It hurts enough that I have to live with everything I’ve ever done wrong in my life never leaving my mind, because I’ll NEVER forget my regrets. But when people constantly bring it up and don’t let it go, that makes it worse. Then I’m expected to love myself for my accomplishments. How the HECK does that work?
For example, because I was obsessed with TV shows I watched as a middle schooler, Mom immediately assumed that my love for Doctor Who was an obsession when I changed my Facebook profile pic to Christopher Eccleston for the 50th anniversary. She even got pissed off at me when I bought a TARDIS Laplander and told me that I could only keep it if I never wore it to church. My brother was allowed to wear a very noticeable Captain America jacket every single week from Christmas to whenever the weather got too warm to wear it. There isn’t any difference between them, other than the fact that I can put my hat into my purse when I get there and not pull it out again. But if I were to point that out, it would just cause a scene.
I also get in trouble for bringing things up that happened in the past. I’m told that I’m holding a grudge and I need to let go of it. Maybe I am, but I wanna know what it’s called when THEY do it. Grandma once got mad at me for yelling at her for going into my room without permission the month before, but not 10 minutes later she said I should ‘blend in’ with people and that she’s trying to protect me because I got picked on in school. For starters, that mostly stopped when I hit high school, and completely stopped by the time I graduated. At that point, I’d been out of middle school for 5 years and I graduated in 2013. That means that she’s been holding onto a RESOLVED issue for 5 years, but I’m not allowed to hold onto an UNRESOLVED issue for a month.
My mom’s like that too–a month or two ago, we were coming home from counseling and she randomly started talking about an issue I had in the summer of 2008. That was SIX YEARS AGO. And she just brought it up randomly. Awhile back, she texted me about something ELSE I’d done several years ago. I asked her to stop talking about it and she got mad at me for telling her that. She’ll also make assumptions about things that aren’t actually the case, but chide me if I do it. Once, I made a comment about gay men acting a certain way. She told me not to stereotype…then immediately followed with a stereotype. Literally the next words out of her mouth after not stereotyping was a stereotype.
The thing is, I can’t even tell them that it bothers me. Grandma doesn’t care enough to remember and my mom will remember, but if she does it again, she’ll make sure I know how bitter she is about me asking her to stop. But they can call me out on whatever they want and I can’t say a word about it.
It seems that my family’s favorite thing to do to me is gratuitously point out and even mock my flaws. My brother has been on a kick lately about making fun of me for always getting scared of things that I really didn’t need to be scared about. My mom gets mad if I get on her computer for even a minute or two to check something, because I’ve broken computers several times. She doesn’t care that it takes me several MONTHS of CONSTANT use to break them–the fastest I’ve ever seriously damaged one took 8 months. NOT 8 minutes, NOT 8 hours, NOT 8 days. EIGHT MONTHS. But nooo, she doesn’t care enough to consider that. And other than some small electronics (like headphones, cell phones, or MP3 players), I haven’t broken any others. I’ve never even broken my DS or my GBAs. In fact, it was my brother who broke his DS–mine had a small chip in the corner, but his has no working speakers (the headphone jack works fine though) and the mic won’t work. The fact that I’m very talkative has come up a lot. My mom once told me that nobody really likes me, they just tolerate me because they’re too polite to tell me to go away. I’m sure that’s not 100% true, but the damage was done, and now I can’t talk to anyone that I don’t know really well without feeling like I’m bothering them. I was actually ‘prepped’ on what to say or not say on my way to a good friend’s grad party this summer. I ended up just telling her and her brother hello, then sat at a table by myself and kept my mouth shut for the rest of our stay.
They also refuse to let me drive, because I didn’t do very well last year when they got me into driver’s ed–which is odd, because I don’t recall them ever letting me behind the wheel again after I finished it. I went down to the BMV back in August to get a new permit because I’d lost mine and needed to replace it. Even as we were leaving, Mom made it VERY clear that it was only going to be used as ID. Dad does whatever she tells him and Grandma refuses to let me. I’m sure if they took me out driving now, I wouldn’t do very well, because I haven’t done it in almost a year and a half. But I’ll bet that it wouldn’t matter–they’d still say I wasn’t good enough and never let me behind the wheel again.
I’ve been told from as early as 3rd or 4th grade that I’m the ‘common denominator’ in any arguments I had with classmates. If I had a fight with one kid on Monday, and a fight with a different kid on Tuesday, it was MY fault because I was the only kid involved in both arguments. Some days, it’s my fault for being a big mouth and not knowing when to shut up. Other days, it was needless bullying that wasn’t my fault. I don’t buy that for a second–not after all that time that was spent thinking I was the problem.
But I’m supposed to love myself anyway. I’m supposed to know what I’ve accomplished and appreciate it, even if they won’t. I’m supposed to believe that I’m an amazing person and am gonna go far in life, when most of the time I’m told that I’m lazy, and immature, and irresponsible, and not cut out for the real world.
At this point, it hurts. A lot. I’m expected to love myself, but how am I supposed to do that when it feels like all anyone does is point out everything wrong with me? I’m expected to let things go and leave the past where it belongs, but the majority of the time, I’m not the one who brings it up. But because I get upset or mention that it’s over with, I’m the bad guy. If I try to stand up for myself and make my own decisions, I get shot down. But I’m supposed to know I’ll be successful in life. I’m supposed to feel loved, and confident, and happy. I’m supposed to take pride in the very things they mock. I’m supposed to be proud of being friendly, yet I’m told on a regular basis that I’m too overbearing and need to talk less. I’m supposed to be proud of what I’ve written–but only if they like it too. I’ve never been one who doesn’t care what others think as it is, but when it’s my own flesh and blood who’ve said the horrible things I’ve been told, it’s even worse. You know that saying ‘If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything”? Well, it DOES go both ways. Remember that.