One night, on a heart-wrenching episode of “Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab,” (I loved it. What can I say? You can judge.) one of the celebrities in a group therapy session shared a tragic story about his abusive father. His recollections were interspersed with sobs, and tears started rolling down my face too. I wanted to reach through the TV and hug the guy so hard.
Then, when his story was over, Dr. Drew’s co-therapist, Bob Forrest, asked the guy, “So, what do you want?”
He said, “I just want to have a father that cares about me.”
At home, I nodded along. Of course! Of course he wanted that. My tears continued.
Bob replied, “Well, you don’t get that.”
I watched in horror, HORROR!, as Dr. Drew shook his head – nope – to affirm Bob’s statement. I thought, “What? Did he really just say…”
And then Bob said it again: “You don’t get that.”
The poor celebrity was in total shock. I was in total shock. Could Bob really be such a jerk?
He repeated again, and Dr. Drew continued to shake his head, as if the first two times weren’t enough: “You don’t get that. Now what?”
The question stunned the whole group. The silence lingered.
You don’t get a different father. Now what?
The guy kept crying. The group kept crying. I kept crying. We were all slowly figuring it out.
I want my mother to be a yogi earth mama instead of an intense stylish powerhouse. I want my father to still be alive to balance out my mom’s intensity. I want pretty much everyone on the planet to like me.
I want so much from other people. Sometimes, I am proud because I actually ask for it. Sometimes, I am sad because I nag people for it. And yet, I don’t always get it.
Why? Because people get to do whatever they want. No one has to behave the way I want them to behave. No one has to change to be the person I want them to be.
I don’t get that.
You don’t get that.
People get to do whatever they want.
We get to do whatever we want.