I have this uncontrollable desire to be perfect.
I believe I’ve struggled with it my entire life, because I can’t remember not dealing with it. As a child, I tried to be perfect. It was my ultimate goal. Perfect daughter, sister, friend, student. For most of my early life I succeeded. At some point, though, as a teenager, the perfect facade was harder to keep up. Things were more difficult, I found a number of things I was only mildly good at. I reached my first failure milestone.
I took it pretty hard.
This only made me work harder at being and seeming perfect. So hard that I hurt inside.
I still have a hard time being imperfect. I can’t see the things I do well, I first see the things I don’t. I have to remember to focus on the positive, but that desire to be immaculate is like a bad reflex.
I think it’s some combination of the parents I had, the fact that I’m a firstborn and of being raised Catholic. I’m a people pleaser, and the way to make people happy is to be perfect, be good, be happy.
In the third grade, I discovered the mechanics of sex. Blame Judy Blume’s forever, and my desire to read way above my grade level. I proceeded to inform the children at the lunch table, much to their parents chagrin. The next day, I was given a talking to. It was the first time I felt under attack. I never got in trouble, this was the first time. It wasn’t the last. My curiosity and fascination with all things sexual would cause problems.
In my life, I’ve felt more perverted than most. Now, I doubt this. I think I’m probably just more open about it, and self-aware. I think some who know me would be surprised by it, but those who know me well aren’t shocked. I do think some of the dark, deep corners of my mind could shock them though. I have thoughts and fantasies that have intimidated lovers, that have frightened me. I try to keep a lid on most, for self-preservation.
Being perfect means not being perverted. The conflict this stirs up can’t be settled. Sometimes I wish I was more conservative, with less of a libido and no interest in the extraordinary.
I imagine life as a woman with only a fleeting desire to be wanted. Or maybe as someone asexual, not bothered by the act at all.
3 thoughts on “perversions and imperfections”
“I can’t see the things I do well, I first see the things I don’t. I have to remember to focus on the positive, but that desire to be immaculate is like a bad reflex.”
So much of this post resonates with me. I’ve lived my whole life trying to be enough, trying to please everyone and make everyone like me (it’s bloody exhausting). I’ve long joked about being an “anal-retentive perfectionist control freak,” but the P-word was just something I threw in there to make the list sound longer/better. It honestly wasn’t until early this year reading a book about perfection that I finally *got* it: I am a rampant perfectionist. The revelation was both embarrassing and relieving.
Sometimes I think society just needs to label women perverted so they can repress us. Keep us contained in a tight box. Just a thought.