There is a voice inside my head that tells me that I’m not good enough.
That came from you.
You will never be good enough.
It’s funny really. I’m not sure where it started. Was it that day that I made the spaghetti? That day that I worked for thirteen hours setting up fake ghosts and tombstones, that day that I came home and put the water on and the noodles in and then fell asleep on the couch? The day that you just let them boil dry because “cooking was a woman’s job?” When you woke me up by dumping the noodles on me? Was that the first time?
You can’t even do what you’re supposed to do.
I waited all day for supper, and you messed up.
A good wife wouldn’t fall asleep.
Or was it the day I got fired? The day that I lost my job because the company had been bought out by foreign men who had no interest in a white female manager? The day that I came home terrified to tell you because I knew you would think I was a failure?
You must be incompetent.
Smart people don’t get fired.
You know I can’t work; I have a degree, I have to do this.
Was it the day that I wanted to turn the heat up because I was cold, and you told me no? The day that you said I needed to make more and work more than I already was if I wanted to have the right to adjust the temperature?
You will never get a degree; you will never go to school.
You will never be anything at all.
You belong here, doing what you’re doing.
Or was it the day I forgot the Oreos for the Oreo dessert? The day that you made me go back to the store? Was it that day?
I can’t believe you’re so stupid.
You need to go back; I certainly can’t.
This has to be perfect, and it just isn’t—you aren’t.
Was it any day?
I am sitting on the couch now, staring into space, a space that you used to occupy. And I hear your voice inside my head. It’s been a great couple of days, so it’s funny that I would hear you now. But there you are.
You touch me with your eyes, your fingers.
I can feel you on me, smell your breath-garlic.
I can feel you.
And I hate you.
But since you’re here.
I have something to say to you.
You made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Like nothing I could ever do would be okay. Like nothing I could ever say would make you happy. You made me feel like I was a failure. But I am not a failure. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I have done more. I have worked harder than you could ever understand. I am better. I am so much better than you.
And I cannot keep renting the space in my head to you.
This has to end.