of a ritual that I would get up an hour or so after I went to bed, tell them “I can’t sleep” and then watch some TNG with them ^^

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 3:12 pm
  19. Caelestio Says:

    This is a lot to cover in one session…

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 3:37 pm
  20. CardinalRam Says:

    As an original RPGer (D&D? White box, 3 booklets), my son has never had to worry about this aspect.

    BUT, I have I screwed up in other ways? Ohhh, yeah. 🙁

    I think the meta-problem is in two parts: 1) No good/really bad role model during formative years; and 2) Not working through the baggage that comes from the poor experiences (as a result of above role model).

    If you don’t go back and figure out what, how, when, where, and why, you can’t 1) set up internal alarms to monitor your own behavior; 2) plan out alternative solutions/actions; and 3) practice them!

    A year ago, my relationship with my then 16 year old was horrific. He would punch me, and we would end up in wrestling matches. I flew off the handle at him constantly. All it did was make him more determined NOT to do what I wanted (i.e., pick up his room; study & get good grades; act polite to his mother and I; etc.,).

    After a really spectacular explosion on my part, I found myself shocked by my own behavior. On my counselor’s recommendation, I immediately rejoined CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous – coda.org), and started working really hard at practicing the lessons and skills CoDA teaches.

    It was not overnight, nor easy, nor without other blow-ups. But now, a year later, he and I have largely repaired that relationship. I actually find him modeling some of my best behavior, instead of my worst. We have drawn much closer, and give each other spontaneous hugs!

    I have a s**t ton of more work to do. Will probably never be done. But I can certainly vouch for the fact that Mark CAN overcome his experiences. And the most important step is to OWN all your experiences, both given and received, not deny them.

    “…grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    Mark can’t change his past. He CAN change his present and his future.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 4:22 pm
  21. Sweeper Says:

    That blows. My first DM ever was my Dad and I still play when time permits

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 8:01 pm
  22. TheDarkTyger Says:

    And in one panel, a WHOLE LOT is explained about Mark. Right down to his violent outburst.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 8:23 pm
  23. Urikanu Says:

    I can completely understand this. Most of my issues can be traced back to my father as well. That doesn’t make my behaviour his fault, but it has been invaluable in examininging who I am and what I do to understand that.
    A father that doesn’t understand what you do, and wants you to BE someone else than you are, can mess up a lot. And while my dad was a… competent provider, he was not a very good father. I’m just super lucky my mom was amazing enough to handle most of it in my teens, so it didn’t get worse than it is.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 10:58 pm
  24. Kaunisenkeli Says:

    Let me guess, Mark’s father wanted to be a sports star when he was young but didn’t make the cut. So he decided to force his son to follow that path so he could live out his old dreams vicariously through his son. Clearly forgetting that his son was another person who might have other hopes, dreams, and interests.

    Posted November 14th, 2019 at 11:51 pm
  25. StarkBBY Says:

    I understand a lot where this is going. My mom and dad are generally very supportive and sweet, my dad is super nerdy and loves Star Trek even but, when my mom got remarried to my stepdad I can say that I saw a general downturn in much of my interests. He was a very gung-ho, sports are good and nerdy stuff like Star Wars is only for boys not girls and any girl should know their place. I loved anime and Star Wars and even tried to engage him in talking about it with me (favorite characters, stories, things like that) but he’d make it a contest and try to get me to list whole scenes to prove I enjoyed it (this was also my first experience with “Fake Gamer/Nerd Girl rhetoric.”). When I finally did play sports, volleyball, and softball, he figured that was not good enough and wanted to know why a girl my height wouldn’t play something useful like basketball. When my mom and he finally split it was a huge relief and I actually felt comfortable expressing my interests again. While I didn’t have any huge backlash I did keep my interests much closer to heart and even stopped talking about them around his family. It’s not the only reason my interests lapsed but it’s a good way to chart the change.
    All and all, I get it and it’s wonderful that Mark is finally putting things in place and maybe getting the notion of “normal” out of his head.

