tw: hints at abuse
theodore lincoln sherwood
victoria sherwood née boweman
sports radio co-host
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."
expectations. the moment he was born they were placed on his head and that was made painfully clear the moment he understood that he was named theodore lincoln, a combination name of two well known presidents, he was intended to be his parents legacy, an only child because victoria and edward got it right on the first try. a boy was all that they would need, he would carry on the family name, he would make them proud, he would follow their plan. it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who knew the pair of them, edward was a neurologist and victoria a cardio vascular surgeon, of course there was a plan for their son. he would meet mile stones and he would be someone that they could put op on a pedestal, could plan where to display their son’s achievements like their own parents had done for them. it seemed that they had finally done it, what people said two career focused individuals couldn’t do, have a family and their jobs.
for most young children this would typically mean that he would be doted on, the goldboy, the child with the bright blue eyes and always smiling, willing to learn but only willing to learn what he wanted to learn. it didn’t take his parents long to realize that he couldn’t make the hospital his daycare and they were too busy, too career driven to properly parent him and victoria outright refused to let her career slip simply because she was the woman. which is where charlotte entered his life as his nanny. she’s likely to blame for his differing ideologies she took him to his first day of school, for which he regularly thanks whatever higher power there is that it was public and not private. she took him to see his first movie (tmnt II), played him his first record (bob seger) and she even taught him to ride a bike.
but it didn’t matter what his parents could offer him if they were barely there and he was in the presence of his nanny. but she was hired by his parents for a reason, she might have been a lovely and loving woman but she had strict rules to follow at the haste of his parents. time for play was scheduled and he was provided with some of the best toys a child could use as long as they promoted some kind of learning. if it wasn’t for his time at school Theo might not have ever played with trucks and cars though that wouldn’t be what concerned his parents at all. it was his time getting acquainted with sports; soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, his first came in a way of a gift from his uncle jimmy in new jersey when he was five. Theo was drawn to the idea of sports despite his parents never introducing them to him. if his parents weren’t people of science they might have recognized that as destiny and realized what happens to people when they’re denied of their destiny.
FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS
when parents become parents for all the wrong reasons it affects their relationship with their children, this was the case for the sherwoods. his mother was distant and strict, showing her affection in pushing him to do his best while his father showed it in forms of attempts at emotional manipulation, some physical encouragement, though good luck getting theo to admit that there was any sort of abuse that was going on there. but before he was old enough to realize he was born more to check something off the list he sought his parents attention, he wanted them to take notice, to be attentive, to be his mother and his father. but the one time they’d been called to his school and actually showed up had absolutely nothing to do with getting their attention. Theo had never really taken to a lot of other kids in school, not the way others seemed to be doing, he was still working on those social skills, his examples were lacking. he was always a lot better at recognizing things with others then he was when it came to himself. so when he saw that kids were picking on a particular kid, who he’d initially thought he was younger then him, Theo stepped up.
he was tall for his age but he was leaky unit puberty but his confidence didn’t seem to notice any of that. even in elementary school he had confidence in spades, the product of being the son of surgeons he supposed. the knew friends picked on one another but this was cruel and theo jus stepped between the bullies and ben. talking didn’t help so he got physical, the sort of thing you’d see on a sports highlight reel. it worked, they left ben alone which made the detention and talking to he’d gotten from his parents worth it. but what was more important was the fact that Theo made a friend, someone who was always there with him, making a friend wasn’t as difficult as it sounded and before he knew it he was talking to ben about sports and all the things he loved about them.
he finally had someone that he could play sports with since the idea of playing catch with his father was completely ridiculous. he didn’t expect that he’d get closer to ben then he was with his parents, that he was with anyone. his friendship with ben was a bit of a catalyst for Theo. their relationship to outsiders spoke or something more then friendship, it bothered him though he handled it differently then ben. he didn’t feel the need to change his appearance much but he pushed his emotions down, and not just because other kids had misplaced thoughts about his friendship with ben but because it seemed to be the way his parents handled things as well. maybe if he took after them a bit more he’d get more of a leash. it didn’t so he learned how to keep secrets. the fact that the played sports was a skeleton in his closet, ones that played to his strengths; running, football, baseball, even soccer. he never had a single person in the stands cheering for him but that was fine, he knew his parents wouldn’t approve, they wanted him to focus on his studies, sports were frivolous and a waste of effort. he was use to their lack of attendion, by this point anyway ben was more his family, he was the brother Theo never knew he wanted.
seeing that his best friend could push past his health issues that should have held him back made Theo realize that perhaps he was being held back as well. he realized that he didn’t need his parents approval on things, it would have been easier but getting their approval meant doing things that would make him end up hating himself.
