Daily Prompt – Trick Questions

A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?

Well, first and foremost, I wouldn’t want to be asked about any type of politics… especially foreign politics. I loathe politics, and most certainly don’t like talking about our own country’s political climate, let alone any other countries.
Continue reading

open letter 8 Jan 2014

So, the following is an email that I wrote to a friend of mine who was in tears yesterday over some issues going on within their family. Although they aren’t being identified, they encouraged me to post it on my blog.



So I firstly wanted to apologise in case I seemed somewhat uninterested or dismissive of your emotional state before class tonight (well, last night) – that wasn’t the case at all.

Secondly, I wanted to check in and see if you’re okay?

I know how hard it is to be in a situation like yours. I know how hard it is to see one person you love be so cold and hateful towards somebody else that you love.

I can empathise with your situation, and all I can say is that one day, it will get better. It always does. It might not happen tomorrow, as much as you might want it to; it might not even happen next week, or even this year… but at some point it will.

Being somebody who doesn’t believe in religion, I’m not in a position to understand what the views of homosexuality are in your faith, nor do I claim to understand said views. Regardless of whatever religion, I always find it incredibly hard to understand anybody who has an issue with homosexuality.

I think that it would be incredibly hard for you to be in the position you’re in, because yes, you love your brother and yes, you also love your father, but he doesn’t love his own son.

I’m not even sure if that’s the right term. Love. He might ‘accept’ your brother and his ‘lifestyle’ for whatever reasons, but does that mean to say that he doesn’t love him. He is his own flesh and blood. Is he really that against it, that he would go as far as to say that he doesn’t love his own child?

If that’s the case, that’s just simply cold and arrogant. And something I find hard to believe.

I’ll let you in on something that I don’t discuss – I’m not even sure I’ve discussed it with Hulk, so it’s not something for you to repeat to others…

I don’t have a relationship with my father. Ever since I was a kid, we always clashed. ALWAYS. I never really knew or understood what it was, but we generally left each other alone – he did his thing, and I did mine (usually with mum).

Now, mum and I have spent countless hours rehashing out all my unresolved ‘daddy issues’, and one of the things we concluded was that he was simply scared of me. He was scared of me because I was completely different to all the other boys my age. I didn’t want to play with trucks, or go to the football, or go fishing with him. Instead I wanted to go to dance classes, and play with cabbage patch kids and barbies and twirl around the house in mum’s netball skirt.

even back then when I was 5 I was fucking ‘gone with the wind fabulous’ (and if you don’t understand that reference, jump on youtube and search Kenya Moore Gone With The Wind Fabulous… she’s from Real Housewives of Atlanta… it’ll make more sense then!)

So, where was I… right… so because dad was such a man’s-man, he expected me to be his little mini me… just the way he was with his father, and so was his brother, and so was every other male he grew up with. And so was every other father-and-son he met over the years. That’s what he was expecting. That’s what was ‘supposed’ to happen.

And I broke the mould.

And because I was so the complete polar-opposite of what he was expecting, he literally flipped out and didn’t know what to do. Nothing had prepared him for that realisation. He didn’t know how to behave around me, or talk to me. He thought it was just a phase… and when he realised it wasn’t, he started to get desperate.

He would force me to play with my brother who was obsessed with trucks and cars (daddy’s little mini me!!); he would force me to watch football games on tv; he would force me to hang out with him up in the shed; he would drag me, literally, kicking and screaming with him when he went fishing… all in some kind of desperate attempt to ‘fix’ me, and knock some sense into me.

Boys didn’t behave the way I did. Boys didn’t like the things that I liked. I was different. I wasn’t like any of the other boys. He couldn’t handle that.

The other aspect of that was that because I was so different, most of my time (and support and encouragement) came from mum. Therefore we would spend significantly more time with each other, and he got incredibly jealous of that and it drove him crazy.

Mum was a lot more understanding and accepting of me being so different as a child. Rather than almost have a heart attack and fly into a rage when she saw me jumping on the bed in my cousin’s fairy princess dress, she simply told me to stop jumping on the bed and twirl around on the floor instead. Then she made me a crown out of tinfoil to really complete the outfit.

When I wanted to get a Strawberry Shortcake doll, she didn’t fly off the handle and scream at me telling me there was something wrong and that I would be getting a Tonka Truck; not at all, she asked me which Strawberry Shortcake doll I would prefer.

