Lessons from Mummy and Daddy.

y0fbl94s50Mummy, Daddy

When you use your love as a reward for good grades and behaviour,

and tie your attention and affection to achievements,

you teach me that love is conditional and that it has to earned.

So when a boy tells me to prove that I love him by bending over and taking it all in,

I do.


Mummy, Daddy

when you compare me to the neighbour’s kid and downplay my success,

you teach me that no matter how hard I try, I will never be quite good enough.

So when people tell me that I am talented, beautiful, smart – I smile and say thank you but I don’t believe them.


Mummy, Daddy

when you put me down with words and labels,

you teach me to be afraid of my own voice so I learn to keep quiet, keep quiet, shut up.

You silence a lion’s mighty roar, render a songbird mute.


Mummy, Daddy

When you raise your hand against me,

I confuse bruises as signs of affection. I look for acceptance in clenched fists and angry words

and detachment and nonchalance become my love languages.


Mummy, Daddy

When you lie,

you teach me that marriage is merely an obligation, a connection bound by something as flimsy as a piece of paper rather than the sacred union that it is.

Now I sift every word and gesture for white lies, always holding my breath for when he fucks up.

I get into every relationship in fight or flight mode – one foot already out of the door.


Mummy, Daddy

When you brush away my problems and put me second,

you teach me that it’s okay when a man disrespects my time and body.

So if he only texts me when it’s three and he’s a little lonely and has had one too many,

if he only wants me when I’m happy or a picture of my panties

it’s okay, it’s okay I’ll still call him Daddy.


Mummy, Daddy

I refuse.

I refuse to be crucified on the cross of your mistakes.

I will not pass on this legacy like a perverse family heirloom to my sons and daughters.

I will uproot and replant my family tree on a foundation of all that is good and kind,

because this

all of this pain, hurt and regret

ends with you,

Mummy, Daddy.


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