I am not a furry, or homosexual, but my 17 year old son is. I accept him for who he is and we do not have any problems that I am aware of. I am writing to thank you for doing what you do. It breaks my heart to read about the issues these kids have to deal with and most of the time without the support that they should have. My family was raised to be Christian, the judge not lest ye be judged type. When my son came out about his orientation he was terrified by the stories that he heard online about being disowned and abandoned. Looking back now it was funny, he had been beating around the bush for 3 months. We all knew there was something bothering him but he wouldn't tell us. His grandmother had mentioned to me that she thought he might be gay and when he started acting up again I just came out and asked him. When he gasped "yes" I told him it was no big deal and went back to my game. He said it was the most anticlimactic moment of his life.
Anyway I wish I could put my arms around all the people who write to you and give them a big hug. I am so glad that you are here to tell them that there is someone who cares and accepts them for who they are not what they are. You are truly a blessing not only to the writers of these letters, but to me as well.
Well my question is would I be welcomed to comment? I don't want to offend your readers who may think I'm intruding. I haven't experienced the problems that they have to deal with on the level that they have, but I have had to deal with rejection from both my friends and family. You have provided a wonderful forum for a select group of people to find acceptance, yet I don't meet the requirements. That's why I'm asking for your permission. I hope to hear from you when you have a moment. Thank you again and take care.
* * *
Thank you so much for your lovely letter! You really made Papabear’s day! There have been a number of letters that I have received from readers who were concerned about talking openly with their religious families about being gay or furry or both, and, sadly, in most of those cases I have had to advise them to keep things under wraps until they were no longer dependent on those families for fear they might be tossed out of the house, homeless and penniless.
You, dear madam, on the other hand, are an outstanding representative of what Papabear calls a “true Christian,” as well as a model parent. You care about and love your son no matter what. Why this is so difficult for many parents, I just don’t know, and it makes me sad. I am printing your letter here as an example to all these narrow-minded families what family should be all about.
God bless you and then some!
Now, as to your question of whether nonfurries can write to me. Yes, yes they can. Many of the letters I get are not really about furry issues, so you don’t necessarily have to be one. The reason I started the column and aimed it at the furry community was that I wanted them all to know there was a place they could safely go where they would not be hated for being furry (or gay, or for having kinks, or for being “weird” by society’s definition) because I was one of them.
If you have something to talk about that will benefit my readers, then I will publish it and respond to it like any other letter. Furries, unlike many outside the community of furries, are an inclusive group. We welcome you, whether you are a furry or someone who is not a furry but is friendly to us.
Hugs and Big Bear Kisses,
So before I ask my question, a little background. I’ve been a furry for the majority of my life, an AB/DL [Papabear says, FYI, that AB/DL = Adult Baby/Diaper Lover] since forever, a sissyfur for the past few years, and a girly boy forever. I am also currently 18.
So now for the questions:
Question one, I have a boyfriend the same age as me, and I love him more than life itself. Id take a bullet for him without hesitation. We want to eventually move in together and live together for the rest of our lives. But there are a few small problems. He isn’t a furry and doesn’t know I am. He also doesn’t know I’m AB/DL, or that I’m a sissy cross dresser. He does know that I have nocturnal incontinence, and he’s taken it in stride since its a medical problem. I know that it’s not healthy for there to be secrets in a relationship, so I want to know how I should let him know. Or maybe if I should just try to continue to keep it a secret. I’ve thought about just leaving those parts of me behind in order to avoid confrontation, but they are integral parts of my personalities. What’s your take on the situation?
Now, question two, the only person I’ve come out to is my boyfriend and my friends on the Internet. Nobody else knows, especially not my family. Now I’m sure you get coming out questions a lot, and I don’t know how unique my situation is, but I’m going to ask anyways. My family, with the exception of my abusive, drunkard, b*st*rd father, is extremely religious. Like, the kind that believes that if you’re anything but a Christian you’re going to hell, even if you’re the world’s most giving and loving person. They’ve even said on several occasions that they believe that there is a special place in hell for homosexuals. Now, I’ve read the Bible and I know that all that they say isn’t true, and that all the stuff that they say is completely opposite of what the Bible actually says, but thus is the ignorance of religious bigotry. I couldn’t explain to them their flawed logic if I tried. But despite all that, I still love my mom and the rest of my family, with the exception of my dad. I’m just not sure if I should come out to them, and if I should, I’m not sure when. My current plan is wait till I’ve moved out so that they cant kick me out before I’m ready, but I don’t know if there’s a technique to telling them that you could show me, because this secret has been pressing on my heart for a while now.
