EVERYONE is a product of their environment. In my opinion, there are NO exceptions.
A long time ago, when I was 16, my Mom and Dad were killed in a traffic accident. Having only one relative (my Dad's sister), I went from living in a suburb where you didn't even lock your door at night, to living in a downtown Chicago condo with my Aunt who was at the time Deputy Superintendent of the Chicago Police.
It was a real eye-opener. But it wasn't all bad. It certainly shaped the way I live my life even to this day. Some very good habits, and other not-so-good. It was a long time ago, but although I've never been a handsome guy, I was something of a "player", and had more G/F's than most guys. One day I fell in BIG LOVE, and after some time, got married. A marriage better than most, or was it?
Nine years later, and while our oldest child is playing in the sandbox, my wife tells me she's not in love, and wants out. I was stunned. Regardless, the marriage IS over, and I pour myself into my career. Occasional dating, but nothing serious.
Then one day, I meet THE ONE. We date pretty exclusively, but she decides it's going nowhere, and I'm history.
"This hole in my heart can only be filled by you..."
I'm not angry or even bitter, but I've resigned myself to avoidance. Now completely celibate, not only sexually, but emotionally as well. The thought NEVER crosses my mind.
A few weeks ago, a good friend who has a very busy, productive Dentistry practice comes over and we're grilling on the deck. The beers are adding up, and we're solving all the world's problems. There's a break in the conversation, and he suddenly looks upset.
"I need to tell you something. I've never told ANYBODY. My wife doesn't even know."
"Go ahead Man, it's just you and me."
I'm expecting a bombshell, but it's really innocuous. Not about sex, romance, cheating, money, crime, drugs, something so uneventful that no one would probably care. The story comes spilling out, and I just let him speak his mind without interruption.
We talk some more and I think it's time to trot out my own epiphany.
"I want to tell you something...you can't tell anyone...especially not your wife."
"HAHAHA" It's just you and me!"
"My youngest daughter just got her Driver's License." She lives about two miles away.
"You poor ba5tard."
"I haven't seen or communicated with her in..."
My voice cracks.
My friend looks at me, mouth agape.
"Awww DLG that's incredibly F-ed up."
I stand upwind and get the smoke from the grill square in the face. It's a good excuse for the watery eyes.
We ALL come with baggage. No extra charge. You can't change the past, you can only try to make the best of the future.
You gave your Dad a break, No?
Now it's time to look in the mirror and forgive yourself as well.
ALL (normal) parents want their children to be happy, right?
ALL (normal) parents want their children to have a better life, right?
Go get 'em, Nurse. Make your parents proud.