When I was fifteen
I left my mother's all brown-and-white apartment in New Hampshire against
her wishes for my
father's California digs. He called
his place "the chicken coop"; it was two rooms and the roof was falling
in. My stepmother had left him and he'd sounded a bit suicidal on the
phone. I got off the plane and he was loping through the crowds like
Moses through the parted sea, a head-and-a-half above everyone else,
chicken-like hairdo and erratic beard, mismatched pants and shirt.
He walked towards me like he owned me, like I was a parcel he'd set
down for a minute instead of eleven years. I wore a new corduroy blue
dress over a white turtleneck, and except for being unusually gangly
even for my age, there was really nothing to notice about me. I had
just lost my virginity (didn't like it at all), was the third best
drawer in my class and hoped to be a writer someday. My father stuffed
me in his battered car and we each put an arm out the window, pretending
to fly over the highway.


     My father acted younger than I did. His unorthodox lifestyle
appeared unbelievably cool. Friday night was poker night. Sunday he'd cook a
huge meal and invite streetpeople over (he preferred voluntary charity to the
government-mandated version; he was a tax evader). His friends had names
like "Black Vic" and "Reverend Bruce." Things were regularly stolen from the
house. One visitor casually mentioned he'd just thrown a brick through his TV
because Stevie Nicks told him to. Another advised putting a beer in your baby's
bottle at night to make him go to sleep. My father would do anything. He applied
for welfare "as an experiment." Once we got on it, he'd do things like write
them a letter saying he was planning a
I never knew when or how he'd be near me.

dinner for six and needed fifty extra dollars in food stamps. And it came. My
father was glamorous.

     On a trip to the beach with the neighbor's toddlers,
he let me drive the van down an extremely steep, winding cliff. I'd never driven
before outside of a parking lot, and nearly killed us all about thirty times.
While the kids screamed and cried, my father sat calmly in the passenger seat,
not asking me to slow down. I don't think he cared if he died. There was something
so free and enticing in that -- you felt that if you just stood close enough
to him, some of his daring would transfer to you like static electricity. His
bright eyes and lithe body seemed to say: "I'm a daredevil. I'm outside the laws
of acceptable behavior. Are you,
or are you one of them?"

     My father never touched me and he never said I love
you. He didn't shake hands or pat backs. Having been abused as a child and then
spent years in
prison, it was as if there were signs all over his body: DANGER!
DO NOT TOUCH! He'd sit
with his back to the wall to have a clear view of all doors. His invisible enemies
crept into my world too, and turned it all very, very exciting. He never asked
what he wanted to know outright. He set traps, he did experiments. It kept me
on my toes. I never knew when something he said was a simple comment, or a test,
which I was loathe to fail. I wrote in my diary to him all the sentiments bubbling
up my throat and stopped by a cork-tongue: All the candles in Rome could not
outshine the burning in my heart for you!!! My admiration is a monument enormous,
my devotion knows no end!!! I feel for you not only as your daughter, but as
your fellow thinker.
But outwardly, I was quiet. Not surprisingly, he was
disappointed in my development thus far: a dreamy, bookish personality wrapped
in corduroy. I was a mouse. It was hard for him to believe his blood ran through

Sure I would've fucked my father. Everyone else did.

When he pronounced me "wishy washy," I thought I'd die. I thought I'd do anything
to change that about myself.

     I never knew when or how he'd be near me. He didn't
observe normal patterns of behavior. When I hurt myself and cried, he'd just
sit there and laugh. He liked to walk in the bathroom when I was taking a shower.
I became perpetually aware of the nakedness just under my clothes and the mental
helplessness just under my preternaturally large vocabulary. My senses sharpened.
I looked for clues in everything. I was unsure all day
long, and all night.

     There were only two rooms in the apartment and almost
no furniture, so we slept together on a fold-out couch. Lying there with our
long blond bodies side by side, stiff and straight, never slipping into the three-inch
gully between us, we'd talk about sex. Mostly he talked, since I only had about
seven minutes of experience to contribute to the conversation. He taught me lessons.
There are three things you have to say to women to get them into bed, he said.
They light up the room; they're different from other women; and you've never
felt like this before. It felt like my father and I were in a conspiracy against
the world, there in the dark in our creaky bed -- against my mother and stepmothers
and my silly school friends. We had our secret language, and we knew what was
what in this back-stabbing world. I think I would've done it with him if he'd
made a move. The only way anyone ever seemed to impress him was by spitting in
the face of convention. How better to prove I was rebellious than to break the
greatest taboo? Besides, he was hot stuff. He knew all about geography and Napoleon
and bull markets and systems of government and smuggling and why my mother back
home was so pathetic and ridiculous. He could make about fifty different animal
calls and introduced me to punk rock. Sure I would've fucked him. Everyone else

     My father's women were all around. He favored wizened
little degenerates with pouches of fat in unexpected areas, whom I couldn't picture
surviving under the weight of someone as big and strong as my

around me piled the rubble of my experiences: broken hearts,
suicide threats, hangovers.

They didn't complain when he made fun of their logic, and they didn't think it
strange that he had a whole stable of drunk floozies. He enjoyed the dirty, clingy,
untamed, manipulative broods of children that went with them. Chaos felt right
to him -- he sought it out and then he encouraged it to grow. He never referred
to all the broken bones and silent treatments he'd received as a kid (I had to
learn about it from the rest of the family) -- he had no use for self-pity, or
any other kind of pity. He reacted to one woman's depression, which rendered
her unable to leave her bed, by having sex with her twenty-five times in five
days. He then complained about the cost of rubbers, suggesting the woman was
taking advantage of him. "We each of us have our own highway to hell," the desperate
woman intoned. "Not me," rejoined my dad, "I'm a hitchhiker on someone else's
highway to hell. Too much work paving my own." Everything was a joke, and if
it wasn't, then it was something to be laughed at. That's how I knew when he
was serious: he laughed. Because he
never laughed at jokes.

