It should be noted, or maybe I’ll just make it clear for those of you who aren’t very good with parsing out things like this, that Carol is telling her story from the perspective of her past self, a self she no longer is. She wants him to understand why this seemingly unimportant childhood slight, or series of slights, had such an effect on her. A lot of emotions got tied up in that time in her life; weaving a complex tapestry of feelings about her family. Some of them are unresolved. The thing is she knows that the story has more than one side, she just wants Thomas to be on her side.
Everybody has stuff like this. I can remember insults that I got when I was in my teens that cut me to the very center of my being. Things that still make it difficult for me to form relationships with other people, particularly women. I carry those words around with me and they echo from the dark places in my mind when I’m stuck in similar situations. Issues with our bodies, existential angst, all of the things that make it harder to make connections pile up over time. They’re like planets in or emotional solar system coming around again and again. I’ve never been able to talk about my body issues with anyone. Not in a meaningful way, and I’m not going to start with you guys, even though there are some of you who would understand. The specter of all the others may as well be sewing my mouth shut. The feeling that you are malformed twists you into knots and, for me at least, makes me feel like I’ll never be good enough for anyone to love. It’s real, and it’s crippling. The way my brain is wired I almost never give anyone a chance to make that call for themselves. I guess what the outcome will be based on their behavior and make the choice for them. I’m not sure if never being loved is worse than being rejected, but I know it stings a lot more in the moment than the constant waves of despair loneliness brings. It a choice between being broken with a hammer, or worn down by waves. Unlike me Carol got a reprieve. She eventually became, more or less, what she expected. She got tempered by the flames of inadequacy though, which gives her a perspective that allows for easier kindness. I’m not sure I have that. I’ve never been out of the fire.
This stuff about Carol and her sisters is some of the earliest stuff I ever wrote for the comic outside of the original script. It’s been rattling around in my head for a decade. As a single individual realizing my vision is much harder, and takes much longer, than I’d like. They say if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. I’ve gone a long way alone, slowly. I can only guess how much farther I may have gotten if I’d been able to go together.