And the walls came down

She’s doing it again.

 

“You want to fold it like this.  If you hold it like this, it’ll go more smoothly.”

 

I CAN DO THIS.  I can do this WITHOUT your help.  WITHOUT your judging.  WITHOUT your criticisms.

 

And I remember. . . .

—–

 

She’s judging me again.  I can never remember seven times eight.  T always does, and he’s younger.  Now she’ll see I’m crying because I can’t remember and we went over this a hundred times.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I know this.  I know this.  I know this.  C-O-N-S-I- That’s not right!  I can see it in her face.  I misspelled it AGAIN.  Why am I so stupid?  I’m tired.  I want to go to bed.  I don’t want to stand here and spell out the words AGAIN.  Stupid tears.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

Damnit.  Why does she have to judge me?  I did it right.  Sort of.  Why can’t she just let me do it my way?  I just want to finish it.  Stupid badge.  If she wasn’t the leader, it wouldn’t matter if it was perfect or not.  I’m listening.  Can’t you tell?  I thought I did it right.  I did it the way she told me to.  Don’t cry.  Don’t you dare cry.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I’m trying!  I can’t get this.  I don’t care how I got the right answer.  I got it.  Stupid math.  I’m not like her.  I’m not good at math.  I’m not going to work during the school year like you.  I’ve got too much to do.  No, I don’t get it.  No, I don’t want to go to school early AGAIN because I need help.  Why do you care any way?  It’s late.  I’m tired.  I don’t get it.  It’s stupid.  Now, I need to wipe my eyes.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

I KNOW!!!  I went yesterday and today!  I don’t know why I can’t get a job!  There are no more openings. Why are you so mad?  I’m trying! I failed!  I know I did.  I know I can’t stay in school if I don’t get a job.  Yes.  I mean no I don’t want to come home.  Don’t you realize yet, woman, that I miss you and you’re wasting our twenty minutes yelling at me.  Yes, I called them twice.  I don’t know why I call.  I don’t know why I have to cry every time we talk.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

 

—–

 

Before I got defensive, before I raised my walls, before I stopped listening, I noticed how my mom held the blanket I was trying to hem.  I listened to her voice.  I really listened and realized she wasn’t judging or criticizing.  She was trying to show me the best way.  I’m not a kid any more, so I swallowed my pride and laughed at my mistake.

 

“Thanks, Mom.  I think I got it now.”

 

 

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