I don’t remember perfectionism as a child.
I think it began around twelve or thirteen.
I remember making lists. That got me young.
I remember trying to read every book in the YA section.
I was homeschooled, and I think I had something to prove.
I tried to grasp for control wherever I could.
It was with me before school, which became just another mechanism
For my perfectionism to latch onto.
I remember wanting to avoid their anger.
I remember her commenting on the trauma of perfect
As I swept a floor that would never get clean.
I remember being locked in a room until I finished every equation,
But did he actually lock the door? I can’t remember.
If I made a mistake, I would be told: You know this.
You can do better. You can always do more.
They had high expectations. They pushed me toward my potential.
I internalized those expectations, which turned into perfectionism.
I needed to people please, to be the person they saw.
Mistakes were allowed so long as I was giving it my all.
Today, I am often left with a lingering sense of,
I could have done more.