I have just had a very interesting lunch with my mom. We were discussing my dad’s behavior while I was growing up. The good things I can say about my dad could fill several thick books. The bad things could fill at least one thick book, too.
About 20 minutes into the conversation, my mom looked awkward and told me: “I’ve never told you this, but when you were very young, you had a doll of which you very very fond, and you loved to play with her. I remember seeing you with the doll when your dad came in, saw that, and viciously ripped the doll away from you, and angrily said: ‘No! You’re a Boy! Boys don’t Play with Dolls!’ ”
My dad was mostly soft-spoken; more into non-confrontational conflict … so this sort of outburst was unusual. I don’t remember the incident, but it must have sent a very strong message to the young t-girl who was playing with her doll at the time … and she grew up living by the agenda of “behave like a boy regardless of how you feel inside.”
So now we know where it might have all begun. Of course, the conservative society in which I grew up reinforced the point.
Some of the missing puzzle pieces are still showing up, even so many years later …