“You are a good little boy. You are hyper-responsible, unable to let go and have fun. You feel extremely guilty when you don’t get everything just right and take care of people’s needs just right.” – Mothers, Sons & Lovers, by Michael Gurian
I remember feeling like I was walking on eggshells a lot when I was a kid, afraid of setting dad off, which would set mom off because she hated confrontation. I remember watching my brothers get yelled at, and wanted to avoid that. It felt a little like I wasn’t good enough unless I did everything perfectly. If I made a mistake mom and dad were on me.
I feel like my brothers recognized this pattern and rebelled against it, either consciously or unconsciously. I was too afraid, so I always tried to be the “good one”; as an adult I’m a perfectionist. I fret about making small mistakes, and as a way to compensate I occasionally do let go, only I let go way too much and basically explode. Binge drinking is a big part of that ‘explosion’. I get so tired of trying to be perfect and failing that I just want to get away from myself for a while.
Were you a “good little boy/girl” when you were growing up? Are you still that same “good little boy/girl”? What do you think would happen if you stopped trying to please everyone around you?