Perfectionistic Tendencies II

The principal at my elementary school ruled against me skipping a grade ahead and so I remained stuck in first grade with second grade reading skills. (It should be noted here that second graders didn’t like me either — I was the annoying kid who knew all the answers and raised her hand all the time. No one likes that kid. Ever.) As I got older, school, naturally, became harder. In third grade, a girl named Danielle, who was smarter and prettier than me, became my first intellectual competitor. (Side note: This was a futile effort as she’s been valedictorian twice in her life and graduated from college with a degree in biophysics or biochemistry.) Constantly failing to be the best annoyed me enough at this point. Instead of my father assuring me that my best was enough, I got, “What happened to 100?” I never grew up thinking or knowing that if I got a “90,” it was an “A” and if that’s the best I could’ve done under the circumstances, then it was okay. If I got a 98, I always heard, “What happened to the other 2 points?” It was always A+ or 100never “at least you tried your best.” I began hiding tests that weren’t perfect from my parents — setting me up for a livelihood of perfectionism.

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2 Comments

  1. Jane said,

    March 10, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for your great blog and for your openness. I can’t imagine dealing with the pressure you dealt with as a child. (my own experience was nearly the opposite–with parents who barely knew anything about my life and who didn’t notice what I did, whether good or bad).
    I also suffer from depressive disorder and also from borderline personality. Has a borderline diagnosis been ruled out for you? You only need 4 or 5 (I forget which) of the main 9 symptoms to qualify, so it’s an illness which arises in very different ways for different people. fyi, I recently started my own blog about my daily life as a borderline, it’s linked above.
    Best and take care!

  2. March 10, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Hi Jane,
    I haven’t been diagnosed with borderline personality. I’ve wondered whether I have that or not but I’ve yet to receive a formal diagnosis. It took 10 years for me to get diagnosed with bipolar. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADHD but I’m pretty certain I have it too.
    I’ll add your link to my blogroll. Take care!


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