That Voice by Shay Singh

You know that one TikTok audio that goes like, “Now I want to sit back and relax and enjoy my evening, when all of a sudden, I hear this agitating, grating voice.”?

That’s my mom. 

And it’s kind of funny at first. Everyone attributes any sort of dissatisfaction expressed by a young person to being young. It’s like, ha ha, a young person hates their parents. Of course, they do. All teens are hormonal and rebellious toward their parents.

This creates a dangerous lack of accountability in adults that are parents. I mean, teenagers are still kids. If a child is being abused, we expect the child to be taken out of that abusive situation for their well-being. But what makes it so that the same mentality is inapplicable to teenagers? What about the switch from twelve to thirteen enables others to gaslight teenagers about their anger or unhappiness?

I don’t think “agitating” expresses how much discord my mom’s voice and presence bring me.

That woman’s voice haunts me. It shrieks and snipes and insults me, in my own mind, even when she is not there.

My nightmares are filled with that voice, and the fear it induces. Every failure is accompanied by that voice screaming “FAILURE” at me, clawing at my brain and shredding my self-worth. Every achievement is instantly undermined by the voice, every hope snuffed out like a secret cigarette.

In the Pixar movie Luca, one of the characters names the voice in his head “Bruno”. I’m not sure when the Bruno in my head permanently morphed into my mom. 

I don’t even know how realistic that voice is anymore. Adults mellow out as they get older, and my mom is no different. She might not even fully be that person anymore. I saw her reading a book about nonviolent communication the other day, and she ironically recommended it to me. 

It’s just too bad that she couldn’t have done that before.

Before the voice became a permanent resident in my miserable mind.

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