Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Dedication

I don't understand why nothing I do is ever good enough. From the very beginning it seems there was always a focus on the negative.

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless
Lost under the surface
I don't know what you're expecting of me


It was always about what I couldn't do. I couldn't do this, I couldn't do that, and if I could, well... I couldn't do it right. I couldn't do it your way. My way was always wrong. Maybe you did want the best for me. I'm telling you now, it wasn't best.

Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow


There were, and still are, times when all I needed was a little support. I could never talk to you, when I did I was patronized and mocked, or yelled at. 28 years old, and nothing has changed. I can't take it anymore.

I've Become so numb
I can't feel you there
Become so tired
So much more aware


I wonder what would have happened if you had supported me, just once?? If you had expected me to succeed instead of assuming I would fail?? Perhaps when I was 14 and my art teacher told you I had a knack for photography, you could have encouraged me. Instead, you were too busy screaming about my math grades. And all of the other things I was so awful at. I have failed at everything I've tried. That's not true... I have either failed or given up out of fear. Fear of failure. The minute I start to think I might be good at something, I might be able to succeed and make something of myself, I give up.

I'm becoming this
All I want to do
Is be more like me
And be less like you


Well, no more. I'm done trying to come to you for support or advice, just to get beaten down. I'm done being afraid of failure. I'm done giving up on my dreams. I'm done listening to you tell me what I am doing wrong with my life, done listening to you tell me how bad I've screwed up, over and over again... I'm done.

Can't you see that you're smothering me
Holding too tightly
Afraid to lose control
'Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you


Yes, I rebelled as a teenager. I had every right to. I may have done it the wrong way, but what did I know? I was a teenager. I needed love and support, I needed someone to talk to, someone I could trust, someone to look up to. I needed so much more than being told what a mess I was. I was never given an ounce of trust. An ounce of freedom. You called it "tough love" and said that's what I needed. Well, that wasn't what I needed.

Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow


As an adult I've still been living in the shadows of all your negative words and actions. I still can't do anything right in your eyes. When you have to step in to help me out, you hold it over my head and I can't escape from it... the words you use, the way you say them...

I've Become so numb
I can't feel you there
Become so tired
So much more aware
I'm becoming this
All I want to do
Is be more like me
And be less like you


No more. I am going to live my life the way I want to, and I am going to follow through with my dreams an goals, without the fear and self doubt you've instilled in me.

But I know
I may end up failing too
But I know
You were just like me
With someone disappointed in you


(lyrics in white from "Numb" by Linkin Park)

2 comments:

Frances said...

it's so hard to rise about the negativity of those that are supposed to instill confidence and faith in ourselves.

I have this fear of success. What if I get here and it all falls apart. It's not worth it if I'm going to fail in the end. It's so hard to fight that.

You aren't alone. Thank you for sharing such a raw moment.

danielletbd said...

I have definitely written open letters like this time and again but never had the courage to send them... mostly because I just assume the person on the receiving end will brush it off as an unwarranted rant, much the way I was brushed off as a teenager when I'd try to voice similar concerns.

If you're not an artist, you can't understand the passion, drive, and almost obsessiveness that takes over and makes you NEED to do that art. Instead you see it as nothing more than an impractical hobby, and you have a hard time encouraging it. I can't tell you how many times I faced the same treatment (ironically, also about my math grades); all I wanted to do was write but was told time and again to get my head of the clouds and do something lucrative. So I ended up in film school and now, years later, I'm finally coming back to writing, and all I can fixate on is the long detour I took and the time I wasted.

Keep it up (your photography)! With or without the new camera, your pictures are beautiful, and the stories you tell through them have a voice and an audience awaiting to hear that voice.