In a small one-bedroom apartment, I usually sleep in the same bed as my mom. One of my fears is that I'm just another pathetic loser who lacked a strong father figure. Is it because of the father I never had that I look for "father figures" in all the wrong places? Is it because I never had my father's love that I feel like I need attention, friendship, solace, intimacy, salvation, and redemption from men, yet ultimately feel like I never really get any of that, or that it was always missing from the beginning? Am I still desperate to trust a man or men who can fill the void you left because you were never there for me?
Because of my biological father, I grew up without a strong, stable father figure. A thirst for structure and discipline derived from its absence is often worse than a rational taste for order built on the foundation of having a good father. The fatherless include the young men who yearn to be part of something bigger than themselves, and out of alienation and desperation, end up joining gangs or other collectivist groups or cults, and sometimes end up in prison or dead. These are tragedies. (Although a lot of these men were fatherless, the ones who had fathers probably had fathers who were absent, neglectful, and/or abusive.)
Because of you, I lack confidence in myself as a man. Being able to stand tall and proud of myself doesn't come easily to me at all. I'm currently on Day 23 of NoFap, and maybe that's helped a little bit, although I have to admit I'm aching to relapse; literally aching, since I have chronic pelvic pain syndrome (and/or maybe hard flaccid??). The pain fluctuates in intensity (I've been dealing with a flare-up recently), and it's been an issue in my life since I was seventeen years old.
I did have a (somewhat absent) father figure from the ages of 8-18, and his name was Afonso (not his real name), and he was my mother's on-and-off boyfriend. He thought masturbation was bad and said he didn't do it. I vaguely remember reading an illustrated book with pictures of naked ancient Greek men running or taking part in the Olympics or something, and Afonso said that they were gay.
I don't remember the exact word he used, but years later (when I was around 17 or 18) he told me that "yoga is for f*****s." As I'm writing this paragraph, I'm currently on Day 25 of NoFap, and thankfully my chronic pain flare-up has subsided significantly. I realize now that my mother's ex-boyfriend, Afonso, was not wrong about masturbation. When I was seventeen, he found out that I masurbated to (gay) pictures and pornography online (something I started doing when I was around fifteen years old and which I now believe had a detrimental effect on me). Afonso would later tell me that I can use the power of my mind to get rid of my addictions (e.g. to sugar and porn).
Although he sometimes had good advice to offer, he developed his own addictions (e.g. gambling). He introduced my mother to casinos when I was around nine years old, and they both became gambling addicts for several years. They would sometimes leave me alone in a bookstore or car, and although I remember having only one bad experience because of that, I sometimes still feel burdened by loneliness and sadness originating from those years. (Interesting sidenote: Afonso also knew a woman who did witchcraft and black magic).
For better or worse, I've never been very physically strong or muscle-bound, and much less so when I was twelve years old. At that time, Afonso asked me to assist him with trying to lift and carry a heavy armchair, and although I tried to help him lift it, I wasn't able to. He got angry with me and I thought I heard him call me a "f****t," although after I told my mother about it, he claimed he actually said "forget about it" (like in a New York accent or something). In front of me and my mother, he aso said, "So is it my fault if he's gay?" Afonso did have traditionally conservative and religious views regarding homosexuality (especially male homosexuality), but his views regarding race, Obama, war, etc. were more liberal or center-left. We once went to a hairdresser to give me a haircut, and he complained to the hairdresser about the Pride parade, verbally flirting with homophobic terrorism in his statement which she agreed with. Sometimes I've considered the possibility that less straight-identified homophobia would be provoked if parades and activism were less ostentatious, sexualized, or less deliberately provocative to traditional mores. This may be a controversial opinion, but recent events have proven that liberals (both capitalist and socialist) don't always prevail over conservatives (capitalist or socialist). Making peace with one's "enemies" is better than a neverending war.
Then again, perhaps on some fundamental level, I'm wrong about almost everything. Maybe I'm wrong because in instance after instance, instead of learning to see karma, cause and effect, and synchronicity, I chose to see myself as a victim, or even as someone entitled and justified. I haven't been lucid enough in waking life to really hear and recognize the warnings and signs that the universe provides.