My dad and I don’t get along. He’s verbally and emotionally abusive (holy crap it feels so good to finally say that!) My father controls just about everything in my life, food, friends, EVERYTHING. He also controls my workouts. He tells me what exactly he wants me to do. I, being a teenager, don’t want to do some of them. I’m tired, I’m sore, yadda yadda yadda. Well, daddy dearest once set up a camera without my knowledge, to which he found out I was gasp lying about working out exactly as he wished!!! Yeah, I screwed up. I shouldn’t have lied, but if I wasn’t being forced to do this every single day, I wouldn’t lie to get out of doing a workout. (My father’s justification for me working out is so I don’t get fat. I’m serious) When my father found out, he ordered me to write, and I quote “An Essay on Trust” and boy did I deliver. I have never written ANYTHING as beautiful and eloquent as that. My vernacular was put to the test and my sarcasm when through the roof. I gladly printed it out and gifted it to my father. He wasn’t happy, apparently I “missed the point of the essay” but he didn’t ask for another. I consider that to be my greatest victory over my abusive father, and quite honestly, I couldn’t be happier.
Trust. The word itself means so very much to humanity. Whether it be a promise to not eat a bowl of oatmeal because you went to the bathroom, or a treaty to end a costly war. Trust is a fundamental pillar of our society and fellowship of man. However, there are times when this trust is broken. A piece of paper being crumpled into a ball and thrown at the back of the head of a substitute teacher who’s just trying their best. Yes, perhaps you can unfold and try to smooth out the creases, but that paper will forever be marked with ugly, rigid folds that will remind you of the crisp and plain nature of which it was procured.
Humanity is born with trust, our eyes open with the first sight of bright lights and then the comforting arms of our parents and loved ones. We rely on those arms to survive and thrive, and yet, those arms turn against us.
Once there was a child, favored by her father, beloved daughter of his. An adorable child with rosy cheeks and bouncy curls. What a wretched monster she has become. She sees photos of herself and she sees what her father misses. Look at her! Look at the filthy creature a once beautiful dove was! Replaced and forgotten, the old version of that dove has been stowed away, deep within a crevice under the lock of memory. And that child, once brimming with smiles and giggles is now replaced with an irritable teenager.
This child, this thing, has taken a man and utterly destroyed the trust he had in her. She wonders if he ever did trust her, after all, such a hideous beast could never be trusted. She thinks back to all the stories he told her, all the times when he didn’t want her to do this or that, when he took the door off of her room, and all the other times she felt full of shame. You would think that this shame, this awful shame would change her, yes? Unfortunately, not in this case. Her father will never be able to understand, alas, his daughter’s words will fall on deaf ears. However, she must overcome her mental illness and disability which she tries so very hard to overcome. Ah! How she tries to please her father, only to find herself second-guessing her actions. Perhaps she has not doted on him enough, this all must be her fault.
Regardless of this hideous child, trust is still quite important. Keeping trust and earning it is hard to say, for the hideous, revolting, evil child… she must obviously have some sort of issues with it. How else would she be able to break the trust of her mother and father? Perhaps that trust starts with obedience, following their every word and command to perfection. Perhaps it has something to do with resilience, for that child must be ready to face the hard tasks at hand, following her parents down their path of justice. Perhaps it is silence, to quietly carry out the task her parents give out without question or judgment. Perhaps trust is, even more, maybe trust is being able to tell someone something that you know they won’t want to hear but it’s important to you that they know. Maybe trust could be the ability to confide in someone without fear of them giving you a disgusted look on their faces and being tired of your emotional drama.
Whatever it is, this child has broken it and torn it to shreds like the ugly monster she is. Maybe she doesn’t know how to foster and care for trust, maybe it’s because she can’t trust anyone. Maybe the only person she can trust is herself. Her heart is heavy with grief and soon she will find herself thrust into the real, unfiltered world. She will be happy there. She will be free from binds of dependence. Her wings will spread wide apart and she will sing at the top of her lungs, thanking herself for the belief that she could escape that darkest hole of her life. She will sing her praises to herself and ensure she does the same for others.
She will one day be a beautiful swan, she will one day sprout from the ground and become the bloom she has always been. But she will make sure she is hidden from the hunter who craves the feathers of a swan and the weeds who wish to entangle themselves around the flower’s roots and steal the sunshine. For now, however, she will stay a terrible, ugly duckling. Looked down from the throne on which her family sits. She will dance within the daydreams she manifested in her mind and languish in the arms of a future far away from the swamp she dwells within.
How funny it is that she was supposed to be trusted when she could not trust herself. She will be unable to trust entirely. Betrayed and ridiculed by her own family, she reached her final breaking point and no longer can look them in the eye with the ability to believe that they will defend her. She is alone in her swamp, she is dreadfully alone. But she will not rest until she spreads her wings and flies away from such a grim fate. For trust, it is a word spoken from a foreign tongue that she will never fully comprehend.