“This was not to say, however, that she did not long, at times, for some greater change, that she did not experience some of those exceptional moments when one thirsts for something other than what is, and when those who, through lack of energy or imagination, are unable to generate any motive power in themselves, cry out, as the clock strikes or the postman knocks, for something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when the heartstrings, which contentment has silenced, like a harp laid by, yearn to be plucked and sounded again by some hand, however rough, even if it should break them; when the will, which has with such difficulty won the right to indulge without let or hindrance in its own desires and woes, would gladly fling the reins into the hands of imperious circumstance, however cruel.”
― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.”
― M.E. Thomas, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
Above all, some days you don’t care what becomes of papa. Better have him come to some harm than to harm someone else, you say grimly or philosophically, according to your mood. The quick sympathy, the feeling of tenderness, when he becomes sober and penitent, is gone. It seems kind of good. Enough to feel sorry for yourself and the children without feeling sorry for papa. You tear out of your heart the image of the man he might have been – the man he was. Like having a tooth pulled, it’s hard, but a relief.