the blog

All for Show

I noticed the artwork too. It’s surprisingly good, and I’m surprised it was still hanging around. It kills me a little, you know? To know that it survived all those years. I can imagine, as a mother, how you must have felt pulling it all out of whatever box it was stuffed in. You must have thought of me as a small child with my bright eyes and sunny disposition, how I worshipped you and took strides to stay glued to your hip. I did worship you, you know?

 How many of the projects did you remember? Did you remember the day, what was going on, how I wore my hair? Did you remember what I said when I gave it to you, do you remember how you felt? Were you annoyed at having to praise another random piece of garbage? That’s always how you made me feel. 

I started to write something for you a few days ago, but knowing that the artwork was really mine complicates things. I want to be angry, but it’s not coming up for me now. Instead, I feel all the sadness that was always hiding beneath.

You think that this proves that you love me, but all that it does is prove that this profound love is something that I’ll never have. It’s cruel, a reminder of how sorely you have let me down and how alone I really am. You watched me suffer, you watched me starve, you watched my children get beat, you watched me play the whore for three straight years and develop an addiction to drugs and literally sleep on the street, and you think that some old drawings in a box you forgot about are going to make up for that?

You show up for the people you love. You go to jail for their education and you sell your body to keep them fed, you jump in front of cars, you get them kicked out of schools so they don’t get hit, you spend your last dollar on bubble gum and you let people cover you with feathers and tar and you don’t give a fuck what they say as long as your kids keep telling you you’re the best mom. Well, some people do.

You just put on an act. A great big act for everyone to see so that everyone can rest assured that your affection is real and my hatred means I’m an ungrateful brat. Really, you heap trauma upon trauma and drive me insane and cause infinitely more damage than you had at the start and you pretend to yourself that you’re doing something good. To me, to my face, you don’t say a word.

Because it was never about me. It was about you.

And what you did, saving me when I had already saved myself, destroying everything that I had built in spite of you, launching an entire mother fucking crusade  to grind me into the dirt… You did it because you thought I was the problem. You rejoiced in the idea that I was a dirt bag and that you could be the one to save me from myself. That, you believed in, that got you out of bed. 

When I needed saving, when I had real problems, when YOU were the problem, when it was apparent that I was a good and deserving person, when I still had all my light, you slept while I suffered. That I was worthwhile, you couldn’t believe. 

Saving me from myself is an inherently hostile concept, you prick. I LOVED myself and you couldn’t bear the thought of me thinking I was good. You couldn’t fathom it being true.

get why you’re suddenly so much less defensive. It makes sense. All of you are ashamed. I feel your pain, believe it or not. I always have. I wish that I could tell you that I forgive you and that I understand what you intended and that you won me over with your theatrics. The truth is that I am so, so disappointed in you and so incredibly sad for myself.

It isn’t hard to be a good family. I let my kids down more than I’d like to because my life is crazy, but I try every single day to be a little better than before. I don’t shut them down or invalidate them, I don’t crush their souls and insist they be a certain way, I help them become who they are. I let them tell me.

When I became a mother, I realized how horribly inept you were as one. I hold to it all the more strongly now. You all need help. And/or to step foot into the twenty first century. Probably both.

I’m glad to be the black sheep. I’m sorry you feel so uncomfortable with your actions. I’m glad you’re realizing finally that I am ten times the person you gave me credit for being. Next up is to realize that I am the solution, I am the one breaking the cycle of trauma and toxicity that made you all so enthusiastic about ruining my life. I see more than you see. I see me and I see you, and you cannot see either.

And I’m glad you finally feel a little now of just how much you let me down. You’ll deny it, I’m sure, keep saying the same things though you know I don’t deserve them. You have to. I understand. But I won. And I won on my merit. Go ahead and go back to pretending you don’t know it. I’ll go back to my armor of anger. It’s more comfortable for us both.

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