I was struck today by the realization that I’ve finally shed the weight I’ve been carrying, that cross that has been strapped to my back. It has weighed me down ever since I can remember, and oh how I can remember.
I can recall every cruel thing you ever said to me. I know that I eat fast because you used to get angry when I would take my time before we left for school. I know that I can endure large amounts of pain because of the disgusted looks you would give me when I would complain about an injury. I know that I don’t cry because they few times I did, you looked at me with complete and utter loathing. I know that I don’t talk about how I feel, that I am literally stunted as a person, because you made it so very clear when you openly laughed at me for trying to be honest. You laughed at me when I cried. You called me a fool once; you said I was a stubborn idiot and that I would pay for it. You called me useless and lazy more times than I can count, and I know I deserved it, because it was true. I know that my back is permanently injured because I helped you lift a piano. I knew I wasn’t physically capable, but I did it anyway. And when your friend couldn’t take the weight, I took it for him—-just to prove to you that I could do it.
I’m not you—we all can’t be you, because you are impossible. There will never be another person like you, and I say that with the utmost conviction and a bit of envy, because I know that in spite of what I become, I can’t be half of what you are.
What I don’t envy are your chains, your stupid, self-inflicted chains. I know you’re as much a glutton for the suffering as I am; I see that now. We just take the pain in different ways. But you limit yourself to their world and their ways, a world I can’t abide. You want the things they want because you’ve never had anything else, and the sad truth is, despite how much I do admire you, I hate you in equal amounts.
And I pity you. I pity you for taking on the weight of their lies and daring to call them your own. You wanted a monster, and you have made her. I can only wonder if you are happy with this beast that has foiled your every desire; it can’t be helped—you made me to be a taker, and by God, will I take. I know you do it out of love, even if you can’t bring yourself to say it. I am grateful, I appreciate everything that you’ve sacrificed for me, but in the end don’t you see it is for naught? Don’t you see that this place is not worth your toil? Don’t you see that I want you to live your own way? I don’t want you to buy me cars. I don’t want you to pay for my college. I don’t need those things—I never did. That’s why the car in the driveway is one I bought for myself. It’s why I could only endure a year of college on your dime. I’ve made my own way now, even if you are sorely disappointed by what I’ve become. .
I can’t please you. I spent most of my life trying to, and now that I have finally broken free… I don’t hear you in my head anymore when I fail—I hear only me. My voice is louder now, my will is stronger, because I know what is real, what is important, even if you have blinded yourself to the realities. I am not afraid to go my own way. You know why? Because as much as you’ve done for me, and as much as I respect your opinion, I know what is best for me. I am not the self-sacrificer you are, and I never will be. Don’t you see? We’re standing on opposite ends of the fence now, and in your struggle to extract all my weakness, you made something I imagine you didn’t fully intend.
You’re the hero, don’t you see? And I’m the villain, I’m the one on the other side, the one you proclaim your hatred for. We were the same thing once, something in-between, but you went and said those things that can’t be taken back. You betrayed me more than once, and you made this fucking monster out of me. I can’t connect to anyone because of my distrust of you, and maybe in the end I should thank you. Because now, at this point, I revel in this disgusting thing that I’ve become. There is nothing but hedonism and selfishness here, and I live every day knowing it’s such a disappointment to you.
Because now, now I just don’t care. I took the fall and I’m not afraid anymore. The heavens didn’t crash down upon me, my world didn’t end. In fact, it is much more tolerable than I could believe possible without so many glaring obstructions blinding me from my truth path.
I know my way now.