My dad was a physically and emotionally unavailable, aggressive bully who's patriarchal reign tolerated no male ego expression within its dominion other than his very own vicious brand of toxic masculinity!
Little surprise, then, that his sissy-faggot son would be irresistibly drawn to exist in a world where men might instead be gentle, loving and caring towards each other....
As soon as I was able to thrust myself away from his oppressive gravitational field, I was on a quest to find an affirming relationship with an older man. Could this, at last become, for me, a source of nurturing father-son intimacy?
At the tender age of 20, I finally summoned up the courage to acknowledge my queerness, which took the form of a brief relationship with Jimmy. He was an economist, in his 40s who was established in a proper job (a board member at British Rail). An out-and-out-gay-man, he also owned a gay bookshop and ran a support group for gay men who were too scared to come out of their closets- you can probably guess how we met!
His amazingly proportioned phallus launched me into a size-queen career on the glittery 1980s gay club scene in London where I was able to repetitively and compulsively (if only transiently) satisfy my craving for nurturing daddy masculinity by introjecting it- in the form of a regular helping of big fat dick!
It took me decades of repeating this compulsion to realise how ultimately emotionally unsustainable it felt. This pattern of behaviour was failing to meet my desire for real intimacy.
One day I read somewhere that the most successful and effective men consistently reported close and happy relationships with their fathers. Not having had this, I felt lacking, deficient and somehow irreparably broken. Then, in my 40s, as a counsellor, I learned that messy grief reactions were most likely to occur, not in those with fabulous relationships with their parents but rather, in individuals who had been in conflict with them.
It occurred to me that my tyrannical father had already messed me up once in his lifetime- I was buggered if he was going to mess me up again as a consequence of his death!
The question was, could I take my anger and resentment at his inadequacy as a nurturing man and apply some compassion instead?
Thankfully the answer was yes! In the ten years or so before he died, I was able to visit and revisit the complexity of why he was how he was and, eventually, found a way to forgive him. Now, at the grand age of 58, 4 years after his passing, I'm just starting to locate and dismantle my internalised misandry... to recognise that I've been uncomfortable with my own masculinity simply because I've always identified it with its ubiquitous toxic forms. So my latest self-improvement project is to celebrate my internal paternal nurturing phallus.
Long and proudly may it stand erect!
Joyfully may it ejaculate its nourishing seed!