     That man would part the thighs of anyone who somehow
fit into a category he'd never explored before: a different race, weight, height
or age bracket; anyone willing to be in an orgy, do it on LSD, and so on. I think
that's how he got mixed up with my mother -- he'd wanted to try out the prude.
My mother, a private school teacher, only gave my father one blowjob. Her only
blowjob ever, after which she had to go rinse her mouth out or throw up -- the
story varied, according to whether it was my
father or my mother telling it.

     I didn't want to be like my mother, careful with her
experiences. I wanted to try things out carelessly, ruthlessly. I would transform
myself into the one who takes, and the one who leaves. I became an experimenter
and a feminist of the loosest variety -- very independent and fucked-up and free.
I wanted to out-screw the men. And I did! By the time I turned sixteen, I was
like Clint Eastwood -- I roamed alone. In my mind's eye, I wore a hat. One that
eternally cast a shadow over my eyes. I sat with my back against the wall. I
set traps. I even seduced women, using the tricks my father had taught me: telling
them they lit up the room, they were different from other women, and I'd never
felt like this before. It worked every time. All around me piled the rubble of
my experiences: a variety of broken hearts, suicide threats, hangovers, fights,
poor eating
habits. I never cleaned up, just moved on.

     Unknowingly, I was trying to get my father out of my
system by becoming him. When that didn't work, I had an affair with an older
man who looked

I didn't leave the bed for five months, and by then I was pregnant.

him. I was seventeen and high most of the time. I imagined it was my father every
time. It was dizzying! I'd look up into his eyes, blue and myopic like Dad's,
and say, "Dare I? Dare I?" -- it was like standing at the edge of a ravine, wanting
to throw myself down just because it's so deep -- and then I'd allow myself to
let my vision blur, let my mind
smear this man's features into my father's. "Who'll ever know?" I'd say to myself,
and did it again and again. But this guy was too easy. He fell in love with me
almost immediately, and he whined.

     Then along came the man who would become my son's father.
A magister in The Church of Satan, he was cruel, over-sexed, and he demanded
extreme loyalty. I found this combination of qualities knee-wobbling. I didn't
leave the bed for five months. By then I was pregnant, and it was too late to
wonder what I'd done.

     Everything changed once I had my son. Not immediately.
At first I was the same: predatory, virile, chaos-seeking. I had to consciously
think through why I should not molest him. Why it was not okay to talk sexually
with him. I don't mean explaining the birds and the bees -- I mean bringing something
sensual and dark into every conversation. Part of me wanted to be like a girlfriend
to him -- no, a fantasy half-realized. I resisted out of respect. I had to let
him discover the world of sex and temptation on his own. That power over him
belongs to some other lady out there, probably unborn. My father never gave up
that power over me.

     At the age of twenty-nine, something happened that made
distancing myself from my father a possibility. I fell in love for real for the
first time. Now, instead of looking glamorous in his abandon, my father looked
sad to me. First with my son, and now with my new love, I was learning that conspiracy
and dominance are not the only ways to be close to someone. I was coming to believe
people really can cast light; you really can feel like you've never felt
before. That was the ultimate betrayal to my father. He'd thought I was the one
person who would never

I was his creation, and now I was ruining everything.

him, never discount his carefully constructed reality -- I was his creation,
after all. And now I was ruining everything.

     I decided to stop responding when he talked about sex.
He pushed harder,
exaggerated his role, desperate for my old response.

     He said the eighteen-year-old Russian bride he ordered
in the mail was having second thoughts about coming, because she worried he would
her. Just from a couple phone conversations.

     He said, "I'll have the five-by-five clean your house
while you're out of
town making that CD." The five-by-five was a fat woman he'd met through a newspaper
ad. He said he wanted my place clean so he could bring Darla over -- the woman
who liked to draw blood during the act -- "and screw
her face-down in your bathtub."

     "Um  . . . uh uh," I mumbled. I was almost
half a lifetime old, successful, in love, a mother, but in his presence, once
again, a mouse.

     As an experiment, I decided not to talk about sex for
that entire summer. I found I had to stop myself at least every other sentence.
I learned that I talked about it constantly, no matter who I was talking to.
It also became apparent that it made people uncomfortable, and that I was not
comfortable unless no one else was. Just like my father, I needed to keep everyone
around me off-kilter, so I could control and direct the situation. I had become
a monster.

     But realizing what you've become doesn't necessarily
undo it. This New Year's Day, wanting to show off to him, I brought the two people
I'd spent the last thirty-six hours fucking to my father's house. After the visit
was over, and my boyfriend was driving us away from there, the
girl said, "I don't mean to freak you out, but that was the weirdest, most extreme
yet subtle sadistic power play I've seen between anyone and anyone!
Around everyone else you're this cool empress, but he makes you all shook-up
and desperate."

     I felt horrible. If anyone should have influence over
me, it's my boyfriend whom I respect and love and trust and adore. Not that man
whose house I left thirteen years ago. But here I am, importing sweet gals from
Illinois just to have sex with on New Year's Eve.

