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 Post subject: Perfect
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:31 am 
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I feel that the older I get, the more perfect I try to be. The more I like to pretend I'm fine. The more I repress things. The more expectations I put on myself to be better. To be flawless.

I got pulled over Friday night. Apparently someone was waiting to cross the street in one of those cross walks that aren't at a stop sign and have no light. There is just a yellow diamond on the side of the street that says it's a cross walk.

So I get let off with a warning but I couldn't stop shaking. The cop looked I started to panic. He told me I needed to calm down before I drove off.

I felt so much shame. I want to be perfect. I should be perfect. Yeah, I know that sounds stupid typing it out, but it's honestly what I believe. And I feel like it is what society tells me to be.

You make a mistake. You get a ticket. You piss someone off. You get yelled at. You don't have enough money, you can't buy what you want at the store.

I should be perfect. I would function better if I was. It is unacceptable that I endangered someone's life. It makes me worthless. The cop said that two other cars passed the person, but I was the only one he could pull over because he couldn't catch all of us.

My behavior is unacceptable. I don't know how to get rid of that urge to not hurt myself. The cop was disappointed in me. He said that I needed to be careful. He didn't give me a ticket, but I hate myself. I hate myself so much. How do I not hate myself?

I always want to punish myself when I make mistakes. So I sliced up my arm. I haven't cut in a long time. When I mess up, I imagine myself punching myself in the head. Or the arm. Or the leg. And I want to escape and be alone so I can properly repay myself for the harm I did.

Today my fiance and I were at a store. We were fighting and I wasn't paying attention when I got out of the car. Ten minutes later this guy comes into the store yelling at my fiance because when I opened my door, I hit his van. My fiance starts yelling back because the man starts calling me names. Most importantly, my fiance doesn't like people getting in his face, when he had no idea what was going on. I apologized and my fiance walked over to his van and scratched off the paint that I had gotten on the area he puts his key in. It was the size of a pencil eraser. The guy then tells me fiance how inconsiderate I am and how I am a liar and then shows us the parts of his car that other people have hit and not done anything about. I told him that I was sorry and that I was a bonehead and I'm sorry I wasn't thinking. I'm such a klutz and hit things all the time that I don't often think when I do it. My fiance and I were having an argument as I was exiting the car, so I didn't realize that I hit someone's car door. My fiance said he could have his insurance, but that guy said it was fine. That I didn't do any damage, that he just wished I would apologize. I thought to myself..how could I apologize to you when you weren't in your car? When I didn't even realize that I hit you? Why would he wait ten minutes to come and hunt me down?

I was so upset I couldn't go back into the store. I started to panic. I couldn’t breath and had to look down. Then I started sobbing. I guess the people took off but I was upset for the rest of the day. I’m still shaken from it. When my fiancé went back into the store to finish up our business, I searched frantically in his car for something to cut with. My brain was going so fast. I found a paper clip and slashed my arm. Then I found a needle in his first aid kit and carved the word inconsiderate into my ankle. I know that’s not normal behavior. I know that it’s not acceptable to do that. I just don’t know how to calm myself down. There’s always this strong urge to punish myself.

I just hate hate hate hate who I am. I want to be perfect. I do things every day to try to work on my perfection. To try to do things that make me feel better. I say to myself, “what would a perfect person do”? And then I try to do it. I need to let go of it. But I can’t.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:12 am 
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Are you better than everyone else that you should get to be perfect and we don't?

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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:51 pm 
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No one is perfect. No one can EVER be perfect. And in fact that's one of the most beautiful things about being human; we all have these little individual imperfections that make us WHO WE ARE. If you get rid of those imperfections what are you? Just a robot, an automaton, a mannequin. Nothing more. So do yourself a huge favor and stop trying to be something that you can't and shouldn't ever be...Accept your flaws, learn to love them for their individual beauty, and realize that you are a good & worthy person, imperfections and all. Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is how we deal with them. You can never be perfect my dear but you can get a little closer to perfect by not punishing yourself every time you do something wrong. Carving into your skin is not the right way to deal with a mistake. Owning up to it and moving on is a much better and healthier way to go...and it will make you feel better in the long run.

So please let go of the idea of perfection and accept your beautiful flaws. Trust me...it will lead to a happier, peaceful life.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:10 am 
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Ellen, my perfection has nothing to do with other people. I don't think I'm better..I think I'm worse. I guess I don't understand why you wrote that. I felt it was a little harsh. I could be wrong, though. I'm sorry if I said something that triggered something in you.

To the other person. Thank you.

I can't go on this board again if I get a response like, Ellen. I am just trying to heal..like everyone else. I would just like to be honest. If I overstepped a boundary or said something inappropriate, please delete this post. It was not my intent.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:12 am 
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Yeah, I'm deleting my profile. I'm sorry. But now I am more upset and I don't really need that. Not when I am working so hard on myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:13 am 
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lbcgal wrote:
Ellen, my perfection has nothing to do with other people. I don't think I'm better..I think I'm worse. I guess I don't understand why you wrote that. I felt it was a little harsh. I could be wrong, though. I'm sorry if I said something that triggered something in you.

To the other person. Thank you.

I can't go on this board again if I get a response like, Ellen. I am just trying to heal..like everyone else. I would just like to be honest. If I overstepped a boundary or said something inappropriate, please delete this post. It was not my intent.


