“I’m really proud of you”

Are five words I have never heard from my parents. 

My father never saw anything I did as an achievement. I never made him proud. He saw me as “scum” and “fungus” so how could I ever make him proud? I tried; constantly. At home with chores, making sure I was focused and met his demanding standards, sometimes I attempted to outdo them, I rarely succeeded. Even if I did, he always found something to attack. There was always room for wrong.

I would go out of my way to cook for him, often creating exciting meals for him to try. This would only led to criticism however. 

“There isn’t enough salt in here is there?” or “Is this all you’ve made?”

I just couldn’t please him.

If I landed a good job his only comment would be, “Good”. 

‘Good’ for god’s sake, that’s all I got! 

My mother, growing up, only witnessed my sister’s achievements and my lord were there hundreds of those (!) Her achievements were flaunted and put on exhibition – mine were neglected and buried. They weren’t anything in comparison to hers. 

My mother has praised me on my ability to deal with things. Although I would class myself as sensitive and in touch with my emotions, I would not call myself emotional. My sister was and is emotional, allowing her feelings (especially negative) to control her actions although in no way would she ever describe herself as this. I tend to look at situations more calmly. I always have done. It just helps to cope.

I’ll never know if my father was proud of anything I did. Perhaps it’s better that way.

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5 thoughts on ““I’m really proud of you”

  1. It’s a horrible feeling for that to happen. I can’t say that I ever heard those words either, and I was never complimented without something negative coming immediately after to completely make it pointless anyway. I got in trouble for getting a 98 in Spanish for example. Why Spanish and Japanese, I clearly should have done Chinese! But if I did, no matter how much and how well I did it, there was always something else I SHOULD have done.

    My sister an brother got Cs generally, sometimes a B, but I graduated with an A average, one of five salutatorians, and I was expected to be valedictorian. Having a GPA in college just shy of 4.0 wasn’t enough either… And they also said “Why can’t you be more like….” Anyone other than me I guess, would have done fine.

    You know, I can’t say it would have changed for you if he was still here… decades later for me hasn’t helped anything. But you can’t use that to be a judge of your value and worth. You need to see yourself for the wonderful woman you are and recognize that YOU can be proud of you. When you get to that point, it will feel the best.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂 I know I should look to myself and learn to credit myself for my achievements but after so many years waiting for some kind of praise from others, I forgot along the line that I don’t need their praise and approval, I only need my own. I am sorry that you understand my situation, you should feel great pride in all that you have also achieved. Our abusers found it so easy to find the fault in us. We could never have got what we wanted so badly from them x

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