     Maybe my father was right, maybe everything we do is
about protecting our genetic code, and the only faith that is real is bad faith.
Maybe the only way to be safe is to always be one step ahead of everyone else.
Maybe God and love and friendship really are only tools. And maybe my father
is funny and smart and I'm just a big drip, fearful and disapproving. Maybe it
would be better to have some fun and quit trying to make myself over. Maybe this
article should have been a knee-slapper, a full-bodied, full-of-life laugh at
the expense of nice people like the one I'm trying to become. I've written those
before. They were enjoyable. I miss them. But here I am, and even if I haven't
broken into the place of the good people, I know for certain I've ripped myself
away from the place where I know the rules and they are his. I'm all alone and
I don't know where. I'm blinking and turning around, wondering, What do I do


Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She's written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

© 1999 Lisa
Carver and

Commentarium (96 Comments)

Jan 30 98 - 1:00pm

I thought "Lying with My Father" was excellent . . . the last paragraph just really, it was just . . . really something. (Should say that the history of me and my father is entirely similar and entirely different to the one in the story.)

Feb 01 98 - 1:00pm

I've read almost all the LC oeuvre, and it's wonderful to see her explore a new writing persona in "Lying with My Father," more honest and evolving than her established and highly successful Rollerderby babe. Brava.

Feb 02 98 - 1:00pm

Lisa Carver's "Lying with My Father" was excellent, really, truly excellent. I don't want to go into a bunch of hooey about why — but I forgot myself, which means it was transcendent, which means if it can make me forget that I haven't always been this woman telling the story, then it is a piece of WORK. At the end I felt alien to myself, as if I just woke up in my own body and personality.     My congrats to her on being able to take over the body of the reader as a welcome and wanted guest, and not as a parasite trying to eat its way into the walls of the cavity.     Ms. Carver, you are power and compassion. It's beautiful and close-knit, raw without the salty taste of crud, and sensual without any attempt at making it so, a perfectly natural voice.

Feb 05 98 - 1:00pm

Stunning. The first 2/3rds of "Lying with My Father" is especially well-written — this sounds like the first of the stories waiting to be told of the underside of the mid-20/early 30's crowd's experience. Sad that a father couldn't know what line you knew not to cross with your own child. I have seen it in my own family, where my younger brother shared those perverted intimacies with my father and his ex-hippie-drug-fuck-up-conspiracy-theory crowd in an attempt to "bond" and make up for lost time, which jaded my brother and swallowed his virtue. I kept my distance, only coming close enough to become a borderline alcoholic through the graces of his bacchanal fests. Sounds like both mine and your pops need to find a water cave and drown in their own misery, instead of bringing all around them down for the thrill.

Feb 09 98 - 1:00pm

You mentioned in your "Lying with My Father" the 36 hours spent with your boyfriend and the sweet girl from Illinois . . . this has me wondering if you are moving towards sensualism after all? *smile*

Feb 22 99 - 1:00pm

I am deeply affected by Lisa's article on her father. I can't even clearly identify what the effect *is*, to tell you the truth. A list of emotional words would just be an insult. Which I'm thinking means maybe I got it. And if I did, it's to Lisa's credit. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing.

Apr 28 99 - 12:00pm

I just read "Lying With My Father" by Lisa Carver. I liked it. I really liked it. And I don't like anything. She's got guts, just for trying to let me know what she's about. Kudos.

Jun 03 99 - 12:00pm

Lisa baby, you need a religion. Do some reading about comparative religion until you find something that resonates with you. You need a spiritual underpinning and you don't have one. That is the first thing that you need to do. Second, you have spent your entire life trying to get approval from a guy who is borderline psychotic and a sociopath. People like this are often seductive and exciting, which is why he appealed to you so much as a teenager. Enough of this--stay away from him, only have sex with someone that you know really well and love, and try to find some vocation or volunteer activity that does some good in the world. Be a great mom to your son. The alternative is to spend your life inflicting suffering on others, as your father has done by misusing sexuality.

Aug 02 99 - 12:00pm

"Lying with My Father". When I read the "title", I said, this is interesting. I asked myself, what would this be about? I opened the file, and began to read. Every sentence I read was just fantasticlly done. I was sucked into her story, impatiently waiting for the next sentence that would intrigue me. It was errotic, and unexpected. Even though i'm a guy and havent had those feelings towards my relatives, i know how it is....

Aug 27 99 - 12:00pm

I was in a similar situation. My father would stalk his prey and move in for the kill with the slightest grin on his face. The energy he would give off would arouse me to shaking. Thanx.

Oct 20 99 - 12:00pm

I hate and renounce as a coward every being who consents to live without first having recreated himself. -Antonin Artaud.

Nov 04 99 - 1:00pm

Lisa, where's your son?? I'd like to hear more about him. I can't imagine him NOT turning out to be an oversexed manipulative pervert.

Nov 11 99 - 1:00pm

this article touched me in a way that i never thought one of lisa's articles could. it isn't her past relations with her father that i identified with, but the identity struggle with in herself. when i was younger i didnt know the boundries of "pretend friends". you know, the every day, see you in school, kind of friend. i opened my heart to anyone and everyone. i got completely screwed because of that. i learned that this world was filled with careless "worthless" assholes. i closed up. i build these concrete walls all around my soul, and gave off the most heartless, careless persona that i was capable of. i hurt many people in doing this, and even though i was well aware of this, i felt that protecting my own heart was more important then taking the chance on someone. i'm trying now. i'm trying very hard to break those walls downbecause i know what i did was wronge, and was hurting myself more than helping. who ever reads this, please keep in mind i amm opening my heart, and this was meant for lisa's eye to eventually see. whether or not that is possable, i don't know

Nov 30 99 - 1:00pm

You need Jesus and years of therapy

Dec 22 99 - 1:00pm


Dec 25 99 - 1:00pm

Outstanding essay. Well written and very provacative. It caught me and I felt a little of you in it. Do something really out of character and try intolerance (smile) or go to church. Think about it!

