Disappointments and Perfection!

I am sure there are easier ways to earn a living than offering therapy to someone like me. My counsellor must have patience in abundance, I am such hard work. I try so hard not to be, however I fail miserably. Being stuck in isolation means so many more hours alone, analysing and criticizing, my sanity is hanging by a thread.

Despite feeling like a useless burden and being ashamed of my suicidal rants, I am so relieved she speaks to me daily. 3 days a week we speak for ½ hour, 2 days a week we speak for 50 minutes and it is being able to chat, rant and mostly cry that is keeping me going!

Today we spoke about my thought processes, how all situations end in the same destination – desperation. We worked together to understand my current ways of thinking and started to write a recipe – a way of starting to think differently.

I think of my brain like a computer, with folders and sub folders, but instead of files memories are held. My brain flitters around and constantly retrieves all kinds of memories that I have not asked for, and that I mostly do not want to recall.

I sit and reflect back on todays session and for whatever reason my brain has decided to open a folder titled disappointment.

Disappointment hurts – I mean really hurts

I have a lump in my throat and a flood of feelings and to a less extent memories. I never knew how much disappointment hurts, I can feel it from the lump in my throat to the pit of my stomach. The sobs can be felt throughout my body.

Disappointment hurts the most when it follows a feeling of pride. You proudly present something you have done or achieved, anticipating praise, but what you get is ridicule. You are mocked or all of the flaws are pointed out and you realise how stupid you were to be proud. The disappointment floods through you in a tidal wave of pain. How did I get this so wrong? How I wish I had kept what I had achieved to myself.

Why am I such a perfectionist?

Is this why I strive for perfection? A perfection that I cannot achieve. I do have that feelings of pride, although it is quite rare. But, I have to revisit and in retrospect I can see the imperfections. I am compelled to study all of my flaws.  I feel the disappointment but don’t have time to acknowledge it or do I?

That constant desire to push myself to try harder, to achieve more, to be better. It doesn’t matter how hard I try. I cannot achieve whatever goals I set myself because they are set at a level that is impossible for me to reach. After every effort is made to reach the set standard, I will I feel the disappointment – I achieved an A but I wanted A+. I got 90 % but I wanted a 100%.

I want to find all the negatives myself, because I cannot bear to have them pointed out by others, so I have to be very critical of everything I say and do.

Did I shut myself down

Did I shut myself down because if you don’t have expectations, if you stop wanting or needing you cannot be disappointed? But this makes no sense, because the pain still exists, the sadness is real, as is this loneliness and isolation. The disappointment has always existed and yet, it is only now that I can acknowledge that? Why have I blocked out disappointment?  I now realise it runs through me with a powerful and determined force. It drives the person that I am, it forces me to strive for perfection. It twists the good into bad and it radiates pain from my core!

If I do not embrace my vulnerability, I cannot feel anything else. So, what if disappointment is my underpinning vulnerability? What if I embrace the disappointment? Face it head on, open that folder that I know contains such pain. Deal with it and finally let go of it. What if the fear of disappointment, prevents me even attempting to move on?

 If I stop feeling so disappointed with myself, with life, and my expectations, will I finally be free to see a future? To dream of freedom…

No one sees the hurt

Disappointment within myself is harder than the external disappointment. I don’t experience external disappointment these days, I no longer have a certain person in my life.

People cannot or do not understand the disappointment I feel. I always get comments like “You should be happy with an A.”

“I would be so happy with that, what is wrong with you?” Yes, what is wrong with me?  

Maybe it would stop if only I could stop revisiting everything, analysing everything I say and do, what others say. Pondering what people meant, what their intentions are.

If I (very rarely) have a night out, and have fun, I go to bed happy. Then the brain kicks in, did I miss something? Did I make a fool of myself or was I boring? What did the other people see? A strong desire to understand what it is they may have seen. But I don’t have the answers and I cannot ask anyone, so I will have to make my own assumptions. There is no grading on social situations, no way for me to understand if I did ok. However from experience in other situations it is unlikely I was good enough.

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