Hi Papa Bear,
I'm Inu, I've seen the ad for 'Ask Papa Bear' lots of times but never had a chance to take a look, I suppose I could use a bit of advice, that is if your willing to offer some?
I Suppose my question would be.. I'm not sure if I should even keep looking for a mate, or anything worth getting close to.. Should I even bother attempting to stay in the field and find that special someone? I've had some pretty bad relationships in the past, the very first boyfriend I ever had I was a Freshman in High School, that is where I originally game out to being gay to everyone. because basically my BF at the time forced me to come out. Anyway we broke up mainly because he moved, but he had introduced me to someone else who was his ex. well we somewhat hit it off.. then about a year later I found out he wanted to have a "break" away from relationships and anything sexual, which was fine and dandy for me... but I found out a few days later he was dating someone else behind my back so I severed any ties I had left with him. Then I found someone online that I fell head over heals with. I've known him for a long time 7+ years since I first met him on Furcadia back when it was still somewhat new, it wasn't until that my 2nd bf broke up wit me that I asked him t be my mate, I figured an online relationship wouldn't hurt me as much if we broke up later on for some weird reason.
Well.. I was wrong it did hurt because I was Torn between him who at the time I was still with, and someone else I met IRL... Though back in the past we both made a promise to each other saying that if we found someone In real Life that we could date them considering it would be hard to meet up together since we both lived on separate sides of the US. Anyway well I broke up with him (lets call him Mike) for this guy I met IRL (lets call him James). Well... at first Mike took it well... then later on it took its toll on him.. to the point where he almost committed suicide... and I showed no remorse to him because at the time he was extremely rude towards me and James, which of course was understandable but it got to the point of Threatening and so I severed ties with my friend Mike of 7 year friendship because of this...
Well about a year later James and I Broke up because the sexual activities between up started to diminish, and he didn't like it. so he found another play buddy which I knew about and I was okay with it for a while to where it got to the point where he was bragging about everything they did together... Suffice to say.. he left me for this other guy and started doing his drugs and cutting himself again (I forgot to mention, before James and I started dating.. he was somewhat self destructive and I had stopped him by showing him love.) Well like I said once we broke up he started doing it again and well we stopped talking... I tried going back to mike, mainly for forgiveness due to the fact I had ignored him for over a year especially when he tried committing suicide.
while I was gone, he had found solace in someone else, which I understood as well and I was not trying to break them up.. I was happy he found someone. But this guy was controlling his life.. he always demanded Mike to not speak to me and if he did he would delete anything associated with me from his accounts (he had control of all of Mikes accounts even the game he and I played for years together..) and Mike told me that he would let him too. well I took it somewhat hard because.. well I guess I deserved it for treating him bad... but it didn't seem right... he was keeping me from my childhood friend who I met when I was 14
Anyway this is long and convoluted... and I'm sorry if I'm confusing you.... but this whole story brings me to the question... I've had bad relationships does to bad choices I've made.. and I admit it... but I've tried looking for someone else but its hard and I'm starting to give up. I feel like I should just wait and see if some cute fox falls into my lap or something..
I will also say that, I love cuddling and stuff but it gets to the point for me that if I have it all the time I get bored of it... and I get cranky... there's no excitement (and by excitement I'm also talking sexual stuff as well)in seeing the person I’m with when he’s there all the time does that make me a horrible person as well? I dunno... I just sometimes feel like I had a father figure IRL who would come up to me and hold me telling me everything is okay.. I no longer have family and I moved out of my house when I was 20 when my mom passed away.. I've been living with friends till I finally got my own place. I'm a survivor.. I'll get passed these road blocks.. but like I said... nothing beats loving family to hug and hold you telling you everything will be alright.... *sighs and cries a bit*
I'm sorry papa... all dominant male figures in my life seem to avoid me... so ill leave you alone and thanks for listening I suppose I've needed to get this off my chest for a while...
* * *
Catharsis can be a therapeutic thing. Sometimes we just need to get it all off our furry chests. I’ve received a number of letters from readers who just want to vent (they don’t tend to be posted on my website). Now that you have vented your frustrations, allow me a brief word of advice or two.
Reading over your letter a couple times does give me a headache, honestly. I’ve seen less drama in an episode of “Dallas.” So, okay, we have “Mike,” a guy who tries to kill himself and later gets into a relationship with a control freak, and then we have “James,” a drug addict who is into cutting himself. Neither one of these guys sounds very emotionally stable, to say the least. Not to mention the other guy who says he wants to take a break from relationships only to then get caught with another guy, making him an obvious liar; there’s also your first boyfriend who forces you to come out of the closet even though you might not have been ready for it at the time.
The problem isn’t that there aren’t guys out there in the world for you; the problem is you’re making some pretty bad judgments in character. This makes me wonder what your criteria are for finding a boyfriend. If they are purely physical in nature, then that would go a long way toward explaining why your boyfriends tend to be, well, less than ideal when it comes to personality.
