I hate my aunts. (all relatives such as aunts and grandparent mentioned here are from my mom’s side). They’re greedy. After grandpa past away in 2015 (or 2016?), they came up with a horrible plan to sabotage his will. They blackmailed my ma and made a lot of her friends believe that she is a greedy backstabber (while she’s not). She lost a lot of people in her life thanks to them. After that happened, her depression worsen. It felt as if the love that my aunts had was a lie. I hate them for it.
Then after Grandma died we planned a respectful funeral for her. We payed a lot of fucking money for it. But then, all of a sudden. My aunts buried her their selves, they just tossed her into the dirt like she was nothing! They did it in a way that showed that they don’t care about anyone but themselves. Those motherfuckers. I still get birthday money from them. But, obviously they came from grandpa’s budget. They just drive up to our house, put the cards in the mailbox and hit the gas and fuck out. I hate them so much. I hate them. I don’t care if they die, I don’t care if they suffer. Because, they deserve misfortune after the things they did to us. You may disagree, but I don’t care. I can’t forgive them. I wish I could just beat the shit out of them. Make them feel the pain they gave to us. I know it doesn’t solve anything. But, I don’t forgive those who fuck with my family.
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Based on what you said, yes, your aunts are horrible people. You might be expecting me--since I write an advice column--to say things like "You should forgive and forget" or "Turn the other cheek." Au contraire. In my opinion, you do not have to forgive them. In fact, there are psychologists out there who would agree with me on this. Now, if your aunts suddenly had a change of heart, made amends, and personally asked for your forgiveness and promised they would never repeat such nasty actions again, then yes, forgive them. But it sounds to me like they have done no such thing, so, yeah, they're a problem. If possible, cut them out of your life. These are what some call "toxic people." Toxic people can damage your health just by being present in your life. Discard them like the garbage they are.
OK! THAT said, there is something else important here. In addition to discarding them, you have another more difficult task, which is to let go of your hatred. Hatred doesn't hurt them; it only damages you. And no, do not, obviously, do anything that would land you in prison such as assaulting and killing them. That should go without saying, but just for the record, I'm writing that here.
You can already see, I bet, how the fury in your heart is causing you distress, anxiety, even physiological changes such as hypertension that can damage your heart. Are your aunts worth that? No. They are not worth your love and they are not even worth your hatred. They are not worth your valuable time.
Let's talk about that birthday money for a moment. Recently, I got married to my new hubby, Michael. We invited friends and family to a little ceremony in Las Vegas. Michael's sister and only sibling, Gayle, did not attend. She said, "I can't go because my pastor is having his retirement party that day." Seriously? So, her pastor is more important than her only brother? Gayle is a very religious, Christian person, who is not happy about her brother being gay. Now, I have met her a couple of times over the last two years, and I thought that she was a pleasant woman at the time. I knew she had, in the past, been uncomfortable about Michael being gay, but I thought she had turned the corner and was now accepting him. Apparently not. The pastor's retirement is not an excuse. She obviously didn't come because in her mind she condemns her own brother for being gay. Anyway, just before we left for Vegas, she swung by with her daughter and handed us a card. It had a $100 gift card in it. Big fucking whoop. I told Michael to throw it out, but instead, he bought a bidet with it. Appropriate.
What I'm saying here is that you should not accept money or anything else from your aunts until they change their ways and beg forgiveness. Until then, as I said, cut them out, and that includes any gift cards or cash they send you, which is only their pathetic effort to assuage their own black, guilty hearts.
Do everything in your power to remove this filth from your life. Removing their presence, which is a constant reminder to you of what they have done to you and your family, will, over time, make it easier and easier for you to not feel that hatred. Forgetting about them will be a balm for your soul. Just as you would for a troll on the Web, the only way to heal is to block, delete, ignore. Also, occupy your mind with other things; this helps. Do I bother to hate Gayle? No, I actually feel she is pathetic. Neither do I, however, forget or forgive what she did, but I don't think much about it (except as a very good example for teaching people like you about dealing with toxic people).
Does this make sense? I hope so. Family members can really suck, can't they? I do not believe in the "blood is thicker than water" idea. You (hopefully) have some members in your family that make you happy and feel loved. Cling to them. The ones who don't are the ones with whom you should not associate. And remember this, too: family is MORE than blood. There are friends in this bear's life that I consider family more than my blood relations on my father's side.
Hello Pappabear, how are you?