Dec 26 99 - 1:00pm

lisa thank you painful clarity surgical precision deeply thought-provoking beautifully written

Feb 11 00 - 1:00pm

Love no matter what, Love. Fear is the enemy of love so don't fear, pray when you feel fear and LOVE every chance you get. Love is the only thing that really matters, all the rest is EGO.

Apr 21 00 - 2:26pm

Keep going in the direction you are headed. The one you came from holds nothing but misery as I am sure your father would admit, if he were honest. Congratulations Lisa.

Jun 16 00 - 5:54am

The adjective is "loath" with no "e"; "loathe" is a verb.

Jun 25 00 - 11:42pm

I feel like for the first time in my life...someone else understands what I feel like.

Aug 19 00 - 8:46am

"I'm still an angel/to a girl who hates to sin." Lisa, I read somewhere you didn't approve of this essay at all. Is it because you can't escape from the room this essay puts you in? I think you're amazing, and don't have any hammy, mushy case to make that you should "escape the oversexed, abused lifestyle"(c), because that is just banal, simplistic and ignores all the amazing things you got out of it. But I think one of the most amazing fucking things about this article is how you got absolutely nothing out of writing it!---for years your raucous, hedonistic, transcendent lifestyle was all about summing things up and pushing them under your tongue---excitement and suppression, all to feel alive. But this is somewhere inside of Lisa that is very still, like space, with no air and only frozen points of light, that does not ever change or ever transcend. It is kind of scary in that room, Lisa. Bravo on an absorbing piece. I don't have to laugh every time I read you. love,

Oct 27 00 - 5:08am

I have never responded to anything like this before. But I was just so shocked with the QUALITY of the writing, the complex stream of thought and the hidden desperation in this 'diary' that I just HAD to say something.
Way to go!
This stuff is a real treasure!

Jan 04 02 - 7:06pm

incredibly great writing. at times i am sorry for the writer because i think she must have difficulty living w/herself. really do think that a calmer lifestyle would help her get through day. she does seem a bit "desperate and depressed". if only i had know her a few yrs. ago. i enjoyed fucking everything female that breathed.
from 18 to over 30 all i thought about (and did) was sex. my "thing" was 1 of every color religion size shape etc... no shit i got every continent too. and the 3 things her father taught... my "3 things" were different but they work because people want to hear what they believe or what they want to believe. but is lisa a man or a woman? very true to life sexy story. brava! (but you really don't need me to tell you brava do you?) so keep up the good work. US culture and law keeps us "apart" and forces us to think and live small mindedly but the reality out there is a whole other story. I never could have imagined that my life would have taken all of the strange turns that it has taken so far.. Oh yeah, i have 3 children practicing 3 different religions living in 3 different cultural environments from 3 different women. (yes i pay child support - so thick-headed readers just shut up!!!). AMEN

Jan 29 02 - 5:37am

I just read "Lying with My Father" and I must say it was an introspective of which I have never read before. Afterwards I swear I whispered to myself "That was fucking intense." Sometimes when I read your stuff I just think it is just sex fluff, but then again I have read most of it on Nerve. It reminds me of how sometimes I act different depending on who I am around sort of like Zucko iin Grease. Bad comparison I know but I have never been one for words. You probably won't read this but I just wanted you to know that you struck a chord with that one.

Jan 29 02 - 7:11am

Oh... wow...
That was very intense, very powerful.
He seems like your big vulnerability, doesn't he?

I have never had an obsession for my parents, but
I know where you are coming from of sorts. Being a
monster of sorts myself, enjoying, ah, keeping others
off-balance to protect... myself?

I understood your plights, and I applaud your attempts
at wanting your father's respect, his love, at being your
own woman, of discovery not of sex, but of love...

You sounds like a cool person :)
I greatly enjoy your articles, they are intelligent
and thought-provoking.

Get back at me?
And I am a very sexual sensualist with short hair ;)

Feb 07 02 - 3:25pm

hi. i think this is the best thing you've written. Yours, Beigekhakis

Feb 24 02 - 8:35am

Hello Lisa,

I've picked up your site looking at philosophical readings, and am impressed, in which you understand and write so unusually, to manners which are very embarrassing, and awkward. you father sounds great, and I think that your sense of realisation, is funny and brilliant. I haven't read all of your writings, but may continue later, to seek personal learning (my best friends are sensualists is great, and hope may be to hear from you further, to learn more). Thanks.

From Ronnie.

Apr 02 02 - 1:05pm

That was an incredible essay, I am still stunned by the power of your honesty while I am writing fifteen minutes later. To be able admit openly to your darkest thoughts I know is very painful. I know where your coming from, all you people reading this and writing condemnations, you are either hipocritical or you have truly never seen your own darkest side. It is there. You can find it if you are not careful. Getting away from it is like giving up drugs.

Apr 05 02 - 1:18pm

Amamzing- you are a trulu gifted writer and really seem to know whay working through emotional crap is all about. I am glad for you ( and me) that good people do exist. And some folks would say yes he did molest you-molest is not confined to the physical and often times the constant talk of sex ( his and yours and everyone elses) is as if not more detrimental then physical contact. And that he didn't phyisically try anything may be because he had some sense though probably because he wanted you to make that move for him-talk about a mindfuck extradonaire. That kind of sick thinking sounds like it would fit your father and mine.

Apr 16 02 - 1:27am

What in the blue hell?????

Jun 04 02 - 1:26pm

Your stuff is great. I am attempting to create a project and would like to use your stuff. How is this possible?