You need to take a long look at why you pick the people you do to be your boyfriend. What is motivating you? Do you go out with the first guy who says “yes” to your overtures for partnership? If so, you should be more discriminating. Look for someone who shares your values; someone who doesn’t do drugs, who doesn’t lie and cheat, who has enough self-respect not to do himself harm, someone who actually cares about you, too, and wants to have an equal partnership where both parties benefit from and love each other.
Until now, you’ve been picking at the low-hanging fruit, the stuff that comes off in your paw when you tug at it but makes a mess. Get a ladder and make a little effort to find that perfectly ripened citrus at the top of the tree, glistening in the sunlight.
Don’t give up on dating. Instead, redouble your efforts to find someone worthy of the time it takes to create a great relationship.
Hello, as you can tell my name is Mai Tsukino. As of now I've been going through a really rough patch in my life and I cannot seem to shake it. I was hoping maybe you could give me some advice as to better handle my problem.
Very recently I had broken up with my ex-mate, to which was a smart idea as he was very controlling and lived in a different country than I; but not even shortly after the break up, I found someone else. He has been very kind and has treated me well and does all he can to make me happy, which has been a great help, but yet a hindrance as well. Let me explain it a little bit better.
I was living with my grandparents, both of which are strong Christians and are good people, but they also try and force their beliefs onto me. I am not very religious, not to say I don't believe there is something out there, I just do not believe in God as they do. I respect everyone's beliefs, but my grandmother, Gram, believes I do not OR she believes I'm her Christian granddaughter. I'm not quite sure which, but I'm leaning more towards the Christian granddaughter.
That's part of what caused this huge problem.
Gram heard about my break up and she was thrilled, mainly as she did not like my ex-mate and his language, not that I can blame her too much. But she also said she liked it because she believed I would not get pregnant over the relationship. So in some aspects I understand what she means, but yet I'm so very confused. I have just learned to go with it in all honesty. However, once Gram learned of my new mate she seemed extremely happy. Her eyes had lit up, she seemed to be in a MUCH happier state.
After I had ended classes, as I'm in college, he and I went to my grandparents' place to meet them. I wanted to introduce him and such so that way Gram could get to know him a bit better. We went to dinner and he talked about himself. I did not know if it was good or bad, but not even a few days later I had helped him.
My mate is not in the best of conditions with money. His family is in very low income and sometimes cannot afford certain things, such as food or gas for him to get to class. That said, I had done something EXTREMELY stupid on my part. The car he was in had ran out of gas and his mother asked me to push their car with my grandmother's car. I stupidly agreed and that was my biggest mistake yet. He did get to class on time, but I also got into trouble for pushing the car with the car I was driving.
Nothing was damaged, but it was a dumb mistake. After I got the car to a gas station, which was just down the road a little ways, I gave them $16 USD to put in the car. Once Gram found out she through a HUGE fit about it. She said that they were taking advantage of me and that they should have had the money in the first place.
That was NOT the reaction I was hoping for. I say that as Gram runs a Food Pantry, that is for those who need food and cannot afford it. She also taught me to help others in need and do what you can. I thought she would be proud of me for HELPING. I do understand that pushing their car was stupid. I still acknowledge it and still feel horrible for it, and it has been at least 2 months since it happened.
Now the big problem has arisen. Gram had insulted my mate and his family almost every night after that incident. She called them filthy, poor, and manipulative. I had become very upset and depressed, almost like when I was with my ex-mate. I would cry for hours because it hurt when she insulted him. It's because I feel connected to him, more than I have with any other person in my life. I feel as though I'm being insulted as well for liking him. It hurts because I don't want anyone to hurt him.
Soon Gram had asked me a question after I had stayed at his place for 4 days. "Are you being slutty?" I looked at her and snapped, I don't remember fully what I said, but I believe it was something along the lines of, "Thanks for calling me a slut!"
It did not help that I had to go to class when she asked me that, because I was crying and wanted to just kill myself. It was horrible because she continued to bother me about things similar to that. Then one night, just before I was going to visit my mate for a week, Gram was talking with me. She called him dirty, poor, and manipulative once again, along with his family. I told her that they weren't and such, but she would not hear it. I started to cry again, and just as she left she said something along the lines of, "Fine! Go get pregnant!"
After that I felt betrayed. I was crying and curled up in the chair I was in. I could not help but wish to die. All I could feel was emptiness and loneliness. I was crying so much that I almost committed suicide. I stopped because I knew that it was taking the easy way out and that it would hurt my mate if I did.
By now I had stayed with my mate and his family. Gram was calling me and such, getting on my nerves because she continued to view them as evil. Then one night at exactly 11:38 PM she called me. She sounded like she was crying, but yet it sounded so fake.
"Are you okay?! Are they holding you against your will?!"
I paused, trying to keep composure as it almost made me laugh.
