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[Editor’s note: The following was relayed by voice and transcribed here. Not for the frail of spirit.]

This is going to be an attempt to kinda get something off my chest, maybe work a little something out for myself. Little bit about me: I’m a 37-year-old man and my life’s in shambles, to be quite honest with you. I’m divorced, have been for a year-and-a-half now.

I can’t say it was no fault of my own, but from my perspective I can say it wasn’t mine entirely. And in this day and age, contrary to what folks may tell you, we do not live in a patriarchy. We live in a matriarchy. Women hold the power in any and all relationships with men, whether that be in work, in social interaction, marriage, whatever.

All it takes is one word from a woman, and you will lose your job, you will lose your club membership, your marriage will end. And if she presses the issue, she can get men with guns to come and take you out of your house. Regardless of what the circumstances are, you will have to leave or they will… well no, you will leave, one way or the other. It will be peaceful or violent, and that’s the way it is.

Either way, I had a troubled childhood, so to speak. My early childhood was good, and I miss it to be quite honest with you. But going into my preteen years I got what we used to call uppity. I got to thinking I knew a lot more than I did. So I started looking down on the people around me. My parents, my grandparent—I only had one alive at the time.

And so I was giving my father a lot of problems. I started experimenting with drugs, and drinking. Now my dad, he was an alcoholic and he got sober at my age, at thirty-seven. He had gone through it. I was born when he was forty-four, so it was more like being raised by my peers’ grandparents than my peers’ parents, you see. He was a hard man. And he tried to teach me things he thought I should know, and things I did need to know, and things I use now in my everyday life. And one of the things he wanted me to do was avoid the mistakes he had made.

Well when I got uppity, I of course did 180 degrees, because I thought he was an idiot and I knew better. So I was drinking and drugging and all that. Thieving, lying, cheating, stealing, whatever you can think of, I was doing it. Of course he couldn’t have that in his house, and he would discipline me for it. But as I said, he was much older, and quite frankly just not capable of physically handling me. And I would get violent, and he would get violent back with me.

So to keep from having to kill me, he turned me over to the care of the state to get me out of the house. I was a danger to him, I was a danger to my mother, I was a danger to my younger siblings who lived in the house with us. There were three others: two more boys and a girl in the house, and I was the oldest.

Well after I got through the juvenile system, I continued to do my dirty deeds and I graduated to the big-boy system. Got in a lot of fights, went to a lot of different city municipal jails. Luckily I never went to prison and I sobered up when I was twenty-four, finally.

Shortly prior to that, I’d met a girl and I thought we could build something together or be in a relationship. And because of the violent and tumultuous nature of my teens, I didn’t have a lot of steady girlfriends. I wasn’t a virgin or what you might now call an “incel,” but I just couldn’t keep a girlfriend for very long, because I was such a toxic individual that no girl with any sense would want to be around me more than a month or two.

This relationship lasted for six months, which at the time was my longest. And during the course of it I got her pregnant. I didn’t want an abortion; I wanted my child of course. Well she didn’t want a child at all, or maybe she didn’t want a child with me—I don’t know. I haven’t seen her in twenty years…or maybe fifteen I suppose.

Either way, the timeframe doesn’t matter. She got pregnant and wanted an abortion. I begged her not to do it; I argued with her not to do it; I pleaded with her not to do it. She decided to it anyway. What she did, though, was she lied to me. She said she wasn’t going to do it. She told me that she had a doctor’s appointment to get checked out, and her mom was going to pick her up. So she picked her up.

Through her sister I found out that what she was doing that day was to get what’s called a “DNC,” so I rushed down to the “doctor’s office,” which turned out to be an abortion clinic. I got there too late. I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t cause a big scene, apart from crying. You know, I didn’t get violent with anybody. I was just inconsolable and kinda thrashing around to myself. But needless to say, that was the last time I ever talked with her.

Around that time, I was starting to gain a little bit of introspection. And I was able to kinda look at myself in the way that other people would look at me. And I started realizing that the lifestyle I was leading was not the best. So I started trying to straighten up a little bit. But I continued to drink. I can’t handle it—I’m an alcoholic and I’m not one of those people that can handle drinking. So I drank for three more years until one day I was able to see myself clearly, as if the scales fell off my eyes. And I saw myself exactly how other people must have seen me. And as I say, I was a pure piece of s---.

And I was overwhelmed with this tremendous sense of shame. So I quit drinking. And after I quit drinking, I was able to talk with my father for the first time in ten years like an adult, like a human being, without it leading to a screaming match. And one day I was sitting in his living room, and I broke down. I was talking about that girl, and that baby she had aborted, and how it tore me apart.

And my dad told me a story that just made it even worse. It wasn’t what he intended and I’m glad he told me, but my feelings—the shame and disgust that I had for myself increased. And I’m gonna tell y’all that story now.

To be continued...

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