There must be something wrong with me. That's the only conclusion I am able to reach after today. Otherwise, why can't I please or love the ones I love most. What mountain of despair drove my mother to tell me this morning that I was 'worse than my father'. The man who thinks I am a disappointment, the man who wouldn't talk to me or her six months each year because of something we said or did that he didn't like, the man who ruined my college years and put a halt to the one thing in life I really wanted: an education, the man who fulfilled his basic responsibility of food, clothing and shelter but didn't acknowledge much beyond that, the man who appears to be such an 'impressive' character to the rest of the world but has a different set of rules for his family. I could go on. My mother's life has never been easy, but it's been nothing short of living hell these past 8 years. Mine hasn't been much easier either. My husband's latent mental illness has been resurfacing so much more frequently and has taken a toll on my family more than I care to admit. I am working a satisfying but rather tough job to make ends meet and to keep my nine-year-old son happy and healthy. I am trying to support my mother the best I can given that my father refuses to acknowledge my presence on earth except to berate me or to berate my mother. I have had a near breakdown and finally feel like I am hanging on to the last shreds of my sanity only because I am genetically programmed to be 'responsible' and 'practical' and I have a responsibility to my son.
I am not an easy person. I am not infinitely patient like my mother, not easygoing and smiling, not lighthearted, not... well, I'm not a hundred nice things. But I do care about the people I love. My mother says I'm not 'loving' but I am 'caring'. I don't know what the distinction is - perhaps she's right - I don't know how to love.
But I try - she has to grant me that. I try very hard, that is my husband's accusation. I am living in close proximity to that man who is my father and possibly hates every cell of my being. I live with a husband who is not only mentally unstable, but has kept up a volley of mental and emotional abuse for years now. My mother is physiologically incapable of getting angry. She is soft-hearted, infinitely loving and forgiving, has the patience of Mother Earth (the last my father's own confession, in a moment of clarity that he would rather forget). She's everything I'm not. I love her and admire here and am grateful to her for everything she has done for me. I have said it to her and anyone who will care to listen that I owe her everything I have today. Yes, I have my faults - there are plenty. But she is my mother, shouldn't she know when I'm just annoyed as opposed to specifically being angry with her? Shouldn't she know, after nearly 38 years, that this is who I am. That I love her dearly and would never knowingly hurt her. I have inherited my short temper from my father, which is more of bubbling over of stress than anything else - not his type of 'let-me-teach-you-a-lesson-by pretending-you-don't-exist-and-making-you-beg-for-anything-more-than-food-shelter-and-clothing'. But I really need to know what I have ever done to be told that I was 'worse' than my father. Worse than my father? Worse than the man who made my life a nightmare for years? Worse than the man without a spine in front of his parents and siblings? Worse than the man who's been torturing her for years?
How can I be worse than him? How?
And if I am, then I deserve to die. Because I know what such people can do to those around them. And I am the one causing that type of hurt, misery, despair, fear, dread, hatred and every negative thing you can dream of, then I deserve to die.