I told her they weren't and that it was 11:30 at night and that I was going to bed. I then hung up on her and went to bed.
Since then I felt that she just wanted to control how I lived. I say that as I was spoiled rotten. She would wait on me and such, to which now I realize was completely selfish of me. However, I also felt that it was... Right in a way. She is my grandmother, someone I would visit as a little girl. She'd do that for me every day. It was sort of programmed in my head, and I realize that now.
Now I have decided to move in with my mate. It has been rough, but yet I feel like it was right. Gram was making me cry every night about how she hated my mate and his family. I just had no home to go to that did not feel... Like I was being bullied.
Since moving in with my mate, I've learned to be more self reliant. I'm still selfish and do want to be waited on, but I'm growing up more. I help do dishes, I help clean up, I help watch the animals. And when we have to watch three little girls, to which I'd rather not go into full detail about, I help.
But I'm also feeling like I'm a bit of a slave too. It's different because I've been helping pay for the diapers when the girls are there, I help get milk. I do a LOT of the shopping and I'm not even able to have ALL my money. It's because Gram decided that since I was making an irrational move in seeing my mate she'd take all my savings.
She believes that I'd spend it on wasteful things. I explained to her that I wasn't and that the money was going for a car, to which we planned. I had no other plans so her taking all that money felt wrong and I don't believe she had, let alone has, the right to be doing that to me. Though, she has and I'm only left with a little bit of my money to pay for rent that I have for living with my mate.
Now my big question is, has all of this happened to tell me that I've done something wrong? I ask because I feel that I've done a LOT and haven't gotten much in return. I do love being with my mate, but I also feel like... I'm being forced into things and I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm just working and not going to get things back. I would like to know your opinion because I'm starting to doubt a lot of people, even myself.
PS: Sorry for the long question.
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I don’t have Gram’s side of the story, but from what you are saying here she is guilty of three things: 1) trying to control your life with threats (taking away promised savings), 2) having a double standard about helping others (she runs a food pantry yet is very condescending about the poor), and 3) calling you a slut. None of these is very flattering toward her character, unfortunately, and the name calling is particularly offensive. She clearly doesn’t trust your ability to make wise decisions for yourself. This is not to say she doesn’t love you; I’m sure she does. However, some people have funny notions about what love is. Your Gram is being overprotective, and her fears about your safety are causing her to react in a bad way.
As for you, it sounds like you have learned to be a giving and kind person. I understand, too, that in the past you enjoyed being taken care of by your Gram and that you might feel a bit miffed that you are doing a lot for your boyfriend now and not getting much help back. These are natural emotions. I’ve felt them myself at times. What you need to do is decide for yourself whether or not your love for your mate trumps any financial and other difficulties your relationship demands of you. There are many people out there who lead financially stable and comfortable relationships but who feel unloved. Usually, when you ask them, they would rather have someone who loves them and have little money to spare than to have lots of money and feel utterly alone and unloved. Not always the case, but a lot of the time it is.
You need to make that decision. How much do you love this mate of yours? Does he make you feel happy? Does he make you feel loved in return? Or, do you think he is just taking advantage of you and making you help around the house and assist with finances?
Either way, that is for you to determine, not your Gram. I think you are old enough to find your own path, and she is not helping. You need to talk to her and tell her, without prevarication, how she has made you feel (and without shouting) and that what she has been doing has been damaging your relationship. Tell her you know she loves you and you love her, but she is hurting you. Does she really wish to hurt you? She might not be aware of what she is doing.
To summarize this answer, no, you haven’t done anything wrong. You just need to get your bearings and figure out better where you stand, both with your Gram and with your mate.
Let me know how it goes. Good luck!
Dear Papa bear,
I got married a little over a year ago to a wonderful, amazing and supportive husband. He is all I ever asked for, and more. When we first got together we were both employed at Wendy's, and I was living out of my van. We decided to pack up and move to my mom's house, three hundred miles north. There we both suffered six months of unemployment, until he finally signed up for MBUSI, a training/internship program at Mercedes Benz/Shelton State Uni. I also found a job. We were pretty well off for about a year. The program is only two years long and when you finish you get a maintenance position at $14.50 an hour, and we planned on it for our future.
Unfortunately, a little over a year into the program, our cars began falling apart, and my drug addict mother stole money from us. This ended in us abruptly moving back down south to live with HIS parents. It's pretty nice here, his grandparents fixed up our car, and I've been working as a full time artist from home. Here is where the problem starts.
My husband is not pulling his weight. At. All. I work from six to eight hours a day, destroying my wrists, back and eyes trying to pay our bills. All I ask of him is that he put in applications, and keep the house clean. Easy, right? Well, it's been two months and he has only put in four job applications, and does not clean unless physically forced to do so. He whines and complains about doing the dishes, cleaning the toilet, doing laundry, etc. And when he DOES put in an application or clean our room, he acts like it's the best thing he's ever done, and wants praise and all that.
