Tag Archives: harsh critics

My Harshest Critics

I don’t know about you but the people who have held me to the highest standards have been the people who I love the most.  And I know they love me too.  However, it is very hard to live with knowing that I don’t measure up to the expectations they have for me.

My dad, I know wanted the best for me.  He wanted me to be the best. Even to the point where, from my view point, I got in trouble for making straight A’s in high school.  How is that possible you might ask?  It has taken me a long time to sort out.  (call me a slow study if you will. But here goes:

In Bookkeeping class, the first 6 weeks I made a 100.  Wow, that is super awesome!  The second 6 weeks I made a 94 or maybe 92.  (it’s been 35 years so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details)

Dad asked me what happened.  Why did my grade drop?  I didn’t have an answer.  I was surprised and shocked to be asked that question.  I handed him a straight A report card and I get reprimanded.  I thought I was going to be told,  “good job, keep up the good work.  I am proud of you.”

All I could say was, “I don’t know.”  All I heard was that I had failed.

Looking back on what was happening in the class room…..There was some down time in the first 6 weeks and the teacher filled it with extra credit work. So of course I did it. But subsequent weeks through to the end of the year, there wasn’t as much if any extra time.

I would do extra credit work if offered, but I never thought to ask for it.

But later in our relationship, he wrote some notes about what I meant to him.  I still have them.  They tell me that he learned from me because of who I was.  These notes I cherish.  This is what I choose to remember about him.  This was worth figuring out how to balance who I am with who he needed me to be.

Not easy.  Not simple.  and Not over.

My middle daughter is now texting me she is sorry she is so hard on me.  I asked(through text) why is that?

She replied, “Because it isn’t necessarily what you need, the way I need it.”

I couldn’t reply with anything but, “Oh”

First of all because this is too important a conversation to be had over text messaging.  Too many ways what is typed can be mis-construed.

Second of all the thumbs would wear out before all that needs to be said, gets typed.

Third of all this type of conversation is best ended with a good long hug. Because I know, I’ve done this before, if it doesn’t end with the affirmation of love, I may just walk away and never look back.  And that’s the last thing I want to do.

I’m tired and I don’t know if I can go through not meeting someone’s high expectations again.