Conditional Love: An Overachiever's Lament

Conditional Love: An Overachiever's Lament

A Poem by SpeedyHobbit Armstrong

A freeverse attempt at conveying the burden of one expected to be constantly perfect, trying to please someone for whom the best is not enough.

My life is not my own.

I'm only loved under one condition:
That I'm no less than the perfect girl.

My grades had to be high,
higher than all the rest,
 Bs were never okay.

I cannot make mistakes,
for mistakes are treason,
no slipping allowed,
and falling the unforgivable sin.

I'm just a shiny trophy,
Golden child of the sun
I have to be the smartest
And something to brag about,
And above all, most obedient

You forge a path and say I must follow
Dissension is not an option.
Nothing is ever your fault,
especially when it is.
You love me only when I succeed,
I'm unworthy of existence if I fail.

Stop living vicariously through me!
Let me decide my own way!
I'm not your bragging rights.
Your misjudgments are not my fault,
Stop deeming mistakes unpardonable.
And get over the fact that
I'll never be idealized you, just me.

© 2014 SpeedyHobbit Armstrong

Author's Note

SpeedyHobbit Armstrong
This is not one of my better poems... I'm currently in a state where I cannot begin to find the words to explain the grief I feel about having family who cares more about appearance and their self-interest and using me as their trophy than my happiness or safety.

My Review

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Many can relate to a piece like this, I'm glad I stumbled on it! :)

Posted 4 Years Ago

I disagree to a point, this poem is actually quite good, and I feel the hurt and frustration in it clearly.
You have a talent in this format as well, I know you prefer your prose, but don"t underrate your skill in poetry.

Posted 4 Years Ago

I really enjoyed reading this. I know a few people who feel the same way. Great work!

Posted 5 Years Ago

This can be true in so many ways... Wonderfully penned! :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

Expressive piece that I feel many can relate to. That is the beauty of your poem, you have taken your pain and turned it into art where another soul can say...yes that is exactly it! Helping them to release a little of their own suffering with your blood spilled here. Wonderful write yet again.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I find this a very emotional piece. A soul crying out for release.
My advice, Do your own thing. You'll be better for it in the long run with less emotional baggage.
I have 3 VERY talented and gifted children. My wife and I never pushed or tried to live through them. My daughter is a doctor, my oldest son works for local council and my youngest and with highest IQ works as a corporate finance manager, at the age of 19, for a national electronics sales group.
I wish you well. This is a great piece of writing. Do More.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Awww sorry to hear you feel that way. Conditional love can be hurtful. It drew pictures in my mind of many different images and abstract ideas. It's nice write.

Keep up writing and have a great day :D

Posted 5 Years Ago

Im sure youll find the words sooner or later. This was a very good poem but if you dont feel like this is what youre trying to convey than only you are able to say that. I, on the other hand, thought it was very good.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I liked how the persona started by listing his/her frustrations, and then finally decided that all these were enough.

I find these lines powerful:
"I'm not your bragging rights.
Your misjudgments are not my fault,
Stop deeming mistakes unpardonable.
And get over the fact that
I'll never be idealized you, just me."

It was a great way to end it. Good job! I liked it. And I'm sure people with the same issues as the persona would greatly appreciate this.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I'm just going to hazard a guess. You got a lot of swirlies back in High School. Don't feel bad, I did too. I was called a smart-aleck and a smart-a*s and was 'washed' for it. As time has passed on though I've said less about a question and listened more to others' answers making me a bit more of a conformist. :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

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19 Reviews
Added on April 8, 2014
Last Updated on April 8, 2014
Tags: overachiever, perfect, conditional, love, struggle, smart, athletic, living vicarious


SpeedyHobbit Armstrong
SpeedyHobbit Armstrong

Long Island, NY

My name is Cher Armstrong, also known as Speedy Hobbit. I'm a USATF athlete in racewalking for the Raleigh Walkers club team. I just graduated from Queens College in Queens borough in New York Ci.. more..


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