So he sits around all day, playing video games and hanging out with his friend, when he could be out looking for a job. Or cleaning this filthy house.
And he has the nerve to call ME lazy.
I've tried begging, pleading, screaming, reasoning, crying, sweetly asking, threatening, talking, and everything else. He will agree with me, we will cry and make up, and then he will put in one application, do a dish or two, and then go right back to his old habits.
Frankly, I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I'm fed up, I can't take it anymore. I have a bulging disc in my spine, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, hypersomnia, and hypothyroidism, I hurt all the time, I am worn to the bone. He's a frikken college grad, excellent physical condition, no disorders, with a year of machining tech under his belt, six years of work experience, and he won't. do. anything.
It has come to the point where I am considering leaving him. I don't want to. I love him. He is the light of my life. But I think it is the only way to make him see how much he is hurting me, and what life would be like without my income and support.
And yes, we communicate very well, and I have told him everything I've told you. And it has had no effect.
I am so lost and confused.
* * *
The male psyche can be a mystery to the female and vice versa. This is a case in point. As a male, I think I might be able to shed a little light on this, or at least try.
In the beginning of your relationship, you were equals, both working at Wendy’s. Then, your husband finished his training and got a good job, making him the top dollar earner. Men like this. They like to feel like the bread winner and that they are taking care of their spouses and leading the way to a stable and happy home.
Then everything reversed. The car situation happened and his mother screwed you over. Suddenly, you both are depending on your family and you are the top bread winner while he has been relegated to “womanly” duties of cleaning the house. Now, I know that sounds chauvinistic—and it is—but it is still how the psyche of the male often works.
My suspicion is that your husband is feeling like “less of a man” because you are in charge, really, making money while he is told to clean up the house. He feels powerless, and when one feels powerless it is really really difficult to get motivated—hence, his struggle to apply for work. The fact that you are in pain from your various ills only exacerbates his guilt and makes him feel more like a loser. It is very easy when this happens to retreat into videogames or, worse, things like booze and drugs. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to have happened, yet.
So, what can you do? Yelling doesn’t work. Cajoling. Begging. Asking sweetly. None of that works, as you know. Why? Because however you approach it, you are taking the in-charge role and making him feel like he’s no longer an equal. You’re in charge; he’s to do as asked.
What he needs is an ego boost to feel like he is a man again. Now, I’m not sure what all is involved in your art business, but have you tried this? Ask him to be a partner in your business. Perhaps he can help with your website, taking orders, marketing, finding new clients. Although you are the artist, he can be an equal partner by being your business manager. Let him handle the money side and give you reports on how you are doing. As someone who is his own businessman, I can tell you that being an editor involves more than just editing; I have to handle all aspects of my business, and it would be a great thing for me if all I had to worry about was the editing process and have someone else handle my bills, finding clients, doing my website and so on. Don’t just ask him to do menial stuff like housework; ask him to be a partner in your business. He needs to share a little power in the relationship; to feel he has some respect from you, and believe me, respect is very important for the male ego.
Once he feels like a partner again and not second fiddle in the marriage, his self-respect will improve and this will improve his mood and make him feel he can take charge of his life again, including looking for jobs for which he is qualified.
I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes, and good luck with your business!
I'm feeling very bothered right now. As to why.......
In my local fur group there was this guy who I think talked the most in the group and had the snarkiest comments out of everyone. Anyway, I had no problem with this fur and I have to say I enjoyed hanging out with him.
Then in the last meet, I had to leave early and he posted a snarky comment about those that left early that I mistook to implying I was lying about my excuse to leave (I basically mentioned my depression was coming on). Anyway, he told me he didn't mean it that way and I apologized immediately. Then he became rather belligerent and rude, resulting in cursing and such. Then he left the group in a huff after giving a final "f*** you" to me and blaming his leaving on me in the main chat the group has.
He came back today and immediately told me in private chat that we should just not talk to each other if we are to get along. I didn't quite understand why and I asked why as politely as I could and never got a response, then he began posting in the main chat every few seconds and I got a little scared to post things because I didn't want to upset him or anything.
So I talked to one of the mods (or admins/person that helps run the place) and she went and put up a warning on the main chat stating that there is no profanity, drama should be kept in private conversations and it is not tolerated to tell someone not to talk. I got a list of angry responses from him then basically asking if I was "serious" and that I needed to "grow up" (which is kind of ironic considering I'm older by a month) along with more profanities.
I told the mod and sent her a screen cap of the conversation, and apparently he lied to her about something and he left the group then, but not before sending me several messages calling me a "punk a** b****" and threatening to punch me in the face the next time he sees me.
I know it's all talk and everything, but I'm getting really freaked out and I'm shaken up pretty badly. I'm scared to go to the next meet with the group since he knows where and when it is and that I travel there by myself. Is that an irrational fear or should I make sure to bring a friend or be in close contact with an admin or someone while going to the meet? Maybe I should bring some mace just in case?
