Sometimes you can really be pleasantly surprised. I randomly had a very nice, very substantial, two-meal long second date.
We were going to have just lunch and wander around in the fall sunshine. And so we had lunch and wandered. But then headed over to Old Town. We strolled and did errands. We looked at boats. We compared art taste at the Torpedo Factory.
And then he asked if I'd like to have dinner as well. Even though that was hours away. Which I did. So we had hours to fill. Which we did. With wine and conversation. Much more conversation than wine. But as our first date was relatively unfiltered, our second one was even more so.
And one of the things I said was the following: That I have gotten so very cautious. I used to take people at face value. And now I don't trust anyone for a long, long time. Not only do I not trust; I expect crazy.
The people I click with fast, the ones I have the easy and intense rapport with? So often they're damaged, beaten, crazy. It just takes some getting to know them. But now I just wait to learn about it.
I like you? Huh. What did your dad do to you?
I don't have kids. I don't know how hard it is. I don't know how much patience or strength it takes.
But what I do know a lot about at this point is how mistreated kids grow into adults. And so what I want to say is the following.
Holy fuck, people, think about how you treat your kids. Because truly, when you treat them terribly, you fuck them for life. And they grow into damaged, damaged adults.
I cannot even tell you how many guys I've met who could be lovely, amazing people. Who are so utterly lovable, except that they're completely unable to believe they are. And they cannot give anything of themselves. Or trust other people. Or feel anything.
For some of them it's that their dads beat the shit out of them as kids. Or their moms did. Or one or the other parent drank a ton. Or slept around and had a reputation for it. Or humiliated them in some way. Or just plain said enough angry, hateful, scarring things that they're convinced they're unloved and unwanted. Even as adults.
There are myriad ways to make your kid feel like the world around them is a massively scary, lonely, hostile place, not to be trusted.
This is not to say that they grow up to be financially unsuccessful people. Some of the most financially successful people I know were really mistreated as kids. Because money? Is safety. It means they will never need anything from anyone else.
And god, at this point, I've met some sweet, sweet men. Who are pretty much fucked for life.
They're so angry that the vitriol has eaten away their entire stomach. Or so unable to trust that they are ready for flight at any moment. They expect the worst of people, and therefore solicit it. Or are so devoid of the ability to feel that, while they function decently in the working world, they are complete and utter emotional cripples.
Be cautious of your kids. They're fragile. You can break them on the inside really easily. And even if they seem fine and whole, those scars never, ever really heal.