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 1:43 am
  26. Oddtail Says:

    I have a problem with this revelation, and it’s not because it doesn’t happen. Sure it does. Statistically, about half of fathers will be good-ish, and about bad will be bad-ish.

    And parents who don’t connect with their kids, or want kids to follow exactly their idea of what is fun, or productive, or useful, or “manly”, or what have you – those exist. I know quite a few people whose parents were shitty like that. Including hostility over nerdy interests, in some cases.

    The issue I have is with how it works in the story, at least so far. I think it’s cliché, in a comic that usually avoids clichés. That’s why I started with “I know this happens”. “This exists in real life” does not mean something is not an overused trope or doesn’t cause other issues. Because stories don’t live in a vacuum. There are things that happen in real life that may be considered overused or ill-fitting when used in a story.

    And “white man has anger issues” resolved with “he had a shitty father” is a bit of a cliché. It’s not that it can’t be used effectively in a story, but in Weregeek? The father wasn’t, from what I recall, ever brought up before. Heck, family lives of the main cast and their relationships with their parents were never really a thing. And Mark doesn’t really have a “father” type figure in the story that could parallel his father issues. So the father thing, while reflective of how a nerdy guy might grow up, comes kind of out of nowhere in the story, specifically. So it’s not a good payoff. It doesn’t colour, at least so far, the character dynamics in an interesting new light, it doesn’t recontextualise anything or serve as a meaningful revelation. It’s “this is why the character is this way. Alright.”, which by itself is not interesting.

    Going for one of the most obvious nerdy examples, the original Star Wars trilogy is very much about a father-son relationship. And Vader doesn’t show up as a father until the second movie. But it’s in the context of Luke’s relationship with Obi-Wan and Yoda, who are both father figures (which is reinforced by Obi-Wan telling Luke about his father, describing him as a hero). The reveal works because it parallels Luke’s character, and his dynamics with others, and how his world works.

    Mark doesn’t really have story arcs that work like that. Again, no father figure, but the characters he plays in RPG sessions don’t have issues with authority, are not rebellious against powerful people, don’t have mentors – good or bad.

    As it stands, the reveal serves as a “fill in the backstory” moment and doesn’t change or enrich Mark’s relationships, at least to me. And that’s why I don’t like it.

    (well, so far. We’ll see how it goes. But “more detailed backstory as character development” is not, in my view, inherently good.)

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 5:47 am
  27. Whotheheckami Says:

    This Be The Verse – by Philip Larkin

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 5:56 am
  28. HousePet Says:

    It looks like many people have forgotten an important point.
    Don’t worry. I expect we’ll get to that shortly…

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 7:12 am
  29. Velgar Says:

    Not gonna lie. It would have been more interesting had it been someone else than dad.

    But as mentioned by others, it is many a times dad in this scenario.

    Wonder if we’ll see more of dear old dad and if he’s still the same or is Mark still clinging on revenants long gone…

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 8:55 am
  30. Qeshen Says:

    To all the people that are bringing up “white” stereotypes:

    Black men don’t have the market cornered on having absent fathers.

    Asian parents aren’t the only parents unrealistically obsessed with perfect marks in education.

    White parents aren’t the only parents that want to live vicariously through their kids.

    For the love of God, get that toxic mindset out of your heads. Mark is not a stereotypical “angry white man lashing out cos daddy wanted him to play baseball and go pro”, nor is that shit exclusive to white people.

    He’s an imperfect man trying to better himself and get help by understanding the root of his problems

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 2:01 pm
  31. Magetastic Says:

    @Oddtail

    “Mark doesn’t really have story arcs that work like that. Again, no father figure, but the characters he plays in RPG sessions don’t have issues with authority, are not rebellious against powerful people, don’t have mentors – good or bad.”

    That alone shows the relation with his father. I have a terrible father who constantly pushed me and pushed me and pushed me into being who he wanted me to be, and not who I wanted to be, to put it mildly. Guess who never balks at authority just because it’s authority? Guess who has no replacement father figures? Guess who’s not rebellious? And guess who never plays a character who does any of these things? Yeah, it’s me.

