Hello Papa Bear,
I'm new to the furry community, so I haven't met any other furries yet. I would like to ask you if you got any advice for me [about] what I should do about my family.
The problem is I've told my dad that his only son is gay, so we had a short, violent discussion about it. Well, it ended with me in the hospital for a few days and he left the county (he is British so he went back a year ago). I've tried to talk to him this time. I´ve visited him in the UK just a week ago, but it ended just like the same (me a few days in the hospital again), but what hurts me the most was him saying, "You are no longer my son," so I went back to Germany.
The rest of my family doesn't even know that I'm gay, and my dad told me don’t to talk to anyone in my family about it. I am afraid of telling someone else about it because their reactions could be similar to my dad’s. I´ve lost most of my friends during my apprenticeship and so my family is the only thing I´ve got left.
So, please, would you give me advice on what I can do about it? I´ve started my technician school and after that I´ll try to emigrate to the USA to start a new life with persons who accept me as I am, but what should I do at the moment?
Sorry for bothering you with my problems.
Lucian the Wolf (age 21)
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I am traveling at the moment [this was written a few days ago], but will be home soon and will respond to your letter in a day or so. And you are not bothering me with your problems. That’s what I’m here for!
Just wanted to say right away, though, that if I were you I would avoid physical contact with my father. Anyone who puts you in the hospital twice and disavows your being his son is someone to stay away from.
Secondly, don't listen to your father. If you feel that there is someone in your family that would accept the truth, then tell them. If not, then don't.
More soon. Take care of yourself.
* * *
Sorry for contacting you on this email address but I haven't told you the full story of what has happened after the first time I tried to talk to my dad (it has been my biggest secret I've kept; only 2 persons know something about it.)
And I really think I have to get rid of it (it's been the darkest chapter of my life so far) so I struggled if I should tell you or not, but now I think it could be necessary to tell you. I don't fear anymore to let anyone know it.
This is the missing part of my story I would like to tell you.
After my parents got divorced, my mom was heavily depressed, started drinking a lot, and finally they´ve sent her to the psychologist (my dad already moved into a new flat in a nearby town) and he told me he would move back to the UK.
So I decided to tell him about my secret of being gay because I thought it would be my last chance to tell him. (Well, you know how the discussion ended.) But the physical pain was nothing against what he said before I passed out (he smashed my head against the wall); he told me I have to, in his words, "keep your fu--ing mouth closed to everyone about your abnormal-against-nature behavior," and if I don’t stop my selfish behavior I would just ruin the life of my mother and the whole family. At last he told me that it would be better for me not to have feelings at all if I couldn't keep them (I just told him I've already been in love with someone from my school, but I knew he was straight, so I just tried to spend some time with him as a good friend). I can´t remember anything after this (just woke up in the central hospital).
I've been thinking a lot about what he said and my only question was, "Why did he stop if I'm the only causing problems?" So I made a decision (thought it was the only thing I could do to help myself and my family that moment because I don’t want to cause them any trouble).
I still was an apprentice in the chemistry and veterinary research agency in OWL [Pbear note: I believe OWL to be the Ostwestfallen-Lippe Hochschule, a state university in Germany], so I've gotten access to all the equipment I needed.
I thought the world would be a better place without me, so I decided to kill myself. I thought it would be easy to do so, but I didn’t want to leave a mess behind me, so I thought I'll leave the world the same way as an animal who needs to be prepared for examination.
I knew I could use any sedative, but it should work fine without.
I went to work late, so nobody would be around there and I injected myself with potassium chloride (causes cardiac arrest).
I never felt such a physical pain before; it’s like your whole body is burning (your blood felt like it's been exchanged for acid). I couldn't finish the injection, and my body dropped instantly on the ground.
However, the impact alerted another lab worker from the ground floor (I passed out at this time, but they reanimated me in the lab and two more times during the trip to the hospital.)
The person who found and saved me in the first place was a friend of mine (let’s call her Elly) who shouldn't have been working that evening at all. She visited me in the hospital (the only person who's been there at all) and asked me just the simple question "WHY?" So I told her what’s wrong with me and why I’ve done this. (At this time my mom was still with the psychiatrist to learn how to deal with her depression and my dad had left Germany).
Elly told my boss it was an accident (not a failed suicide ) so I wouldn't lose my job (I don't know if they believed her or not, but I´m still working there so it’s fine for me.) But the doctor at the hospital knows everything so he could do his job without any trouble.
Elly still keeps an eye on me to make sure I’m fine.
I still suffer from the adverse effects of this injection, but I can handle it right now.
I am sorry to let you read all this without a reason.
I just want to say thank you for being there to give some advice where it’s needed most.
And I would like to say thank you to the Radio Network Furcast; without you I would maybe never have recognized that someone like Papa Bear does exist.
If you got any advice for me about what I should do to keep on or what I should better change please let me know. And sorry for any spelling mistakes or weird sentence structure.
