Roger Ebert reports on the human condition.
The bottom line is that so many of you were betrayed by life before you really even got started. How must it feel to be told by a parent that you are stupid, ugly, worthless? To be struck by such a parent? To be hated by the supreme authority in your young life? And then often begged to forgive and understand them? What’s that about? The cruelty is clear cut. But the pleas for remorse must inspire pity and contempt. The lesson is that people can be shabby and mean, and not to be trusted. People can be evil. No wonder you live in a shell. I still remember hurts and wounds from my early years, and know they were trivial. How must it feel to be struck by a parent? How can a parent be so cruel?
[From A meeting of solitudes – Roger Ebert’s Journal]
I could write a bunch on this, but I think his questions are better than my answers could ever be. You can imagine how it feels “to be told by a parent that you are stupid, ugly, worthless.” But I don’t have to imagine it.
I know the answer to his penultimate question (“How must it feel to be struck by a parent?”) but not the last one. Better to ask how people like that willingly become parents and don’t see the things they do and what they mean.