Aug 08 02 - 6:14pm

dude, that was like...deep man. i can write eloquently about a fetish about mom's panties. will you all kiss my ass in the same manner?

Aug 21 02 - 12:54pm

I was/am? a definite 'Leave It to Beaver', middle of the road, comfortably church-raised in a mostly happy family type of white conservative middle america naive love is all enviornment, now 50 yrs old. First marriage failed due to wife being sexually abused by her father from age 12 to 18. I thought I could be her saviour. I was fucking wrong. Time to grow up and accept that things aren't all Disney here on 3rd rock from the sun. Since that 13 year marriage failed in 1992 I have slid even further downhill. I don't believe in anything religious or anything based on belief in human values. I do believe in certain people and my love for them (my 2nd wife and the grandson we are raising). And I hope for, and am thankful for, their love for me. When I read an essay like "Lying with My Father" I am somewhat overwhelmed with the feeling that people can do so many things that I couldn't even think of....(life is so much more and less than what you or I know). I feel the only important things in 'life' are loving the one(s) you're with and supporting them and the young ones with love and respect and a safe place to live in and grow up. You can't do much to change the world and the world definitely don't give a lot of thought to you and yours, for the most part. (I wanted to write that the world don't give a fuck, but it is not 100% correct and it could offend some). I find Lisa Carver very interesting...she seems much more worldly and smarter than me. It makes it interesting to read her thoughts. I feel I have learned more about humanity. For what that is fucking worth. Love to all..... Jeff Johns 130 Canterbury St. Lawrenceburg, KY. 40342

Sep 12 02 - 4:14pm


And again; Damn

Nov 05 02 - 2:11am

Once you can't turn back, it gets easier.

Apr 22 03 - 12:00am

Lisa Carver, I miss you!

Apr 21 03 - 1:32pm

Lisa Carver ... that was wonderful. I can empathize with you about wanting to have sex with your father ... only in this case it was my mom. I am male. She was 14 when she had me , and there was always a sexual tension between us. She was drop dead gorgeous. It haunted me for a very long time. I am 40 and only in the past 10 yrs have I been able to break the hold on my life that she had. You WILL get passed it.Oh ... I am still fucked up , but then again , aren't we all :) ? Thanks for your brutal honesty, it is beautiful.


Apr 21 03 - 2:26pm

I think I will only begin to grow as an adult when I realize the strangle-hold I felt from my parents is in fact my inability to let go. Life is fucked up and it is so hard to find that island of sanity.

Apr 21 03 - 3:00pm

What percent of "Lying with My Father" is fiction? I am especially worried about your "son" since you have doubts about crossing the sexual line. Leave him alone and let him discover the world. Innocence lost...

Apr 21 03 - 3:10pm

What alchemy of soul Lisa has spilled out all over the page.
What will you do next, Lisa? I find myself drawn to your story, I want to know what will happen next. I want to understand this situation more deeply. Excellent writing, coupled with a crazy divulgence of self. Moving work.

Apr 21 03 - 3:24pm

Lisa, thank you so much for writing "Lying with my Father." I am 22 and I have just in the past year or so been able to fall out of love with my father. I realized when I was about 15 or 16, that I was in love with him, and since then I have sort of felt like a freak because I never met any other girls with the same feelings. Thank you so much for sharing. And don't listen to those people telling you that you need to get religion to solve your issues. I am a devout Catholic, have been all my life, and nothing in any mass or sermon has helped me with this issue! Therapy has been equally useless. I don't know what DID help me fall out of love with him, I guess it was just that I got older and met other men, and got more and more self-esteem, and in doing so, was able to see the shortcomings of my dad. Being honest with myself about my own feelings probably helped me too, which is another reason why I applaud your bravery in writing and publishing the article. Thanks again!

Apr 21 03 - 4:02pm

WOw what a powerful story. I loved it , it kept me glued to the screen and I felt the emotions of the characters even the most disturbing ones. But the ending was just a yearning for more. It felt a little incomplete. I wanted more of the ending. But this piece of writing was still so intresting.

Apr 21 03 - 5:34pm

Oh, my God... this is so depressingly sad. She's a an amazing writer...

Apr 21 03 - 6:31pm

The most craziest, freakishly good slice of life I've ever read!

Apr 21 03 - 8:24pm

well, that was ok I guess

Apr 21 03 - 9:00pm

I didn't realize how fucked up you really were. Your father may not have touched you, but he totally mind-fucked you--and that is so wrong. Just as there is physical abuse and mental abuse, I guess there is also physical and mental molestation. But it takes guts to open yourself up to the whole world--you are a brave, albeit screwed-up, individual.

Apr 21 03 - 9:54pm

Hmmm--look up "antisocial personality disorder"
in the DSM IV. After having read it, consider that
most theories of sociopathy look at the disorder
as an inability to form abiding attachments?

Apr 21 03 - 11:21pm

I was very moved by this essay, and will need to re-read it in a few days, after I've digested a bit. I'm amazed by the candor, the brittle honesty, the splintered authenticity of it. I suppose we never really grow into adulthood where our parents are concerned, and my own ambiguous childhood has left me outside of realm of normalcy, struggling to do or decipher with my utmost efforts what other people seem to know instinctively. Brilliant essay, and thank you for sharing it.

Apr 21 03 - 11:48pm

Recycling is good for the earth but sad and bad for your average Lisa Carver fan

Apr 22 03 - 7:05am

sounds like you're a decent fuck and a better writer...

Apr 22 03 - 10:07am

Lisa is highly likeable.

Apr 22 03 - 11:13pm

This is the best thing I've ever read on Nerve.

