Thursday, July 12, 2012

Perfection and Damaged Goods

I am a perfectionist. I am damaged goods.

It is the damage that makes me a perfectionist. Perfectly damaged; a true oxymoron. Let me explain.

I am an only child; doted on by my mother, and emotionally abandoned by my father. My mother made up for my father's emotional absence by indulging my every whim. If I found a pretty dress I liked as a child and it came in three colors, pink, blue and yellow, she never made me choose, she tried, but eventually gave in and bought all three dresses despite raising a spoiled daughter on her own on a waitresses meager salary. I wanted for nothing...except my father's love. This is the beginning of my damage.

Do I blame my mother for spoiling me, no. For all her indulgence she was also fair, moral, ethical and solid, which somehow managed to seep into my very pores and create a moral, ethical, solid and fair person, on the outside, therein lies my perfection. My mother is to blame for every good thing I do.

A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don't even have. ~Robert Brault 

My father was granted visitation rights in my parents divorce agreement and I was dutifully packaged up and shipped off every other holiday and for a month in the summer to my father. My father never lived closer than 900 miles from me (most of the time he lived in another country) at any time during my formidable growing years. I became quite the seasoned young traveler in my youth; that is probably why I prefer to stay on the ground these days. My father adhered to the custody agreement in all ways that you could classify as legal, but in all the times I spent my precious holidays and summer vacations at his home he never took time off from work, not even a day. He was busy making something of himself, building a career, traveling, making money, ignoring me. I was left in the care of my step-mother, who for years I disliked intensely, that is, until one day she threw herself on me to protect me from HIM and we were bonded, but that is a story for another day.

"It is much easier to become a father than to be one." ~ Kent Nerburn

This awkward dynamic formed. All the good that seeped into me from my mother was showered (almost thrown) on my father. I was well-behaved, had good manners, was funny, smart, and creative to the point of perfection. My father never applauded, congratulated, acknowledged, hugged, kissed, noticed me. Nothing was good enough to get me noticed...get me my father's love. I am sure you get the point by now. I am a good-old fashioned cliché.

cli·ché also cliche  (kl-shn.
1. A trite or overused expression or idea: 
2. A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial.

There is nothing new in my story, except that it is MY story. My life, my perfectly damaged life.

So, fast forward to my thirteenth year, and in all my wisdom at that age, I decided that I wanted to live with my father. Try, try again (the story of The Little Engine that Could comes to mind). I no sooner walked off the plane when he started lying down his rules. He didn't know me from Adam; didn't he remember how well-behaved I had always been, how I always made straight A's...

It was a hellish year.

Enter my first love. Tristan (names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent) was, as all first loves are, my everything. Everything I had tried to pour onto my father was magically accepted by Tristan. Every available waking moment was spent in his company, well mostly, when I was not doing his chores while he worked on his race car. I was happy. I was in love.

Fast forward a eighteen months.

Homecoming football game, sophomore year. He cheats and finds a reason to blame me. I was profoundly effected by his dismissal of my love.

Perfectly damaged.

This is my blog. This is my life. This is my healing. Thank you P. for starting me on this journey.