I am not sure how to begin. Every night for more than a year now I have thought of myself as "huskyboi" (https://www.furaffinity.net/view/26412955/
https://www.furaffinity.net/view/26598036/ [Papabear warning: vore content]) from the comic, needing saving and care as the fox gave, because my OCD was so strong I thought there was something more severe going on. And my thoughts can be very convincing. I cannot express in words what it was like only to wake up the next morning knowing logically my thoughts are not real. It was terrifying, and I felt hurt like huskyboi, though I have nothing physically wrong. After a year or so, my mental attitude improved. Now I do not see myself as a hurt husky, but the feeling of wanting care still remains. (right now, my OCD says I am being too negative to you and should make an effort to be more positive, but I know from countless nights of "I wish I should have emailed you").
Well, maybe I deserve this. At night a reoccurring thought (one of many) is that I am a bad, ungrateful person, and Dad would be happier without me. The idea that this OCD thought may be right. Though dad repeatedly tells me how proud he is of me and how much I am pushing for my goals in life (rocket science).
I am 22. I am old enough to know the world is not how we think it is when we are young. I am aware I have to haul my own weight to live, life is not always how we want it, and events that seem so extreme (emotional, physical) you would think can not be possible that make life not worth living are in fact normal. I am not in need of a rubber room just because I feel like it would help. I am not insane. I am in collage, with an intellectual capacity to shoot for a physics degree. (If I was loony, I would not be able to function as a student, be polite and kind to dad's girlfriend, etc.)
In other words, even though you can be doing the best you can and advancing to your goals for yourself, you will always have something bad going on in one way or another, and you just need to deal with it because "that is life." Should I just push that idea out of my head and get over it?
Please do not show any more empathy or compassion than need be, I do not want to act like a complainer (my OCD says I am by writing you).
So my question is: What is reality? I know you do not know me personally, but I cannot determine what to do. Why do I feel like I need to be in a position of receiving care where I can not escape if I wanted and will not be let out until I receive "care"? How do I just get over it and move on with life?
* * *
Before I write a full response to your letter, I have a question: You talk about your dad but not your mother. Do you still have Mom in your life? Are you being treated for OCD?
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Dear Mr. Hile,
My parents are divorced, I was told in a family meeting in 2015, but the separation happened a year later, I live with Dad, while Mom is in another state (so not able to visit very much). I am currently taking medication for OCD and recently started a new psychologist last week, the reason I transferred from my old psychologist is because the old one was too far for regular trips. From what I seen with the new psychologist, he is a good fit.
PS: One other question: I have been having urges and thoughts about donating a large percentage of the money I have to the church; but when I try to carry out the idea I get a sense that I should not do so, and I should keep it. This in turn provides old thoughts of being greedy, and feelings of being a coward for not toughing out my doubt and fear of doing so. I have given large sums of money to the church in the past, this is not new, but it is the first I felt this torn between wanting to give, believing it is for the best, but having ocd thoughts of giving out of expecting something in return which means I am being selfish, and feelings of not doing what is smart.
Thank you for your time.
* * *
Okay, I'm going to address this church donation question first as it is separate from your earlier question. My belief about charity is that you should first make sure that you are okay yourself: financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Once that is established, only then should you consider being charitable. This is not selfish because you are no good to others if you are not okay yourself (and when I say okay, I don't mean swimming in luxuries, I just mean you are doing well with food, clothes, shelter, family relationships and so on). Next, it is only truly a gift of charity if you do not expect anything in return. Rich people who donate to charities often only do so for the tax benefits, not because they are truly generous, which makes it a sham and a swindle.
Give when you are able to give and do not expect anything in return because that is not a gift, it is a bribe or obligation. This is good policy and has nothing to do with OCD.
Back to your original issue.
I am glad you are getting treatment for your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Sorry about your parents' separation, though.
Your fantasies indicate that you feel you did not in the past (or in the present, as well) receive a very nurturing life. Vore fantasies are symbolic of a desire to return to the safety of the womb (symbolized by a stomach). You can easily observe in the comics you sent that the husky is feeling very safe and happy once inside his savior. So, in essence, you are feeling very insecure about life, an insecurity likely exacerbated by your parents' divorce. Even if you no longer feel as close a tie to Huskyboi as you once did, there is a lot of residual insecurity lingering within you.
It is unclear why you feel undeserving of a happy life, unless (speculating here a lot) you believe the divorce is somehow your fault? I would immediately say that is incorrect. And although you don't say anything about your mother, it sounds as if your father is very supportive and encouraging of you. You're very lucky to have that, so do not dismiss it lightly.
Bad things happen to good people. It doesn't mean you are bad or that it is pointless to try to live life because something inevitably bad will happen to you. I've had a lot of bad things happen to me over the years, but it doesn't mean I am a bad or undeserving person. Shit happens.
What you need to do is outgrow your insecurities. The way to do that is to complete your education, get a job, become self-sufficient and gain confidence over time that you can face challenges, accomplish tasks, and not only get by but thrive in the real world. Set goals for yourself (start small, take baby steps), beginning with ones you feel confident you can complete. Each task you finish successfully will boost your ego, your sense of self-worth. Gradually kick it up a notch, doing more challenging tasks with each step. Will you fail? Sometimes, sure, but that doesn't mean you stop trying.