P.S. Do you think I should come out at work? I’m a salesperson at [a large retail store—censored by PB to prevent litigation] and I’m not the only homosexual there, but I’m still nervous.
* * *
Let’s do this from easiest to hardest, shall we?
1) Papabear’s first instinct is to say do NOT tell your bosses and coworkers. They are just part of your work-a-day life and don’t need to know about your personal life, as long as it doesn’t affect your job. Too often, even if there is an official policy not to, there will be discrimination against you. In some states (e.g., my former home of Michigan), it is even perfectly legal to fire a gay person. The one qualifier is you mention that you know others at the store are gay. Is that just because you know them personally (or they light up your gaydar?) or have they actually told management? I’m guessing, though, that if they told management and didn’t get fired, then you wouldn’t be asking me about it. Perhaps you should talk to your coworkers one-on-one and get their input.
2) You DO need to tell your mate about this. If the two of you are in love and going to live together, you need to be yourself 100% completely, and he deserves to know who you are completely. Hiding who you are from the one to whom you have given your heart will inevitably blow up in your face and destroy your relationship. So, tell him. How do you tell him? Well, how did he find out about your nighttime incontinence? It was unavoidable, wasn’t it. In a similar way, your other idiosyncracies will come out, whether you hide them or not, and it’s better you tell them up front rather than your mate finding out accidentally. Papabear had a similar situation. My mate is not a furry, but I knew that to have a relationship with him, I would have to be myself. So, one night I told him and he was amazingly understanding and receptive—because why? Because he loves me for me.
3) Family is a bit more difficult. Your father sounds too far gone to be receptive to such confessions, and the rest of your family is narrow-mindedly religious in a bad way. Even if there were a member or two in your clan you felt comfortable telling, chances are someone would blab and tell those who are less understanding and then the family would turn against you. This is particularly bad when one lives with and depends upon the family for food and shelter. That is when you DEFINITELY don’t tell them because you could find yourself out on the street with no visible means of support. So, if you do eventually tell them, make certain you can support yourself and have a place to live, just in case. At that point, you might want to approach them about it. God willing, you will be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes children underestimate their family’s ability to be loving and understanding. Sometimes not. You are the best judge of that.
In all cases, the best way to tell the people you care about concerning who you are is to make sure you are in a room with no distractions, and no one is feeling rushed to go somewhere else, such as work or the bathroom, pour a cool drink (or warm, depending on the weather), sit with them face to face, look them in the eye, and just tell them.
I hope this helps,
First time writing to you. My question is a difficult one to ask but I will try. I love my mate with all my heart but we’re so different. I’m calm, laid back, and have no problems with just living my life with what comes my way. He is very angry all the time, thinks life is just crap, hates to do the things I want to do. We argue a lot and its been pretty rough for me to be with him. He is very negative. Most our fights are because I say something he doesn’t like. I find it hard to be myself around him. I feel as if because I’m changing for him I’m losing a lot if not all of my friends. No one likes him because he’s so angry and rough. I’ve known him for 4 years now and I’ve been dating him for 1 year in September. I would rather work out my problems with him but he is really stubborn about everything. Though compared to when I first met him he is 300% better. He used to yell at me for not being next to him when he woke up. Needless to say it’s been a rough year with him. I love him and I wish no harm to come to him. My biggest fear is if we break up he will kill himself. That happened to me once before and I never want to go through it again, but should I break up with him?
* * *
Papabear is sorry to hear that you had a previous mate who committed suicide, but you should not make your current decision based on that experience. Love is an illogical thing, to be sure, but how you can be in love with someone who is negative, controlling, mean, and makes you change who you are is beyond me.
You are just as important in this relationship as your mate, yet you are allowing yourself to be abused and unhappy, losing friends, and getting yelled at. You even say it has been a rough year. What, in the Great Spirit’s name, is the attraction here?