When I was obsessed with Barbie and the Rockers, she would make sure that the babysitter brought them over with her so we could play with them until it was time for me to go to bed.

That’s what I know, and because of that, it’s shaped who I am, and the outlook and attitude I have on life, and parenting and acceptance.

When I was 20, my father and I had a massive falling out. A fight so massive, it happened over the phone and went for hours and hours and hours one night, until I cried myself to sleep and didn’t wake up for 2 days. That was the last time I spoke to him.

That was 10 years ago.

He knows he broke my heart. He knows I want nothing to do with him ever again – I even renounced his surname (and his family in the process) as a result of our blowup. For a couple of years afterwards, he would send cards / letters to mum’s house, and she’d forward them to me (because he didn’t know my address in Melbourne) and they were always full of some bullshit about how sorry he is for hurting me, and how much he loves me and wishes that one day I would be able to get past this, and we could at least start talking to each other again… and just that would make him happy beyond belief. As much as I despise him and will never forgive him, I know that he still loves me. He always will, I’m his child – his first born – which is always so strong and significant.

Now, he knows that I’m a scorpio, but I don’t think he ever understood or bought into the traits of any of the star signs… one of them being that as a scorpio, I can hold a grudge… and here we are 10 years later, and I’ve not forgiven him. I never will. I don’t think any child could forgive a parent for what he said to me.

How does any of this relate to your situation?

Well just like my father, your father seems to have some very rock-solid views from the 50’s. THat’s what he was taught. That’s no doubt what his parents views were, and it’s also the views of his religion. And who is he to question his religion??

But this isn’t about faith, as much as it is about his own son. His flesh and blood. There’s something quite telling about a man who can’t even love their child, regardless of any other circumstances.

I think it’s very typical for parents to be very unaccepting of their child’s lifestyle if it’s anything other than the norm – but regardless of all of that, they still love, and always will love their child.

In terms of the dramas between your brother and your father, it’s not going to be easy. Your father is a man, and men are stubborn and they don’t like to talk about or even acknowledge their emotions. Perhaps that’s something that needs to change. You mentioned that your mother knows… maybe that’s something that she needs to discuss with him one-on-one. She might be able to talk some sense into him.

It makes it harder knowing that your brother has a disability, and I can see how that could be used as the excuse to explain your brothers lifestyle, but at the end of the day, they both need to realise that it’s not a choice; it’s not something that be prayed away; it’s not something that can be ‘fixed’. Your brother isn’t broken, he just likes guys. He doesn’t need fixing, he needs understanding. He’s already got it hard enough having a disability… adding the dramas of being gay on top of that.. lordy, I’m feeling sorry for him!

Your dad needs educating. He needs to hear a voice of reason. He needs to know that it’s not a disease – your brother was simply born this way. It wasn’t a choice. It’s genetically predetermined when he was a foetus.

It sucks that you’re caught in the middle of it all, and it’s not going to be easy for anybody involved in a situation like this, moreso if it starts to become volatile at all, but all you and your family need to know is that there is help available out there – you just need to be willing to ask for it.

He also needs to understand that his views are dated, and that whether he likes us or not, we’re here to stay. We’re not going anywhere. Ever.

And of course, if worse comes to worse, you can always talk to me about it.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve rambled on for long enough… it’s getting closer and closer to 2am and my eyelids are getting incredibly heavy, so I think it’s time for this little black duck to get some shut-eye.

So remember, I’m here if you need. Otherwise, I’ll see you in class.


Daily Prompt: Mad as a Hatter

Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?

There are countless memories I have of when I’ve, quite literally, gone into a white-hot table-flipping rage

But I think the one incident that tops this list belongs to one particular evening when I had a confrontation with my father on the telephone.

It was back in 2003 in the lead up to my 21st birthday. He had expressed some desire to want to visit me in Melbourne and spend time with me for my birthday. Apparently the previous 10 years of not really wanting to even be around him didn’t seem to get the message across to him, so you can imagine my confusion when he said he wanted to visit.

I should point out that at this moment in time, I had been living in Melbourne for almost two years, and made it crystal clear to my mother and my brother that under no certain terms, were they to disclose my address to him. The result of this, was that he would then send letters / cards to my mothers house, and she would then forward them on to me, along with a letter from herself as well.

