To a Deceased Perfectionist

by nourayasmine   Feb 10, 2021


Thank you
for making cheese and tea
available on the breakfast table.

For tying my shoes when
my hands were tiny
and clumsy,
for picking me up
after school,
for throwing wood
in the fireplace,
and buying me sweaters.
Thank you
for the books,
pens, paper clips,
peanut butter sandwiches,

for the long list of things
that raising me had cost you.

But not
for the “no, you can’t sing”,
not for the “you’re too lazy”,
“you need to lose weight”,
“football isn’t for girls”,
“no pocket money for you today”,
“you’re never working hard

Not for the perfection you
wanted me to achieve, only
because you were this
obsessed with it.
Not for the long days of
your silence, when my grades
couldn’t reach your high

Thank you for
everything you generously
gave to me,
but not for puncturing
my self-esteem.

I realized recently,
that I worked hard enough,
that I have a beautiful voice,
that my grades were great.
I know now that
I have always been unique,
even in how I grieved
over you.


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Latest Comments

  • 2 months ago

    by Kitty Cat Lady

    ooh ... I can really relate to this! Having seen the effects of both kinds of parenting though (I'm making an assumption that this is a parent?) ("I expected better of you" vs "I have zero expectations of you") ... I've come to the conclusion that parenting, and striking a balance between the two approaches is very hard, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be disastrous. As you know, it can take many years to build self-esteem back up. Thanks for sharing such a relatable and 'thinky' piece :-) x

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