The Reveal-ations of Brian McGuigan

16 thoughts on “The Reveal-ations of Brian McGuigan”

  1. Brian, as a regular reader of your blog, I am doing as you requested and leaving a comment. You are a remarkable writer and, the more I get to know of your life and your thoughts, a truly interesting person. I really appreciate your growing willingness to share what’s deep inside. I’ll stay tuned…

    1. Thanks, Keri. Sometimes it feels like my blog is reality TV minus the spray tans and jacuzzi sex. I’ll work on that part.

      Truly, though, thanks for reading and for letting me know that you read.

  2. Hey! You requested a census 🙂 Thanks for sharing – I’m also a “not never – just not now” guy with some stuff…well said. I’ll keep tuning in.

    1. I think that’s how we’re bred as men, Ross. Sometimes it takes us awhile to come around, especially with the deeply personal. The pregnancy helped me in that regard, giving me something bigger than myself to focus on and also making me understand that whatever I keep holding onto I’m only going to pass onto Sonny. He doesn’t need to grow up in the shadow of my emotional baggage.

      Anyway, thanks for reading, man, and I’m looking forward to exploring this country of fatherhood with you when you get there in a few months.

  3. I recently read your column. I have been a friend of your mothers her entire life. This past year I have tried to reconnect because we had fallen out of touch with each other because of jobs, family and other life changes.I came upon your blog while I was trying to find her and I am not going to sugar coat this email but I personally think you have overlooked all that she has done for you and the hours she has worked to give you everything. I look forward to getting in touch with her so I can hear her side of the story. From what I know about your mother she dedicated her life to raising you and I think discussing your personal life on a blog is wrong. Now that you have a child you we see all the ups and downs of raising a child. good luck

    1. Hey Eddie,

      If I couldn’t get in touch with my mother for four-plus years when we lived in the same city, I doubt you’ll be able to find her, but good luck with that.

      If you read this post again, particularly the opening line, you’ll understand that I haven’t told my entire story yet. There’s far more to what I have to say about her and other aspects of my life that I haven’t voiced, both the good, the bad and everything in between.

      Your story of my mother is simpler than mine. You may be able to tell it in a blog comment. Voila! I was raised by her, and therefore my story is far more nuanced and complex, and I’m entitled to tell it on a blog because–guess what!–it’s MY blog. You, on the other hand, are not entitled to read it. You can click somewhere else if you like.

      Good luck tracking her down. You’ll be the first!
      B

      1. Maybe I should have replied to your comment once I’d had a cup of coffee….

        Truly, Eddie, I have no clue who you are. If you knew my mother, it was before I was born, which was a long time ago. I assume, based on the link in your handle, that you knew her when she lived in Ohio. Several of her friends have tried to contact me in hopes of getting a hold of her. She hasn’t spoken to our family since I was a child, and she hasn’t been in my life for the last four years. I don’t think she can be found, not even by the Internet, but good luck trying.

        Regarding classifying what I’m doing as wrong, I’m going to be honest: this blog has been an unbelievable help to me over the last year. Documenting my weight loss and sharing my stories about the uncertainty and wonder of becoming a father without ever having a father has helped me heal, parse out my own feelings and gain a level of self-awareness I’ve never had. From the comments and emails that have rolled in, I know others are connecting with my stories, and when I’ve performed sections of my show, it’s even better. Grown men and women have come up to me to tell their stories, too, of when they were shamed for their bodies and how they’ve carried that with them for their entire lives. It’s an important, powerful conversation, to have someone you don’t even know open up and confess their childhood pain. If my healing helps someone begin a path towards their own healing, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

  4. eddie T,

    I disagree with Brian on one point. Of course you are entitled to read Brian’s blog, you are even entitled to disagree with him. But you aren’t entitled to censor or judge him. There’s a sign on my wall, it says “Be Nice or Leave.” That about says it all.

    Here’s a civics lesson for you:

    Free expression is a right, not a privilege, and that extends to blogs. Whether you agree with Brian’s personal gleanings doesn’t really matter to the rest of us and it won’t stop him from being who he is.

    We, as individuals, need to spend our whole lives finding out who we are. I have a sneaking suspicion that you haven’t even begun this journey.

    This is, in fact, what Brian is doing, and in doing so, it will make him a better parent. This is also what I do in my blogs and what many, many others are doing as well. We have a right to, and doing so MATTERS. Speaking our truths helps so many others in so many ways immeasurable.

    However, your comment is anything but helpful. It shows the world that you have no other ambition than to post a veiled threat to Brian to expose some truth you believe about Brian’s mother. Like, duh. OF COURSE she’s going to have a different POV. Does anybody here think otherwise? Will ferreting out this other perspective make any difference? Not really. There are not 2 sides to every story. There are infinite sides. This is what gives life its layers of meaning, its texture, its complexity.

    A better choice might be for you to take that same energy and find out who YOU are as a human being. And if you actually find the courage to do that, then I challenge you to try taking it public. Write it with eloquence in a blog. Only then will you respect and appreciate how brave, thoughtful and articulate Brian really is. I applaud his humor, his skill and his willingness to parse the dysfunctional family wheat from the chaff in his blog, rendering it relevant to readers who could use a dose of his insight. It’s hard work, it’s real work and it’s real honesty.