Thank you again,
Your Lucian the Wolf
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Thank you for sharing that with me. I won't post this on my website unless you okay it. I do think that people can benefit from reading about other people's experiences, but I won't repost this if you ask me not to. [Lucian ok’d it; see below.]
I'm not sure what Radio Network Furcast is, but I guess they mentioned me, and that turned out to be a good thing.
As you might know if you've read some of my columns, I attempted suicide myself when I was about your age. I first attempted cutting my wrist, which was, in a way, kind of fascinating because when the blood pools you realize that it really IS a tissue. I maybe bled a half pint or so but didn't cut deep enough and when it stopped bleeding I couldn't continue. Later, I overdosed on sleeping pills and ended up in the hospital, out of my mind for several days. Had some psychotherapy, but it didn't help much.
My reasons for doing this were mostly fear of life and being extremely lonely. Your reasons are different: you fear the judgment of your father and family. When it comes to that, I can state what you must already realize:
When you allow other people to dictate your life, it brings misery and, often, worse. Thank God you have Elly for a friend!
You are who you are. If you are a round peg, you are not going to fit into a square hole. When society and family try to shove you into that square hole, it causes great pain.
You are not an evil or bad person because you are gay. You know who IS a bad person? The "father" who slammed your head against a wall. THAT is a bad person. But you know what? Your father is also a victim of society, a society that feels that people can only be one way and, when they do not fit a definition of the right way, it is okay to use violence against them. To me, SOCIETY is the thing that is sick and twisted and causes suffering, pain, and death to people, like you, who are actually good, caring people.
My solution has been this: I give society a big middle finger. I have no respect for the social mores of a world that advocates violence on a colossal scale. That murders people by the millions for petty things like money, territory, and the insistence on forcing religious ideas on others.
People think that they are bad because society tells them they are bad. "Acceptable" and "proper" society is made up of a majority of the people who either subscribe to the dominant philosophy of the time or are too afraid to oppose it and pretend to accept it. These are the same people who once believed the earth was flat, the sun orbited the earth, and the world was 6,000 years old. In America, they are also the people who believe this nation is a Christian nation (completely wrong, as the US was founded by free thinkers who deliberately wrote a constitution excluding religion from government while advocating religious freedom for all).
My favorite passage in American literature comes from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck was raised in a society that believed blacks were inferior and should be slaves, but he becomes a friend to the slave Jim. This causes a great moral crisis in Huck because he's supposed to turn Jim in for escaping; he even believes he will go to Hell for not doing so because he would be partner in a crime. So Huck starts writing a letter to his aunt to tell her where Jim is so he can be captured, but he can't do it. He throws out the letter, declaring, "All right! I'll go to Hell!"
Was Huck wrong? NO! He was beautifully correct because he rejected society's incorrect beliefs and rose above them to declare what he felt was right for him. (Mark Twain was a great man who was ahead of his time.)
So must you. Your father is wrong to do what he did. Society is wrong to condemn you. Religions are wrong for saying you're evil. Your family is wrong if they feel the same way.
Hatred is wrong, and it is always wrong. Hurting other people is wrong. Violence is wrong.
Rise above the hatred. Be a loving person, the person you are, and you will find peace in your heart and your soul.
I feel very close to you right now, even though I am only typing on a keyboard, so I will sign off....
* * *
Dear Papa Bear
Thank you for your fast answer you gave me a lot to think about again and I'll try to assume as many as I can.
I'm fine with sharing my experiences and it’s ok for me if you post it.
I'm still afraid of what happened between my dad and me (he wasn't a violent person and never harmed me before but all changed in such a sudden.)
I fear the day when it could happen to me (I never want to hurt anyone but everything I've done seems to lead to the opposite).
So my final question for the moment is: Should I hide my feelings for the next 4 years until I can afford to leave the country?
Thanks for everything.
Lucian the Wolf
* * *
I know how you feel. When I discovered I was gay, I was married at the time. I tried to hide it (for four years, as it turns out), but after a while I just couldn't do it anymore and confessed to my wife I was gay. It was very painful for both of us, and I still feel very guilty and also angry at myself for causing her pain that she didn't deserve. But it is important that you not live in the past....
But, again, we are who we are. Eventually, we have to be who we are. If we internalize this for too long, it eats at our souls and we die inside. Sometimes, as I've advised writers to this column occasionally in the past, it is wise not to come out right away. The best example is when you are a minor who is financially dependent on your family and that family is completely homophobic and unsupportive. Sadly, in such a case, it is best for the person to keep it a secret until they can get out and support themselves. (The streets of America are filled with young people who made the mistake of coming out to parents who were anti-gay and then finding themselves homeless).
I can't make that decision for you. Obviously, your father didn't handle it well at all; your mother, given her psychological state at this time, probably wouldn't be a good person to come out to, either. I'm not sure if there is anyone else in your family who might be supportive. It would be good for you to find someone--family or friends--whom you could lean on for support at this difficult time. Maybe, with luck and time, your father will come around and realize how wrong he is, and your mother will get better and be able to understand who you are.