Papabear will tell you this from experience, too: just because you love someone doesn’t mean you should be with him or her. Case in point: my ex. I still love her, but when I discovered I was gay it was pretty darn clear that continuing the relationship would be impossible. That situation is not identical to yours, but you get the point.
You deserve to be happy, Fox, and staying with this guy is not going to make you happy. He is a black hole of negativity and he will suck you into it if you are not careful.
I never thought that I would be writing you a second time, but I seriously don't know what to do.
A few months ago, I got into an altercation with my ex, which escalated until I was forced to leave our local furry group (it was either me take myself out or it come to physical blows with him). But now I want to come back, the only problem is, the furs in the group, my "friends" wont talk to me anymore. I've sent several messages to several people but no one responds and the furs I do talk to have been talking to me less and less. I want to have fun, but I feel if I go anywhere, they would leave. So, my question is this:
Did I do something wrong for them to hate me?
* * *
Although I am sorry you have to write to me about another problem, Papabear is flattered you are asking him again and hoping that the first situation you had (readers, see http://www.askpapabear.com/1/post/2012/07/after-10-bad-relationships-furry-is-reluctant-to-trust-in-new-love.html) has been resolved satisfactorily.
Papabear doesn’t know what all went on exactly between you and this group of furries before, so I can’t know if you did “something wrong” to them, but let’s assume it was nothing and it was all just between you and your ex. Now I am also guessing that your ex still belongs to this group that you wish to rejoin. A couple things could be happening here, then: 1) while you were away, your ex said all sorts of nasty things about you in your absence to these other furries, thus poisoning their minds with his viewpoint of the break up and how it was all your fault, or 2) if your ex is still there, the other furries are not too anxious to have a broken-up couple in their midst because it could possibly blow up again and cause a lot of unwanted drama within the group.
None of this can be resolved unless they are willing to communicate with you, which they appear unwilling to do. If you wish to keep trying, one strategy would be to find a moderator, a go-between to link you up with these furries. It would have to be someone both sides are cool with and who is, in turn, objective and willing to help. A person like that is pretty damn rare, sorry to say.
Another thing you can try is to make friends with your ex. That is to say, not get back with him, but talk to him and say, “Hey, we had our differences and I’m sorry for what happened, but it would be nice if we could be friends again and just hang out with the rest of our buddies.” Try to bury the hatchet, and if you can do that, ask your ex to talk to those in the local group and see if they will let you back in with a promise that there will be no drama because all the bitterness has been put behind you.
If you can’t talk to the others and everyone remains stubborn and close-minded, then, sadly, there is nothing more to be done, except hope that you live in a community where there are other furries besides these people with whom you can make friends and start over.
Not the best of news, perhaps, but I hope it gives you some perspective on the problem, Ingavar.
Dear Papa Bear,
I've been seeing this guy, we haven't met in real life yet, but I've been with him online for a year now and he plans to come visit next summer. He is about 19 years older than me, and I'm pretty sure he isn't lying about his age. We've talked on the phone a few times, and sent pictures to each other of ourselves. He keeps trying to change himself for me, and it made me think, "What if he's a predator that just wants sex?"
He has all the qualities of a predator, Lonely for a while, changes themselves for you, sends gifts, wants to meet you, etc. If he is a predator, do you think he'd tell me if I asked, and if he isn’t/doesn't tell me, should I stay with him anyway?
P.S. my fur-name is Gilatto for comedic purposes, has nothing to do with real life stuff.
* * *
“Um, excuse me, mister, but are you a sexual predator?”
“Why, yes. Yes I am, young man, and I am here to rape you.”
Are you kidding me? I’m sorry for the snarkiness, Gilatto, but if you think about it, wasn’t that a rather silly question you posed? Of course he is not going to tell you if he is a sexual predator. And, on the other hand, if he isn’t and is genuinely interested in you as a person, asking him such a question would be a real mood killer.
Papabear has a lot of faith in instinct and has come across a question or two similar to this in the past in which someone had a feeling there was something wrong with the person interested in them. To this I say, “Trust your gut.”
The value of instinct is undervalued in our modern culture, but, despite the fact that humans have tried to distance themselves from their animal qualities, we still have some of that instinct and right now it is telling you to stay away from this guy.
It’s not so much the factor that he is almost two decades older than you (though that isn’t so hot), but rather what you say about his buying you gifts and “changing himself” to be more appealing to you. Papabear thinks you are right that those are red flags that something is up.
