Thank You To The Man Who Taught Me How To Be A Man

Thank You To The Man Who Taught Me How To Be A Man

"Oh, almost forgot to do something, thank my father too. I actually learned a lot from you, you taught me what not to do." -Eminem

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Dear You,

Starting this off by saying "dear" feels disgustingly wrong. Nothing about you is dear, nothing you have ever done for me has been dear, expect you got me into Eminem at eight years old but let's be honest- that would have happened anyways. As far as the "you" part, you have no title in my life anymore, your name means nothing to me anymore nor does your previous title.

You have fucked me over more than anyone in my entire life. You've hurt me, pushed me down more times than I can count- but I've stood up one more time than each time you've pushed me down. You'll never see me succeed, nor will you meet my wife or our kids. This letter isn't to bash you, I'm over that because I'm better than you now and I realize that.

I want to thank you for the one thing you did do for me. You made me a man. I was raised on my Poppa's mindset- a house is controlled by God, a man, the wife, the kids, then everything else. I highly disagree with this now, but from age four you made me a man. My Poppa taught me that there was supposed to be a man and there was nobody else besides me and my momma so it was all up to me.

You know last week I refinished a cabinet all by myself? Sanded, stained, and sealed it all on my own. Now that's not a man's job but it's also not my momma's job because she works two to take care of me since we don't have anyone else besides Poppa and Grams. I was so proud of myself and I would have given anything for my Uncle Raymond to see it, he'd be so damn proud of me. Poppa sure as hell is. I didn't learn that from you, I taught myself how to do it. That was my second time ever staining anything, the first time was two weeks before that cabinet. Poppa is too sick to teach me things now and I don't expect him to do it, Uncle Raymond is gone- I'm the only man I've got.

I'm still not strong, I don't workout because I hate it tremendously. I can fix almost anything you put in front of me and I know more about cars than any girl I hang around (besides momma because she chased for so long). In 19 years I've learned how to hold my emotions in like a man because I had to be the strong one when you broke us. The only times are cry is when my girlfriend and I fight or I make momma cry, or if I'm really sick. I cried today too because I didn't get a job, I felt like a failure and I don't want to let momma down like others have in the past; including myself.

I still don't eat meat- not because I'm a "stuck up bitch". I don't drive a truck, but I want to so I can fit all of my things in it. I have a lot to say but not enough time or space to say it. I guess what I want to say is you forced me to become a man from the time I was four years old. I've always told people that I had to be the man of the house because we didn't have one. You don't make me want to be a man, you make me want to be a person and a damn good one. You make me want to be a partner to my wife, a loving one that provides. You make me want to be the best parent in the world- one that plays with Barbies and race cars (with the same damn kid).

You might not have done much, but you made me a man. A damn good man.

Best,

C

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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If You're Against Abortion, Here's What You Should Do About It

There's more you can-- and should-- do than picket outside Planned Parenthood

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Upon the recent passing of a law that permits late-term abortions, I have seen many of my friends cry out uproariously that our country is fallen and has forsaken God. While you could probably argue this point with other examples, I don't think that this particular one serves as proof of our current state. Let me first explain to you what this law really is about and then encourage you to take other actions to lower the abortion rate.

Now in case you're not familiar, New York recently passed a law allowing abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy. What I think a lot of people have still yet to realize is that this is only allowed in the case that the fetus is not likely to live once outside the womb or the birth will be of danger to the mother. So one more time for those who still might be confused, abortion doctors are not just taking babies out of the womb and killing them a day before birth because the mother decided she didn't want it anymore. This is to save lives and prevent pain and suffering.

I know many think that aborting a terminal fetus before birth still counts as murder, but let me equate it, instead, to ending life support for a loved one who is brain-dead. In many cases, these children are experiencing pain inside the womb only to be followed by more pain shortly before death once born. Parents that are choosing to abort their pregnancies in the third trimester for these reasons are devastated and only trying to end a child's suffering, often at the expense of their own.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that not all abortions are just being used as a form of contraception and that there are many painful stories about the necessity of abortion for a mother. What can you do to lower these rates though? Well, I might add that making abortion legal probably isn't going to do the trick. While you might want to close your ears to this information, women who want an abortion are probably going to get one whether it's legal or not. Many anti-abortion individuals happen to be the same individuals that are anti-gun control with the argument that illegal guns will be procured no matter the laws. Might I turn your eye than to the case of abortion and the fact that people will probably always do what they want to do. Anyhow, let me get off of my soapbox and actually provide some information.

If you're really in it to lower abortion rates, walking outside of Planned Parenthood with a sign, shaming the women who enter probably isn't going to do the trick. First of all, Planned Parenthood does more than just provide abortions, so you may be scaring/shaming a woman who just wants access to healthcare for her pregnancy out of seeking help at all. What you can do, however, is push for your local schools to teach real sex education and not abstinence-only contraception. Yeah, scary pictures of STD's might do the trick for a while, but as we've previously discussed, people are probably going to do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them. We need to be teaching our young people how to have safe sex, and just be teaching them about sex in general. I know that the thought of your teenager having sex probably scares the crap out of you but, if they're going to do it anyway, don't you want them to be safe?

Another thing that you can do to lower the rate of abortion is to call for easier access to birth control for women. When they can easily and affordably access safe methods of contraception, there are bound to be less unwanted pregnancies. The United States needs to not only be educating its youth about all aspects of sex, but it needs to be making it as easy as possible for them to be SAFE about it. It may not be your first preference for young people to be having sex, but if they're going to do it anyway, we need to ensure that they feel comfortable taking the countermeasures to be safe about it.

The last point I'd like to make before I finish up is that even if you think that abortion is morally wrong, it's not your choice to make whether or not another individual decides to get one. Many times this decision is going to be a painful one for the mother, especially if she knows that her child will not survive outside the womb. There is no reason to make this process more painful for her, or even dangerous by illegalizing it. We need to be supporting mothers and not shaming them for whatever decision they decide to make.

If you're anti-abortion, that doesn't mean you have to be anti-choice. If you would choose not to get one, that's totally fine and I understand that, but it's important to look at the bigger picture and ensure both the physical and mental health of our women who are probably already going through a lot. Now is not the time to tear others down for their choices. Now is the time for the human race to stand together and support each other and make sure that our country is a safe one to live in regardless of your beliefs.

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