You will also succeed. That's life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but losing is not defeat. It is a way to learn, which will give you ammunition the next time you try, increasing your chances of winning.
This will not happen overnight. It takes years. Just promise yourself you won't give up.
Work with your therapist on these issues, too, because the only way to treat OCD is through either medications, therapy, or some of both.
Dear Papa Bear,
It's been several years since we've spoken. There have been many things in my life that have happened to me and around me. I recently sent a justifiably angry letter, as both a prayer and out of reluctance, to my mother, telling her that she needs to change her homophobic ways in order to have a relationship with me. It's not what I wanted to do, but I had to do it because it was the right thing despite the heartache in having to send such a thing.
People have different reasons for coming out and not coming out. I came out because I had no choice, and I wanted to do the right thing, not because I wanted to embrace it; and it hasn't evolved further from that. I had to drop a lot of things to get to where I am today, and now.... And now.... I'm scared about the person that I'll eventually become.
Lately, I've been playing along with a lot of people's likes, hoping that eventually I'll end up getting used to hearing these terms, whether it's drag, or queens, or twink, or bears, or leather, or certain people that people look up to because, in truth, I don't really like any of those things/terms. I just use them to boost people up as well as because I thought I'd get used to hearing them. And, I've almost made it my MISSION to not fall into any category to show that gay people are just what they are: people. Not by what word or feeling they choose to define themselves.
But I see it around so often now, and it's so high in concentration that I feel like I will be assimilated eventually into those terms/things. It is so overwhelming. I want to tell people to stop. I want it to stop. I can't deal with it anymore.... But what point is there in saying that if all I'm gonna get is a retort, if people are gonna do the same to me despite being outnumbered?
It's almost as if I have to accept that God, as part of destiny or fate, may make me a bear, since I have a thing for masculine men, and ... that's it. Like, no matter where I go it's how its gonna be. And I wish there was another answer. Is this how it is? I want to run TOWARDS something. Not away. And I've been running away a lot. There's a lot of fears that I have to face, and what if I'm not strong enough?
I guess what I'm trying to ask is, "What's gonna happen to me now?" I understand I am in charge of my own story, but since God made me who I am It sure as hell doesn't feel like it.
* * *
The question here, if I'm not wrong, is how does a gay man avoid becoming part of a stereotype, such as bear, twink, leatherman, etc., yes? And the corollary is why does being gay seem to be an overwhelmingly defining characteristic of a person?
You are correct that we should not allow being gay or bi or trans or any sexuality like our defining characteristic. Straight people don't go around introducing themselves as heterosexual at business meetings ("Hi! I'm Bob! I'm a heterosexual project manager!"), so why do we expect this from gay people? I remember Jim (my late husband) telling me he would not run for public office because he didn't want to become "openly gay candidate Jim Fordyce."
The reason this is forced upon us is because American society is so fixated on white, straight, Christian people being the "norm," and everyone who doesn't fit into that category has to somehow justify their existence. Wrong on so many levels. Whether you are an African American or Hispanic American or Jewish or Muslim or gay or trans or whatever, we have all been oppressed and discriminated against in one form or another by the "normal" Americans (which makes "normal" rather repugnant, in my opinion). Because of this feeling of alienation, people like you and me are always trying to fit in to some other group (it is a powerful part of human nature that we want to belong somewhere). I've done this unsuccessfully for years. I mean, I see myself as a bear, basically, but don't really feel like I have been fully accepted into that community, and there are many bears who say I'm not one because I'm not fat or hairy enough. Whatev. Sheesh.
I don't walk around this planet constantly thinking of how I am a gay man. I'm just Kevin Hile. In fact, I think of myself more in terms of being a writer, editor, and publisher than about being gay. I think of myself as a Californian. I think of myself as a furry. Honestly, being gay is about fourth on the list. We have made a lot of progress in this country, building on the struggles of earlier generations, for this to be possible for me, but, sadly, we have taken a backward leap in recent years....
You are correct that you are gay by birth, yet our sexuality is just a small part of who we are as human beings.
What happens to you now, you ask? I suggest you pursue finding out what your passions in life are, how to be a good person, and how to discover what is important in your existence. Do not allow other people to define you or tell you how to run your life. Do not worry about being a joiner or follower. Be the captain of your own ship. It is YOUR life, and you only get one crack at it.
I'm sorry your mother has a difficult time accepting you. We all want approval from our parents and loved ones, of course, but we do not have the power to change who they are. All we can do is leave the door open for a time when, hopefully, they change their minds.
