My aunt always asked me how my ears were so flat… you always told her that they just were, but I realised that maybe it was from all the times that I clamped them to my head with my hands so I wouldn’t hear the yelling.
I’ve been trying to listen to what people are saying for years but even now I still phase out after a while and I have to concentrate on listening. I’ve realised that after a while I’d stopped listening to you when you kept repeating the same things and just expecting my answers to change.
I’m messy, I hate doing things I’m told to and I can’t manage to keep up with people’s expectations of me, no matter how benign. I knew that if I showed you I was capable of certain things like keeping my room tidy and doing all of my homework immediately you would only ask more of me. I tried to lower your expectations so that the pressure would become more bearable and I’d have some time for myself.
I’m bad at saying things, expressing my feelings, speaking my thoughts or ideas and standing up for myself. You would never let me talk back, I was only allowed a few words before you would yell again and they were almost never the right ones. I learned to stay quiet so there would be less reason for you to yell at me.
I’m trying to come out of my shell, I want to be affectionate to the people I care about but it’s so hard and I’m always being awkward about it. You were never very good at expressing your affection and the more time passed the less you tried until I stopped hearing “I love you”.
My friends worry that I’m always trying to help others but I neglect myself. But I remember you calling me selfish as soon as I took so much as a second for me when you or a little brother could’ve used a little help, or when I didn’t leave what I wanted for others when they might’ve wanted it.
I’m a good judge of character, I can notice small changes in a person’s attitude that could indicate that something’s wrong or someone’s mad. You were never openly hostile until you exploded from all the little things in your life that were going wrong. So I had to learn to notice the small changes and signs indicating that you were angry so that I could avoid you or try to soften the metaphorical blow.
You made me, with my strengths and weaknesses and all these problems. You had the biggest part of all in shaping my personality and temperament but we’re so different and we still disagree on many things.
I know who you are, but for all the influence you’ve had in moulding me you still don’t understand much about who I am. I only wish that you could clear your mind of how you think I am and see me for myself, who I’ve become, for once.