Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Abuse And The Quest For Perfection


“Perfection” bedevils many of us, myself included. Perhaps you suffer from it yourself. I could blame my experience with abuse for it because, as you well know, abusers expect perfection from us victims. Not our idea of perfection, but their idea of the perfect wife, husband, child or friend.

Alas, I cannot blame the abuse. The flaw embedded itself into me well before meeting my ex. I sometimes think it attracted him to me. Perhaps he saw my desire to be perfect as a way to sink his hooks into me. He used something innately present in my character as an ally to help him control me. Maybe he intuitively knew I would strive to be what he wanted, that I would try to be his perfect little wife.

Like so many a-ha moments relating to my abuse, I didn’t consider my abuser’s ability to use me against me until after I’d left him. It takes time and distance from the abuse to untwist the knots.

Did you adopt the mantra “I must be perfect” during your abuse? Or did you strive for perfection before meeting your abuser? What kinds of symptoms (i.e. anxiety, depression,…) do you attribute to your quest for perfection? 

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