I have always been a perfectionist. Not that you can tell by looking at me, or my house, or my life. That is the problem with perfection, it is impossible to achieve. I never believed I was a perfectionist, because I was so terribly imperfect. I had ideas of how I wanted things to be, those things being me, or at least things that I thought were in my control. Perfectionism results in two things, being constantly disappointed and finding out that there is very little you control. When something in my life went wrong, I always blamed myself. I always felt I had failed miserably. I think that was a contributing factor in my abuse. I ended up in a relationship, and then marriage, to a man that I should have run from. I met him just months after my first divorce. I felt like a failure, I was frightened to be on my own. I did not know how I was going to support and provide for my young son as a single parent. I felt unwanted and undesirable. R preyed upon those feelings, he flattered me and lavished attention on my son. When I noticed danger signs and would pull away, he manipulated my insecurities and doubts. Once we were married, he had no problem placing the blame for things on me and I had no problem accepting it. We did not have a consensual DD or D/s relationship (I did not even know what those were), but he justified the abuse as punishment. It was one more thing for him to blame on me, he told me that I "made" him do those things to me.
Even after I left him, I was a perfectionist, and as a result a failure. It didn't seem that way from the outside. I was a single mother (now to two sons), I was advancing in my job, I had a house. I also completely eschewed any kind of relationships. I had friends (but I kept them at arms length). I did not date (at all, I knew my bad track record was all my fault). I was extremely independent and relied on no one but myself (other people always let me down). I had convinced myself that I just had terrible judgment about trusting others, so I refused to trust myself. I was very careful to do, and to attempt, only those things that I was sure I could be successful at. I didn't risk any more failure.
That fear of failure is paralyzing. Rather than risk failure, you simply don't risk at all. I was reliable, I always helped others (sometimes at my own expense). I could not or would not ask anyone else for help, I would decline help if it was offered. It was more than fearing rejection, I didn't think I was worth it. Deep down, I believed...that maybe I had deserved the abuse inflicted on me. I didn't deserve help and support from friends. I was not sexy or pretty or good. People told me they admired me, they told me how strong I was. Their statements always made me feel like a fraud. I never told anyone of my past, I was afraid if I did they would see me as I was. Weak, tainted and stupid. I never understood how I had ended up in that marriage. I had thought I was fairly intuitive and a good judge of character, that whole bad experience proved me wrong. The only solution I had, was to never have another relationship, for fear of repeating my mistake.
This past week was my third anniversary with J. He is everything I thought I would never find and didn't deserve anyway. He understands everything I am and He accepts everything I am not. He tells me I am beautiful and sexy and a good girl. He tells me I am strong, smart and caring. He tells me that my past is not my fault and no one should have ever hurt me that way. He tells me that He would never subject me anything like that. He tells me He loves me. I believe Him. He has freed me from so much, He has brought me to this point. This point of truth and of accepting myself.
I am not sure how I ended up here. I don't really know why, after over a decade of celibacy and shunning relationships and intimacy, I began browsing "dating" sites. I am not sure what prompted me to send that first message to J. I do believe that I was destined to be with Him. I believe that as soon as I was at the right place in my life, He was placed in my path. I believe that we were somehow connected before meeting. In all of the ripples we send out into the Universe by our thoughts and actions, ours had somehow crossed and intertwined. My whole life has been a journey, I am now on that journey with J. But, even before we were traveling together, I think we were on parallel paths. I am so happy and grateful our paths merged. I am no longer afraid of failure, there is only failure in giving up.