Other signs that he could be a predator include always agreeing with what you say, being extremely interested in sex talk (duh, but I know a lot of furries do online yiff and might think nothing of this), he has asked for naked pictures of you, he seems eager to please you, he is very interested in finding out where you live and wants to meet you alone.
This could be a very dangerous situation, Gilatto. A guy like this might be after more than just sex—he could be lethal. Stay away from him, please. And, if you are still unsure, talk to your parents about it.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this and I’ve never written to any kind of advice column before, but the advice you seem to give is sound and good so I thought I would get your take on this situation.
I’m very angry and this scares me. Wait let me back up, I’m angry with my father and I really don’t know what to do about it. He left me and my mother recently and in the divorce process I found out some things about him and the relationship I thought we had that really just churn my stomach into bile. He was a pretty decent dad until I was about nine years old and then he just kind of became an absent presence in my life. I never saw him, he never came to my functions, and he would actively avoid conversation. He even abandoned me during our family vacation to meet up with some kind of booty call at a hotel, leaving me alone at a baseball stadium for hours after the game was over. I was 10 at the time (At the time my mom almost divorced him but...silver tongue apologies go a long way I guess. He claimed he was called to work and his brother was supposed to be picking me up so she ended up never calling the lawyer).
I’ve found out that this is all because he was living with a separate family for years (my father was not married to the other woman, just living with her for about 10 years). He had been lying and telling people that he was divorced from my mom when they were still together and spending all his time with a second daughter that I knew nothing about. Now I know and I see him doing all these things with her that he never did with me. Every time he calls or I see him with his family I am filled with such a scary black hate that I can’t even see straight.
If that wasn't enough his second family is often actively out to hurt me. The daughter has already tried to run me off the road in her car once and the mother sends death threats to me and my mother and called me…well…the c-word which I don’t feel comfortable repeating. I brought this up to my father and he called me a lying dyke.
I’m worried that he left my mom because I came out of the closet and that just makes me feel even angrier. I've tried so hard to be a good daughter my whole life, got the best grades and awards in school, graduated from college with a 3.5 average, and it all goes out the window because I like girls. I’ve tried to talk to my friends but they usually just say something along the lines of “You’re 20 are you really going to act like a 5 year old about your mommy and daddy getting a divorce?”
What this all boils down to is this. How do I get rid of this anger so that I can move on with my life?
Hoping for advice,
* * *
First thing’s first: do not blame yourself for your parents’ divorce. Your notion that it is your fault because you are homosexual is a misguided attempt to rationalize what has happened—an idea probably stemming from your struggle to understand why he treats you so poorly. Papabear would bet $1,000 bucks right now that he treated your mother and you badly because, not to put too fine a point on it, he’s a giant ass. He lied to your mother, you, his new woman and her daughter, criminally abandoned a child, and called you a c---. This man is unfit for the noble title of “father.”
Secondly, friends who blow you off as acting like a five year old because you are upset by your father’s actions and how he has destroyed your family are unsympathetic and incredibly shallow. Real friends would give you a shoulder to cry on and listen to your story. Everyone needs friends in their life for emotional suport, and you deserve that, too.
Next, if this other woman is sending death threats to your mother and her daughter is literally trying to kill you, you need to record and gather evidence of this and present it to a lawyer and possibly the police. (Do you live in such proximity that you see each other a lot? You should try and avoid them, if possible). When either the other woman or her daughter try to do you harm, inform them that you are keeping records of their actions and talking to an attorney about it. Keep recording devices handy, as well as a notepad. In this respect, Papabear would wager your father is feeding them lies about how evil you and your mom are so that they will hate you. Did any of this stuff come out in the divorce? I certainly hope your mother got a good divorce settlement in her favor after all this nonsense from your father.
Okay, now on to the anger. Nikki, you have every right to feel angry about what has happened to you and your mom. Only a crazy person would NOT be angry. Papabear has felt this sort of anger himself to the point of literally seeing red. The good thing is that both you and I have bones in our heads that prevent us from taking it to the next, violent level. Papabear is extremely proud of you for, instead, reaching out to people to talk about the situation and your feelings. Also proud of you for doing well in school and maintaining your grip on priorities.
