Thank you to the men along the way that have helped me feel safe and secure. To the ones who never wavered, tested their boundaries and have held space for me to be myself and grow.
After loosing my dad this year and re-connecting with family (my half sisters and brother); I’ve come to realize I am not alone in my own fucked up-ness because of him. More recently, I’ve been more present for what I’ve missed out on. I’ve been watching this TV show with my roommate about a family that lost their dad in high-school, just before graduation. It is called “This is Us”— All the feels. Anyway, the dad in that show comes across as amazing. Needless to say, I cried a lot watching it and was pretty shocked by my own loss and what I never had.
I had been writing this post in a Starbucks on paper, while writing I observed a man and a younger gal talking to each other for a bit. After she had left, he had explained that she was like his daughter to him. He talked about his own daughter and had said how he bragged about her. It sunk in that my own dad would have never bragged about me. I let him know in the moment that “She was very lucky to have him brag about her”.
After having this conversation with him, it brought up all of the men in my life who were actually positive role models for me growing up. At the time because of my own PTSD with older men, I was terrified of them. Now I look back in admiration, appreciation and gratefulness. Slow and steady, I’ve been able to overcome my PTSD through multiple years in therapy.
The men I’m thinking about are my grandpa, Mike, John, and more recently Scott.
I have pictures of myself when I was much younger, like 3 years old, laying on my grandpas chest. He was the only man in my life at the time that never wavered, and he loved me unconditionally. I never doubted him. He was consistent and kind.
John and Mike were church leaders. They were kind, compassionate and amazing men. They listened with open hearts, they were consistent, and strong. They sat through all of my growth, my struggles and grief. They had amazing boundaries and I felt as safe as any other teenage girl would have felt with PTSD in the moment. As I look back on that time, I recognize their support and the impact they had on me when I was younger. It was impressionable and important in my personal growth and journey.
I am not going to write about Scott, but I did tell him to his face my gratefulness for his presence in my life.
I do raise my glass to these men, and many more who have impacted my life in positive ways. Ones who have allowed me to feel safe, who have not wavered outside of their boundaries and who have been instrumental to my growth in my self and overcoming my PTSD with men. You are truly amazing humans on this planet.
I cannot thank you enough.