Living conditions engendered an oversight in my upbringing by matriarchs in my environment causing them to be too busy to make me aware of all the disconnects ongoing between men and women. I say this because I never knew women were paid less than men for doing the same job until my mature years. Likewise, with the concepts of harassment and rape. These matriarchs appeared strong and in charge during my childhood into my adulthood. They nurtured my comings and goings, affording me a sense of freedom and self-determination without input for manly expectations.


Conditioned by a transient lifestyle from early recollections, and relocating often, between 2-months and 2years. On the odd occasion, there shorter stays. Women were the mainstay company, and memories of being with relatives were seldom. Of course, my mother was the main caregiver, among many others. All appeared to manage adeptly navigating society, and safety was the norm. There were men present of which my father numbered among them briefly, but few in memory. I went with the flow of the fluid comings and goings, and along the way arrived a female sibling.


Many relocations, all without preparation or debriefing, are remembered. There was too much ongoing, and being small, I was often overlooked and left alone to carry on in my own way as I grew. By this condition, there were many firsts in my memory, many I originated and nurtured and giving rise to this recollection. 


There is the memory of my first funerary proceedings; of viewing of a blacksmith making and shoeing a horse; of nearly falling from a roof with a last-second escape; of falling from the back of a moving truck, unexpectedly being tarred; of self-healing by making and applying a mud-salve to a deep leg-wound; and, of the indelible trauma of my beloved first dog’s death, to name a few. Unbeknownst to the females sleeping nearby, there were memorable late night movie viewings. These memories of earlier years were often triggered viewing B&W photographs.


Then, the time came to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime, thereby changing the direction our lives. An interim placement was necessary, of being in the care of a female friend, a teacher. Into another female-dominated household, somewhat indistinct from previous surroundings. Occasionally, there were the comings and goings of male residents who temporarily offset me being the only male inhabitant.


The males came and went, providing male references I added to my subconscious development, but without their gender biases taking hold to which I was not fully aware. I was privy to two males on different occasions, that were deemed ‘funny’. It was only in early-adulthood that I had occasion to identify ‘funny’ as homo-sexual. I grew intuitively agile, able to filter biased projections that exposed me to female-functioning dynamics, including the homo-phobia. These subsumed into unknown and unsuspecting mind-domains during day-to-day social interactions. 


I do not regret those early matriarchal dynamics. What saddens me is having to constantly struggle to regulate my matriarchal conditioning/lessons, while living amidst systemic misogyny assumed of me. 


Yes, I am male, but not of the masculine-versus-feminine dynamics stereotype as the dominating aspect of my growth from birth. No one cares, or are aware of the sparseness of male presence in my early life. I have survived being deemed ‘soft’, possibly homo-sexual yet to come out of the closet. I cannot imagine other similar presumptions from the aforementioned I came to know by chance!


There were a few who made the effort to assist bringing sexuality assumptions to the fore, while others actuated my preferred proclivities affording opportunities. Accepting the latter opportunities too easily, I unknowingly opened myself to more assumptions coining a reputation of which I was unaware. The philanderer, with other unknown attachments was lauded upon me by those envious/jealous.  


This reputation took me decades to recognize, comprehend and acknowledge. It was responsible for many by-product learning experiences. One experience saw me into a brief marriage, followed by a myriad of others I thoughtlessly fell into by easy invitations. I was  but a blind romantic whose behaviour accompanied a framed stereotype of unknown origins. 


I have lived long enough to acquire a clear-understanding/comprehension of my especial upbringing and reputation, and acknowledgement has given me pause to wonder about my life. Also, I wonder how many others like me are out there, and how are they faring? 


I offer this revelation for discourse, whether or not it is believed. Nonetheless, the preceding did occur, and I am immersed in its flow going forward…




Distillery Options 2010

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