introduction 3 manhood. His beliefs became mine. Indeed, his entire way of thinking about life was imported into my brain, poured into my veins. He was my greatest influence. I spent all my life longing for him to notice and acknowledge me. My brother was as unaware as I was that I gave him that role. What a disaster for our relationship. There I was with all sorts of wild and needy expectations, and there he was with his life, plodding along unaware. Not a good recipe for the survival of a healthy sibling relationship! Father’s Day is always complicated for me. I feel as if it is split into three men from my childhood, each influencing me in different ways. In fact, I do not remember experiencing the warm, supportive love of a father, and if I yearn for it, as of course I do from time to time, I do not really know what I am actually yearning for. Most likely, it is a movie- or television-type father figure or a character from a novel that I long for. As a result, relationships with men have been complicated for me throughout my life. At first I saw men as either Prince Charming or the devil. I learned very early on to be coquettish and cute, flirtatious and playful, and to sacrifice my needs for a man to like me. In addition I transferred the adoration of my brother to all other men. They must all be superior to me in every way, especially in intelligence, but also by being more rational and more vulnerable. A trilogy of men appeared in my childhood psyche: one, old and gentle with large wrinkled hands, somewhat unapproachable, who seemed startled, even physically jump- ing back if I tried to hug or kiss him; another, teasing and distant; and the third, intelligent and rational. I was unable to feel belonging or emotionally safe with any of them. Today I am orphaned of two of them—my father and stepfather have died. Many of my relationships with men in my life were illusions concocted in my brain to help me survive. During the women’s liberation movement, a world of complex- ity and emotional choices opened up to me. I wandered through the feminist door in wonder and relief as I began to shed the requirements I had set for myself and relearn the world of human relationships. Men became whole and complex, human and approachable, as I struggled with being authentic without fear. There were, of course, years of con- fusion as I transitioned out of the old and into the new ways of perceiv- ing my emotional psycho-socialization process. I explored my identity, sexuality, and spirituality—in short, the entire concept of my self. The search and struggle is not nearly over. There is still so much relearning to do because I came to this stage late in my life. It feels promising and