I have written over 50 blogs for My Misfit Life.  I think my original intent was to be fun, maybe a little tongue in cheek sometimes.  I wanted to highlight dating, travel and the everyday musings of a 40+ single woman, head of household in a married, corporate world where I plain just don’t fit in.  In fact, the more I embrace and act on who I am, the wider the gap grows between my world and the one I mortgage in.  Despite intent, I have let myself meander through any topic which moves me whether it be funny or dark.  I am ok with that.  I appreciate where this writing has taken me and the fact that it comes to me so quickly.  20 years of writer’s block is terrifying.

I have debated about whether or not to write this piece today because it has no tidy end.  It has questions I am afraid to ask and answers I don’t want given to me.  But it is destroying my insides and I have to do it.  I lay bare the most complicated of my feelings and cannot wimp out even when it cuts as deep as this.

My father enjoys antagonizing his children, mostly my sister and me.  Dinner table topics frequently incinerate the family when dad throws a match on the gasoline of our vulnerabilities.  I have celebrated this for years because it makes us smart.  We have learned to craft well researched arguments and form opinions based on education.  We are ridiculously smart.

I watch him light my sister up which is super easy to do.  She cares about so many things which run contrary to many of his Baby Boomer ideals.  Despite that, he is super supportive of her and her family dynamic.  He doesn’t get into LGBT politics but he will get into anything else that fires her up.  Even still, it’s not actually a direct attack on her.  More like watching a fire a few houses down.

Somehow we got on the topic of George H W calling Trump a blowhard and I made a joke about that being George’s way of detracting attention away from the discovery of how he likes to grab rear ends from his wheelchair.  My mom said, “well, he’s just old.”  I told her that’s a convenient excuse we make to dismiss poor male behavior and she agreed.  My father piped in about it not being that big of a deal and wondering why anyone would say anything about it now.  I tried to explain that while it’s certainly not Weinstein level, it’s a woman trying to add to the dialogue of how we have allowed rape culture and harassment to be so pervasive and how so many people have just looked the other way over the years.  No one is suing HW, just airing out something he had been doing for years and allowed to do all this time.  It’s an important conversation to have.

I then said I am glad all these stories are out.  I want them to all come out.  I want to hear at least one new one a day regardless of the magnitude and who it’s lodged against.  I want it all out so we can break the system and start over.  It’s my version of “draining the swamp.”

What possessed this response, I will never know but he actually asked me what some of the women meeting Weinstein were wearing.  He went on to explain Hollywood women dress a certain way and what must they have been wearing?  I stopped dead and looked at him with this response “I can’t believe you are saying that to me of all people right now.  Not one thing a woman does or doesn’t do will ever justify a man touching her or saying something disgusting to her or intimidating her to keep/gain a job.  Nothing.  Nothing ever.”  And yet, it didn’t stop.  He continued to try and defend his point.  He agreed with me in principle but went back to Hollywood being different and these women having another angle.  I said that it is disappointing that there is a minuscule percentage of women who may misrepresent things for attention but it should not take away from the legitimacy of the 99.9% of all the stories out there, including the ones we don’t hear.  Our voices were raised enough that Fergus barked at my dad.

I don’t know how this conversation ended.  I think I actually left my body at that point.  My father sat through not 1 but 2 rape trials of mine.  He listened to that story twice.  He heard me get torn apart in court for having depression and for being a creative writer.  He heard me get asked the questions about what I was wearing or why I opened the door or what I must have said.  He listened to me have to explain why I didn’t press charges right away.  This conversation was a direct assault in my yard…not a fire a few houses down but one directly at me and who I am because of something that happened to me which wasn’t my fault.

It’s no secret that my father and I have a really complicated relationship.  He hasn’t always worn a cape in my stories.  But when I sum up all the parts of his life which have broken him or robbed me of a real dad sometimes, I still think he’s beautiful, amazing, remarkable and a hero.

I’m sorry.  I don’t think I can write anymore on this.  I have no closure.  I am shaking and crying in between sentences.  And I don’t want to give words to how this is making me feel.  Is no place safe anymore?