In the meantime, you are 26 and have a full life ahead of you. Take the cards you are dealt, place your bets, bluff if you have to, and win the biggest pot of cash you can with what you've got.
It might be cliche, but be yourself and don't give a fuck what others think. Just be a good person, which means never hurt other people. Be kind to people, nature, and Earth. That's all you need to remember.
It took me about 50 years to figure that out. Hope you are quicker about it than I was.
Sorry for being secretive with some of my info, I'm an overly cautious otter.
This isn't so much as a problem but more of asking for directions.
I noticed fat furries are scarce and Google isn't a great help, I'm afraid. So, do you happen to know where fat furries can be found? (I'm a fat otter.)
Similarly, I find it hard to find "greymuzzles"--both those who've been in the fandom since around the beginning and those who are at least in their 40s. In fact, you're the only person I know of, if you identify as a greymuzzle.
... Know what? I'll turn this into a "problem" I usually see you answer.
Specifically, I am interested in dating fat furries and/or grey-muzzles (in the latter case, they needn't be fat furries themselves, just like fat furries), but want to keep it an online relationship/friendship for a long while.
When I was searching, I found some forums and deduced that there are many young furries, and sadly, the usual discussion is about games, playing games together, watching movies, other hobby activities. I find these superficial because you cannot really get to know someone through the media they consume/games they play. Also, and this is only a very personal opinion, I find it difficult to identify with young furries because they are very immature. How do you view them? What trends have you observed running this website?
I'd rather speak with someone who has the mindset of a member of the old furry fandom.
* * *
There are many chubby furries and greymuzzles in the fandom. I guess you didn't know, but I run the Greymuzzles Facebook group which has nearly 1,900 members currently, all over 30 years (you're too young to join, sadly, sorry). There are also several fat furry fan pages on Facebook.
One way to meet mature furries, if you can't find a group you like on a social media site (try Furry Amino, too), is to contact the artists who draw stuff you like and start chatting with them. Many, though not all, of course, who draw fat or older furs are also chubby or older, or they know furries who fit that mold and maybe could connect you. This way, you could start networking and create a circle of friends. And don't forget you have the power to start your own social group anywhere online and start inviting people to join it.
I understand both your interests, actually. I, too, am attracted to hefty furries, and I, too, enjoy conversations with older furries who want to talk about things other than video games or having sex. How do I feel about younger furries? Well, gotta remember that I was a young guy once, too, and enjoyed games and, well, I guess the sex thing is still on the table LOL. But, seriously, I'm fine with furries of all ages, and many of them are bright, talented, and have diverse interests. I enjoy chatting with greymuzzles simply because we have more in common, having grown up with similar experiences, and, sadly, I don't keep up with a lot of the new music artists out there (although it seems to me that the best new music is found online by independent artists and not produced by big record companies—just an observation).
Because the fandom is getting older (the modern fandom has been around for half a century now), we are now seeing second- and third-generation furries. The Old Guard, as I call them, and even 2Gen furries often grouse about the younger furries who are slowly changing the fandom. Long gone are the days of APA publications and things like fursuit etiquette are falling by the wayside, which disturbs a lot of the older fans. What we all need to realize is that things change, and as the fandom grows from a few dozen fans of anthro cartoons into tens of thousands of people worldwide, it has become a very different animal.
The thing to remember is that we are all just here to have some creative fun. Instead of finding things that divide us into subgroups and cliques, we should celebrate and enjoy our commonalities, which, in our case, is the love of anthropomorphic characters. So, even though we might have preferences, we should not dismiss the chance to make new friends with people who don't necessarily fall into our desired specs because we might actually learn new things from them, which, in turn, will make us more open-minded and interesting people ourselves.
As for your comment that you can't get to know someone by the games they play--in reality, the games people play say a lot about them. You might not get a lot of personal details, but there is a big difference between someone who is obsessed with first-person-shooter games versus someone who plays Words with Friends and Candy Crush Saga; similarly, someone who is obsessed with World of Warcraft of Dungeons & Dragons is probably a lot more interesting than someone who only plays Angry Birds (not dissing Angry Birds, it's fun, but you get what I'm saying, hopefully). Massively Multiplayer Online Games, as you likely know, include forums and audio and you can interact with a lot of people there. I used to play around with Second Life a lot, meeting a number of furries. In fact, the whole idea of fursonas grew out of online role play, making such games an important part of furry history and culture.
I've nattered on too long. The point is, really, not to allow ourselves to stereotype entire groups of people. Not all young furs (you're an example) are into gaming, you just have to spend a bit more time looking. And there are plenty of older, chub furries out there. You might try some furry dating sites such as FurryMate or Ferzu (Pounced is, sadly, no more), and just put yourself out there, explaining what you're looking for. With a little tenacity, you'll find it.
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.