Have you tried to follow the logic of it?

You think you have to be perfect. Yes, I get that you don't feel better than others, that you feel you aren't good enough, and thus try to be perfect. But, if you really think about it, trying to be perfect, expecting yourself to be perfect, is expecting yourself to be better than everyone else. Because none of the rest of us are perfect.

No, you didn't trigger something in me. But this is a recovery board. Sometimes that means, not telling someone what they want to hear, but telling them something that helps them see things differently. That was the point of my post.

You are as good as the rest of us. Not worse, not better.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:56 am 
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lbcgal, I can really relate to what you said. I struggle with the same thing a lot. My response has been similar too at times. I find too, that I struggle with this board, not saying the 'right' thing, obsessing over what I said, what others said to me, receiving no replies to my posts, etc. I can be a bit cyclical around it, meaning... at some point I hit a real low (which I have been at for some time now) and then I start to re-bound, real slowly. I think part of it for me has been trying to block out others to some degree and to come back to what I am really wanting, what I am really in need of... I have once again started doing a bit of inner-child work, and somehow, when I am able to get in touch with what this little kid in me is needing, it gives me a wee bit of space to breathe.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:23 am 
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Ellen, I do believe that you were right..but I also believe in criticism with compassion. I know it's hard to relay that over an internet chat board..but I see your words at face value..and though..after I digest it for a few days..I see the truth in it..but this is a borderline board..we are not always the most emotionally rational people..at least I'm not. So when I see something like that, that gives me the excuse I need to hate myself even more. My main issue is my self hatred. When I'm told something that is my deepest fear..that I am selfish and self centered..I freak out. It's not your fault that I freak out..I just do. I was in a cult for 5 years so I have a really hard time when people tell me that I think I'm better than other people. It's important to me to be accepted. I guess when I go on here..I have to be in a right state of mind...because someone in my real life would never be that blunt with me. But I do understand why you said what you did.

Why do I have to be perfect? Because I have to make up for what my parents never did. I know it doesn't make sense, but I am the parent in my family. I don't live with my parents anymore, I am an adult now, but I do wish to have a relationship with them..and unfortunately..they are like children. It would kill them not to have contact with me..and I know my father, in particular, has had many failed suicide attempts while ruminating about my sister's and my childhoods. He did the best he could. I'm not mad at him. I'm not mad at my mom. But I can't let them continue to blame themselves for the parents they were. I guess I always felt that I had to make them proud so they wouldn't feel so bad. That I would be perfect and make up for everything they couldn't do for me. My mom still drinks..she blames herself..my dad has 2 years sober..which is amazing..but I am the comforter...it wouldn't do me any good to do any finger pointing. I guess I feel that I have to be perfect to make everything better for everybody. If I am what you want me to be, then everyone is happy.

Anyway..I have to take this board in small doses..otherwise I will continue to beat myself up even more. I am human. Unfortunately, I have flaws. I appreciate your insight. I will continue to think about it. I do agree..but I guess sometimes being that blunt over a internet chat board can trigger some self harm behaviors in me...which I know is my choice as well..but when it comes down to it, I am going to do what I need to do to calm myself down.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:48 am 
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I'm glad you are still here lbcgal. :biggrin I also think there are some real fundamental 'truths' for you in your above post.

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"Pain is resistance to change."
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BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Perfect
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Yeah..the more I think about it, the more I appreciate you telling me that, Ellen. I have definitely reflected a lot on it. I do think I have to be better. I think, in lots of ways, I see myself as superior to people. I noticed it in my class today. For a project, we were given the opportunity to work in groups or work alone. When the girl behind me asked if I wanted to work with her, I flinched for a minute. I thought I was smarter than her because we had worked together on a small class project last week. But instead of following through on that behavior and telling her "no thank you", I decided to view it as a compliment that she wanted to work with me again. In real life situations, we have to learn how to work in groups, so it's good to learn it first in college.

And growing up, I always had to be the smartest person in my class. And I'm going for my 3rd college degree. And I practice the piano every night and I'm trying to get on Jeopardy (really!). I just have to find a way to resolve my ambition and my perfectionism. I remember watching movies on Olympians when I was little and saying to myself "I'm going to be famous like that..I don't know how..but I am." My mom has a degree in English..so when I was little I would try to read her books..like "War and Peace" and "The Great Gaspy" just so I could feel superior to my sister.

I have to learn how to take criticism without taking it out on myself. Anyway..I know self harm behaviors serve their purpose. I'm not saying they're the best route...but I'd rather cut myself than call someone in the middle of the night sobbing because someone else hurt my feelings. I think, that when time passes, I am able to absorb things a little better. I know you have nothing to gain or lose by being nice or mean to me, Ellen. You just read what I typed and then responded. In the end, I appreciate the truth. I don't like it, but I appreciate it.

Anyway..I will continue to think about it. Thank you. I still feel a little tightness in my chest when I think about it (my first instinct is to hate myself so I will feel better when other people say things that I refuse to accept about myself) but maybe that humiliating feeling is good so I'm leveled out. I'm not better than other people. I want to be, but I'm not. I have to be okay with that. I don't think I am yet, but I'm working on it.


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