Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Another Just a Dizzy Dad Deep, Dark Secret...There are Two Men Inside me. I am neither.

We all have things that we're afraid of, and, of course, I am no different. 

I'm afraid of bugs, specifically moths. I fear heights, needles, rodents, water where I can't see the bottom, and any number of other little things.  

But, these are fears I've learned to work with.  I can hold it together well enough when facing them.  I just preferentially avoid them when possible.

But, there are other things that scare me, things that I can't avoid and have been with me, faithfully, since I became a daddy.  

They have been my silent partners who refuse to leave, and they are driving me bat crap crazy!

It's everything, or close to it it seems to me.

I'm not just scared of ruining my children, but I'm scared of being an inadequate dad, not because I'm lazy and self-centered, which I am, but because I'm sick with no hope of getting better.  I don't want that to be a part of how I parent, but it is and is going to be.  

I'm scared of being one of those parents that don't play with their kids enough because there are days that I physically can't.  

I'm scared that one or both my boys have my disease.  

I'm terrified that my brats will grow to resent me, and they'll feel like they got shafted because they're stuck being the kids with the sick dad.

And, I'm scared because there's nothing I can do about any of it.  

There's no relieving these insecurities.

I cannot change reality.  I can't magically wake up and be healthy and normal.  I can't predict the future. 

I can only face this one reality and work with it as best as I can while I strive to be the man and parent I need me to be even if I don't know who that is or how to do it.  

I just know who it's not and to run from him.  

I know it's not the guy who feels sorry for himself and is using his fear of inadequacy to justify being an absentee lump who gave up trying because he's too caught up on shiz he cannot change to be anything else. 

This is the guy who looks at his beautiful boys and never stops seeing the signs of his disease in them, and, even though his genetic disorder is not bad at all, he worries for them constantly.

He's afraid they'll end up like him, weak and broken, when they should be strong and healthy and happy with who they are.

This man is a hider.  It's how he compensates.

I don't want to be that guy. 

Becoming him scares me most of all!

I'm scared because I can see him waving familiarly at me, as if we're the closest of friends, from a dark corner every time I look in a mirror.  

I wish I could truthfully and loudly proclaim to not know him, apoligize, and move on, but I cannot, so I do my best to ignore him and keep walking.  

Instead, I try to only acknowledge the other man I see in there.  I hope to get to know this second guy better, and, eventually, I wish to become his friend.


Because this second guy uses his fears and apprehensions as a foothold rather than an anchor.  

Where the first man is paralyzed by his shortcomings, this second guy finds ways around them to keep moving in the direction of his choice.  

He can look squarely into the eyes of reality without ducking in shame and move on without a second glance because he knows that there is no changing the "what is" or "what was," but there is hope to influence the "what will be" if you just try.  It all depends on how you use that next second, how you spend your next breathe, and this second man I see in the mirror uses his seconds and breathes wisely.  He doesn't waste them away on shame or guilt or embarassment because he is sick. 

You don't see him "checking out."

He's an active participant in life. 

I'm not him.  

I wish I was, but I'm not.  

I am neither the first nor the second man I see inside me. I am a third man who is desperately trying to be the second and terrified that I am the first.

So, there you have it.  One more of my deep dark secrets.  Feel free to share one of yours if you want.  


  1. Wow Jeff. I am sure it took a lot for you to say these things. I can appreciate the parenting and hoping your kids don't get a disease. In my eyes, you are an amazing father. All we can really do is live each second and relish every moment and memory we have with our kids. Thank you for sharing