My Snail Pace
By unachicana on August 14, 2009
I've always been slow. At everything. Snail pace. I think it's because of fear, insecurity, lack of confidence, and my intolerance of being less than perfect, even though I KNOW it takes time to master something, and imperfection is part of the learning process, and that mistakes don't make me a failure, just human.
I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't struggle with procrastination. A therapist once told me procrastination was indicative of being a perfectionist. That is, an intolerance of imperfection. Won't do it at all if I can't do it perfectly. Which in the end makes me perfectly imperfect, really.
Fear. Fear. Fear. I'm afraid. Always afraid.
I signed up for a couple of real estate courses at City College. I haven't taken the state real estate exam yet, even though I have completed the necessary requirements. I've taken so long in the process that some people don't believe I'm serious about it, don't believe that I'm actually going to do it. In the past, this would upset me, and I would react with anger and frustration, attempt to convince them I really was serious, maybe plead for them to believe me, and I'd get upset and depressed when they brushed me off with a wave of the hand. And I would hurt and cry and cry and cry and hate myself. And I suppose unconsciously I'd believe they were right, that I am a loser, a failure, and a whole string of negative self-descriptions. That's why I don't say anything to them anymore, anyway. And if they ask or some circumstance prompts me to say something, and they react in that dismissive manner, I don't allow their skepticism or negative criticism to affect me. Much. I mean, it hurts a little bit, but I just accept it. It's all right what they believe, what they think. Besides, I understand some of how my mother's NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, has impacted me, my siblings, my life. I have gained, and continue to gain more, clarity.
About a month ago, my sister brought me some boxes she'd been storing for me in her garage since I moved from the Sacramento area to San Francisco, a year and a half ago. I was already prepared for her not bringing me everything. She didn't. That's been the pattern: so I now accept it. I have to accept what I cannot change, and find some diplomatic means of dealing with it.
It's only been in the last year that it finally dawned on me how much like my mother she is. She has a certain attitude, expressions on her face, and comments. And, of course, a flood of memories of insults disguised as "jokes" hit me, and times when her behavior, reactions, and attitude caught me off guard. I don't know if my sister has the disorder, like my mother, but being the daughter of an NPD mother, she will have symptoms. All my silbings exhibit symptoms. Just as I do. But I'm the only one who ever went to therapy, the only who has wanted to explore my dysfunctions, my depression, my issues. To them, it means I'm the only one who is "crazy". But that's all right. I know I'm not. But I sure as hell was going crazy, until I understood what the hell was going on, understood a lot more about the family dynamics in our dysfunctional family. I've come a long way. I don't have chronic depression anymore. And I don't hurt like I used to. I don't sabatoge myself like I used to. I don't feel compelled to get drunk and erase myself, like I used to. I used to focus on the half empty proverbial glass, and cry and cry and cry over it. Now, I can see the other side, the half full side, and I love what's in there. It makes me happy.
So, I'm slow. But if I keep moving, I'll get better at it. ("It" being whatever goal I aim toward.) Practice inevitably leads to improvement. You know, "Practice makes perfect". Mastery of anything comes with practice, the repetition, which builds confidence.
Last weekend my neighbor, E, said to me, "Everyone feels insecure and lacks confidence sometimes. It's God's way of keeping us in line." And we laughed.
So, yeah, it's all right to feel insecure, it's all right to feel afraid. Just keep moving. Better to be imperfectly perfect, than perfectly imperfect. The latter being a state of paralysis, frozen with/by fear. I've been having the best imperfectly perfect day. That makes me happy.
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