A daily prompt invited me to write about my weaknesses, or rather, the harshest but really accurate piece of feedback (criticism) I’ve ever gotten. I started to comment on it a few days ago, but got sidetracked.
I found this prompt asking me to poke into corners of my memory better left undisturbed, the neat packages that you can barely see for the shadows around them. Because I rarely poke into them, I liked the challenge of looking into something new. So, though I’m a few days late to reply to this prompt, I still like the exercise.
My mother has consistently told me that I can’t take criticism. That I get so hurt and defensive and upset that she feels bad and just doesn’t want to tell me anything. When I would tell my abusive father when things he did bothered me, he would say “You’re so sensitive,” in this really disgusted tone I can still hear.
So, I’m super sensitive – that’s the only thing I’ve ever heard about my ability to take criticism. That I can’t take it. That I can’t take honest feedback. As I kid I used to wonder: If I’m so sensitive, dad, why are you still such a dick to me? And how else am I supposed to take your actions? So maybe they’re wrong. He hasn’t talked to me in, like 13 years, and she still tells me I’m sensitive. I’m tired of that, and she might be fucking wrong.
I think I can take feedback and criticism. I had a terrible episode with Cohiba this spring – I had done him wrong, and it stemmed from something very fundamental to me, something I was actively denying. I was at my most vulnerable and terrified that I had jeopardized something so precious and fragile, and willing to do anything to make it right. Fortunately, he was willing to work on us, too, and we’re getting married next year. I pray I never forget the lesson I learned that day.
Good to think about; thanks for reading. How have other people crawled around things from their own parents?