My friend's fucked up story about her dad
And then a two-week break for me.
I’ve been publishing since I started, and I’m taking a two-week break. Subscriptions are paused. Which means that you will have two weeks added onto the end of your subscription. See you soon! Thanks for being my readers. I’ll be back I swear. people waiting for Ruthie T-shirts…they are coming soon!
I was talking to a friend the other day who told me when they were about ten their dad went to rehab because he was a bad alcoholic. I didn’t know your dad was an alcoholic, I said. Was it really fucked up? They said it was. “But rehab worked,” they said. “He stopped drinking." They didn’t sound too enthusiastic, because their dad is still hard to deal with. He’s twenty years into sobriety, and he’s still a dick.
Today I hung out with my friend again. They were reading me texts from their brother. His texts didn’t make a lot of sense because he wrote them when he was hammered.
He said some weird stuff about their parents. He sent a photo of a breed of dog they’d had as kids that they named after their dad and that their mom gave away. He also wrote “good job dad you made my sister gay.”
“What does that even mean?” I asked. I didn’t expect an answer but they gave me one. When they were little kids their dad would get wasted and show them porn. The porn watching was ostensibly for the brother’s benefit, their drunk dad would say things to him like “this is what you’re supposed to like, look at that, that’s how you do it, this is how to be a man” and - whatever. I actually don’t remember exactly what my friend said their dad told their brother about porn or what kind of wisdom he imparted and I don’t want to go back and ask, so that is just what I remember.
I thought about just saying “what is wrong with people” and ending the post. Then I found myself thinking about everyone I knew whose fathers did this and worse to them and how lucky I was that this didn’t happen to me but then I was like “I will sound like I am showing off,” and then I thought “imagine thinking you were showing off that your father never sexually assaulted or sexually abused you, how low is the bar.”
I hate thinking of my friend as a small child, their face like now but softer and more innocent, the television blinking across it. I wonder if they said anything, or laughed, or tried to pretend they didn’t mind. I feel now like I’m supposed to say I’m not against porn, which I think is another weird impulse, even though I’m not. I am glad I didn’t see it as a young child, it would have terrified me.
My friend said they didn’t feel rage at their dad about this anymore, because his dad had probably done the same thing to him. “I think some part of him just thought this was something he had to do, to show my brother how it was,” they said.
I am in awe all the great people I know who had to basically raise themselves.