Dennis Eric Stout
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Dear Dad;

It's been a while since I wrote, but I think of you regularly.

I met the most beautiful woman a few years ago; her name is Nancy. She's a fun character. Our first date was at the Bodyworks exhibit in the Houston Museum of Science. I introduced her to mom and she won approval. You never met them but I also introduced her to the Derners; they approved also. Since she has everything, I hiked her to the top of Lazy Mountain...

... we watched some fireworks...

... and I stuck this ring on her finger :)

We got married last April, on the 2nd.

Things have been going well, and then this turned up in September (though the picture is from November):

We don't have a gender yet, but we'll name him "Richard" after you or "Carol" after her grandmother, depending. You're going to be a grandfather!

I've been in school for the last few years. The goal is a B.S. in Computer Science. You didn't approve of me dropping out of school, I know, but here I am, back in school and getting straight A's. You hear about prejudice of the North against the South, and when you enter the schools, it's no wonder. But maybe, as smart as I am, I can gain some influence over the area and turn the place around - really make some improvements or something.

My job is going well. They're paying for most of my schooling, I'm not in any danger of being laid-off any time soon, and they tried to promote me a few weeks ago but I couldn't take the new position because of health insurance. Maybe they'll get that fixed, maybe not.. I'm willing to let them try; it certainly can't get worse really.

You bought the family a camcorder a long time ago. I don't know anything about video equipment from back then so I don't know if it was an awesome one or a cheap one or what, but it recorded video and that certainly was neat. Not long after we got it, it disappeared... Someone pushed me into trading it for a skateboard, and then I never got to even ride the skateboard. I didn't know what I was doing tho, so I hope you forgive me.

I dunno what to do about John. He's always abused me, physically and psychologically. He's always excluded me, and the only times he ever included me was when he was pretending so he could lure me into another round of abuse. A few years ago, he told me he was tired of having to come to me for help on stuff, even tho he never did come to me for help, then went and got his own service and demanded that I help him make it work. In the process, he took things away from me and refused to give them back. I tried negotiating, but he refused to give them back whether I cooperated with him or not. For moms sake, I tried to help him but then he refused that and hung up.

Since then, I've demanded that he write me a letter of apology for it. Specifically, for him to recognize that he demanded I help him after he told me he didn't want to come to me for help, and for him to recognize that he wasn't being fair in his negotiations. I have demanded he apologize for those things and to describe why it was wrong, why he thought he could do it, and whether or not he'll ever do it to me again.

From what I have gleaned of the situation, he is trying to teach me how to deal with the world. Based on what mom has told me, I think she thinks this also. In the real world of business, these things are easy to deal with. If it's an unfair trade, don't make it. And if someone is doing too many raw deals, they eventually burn too many bridges to stay afloat. Easy. I can handle that. So why he feels it's necessary to do this to family, I don't know.

Unless maybe he thinks I'm dumb?

Anyways, I'm refusing to interact with him until I get that apology, but it doesn't seem to be coming. It's becoming a wedge, and I'd like the issue solved, but I don't know how.

They recently sent some kind of a gift. I threw it away and requested that they not send anything else my way unless it's an apology. I think they thought I wanted an apology for the gift, but that's not at all what I was referring to.

I feel awful, but I don't know what else to do. I'm not willing to subject myself, knowingly, to that kind of abuse and all I can gather from his lack of apologizing is that he doesn't feel the least bit bad for it.

Some direction as to what is right would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Your loving son.
Im sure your Dad would be extraordinarily proud of you. In the time I have known you, you have turned Everything round and climbed many mountains very successfully.

Im also sure he would have given John a slap upside his head more than once. Stop beating yourself up about it. This stuff happens in families.

Move on. You have plenty to move on with :)
And you're right, he would be proud of me and he probably would have slapped John upside the head a few times.

I just wish he'd leave me alone until after he grows up a little.
Youre welcome :)

Did you ever consider he may be jealous of you?
I had not, but since you mention it.. I always figured he had enough cool things going on in his life that he had nothing to be jealous about.

It's possible. Hm. I'm going to have to mull that over a bit.
I agree with DL. However, those sorts of guys never grow up. Reconcile yourself to there always being discord between you and *never* give him another opening again. He is not and never will be your friend, or even a harmless acquaintance.

BTW, congrats on everything! You are doing very well.
That's pretty much what I had decided as well. I orchastrated the requirements of his interacting with me again in such a way that he can't until he really does change, regardless of whether or not he goes through the motions.

I suppose what I really wanted was a reassurance that I am on the right path, which you and DL have given me, so thank you :)