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“Don’t Be Selfish” – Heartbreakingly Powerful Art Piece

Over at her DeviantArt page, Wenqing Yan recently put up a piece about her dealing with being the only child of a broken marriage where both parents have moved on with new spouses and new children. A recent piece of news about her father has only spotlighted the isolation in her life and Yan has responded with a strikingly powerful (and heartbreaking) piece about her life.

Here’s a glimpse…

Go to her DeviantArt page here for the whole piece (but prepare yourself to be depressed after finishing it).


Ok, what kind of F***s say “don’t be selfish” in cases like these? That’s what you say when a child does not want to share a piece of pie or something but about missing someone?

that was indeed depressing. yet yuumei’s avatar is very upbeat. I wish to be as strong as her.

What an amazing talent. Very sad for her situation.

My God, that was powerful. Thanks for sharing with us. Though divorce
Is common so is this pain. If parents stayed together and BOTH put their children first our society would be much better.

Wow, that was extremely brutal but moving.

I’ve always been impressed with how often in real life the person saying “Don’t be selfish” is actually herself/himself being selfish. Nice piece.

@ Seth: Sadly, that’s often the point. They call the other person selfish and/or immature because they themselves know they’re being immature, but deflect it onto another person so they can try to feel like the adult in control.

Good gravy. I need to keep my girlfriend from reading this. It hits a little too close to home.

Jim1701, having gone through a divorce with two children whom I prize above anything else in this world, the reality is that quite often not staying together is better for all involved. The key is to continue putting the children first. Sometimes that means realizing that you are not making each other happy and that is making your children unhappy, as well. It is difficult and heartbreaking, no doubt, but it can be a good opportunity to show your children that you don’t need to stay in a situation that simply isn’t working. You can change your life and make it better, as frightening as it can be to do so. My ex-wife and I are friends now and do everything we can to always do what’s best for our kids. I realize my situation may not be typical, but it proves that staying together is not always the answer for everyone.

I am very sorry for Ms. Yan’s situation. It’s terrible to accuse children of being selfish at a time like this and it is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Great stuff. I think she should really look into self-publishing an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical comic. I bet it would get picked up for a TV series or movie even. The story is very relatable and the emotions very real.

If parents stayed together and BOTH put their children first our society would be much better.

I don’t believe in forcing parents to stay together for the sake of kids. It’s not fair to the parents at all. And parents who stay together and obviously don’t love each other to me are as damaging as parents that split up and forget about the kids. It teaches the kids horrible relationship lessons. You can stay together as parents and be abusive and neglectful to your kids. You can split up and be great attentive parents. The parents shown in this comic would have been abusive and neglectful to the daughter even if they stayed together.

I agree with you on both points, T. I think she should self publish this and it should be part of high school health class curricula or some social studies class. Possibly even part of pre-marital counseling. I don’t know if it would help people who are naturally inclined to such outwardly self-centered behavior, but at least it would give people an opening to get everyone involved thinking ahead in the relationship.

She’s already done a book, so I would not be surprised if she also ended up doing some project based on the ideas in this strip in the future.

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