Patience, my friend. This one is going to take a lengthy explanation.
So, let's start at the beginning. My dad has had an enormous influence on my life, both in good ways and bad.
He was sort of a mythic figure in my life. He had this crazy job that made him travel all the time. It made him fairly wealthy, too, or at least it appeared to.
As a result of this, I had a very privileged childhood, traveled exotically, and was really very spoiled.
But it all fell apart around the time I graduated high school. My parents got divorced, our family had immense financial difficulties, and my dad came down with a form of leukemia. He also moved overseas.
Over the next decade, things got even worse as many truths about my father came to light. He was to put it bluntly, a very bad man. He cheated on my mother for most of their marriage with multiple partners, perpetrated fraud in his business and was a con artist, embezzled money from my grandparents and their family business and more or less destroyed it, and possibly worst of all lied to us all about having, leukemia, which he never did.
One of the more life altering side effects of all this, was that I learned that the way I thought my childhood had gone, and the actual events that were happening were really very different things.
The things my father did sort of swallowed my history as a child, as a person. I felt like I didn't really know who I was for a really long time.
Okay, thanks for hanging in there. Now let me tell you something that happened to me about 10 years ago.
By accident I once left my contact lenses in overnight not just for a day but for several days. I'm not sure how it happened, I just forgot I had them in. I got the great granddaddy of all eye infections. It was really, really bad. It was so bad that when I would go outside I was almost functionally blind for about two days.
My girlfriend at the time, wife now, Missy was super mad at me about it. She gave me an enormous and well deserved spanking. My other partners, Pene and Spacey also gave me no end of grief about it, as did many other members of my poly family and my close circle of friends.
Some months after this, I lamented aloud to anyone and everyone I could, "Will this never end? When will I stop being punished for this thing?"
I recall Pene's answer, "Never."
The funny thing is, it's not hyperbole. Since that day, this thing has continued to follow me around.
Total strangers who listen to the Big Little Podcast, have teased me about it.
I have this very close friend Amelia, who I've known for five or six years now. Note that this is long past when this happened, and I didn't even know her then.
This morning we have the following text exchange:
See at the end there? She told me she loves me because she knows that when people tease me about this it does kind of irritate me.
But to be honest, it's a feigned irritation at most. Actually one of the really great things I get from this, is that it's sort of uncorrupted personally owned history that can't be taken from me.
People who tease me about this, do it because they care about me. It's a history of being loved. Not by a parent who failed me, and in doing so, deprived me of a huge chunk of my life. But rather it's a history of being loved by people who care about me on my own terms, as my own person.
Every time it happens, it makes me feel kind of great. And to be honest, it really does keep me from ever sleeping with my contacts in again too.
i'm grateful I have this history and I can appreciate it so.