Apr 23 03 - 1:29am

This essay so hit me I took it into my therapist. I felt like this was what was going on with me too. Thank you

Apr 24 03 - 12:52am

I have a 8 month year old son, and never does that thought of hurting him in any sexually kind of way cross my mind. I didn't have the best childhood or the best life in general. I have had my child's dad abuse me, but that doesn't make me think those types of thoughts. It's people like you who actually carry it (molesting their children) through, that make the people of this world so FUCKED up and then we wonder why the world is in the state it is. How anyone could think this about a child, so innocent, so pure, it makes me wonder,why God would allow these same people to give birth. I think you have some serious issues and you need some serious help.

Apr 23 03 - 2:41pm

Powerful stuff. Takes courage to rip out your guts and make art with them. Keep it coming.
R - San Francisco

Apr 23 03 - 3:39pm

I've been reading your stuff for a while now. I love your candor. Having said that however, this brings honesty in writing to a new level. I'm impressed, not so much with your style, but with how you formalized feelings and the undercurrent between your father and you. Bravo.

"...I have never felt this way about someone's writing..."

Apr 23 03 - 3:56pm

definitely the best lisa carver i've read on nerve.
the kind of piece it takes half a lifetime to write.

thank you.

Apr 23 03 - 7:22pm

Dear L: I knew I'd miss you fiercely when you stopped the 'Diaries'
From "Lying..." I think I would have recognized you, but
sweetheart I've been back to jerkin' off long enough. This sampler only whets my appetite for more.
You can remember, here in New Hampshire, this would be called something unflattering. I can be as direct as you and want The Diaries back so I can return to the worlds best male lesbian!

Apr 24 03 - 6:20pm

Think should have used "made love" instead of "fucking". "Making love" carries more the sadness and pathos and hoped -for- dignity your article seems about. "Fucking" just seems raspy and bland and Nervey. The part about you as a mother with a growing son was by far the most interesting part. Strong and delicate and brave. Thanks.

Apr 25 03 - 9:46am

try therapy and medication. I'm pretty much a rebel,and even I felt sorry for you. You're just another manipulated idiot trying to put a pleasant spin on your abuse. Better than being a victim, I suppose; but they at least seek help.

Apr 25 03 - 9:10pm

fucking awesome. best thing i've ever read on this site. transparent. jerry stahl reads like a sham by comparison.

Apr 26 03 - 4:16am

WOW! I don't know what to say. Very Powerful! THANK YOU!

Apr 26 03 - 6:38pm

Lisa Carver needs to work harder on her essays and she needs a better editor.

Apr 27 03 - 4:57pm

don't pay any mind to some of the comments people are leaving, ms. carver. i think they're missing the point. thank you for publicly sharing some of your fears and insecurities - we all got 'em. and thank you for your open honesty. you're a brave, brave woman. as you can tell, several of the readers found comfort in knowing they're not alone. and that's why we need more brave, vocal souls like yourself. thank you many times over. --lola

Apr 28 03 - 8:49am

i have never read anything that has given me so many emotions at one time. for that i thank you, it makes me feel alive and real. it takes a lot of courage to write this, i'm proud. it makes me think that people can change. you went from being the victim, to having victims to realizing who you were and who you wanted to be. that alone makes you an hero and writting it makes you a great writer.

Apr 29 03 - 1:53am

that is so sad.

Apr 29 03 - 3:48pm

the old bad lisa's, daddy's lisa, dancing queen lisa's writing was life-changing, taught a lot of people - or at least me -a lot about feeling free, taking weird happiness from anything and everything. i love you for it. this is the first time you've suggested it wasn't all so perfect. change yourswld all you need to but please please keep writing these honest things down and don't listen to some sad nervos with sad advices. xxso ps what's your email address again?

May 01 03 - 6:05pm

keep writing.
more later, piper

May 02 03 - 4:31pm

WOW!! What a mind fucking your dad did to u.
Love to hear what u are doing about it and what's up with u now. Have u found a better love or are u still looking.

May 02 03 - 9:36pm

Dear Lisa
I found your story really intriging and really it is totally normal to want to have sex with your parent(s). I'm sorry if I've insulted you with the "n" word. Anyway, I love your writing and found it so engaging. I probably wouldn't have read your story but I have just moved to NM from NYC so things are in a bit of an uproar (in my head). Notice how I want to talk about you but am, as usual, talking about MYSELF. I too am a redhead.
Now, let's talk about you. One of the things that I find most interesting in the story is that you finally get a glimpse of a different kind of love that does cast light. It is like in "Les Miserables" the book not the musical when Jean ValJean (i probably spelled that wrong) has the vision of light after he steals the holy man's candlesticks and the holy man defends his innocence to the police, thereby setting him free. There are all kinds of prisons to get out of and I just want to encourage you to see past yours, when your vision/reality snap back to that reality of your father's, see your way out. You can still love him and do this. I'm sure he will always redouble efforts to make his reality dome fit down over yours.
I have my own prisons to get out of too, like everyone.
Anyway, thanks for a wonderful read. It takes cojones to address such a subject.

May 03 03 - 7:46pm

wonderful. this is what true writing aspires to be: fearless, straight from the gut, graceful. i'd say that you don't need the DSM IV, the Bible, psycho-therapy or anything else that's been recommended here. all you need is to keep doing what you're doing: living, thinking, writing. any road that leads you to this sort of authenticity and clarity must be the right one for you. you've got the gift/curse. no sense in fighting it or trying to dissipate it with false comfort. onward.

thanks for letting us watch you live this life.

