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    I Have Trust Issues Because My Father Shrank Me

    I'm still scarred by a childhood accident caused by my dad.

    I'm the first to admit it: I have trust issues. Commitment issues. I haven't had a serious girlfriend in five years. And I ruined what I had with her because I was scared. Scared that the good feelings we shared could be taken away at any minute.

    I think a lot of my problems stem from the time my dad shrank me. It was the scariest moment of my life, but to him, it was no big deal. "Honey, I shrunk the kids," he said. Like it was nothing. Like I was a problem you could just shrink away.

    I'm very lonely.

    How can I form emotional bonds with the people around me when I know how easy it is to hit a baseball through a window, accidentally recalibrate a shrink ray's targeting laser, and end up in a bowl of Cheerios?

    Disney

    The author as a child.

    It took me years to build up the courage to even talk to a woman. Even when I was regular-sized, I felt like I was still shrunk.

    And when I finally did fall in love for the first time, I sabotaged it. That was years ago, but the thing is, I'm still in love with her. I rode a bee for Chrissakes! But I can't reach out to the woman I'm in love with to tell her how I feel. Sometimes I stumble on her photos online and I'm paralyzed for the day. It's like I'm back in my childhood backyard, sleeping in a Lego brick, terrified of being crushed by a foot or eaten by an ant.

    People say to me, "No one has the perfect childhood. Get over yourself." My dad literally swept me into a dustpan and threw me away. Try having a healthy sense of self-worth after that.

    Disney

    The author's father. He dressed like this every day.

    And this was hardly a onetime thing. My dad swore he could change. But then just five years later, he blew up my baby brother. You probably saw it on the news. He destroyed a Hard Rock Café. A dozen people died. But all I could think was, What I wouldn't give to feel that big for just a second.

    Disney

    The author still feels jealous of his younger brother.

    Then, just a few years later, my father shrunk himself and my mother. That was pretty much the end of their marriage.

    Unfortunately, there will be no closure between my father and me. He died four years ago. And to answer your question — yes, he died in a bizarre science accident. The left side of his body was shrunk, the right side freakishly enlarged. There was no casket that could hold his deformed body.

    I didn't go to the funeral.

    So relationships are tough for me. But I still hold out hope that one day I'll have love in my life. I'll come home, fling open the front door, and say, "Honey, I shrank my self-loathing." I'm not ready yet, but one day, I will be.

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