    Trauma (or, as I explain it, being broken) doesn’t show up in just one way. It usually leads to the same destination of anger and alienating those around you, but the journey is different for everyone. This actually does help fill in Mark’s character in a lot of ways, and helps explain a lot. And I can pretty much guarantee that just because in this one panel it’s his dad, it’s not just going to be about his dad. That’s just the starting point. But who else would it have started with? Who else would have been the biggest influence? Your parents are your first and biggest influences in the world and who you turn out to be as a person, but they are not the only ones.

    Try to think back to how Mark used to interact with others, the way he has been. How he used to avoid ever acknowledging it. Now he goes to the clubs and he hangs out with the gang frequently. This comic started with a guy who couldn’t even admit he was interested in geek things while looking at them!

    Not everything has to be exaggerated for a story. Sometimes they benefit from being very… real. And this really, really is. It may not speak to you in an meaningful way, but it sure as hell speaks to me.

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 2:20 pm
  32. Rock Says:

    Shortly after I’d first joined a friday night gaming club, my dear old dad turned to me, cleared his throat and said: “So, you’ve joined a CULT, right?”

    You should have seen the look on his face when I burst out laughing at him.

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 3:15 pm
  33. Scia Says:

    Oof. Smart questions. (And sadly, I can relate.)

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 3:22 pm
  34. Cathrinfelinal Says:

    Does anyone else hear a gruff, masculine voice say “No son of mine is going to play with dolls, you’re joining the baseball team and you’re going to like it!” when looking at the 4th panel?

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 7:18 pm
  35. Oddtail Says:

    @Magetastic: thanks for your comment.

    Well… if it speaks to you, it speaks to you. Art is subjective. I feel about the revelation the way I do, at least for the time being, but if you’re getting something out of the story beat that I’m not, I think that’s great. Maybe this particular part of the story is just not for me. And that’s OK.

    I do think, personally, that this is a turn of the story that comes somewhat out of nowhere. I agree with you that Mark’s daddy issues didn’t have to obviously manifest, but I don’t think father figures in his campaigns were meaningfully *absent* either. And something not being in a story is not *automatically* meaningful, so I feel the progression is not necessarily well-crafted.

    The story is not over, so it’s very possible I’ll change my mind at a later time, perhaps even in a few strips. But this is where I’m at, for the moment.

    Which, I reiterate, is not to say you’re wrong. You’re looking at things from a perspective that I don’t share, possibly don’t get, and the fact that we’re reading the same story clearly in a very different way is pretty cool. I hope I don’t come across as if I think the story element doesn’t work for me, so it’s useless. If so, that’s not my intention. I’m bad at words sometimes.

    Posted November 15th, 2019 at 7:50 pm
  36. Well, we clearly see where Mark got his nose from 🙂

    Posted November 16th, 2019 at 1:10 pm
  37. DocMcConvoy Says:

    Well… can’t say I didn’t see that that coming.

    At least, it was hinted even from the start. Take a look at the very first strip, panel three, ind the background, the pinboard, two medals, most likely for some sports competition. Important enough for him to hang them there.
    Also, anyone remembering his date with Ravenia at the minigolf place? when he told her his dad was sorta into sports (to use an euphemism) and he had “lessons” as a kid?

    Also, at least to me, some things now make a lot more sense to me. For example, Mark living with a guy he nearly knows nothing about, even if that dude seemed quite into console gaming? Why would someone do that, if not for escaping from home and not being able to get in touch with his roommate, because he is not able to actually trust another person, so he doesn’t open up to him, even if they have common interests?

    Thats a heavy issue there.

    And then the way he is with Jess. Since he sincerly loves her, he tries to explain it to her, she laughs it off, ridicules him. His reaction: Tell her nothing and mask himself with “being a mundane” but inevitably pushing her away. Well, you reject what rejects you, but his giving up quite fast comes from his experiences with his father, believing she won’t accept it. Even if she had once said, he should not care so much about what other say. That it is ok for him to like what he likes, as long as she doesn’t have to understand or like it too. Don’t know if she changed her viewpoint or started a habit of teasing him to form him after her will by constantly naggin’, but that doesnt matter. We all know how it ended. Or not, since he still is not through with it, as we can now see clear as day.

