My heart hurts that you have to deal with this, the constant self-loathing and the constant questions that we should never have to wonder. Why aren't we enough for this person? Why do they continue to bring us down, to literally be the reason for the demons that haunt us?
A raw, open piece filled with despair and also that yearning for things to be different. For your life to go in a new direction, where you are given hope, love, worth. Everything you deserve. You are worthy and if others cannot or refuse to see that, it is their loss. It makes me think how many times we have to wonder if the person can actually change before, like you wrote, it is too late, and the sadness engulfs us. We must keep fighting and realize we are enough for ourselves, no matter what others think. Thank you for sharing this emotion with us.
Lack of acknowledgement and respect might be one the worst feelings, it has a way of being insidious and you catch yourself doubting yourself and wondering why you don't measure up when things aren't necessarily that way. I know that this is a personal piece and an emotionally-charged one at that but I just wanted to remind you that it's important to be gentle with ourselves, not to lose the things that make us unique and not to live by others standards. Easier said then done, but it's something to strive to.
This is a powerful and insightful write and it speaks volumes of a behavior that is more frequent than people realise. Anyone who makes another human being feel less than they are particularly a child usually does so because of their own inadequacies or failures.
It feels like a parental or sibling figure is the perpetrator. As a child we crave the love and attention of both (although siblings fight often a younger sibling may strive for the attention and recognition from an older one) As a child we look for direction and acknowledgment that we are doing well and it can be soul destroying never to get that recognition or worse to be systematically criticised or ridiculed.
Withholding validation and love feels almost like a weapon or revenge for what ever internal demons the perpetrator fights with or can be just because they have a controlling nature that doesn't allow for such feelings as empathy towards others (even their own child).
Such behavior inevitably impacts the life of the child and can result in anger and or withdrawal and life long self recriminations - a feeling of never being good enough and in some cases the child carrying similar demons as the parent.
The last stanza reflects the truth that no matter how terrible a parent and no matter how much the child might dislike them as a person - it is almost always the case that the child will still almost reluctantly feel a form of love for that parent and continue to seek the recognition and love that they have been denied.
Sometimes the only way for self preservation is for them to draw a line in the sand and walk away, other times it is best to stand up for yourself and stand your ground (reflect back to them what they give you) The truth is that often that person is so full of demons that they cannot change so that is nothing that you can ever do to get the validation that you crave.
This poem gives a very strong and realistic look at how one person's lack of empathy, love and recognition of someone close, can cause misery and feelings of rejection in them. It is torturous to behold. Well done on a superb write. Millyx