March 01, 2005
Bad Parenting II

Stephen Elliott has a follow-up post about his ongoing (and unfortunately public) battles with his father. All I can say is that I really admire Elliott for his courage and dignity in dealing this this stuff:

There's a history lesson in here somewhere but I'm not sure what it is. When we write about ourselves we involve the people who were catalysts in our stories. That might not be fair to our parents and siblings and lovers, all of whom have their own interpretations of events. In better times my father has joked, "I only handcuffed you to that pipe one time and look how many stories you've written about it." I guess a writer who gets over things is not much of a writer. I think there was a time when I thought I was over my childhood but now I know with certainty I will never be over it. That, for better or worse, I am mostly defined by my life starting when I left home and finishing five years later when I started college. And while it's ridiculous to identify myself as a "group home kid" now that I'm thirty-three and a lecturer at Stanford, still I do. And for my father I forgave him once and it was a mistake. He steals my history. I won't forgive him again.

One more thing: read his books.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at March 01, 2005 03:12 PM
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