This is one of the best things a friend has ever said to me. It’s been coming back to mind more and more the past few weeks.
One of the things I have noticed in my healing from CPTSD is that I was so worried about what everyone thought of me that I couldn’t see how they perceived me. Perfection was demanded from me growing up. From having to have A+ in every subject in school, to cleaning and cooking to perfection. With my brain always having to be focused on my next action being perfect, I never developed the social skills most people do.
Of course this drive for perfection has stayed with me over the years, but I never knew how bad it was until one day I was chatting with a friend. I had made some absurdly stupid yet funny mistake (the kind we all can make and say duh!), and her comment was “I’m so glad to know you are human.”
I didn’t know what to say, or how to respond. Here I was beating myself up and feeling lower than dirt every day. What kind of perception did someone have of me to say something like that? I waited until a few days later and asked my friend about her comment. She began to explain that since I was always trying so hard to do everything perfect that people missed out on the real me. I was dumbfounded.
After a bit of pondering, I figured out she was right. In trying to please everyone, besides exhausting myself, I was hiding myself. I didn’t know me outside of the bonds of perfection. This eventually lead to many many months of self discovery where I really took a hard look at myself. I allowed myself to learn about me, and my preferences.
Please understand it’s not like all of this changed over night, or even in a few months. I’m still learning about myself. But now I am open to me being me. I’m open to not being perfect. I still have bad anxiety when I fail something, but each time it gets a little less.
So tonight I am thankful that I am human. With million of imperfections that help make me – me! My unique blend. I’m thankful that I can see some of them with love (like my crooked smile).