I had once been told (in psychology class) that there was one thing every child loves and deserves. It wasn't anything material or anything. It wasn't even 'love'. It was praise. A pat on the back and a hearty, "Good job!"
Damn right that was true.
Through the years, I sought your praise. Heck, I earnt it. Even as a child, I worked for it. Not saying that you weren't full of 'love' - that could never be denied. But just to hear a sign of recognition (even appreciation!) was enough for me. Maybe I'm understating or even underappreciating everything you've done for me. Possibly. I probably have a slight bias in this.
But when you praised my brother just then - oh golly. That smile. That slow smile that crept from his eyes and broke into a sheepish flash of teeth. Boy, he was happy, even for a moment. I can imagine that the elated feeling that begins in your chest and spreads to your abdomenal area and then dissipates was experienced by him. He was happy.
Then you tried to... even it out? You half-heartedly praised me.
Nowadays, your praise does nothing. I want so bad for a small flicker of emotion to stir within me when you say something nice and then kiss my forehead.
I forgot how to feel.
With us, it's like:
Instead of "How are you?"
It's, "How was school?"
Rather than saying, "Are you feeeling well?"
You'll say: "Well, as long as you don't fail."
I cannot open up to you. When I need somewhere to pour my heart, I don't have you. I have my words. I have my pen. I have my paper. Foolishly, I leave my feelings lying around. When I leave the house, I worry that you may wander in and pick up my thoughts and then destroy me.
Destroy me? How? By finding them silly.
I always knew that my feelings were disposable, but to have them burnt out by you would be the end of me.
There was a point when words didn't work - and a different mark was made.
You were quite mad at me. I didn't understand what was happening, I was so young.
People say, "HURR MY PARENTS DON'T UNDERSTAND ME~~"
But in reality... I mean it. You say you were once my age and you know how it feels? Interesting. I didn't know that you had to force a smile onto your face each day and bawl at night like a coward.
All I recall from your childhood stories was perpetual study. I guess I'm lucky.
I mean, you don't even tell me how you felt during "this age". How does that even work?
Why won't you tell me?
I wish, sometimes, that we were close. That I could talk about anything with you. But no, that will never happen. Whose fault is it that such a shabby relationship was created between us? I'll blame myself for it. My personality traits, perhaps, don't abide by your traditions. My constant need for solitary liberation vs... something I'm not yet sure of.
Heck, I ask you how YOU are. If YOU'RE feeling well.
But whenever you do ask me... I can't open up. I'm quite honestly afraid of what you'll say. Laugh at my response and remind me that my problems are nothing. There are people that go without food, love, shelter, family. And here I am, stuck in my first world problems. Trust me, I never forget that.
But is it so wrong to feel human every now and then?
We have good times, I won't deny that. But being super close to you is something that (unfortunately,) I don't see happening any time soon. Maybe in the future. After uni. After everything.
I appreciate everything. I always have, I always will. I'm not trying to paint myself as some sort of victim. If anything, I'm the antagonist. Hrmm.
Mum. Dad. I love you guys, I really do.
I just need to know that you love me too.