When I was very little, my parents used to watch me do things, like drawing or writing, and they’d laugh, almost semi mockingly, and say things like, “When you’re older and famous, you can take care of ME.”
I am starting to believe that this statement genuinely derailed my life. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a child, especially a child in a shitty household, with shitty mental health, with all the other pressures of adolescence already on top of them. Imagine that, you’re an 11 year old girl, you very clearly have autism, you are ashamed because you have crushes on other girls and now, on top of all of that, your parents expect you, 20 years down the road, to be not just successful enough to be holding down your own shit, oh no, but to also be taking care of them. That’s…sick.
I feel like this statement alone inspired me to only try LESS, and be WORSE, so that when I, inevitably, failed to “take care of them”, I wouldn’t feel so bad. Unfortunately, this sort of backfired, as I also failed to be able to take care of myself, so you live and you learn I suppose. It also attached something else to me and that was the belief that in order for my parents to love me, I had to be successful at what I did, and thus good, at what I did. This made me grow to have a love/hate relationship with the only thing that I now have to turn to to try and make sense of my poor mental health…my work. Now, when I create something, if I am not instantly validated, it is bad and I should feel bad. Nothing is created “for fun” anymore. Everything is now “for profit” or “for the viewer”.
Nothing is for ME.
Even though I claim it is, even though damn near everything I write about draw about is about me and my problems…it’ll never really feel like it is. It’ll always feel like I’m still reaching, hand outstretched, to a pair of parents who felt like it was okay to put that sort of pressure on a somewhat mentally challenged, semi disabled queer little girl. If anything, these attempts at getting me to “take care of them” only pushed me even further away, and pushed me in creating things nobody would like or notice so that I’d never become famous enough to “take care of them”. Again, this way it wouldn’t inherently be my fault, because gee mom and dad, you can’t FORCE someone to like something! I guess people just don’t like my stuff, too bad!
And now on the off chance that I DO do something for me, it feels selfish and rather insincere. If I work on a project that is personal, and in no way created for profit or views but just for fun, it feels bad. It feels like I should be focusing on what the viewer might want. On what the consumer might want. ON WHAT MY PARENTS MIGHT WANT. I want to work on the things I love doing but I hate doing them because of the feelings associated with them. I’m a failure on choice, I’m starting to believe, because it’s easier to handle being ignored than it is to handle being successful. I went my whole life being ignored. THAT I’m used to. So instead, I turned to random people for validation, attention, interest. Internet users, even back in 2004, to like what I was doing and think it was funny and worth talking about.
I was never good enough. For them, for myself, for you, and I’m sorry.
I am broken. I’m trying so hard to get better. To BE better. But I worry I never really will be, not enough to warrant or elicit a reaction of some kind, and for that I am sorry. I am sorry that I cannot take care of you guys, whether you’re my parents or a fan or a casual viewer who happened upon my blog. And maybe I wasn’t meant to be, and maybe none of this means anything and maybe I really am just very very sick…
…and maybe it all means everything. I don’t really know. I know that I’m just tired of having failed; not only at taking care of the people who told me I had to, but feeling tired of feeling guilty for that when they were not good people to begin with and tired of failing myself as well. I’m sorry if none of this makes sense, and if it’s all nonsense. I’m sorry you had to read this. I’m just so tired.
I just want to sleep.
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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find epubs/books/stickers/prints over at my Payhip , or support my work monthly at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!