    I can’t say, my parents did any harm to my hobbies or the things I was interested in. They supported me when I had an interest, even if they did not understand it, as long as it did not look like it would do harm to me. On the other hand, my schoolmates were not very supportive. I was “different” and they tried to force me to follow the “normal way” by mobbing me. I felt isolated most of my teenage years and didn’t know where to turn, or why I was how I was. I only knew, I was not wrong, I stayed true to myself and found my own way of dealing with it. And then I came in touch with some other Geeks my age, and they introduced me to a world more wide and bright. Manga, Anime, P&P RPG als LARP. And it took some time, but at my third or fourth LARP, I reached a point where I felt “Hey… that’s the place were I feel I belong. These are the people of my kind. Here I can be my real self without fear of being shut out for who I am.” It is a feeling I still remember now even neraly twenty years later. And I think it is the feeling Mark had subconsciously when he came in touch more and more with his friends.

    I even have proof, since there was a strip showing him doing his job, living his “normal life” and being quite stressed with it, and then hugging Dustin in joy when it was time for another gaming session. Well, he did not accept it in his mind, and seeing his emotional blocks now I can understand that. But he had the feeling in him, and so he spent more and more time with his friends. But I guess living those two lives put a lot of strain on him.

    Someone mentioned a spring. A spring that will have more force when released after putting more pressure on it. I would go even further. If the pressure is applied long enough, it will change it’s original form and then be constantly smaller then it should be, even when no pressure is applied. But there it is reversed from realitiy, since with such an issue it is, that even if you are not under pressure, there still is strain from the unresolved issues. Well, I am not a native english speaker, so I have a hard time putting it into words, sorry if my point on this doesn’t come across.

    But still, I also think, there is still more behind it. Mark said “everybody says that”. We now know, “Jock-Dad” started it, but was he the only one? I already pointed out Jess, but who else? Schoolmates? Maybe the sports coaches his dad hired? Teachers? People at college/work? What about his Mother? Which role did she play in Marks life?

    I am already very curious to see where this will head from here, and how all his newfound knowledge about himself will work out.

    Posted November 17th, 2019 at 3:07 am
  38. Peter Steckley Says:

    I’m glad my parents were always pretty supportive of my hobbies, other than videogames, they always had a bit of a hate on for those.

    Posted November 18th, 2019 at 2:46 am
  39. NaSMaX Says:

    “There are no f**ked up kids, just f**ked parents making kids f**ked up”
    – my own father.

    Posted November 18th, 2019 at 10:49 am
  40. Fabfunk von Cronenberg Says:

    I’m pretty lucky… my mom actually bought me my first D & D box set and a few of the books, back around ’81 or so. Fortunately she never bought into the D & D = Satanism nonsense that was permeating the news. My dad was involved with his own thing (model railroading) and pretty much didn’t care what I did, as long as I didn’t get arrested.

    Posted November 19th, 2019 at 2:35 am
  41. Fragtasticator Says:

    Ah, Mark. I can relate. I love my Dad, don’t get me wrong, but boy did he screw up raising me at times.

    He still boasts about the time he put me on the street corner in our neighborhood with a “child for sale” sign as a high point.

    He remains convinced that there was nothing wrong with bowling a cricket ball (very hard object) at an 7 or 8 year old’s head, and wonders why I had little or no interest in sports.

    I got more whuppings than I care to remember – to be fair, I probably deserved more than I got, as I was a rebellious little shit – and my sister was definitely the favored child, as might made right (she got to pick what was on TV by right of being bigger and stronger) straight up until the moment I got bigger than her, at which point it was all “Boys shouldn’t hit girls, they should be nice to them”.

    The one that really lingers, however, is the time he started burning all of my sister and I’s comic books (she didn’t care) to get a confession as to who put ink all over the walls – I falsely confessed to make the horror stop, he burned it all anyway as “punishment”. Sister finally came clean about that one last year.

