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Mr. Encyclopedia

Dealing with Perfectionism and Self-Hatred *Triggering*

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Perfectionism is an issue I have had for a long time.

(Some forums have requested posts to tone down the level of self-harming and abuse talk. I apologize if I have said too much or am too graphic in this post. I added the trigger warning in case that happens.)

As a child I was beaten, threatened, and abused for making mistakes. My dad used to beat me with belts, backhand me until I was bleeding in the face, sexually abused and humiliated me, threatened to kill me, and so forth over mistakes and schoolwork (although the sexual abuse might not be connected?). Teachers also degraded and abused me to a point that I was having epileptic episodes, and in my report cards it said that I am “retarded” and am “unlikely to ever succeed in life.” In elementary school I was armed with a pocket knife and was prepared to stab my dad if he hit me again, and I first self-harmed to a point of hospitalization when I was eight or nine years old and first thought of suicide over a less than perfect school grade when I was about 10.

Now I am 21 years old. My life has been difficult to say it mildly. I was in a mental hospital in 2008, tried to kill myself in 2008, self-harmed so a point that there is no feeling left in certain areas of my body, and my dad shot himself in 2009 and our house was repossessed.

I have been diagnosed with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder subtype known as Asperger’s Syndrome in the autism spectrum; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Social and Generalized Anxiety; Major Depression; and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I have tried to attend university several times in the past several years. The first university I visited I left feeling horrible about myself because I wasn’t able to understand everything (was visiting). The second university campus I left crying because I couldn’t figure out how to register and disability services wouldn’t help me. The third university that I did register and attend classes at I left twice being hospitalized, the second time requiring an emergency response unit to see if I had killed myself, and I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance to fix the damage I did self-harming. The fourth university I left after planning a suicide and feeling like it wasn’t for me.

I want to feel better about life and who I am but I have a hard time with this perfectionism :(. I feel like I must be perfect and have this all-encompassing fear of not being good enough, and I am told I can be extremely hard on myself with unrealistic expectations.

The difficulty I have is thinking positively about who I am despite any flaws or imperfections that I have. Most of the time I think that I am a failure with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and when I self-harm I always do it believing that I deserve to be punished for being who I am or making a mistake.

My best friend - an American pen pal of mine of 5 years and whom I drove to the U.S. to meet and am planning to do that again - tells me she thinks I am incredible. Her exact words are: “I think you're honest, loyal, kind, loving, understanding, accepting, trustworthy, and incredibly thoughtful.” However, I have a hard time seeing past imperfections and failures of mine, whether it be that I have crooked teeth and a skin disorder or that I have difficulties with school and several other areas in life.

I am having a real hard time with perfectionism and am unsure of what to do. Was hoping I could receive some advice on this website :). The websites I have read online don't apply to the extreme form of perfectionism that I have.

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Mr. Enclyclopedia,

I can relate to many of the issues that you described. I have some experience dealing with abuse but the amount of abuse that you described seems overwhelming. I’m not sure that I could have gone through that and come to age 21 with as much rationality as you seem to have from your posts.

So, that’s in your favor, I would say. Have you read the Tony Attwood “discovery criteria” for Asperger’s that I posted on another thread? Here it is again in case you missed it:

http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79:the-discovery-of-aspie-criteria&catid=45:archived-resource-papers&Itemid=181

Well, I hope that the link works. It doesn't look like it did. But if it didn't you can go to Tony Attwood's site and find it.

You wrote:

The difficulty I have is thinking positively about who I am despite any flaws or imperfections that I have.

I suggest that tackling that is a first step. In my experience it definitely helps to have some other people around who think positively about me, too.

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My best friend in the United States tells me that she thinks I am strong (if that was what you intended to imply?). It makes me feel better when she or others tell me that because it makes me feel like I am not a total failure.

I will read the link to Tony Attwood’s website soon. Recently I finished reading his book The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome.

I understand the need to have supportive individuals around me, but the fact is that that is much harder done than it is said. I haven’t been able to meet anyone that liked me enough to want to be around me. The truth is that I am rejected, rebuffed, shunned, ostracized, and tormented wherever I seem to be. Nor do I live in a populated area that allows me to be more socially active. Socializing is one of my greatest frustrations.

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It looks like I did not concentrate on sharing my understanding of what might be your feelings here, Mr. Encyclopedia. Sorry about that. I’m not so good at socializing either unfortunately. :o I’m trying to learn how to do a little better through this website.

Edited by devil's daughter

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I'm sorry you were triggered. That can be difficult to cope with. Do you know what the Klingsor part of you needs during these times? I have found that listening to my different needs helps me stay centered and then there is less occurrence of certain parts taking over. That can be super challenging to do when one is inside of the emotions, though. I still have trouble with that myself at times. (I sometimes joke that I wish I could pause life so I could slow down my reactions. :/) I think your awareness can be helpful, though.

I'm glad you feel better today. Take care.

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2 hours ago, IrmaJean said:

Do you know what the Klingsor part of you needs during these times?

