All I’ve ever wanted is your approval. And you’ve withheld it for as long as I can remember.
Why am I not good enough? Why is what I do not worth being proud of? Why can’t you respect my choices? Why does nothing I ever do measure up to what you want?
You are my mother… you are supposed to love me, to stand beside me, to be proud of me..
I just don’t understand it.
It isn’t like I don’t do anything to be proud of!
I work every day in a job that HELPS people, I’m in the process of becoming a therapeutic riding instructor to HELP people, I don’t do drugs and I don’t spend every weekend drunken into a stupor. I’m not a criminal… hell, I even hold doors for strangers when I go out in public. I step AROUND a bug, rather than on it! All of the animals in my care are healthy and happy and well adjusted even though most came from less than ideal situations.
I have a boyfriend who I love with all my heart, who loves me! It has been almost two years that we’ve been together, and he is wonderful to me.
And yet… you seem to always find things to disapprove of.
Even the simplest things, you disapprove of.
You hate the fact that I have pet rats, because apparently only ‘nasty’ people have rats, because rats are ‘disgusting’.
Lets not take into account that one of those rats is a ‘special needs’ rat who might otherwise have met with a not so wonderful life if I hadn’t found her. And lets completely forget the fact that I have a vet who sees all my animals (and these little girls will probably be going in for a check up in a few weeks). AND the fact that they are about as spoiled as any animal could be and want for nothing.
Why can you not be proud of the fact that I am taking wonderful care of the animals under my protection?
You don’t approve of me working with or riding horses. You don’t understand it, so you disapprove.
It isn’t something I chose… it kind of chose me. I’m not complete if I’m not around horses. They make me a better person. Most of the important lessons in life, I’ve learned or had confirmed by horses. Patience, persistence, dedication, determination, strength, courage, joy in life, love, honesty, trust, kindness, generosity, fun, happiness, gentleness, empathy. If you spend a few days with horses, you will see all of these things. And if you are hanging around a barn, I can pretty much garentee that someone will put you to work, so you also learn the value of hard work.
I know you don’t understand it, but why can you not support it? Horses and the barn and riding have made me into the person I am today.
You are very against me having sex with my boyfriend. To the point that you’ve told me that if I get pregnant, you will basically disown me.
I’m sorry you feel that way, but I think it is ridiculous. I am three months shy of 24, and I was a virgin until I met him, until I was comfortable in our relationship. I was a virgin into my twenties, not because of some religious reasoning or anything like that, but because I respected myself enough to wait until the time was right. To wait until I found a man worth losing it to. And he is the only man I’ve ever been with, so it isn’t like I’m switching partners and putting myself at risk for STD’s. I even had him go get tested before I made the decision to sleep with him! We use protection, and we are responsible about it! So it isn’t a big deal!
And you know what? He and I want children some day! Probably some day fairly soon! I know you seem to think that is a horrible thing, that I’m ‘too young’ but.. you should be proud! I have waited until I am as ready as anyone can be, as prepared as anyone can be. I am with a man who is amazing and loves me with all his heart. Who WANTS kids, who loves kids.
I am one of only a few of my high school friends who has WAITED until they were prepared for children. I was NOT a teenage parent. (nothing wrong with that, if the teens can handle it, but most of my friends who WERE teen age mothers COULDN’T handle it.)
Why can’t you just be proud of me for being responsible?
You disapprove of the clothing I wear.
Which is actually fairly laughable. I work in an elementary school, so OBVIOUSLY I’m not wearing anything slutty or revealing. My usual attire basically consists of dress slacks and some kind of jacket/sweatshirt on the days I’m working, jeans and a t-shirt on my days off, and my riding clothes when I’m at the barn. I do have a few ‘going out’ outfits, but even those are decent, because I always keep in the back of my mind the fact that I might see one of my students or their parents when I am out, so I always want to be presenting a decent image.
You hate my tattoo, look at me like some kind of degenerate because of it.
And the sad part is that it has so much meaning to me. And I chose a place that is easily covered by my SHOE if I don’t want it being seen! So it will never affect my work (The only job it would affect is one as a foot model, so I am VERY glad I didn’t chose that career path. 😉 )
I’m not asking that you love it. I’m not asking that you run out and get a matching one, just PLEASE stop critisizing me for it. My body art does not make me any less of an adult.
I hate that I want your approval so much. I hate that I’ve always had this place inside me that keeps wanting to be even better in hopes that maybe some day you will look at me with all the pride you look at my sister with.
I know that I was an ‘oops’, that you didn’t plan me, that I just kind of happened.
I know you planned her, wanted her.
So I guess… you are always going to look at me differently because of this, but I wish you’d realize that I cannot change that! That I’ve spent most of my life trying to make up for that. And that when I failed at getting you to look at me with pride… even my rebellion wasn’t that bad.
It hurt, when I’d bring home A’s and B’s for grades, and would get basically a pat on the head and ‘That is nice” but she would bring home C’s and D’s and get applauded and taken out to dinner to celebrate because ‘she has a harder time with school, so this is a wonderful thing!”. I understood though. School was easy for me, and it was hard for her. So I didn’t say much, just hid the pain and let it manifest in different ways. Like how my grades slowly started to decline. I figured if she could get your approval that way, maybe I could too. Yeah, dumb idea, and not thought out completely I know. THAT was my rebellion. I just wanted you to be proud of MY accomplishments too, and when you weren’t… well… I figured there was no point.
And then you started yelling at me for the same grades you applauded her for… You started coming down stricter on me. Which made me KEEP the grades that low. To the point that I even figured out exactly HOW much work I’d have to do in each class in order to maintain at last a C-. I did more work than classes assigned just trying to figure out how little work I should do!
I got some of my writing published when I was still in high school, just to get you to be proud of me. And you were. For about a minute. But then my sister didn’t like it, so you put the book way back on the farthest shelf you could find, where it still sits today collecting dust. I was 16… and a published author… and because my sister didn’t like it, you discouraged me from being proud of my own accomplishment! I never tried to make her feel bad, or rub it in her face or anything. I always told her that if I could do it, she could too. I encouraged her in anything she wanted, any dreams she had.
And for some reason, you made her hate me. You started letting her treat me badly, started letting her and sometimes even joining in when she put me down.
And put me down she does. About how she makes more money than I (even though I’ve tried to explain to them that I am not out to get rich, that I LOVE my job and make enough to support myself fairly well so I’m good with it.)
I hate how you don’t SEE me. You look at me… but you look right THROUGH me. It is like you don’t care what I have to say, unless you are bored and I’m the only one around to entertain you.
I hate how you are never proud of me. That everything you tell your friends about me is negative. That you never see me in any sort of decent light, even though I’ve spent my entire life trying to be the best person I can be, just so you can finally be proud of me.
I hate how I am almost 24 and I am STILL doing things to try and earn your respect and approval. But you never see it. You never see how hard I work to make you proud.
I hate that even after all this time, I cannot let it go. I cannot just say “screw this, I’m done”.
I hate that I cannot tell you everything that is weighing on me, that I cannot tell you how much it hurts. I hate that there seems to be nothing I can do.
I want to tell you all of this, I want to make you understand. I want to make you proud. I want so many things…
I know we don’t have much in common, but I’m willing to do things you like, so that we have something to talk about, something in common. I am willing to try… always. But it seems like I always get slapped down.
I know I don’t need your approval. I’m a fairly well adjusted adult, who is happy with her life and a good person! I know I am a good person. I just wish you knew that too….