One of the biggest reasons I've done well in school all these years is my father, or rather, trying to earn my father's approval. When I was in elementary school I would hear all the yelling and arguments between my brother and father as they were going through his homework. To be honest, it was pretty brutal. When I look back on it I can't believe how rough he was with my brother over all that junk. And from the safety of my bedroom, I vowed to never have to be yelled at like that.
Never (Feeling) Good Enough
Later on when I was in junior high and high school, that fear had pretty much diminished – my mom had finally gotten him to simmer down with the aggressive approach and my brother went to college. The drive I had when I was younger was still there, but like most kids, I really sought after some parental approval. And even though my mom wasn't shy about telling me she was proud of me, I never got it from my dad. No matter how well I did….instead of a 'good job' I got lectures on all the stuff I could do better. And me being human and all, I wanted what I couldn't have, and kept working harder and harder and continuing to succeed – but still without any praise.
All these feeling were stirred up again because I just got finished cleaning out a file full of test scores, old report cards, and college acceptance letters. I know that your own sense of accomplishment should be enough, but between that and feeling like no one wants me in this house right now, it's starting to get disheartening. A couple days ago my dad basically gave me a speech about how he wants me to be out of the house more and today my mom was trying to disinvite me from something so trivial as going to the freaking mall tomorrow. I'm hardly around anymore and this will probably be one of the last times they get to see me for a prolonged period of time. I'm tired of them acting like I'm this giant chore – a mess they have to pick up after. That's what my graduation felt like – some chore they had to sit through instead of something they were proud of me for getting to. I greatly appreciate all the financial help they've given me over the last 22 years, but I also think a family should be more than that. And the more I hang out with other families and see how they act the more that ache I bury under humor and sarcasm starts throbbing. The thought that all families are like this becomes harder to believe.
Maybe it doesn't help that I'm so different than them – perhaps that's why we can't connect on some deeper level. I feel like the only answer I have to this right now is to hide in my room as much as possible. It feels like high school all over again.