Columns May 7, 2009 at 4:00 am

Bliss Con


Bravo for your responses this week, Dan. And bravo especially to SMS. The world needs more parents like you.
HDTH listen to Dan please and get out, dump the sick fuck.
I am in an abusive marriage myself and I am working on getting out of this hell before it completely destroys me. It's been nearly two years now and I am already damaged but I am working on that.
Someone here said Love and fear cannot coexist. You cannot love someone you are afraid of.
It is so true. GET OUT while you can please. There are great normal guys out there.
Good luck to you HDTH and thank you Dan for your awesome work.
You are so dead-on with your responses in your column. I look forward to reading your column EVERY single week.
"Think of the good times as rainbow sprinkles on a dog-shit sundae—sprinkles or no sprinkles, you're still standing there with a bowlful of dog shit in your hands."

positively EPIC...and, more importantly, positively TRUE!!!
HDTH, get the movie, Waitress. Fast forward to the hospital scene. Pay close attention to Keri Russell, specifically when she is holding her brand new baby and talking to her husband. Repeat as necessary. After you have this scene committed to memory, go back and watch the rest of the movie. If this doesn't make sense to you, volunteer at a Women's Shelter for domestic abuse. I would think 1-2 hours a week would be enough.
Just being out to his parents is going to save SMS's son a lot of heartbreak. Being out to one's parents at that age, and having parents that are supportive, means having people with better judgment around you, so you don't get so heavily invested in people who are, after all, assholes.

When I was 14 and 15 years old, I saw all around me that the people who couldn't tell their parents they were dating were the ones who had the most terrible experiences. This meant the closeted gay kids, the redneck girls with black boyfriends, and the uber puritan raised girls. Homophobia, racism and sexist religion ultimately meant that the kids all had tunnel vision, they saw their mate as this halo'd creature because they were young and dumb, and since it had to be a secret, there was no one else they could turn to, and their mate had complete control.

So they put up with abuse, physical, emotional, sexual, the whole gambit, because they didn't know better, and didn't feel well enough about themselves to confidently say "no, that's not ok."

Unfortunately, I was in that crew for a while, with a girlfriend who coerced me and manipulated me and made me feel like shit for a long time.

I guess the lesson is "secrecy is poisonous." And, of course, "you can BE a dick without actually having one."
I'm with everyone else, Dan--you really did hit it out of the park this week. The advice for SMS was brilliant and definitely an interesting (and insightful) perspective, and your point about abusers' MO in the second letter was spot on.

And @ 41: I love the limerick.
The parents can get tested TOGETHER for A VARIETY of STDs. Then tell their kid about it. Getting tested TOGETHER for A VARIETY of STDs is a good idea for the kid and his sex partner. Sexual health checkups reduce ambiguity and can be like anything else they do together.
To HDTH: Dan's right: DTMFA!!! Your current boyfriend is a controlling, sack o' monkeyshit, manipulative pigasaurus rex asshole (and for your sake, I hope he isn't my ex-husband)!

Dump the piece of shit and get on with your life. If you still don't agree, re-read Ameliorist's and 4f...sake's blogs.
Better yet, watch the film Once Were Warriors, and get out while you still can.

Right on, Ameliorist---I can relate. I left an abusive relationship from hell, too.

Have courage, HDTH. I hope everything works out for the better for you.

To HDTH: Dan's right: DTMFA!!! Your current boyfriend is a controlling, sack o' monkeyshit, manipulative pigasaurus rex asshole (and for your sake, I hope he isn't my ex-husband)!

Dump the piece of shit and get on with your life. If you still don't agree, re-read Ameliorist's and 4f...sake's blogs.
Better yet, watch the film Once Were Warriors, and get out while you still can.

Right on, Ameliorist---I can relate. I left an abusive relationship from hell, too.

Have courage, HDTH. I hope everything works out for the better for you.

“the ones who can't stand him” does it occur to her that perhaps they can’t stand him because they see him mentally, emotionally, (and soon to be if not already) physically abusing someone they care about?
Perhaps “he is a shit” is not an opinion but a clear assessment.
My family and friends told me that my first wife was all wrong for me, but did I listen? Noooooo. I almost got married a second time to a woman who would have been all wrong in a different set of ways but then I realized that perhaps I should listen to all those people who know me well and love me. Now I view that almost second marriage as a bullet that I dodged.
I think your advice to SMS shows just how smart you are and how good you are at what you do. It's spot on!