More often than not, as soon as I saw his handwriting on the enclosed envelope, I’d roll my eyes, sigh heavily and mentally prepare myself for the emotional drivel that was contained in the contents of the envelope.

Then, naturally, I’d call mum straight away

And this one particular night, after a very, very long counselling telephone conversation with my mum, I reached the decision that I had to be upfront with him and that I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to come to Melbourne and I didn’t want to see him.

See, as much as I can be a bitch, I actually get stressed out when it comes to confrontation. I can’t do it. In my head I can, but actually physically following through with it is a completely different story. So, when I’m on the phone to my mum, I was getting all fired up saying stuff along the lines of ‘yeah, and I’m gonna tell him I don’t want to see him! And I’m gonna tell him not to bother coming to Melbourne at all! Why the fuck should I be the one to feel obligated to drop everything to see him, of all people I can’t stand. Fuck that. Right, well, I’m gonna go call him now and tell him and get it done with!!’.

I was ready for a fight. I called his number and waited for his rough, masculine voice to answer the phone.

Over the course of that almost three-hour conversation, not only did I bring the heat for my ‘fight’, I bought twenty years of repressed emotional turmoil that my father was responsible for. He brought me to the door, and I opened it.

And it all came flooding out.

All of it.

Everything. Every instance and memory of emotional blackmail. Every moment he destroyed a small piece of my soul. Every time he made me feel like I didn’t exist… did somebody say daddy issues??!!

I unleashed twenty-years of pain, and wasn’t taking any prisoners. I was out for blood.

Nothing had prepared me for what came out of my fathers mouth during that conversation. One little sentence, which I will not repeat here, but one little sentence that completely changed me. Permanently. One little sentence that ended everything right there and then.

Completely shocked, speechless and outraged, I hung up the phone and sat there in a stunned silence before everything suddenly made sense.

I called mum immediately, incoherent and crying incoherently.

I relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, and tried to make more sense of it. In doing so, I also put mum into a table-flipping rage. During our conversation, I managed to briefly calm down and the sadness and the hurt and the pain quite rapidly turned to rage. It also didn’t help that during my two-hour conversation with mum, he tried calling at least 9 or 10 times.

By that stage, I’d had enough.

‘Mum, he’s calling again. I’m gonna go and deal with this….’

Just as I hung up the phone to mum, he called my phone again.


‘I, ah, I just wanted to see if you were okay?’

I needed to take a couple of deep breaths before I responded because all I could think in my head was pretty much:

I tried to remain as calm and rational as humanly possible. I think it lasted maybe three minutes… maybe. I don’t really remember much of that conversation because I was so full of rage, I was physically shaking. All I remember out of that was telling him that I was done and as of that moment I wanted nothing more to do with him, and he was dead to me.

The last I remember hearing was my father on the phone crying and apologising and asking me not to say that. Correction, asking me not to ‘joke around’.

Who’s joking? I was serious. I was done. You don’t say something like that to somebody, ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN DAMN CHILD!!! As soon as I hung up that phone, nothing would ever be the same again. I was crying, he was crying, I was in a rage. I hung up and called mum and had a complete emotional breakdown on the phone.

I, again, relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, in between my uncontrollable fits of crying. By the time I had finally calmed down it was about three or four in the morning, and I was feeling guilty about keeping my mum awake for so long and listening to me. We said goodnight and I hung up the phone and fell asleep.

On the floor. In the corner. In the dark. Where I had been crying.

I woke up later that day, and dragged myself into the shower. I then put myself to bed, cried myself to sleep, and didn’t leave the bed for another two days. I don’t remember eating. I think I had a biscuit at some point, and maybe a Berocca, but I’m not even sure about that.

I do remember that when I did get up, I felt confused and disoriented. I sat on the window-sill in the lounge room and called mum and asked if what happened, actually happened, or whether it was just a nightmare, and she confirmed everything. That day, I began the start of my new life.

From that point on, my father was dead to me. He was nothing to me. Nothing. At that point I decided to renounce my fathers influences on my name – middle and last name – and began the process to legally change my name to my mothers maiden name.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and since that day, I have never looked back or had any feelings of regret for doing so.