So, to reiterate a bit: to get over your anger you need to not blame yourself for what has happened. It has nothing to do with your being a lesbian and everything to do with your dad being a jerk. My guess, if I had a chance to talk with you some more about it, would be that your father became sexually less satisfied with your mother (bored or saw crow’s feet or whatever) and moved on to a younger woman was willing to spread her legs more, but I’m just speculating.
Hating your father is natural, but that hatred is not going to change him from being who he is and will only end up hurting you by consuming you with destructive emotions, including the jealousy you feel for the daughter of the woman he left your mom for.
The cause of your misery is twofold: frustration that what you want your life to be and what it really is do not match up, and misdirected guilt about being a lesbian. You need to come to terms with being a lesbian. That is something you simply are and is nothing to be ashamed of. And you need to learn to accept that your father is not a person who is worth your time and effort. As Papabear has said before, you sometimes need to cut people out of your life to protect your own sanity, and your father is one of those. The energy you save from not troubling yourself with your father can be redirected toward supporting and loving your mother and focusing on your own future.
Doing the above is not easy, and you will likely feel anger for many more years, but you can work on lessening that anger month by month and year by year. Forgive yourself for the anger, put the blame where it belongs (your father), and then you will be able to look toward the future. Once you focus on the road ahead, you will become less preoccupied with the past and it will hurt less.
Okay so....I have been reading your advice stuff for a while ^^. I seriously am turning here because instead of my few friends, you can actually give advice, where they just say things like "you're still okay to me" and stuff, but that's not what I'm looking for.
To start things off, I have like one friend in real life. I'm fifteen years old, and I'm not exaggerating, trust me. The school I attend, EPHS, has a horrid student body that’s voted me and another girl the most hated people of the school. Now in a school of 1800, that's a bad reputation to have. Rumors about me have spread among the student body and they severely hate me. This stuff has been going on since sixth grade. I left school that entire year because I had to have reconstructive surgery on my right leg. at the last couple weeks of school I came back, and nobody was really glad to see me. 7th grade erupted in constant bullying and teasing, and then in 8th grade I required another surgery. When I came back from that one, the kids, knowing exactly what that surgery was on, tried to mess me up. They yanked out a chair from under me as I was about to sit at lunch and I injured my leg, not bad enough to require surgery, but walking became a bit of an issue for a bit.
I still don't know exactly why they started to hate me, and it carried over into ninth grade, where apparently word of me had even reached the students at other middle schools. I should probably mention now that during the sixth grade I discovered this fandom and it helped me escape to some extent, and really, the fact that I Can just go on to sites like that, and draw my comics, is one of the only things keeping my from losing it. Anyways, 9th grade involved a lot of death threats as well from older students, a kid tried to rape me (for what reason I still don't know since everybody has agreed I'm generally unattractive). And I was punched in the back of the head, knocked unconscious, and kicked in the ribs a couple times towards the end of the year. I should have had a lot worse injuries because of how rough he was, but I musta been blessed or something. 10th grade was even worse for me. The physical bullying became less, but a collective of students would tease, taunt, steal from me, and degrade me on a regular basis for every little thing. I'm not the most normal child, I know this.
I listen to Korean Pop music a lot, I watch Asian horror films, and I draw, well, furry stuff because I feel better when I do it. They tease me about my weight, art, the music I make, the films I watch , to my sexuality (but everyone in that school acts like a slut and claims they've slept around with both sexes ANYWAYS), to anything and everything they can think of. So more and more into my work and the fandom I go. I've started to put on a sort of D-Baggy personality to deal with these creeps, but that only gets me in trouble because administration doesn't /listen/ to the minority, and they never will. I somehow, (and I'm still in shock myself) acquired a boyfriend, who doesn't live too far away from me, and that makes things a bit better too, but I can't continually rely on him to make me feel better, that's selfish and rude. Also, due to all the stress and everything, and my own desire to become...well..slim...has caused me to put tremendous stress on my body through physical exercise and lack of nourishment.
Anyways, I'm beating around the bush. my question here is this.
How am I going to deal with the coming year in school, I can't stand to do it anymore and I'm afraid I'll either become more of a recluse than I already am or I'll lash out and hurt someone or multiple people given the chance. I seen stuff on the news about stuff like that that happens when kids in my situation just snap and believe me I don't wanna snap, I have a family and a boyfriend to care for.