I'm a big fan of you, your column, your podcasts, and your videos...!
Great advice for SMS, Dan. Hopefully I'll do the same if my future child turns out to be like me and enjoying my own gender.
There is nothing worse than someone blaming a victim. Than saying that they "brought it on themselves." I had a man throw me around his house for nearly an hour once. You know how he said it started? He said it was my fault because I threw a crystal bowl in the bathroom on the floor and broke it. You know how that bowl broke? He pushed me into it and it shattered. It did not start because I was breaking things, it started because he was on an abusive power trip.

I had a friend that did not take what happened to me seriously. She thought that by being a strong headed woman who stood up for myself I was 'asking for it.' She is no longer my friend. You can be a fucking righteous bitch, there is no excuse for a man twice your size to be abusive. Do you know what it feels like to have someone that strong holding you down? To use every muscle in your body to try getting up, to try fighting back? And being completely and utterly incapable. TO be helpless like that? Do you know how it feels? It is horrifying. Do you know what it's like to look at someone that you thought you loved and to ask them and yourself "what is he doing to me? why is he doing this?" I shouted at him "How can you do this? You say that you love me?" And he laughed at me, like I was pathetic. And I never went back to him.

It is only an abuser that justifies being abusive to anyone for any reason. Period. End of sentence. She's trying to see how angry she can get you? So what? Your only choice is be an abusive fuckwitt? Walking away is not an option?

Reality check time, maybe you need some help.
Hilarious that YAYCBS's insult appears in the same column as two letters & responses that will surely become two of my favorites. Whether the insult appeared with these fine posts was a fluke or intentional, kudos to Dan Savage for showing the full spectrum of his inbox. YAYCBS, your computer and tv are obviously stuck on one site and one channel. Signed, YAYSADC (Yay, Savage and Discovery Channel!)
Completely on-target with HDTH ... it's the classic "buildup-blowup-honeymoon" cycle going on. Honey, if you have to sneak out at 3 am with $2 in your purse and just the clothes on your back, DO IT!!! And if you have to go back and sleep in your old room at Mom & Dad's, DO IT!!!

Maybe he's not pounding on your face (YET!) but the toughest scars to heal are always on the inside anyway, and you've already got more than you realize. God bless, sweetie - it may be the hardest thing you've ever had to do, but you are ABSOLUTELY worth it!!
I was really hoping HDTH would have left a response saying "I got out and I'm safe now". I still hope she does.
Oh HDTH, please please! listen to Dan. I fell in love with a guy I thought was a good friend, afterall I had known him for 11 years--that should make him safe, right? When we got together, I had my own place, shared custody of my 12 year old daughter, a car, 3 horses (I was a prof. horse trainer at the time), my own business, etc. VERY VERY long story short, 3.5 years later, I was suicidal, had lost my business, my car, my apartment, my horses and most importantly of all--my daughter, who I was convinced, by him, was better off with her dad, because he was jealous of the attention I gave her. He was very well off, we lived in a very economically depressed state, it ranks dead last out of all 50 states in wages. With his income, he promised to "take care of me." What a loaded gun that was. He should have just asked if he could buy me. My daughter was competition, as were my friends, my business, my horses and my family. One by one I gave up my posessions, passions, everything that took time away from him, until finally he convinced me my girl would be better off with her dad. One minute I was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to him, the next I was a bloodsucking parasite. I never once in all that time asked him for a penny, even though he forced me to quit working to be available for him and offered to pay all my bills and then renegged. The lowest point was when he told me "you would have done everyone you have ever met a favor is you had just put a bullet in your head before your kid was born and saved her and everyone else the trouble of ever having met you." His apology? An $800 Coach bag. And some Prada sunglasses. I started to plant seeds with him to move to another city that had a better economy after almost 3 years of this shit because after having all of my resources stripped from me systematically I knew I couldn't make it on my own in our home town anymore. My daughter was safe and well with her father and step mom, so we moved, and I immediately started planning my escape. After a few months with some decent paychecks, I waited for him to go out of town for a couple months on business and I made a break for it. My parents were on the east coast at the time so I called them to see if they could find me work out there. My mother and stepdad hated this man SOOO MUCH, I had a job interview in NYC within 3 hours!! 10 months later I am free, living alone in NY with a great job, some great new friends, and am finally starting to feel "whole" again. My little girl is still in my home state, and we talk regularly and she is doing fine. I can't tell you how much damage this man did to me emotionally and psychologically. Some will read this and say "you could have left" and they are right; but it took 3 and a half years because I had no money and no where to go and no way to get there. I played my escape from this guy like a season of Survivor: outwit outlast outplay. HDTH, I hope it doesn't take this much for you. This is the NUTSHELL VERSION of my story, it gets deeper and scarier than this but I think you get the point. The highs are never worth the lows when he breaks your shit, he's just warming up before he breaks your face, its a matter of time. Get the fuck out now. It won't get better. Your friends, family and EVERY LAST PERSON WHO HAS POSTED HERE CAN'T ALL BE WRONG!!!!!! We don't know your guy, therefore we can't hate him, but if what your are saying is true, run like hell and don't ever look back!

