The Family Illusion

A family holiday—
surrounded by the people
meant to most love and
support each other,

I never felt that love.

I’m not what you would call
a black sheep.
I wasn’t rebellious,
I wasn’t outspoken,
I was just the middle child surrounded by
kids more deserving of time and affection.

Among my crimes:
being a vegetarian,
singing too loudly,
being a subpar gardener,
not being able to see visual illusions.

I felt ostracized from the time I was
six years old.

Surrounded by this atmosphere,
I knew I was the problem.

I wasn’t trying hard enough.

My grandma and grandpa,
my mother’s parents,
always hid the spite behind
fake smiles and side-eye

Now, I can see them for what they are.
Now, I have been to therapy.
Now, I know better than to bite my tongue.

Now, they aren’t a part of my life.
And never will be again.

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