JerBear, a.k.a. Jerry the Deadbeat Dad


This is Jerry "JerBear" Barrows-Fitzgerald, the founder of Vertex Wrestling and my father. He used to hold me tight and promise he'd always protect me. Together, we were building something that would bring joy to others and outlive us both.

For years, I have been supporting my father in ways, ranging from financing his dream home, building a studio for our wrestling matches, purchasing wrestling rings, helping him cheat into a good coding school, applying to hundreds of jobs for him, and more. I did all these things because I loved and trusted my Dad, and in return he promised me a place in our family and ownership stake in our business.

Dad took advantage of me by dipping into my previously untouched credit. He talked me into financing a dream home, promising to build a life together, and I believed him. His partner, however, was abusive to me, and I spoke out. Here's what I said.

When I pleaded with my Dad to stop the abuse and neglect, he cut me out of our company, moved to the other side of the country, defaulted on our debts, then never spoke to me - except when he wanted bills paid. After a nasty spat with his husband, Dad reached out to reconcile. When it came time to settle our debts, however, Dad defrauded me for thousands, cut me out again without a word, and moved 3,000 miles away. He got what he wanted.

Last time I tried to reconcile, Jerry treated me monstrously. He said adopting me was just a choice, and he wouldn't let his marriage be a casualty of it. I tried desperately to make amends, but he threatened to permanently cut me out if he felt like I ever came in between him and his husband. I tried bringing him to therapy, but all he did was blame me and give excuses. When I'd try to work our issues out he'd say he wanted to just quit being my dad altogether.

Jerry promised to visit to make amends. Then he wouldn't do it, so he promised to move back. He said he'd talk to me every day and send care packages. He kept a tab of all the things he'd do to be a better dad. Then he stopped adding to his list. And then he stopped talking to me. No package ever came.

Jerry is a deadbeat dad. He's a con artist that will say anything he thinks others want to hear, so he gets what he wants. All I wanted was for my Dad to love me, and in return he deliberately exploited and abandoned me. He will lie, deflect, blame, run away, anything - to avoid accountability for what he's done.

Please take a look at this picture from my adoption day. These people hurt me, and this is what deadbeat dads look like.