Father's Day IMHO: How are you most/least like your father?

My father strives, every day, to live out the ideals embodied by Christ. He routinely does missionary work in prisons, going into prisons for 3-day stays to minister. He has, in the past, done missionary work in the Sudan, taking medical supplies and personnel into very dangerous areas. His church, worship, and belief are the central core to his being, and have been from the time he was a small boy. He consistently makes service to others in the name of God the central aspect of his life.

I am a questioning pagan.

How we are ALIKE is that I, like he, believe that a higher purpose is an important part of one’s life. His may differ from mine in very fundamental ways, but we both feel that having a sense of a higher authority (or a Higher Power, as defined by some systems) is important in life.

My father has never understood me, nor I him. He was benignly neglectful of me growing up, preferring my brother over me at all times, and openly relegating me to second-class status in his life. His own father was an alcoholic and morphine addict, so his “father” toolbox was limited at best. Although I do believe he did the best he could with the limited model he had, he was not supportive of me at all. But he did give me the idea that our lives are better lived with a goal in mind that includes making the world a better place.


We both have Asperger’s Syndrome, look almost exactly alike (except I have straight hair and he does not), and both have similar voices and political views.


Everything else.

We are both introvert homebodies who thrive on routine. I am really the only introvert on my Mom’s side of the family, but one day I had my ‘‘aha!’’ moment when Dad said, “I like living in this apartment because I don’t have to talk to anybody.”

We are both smart, but my Mom’s smart too, so I’m not sure if I got that from him. We are both creative. He couldn’t afford to get me fancy toys growing up so he gave me some water balloons, drew faces on them and told me they were fish. And I loved it and would play with them for hours. It was always something like that. He could take a spool of string and some masking tape and a bunch of boxes and make it into something interesting for a kid to do.

He’s a raging alcholic who refuses to take responsibility for his actions or cope with his feelings. I’m not even inferring this from his actions - he has explicitly said as much. I kept trying to get him to go to AA as a kid and he told me I was just going to have to accept that he’s an alcoholic. He never paid child support, he lost his license for drunk driving 30 years ago and still refuses to do the counseling necessary to get it back, and he spent most of our time together dragging me to bars and telling me to go play outside so he could get stoned. He considers himself a failure, and a deadbeat Dad and all these things, but over and over when I was a kid, it was just, ‘‘You have to accept that’s just the way I am and I’m not going to change.’’ He just uses alcohol to numb all the unpleasant things he feels, from grief over his childhood to guilt over being a lousy father.

He thought he was invinceable when I was growing up, and that he could protect me from anything. I have a strong hunch he is Bipolar. He would get in these moods where he would spontaneously do ridiculous, dangerous things, like jump off the top of a building or walk up two flights of outdoor stairs on stilts. He was absolutely convinced he could handle anything and if I got scared he would tell me not to worry because the was the Greatest Athlete in Our Town.

I, on the other hand am always trying to improve myself, take responsibility for my behavior, and generally be a responsible person. I love alcohol, but rarely drink. I am willing to feel my emotions, however unpleasant. I am very cautious and concerned about safety and taking risks. I am conscientious to the extreme. I want to be excellent at everything. Maybe in part because of how he was.