Keith's blog hit like, a serious soft spot??? He sounds so lonely and like??? I'm lonely too??? I used to feel really connected but the moment I changed I felt like I got thrown away. Keith's been thrown away for so long and he lost the one person who never gave up on him. That really hurt.
Anon I am so sorry to hear that. Feeling like you don’t belong in your own skin or like everything’s changing and there’s nothing to latch onto during the upheaval–it’s incredibly isolating, but I promise plenty of other people have been there too and you’re not alone. I’ve felt this way for a long while too, and I’m glad I ran into Voltron when I did because seeing someone I relate to as much as Keith means a lot to me.
It’s strange to me when people say that they didn’t notice Keith’s had trouble with his emotions or that he’s always bottling things up and very passionate about everything. That he has abandonment issues and feels incredibly alone. That’s all stuff we’ve seen clearly in canon, he’s just sitting down and point blank saying it. But it’s always been there. And even though the other paladins are all going through a lot now, I think it’s important to remember Keith has carried this trauma with him for his entire life–“He’s got this emotional side to him…I mean, he’s experienced loss in his life, in his childhood.”
And it always kind of rubs me the wrong way when people try to say that anyone else but Shiro has somehow managed to alleviate that loneliness, because we see time and again this is just not the case. He straight up says everyone gave up on him except for Shiro. Not “Team Voltron,” just Shiro. When holo-Shiro tries to stop Keith and says “We’re your family,” Keith counters with the fact that Shiro is, but fails to mention anyone else. Later, the hologram threatens to leave–and in doing so, claims Keith will be all alone. And he believes it. Even if he still has the other paladins, that means nothing without Shiro.
After his team promises they’re all there for him, Keith literally tried to talk to Shiro by speaking to empty space in Black lion rather than opening up and reaching out to the rest of his team when they’re all right there and willing to listen. That’s how much more Shiro means to him. During The Hunted, Keith throws himself headfirst into danger without ever stopping to consider the safety of his team because he already feels like he has nothing left to lose. And while he’ll do anything to save Shiro and always prioritize him over the mission, he never affords anyone else the same courtesy. He’s touch averse, but still readily latches onto Shiro. Shiro is the person he desperately wants to see
And you know, it really says something that of all things–he traces his trauma back to how his mom left him. And he does use the word “left,” does very much imply he was abandoned rather than just saying she was someone he never met or dead. Keith believes his mom had no reason to be there for him, that he somehow wasn’t good enough or worth staying for. He felt unwanted and unloved. And in the BOM, as soon as Kogane mentions his mom, you can see how much that means to him, how badly he wants to connect with her again
And yet, the most notable thing about his mom here is her oppressive absence from this scene. Even in his wildest dreams, his mind can’t conjure up a convincing enough projection to make him believe that his mom would ever come back for him. And when he’s given a last chance to reach out to her? To find out who he is? He walks away–from both his mom and dad. But he still chases after Shiro
Looking at the trial and everything else in the series, it’s pretty clear that the three most impressionable people in Keith’s life are his parents and Shiro. And yet, he doesn’t tell his dad how much he means to him when he gets the chance–doesn’t say anything like “My life would be a lot different without you.” He doesn’t beg for his dad to stay or come with him the way he does with Shiro. He doesn’t initiate any kind of physical contact with his dad. He hasn’t seen the guy in years, and he feels far too uncomfortable and alienated to even shake his hand or give him a hug. Yet he’ll hold onto Shiro like his very life depends on it.
Shiro is literally the most important person in his life and his one anchor, the one who he “latches onto at times because he’s the only thing that can really calm him down and keep him in check.” He felt like everyone else had abandoned him and any semblance of home was completely shattered. But he was able to find a new home with Shiro. And after a lifetime of pushing people away so he doesn’t get hurt again, he’s found the one person who’s worth the risk. And that’s why Keith will do anything to save him