Sorry for giving you such a long letter, I Rewrote this quite a few times to shorten it up and this is as good as I could get. Help would be greatly appreciated though.
Koda the Squirrel
* * *
First of all, it is incredible to me that you would have to endure such a hellish school environment. If what you say here is true, you should have filed assault charges on those other children, ESPECIALLY when they hurt your already injured leg. You are the victim of two crimes here: bullying and assault, and, if I were you, I would collect all the evidence I had on these crimes and contact a lawyer. No one should go through this kind of crap in school, and you need to do something about it. Seek some advice from an attorney, Koda. Many offer free consultations and, if you are low on money, will accept a percentage of any settlement you might get.
Papabear is appalled. You’re not attending a school, you are being tossed into a jungle filled with nasty subhuman filth. And no one better write to me excusing that behavior as “just kids having harmless fun” or “this is what happens in every school, so you should get over it.” Bullshit. There are more laws in place to help you with this, Koda, than ever before. I suggest you do something about it. If the school authorities give you trouble about what you are doing, contact your local newspaper, TV, and radio outlets and tell them what is going on.
In the meantime, see what you can do about being home schooled and/or taking classes online so you don’t have to go back to that cesspool of a school.
Time to defend yourself, Koda.
Good luck to you.
I'm currently a 5th year senior in High School.
There is this test that me and the other students must pass in order to receive a High School diploma and graduate.
At first I failed all of it, but luckily, scores from an end of course test for the first two sections (English and Social Studies) replaced the exit exam scores. That left me with two more tests that I failed, Math and science.
Before I go any further I would like to say that I have Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, I'm great with some subjects in School, but my main weakness in school is MATH.
I've failed the math portion of the exit exam, five times! Every time they mention this exam, I get very, very angry about it.
I'm getting more and more discouraged every time they bring up the test! As a matter of fact, they say that I have to take it again in two weeks, unless, I can get my mom to email them saying that I don't have to take it, but my mom doesn't know that I failed and I really don't want to take the blasted test again!
What should I do?
* * *
Thank you for writing. This is an important subject, and writing about it might help other “Ask Papabear” readers, as well as, hopefully, you. Papabear has run into quite a few furries who have Asperger’s, which can be an extremely frustrating ailment to deal with. Usually, Papabear hears about the social difficulties of Asperger’s sufferers, but it obviously makes schoolwork more difficult as well.
I think we can immediately rule out your failure, in math especially, to lack of trying, as it looks to me as if you have really been trying. This already puts you ahead of about 20% of Americans who drop out of high school each year, so kudos to you for getting this far.
You say nothing in your letter, however, about seeking outside help—other than yours truly. You haven’t told your mother that you didn’t pass the last test, and you say nothing of looking for a tutor or other assistance.
We all can get a little stubborn about not asking for help. It hurts our pride when we feel we can’t accomplish something by ourselves, and we can feel embarrassed or ashamed.
But there really is nothing wrong with asking for help. You just did, actually, by writing to Papabear. So, if you haven’t done so already, see what you can do about getting a tutor. Talk to a counselor at high school about getting a free tutor, and you might also check out online services such as Alleyoop (http://www.alleyoop.com/). In your case, too, you might consider doing your studies online instead of in a brick-and-mortar class. The free accredited online high school Connections Academy (http://info.connectionsacademy.com/) might be worth checking out.
And, by the way, if you haven’t talked to your high school counselor, you should. They will be able to make suggestions on getting assistance for your math studies. (I’m assuming you talked to your teacher, but if you haven’t, then there’s another resource).
Furthermore, you need to tell your mom. Ask for her help, as well. If you haven’t done so, too, you should find some help and support for your Asperger’s. Organizations like the Autism Support Network (http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/) offer assistance in a wide array of issues related to those with various forms of autism, including Asperger’s.
In short, Jacob, there is no reason for you to suffer alone with this problem, or to become frustrated by your attempts to pass math. You’ve got the will and determination, and now you just need a bit of a boost and support from your family, tutors, counselors, and online help that is out there for you!
I hope this helps! Big Bear Hugs!
