There once was a little girl who had two loving parents and a brother. Her parents never abused her. They did the best they could to provide for her and her brother. The four of them had really good times and built great memories together.

However, the little girl's father was very hard on her. He never meant it in anyway but to try to raise the little girl into being the best woman she could possibly be. You see, he had a hard childhood with a very poor example as a father, and while that may not excuse the fact that he was hard on his daughter, it was the reason for it. It was the only way he knew how to parent.

He used to tell the little girl that even if you think you've done your best, you can always do better or find a way to improve. That stuck with the little girl so much that for a long time, she felt bad if she brought home a "B" on her report card. She was always the first one at basketball practice and the last one to leave, even when her chances of playing in a game were slim. Anything else would have made her feel like a failure.

As a result, the girl grew into a woman who was extremely hard on herself. She was always afraid to disappoint those she cared most about. Even if it was something little. She did eventually see how self-destructive her ways were, but after a lifetime of feeling such pressure from not only her father, but also from herself, it was a very hard habit to break. In fact, she still struggles with it. She finds herself apologizing even when she doesn't need to or panicking over little things.

She realizes it's hard for people to understand it. Just snap out of it, some say. But she can't just snap out of it. She's stuck. She doesn't sleep, can't focus, her head hurts, her heart hurts. She knows that it's bad and she shouldn't do this, and that just creates more pressure.

Why can't she just let it go? Why can't she just relax? Let it go? Know that everything will work out? God, this hurts, why do I do this to myself? Three nights without sleep and I can't think. Is it dinner time? When did it get dark out? How do I turn my brain off...

Yes, that woman is me. I admit this is an extreme case of what I sometimes go through, and they do happen less often than they used to because I have people in my life now that really help me keep the calm. Most days.

I don't blame my dad for being hard on me. Do I wish he would have realized what he was doing and changed it? Sure, but I'm not angry at how he raised me. How can I be angry with him for his flaws when I have my own?

I'm not sure that I'll ever not be hard on myself. It's like it's deep inside of my brain, and while it doesn't surface as much as it used to, it still surfaces. But I know that I have people, friends, that will pull me out of it, that will hold my hand while I sleep if I need it. They help me see the light.

Because of them, the pressure isn't as bad.

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MitaKay said...

Oh, A, this is a beautiful and painful post. So so so proud of you for this! *hugs*

Fun Pusher said...

Just want to say how much I love you!!

Brooke said...

you are freakin awesome whether you realize it or not. the end.

~Mendie~ said...

I am all too familiar with hearing, "just relax" and "quit worrying about it" and " you are bringing the stress on yourself" so I feel your pain on this topic.

i'll remind you to breathe if you can remind me. until then...hugs for sharing!

ps...i dont know how people can't have a gerbil running around in their wish mine would take a timeout. :o)

Audrey said...

Sending you hugs. I know the pain and the pressure you're putting on yourself. I do the same thing but for different reasons. Thanks for being there for me. And know that I'm here for you. Love ya! xoxo

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I'm always hard on myself. I'm not sure where it comes from. My dad ... maybe. If I quit anything he would bring it up again and again..."Well, she quit this so she'll probably quit that..."

OK. Maybe it is from my dad :-)

But he's a good guy...the apologizing I do all the time actually comes from my mom, who was brought up my a very strict, abusive father. They never knew when he would blow and she apologized for things she didn't even need to.

Midwest Mommy said...

I know I read this before but I don't see a comment so it must have been on my ipod. Anyways, great post. I am constantly worried about stuff like this.
How have you been?

Heather of the EO said...

I'm so with you. It wasn't my Dad, but it was there and I carry it with me, being so hard on myself. It is so defeating and depressing and I shut myself off too. Re-training your brain is hard work. I stop drinking, you lost weight, both take self control and change. The hardest part is digging into the whys and doing that retraining. It's a long road and it's scary, but I know it will be worth it for us both. Love to you.

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