    Look, I don’t know Brian’s parents at all. But I do know this much: I spent my entire childhood learning from them how NOT to parent. I can proudly say that my really awesome teenaged kids are not the product of beatings, humiliation, and other horrible parenting methods from the 60s and 70s, thanks to my Mom and Dad.

    I am equally tired of people thrusting that false guilt trip, “Your parents gave up everything for you” in the face of certain truths. Yeah, my parents did, too, they reminded us of that sacrifice everyday while dishing out decades of ass kickings and emotional ambushes and veiled threats to their own children, none of us doing anything terribly wrong besides trying too hard to be infallible and perfect. We were too fat. Too dyslexic. Too beautiful. Too successful. Too independent. Too outspoken. Too popular. Too lazy. Too irresponsible. Too juvenile.

    At age 47, I’m still trying to work through that, and I blog about it from time to time, and that truth I share is equally inalienable. I’m certain my parents would disagree with every characterization I make of their parenting choices. Oh well. They can have their say. Let the readers decide. I welcome it, actually. I imagine the outcome of such a point-counterpoint would be a fascinating conversation the whole world could learn from.

    Like Brian says, feel free to pursue your version of the truth. Everybody’s version is real and meaningful and authentic, even if not everybody agrees. It takes a higher mind to understand this, though, and a singular arrogant comment on a blog is not going to cut it. So don’t go there without first asking yourself why you need to strike out against Brian’s truth. He has, in fact, known his own mother his whole life, and that ain’t no small thing either.

  5. EddieT,

    It is clearly evident from your rant you are either a self-absorbed judgmental prig or an advocate of censorship. Either way you have no business pushing your attitudes on Brian’s blog. You see, dear Eddie, blogs are personal journals that are shared with like-minded people who are voyeurs into the underpinnings of the writer’s mind in that space and moment in time. Perhaps you mistake Brian’s blog space as a blank sheet for you to spout off sanctimoniously about who he is and what he has become…how distastefully boorish of you!

    Dear EddieT, I am from the Deep South and we have a few rules we live by down there that clearly you are not familiar with:

    1. Never correct your elders and never correct your betters in public. It is just not done.
    2. Never wear white after Labor Day and before Easter. But if one is uncouth enough to do that never, ever correct them in public.
    3. Generally, one is to be polite, even to those they personally do not like. It is just nicer to say to those with whom you disagree or find odious a simple, “Bless your heart!”

    My parents were not the best in the world either and it has been a huge part of who I have become as a writer and a parent. I side with Brian on the topic of toxic parents, we need righteous anger who knew our circumstances best, not musings on civility.

    In the South we have a powerful way of seeming to be polite without being genuine to creatures like you, Mr. EddieT. So in my most polite and honeysuckle tinged voice I say to you, “Oh, sweet Jesus, bless our heart and fetch me my smelling salts!”

    Because, as every Southerner knows Dear EddieT, “bless your heart” is really Southern-speak for “fuck you.”

  6. This seemed like a fair and honest post and I didn’t get what Eddie T got his knickers twisted about. I seriously did not see a slam towards your mum. This statement did confuse me: “I think discussing your personal life on a blog is wrong…” Oooookaaay. That’s what bloggers do. A lot of them, anyway, myself included. And bwai is seeking insight, not just blathering, and that’s the best that we can ask of anyone and or ourselves. Kudos for digging deep, bwai. Ignore the riff raff. Keep going.

  7. Hey Brian (or should I say B, since that’s what I always called you),
    We shared what was probably an odd time for both of us, when we used drugs (a lot) to cope with our emotional baggage. We bonded over a shared commitment to not feeling our feelings, I think, but we also had some fun along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am today without that troubled time. I imagine the same is true for you.

    I love reading your blog because it helps me to see the man that you’ve become, or should I say, the man that I always thought you were anyway, underneath your gruff exterior. Also, you’re a fucking awesome writer, one of my favorites. I look forward to seeing what you’re working on next, and I’m never disappointed.

    Eddie has been taking a beating here, but I’ll just mention that as someone who spent some time with you, I can say that from my perspective, you seem quite grateful for what your mother did for you. You spoke often of how hard she worked, how she did her best with a tough situation. I don’t know what’s happened between you since then, but what I remember was not a lack of gratitude. I still remember waking up on 9/11, when your only concern was “Is my Mom okay?” You didn’t go to class, to work, nothing until you knew she was alright. These are not the sentiments and actions of an ungrateful son.

    I look forward to hearing more, and I’ll be reading whenever you’re ready.

    1. Memories, man. We did have some good times together, and our shared commitment, while self-destructive at times, was, in retrospective, probably what kept us going. I know there were moments when I wanted to drop-out, especially after my roommate died my freshman year and then 9/11, but I stayed on, mostly because you and Jaime, Carlos and Hillman were my own little family.

      I have so much to write about 9/11 and think, almost 11 years later, that I’m finally getting at the good stuff. More on that sooner than later.

      Thanks for reading, Eli. I’m glad through this blog and FB we’ve been able to keep in touch.

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