With love and best of luck to you sweetheart, you can do this!!
Treating your young gay son like a daughter is great advice! I've never heard it put that way, but it is definitely true and I hope the dad takes your advice.
Just want to echo your advice to HDTH, which is spot on. I was in a similar situation once, and excused the nasty behavior by focusing on the good, but I ultimately realized that it didn't balance out that way at all.

Also, one thing I'd like to add: of course the friends who tell HDTH to dump the abuser hate him. That doesn't mean they're problematically biased, it just means that they see what he is doing to their friend and evaluate it rationally, which is hard for her to do because she's in his thrall.

Good luck, HDTH.
Wow; Dan, I'd been reading your clumn for years in READER mags in different cities, just started reading this site a year ago. The situations and the advice you give; very rational. I love reading comments, espcially on the issues here! The Dad (or Mom)is great for looking out for their kid. I have 4 girls under 10, and hope i'll be open minded (and overbearing, cautious) when I get to that stage, whether they are gay or straight..they'll still be our daughters. We also raise them now so they'll have self worth, etc, because I know there's scumbags love to control,too. What really made me think was comments #121 and 125; I never saw it like that, wow. Scary stuff for real. My friends/parents didn't like my first wife either, didn't listen, more of a mentally abusive relationship, but that only lasted 2 years, before I left her. Yes, there's light at the end of that tunnel, and like #23, if you got to go..get the hell out!! I've happliy remarried-9 years with the girls, but even if I wasn't..the Bible says "it's better to eat crumbs in the attic than eat a big dinner with a (fill in the blank)significant other," or something like that. Don't be a Hale Berry, one bad relationship to the next, please! God Bless you...
One more thing; what's helped me get over bad relationships (bisexual, straight, whatever) has been to listen to Sades' album, "Promise." It's like her 2nd or 3rd album, but OMGosh, the whole album runs the gumut of feelings, (denial guilt, etc), and it's better than throwing yourself out of a window (which I know nothing about).

Once again, the album "Promise" by Sade (all tracks)

Then, counseling (free, if you can find it)

Maybe stay with (caring, non-toxic) friends/family
so you can lick your wounds, and reflect

I wish the best for you; God bless...!
@47 - while her partner MAY be suffering from borderline personality disorder (though I'd lay my cards on narcisstic or antisocial), that doesn't mean she shouldn't get the hell out of that relationship. Axis II diagnoses are DIFFICULT to treat (some say impossible) and it may be years before he makes any progress - meanwhile, right NOW, he is showing the classic signs of a DV perpetrator revving up to start laying his hands on more than just her things.
I'd let a centaur fuck me*, and I'm a straight guy. Then I'd have him fuck my wife.
I love what this column's done for me, for everyone. Gives us a place to admit shit like this.
(* would have to have some fur up his back and chest so I could pet him. Seriously. I'd want to nuzzle him like a horse.)
Question. if he came to dinner, this hot centaur, would he shit my dining room? You know how horses love to crap any time, any place.
My first thoughts about "between the hedges" were that it was oral sex with a woman who trims her pubes, since hedges are always trimmed. My second thought as a gay man was "Ick, why did I even think of that?" LOL
Great job, Dan! The advice to SMS was beautiful. I'm not sure what the right answer is to a gentle, guided introduction of teens to the world of love and sex, but maybe this is on the right path. I'm a 30 year old bisexual guy in a committed relationship (with a woman). My teen sexual experience was divided between fairly innocent and parent-visible relationships with girls and hot and heavy, (sometimes anonymous) pet & suck with boys in the bushes. My parents definitely didn't know about that. But it would have been interesting to have something in between.

@45: I pride myself on not being a pig, but you've got to face the statistics: whether it's environment or genetics, men are more piggish than women. (See @55, +funny.)

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