Visualize the thing that you're most afraid of....snakes, spiders, heights, whatever. Now imagine yourself in a situation with that, the worst small space or big crowd or tall building swaying in the breeze, the nastiest spider, etc....and the happier you are, the worse the thing you're afraid of gets. But....as long as you don't let on that you're afraid of whatever it is, it won't bite you (or whatever). You have to try to hide your fear, not to let any sign out of how terrified you are, because then it will in fact happen. Maybe you could do this for 5, 10, 15 minutes, right? But no. You have to maintain it indefinitely, for as long as you want to be happy, and you have to take care not to let any cracks appear through which your fear will seep out. There are fleeting moments when it relents, when it goes away, but generally, it's there all the time. Generally, as long as you're around someone you love, it's there, and the more they mean to you, the worse it'll be. That's what it's like. It is exhausting. It sucks up all your energy. It depletes one's life of joy. It hurts.
So I went looking online for advice, and the first page I visited said:
"This presentation is NOT about blaming our parents - it's about the acknowledgment of what happened so we can heal the original pain, stop the cycle, and live a happier life. Parents do the best they can - In fact, they are usually on a crusade to make sure their kids "have it better than I did!" Your parents were raised by their parents...who were raised by their parents...and so on. Parents can't give much more than they have been given themselves - its just not in their neural networks."
Well, that pisses me off. I don't care how my mom feels about this. She fucked up and she didn't try her best or she wouldn't have done that. She was selfish and immature. She did it at least three times! Making excuses for the parent who does such a thing is irresponsible in my opinion. Asking a child who has been through that to do those things is like telling a rape victim not to blame her rapist...after all, he was messed up for his own reasons and that was the best behavior he could manage! B.S.
This page was better even though it was less professional. A segment:
"You are a perfectionist. If only you get it right, you won’t be rejected. Whether “it” is a work project, the way your home looks, how you dress, or what your body looks like, perfectionism is a thief. It steals your happiness under the guise of preventing rejection."
Oh yes. The endless trying to find exactly the right combination of things to do, ways to look, talk, etc.....there's got to be some magical sequence, like dance moves, that everyone else knows and I don't....ugh!
Anyway. I am trying to work on this. I really, really, am. It's hard.