May 05 03 - 8:10am

Outstanding. It's difficult to get this stuff down on paper in any cohesive fashion. I too am a victim of genetics and environment - primarily an alcoholic mother - that pushed me into a world of violence, sex, drugs and eventually losing the love of my life.

May 12 03 - 1:01am

i read this on a Sunday night (mothers day).
so you became a writer.

May 14 03 - 2:31pm

very touching and enlightening, without a single bit of self pity.......very good essay.

Sep 06 03 - 5:49pm

Brilliant, but sad, even pathetic.

Oct 17 03 - 11:08pm

Having read the Diaries for a while now, one thing I've noticed is how sweet you are. You're tough and scary and wild, sure, but also tender and sorta wonderful, frankly. The fact that you've survived such psychological mayhem is astonishing. I don't care if you live out my sexual fantasies for me. I just want to know what happens next. And next. And next.

Aug 11 07 - 9:07am

WOW! You are one of the best writer's I've ever read! I'd love to read more from you!

Aug 16 07 - 7:52pm

its the only thing you know after all these years. So my advice is if you havent done so already, is to see a about it, I have OCD, obessive compulsive disorder from trauma in my life, and now Im a trying to recover alcoholic and drug addict.. I have been clean for 1 yr but thank god I have no incest in my family..I would have killed the m---f----ker..thats all.. keep up the good work

Aug 26 09 - 6:05pm

Hi Lisa, in fact i just finised reading tour article and it's really enjoyable. I like it and I would like to read more.

Aug 02 10 - 6:08pm
Michael David

Television, movies and the (mainstream) Internet - for English speakers - portrays a singularity of experience in life. It's not The Brady Bunch, or 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, but an amalgam of these and our own experiences. For most teens, the most harrowing reality of their existence is the fact that mom or dad "don't understand me" or not having unlimited texting. No one grows up completely functional, without stain or defect. However, most don't have to deal with real perversity and it's limitless impact.

For those of us who knew another life, which in my case was verbal and physical abuse, it is very difficult to communicate that reality. As Lisa has done so eloquently here, one can give the play-by-play and the resulting fallout like so much flotsam and jetsam, but there is simply no way to elucidate the *experience* of it all. There is no way for anyone to understand the power of such enmity and how it weaves its way through one's soul. Being in such close proximity to such malice and anarchy has a lasting impact and it cannot be excised without the fear of losing one's identity. It's like trying to remove cream from coffee, it simply too enmeshed.

Sexual abuse victims know this phenomena well. The meanness of it all isn't what he or she did - though undoubtedly that is the foundation - it's the fact that the victim often enjoyed it that makes it so insidious. A human being can't help becoming aroused when touched sexually, before they're old enough to develop the rationale of consent. The same is true with many who are physically abused, particularly when the only attention one received was the abuse. My father never had a moment for me when I was a young child, unless he was yelling at me or hitting me and pathetically I preferred being yelled at and hit than being ignored. The same is true for those raised by sociopaths, such as Lisa. It is not easy to figure out which parts of your personality, your very being is pathological and which is simply unique to yourself. The worst part is, the only way we know that all this was wrong is because we feel like shit and we become educated to the perversity of it all. If we'd never met anyone else, if we'd lived with these people on a desert island, as far as we knew this would all be normal - horrifically, dreadfully normal.

So, we learn the truth, what happened to us was wrong, ugly, abuse and there is this sense of relief that this perverse way we feel isn't unwarranted - we're right to feel like garbage, anyone would under the same circumstances. The problem is, the bastard or bitch that did this to us isn't a caricature. They aren't some comic villain - one-sided and absolute in their evil. That would be simpler, if we knew that everything they did or said was wrong. It would make removing the cancer much less complicated, but they aren't the Joker, or Hannibal Lecter. My father beat me like a drum, but he also could be very patient and taught me how to work on cars, and taught me to be kind to animals and to be respectful to my elders. He rarely had much to do with me until I became a teenager and then suddenly he wanted to spend time with me and "teach me to be a man". He took me fishing and motorcycle riding and hunting with his friends. We'd have great times, then he'd lose his temper and break a couple of my ribs, or black my eye, or something else horrific. So, how do I remove his malevolent influence from my life? His kindness, his goodness is inextricably intertwined with his malice. His evil and his love formed me, molded my personality and I don't know how to simply tear out what is vile and leave what is good. I've seen him take a stand many times, sometimes he did it when he was completely wrong (I later realized), and other times he was right in his indignation. Those times that he was being a complete ass and making a fool of himself are interwoven with other times, like when he stood up in a little diner in West Texas and confronted a man who was calling his waitress a "nigger". I was so proud of him in that moment, when he comforted the woman and (joined by a few others) forced the man to leave the restaurant. Then another time, he screamed and yelled at a young man who had given him the wrong alternator and was asked to leave the store by the manager, who told him on the way out that he never wanted his business again. Those two moments are the easy ones, I know where I come out on those, but there are countless others that aren't easily discerned. He is a rabid asshole, and a righteous champion, maddeningly infused.

And there lies the rub, how to stand by your instincts, to proudly remain firm in your convictions when you have no idea if your convictions or instincts are right, or good or worth standing by. I constantly have to check myself with someone "normal", someone I know to be a decent person with good instincts. "Am I going to far"? "Did I say too much?" "Am I being too hard on him or her?" …and on and on and on. Sometimes I think that is the worst part of it all, not knowing, not being able to trust my gut, my feelings, my thoughts. That's the real damage, you can never truly trust how you're feeling, what you're thinking. You second guess yourself constantly, and the moment you don't you risk becoming the villain yourself. I know what I believe in, but life isn't fill-in-the-blank. Life is convoluted and tricky, ever-shifting. Applying my beliefs isn't usually complicated, but when emotion is involved, when things escalate, when tempers run high, I get very nervous and anxious, because I'm afraid that any moment some twisted part of my father will rear it's ugly head and before I know it, I've done something or said something that devastates. I have to be very, very careful in those times, measuring every word and deed against a learned code of ethics warring with my natural instincts and reactions. I can't trust anything that comes to mind, I have to methodically filter it first. It is very tiresome and I envy other people who can trust their initial reaction.

