I'm having a shit day.
Not even an impressively shit day. Just a general shit day.
I won't get into all of it. It's nothing earth-shattering. Just nothing seems to be going my way and I've already had two anxiety attacks.
So, at the end of this shit day, I Skype with my parents. I was a bit excited because my Dad would be there and we usually don't talk much, due to distance and him being technologically inept to a spectacular degree.
I had a handyman type question to ask him (which he couldn't really help with) and we chatted a little bit. I asked if he had seen a project I've been working my ass off on (I'd sent it to my mum to get her opinion). Just curious, really; I'm pretty proud of it.
He said yes - and then, as he's done with any artwork I've done since I was a little kid, started to suggest improvements. Actually, no. He more just told me what he didn't like about it.
Fuck. DUDE. I DID NOT WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS. I didn't even really want your opinion. I wanted you, for once in my life, just to say, "Yeah, it's nice." or maybe, if you really hate it and couldn't bare to suggest otherwise, to ask me how I achieved a certain effect (You know, the one that if I told you about, your eyes would glaze over, because, layers). I suppose, to be fair, he did concede that the layout of the text was "fine." Glad it meets your fucking standards. So nice that you have standards for something you know nothing about, that you couldn't even do, if you wanted to. You haven't picked up a paintbrush in years, but please, tell me how I'm doing it wrong.
The weird thing is, I didn't even see it coming. I asked if he'd seen it, fully expecting him smile and say yes.
I mean, I'm all for honest feedback, if I'd asked. But I didn't. All I asked was if he'd seen it. I need to learn to stop showing him things, or telling him about what I'm doing. It always ends the same way.
There was a painting I'd done for my brother's 18th birthday (this would have been, *gulp* 14 years ago), which I had worked really hard on, and gotten just about how I wanted it. I showed it to my Dad, and the only thing he said was that the eyes on the figure's face were too far apart. I tried to 'fix' it (even though I'd painted it like that on purpose, because she wasn't human and I wanted her to have an inhuman beauty), and ended up messing it up, time and time again, until the face was a thick blob of paint.
My brother got a gift certificate to a music store. My painting stayed on a shelf above the dog food until it started to mold, then I threw it out because I got tired of looking at it decaying there.
The conclusion to all this is, I will never make my monster feel like I feel now. Not saying I'll tell him everything he does is wonderful and perfect and the best thing ever. But I sure as shit am not going to be telling him how to improve something or criticizing something that's personal and subjective, unless he specifically asks me to.
I'm 28 and I feel like a little kid whose puppy has been kicked. Like, just fucking pull my dreams out and stomp on them, why don't you?
It makes me question why the hell I feel like I need his approval. And why I didn't say something in the moment - instead of telling him it was probably the screen he was viewing it on, or even weakly suggesting that I wanted my artwork the way it is.... why didn't I just outright say, "Um, I didn't ask for your opinion, I asked if you'd seen it."
I just choked up, and I feel like utter shit. Especially because my Dad is usually a very nice guy, he taught me how to bake and draw and read to me and made up stories for me when I was a kid. I really don't think he's intentionally being hurtful, but damn.
Yeah, actually tearing up, still. Can it be bedtime, please?