I’m the child of a narcissist. I say it simply- not to blame anyone for who I am, but to state a revelation that I have recently had. It was one of those moments like in the cartoons when the light bulb turns on over someone’s head. While reading about of psychological essays centered on a TV show that I enjoy, I read an essay on the narcissistic family and suddenly everything made sense.
I am often told how imperfect I am and that none of my problems matter. I strive for perfection just so I can get attention and affection. I also deal with a lot of anger because, I know what I’m told isn’t true. But knowing that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
I have lived the life of an overachiever as long as I can remember. I have distinct memory of sitting in the time out corner in kindergarten and reading the words on the wall displays even though the course work included teaching us letters with these comical blow up dolls. Another in second grade: we were told to write a short story. Everyone one else was about a page long and about their daily lives. Mine was six pages long about unicorns named after my friends and included illustrations and a cover. My advanced reading and writing skills gained me positive attention. I learned then that not only did I have to be smart–I had to be smarter than the rest.
My teenage years dipped down into depression. After diagnosis and drugs and therapy (the last two I have since grown out of), I was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder that caused my manic depression and then later with a generalized anxiety disorder.
By college, I was on the right track and back to my overachieving self. I got great grades, was involved in so many organizations, had a ton of leaderships positions and I worked part-time. Then I moved on to career where I work a massive amount of hours and give 120 percent. If I am not constantly going, I am not happy.
In the last year that 120 percent has been spread of the work load of two people as we lost staff members and my job description grew. Between grants, fundraiser, deadlines, rider schedules, volunteer schedules, workdays, meetings, and fieldtrips, my brain has officially been fried. I, the queen of dates, had gotten volunteers and had come in early for a work day that was actually A WEEK LATER. At home, I was dealing with my mother and her issues, my brother’s ankle surgery and my grandmother’s emergency hospitalization and surgery. Something had to give.
When Beyondai came up with this ministry, I thought it was wonderful and could be a powerful tool. I had no doubt that it would be an amazing journey and would touch people’s hearts and lives. I needed this journey with God. But when I saw the word “deadline”, my brain checked out. I was so tired and mentally zapped I couldn’t even contemplate 7 goals to strive for. I put the idea on the back burner just so I get the rest of my workday done.
But then God spoke to me. Lightened my heart, my brain, my workload. He spoke through my co-workers; he spoke through my friends; he spoke through my riders. I came home and sat down and decided I had to make time and effort for this important journey. I made seven goals and realized two of those would be accomplished just by participating. The first is staying close and growing with my friends and the second is realizing it is ok not to be perfect. I am dedicated to this journey fully, but am not going to let the deadline scare me. I am going to let my journey and journaling come naturally. I already feel more relaxed and excited about the task ahead. I am not going to mentally abuse myself if I miss the deadline by a little bit or if risks I take don’t turn out the way I planned. This is a journey of peace and spiritual growth. It’s important that I count and pursue my blessings and let stress just fall away. Starting this ministry has been my first radical moment.
Wishing you all peace.