This week you hear from Margie, a courageous woman who nearly killed herself by being perfect. She luckily found Fast Track Real Confidence before it as too late.
I actually enjoy being a mother and a wife. I must do because I had four children! I came from a divorced family where I was the only child. My mother had no interest in having children. She called herself a ‘free spirit’ who was quite irresponsible and unpredictable. Apparently, I was a ‘mistake’. I rejected everything she stood for. I did not want to be anything like her. I wanted to experience the whole family thing, so I had a big family. I wanted to be the perfect mother, and the perfect wife. For 10 years I was ‘perfect’. I practically wove my kids’ nappies. Their lunch boxes had homemade bread, wholemeal and organic, of course. Everything was organic. I refused to give them take-away. Mac Donalds’ never featured in my household. Even their bedsheets were organic cotton. I was at every Saturday sport game I could possibly get to. If I was not there, I made sure my husband was. I never stopped working. Day and night I was helping with homework. Or taking them to the library. Or cooking more meals for them.
Then one day, I could not get out of bed. Ii simply could not move. I lay there trying not to fall back to sleep. It was 8 am. That was peak hour in our household. My head was aching, my stomach was churning. But my body was not responding. I could not move.
My husband called the doctor, and gave the kids lunch money, and off they all went happily anticipating tuckshop for the first time in their lives. Dr Muller could not find anything really wrong with me. He took some bloods and told me to stay in bed until I felt better. He did say he thought my tongue was pale and that I looked tired. And I was to see him in 2 days time for the results. He suggested I stay in bed until then. I thought I might have some dread disease, so I did what he said.
I managed to go to the bathroom, and got a shock at the woman in the mirror. She was 54 but looked 74 years old.
Then a friend of mine recommended this new journal writing that she had taken up. She explained about how to use the cards. She kindly dropped over her cards for the day and got me writing. I wrote out my will. Then I started to write letters to the kids and my husband saying goodbye. I was sure this was the end of me. I sent much of the time crying. Then my mother dropped over with some chicken soup. She was 88 and she looked younger than me!
Then she called me ‘little Miss Perfect’. That was red rag to the bull. I let her have it with both barrels. I told her what a crap mother she had been in essence and many examples demonstrating just that. She gave back a serving of how much she had to sacrifice for me. And so the fight went on, until she walked out. I felt like I had done 10 rounds with Mohammad Ali. I wept for a while.
Then I picked up my journal, one of the kids old exercise books, and wrote non-stop for an hour or more. I was amazed at how many times I tried not to use my others words. But she was right damn her! I did try to be the perfect mother for my kids. No wonder I was so sick. I was just exhausted.
Then I started laughing. OMG my mother was right. I was little Miss Perfect. The more I wrote the more I realized how much I was driven by this unrealistic expectation. Nothing is perfect, not even me. I just need to be good enough from now on and look after myself better.
Then I rang my friend and made an appointment to see her coach. Next, I rang my mother and apologized for my behavior. She was right. I as trying to be ‘little Miss Perfect’. She apologized for being such a lousy mother. We laughed.
Now I am writing everyday, using my cards. I still need to reign myself in sometimes, and remind myself, that I need some TLC. In fact I make sure I get some time to me each day most days. It does feel better.