I'm also bothered that all this erupted over that one tiny miscommunication where I apologized immediately after and tried to be nothing but polite afterwards. He probably was going through some other stuff with other people as well (which the admin confirmed vaguely, but I'm not going to push it or anything). However, that shouldn't be an excuse.
Now I'm mainly just scared that he's going to start spreading rumors about me online or something along those lines. I still have the conversation log so I can prove him wrong if he lies again, but I don't want to do that at all.
How do I get out of this and how do I clear my head? I'm scared now for no real reason or do I have a reason? I haven't had any other problems in the group and I know I have support from friends in there, but it's still bothering me a lot.
What would you do in this position, Papabear? How would you get out of it?
* * *
Wow, sounds like this guy is the Queen of Drama. He obviously has some serious anger issues and is taking them out on you (would not be surprised if his home life stinks, but that’s not your problem). You are extremely smart to keep those written records of your conversations in which he is threatening you, and if there are more such messages from this derp, save them as well.
The next thing I would do, if you haven’t already done so, is send him an email informing him that you are keeping all these records and, if he continues to threaten you, you will show them to your local authorities; furthermore, if he makes any physical threats, you will contact an attorney and get a restraining order against him. This might sound extreme, but usually just the threat of contacting police or an attorney will shut a bully up.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, people such as this guy are full of crap. They make big threats and act like tough guys, but on the inside they are big fat cowards. Such is the personality of the bully. I would not be so overly concerned as to refrain from going to meets. Do not allow this guy to affect how you lead your life and how you socialize with furiends because then he has beaten you. If it makes you more comfortable, see if you can go to the meet with another friend and carpool or however you get there, but don’t let him get to you so much that you stop doing what you like to do.
The best way to deal with a bully is to stand up for yourself and don’t be a weenie. Bullies cower from people who face them. They are pussies at heart (pardon my French, but I have no tolerance for bullies). So, don’t be afraid and you will be just fine. Keep playing it smart as you have been, though, just to be certain.
I am 20 years old and have been a furry for 10 years. Anyway I have a friend who has been a furry for a long time, He's an amazing artist and we talk a lot almost everyday. I really love and care for him and he is too nice to say anything but Im afraid I'm hyping this relationship too much. He has this thing with his fursona's that he doesn't bottom ... but a few days ago I saw a pic of just that, he gave someone permission. I would never do that because I know how he feels. I just thought we were close. I mean he is really my hero he has really helped me a lot. I just don't know what to do. He's doing a pic for me right now with his fursona and mine, however I told him to do what he wants... meaning he picks what it will look like and what they are doing.. Anyway What should I do? (ps we live really far away)
* * *
I appreciate that you care for this artist and that you’ve had some bonding. Sometimes these long-distance things can really work out, if not as love relationships then at least as very special friendships, as has happened to me.
But I think that you are correct when you say you are “hyping this relationship too much.” In this relationship, we are talking about two people who have never physically met and one of these people is upset about a drawing. It’s not like he cheated on you and you caught him in bed yiffing another lover. This is, and indulge me the reiteration, a drawing!
So, what went amiss here? It could be simple miscommunication—something that is easy to do in person, and even moreso online; it could be that something caused him to change his mind about drawing his fursona in this way and he just didn’t bother or forgot to tell you.
In short, you are making a big deal over nothing. There is nothing in this little incident that should cause you grief or make you lose any sleep. Certainly, it is not worth causing any drama.
Calm down and continue your relationship with this furry, who seems like a pretty cool person overall.
Dear Papa Bear,
I have been getting bullied because I’m a furry. He has been bullying me for about a year now. We finally got him to stop. My question is why are furries picked on? Is it because we are different?
* * *
In a word, yes, you have hit it on the muzzle. Human beings do not like people who are different from them. It makes them uncomfortable. And when they don’t understand someone who is different, they make fun of him or her, or they exclude the person, or they are violent to the person. It is not just furries. Humans find any excuse to hate others: you’re a different color, you’re a different religion, you come from a different culture, you speak a different language, you don’t dress the same, you’re gay, you’re a Democrat, you’re a Republican, you have red hair, you’re disabled, you don’t have enough money, you’re overweight, it doesn’t matter. Anything different will do.
When I was a cub, I was bullied a lot. It was because I was shy and quiet and unathletic. Also, apparently, because I committed a cardinal sin in Southern California: I didn’t tan. I’ve always been very pale and I was laughed at a lot for this.
This behavior against those who are different is instinctual; it is found in Nature as well. It goes back to the basics of mating behavior and preservation of a species. In Nature, it is actually a practical thing. For example, a red-tailed hawk will not mate with a bald eagle because, even though they are birds and the anatomy for mating would work, they are different species, and they recognize this because their plumage and other things about their appearance are different. This way, they will stay away from each other and not try to interbreed. Instead, a bald eagle will find another bald eagle and perpetuate the species. That’s kind of oversimplifying things, but you get the idea.
