May Him

Great thread. I also grew up in an “honor culture,” of course. It’s still very much alive in me, as it is with Christopher. Where I grew up, tolerating disrespect was the ultimate sign of weakness. It was something you did not do if you wanted to have any sort of viable social future. I learned that lesson early, that it was better to fight and lose (which I did, often, before I got good at fighting) than it was to back down or just take it stoically.

To this day there’s still part of me that feels more comfortable with violence than with just letting things slide. To be clear, I don’t resort to my fists now and I haven’t been in a physical fight in two decades. But still…the violent disposition, however small a voice it becomes, is always there; it feels like home in a perverse way.

A friend of mine once asked me how many fights I’ve been in. I literally could not remember, it was so many. That’s how I grew up, and how you experience the world as a child and young adult doesn’t just go away, as convenient as that would be.