If coming out is going to cause you harm (financial, physical, or otherwise) then I would advise you stay in the closet until such a time that you can be free. It is not selfish to not wish to get beaten up, yelled at, or rejected. You have to do what is right for your well-being at the time. Not the best situation, but the goal here is to be able to establish your independence, knowing that you will not remain in the closet forever.
I believe you will, one day, find someone to love who loves you back and loves you for who you are. That should be your goal. If it has to be delayed for the moment, that's okay, as long as it isn't put off forever.
* * *
Thanks again you really helped me its great to have someone to ask for advice.
I think I've taken enough of your time for now.
Keep up the great job the world need more person like you.
Lucian the Wolf
* * *
Hon, whenever you wish to talk, I am here. Please do not hesitate to write again if you wish to.
Papabear/Grubbs/Kevin (goodness, I have multiple personalities!)
Oh, I forgot to ask: did it occur to you to press charges of assault against your father? He committed a crime, after all.
* * *
I didn't do anything about it. I know I should but he is still a part of my family (if he wishes or not) and I've been afraid what kind of effect it will have to the rest of my family, questions could be asked I'm not willing to answer.
And I think after all I still would feel guilty to be a son who sent his own dad to prison.
But honestly I don't really know what I’m feeling about it; it is just such a mess I feel ... I really don’t know how can I explain my feelings.
I’m just sorry it’s difficult at last?
Sorry but I’m not sure if this part is off topic or something.
Besides leaving my mom on her own with such a problem like me He also left the country without any information where he went to.
So my mom has to pay for the credit they've had from the bank on her own (they've had a joint back account.)
So he took the car (not paid yet 23.000€) and, of course, my mom (lost her job because of the psychological problems) couldn’t afford the monthly payment. So they've put me in charge because the laws says I'm living in a common household with my mother (the reason why I couldn't study (chemical engineering fee 18.000€). So I have to do my technician (no fee) first, which is another 4 years of study, but all the money I've saved was gone. I've paid the credit off last month so it'll be fine from now on.
I've found out where he lived just a few months ago. The bill was nearly paid, so I didn't mention it at all (didn't want another reason to argue with him). I lied to mum and told her he paid me half of the money back, and I feel guilty because I lied again to her, but I didn't want her to worry about me at all.
Sorry I'm still adding things I shouldn't.
Lucian the Wolf
* * *
Please don't apologize, you poor man. You are a good son to your mother. You are a good man, a much more decent man than your father. Yes, you lied, but I’ve never been one of those people who believe there are no exceptions to always telling the truth. Sometimes, in fact, there are times when you should lie. The general rule for when to go ahead and lie is when telling the truth will cause more pain and suffering than good. You chose wisely.
Try not to feel guilty. Stop apologizing for being a good person.
Write me again whenever you feel the need.
* * *
Dear Papa Bear,
I'm sorry for contacting you again but I've been thinking a lot about the conflict I had with my dad. There is one thing I still struggle with to understand. I'm not a physically weak person; I'm taller than him and heavier. I know at least something about self-defense.
I know I still haven't got any chance to win against him (he's an ex SAS soldier).
But I didn't even try to defend myself. It's been obvious after he pulled his arm back that he's going to hit me, but I didn't even raise my arms to defend myself and I don't know why. Every normal person would have done at least something (I only closed my eyes).
And the second conflict was just the same, and on this time I really knew what he was going to do with me, and I just can't understand what's wrong with me. We've had self-defense in school and I was really good at it (OK, it was a bit uncomfortable for me to hurt someone on purpose but I could do it.)
I just don't know what's wrong with me (it should be the normal thing to at least avoid getting beaten or defending yourself.)
Hope you can help me another time to understand what's wrong with me and what I can do about it. And sorry again; you must be tired to answer all my silly questions.
Your Lucian the Wolf
* * *
1. Please stop saying "sorry." You don't need to apologize.
2. Your questions are anything but silly. They are quite serious.
Based on what you've told me, I would surmise the following. The first time you had the confrontation with your father, you were completely surprised by his physical violence because, as you stated earlier, he had never hit you before. So, you didn't fight back because you were shocked. The second time, though, I believe you didn't fight back because you considered yourself a bad person by that point because of what your father had said. You deliberately went to your father knowing he would hit you because, subconsciously, you wished to be punished for being, you believed, a bad person because you're gay.
What's wrong with you is that you keep defining yourself by the standards of a twisted society that believes in violence instead of love and kindness. What's deviant about you is that you are a good person who doesn't wish to hurt people in a society that thrives on backstabbing and killing and profiteering.
I celebrate your deviance. You, sir, are an evolved person, an enlightened spirit. You are better, much much better, than your father. The world needs people like you. You are a rarity. I wish I could clone you.
Be of good cheer. You are a saint among sinners.
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