Not asking for permission from Your A$$ anymore.

 

As an abused child, all you do is ask for permission.Narcissistic Parents, give birth to a child, that they might not even have wanted to have. To them, their child can act as a mask to cover the vacancy in their souls. If you have the perfect family, no one assumes you are a bad person. If you have children people assume that you will be a good role model. Or that you immediately are inherently supposed to have a maternal or paternal instinct to love and nurture.

The truth is: most people are not instinctually unselfish. The truth is: not everyone has good intentions.
The truth is: not everyone is part of the team.
The truth is: evil is real.
The truth is : the truth.

This April I decided to stop talking to my grandparents.The old fable in my family is that my grandfather was a drunk and used to terrorize my mother, uncle, and grandmother. For about 15 years, I’ve had to hear my mother crying, having flashbacks, and just being completely unable to gain acceptance from my grandfather. Many times I tried to mend their issues with my quick wit. My family is part of the reason I am such a good writer and successful in looking like I have it together.
My mother was a fucking task-master. Clean the floors on hands and knees. Wash the dishes each night. I was forced to re-write homework until the handwriting was completely perfect. If I had a mark or drawing anywhere on my paper, I would be screamed at. Not a fun screamed at, but more of a screech.
She would say:

” IF I SEE YOU DRAWING AGAIN I WILL MAKE YOU WRITE IT OVER AGAIN.I WILL KNOCK YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF IF YOU EVER GET A C OR BELOW. YOU ARE SO FUCKING LAZY.WHY ARE YOU NOT UNDERSTANDING THIS”.

By age 10, I knew that she would flip out and then walk away. I knew I was never going to be correct. And honestly I don’t give a flying fuck about being correct. I care about being respected. I care about having fun. My mom would punish me for having fun. If she felt like I was having fun with my dad (step father), she would punish him and me. She threatened my dad because she assumed I “was getting molested by him”*. ( This never happened). In 2015, I sent my mother a letter about my feelings about her treatment of me. My mother had just acted a damn fool at one of my exhibitions*. The hard work spent in school and my summers I spent studying instead of playing, all the achieving for her to then ignore my actual achievements. I left my own event in tears and broken and destroyed.

This event sparked something in my brain. She had fucking embarrassed me at the event I spent months working on. Waking up at 5 am to get the steps of County to ask about other peoples experiences with trauma. All the while ignoring my own. A few days later, I decide to visit my mother.

Afterward I sent her this email.

On Sunday, May 31, 2015 4:45 PM, Erica Brooks
Dear mom,

Everyday I work on trying to be more emotional and appreciate what you do for me. I want to give you love and be there for you, but I can not fill the void of love that you need solely from yourself. I can see that you are hurt about your parents and how they mistreated you at times. You didn’t deserve that but you have held onto this anger for a long time and you have transferred that onto me. So much so that when I talk to you I still often feel like a teenager or a child that wants to ( and often) yells and fights you. After today of telling you talk to me almost the same way grandad talks to you, you really did not care.

I know you feel that we were very close when I was younger but I don’t feel like we always got along. The way I look is huge point of me not getting along or even wanting to be by you. A large part of our relationship was me covering up my anger, hurt, and resentment against you. I know you don’t know this, and this is why I am telling you now.

This anger comes from you wanting me to be someone I’m not. Wanting my hair, my face, and my life to be perfect. I know you are doing this to make me look and feel my best, but everything has to have a limit. If my looks don’t fit your standards, then i feel like that is all you can focus on.

If you think I am beautiful, I should at one point be enough. Even if my hair looks terrible, or my face is full of whatever rash, it is not YOUR body. You have no ownership over it. What if I gain weight, what if I lose a limb, what if I want to shave my head bald? You as my mother at one point should be okay with me. Wanting to constantly improve something is not showing love. I am not a project. I am a person.I remember you saying when I was single, If I wanted to find someone, I would have to change the way I looked. So hurtful to hear that my own mother can’t accept that someone may love me even if I don’t look perfect.

I need time away from you and for you to respect my wishes. I do not want to talk to you right now. If you do not respect my need for space. you will lose me. you have not listened to me when I have spoken, not you will have to listen to my silence. I love you so much and I hope to really repair out relationship. I love you,

(After sending this letter, I unsuccessful didn’t get to finally go “no contact” until the summer of 2016. )

Shortly after my email, she sent me one back.

No I don’t admit to being selfish unless I was drunk.There were at least two occasions I do remember you and I got into it. Believe me I wasn’t in a black out. I found some things you had written with sexual content and I exploded. Some of the things you had wrote gave me the impression that it had something to do with your Dad.*Yes during your sophomore and junior year there were days I was missing and out getting wasted.

I have admitted to those times and also apologized for them.If you want someone to hear you the first thing is not attack them first.Your opening statement about me being manic is untrue and the conversation you mention happened outside of the gallery (exhibition listed above) while I was waiting for dad to get the car.My anger issue with my parents is just that my issues.

I have tried to be as supportive as I can with you. I had decided to not say anything about your lack of concern for your appearance to you for months.While we were attending the gallery that Friday evening you didn’t even button your shirt correctly so it look lopsided all night, I didn’t say a word. I feel I’m constantly attacked about anything I say no matter what it is, so I too am tired. It’s unfortunate that you can’t remember all the hard work put into grooming youto be a well rounded, educated, travelled person. you are still stuck too and unable to see that no one has been judging you not even your sexuality. I have tried listening to you and given you advice on friends and relationships to the best of my ability. Listening is a skill both people have to have it. You have no idea the isolation and pain I did suffer, our few blow outs were never done when I was high. I remember you said something smart to me and I wanted to knock your head off. I called your grandparents and told them to pick you up before I did something I would regret.

I still have regrets but ignoring you growing up is not one of them, you have never been able to talk to me about school and the kids bullying you until it was too late. I had no idea of the things that were going on and I was right here at the house running my business. Many days I asked you was everything ok or what happened when you did something new and you barely spoke a word, it was like prying teeth. Somehow now you have turned it into I never listened, you never talked!! It is best if we don’t speak for awhile. I love you dearly but I can’t be blamed over and over about not loving you enough. I’ve tried my best and when you have yours you learn it doesn’t come with instructions.

Howdy

Artist In Review

My talent lies in my artistic ability.
I have been an artist for almost 20 years now.
My blood, sweat, and tears.
My summers, winters, and fall.
Art has been my best friend and worst enemy.
It can be freeing.

Most people assume that they are not artists.
Or even being capable of
thinking about their actual talents at all.
My goals are always clear.

Here are a few pictures of my life’s work and my existence and future art all in one.

 

 

Words of Wisdom

Never wait for someone else to represent you.

Even when the worst times arise, you still ultimately are the captain of your own ship.

Either find your goal or let the world decide for you. 

Never choose the latter. I believe in you.

Dressing the way I want to dress.

Leaving those who have already left me in the dust.

Never looking back only forward.

erica beatrix brooks…..

good night and good luck.