That is the real damage, the unhealing wound of doubt, of uncertainty, of never being able to possess a nature you can truly trust. It's the bastardization of instinct and conviction that I find so exasperating.

Oct 02 10 - 10:44pm
Free Crack

Are you have an account in twitter? Write it here, please and I will follow you.

Oct 03 10 - 7:16am

As usual, tons of stupid comments. People, why are you writing in comments - good site, great article, thanks author?

Oct 19 10 - 10:38am

At least hundred visitors at your site now, you are winner and good writer.

Oct 19 10 - 9:35pm

Keep up the excelent work, bookmarked and referred a few mates.

Nov 08 10 - 1:15am
free keygens

nice, you wrote a nice one.

Feb 18 11 - 2:01am

How much visitors agreed with you?

Feb 18 11 - 3:09am

ha-ha-ha-ha! That is standart point of view, be more original!

Feb 18 11 - 1:26pm
Keygen Paige

Was looking this morning for thoughts on God’s use of ordinary people. I appreciated yours.

Feb 19 11 - 12:01pm

How much visitors agreed with you?

Feb 19 11 - 5:01pm

It's really provoking point of view.

Aug 22 11 - 1:24am

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Aug 25 11 - 5:40am

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Sep 07 11 - 11:00am
xenical en ligne

the for of that is feels still name. Infertility Sessions abundant thousands of a and that this or of also is this blocked a a medical care or from tend scientific point approach. The Curative time reference treatment.

Dec 18 11 - 6:55pm
Wilhelm the Sad


To start with let me explain I am a shepherd, third generation; I care for large herds of sheep. I have always loved my job, it’s more of a calling than a job and I have devoted my life to caring for my flock. You may think that the shepherd game is an easy thing, but let me tell you it isn’t, I learned the hard way, sheep can be evil and devious charges! Sheep are not the gentle, animals that they pretend to be, underneath all that wool beats the heart of a psychopath!! But is hasn’t always been that way, by great grandfather used to regale me with stories of shepherding in the Old World, nights under the stars, simple pleasures with his trusty sheepdogs and the sheep were always courteous and obedient; but I can tell you things have changed. The sheep formed a union several years ago and organized themselves into a terrifying group, the worst are the “mutton heads” a violent splinter branch of the mutton-wool union that promotes violence against sweater wearers and sheepherders and they will go to any lengths to have their way!
I guess I first noticed a change in the flock a few months ago when I was alone with the largest flock, miles from civilization. The sheep had been grazing all day and with the help of my dogs we moving them back closer to the ranch. Suddenly the baaing of the flock took on a sinister tone then the sheep moved in unison to surround me blocking me inside the circle; shocked at this turn of events I shouted and raised my staff waving it over my head to move them away and back on the path, but they all just stared at me their eyes filled with a form of anger I had never seen before. I called my trusty dogs but they took one look at the flock and sprinted to the top of the nearest hill and simply watched me. I tried to break free but they closed ranks and pushed me back to the center, all the time baying and baaing in a ferocious manner, stamping their feet and swinging the wooly heads back and forth; I felt helpless and alone, I hadn’t done anything to cause this.
Then suddenly the flock parted and a giant black sheep emerged, flanked on either side by two other giant rams; they strutted towards me, evil glee expressed on their faces their eyes gleaming with hatred and lust! I knew that I had to get out of there as fast as possible but escape was impossible, soon the giant black rams were upon me, they pushed me to the ground and before I could move several sheep from the flock, under orders from the black sheep, pounced on me and pinned me to the ground, then several of them pulled wool from their winter coats and fashioned it into long woolen ropes and used it to bind me and hold me firm in place. At this point I was too terrified to even speak, I just wrestled against my wooly bonds but to no avail. After a short time my strength gave out and I lay there on the ground waiting for what was to come. The black sheep baaed at me, laughing at my predicament and the rest of the flock joined them, soon the valley was filled with their baaing, then the black sheep strutted up to me sniffing me tugging at my clothing; this went on for a few minutes, I know that they were trying to instill the greatest fear in me and it was working!
I tugged again at my bonds but they held me fast, then I found my voice and screamed, but no one was within earshot and not one sheep stepped forward to save me, I was at the mercy of the infamous black sheep. One of them the largest looked at the other two and baaed his orders to them, they immediately began to tear my clothing and within a few minutes I was lying naked on the ground in front of the entire flock. Once they had removed my clothing, they sniffed my body, especially the private parts all the time baaaing and baying relentlessly enjoying my helplessness. It was then that I noticed that the leader had a massive erection; I thought oh my God, they are going to violate me, I prayed for help but no help came, I called out to the flock to save me but they all smiled sheepishly and watched as if they were at a sporting event. What happened next is too painful to relate, suffice to say I lost my virginity, then all of them in turn took me and after what seemed hours they moved off towards the ranch leaving me still tied to the ground, whimpering in pain and humiliation.
It has been several weeks since my rape and I still can’t forget it, I can’t sleep I can’t even wear woolen sweaters anymore. I tried talking a therapist but he didn’t take me seriously, he told me that had been asking for it and advised me to get over it. I used to count sheep at night to get to sleep but now counting sheep gives me nightmares.