I WANT TO BREAK FREE
high school is often heralded as being the best four years of a persons life and for the most part Theo thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent there. but it would have been better if his parents would have been different people but they weren’t and he started to stand up for himself more in high school. he’d played sports casually in middle school, he didn’t have to tell his parents he was playing then but he really was looking forward to playing more seriously in high school. he didn’t really have a preference, not of the ones that were offered to him in high school. thanks to an uncle up north who he saw every few years hockey became his favourite sport but since they were in new orleans he had to settle with football and baseball, basketball or soccer. but it was terrible cycle for him, whatever he wanted to play there was always something that required he involve his parents in the decision and then he got nothing be their refusal to allow him to take part in anything remotely related to playing sports or even anything sports related. it created a lot of fights that sometimes ended in a bruise or some cruel words from his father and disappointing, disapproving looks from his mother.
his parents pushed academics to the point of unnecessary tutors and at times it had him bombing a test simply as a way to get out some of his anger at his parents. his parents push towards academics and his studies is why Theo doesn’t come off as intelligent as he is, he refuses to define a person based on their intelligence. when a teacher, a football coach talked to him about finding other ways to deal with some of his issues he took it under advisement. he took to recreational running, which his parents approved of, it was healthy. but it also allowed him to focus on girls, certainly plural, Theo had always been charming and pleasant but he wasn’t great at relationships evening high school. he didn’t date one girl for long and contary to rumors that he got what he wanted and then he split it was more accurate that once there was an emotional connection he split, he had no interested in having a girlfriend and certainly not one that would require him bring them home to meet his parents. girls were more of a distraction then sports at times but his parents never picked up on thankfully.
but he also wanted to get back to doing something with sports, they made him happy and he needed that, he wasn’t getting that at home. he tried to avoid going home when he could even if it meant that he spent more time at the prescott home, he wasn’t a huge fan of his best friend’s parents at that point but they were a lot nicer then his own and less hostile it felt. with ben he started commenting on games and discovered that he was pretty natural at it. while he was always pretty calm and relaxed he had quite the out going personality and it translated well into getting behind a microphone. this was something he wouldn’t tell his parents for a few years. it the void of not playing on any of the teams, he felt very comfortable behind a microphone, it was a form of expression he wanted and needed and it did a lot for him. he was proud of it and he started to think that he really might want to do it more seriously which presented him with a problem. his parents. he did what he could to keep his parents happy with him but he was becoming his own person and he did not want to be the person they wanted him to be. there had to be a tipping point, he just didn’t expect what it would be.
the law states that parents are suppose to provide and care for their children until they’re adults and capable of doing so on their own. by eighteen Theo knew his parents well enough to know the type of people they were and what they expected of him. it was why he’d hidden every letter of acceptance he’d gotten from universities and colleges, he didn’t want their opinions because their opinions came in the form of demands and expectations that he would have to follow through on. he knew what they wanted and he knew what he wanted. it was not law school, it wasn’t medical school, it wasn’t even going anywhere out of the state, he hated that he’d been forced to do science fair projects year after year, he resented his parents for caring more about his grades then his wants. when he could no longer fend off his parents questions about universities he gave them letters but held on to the UNO one for communications and journalism. it was the worst argument that he’d ever had with his parents that ended with an ultimatum, he either picked a school from their list or he would being doing it on his own. he’d been doing things on his own for a while or so he thought. he didn’t expect picking his own choice would end up with him standing outside his best friend’s house asking if he could stay with him. his parents did what the law required and at eighteen they cut him off.
SPREAD YOUR WINGS
Theo was looking forward to college, it was all up to his choosing, and no one else held sway over him. it felt like he could breath for the first time in years, he decided that the problems he was having with his parents were not going to keep him from doing what he wanted. he’d even tried actually dating someone with this new outlook on life but that didn’t last, he’d gotten further with her then he had with anyone before but when things got too serious or felt too serious for him he broke things off with her and probably could have been nicer about it. doing things on his own meant that he had to do things he’d never done before, living with ben in a simple two room apartment because dorms were expensive was easy probably the easiest thing for a while. he was a little bitter about the fact that his parents were making this increasingly difficult on him simply because he chose to be his own man but he didn’t care he was going to prove them wrong, he had that determination and his confidence he always had. so he entered college prepared to balance his studies with a job or two, whatever to make it work. he wasn’t going to fail. while ben did broadcasting, Theo was happy with communications and jornalims.
the fact that his first apartment had barely anything in it didn’t bother Theo, he knew it was stepping stone to getting where they wanted to be. they had to ease up on the podcast their been doing since high school but still managed to get one out when there were important games and other sports news. it was a great way to relieve stress and helped keep Theo’s mind off his other troubles. it might not have bene luxurious and it wasn’t something that would earn him proud statements from his parents but he needed a job and Theo swallowed any pride his parents transferred to him and got himself a job as a waiter and because of his disposition he was never lacking for tips.
when the hurricane hit it changed a lot of things, the disaster disrupted his studies and damaged his and ben’s apartment. Theo knew they were lucky, a lot of others had it worse but it also presented an opportunity for Theo. he saw how ben and his parents fixed their relationship, they even let Theo move in with them again but it was a lot and he didn’t want to be a burden so he attempted to try and bury the hatchet with his parents. they misinterpreted it as him changing his mind and it it created another fight, one that rivalled the one that got him kicked out and he went back to the pressotts where he was treated as always like another son.
once things with the hurricane got settled and things started to go back to normal the university open, online courses at first of course. it was a bit difficult to get use to at first but hate was getting use to adapting but he preferred the actual classes, he could focus better online. when they graduated Theo against his better judgement sent his parents invitations in the mail, the only reply he got was a generic congratulations card and he decided he was done. instead he has a graduation photo with miranda and ian.