Papabear has a bear friend in Texas who is a brilliant mathematician and teacher. So, I asked him if he had advice and he added the following:
There are a number of such organizations but they usually act locally or at least at the state blevel. Your friend needs to contact the local school system and find a program that can take him. Some charter schools deal with cases like his but a lot of them are really bad. Not all though. His best bet is to look for a local program. There should be some. Some of these are allied with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and he might check out their web site to see if they have anything in Georgia. If this guy is still in school he has every right to expect them to give him extra help. If they dont do this, he can sue them under the Americans With Disabilities act, He may need to remind the administration at his school of this. No Federal judge will accept the "we don't have any money for this excuse". The law requires them to have resources available and make providing them a priority! If he is willing to go on Second Life and has a reasonably good enough computer to handle it, then I would be willing to help him at Math Bear's school on Second Life. tell him there is no way to fake the test, he has to learn the basic mathematical concepts to succeed. He can do himself a great favor if he makes sure he knows the multiplication table well, backwords and forwards and by heart, This is absolutely if he want to succeed. He must also be able to handle all 4 fundamental operations of arithmetic with pencil and paper without using a calculator and on as non-trivial level! Single digit problems don't count. He should also know how to factor whole numbers. Finally, he needs to aware of all the numbers he runs into in real life and what they ,mean. Does the number count something? Does it measure something? Does it indicate a place in some sort of ordered list? is it just a label? (i.e. think "Chanel No. 5"). He needs to develop number sense if he wants to be able to handle math. Tell him not to be tempted to use his condition as an excuse. I once had a student in one of my Algebra2 cl;asees who had Down's Syndrome. He was determined to graduate honestly. He listened to everything I said, asked questions and took consistent notes. He did all classwork and homework. He came in after schhool everyday for me to help him. i made a few accomodations for tests but he took the same tests as the other students. He ended up getting an A- which i thought was really outstanding considering his situation.
Birth gives us a meaning, but never an understanding. Ourselves; an enigma of boundless deeds we sow, but never heard. Life; always do my best, and to others I do better. Darkness; to which I fear the dark, and the shapeless figures that cloud my judgment and myself. I fear the world, and the darkness it carries with it, and the evils of others. I help those who suffer, and comfort those that fear the same darkness. There is but one question, that I cannot answer. For it is not intellectual, but more in strength.
Does the world want us here?
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Oh! A philosophy question! What a nice change of pace! Thanks for writing, Raysuko.
It is interesting to Papabear the way you phrase the question: “Does the world want us here?” Do you subscribe to the Gaia Hypothesis? The basic idea of this now-theory is that the entire globe and every living and inanimate thing in it operates, essentially, as one living organism (some prefer to think of it as a cell). The world manages to self-regulate itself, controlling everything from the salinity of the oceans to the temperature of the atmosphere, by the interaction and balance of the minerals, gases, microorganisms, and larger organisms that exist here. Some take the theory even further, saying that Gaia will reproduce just like a living organism and that we humans are the means to do that as we, hopefully, move out into space.
If that is so, then Gaia really needs us because no other species is likely to venture into outer space. On the other hand, if you subscribe to the idea that global warming is caused by human actions, we are, in a way, making Gaia sick by giving her a fever that could possibly, if taken to extremes, be lethal, making the planet unlivable.
If you believe in the Gaia idea, then, yes, we are wanted by the world and are an integral part of it, even if that system sometimes goes awry.
If you are a Christian and believe in a loving God, then again, yes, we are wanted by the world. We could go into all the other religions and beliefs, but, to summarize, they basically all believe that God purposefully created us and so then, too, we are wanted. God doesn’t make mistakes, eh?
Judging by your words (although a little difficult to understand), you are perplexed by the evil in the world. You say you try and do your part by helping others, comforting those who also “fear the same darkness.” That is a wonderful thing, and some people would aver that that is why we are here: to be good people and to help others, in which case, people like you, Raysuko, are indeed wanted and sorely needed by the world.
But are you really troubled by the evil and “darkness” of the world? Are you wondering why there is such darkness, and why bad things happen to good people, and that leads to your question? Did the Creator/Great Spirit create evil and darkness in an attempt to get rid of us? Now we are getting into one of philosophy’s biggest questions to solve: The Problem of Evil.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Let’s face it, we find great satisfaction when bad things happen to bad people, but the scary thing is that evil doesn’t discriminate.
