alone with you
I just have to get out all the sadness really quickly. Because it’s not ok to be sad. In fact, it’s not really ok to be myself or at least not this much of myself. People want small soundbites to work with. Just a quick taste of who you are as a person. And only the good stuff. The best pictures, the best stories, your best emotions.
I get it. You can’t expect someone you don’t know to deal with your most intense emotions or your most messed up fears and doubts. But what about the people that do know you? Your friends, your family. What does it say that even they can’t stand you at anything less than perfect?
Why are my complaints, my negativity always too much for you? I listen to all of yours. I let you speak and vent and whine. I let you get things off your chest and I empathize. I feel for you. I reassure you that everything will be ok. I encourage you to try again. I tell you that you’re the best. I give you time to work through it. So why can’t you do that for me? Why are my feelings so revolting to you?
It’s not as though I’m leaning on you day after day repeating the same sob stories, not even trying to get better.
You asked me here. You asked about my life. I opened up.
To me we were just talking. Just making conversation. But to you I was acting like a child. My struggles with anything are just too much for you to take. Even just hearing about them second hand. You hush away my concerns in life. You push me into a corner. “Maybe your problems are your own making,” you say. “Yeah, maybe you’re right,” I reply. I glower into my coffee. Tears stinging hot in my eyes.
We leave the coffee house together. I am a quiet shell. I am afraid to speak lest my words be judged. Turned around and used against me.
What kind of friend are you? That’s right, you’re not. You’re my dad. And maybe my failure and my struggles are too much for you. Maybe you see them as your own. And you punish me for it. Each time chipping away a little at my confidence, my sanity, my will to live.
Complaining for the sake of complaining will do you no good, I agree. But what about just talking? Just being honest? Just you and me? And maybe if you agreed with me or at least listened quietly, I could move on. And be a happier person, more together, and strong.
But I just can’t stop thinking about that disapproving tone. That I’ll never be good enough, I’ve already known.