The girl that was Hated

Remember the viciousness in the way my mother would glare down at me, while my father peered at me through once blue eyes turned foggy & clouded by demons and drink, as he would blurt our inappropriate compliments down the table to his new budding daughter.
‘Youngest daughter’.
I heard that phrase more than my actual name at one stage.
As though the description gave him permission to have performed all past deeds.
Youngest daughter.

My mother, eyes like ice would snap.
He found it amusing, he knew how jealous it made her, she knew I was the 
Real woman in his life.
His child bride. 
Everyone did, just without mentioning it. We all knew I was his, which meant she wasn’t.
And the Rage grew…

It flooded over into everyone, the hatred, the jealousy, the scorn she felt for me.
No-one could compliment me, even on the clothes that she herself had bought me. Not my grandmother, nobody, it was a totally out of bounds territory.
Her eyes would freeze and emotion rushed out of her face along with the blood.
She hated me.
I knew that. Of course I knew.
She hated my appearance, anything I was good at or the fact that anyone was ever curious or interested in my life.
She hid me.
She wanted me to disappear.
She didn't have to say it, it screamed out of her tightly pursed lips & piercing eyes.
She was worse than any jealous high school rival that I would come across later in life.
I didn’t have to leave the house to be told I was a slut, that I was nothing, that I should never, ever try, for it might gain me attention. I had to stay shrunken.
It kept me prisoner.

It festered in me, I could never allow myself a compliment, or feeling the pride of ever getting anything right. I had to be wrong, I had to be nothing.
I had to be pathetic.
I hated who I was even more so if I did things well, because I knew (to her) that made me a bad person.
I had to not exist, fade into the background, stop talking, stop eating, stop being.
I was cursed. To be loved I had to fail.

I hate to be as imprisoned as she was or I wouldn’t survive her.
I had to be as trapped as her.

I remember one day, year later, an evening when she said I looked nice, I was so shocked I think I jolted.
My friend was over and in attempt to appear normal or cool, I said in a silly voice ‘Oh I know’ I was 14. A flick of the hair. Humour my greatest defense.

She glared up and through me.

‘With an attitude like that no-one will ever tell you you’re pretty again’

I remember with serious eyes I whispered to her as my friend was distracting herself: ‘do you honestly think I could ever possibly think of myself as pretty’

‘What? you don’t?’ she asked in surprise.

‘No mother, I despise how I am, how I look’

Mascaraed eyes. Tears welled.

And then I saw it… Her Lips, turning upwards… 
‘Well there you go, I did not know that’ she stated as if reading from a script of ‘Things I should say’ she composed her face for a moment & then walked away; smiling.

All her hard work had payed off. 
What a wonderfully proud day.