    The time he nearly cut my thumb off with a carving knife in an attempt to discipline me barely even registers, in terms of emotional damage, probably because it was just a ‘near miss’.

    (Sigh).

    On the plus side, though, I’m sane(ish), not addicted to anything, not in jail, and a relatively productive member of society so I guess it’s all well that ends well, right?

    Posted November 19th, 2019 at 9:00 am
  42. Ari Says:

    Someone once told my daughter, when she was in high school, 25ish years ago, that she was weird. She looked him straight in the face and said thank you. I was ever so proud.

    Embrace who you are!

    Posted November 19th, 2019 at 11:58 pm
  43. Kat Says:

    As someone whose had various problems with both her parents and both sets of parents (Mom divorced when I was 1 and a half, remarried before I was 6. Dad remarried later, around when I was 13), I get this. It’s important to remember that Sable does have a point. No matter what has happened to you, what you’ve experienced, you are still responsible for your own choices.

    That being said, parents can have a very lasting and subtle influence on us that we might not see for years.

    Posted November 20th, 2019 at 7:32 am
  44. Gene Wirchenko Says:

    Ari, I have done that, too. Such people get very confused. Good for them!

    Posted November 20th, 2019 at 9:12 pm
  45. GamerLEN Says:

    OOF. Okay, yeah, I get this. I totally get this.

    Been there, done that, wore the teeshirt, considered the patricide. Yeah, I can totally understand where Mark is coming from here.

    I’ve known some good fathers in my time, my own father was not among their number. I haven’t seen the man since I was fifteen and I’d be quite happy never seeing him again.

    Posted November 22nd, 2019 at 2:29 am
  46. Grampybone Says:

    I think a lot of what happened is the result of YEARS of hiding who he was, what he enjoyed (and what he didn’t) and quite possibly even his own sexuality. This is years of repressed anger and frustration that has finally come to a boil. But as HousePet said; This is but the beginning.

    Posted November 22nd, 2019 at 2:36 pm
  47. There are no words to show my appreciation!

    Posted November 25th, 2019 at 4:34 am
  48. theundermole Says:

    Ah, good ol’ Pops, always trying to look out for his kid. Don’t want them to grow up weird, right? Gotta make sure that they’re tough, and into sports, and have a military buzz cut cause you don’t want them to turn into a faggot, right? Nobody wants a son that likes books or videogames more than baseball or football, right?

    @Sable: I genuinely think you’re severely underestimating the potential end result of a verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive parent can have on a kid. My stepdad conditioned me before I could barely ride a bike so well that I was desperate to seek his approval. He told me to do something? I would immediately jump to it. I was his perfect little soldier, and since he was enough of a fuck up to not qualify for military service, guess who he brought to the recruiters when he was 16 and still convinced that dear old dad knew what’s best so why even think for myself? I was halfway through basic and getting screamed at by a drill sergeant that ‘we were all here willingly, and that nobody forced us to sign our contracts’ before I realized that I never actually agreed or wanted to join.

    That moment of clarity while on the verge of passing out in 100 degree weather with 90% humidity fucked me up so badly that I was a barely functioning alcoholic and was suicidal before I turned twenty-one. Only thing that helped me get through all that without quitting one way or another was one of the only good things my stepdad left me with: all things must end, especially the bad. If it weren’t for the fact that internalizing my emotions and keeping a tight lid on them in the presence of others was quite literally beaten into, everything that Mark did would have looked like a freaking hissy fit.

    Do I understand where he’s coming from, if not the specifics at least the broad strokes? Yes
    But do I still think that Mark is an idiot for being stupid enough to take his anger out on his friends and people who don’t deserve it? Also yes. Especially Ravenia. Mark wasn’t emotionally mature (or plain ready) to be in a polyamorous relationship, and while a rebound might do wonders for your self esteem, he really shouldn’t have ever put himself in that kind of position in the first place.

    Posted November 28th, 2019 at 1:52 am