“Watch your child!”
“Hold her hand!”
“Pay attention to your son!”
“You’re a bad parent”
“You’re a shitty parent!”
“You’re a terrible human being!”
“You have no idea what you’re doing!”
“Give up!”
“Go home and change yourself, because you don’t work correctly. You’re defective.”

Hey stranger! You’re so brave in your car shouting parenting advice at me. You roll down the window and tell me what to do so freely. It makes you feel good to make me feel like shit.

You succeeded.

I feel like a terrible parent.

You feel great about yourself now that you told me how to watch my son, parent my daughter.
You feel powerful.

You drive away before I can retort, leaving me tasting vile rage.

I clench my fists.
I want to scream and cry.
Blood filled tears stream down my face.
Tears filled with rage.

I hate you stranger.
I hate you for ruining my day.
I hate the face I never saw. I hate the voice that I never attached to a face, the voice that told me how I was wrong.

I scream internally.
My insides ignite with fire. I’m filled with fury.
I have nowhere to place my fire.
It burns through me.

I’ll never see that face or hear that voice again.
I’m a fire waiting for water to quell me.