Even though all humans on the planet are Homo sapiens and are able to breed with each other, these prejudices remain. Instincts tell a white guy with English heredity that the black guy with curly hair and a broad nose is too different from him, and he becomes uneasy. Culture enters into it, too. The black guy who enjoys Hip Hop and wearing baggy pants thinks that the white guy who dances like he has a piece of doweling up his butt and likes Kenny G is bizarre (again, oversimplifying for effect here).
So, if this is true with such minor differences, imagine when a fursuiter (or even just a furry wearing a tail) walks into the room. Alarms go off in the “normal” or “mundane” person’s mind. He or she thinks, “What is WRONG with this person? Why are they acting so strangely and wearing such weird things?” Such reactions are born of ignorance.
The shame of it all is that furries do this, too. They all have their cliques, and I’ve been learning more and more about this for years now. A while back it was the whole “Burned Furs” idiocy in which a group of furs set themselves apart from others. Then there is the current “popufur” nonsense, the Brony bashing by some furs.... There are even divisions within divisions. For example, I’m led to understand that within the otherkin community, the elves stand apart in their corner, the fairies in another, and the dragons in another and so on.
We are all diminished when we isolate ourselves and don’t try to understand and empathize with others.
I wish furries everywhere could step back and look at the conflicts within the fandom in this way: as a furry, don’t you feel badly when mundanes make fun of you, exclude you, and harass you? So, why do you do it to other people in the fandom? When you tell Bronies that they don’t belong in the fandom, or you ignore a shy furry because she isn’t as popular as you are, aren’t you doing the same thing that others did to you to make you feel bad?
There are furries out there who set themselves up as the definers of what a furry is and seem to think that some other groups are “watering down” what furry is. This makes me laugh with a cynical chuckle because it reminds me of something J. K. Rowling wrote about extensively in her Harry Potter books: the fear and hatred and evil done by the “pure-blood” Deatheaters against the “mudbloods,” people with muggle (mundane) backgrounds who nevertheless are wizards. There are furries out there who think they know the difference, set themselves up as “better” than other furries, and the results are appalling.
Furries bashing furries, furries ignoring furries, furries excluding furries—it’s all just as bad as what we complain about mundanes doing, how we feel unfairly persecuted by mundanes. It’s sad that we are no better than them—at least, not at this time in our history—and unfairly persecute and are prejudiced against those who simply are looking to belong to our community.
How much healing a simple hug would accomplish ... a simple kind word of “You are welcome here, my furiend” is all most people want to hear. Is it so much to ask?
It is Papabear’s belief that we can evolve beyond this base animal instinct and become Enlightened and recognize that the similarities between us are greater than our differences. Indeed, many people HAVE reached this step, but they are far and away the minority of the species.
One reason I came to the fandom was to distance myself from the pettiness of human conflict—only to find that it is here, too. You cannot run away from it; you must face it. I am facing it now by founding the American Furry Association, an organization whose purpose is to bring furries together for their mutual benefit.
Zaneth, my apologies for using your question as a springboard to leap onto my soapbox, but you did give me the opportunity to try to talk to furries and human beings in general that their ridiculous squabbles are selfish, ignorant, destructive, and without ultimate purpose other than to cause harm and pain like what you have experienced from that bully.
So, I ask you, Zaneth, to take this bear’s paw and swear with me that you will not treat other people—furry and mundane alike—the same way that you were treated. One of the best things to come out of the Bible is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is, really, all you need to know to be a good person in this life. You know, now, what it is like to be a victim of hate. Do not perpetuate that circle of unkindness by hurting others because of your own pain. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."
Be kind, Zaneth.
Hey Papa Bear, I’m writing to you again since it’s been awhile since I asked for advice... [Papabear notes: please see his previous letter].
So I took your advice and told my mate. It didn't go over very well. He flipped out because apparently his last boyfriend was a furry and he screwed him over emotionally. I tried to explain that I’m not his ex, but he wouldn't hear any of it. He stormed out of the room and I haven't seen or heard from him again. That was five months ago. Soon after my parents relationship got worse due to my drunkard father. I don't even consider him my father at all, so I’m just going to call him john (not his real name) from now on. So john went off the deep end with his alcoholism and started being extremely emotionally and verbally abusive to the rest of my family, while becoming physically abusive to me. It got bad enough that my mom told him that if he didn't get help that she was going to divorce him, so he agreed to do so. He then chose some incredibly expensive mental institution out of state and insisted that he go there. So to do that we had to sell our house and move in with our grandparents. Luckily I get to live in the house by myself till the house sells, but I’ll get back to that. So anyways, we spend $50,000 sending him there and he then promptly gets kicked out for breaking the rules. Now were in debt and have to sell the house to pay it off. Luckily for me I’ve moved out like I said before. After the house sells, I have a room waiting for me at a friend’s house that I get really cheap rent on. But now I don’t know what to do. I feel so trapped, I wasn’t ready to move out on my own, but I knew that if I spent one more day around john I was going to do something drastic. And on top of that, I think I’m becoming depressed. I don’t talk to my friends anymore, and I don’t feel a desire to anymore. All I do is sleep, eat, work, pay bills, play video games, repeat. And now my mom’s all telling me "son, I worry for you, you can tell me anything. You know that right?" and it makes me want to come out to her so badly but I know she's just referring to my funked out state. My friends are all getting offended cuz' I don’t return their calls, and I just don’t care anymore. And Papa Bear, that scares me. I used to be known for my loving kindness and my loyalty to my friends, but now I just don’t care anymore, and I can’t seem to make myself care. Recently though I've met a local AB/DL Furry that has been talking to me. I hope that finally meeting my first AB/DL Furry in person can draw me out of this funk. If not, I don't know what else to do.
