November 23, 2010
By Anonymous

When you’re younger, you think that your parents are perfect. You’re mother is like Elastigirl, from the Incredibles, with her super skills at cleaning, managing her taxing job, her hectic household, along with you and your obnoxious siblings. Your father is Superman. He is never wrong and when he gets on you about something, you fix it quick because no one wants to be on Superman’s bad side. My father is a strict, no-nonsense, stubborn kind of man. I guess you could say I’m pretty stubborn, too, and more often than not we act like two pit bulls in a dog fight. Yet, despite the disputes, I’ve always looked up to him. It wasn’t until recently that I can see how blind and naïve I’ve been. There have been many instances where he’s badgered me about mistakes, or gotten angry with me over miniscule details. Some are big, most are small, but all of them are like little grains of sand, rising higher and higher against a glass wall. Those little grains of sand here and there, have begun to build themselves up, and after awhile the pressure became too great, and that glass wall cracked. The grain that set it all off was about showers.

The basketball team I played with last spring had intense, 2-3 hour practices on Mondays and Thursdays, filled with many sprints and killers. On top of that we had 3-4 game tournaments just about every weekend that left you feeling like you were pushed in a mud puddle the size of a swimming pool. After taking a much needed shower on a Sunday night, I had practice on Monday. When I returned home, sweaty, stinky, with absolutely retched smelling socks, I hopped into the shower, again. Due to the intensity of this particular practice, my hair was drenched with sweat, and I spent a good 10-15 minutes washing and rewashing it. This turned into a pleasant 30 minute shower, leaving me warm and relaxed with soothed muscles, soft, shiny, clean hair, an extremely irritated and cranky father, plus a grounding that stretched sometime into the unforeseeable future. I’ve never seen anyone get so worked up about a shower. I mean, just the day before, I had only spent 10 minutes in it, and 30 is still moderately reasonable. Apparently, it isn’t to him.

What started out as a lecture about too much hot water use, lead to another one about disrespect for my family, self-absorbency, and then (two hours later, might I add) to the fact that I am a failure, and he is ashamed to have me as his daughter. My own father, who, ever since I’ve known him has told me he loves me and is proud of me. He can do anything and I’ve looked to him forever, and he has told me that I can’t do anything right. The disappointment I had in myself could have shattered mountains.

I spent hours laying awake that night, watching shadows on my ceiling from passing cars. His voice echoed in my head, a broken record stuck on repeat. “You can’t do it,” he’d said, “You don’t care about anyone but yourself.” It was then that I realized just how wrong a person could be and when I cried that night it wasn’t because I was grounded, or thought my punishment was unfair. It was because I was ashamed that my hero had died in my eyes. This man had gone from being my role model to the one thing I never wanted to be. Blind.

I guess you could say that I’m being completely unreasonable, or that I’m just a silly little teenager, with her skewed perspective of how the world really works. My father has told me that before, though. Yet, even if he is right, even if I am just an immature little girl, with her head in the clouds, I know that no parent should ever tell their child they can’t do anything right. To me, that is the worst kind of abuse, and because of it, my family is in pieces. In my eyes, that man I admired so much is just a hypocrite, who is so wrapped up in his own idea of perfection that he can’t see the beauty in the imperfect. I’ve learned that everyone makes mistakes, but learning from those mistakes is what makes them okay. I just hope that someday my father will realize that too.

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