Anger, revenge, rage, destruction...negative things. Yesterday I had to have a photograph session as part of my school's career counseling services. I detest photographs and hate looking at myself. She took about 30 pics and I had to sit down and choose the one I liked best. I told her I'd rather she pull out my toenails than do this. Anyway it ruined my day and I was in that old self hating place and all that comes with it...inequality, injustice, futility, etc. I find I do much better alone without the stress of external stimuli. I am comfortable staring at words and numbers. When I am forced to look at myself or other people, all I see in some form or another is Klingsor. 

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39 minutes ago, Victimorthecrime said:

I wonder whatever happened to devils daughter and Mr. E?  

I'm in occasional e-mail contact with "DD" :) . She's doing rather good, I would say, which doesn't mean she doesn't still "have some issues", of course. I'm particularly glad about some improvements in her family life that happened in the meantime.

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I've lived with self-hatred myself, since about age 10.

I remember my religious community, how hard they tried to give me a sense of self-worth: they had a slogan, "God made you, and God doesn't make junk."  A very worthy idea, to try and plant unconditional self-acceptance in a troubled adolescent.  But it was only good for as long as the Sabbath lasted and i was in the cocoon of that group.  

Inevitably, Monday came, as it always does; and i was back in mainstream secular society.  There, my intelligence was mocked as nerdness, my sensitivity was mocked as homosexuality (what-- you thought homophobia doesn't exist in secular society?  You obviously haven't lived in small-town America), and my awkwardness was punished with bullying and shaming.  

I started slapping myself in the face at around age 16, then cut myself for the first time at age 18.  I still have the scar on my left arm.

Mr. Encyclopedia and Pax, i wish you better times ahead.  I wish you a better youth and young adulthood than i had.  You are precious in the eyes of God (i know, i know: you may both be atheists.  In this specific context, just go with it, OK?),  My prayer is that you will both have happy lives where you are accepted and loved just as you are.

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@TooOld4This

Thanks for the well wishes. I'm 29, so my youth is gone and already wasted. By school I meant grad school. I'm not an atheist, I come from small-town America too, from the mid-south. I was very religious too in my youth...not so much anymore, but I'm not an atheist. We probably have a lot in common. I too was marginalized as one of the sexless drones destined for a cushy middle class professional career with a briefcase and a nice lawn with underground sprinklers. 

I suppose I've talked about myself and given my opinions enough for one week, so getting away for a while. Feel free to message me, I think we have similar backgrounds. 

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On 9/11/2016 at 2:23 PM, Pax said:

Anger, revenge, rage, destruction...negative things. Yesterday I had to have a photograph session as part of my school's career counseling services. I detest photographs and hate looking at myself. She took about 30 pics and I had to sit down and choose the one I liked best. I told her I'd rather she pull out my toenails than do this. Anyway it ruined my day and I was in that old self hating place and all that comes with it...inequality, injustice, futility, etc. I find I do much better alone without the stress of external stimuli. I am comfortable staring at words and numbers. When I am forced to look at myself or other people, all I see in some form or another is Klingsor. 

Is that what the Klingsor part of you needs...or could this be how this aspect of you expresses himself? Is it possible there could be pain beneath the anger? Is it a younger hurt part of you possibly? You don't have to answer any of my questions. I do hope that one day you can look at yourself and feel acceptance, for all parts of you.

 

 

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Klingsor is all I will ever be. I'm an expression or manifestation of impotentence. Impotence in thought, act, and emotion. Nothing I do has any effect on anything except me. 

"You are a difficult case. But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end, we shall shoot you."

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Are you able to sit with the Klingsor part of you? Possibly this part of you came to be when you were younger and he has a purpose. Are you able to feel any compassion for Klingsor? If you're able to listen to this part and know what Klingsor needs, possibly this will allow an opening for the other parts of yourself to be expressed too.

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I can tell that you are a very intelligent and capable human being. My question to you is: You have seen all of the things your pen-pal has called you (her compliments), and you seem like you are aware that you are all of those things (otherwise, why bring up the pen-pal and what she said), so why are you so incredibly hard on yourself? Do you have trouble interacting with others face-to-face (I was going to say "in the real world" but you get the picture). I know for a fact that I can be confident and talkative and suave af online but I am a very different person face-to-face because of my social anxiety. I am overweight, but not much (maybe 20 pounds), and I have SPS so I am so hopeless when it comes to confidence. Have you had girlfriends in real life? Do girls hit on you or make moves on you if you are ever in a social environment?

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 5:28 PM, Klingsor_the_Capon said:

I'm 29, so my youth is gone and already wasted. By school I meant grad school. I'm not an atheist, I come from small-town America too, from the mid-south. I was very religious too in my youth...not so much anymore, but I'm not an atheist.

Hello @Klingsor_the_Capon,

I guess I didn't realize this concerning your background. We seem to have very similar pasts yet I sense we approach life very differently.

Don't take what I'm saying wrong, I'm not indicating that one approach is "more correct" than the other. My main issue in life is my penis size and the insecurities and depression that comes with being a freak of nature. Outside of that issue, I lead a fairly fulfilling life. I sense that your pains run much deeper and cover a wider spectrum of issues.

I wish the best for you and hope that you can pursue a career and hobbies that you enjoy.

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