PRINCES OF THE UNIVERSE
Life after college wasn’t as easy as he’d thought it would be, he’d never lost everything before, despite what he hadn’t had with his parents he’d been well provided for. He was starting from scratch, something he knew he wouldn’t have had to do if he’d have gone to law school or medical school, that knowledge fuelled him to do his best. It also angered him slightly but he did his best to ignore it, he had other more important things to focus his time on. He set out on the work force, splitting up from Ben so they could both do their best to get their foot in the door so they could work in sports radio. Theo found himself working at the superdome, he wasn’t doing what he wanted or anything, he was kind of like a gopher, or assistant of some regard he supposed was his actual title but really, it was the superdome, so he didn’t care what he was doing which had lead to him picking up whatever position they needed filled if someone didn’t want to do it. he would do concessions, he’d usher people to their seats, he worked the door, he handed out snacks and beers in the stands, he gave tours of the place to people as well.
It certainly wasn’t ideal but while he was at the stadium he not only got to watch games for free, he got to listen to the men doing the announcing. It was part of the reason he’d wanted the jobs he had there, it was exposure to the world he wanted to work in. He worked there for a few years, long enough for him to be a familiar face with the other employees, he even got permission to take notes when he watched the teams using the stadium practice. He’d gotten on friendly terms with the guys working in the commentator’s box, he hit them up for tips, asked for some questions on the do’s and don’t’s of the business. Whatever he figured out Theo took home and shared with Ben while they continued working on their podcast while also sending out audition tapes. It was a lot of hard work but he’d learned anything from his parents it was hard work and dedication, not exactly to the right things. when he wasn’t working at the superdome or doing the podcast with ben he was doing the same job he’d been doing his college, being a waiter.
things finally looked like they were looking up for Theo and Ben when a tape they’d sent to WLL was really looked at and because of his friend’s time spent working there they were given a chance to show that they could take over for two hosts that would be retiring. Their online following followed them to the radio when they did some guest spots before being hired. It was the break that Theo had been hoping form. Five years later and he still enjoys what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with. He’s at a place where he’s happy with the life he has and no longer wonders if he took the wrong path like he did a couple of times before making it to WLL. He’s also got a lot more free time now that he doesn’t have to work so many jobs, though you can still occasionally spot him at the Superdome. But now he’s there for sports games because of how WLL is branching out with trying to reach more audiences.
since there’s no one to stand in his way any longer he places a few recreational sports, has his name on a amateur sports league roster and has travelled a bit of distance to play in a pick up game or hockey now and then. his confidence only grew the more he got settled in his life and he’s very fond of it, he was sure that he was going to continue to move forward and make his life his own, that he was done with the set backs. he still doesn’t give a whole lot of attention to those that have opinions about him or those that he’s close to, but he’s still protective of the people he loves.
things for Theo shifted in a way that he never could have imagined during hurricane karl in September of ’16. he still doesn’t remember how it happened even if he’s been told that he was going out in the storm to retrieve something from his truck and that was when he’d ben struck by lighting, actually struck by a bolt of lightning. it went in through his right shoulder and out his left foot, the fact that it was his right was likely what made it possible for him to live through the ordeal. CPR on the way to the hospital is what kept him alive since his heart stopped. he was in a coma for several days and nothing has really been the same since he woke up. his parents had no control over his medical decisions, he’d changed his medical proxy to ben several years before after another fight with his father that he’d claimed was a bar fight. he has scars from the lightning covering his entire right shoulder, down his arm and along his neck. theres a scar the length of his forearm from a compression symptom surgery, the palm of his hand has a burn mark from where his keys melted. its the first time in his life that his confidence has ever been shaken.
there are dozens of medical issues that come from this, most notably are the fact that the’s wearing pink tinted glasses, the scars and his irritability. he has memory issues and he’s partial to facial hair because his nerves make it difficult to shave much of the time. it took almost a year for him to get back to being nearly comfortable and have his confidence back to where it was. but its created issues with his job that he’s been dealing with or avoiding.
but the positive of the whole ordeal is the relationship with his mother. the christmas following the lightning strike there was another argument between him and his father and his mother saw the physical remnants of it. she was already struggling with being cut off from any of his care while he’d been in the hospital but that was the last straw. she left his father, filed for divorce and actually spent several weeks living in Theo’s spare room, now she’s living in his apartment building managed by his best friend. his life is definitely different and he’s looking after his health and his heart the way a man in his sixties might at time. sometimes it makes him act like he’s in his twenties again but he’s pulling his shit together again with the new year, he wants to try and prove himself still at work and he’s looking forward to the olympics he gets to attend in south korea. he's also trying to figure out wha the hell he should do with the money his mother gave him a couple months back, when the divorce was finalized she handed Theo the rights to his college fund his parents had been holding on and it's built up interest but he doesn't think about it too much.