Please help me out here Papa Bear, I don't know who else to talk to. :(
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Papabear is saddened that your boyfriend took the news of your being a furry so badly. However, now you know that you could not be yourself around him, and if you can’t be 100% who you are around the one you love, then you need to find another mate. It is a hard lesson to learn. I have told my mate many things about myself that I have been unable to tell others, including my mother and my former spouse. It is that I am able to do this that I know he is the one for me and has repeatedly told me that he would never leave me no matter what. I believe him. I hope you find someone like that in your life.
Okay, deep breath. As for your father being, well, unstable, there is not much you can do about that. My question about the mental hospital incident would be this: he obviously didn’t spend much time there, so can’t you get some of that $50,000 back? Doesn’t seem right that they should keep all the money. Obviously it’s too late now, but the papers you signed when admitting him should have been looked at very carefully. Well, you can still look them over now, actually, and see what it says about a possibility for any refunds. Be that as it may, you are not legally responsible for all that money, but your parents are.
So, that drama forced you out on your own before you were ready for it; sorry to hear that. And I can certainly understand why that would make you depressed. One of the things depressed people often do is shut out their friends and family. Now that you are on your own, you shouldn’t have to fear as much coming out to your mother since she can’t kick you out of the house. Of course, you want to maintain a happy relationship with your mother. She might actually surprise you by accepting you as you are and genuinely wanting to help. However, since that didn’t go at all well with your boyfriend, I can see why you would want to be cautious about that. Perhaps, for now, it is better not to tell her. You can certainly talk to her about the stress your father has caused both of you, however, and try to support each other with that crisis.
Now is not the time to shut down from your friends. It is very easy to fall into that hole and not crawl out of it, and it is a dangerous hole. You need to start interacting with people again. Think of it kind of like exercise. When you haven’t been exercising in a long time, it is really hard to start jogging or biking or lifting weights again. But if you begin a little at a time, you can start getting in the habit of exercise. Same with your friends. You don’t have to jump immediately back into the friendly socialite you once were, but try this: beginning now, try making just one phone call to a friend, even for a couple minutes. Do that once a day. Then, try and go do something with one or more friends this weekend, even if you don’t think you want to. Go to a movie or just grab some cheese fries with them. Something small. I think that, once you make yourself interact with them again, you will find you still like it. Also, of course, this AB/DL friend of yours could be a key to getting you out of your funk. It is always easier to be sociable with people who share your interests and beliefs. I hope that goes well.
I think, actually, you have found the solution yourself with this AB/DL fellow. I would pursue that, if I were you, and hope it goes well.
Well, a couple of days ago I went to the Tennessee Christian Teen Convention (TCTC). While I was there I made the choice to be baptised. My problem is the fact that I'm bisexual. Even my own mother says that I can't be a Christian. I'm extremely confused about what I need to do. I'm even suffering riddicule from some of the members in the church.
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I am not a Christian, but I know what a Christian is (having grown up in a Christian home). A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God sent His only Son to live as a man on this world and to be the Redeemer of Man’s sins so that anyone who believes in Him shall be saved.
Do you believe that? If so, then you are a Christian.
It doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, or have fallen in love with a turnip. If you believe in the above, you are a Christian.
Papabear personally does not consider bisexuality a sin or a fault, but even if you do, aren’t we all imperfect? Does not Christ forgive us of our sins and our flaws? I will guarantee you one thing: there is not a single person in your church, including your mother, who is without sin. There is not one person in your TCTC who is perfect.
I also believe, though I am not a Christian, that Christianity should be about love and acceptance, not hatred and exclusion. I have a very very dear friend named Motoko who is a very devout Presbyterian. When I told her that I was gay and that my marriage was ending, she loved me anyway. She is a Christian. Your mother can take a lesson from her example.
