the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

The son becomes the father…

16 Comments

I would have put “10-year blogging journey” in the title, but that was starting to become clunky, and so I omitted it.  But just for your reference, dear readers, I’m picking up where I left off from New Life and the VOX years.

“One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.” — Joseph Campbell

I had very mixed feelings about having a boy in my family.  Memories of being bullied by boys was too fresh in my mind.  Middle-school classmates called me “faggot” and “queer”, and chastised me for discovering I was into hardcore porn.  I was deathly afraid for years that the homoerotic aspects of my otherwise heterosexual fantasies would be discovered.  It took me a lot just to admit this to Cimmorene, much less to anyone else.  I also repressed a lot of memories of my father beating me as a child– it wouldn’t be too much longer until I remembered.

Masculinity was in turns fascinating and repulsive to me.  How could I be a good father to a boy with that conflict churning inside of me?

I had already come a long way in understanding the buried rage at my mother, for all those years she chipped away at my self-esteem, then strangely turning to me as some sort of surrogate husband.  But I was only just beginning to understand the anger I had towards my father– not even so much for beating me (that did terrify me)– but for not protecting me from my mother and grandmother.

“The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being.”

How do I describe this?  It was one thing for me when my daughter learned to say “dada” and then “Daddy”, but yet another when my son spoke those words.  I knew I was a father to a boy!  But how to reconcile mixed memories of my father?  There were good ones as well as bad ones.  As my son grew, it slowly became apparent to me.  My son demanded my physical touch.  It didn’t matter too much then whether I was paying full attention to him or not, as long as I put my hand on his head, shoulder… he was satisfied.

It awakened something deep inside of me.  Something that had been missing, for a long time.

Some time later, I remember my father telling me how much I had matured over the last five years. When I told a friend of mine about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, “That’s because that was when your son was born.” Indeed, it had been five years since he was born.

HeroesjourneyAtonementSee also A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Atonement with the Son

Next post in the series: …the father becomes the son.

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

16 thoughts on “The son becomes the father…

  1. I love you, darling. I always knew you’d be a good daddy.

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  2. I can’t even begin to comprehend all the things you went through as a child. But, it’s wonderful that now you have the opportunity to be the kind of father that you probably wish that you would have had. No one’s perfect, but we can certainly learn from the mistakes of our parents, whether large or small. I’m sure you’re a great father.

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      • There’s something about having children that demands of us that we grow up and become more serious about life. Congratulations, you discovered your trigger. You are a very good father, not perfect, but very good and loving. Perfect would be soooo hard to live with! 🙂

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  3. I’ve just nominated you for The Sunshine Blog Award!!
    If there’s anyone deserving of it, it’s you.

    The Sunshine Award Rules:
    Post a picture of the Sunshine Award
    Post 11 random facts about yourself
    Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you
    Nominate 11 bloggers.
    Write 11 questions for them to answer
    Let the nominated blogger(s) know you have nominated them

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  4. I don’t get it Jak….why would middle school kids make fun of you for looking at porn when the overwhelming majority of them are looking at porn?

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    • They claimed that they were only into the soft stuff, and for me to look at hardcore was shameful. Playboy was acceptable; Penthouse was not. Yeah, it surprised me, too, but due to some early sexual abuse, I was a little more preoccupied with sex than my peers.

      Small town mentality prevailed in the 1980’s here. In spite of Hanford and the Manhattan Project transforming the entire Tri-Cities over the course of the Cold War, farming and agribusiness roots still run pretty deep.

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  5. You are so brave. The road to parenthood is so frightening for all of us (for very different reasons). I am glad you have found confidence in being a father.

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  6. I am glad you’ve found healing (or some measure thereof) through parenting your own children.

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  7. Reblogged this on the tao of jaklumen and commented:

    Atonement… becoming one with someone, is a process. I still find myself disciplining my son by the ugly traditions of my father, and his father before him. I do not feel courage attempting to break the cycle; I feel weak. Afraid. I feel anger towards my son sometimes, but it is really anger towards myself, and my father. It is hard to loosen that terrified grip, to submit, and be free.

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  8. I’ve always believed that a great part of the struggle to overcome the past in raising better children is merely having that concern over what to do and how to do it for the long-term benefit of the children and civilization-at-large. Self-doubt is a natural thing, and although it’s often seen as a weakness I think it tends to drive the best of us to greater levels of strength over the long run. The rest of it comes down to the choices you make, and after that level of introspection, how could we live with not making the right choices?

    I bet you’re a great dad.

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  9. What triggers our pasts is always somehow surprising to me but that your son’s birth triggered so much for you and for you to look at it, examine it, and rise to be a great father yourself is a true testament to bravery and growth. Important post and I am glad you have Cimmorene and your family.

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