Father Knows Best

And other pernicious myths

Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle
5 min readJun 6, 2024

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My Geriatric Journal 8

(Note: This is a repost of a story that was lost from my archiv ewhen the publication P.S. I Love You closed.)

Source

I read a few days ago, with great concern and recognition, a piece by a fellow Medium writer for whom I have the highest regard. When people I respect and admire allow the curtain of their lives to be pulled back a bit to reveal their most secret suffering, I listen closely.

Her father was clearly a bigot and homophobe who abused her verbally and physically. The scene she described made me relive my own experiences, memories I thought I had whitewashed with the paint of time, tolerance and forgiveness. My father-–let’s get this part out of the way immediately since it is what I most remember about him — beat me. This did not occur once or twice but with enough regularity that I am unable to remember when or why, only that it happened and happened often. I know I thought I never deserved it.

The man is long gone, of course — I am writing in my Geriatric Journal and very few people my age have their parents still around. I survived the abuse. I left home as soon as I was able and never lived with him again. I’d like to say I forgave him, but in honesty, I did not. We were eventually reconciled but it was more of a cease fire, a…

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Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle

An aged humanist hanging on to the idea that there is hope for humankind against most current indications.