I know that there are a lot of Christians out there who are like my friend Motoko, but lately I seem to hear more and more about Christians who hate people, especially people in the LGBT community. They also seem to love guns a lot and hate Democrats. People like Pat Robertson make me ill. It makes me sad because Christianity is supposed to be a faith of love and hope, but the current leaders seem to think the opposite, including those in your family and community.
Tell your mother it doesn’t matter what she thinks. It only matters what Jesus thinks and you know in your heart that God loves you unconditionally.
Feel the love, hon.
And to my Christian readers, please chime in with a comment of support for Shadowrunn. Thank you.
I'm in a little bit of a pickle I guess. And I know no one but myself put me here.
Around few years ago I fell head over heels for my mate. At this same time said mate was getting into a relationship with their now married partner. I lived on the other side of the states so I was ok with being their online mate and their partner didn't seem to mind either. So all happy right?
Well I was asked to move out there and after I while I did. It had a rough start but seems to be doing ok now but my mate has told me more then once that they would like to leave their partner. I am very torn here. Their partner has become somewhat of a friend of mine but I also want my mate all to myself.
There is also an issue of a cub. I don't want to get in the middle of that or mess up any kind of family.
But when I’m asked if we could make it and take care of the cub on our own it makes my heart jump for joy but also scares the sh*t out of me. I've never wanted cubs and well....it's a sweet little thing but just not my cup of tea.
Plus it's kind of like holding a treat in front of my face. I don't think my mate will ever really leave their partner but at the same time they wont really let me go.
I'm at a loss of what to do and really want to be able to move on with my mate or....just on I guess?
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In your letter the part that pops out most to me as a warning is “I’ve never wanted cubs and ... it’s a sweet little thing but just not my cup of tea.” If you are going to be in a relationship with someone who has a cub and you don’t like cubs that is a big stop sign in Papabear’s book. Time to take a closer look at the situation....
Since the cub isn’t yours but, rather, your mate’s and your mate’s other partner (I wish I knew what genders y’all were, because this makes it difficult to write a reply—pronoun trouble), you will never really be able to go off into the sunset with your mate and the cub because the kid’s other parent deserves to be involved in the child’s life. Even if your mate does break it off with the other person, there is no way that tie can be broken without being extremely cruel to the child and its other parent. You aren’t really clear in your letter whether these two people are married, but if they are then the courts might have something to say about this, too—the whole child custody mess.
Then you also intimate that your mate might just sort of be leading you on; even though he (she?) has said they want to break it off, you don’t feel they actually will.
You have, as far as I can see here, two choices: 1) you can try and keep the current situation together because it sort of works in a weird way, and encourage your mate to work out whatever problems they are having; or 2) you can get out of the situation entirely and let this family try and make a go of it without you complicating the equation. The third option you seem to hope for is not workable. You are not going to go off with your mate and their cub and leave the other person out of the picture. It just won’t work. You might shift the dynamic more in your favor; that is, you and your mate being together with the other adult as kind of a third wheel, but those bonds can’t be broken entirely. This mate you love will never belong 100% to you.
Papabear suggests you talk to your mate and to their mate—who you say is a friend—and try to find out what is causing their relationship difficulties and try and help them work it all out. This is the right thing to do for them, for the cub, and for you. The four of you, in this way, may create an even stronger bond and become a closer family if you show yourself to be loving and giving and unselfishly work to help the other people in your life.
I hope that makes sense.
Dear Papa Bear,
If you cant tell by my name, I am a Pot smoker. I smoke with my husband from joints to bong hits to lungs. It helps me with my stress as I am a naturally anxious and nervous dragon and it makes for good therapy. We have many great times together but there is one problem...my mother does not have a clue that I smoke. I really want my mother to know what I am doing and that its not dangerous and that its in fact helping me. My mother was a soldier in the US army and is Pro federal all the way, from wanting to ban guns to wanting cannabis to remain illegal, saying that its bad and evil. She has these positions and would outright deny and ignore facts that oppose her ideals despite the obvious flaws in her logic. She already knows I support cannabis legalization, but ignores that fact openly. She remains under her rock not taking in new facts and information, has she truly been brainwashed and is there any way I can reach to her to understand? I'm afraid that if I tell her I smoke pot that she might disown me and never help me if I am in trouble in my life. I really want to be open with my cannabis experiences with her because there are many rich stories to tell but its frustrating that I cant.
Thank you for reading
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With someone who is that rigidly entrenched in their opinions, it would be extremely difficult to open up to them. Papabear appreciates your desire to be 100% honest with your mom about who you are, but there are times when it is just better not to do so. This is one of them.
Based on your letter, I believe that if you told your mother you smoked you would get a very negative reaction from her. She would probably tell you and your husband to stop immediately and, if you didn’t, I wouldn’t be surprised if she called authorities on you.
No, you are better off not telling her. If you think it is worthwhile, you can do your best to try and educate her about marijuana and see if she will change her mind, unexpectedly, but until she does you are best to keep silent on the matter and enjoy all the other aspects of your relationship with your mother that you do share.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.