For years you have criticized me saying I'm too emotional when I get frustrated and cry. You tell people I'm difficult when I fail to respond fast enough to suit you. It feels like a lifetime in which you've made a point of treating me like I have an "off / on" switch like a vacuum cleaner that can be stored in the closet.
Sadly for years I have taken your contempt. I've acted as if your ruthless words were falling upon deaf ears. I have acted upon every demand to the best of my ability despite knowing you will find fault. There was never a compliment without a slap down.
When you said "I love you" the words were actually a declaration of your love for you.
I have often wondered what you see when you look at me. Thankfully I cannot see me through your eyes. You have done your best to behave your worst.
But my universe does not revolve around you. My future is a wide open road. The most important question is, what will I pack for the journey? Pain and anger are as useful as painting the windshield black. Regrets are like trying to drive with flat tires. Still, there is in one tiny box a little bit of you I take with me. The keepsake is a reminder of how not to be.
I want to drive with the windows down and my sunglasses on. Yet care-free is not interchangeable with "could care less". There are those I care about and for them I will make detours along my journey. At times they will join me and then veer off to follow their own path.