|Photo courtesy of Peter Beste|
NATURE VS. NURTURE
Dear Willie D:
Never in my life have I ever wanted kids. After growing up in an abusive household — due to mental illness — I always joked that the crazy genetics of my family would end right at my womb. I have worked extremely hard to get past growing up that way and live a normal life.
I was always terrified of having a child because I knew firsthand what a bad parent could do to a kid. In middle school, when other girls were figuring out what kind of clothes and boys were cute, I was dealing with suicide attempts and trying to figure out how to leave my home for good. But now there is my man. We have been together for a long time and it is undeniable that he is going to be an amazing father. He is patient, creative, and loving.
He makes me think about how much I want to raise a child with him, and together we could be the parents I never had. I often find myself daydreaming about it. But I feel like my genetics would be like dumping toxic waste onto a pristine landscape. People have been trying to study the nature versus nurture argument for decades, and I still don't think we have any definitive proof.
I also feel strongly that helping a displaced child have a happy, healthy life is the right thing to do. Only I worry that all of my reservations are selfish and that maybe the age-old importance of passing on genetics would mean more to my partner than I think. It is an issue that I know we will be talking about, but I'm curious about another man's opinion on the matter: is it wrong to deny a man a biological child just because of fears about passing on genetic problems?
While growing up, because of the lack of love and abundance of dissension in our home, my oldest brother Warren used to tell me our family was cursed. While I wasn't convinced, his words did make me wonder. Still, my desire to have my own biological kids and break the cycle was stronger than any fears or opposition. I don't know your man but if he is like most men; if possible, he will want his own blood running through his child's veins.
It's noble of you to want to give a displaced child a loving home and not bring a child who might be genetically predisposed to mental illness into this already crazy world. But to use your own words, you haven't given me any definitive proof that your child will be mentally challenged.
You seem like the type of woman who would make an excellent mother and your man appears to be capable of being a great father. Nature is the strongest force known to men. But nothing develops to its full potential without proper nurturing.
I THINK I MIGHT BE A PSYCHIC
Dear Willie D:
I have visions of things happening and they happen. I sensed that my brother was in some form of danger involving a vehicle, and the next week he was in a bad accident. Physically he was okay but he totaled his car. I can tell when a friend is depressed without seeing or speaking to her. When I call to tell her everything is going to be fine, she usually cries or asks me how did I know?
I have premonitions of children being born all the time. I can see a pregnant woman in public and tell her the gender of her baby without knowing anything about her. Whenever my second sight kicks in, I know something is happening because my vision and smell sensory increases exponentially and my taste buds become acute. My friends think I'm blessed to have this gift but I see it as more of a curse.
I don't like feeling all of these emotions but I can't control them. What do you think I should do?
I tend to believe that all of us have various degrees of a sixth sense or second sight. They're disguised as hunches, instincts and intuition. I'm not a believer in paranormal abilities, but if I had the foresight to predict the future I think I would embrace it.
If you truly believe you have psychic powers and don't like the feeling; since you can't control your emotions maybe you should see a psychic. No, really; I hear they're pretty good at guiding energy. When you get a chance, ask for the winning numbers to this week's lottery for me. If I win I'll split it with you.
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SHY GUY IN NEED OF A FEW MOVES
Dear Willie D:
I'm a smart guy who makes a decent living working in corporate America. I am very confident when dealing with clients and employees that I supervise, but when it comes to meeting girls I wimp out. It's always been like that for me. I have orated before a crowd of 5,000 people without stuttering once but when I try to talk to the ladies it's a problem. Whenever I find myself around a woman I'm attracted to I freeze up.
By the time I get the nerve to speak to her she's gone or she gives me that stranger-danger look, at which point I usually decide to not even bother. What can I say to a female to make her want to date me that doesn't sound like a pickup line?
Never try to make a girl do anything. You have to get her to want to do everything. Women love personalities. So if you're the good guy you seem to be, just be yourself and if it's meant to be everything will work out. Be a man and flat-out ask her for her phone number or say something like, “Hey, you want to hang out sometime?”
If that doesn't work, tell her you're the heir to a $50 million trust, but you have to be married with a child within the next year to claim your inheritance. Money can't buy love but the right amount of it can buy a whole lot of shoes; and women love shoes.
TRYING TO FORGIVE ENEMIES
Dear Willie D:
I know that resentment is a noxious habit but I find it very hard to forgive people who mistreat me. I once went ten years without speaking to my sister because we got into an argument over our kids. I'm a medical-office receptionist. My primary duties are to optimize patients' satisfaction, provider time, and treatment-room utilization by scheduling appointments in person or by telephone.
Last week a patient came in acting very rude towards an assistant and was told to behave or leave. She decided to calm down and was allowed to see the doctor. But she was clearly agitated from being scolded and let me know by rolling her eyes. To get back at her the next several times she called for an appointment I either scheduled her for the least desirable first appointment time (7 a.m.) or I told her we were booked.
She deserves to be treated badly because she is not a nice person. At the same time, I know the way I'm treating her is not right. If I'm in a good mood and she calls, immediately my attitude alters and I get stressed out. How do I let go of the anger, learn to forgive and move on?
In certain situations — like yours — I'm the wrong person to ask about how to let go of anger and forgive. I probably would have scheduled the rude patient for 7 a.m., then waited until she arrived to tell her we were already booked up. Depending on how I was wronged, it's hard for me to forgive. But I have learned to manage my anger to a degree where it doesn't consume and depress me; it's called emotional compartmentalization.
Now the experts say learning to forgive promotes a healthier lifestyle and a greater spiritual well-being, so you should probably listen to them. I still have a few loose screws that need to be tightened.
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back soon for more of his best answers.