a bad parent - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
I try so damn hard for you to love me as much as you love yourself, but finally I've realized that I don't love you. I just love the idea of you and the thought of something good in a sea of something terrible. I love you so much, no, the idea of you, that I shove everything wrong with me, all my problems and flaws, everything I carry, deep in my pockets, just to be enough, and hope that I am good, and maybe you are good too. But I have to remind myself that's just a fantasy. Then I'm finally free, because I know that nothing will never be enough for you, under everything you are sad, and you cannot see anything that isn't you. You're selfish that way and I no longer blame myself for every time I wasn't good enough for you; I wasn't perfect enough, happy enough, every time I didn't praise you, or love you like stars love the moon. Now I am not yours anymore, you have lost me and, I swear, being lost has never felt so good.
In quiet moments you come to me, ghost-like, a shadow of who you were. When I am calm the spectre is kind, you laugh and I recall the times I felt like you loved me. But always there is the knowledge you never did. You gave me away like I was something you were glad to be free of, not caring how my story unfolded. In that cold stare, in the salty breeze that afternoon, you bade me farewell more coldly than a bank clerk and that's when I knew. If you feel it you can't hide it, but if you don't you can't fake it. Perhaps some can, or think they can, but there are always tells aren't there? Not that I needed to look hard. Your face was passive, untroubled at the parting. After all those years I expected more. You fought harder to keep the family dog, you get more upset at a grocery store error. So why do you still haunt me? I want to forget you but apparently that isn't my lot in life.
In the space that should be filled with your love - at my foundations, keeping my soul aloft - there is a void so black no light can penetrate. It is a wound that can never heal no matter how much salve is poured on. The best I can hope for is to shore up my mind with new loves and pray they never leave. Because if they do my house will fall like the tower of cards it is. Though I like to pretend the walls are brick held together with mortar, they are just card that gets damp in the rain and wobbles in the wind. I have you to thank for that, but I don't harbour bitterness. You are what you are, you see like a person who can never look past their own reflection. Of course you are the star of your world, you're the only one truly in there. Perhaps if my eyes were like that then I'd be just like you. But my eyes have always taken in the light from every angle, seen the detail you can't. So though I love you, I decline to be part of your life, you haunting me is plenty enough.
I am a bad parent, I never meant to be. I wonder if it's just what happens when you take a love that strong and mix it up with ambition and fear. Like every decision ever made, they are based on a combination of the facts at hand and the personality involved - core motivation I guess. Ambition and love came together to make pushiness, to drive my kids forwards, and at the same time addressing the fear, reassuring me that they would be happy in the world when I can no longer walk a pace behind them, ready to catch them if they fall. My love was never conditional or time limited, it has no expiry date, but in my failure to adequately transmit that I failed in the worst possible way. All my kids ever needed to know was that I'd love them no matter what they chose to do with their lives, that they were free to make their own choices...
They brought out the very worst in each other, each of them backing up the other's vices as if they were virtues. It was the "right" thing to spend all of their money on themselves, to not let others "push them around." And while I like to buy some nice things too, there's just nothing right with taking off for an expensive vacation when you "can't afford" to feed your daughter non-processed junk food or buy new clothes for her when she's outgrown the others. But that's just the way he was and there was nothing I could do. The court ruled I had to send you fifty percent of the time, so he and his "beautiful girlfriend" could ignore you and feed you hot-dogs and chips. I know they left you with the television while they went to the gym and sucked back nutri-shakes. I'm sorry. He wasn't like that when we were together; he had the selfish streak for sure, but he wanted me to like him then and, in hindsight, that was all that made him behave.
Benji cast his eyes to the fresh dug soil. Mama was down there and God had taken her. What the hell did he need her for? The priest said he “Called her home” with a dopey look on his smug little face. Benji imagined his features rearranged by the business end of a shovel. She already had a God damn home and damn God for taking her. When he got to heaven he was kicking his ghostly ass all around the God damn place and burning the pearly gates. What was left now? Home with Papa. Papa who didn't even know how to break a smile or utter a kindness, Papa who found fault in every God damn little thing and wielded his meaty hands like the raw hunks of meat they were. Papa who was already tucking into the liquor and screaming at them to buy his cigarettes. God took the wrong damn parent and if something didn't change soon he was sending dear Papa to meet him. He kicked at the soil feeling the only love he'd ever known drain right through his boots and be replaced by ice.
Lucille's bitterness toward her daughter was an extension of her vanity. As she declined her daughter blossomed into womanhood, more beautiful than even she had been. The sneer in her eyes extended to her voice as she chided her for wearing track pants, a pony tail and no make-up. Her tension became a poison in their relationship, Lucille putting a negative spin on all of her daughters behaviour and personality traits. Instead of striving to help her move forwards in life with confidence she did quite the opposite, destroying her self confidence one carefully angled verbal blow at a time. Then one day she came home to an empty house, her daughters belongings all gone...
There was so much hatred in your eyes, so much remorse afterwards. The first time I believed it was the last, so sorry were you. But it wasn't, it was barely a warm up act for what was to come. I understand it far better now, your life was hard, who else was there to vent your rage on? Not the boss, not mama who walked out first chance she got. So little me was all you had. I tried to be more loveable, more cute, more servile. It made no difference. I wasn't the cause of your unrestrained anger, merely your relief valve. As a child I blamed myself, as a teen I blamed you, as an adult I know how futile blame is. I forgive you, I do. I still love you too. I just can't function with you in my life. The part of me that is your child is too dysfunctional and the closer she comes to the surface the more I veer toward being like you. My children deserve better, they are getting better. I vent with exercise in the open air, perhaps you should have tried that instead.
Tory looked at her daughter, distain pouring from gaze and body language. She had worked out all her life and now she had to be seen in public with a plump daughter. How could she compete with her friends and their athletic model offspring? It wasn't fair. And now a social engagement with Kelsy. She couldn't very well lie about her daughter with her standing right there. "Hey, Sophia sweetheart, why don't you stay home and get your homework done? These things are so boring."