Many explanations have been proposed, including:
The interesting thing about all these explanations is that they assume a static condition of the universe and of God, yet as we observe all around us we see change and evolution in progress. The universe is expanding, species evolve, die, and new ones take their place, continents move across the globe. What if an evolution of Spirit is in progress as well? And what if all the Spirit in the universe (or multiverse, if you wish to carry it that far) is actually composed of all the spiritual beings in existence, much like all the materials and living creatures on Earth compose Gaia?
If everything is evolving, not just physically but spiritually, that means that there was a beginning and that there is, at some time in the future, an end point. What would the beginning be? Well, scientists propose that it began with the Big Bang at which point everything was created. How something can be created out of nothing is a question that has also been thought about by many, but one way Papabear explains it is with the simple formula 0 = (+1) + (-1), where +1 can be thought of in terms of the physical (e.g. matter, light, constructive forces) and -1 can be thought of as the opposites (e.g. antimatter, darkness, entropy). But these can also be seen in terms of the nonphysical and spiritual (love, friendship, faith vs. hatred, betrayal, unbelief).
So, we have gone from a point of zero Spirituality to one in which there is both good and wicked Spirit. But this is just the middle of the process. Where are we moving to? Well, hopefully, spiritual enlightenment, a process to which each one of us can contribute by rejecting evil and embracing the good. We all have that power within us because each of us harbors a piece of the original Spirit that emerged with the Creation (i.e., the soul). Imagine a world in which we have all overcome our baser selfish instincts and learned to love and care for one another, at which point we will have reached Nirvana and evil would be eliminated, the evolutionary process complete. By such a choice, we become empowered to wield the constructive forces ourselves and the balance between +1 and -1 becomes unnecessary for creation to proceed.
Why, then, in summary, is there evil? Because it is a part of the natural process of spiritual evolution. Does this spiritual evolution require us? Yes, we are an integral part of it and not separate. Everything that we see and experience and act upon and that is acted upon us is part of this necessary process toward the completion of Spirit into a whole in which evil is no longer an integral part.
I wish I could put it more concisely, but I hope that helps.
Ok, summer's ending and school starts very soon, like, in a few days soon. I'm super stressed about it, even though in my mind I know things will be fine and the year will turn out good, I just can't stop worrying. It's almost keeping me up at night thinking about the overwhelming social situations and amount of people. I'm kind of scared about the people part, mostly. I don't know about meeting new friends when I like the ones I have and how I should really start on making new ones. Another thing is that my classes are set up so that I'm not in with a lot of my friends. I don't want to be totally alone this year, so what can I do? Or am I just overreacting and worrying myself for no reason?
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It sounds to Papabear like you are suffering from a bit of social anxiety disorder. Since you are not stressed about classes and grades, you must be pretty confident about that, so that, at least, is one less thing to worry about.
About making new friends. From what you have written, you already have some friends, so it’s not like you are incapable of making new ones since the friends you have now, at one point, were new, yes? Also, you express that you don’t want to be alone, so you are not anti-social, which is a good thing.
First thing’s first: you need to try to stop obsessing about the new social situations you will be in. Try to continue your current life as if nothing much is changing: keep in touch with your current friends, make preparations for school, do your household routines, etc. Second, avoid things in your diet that make one naturally nervous, especially caffeine and too much sugar; make sure you get plenty of rest. Don’t smoke or do drugs (which should be a given, but they are also factors in stressing out the body); try meditation, too, by setting aside 10 minutes of calming reflection with a backdrop of soothing music; combine this with breathing exercises.
Next, think of how you made your current friends. Did you meet them at class or in some other social situation? Try to recall how you made those friends and use that as a model for making new friends. At the same time, don’t overthink the situation by trying to predict what might happen or what people might say about you. Don’t put the pressure on yourself of “I have to make new friends.” Instead, be yourself, get involved in the activities of school, both academic and social, and just make yourself available to new friendships. These things should come organically, so don’t force them.
If your anxiety gets really bad and the above suggestions don’t work, you might want some counseling, but somehow Papabear doesn’t think you’re that badly off and can probably handle it yourself if you just don’t overthink it and don’t worry about it so much. Here’s a little page that has more detail on what I just said above.
Good luck! Have fun at school!
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