Good Enough?

27 Jul

My friend Sfp posted an article about “being judged” yesterday.  If you haven’t already read it, it’s here.  

Being judged as a foster parent by Child Protective Services, like Sfp was, is a special kind of judgment.   Fortunately,  i’m not likely to have to worry about that one, being through with child-rearing years ago.  But her post made me think about being “good enough.”

i’ve said before on here that by my father’s standards, i was only ever as good as my next accomplishment.  He always said i could do anything i wanted to do, and nothing i did was ever enough to feel good about.

My mother, for all her other strengths and wisdom, was a perfectionist.   By her standards, only an A+ was really acceptable.  

She was more affirming than my Dad, but she drove herself hard with constant evaluation of what she’d done and an ongoing search for  how she could do it better next time.  She expected no less of me. 

Rather than being inspired by all this, i decided that it was ok to embrace failure.  i used to say that when i died, i wanted my tombstone to read:

Failed to Live Up to

Early Potential

i can laugh about it now.  But that was the theme song of my school years ~ “She could do really well if she’d just apply herself.”  and  “She’s not living up to her potential.”

Quietly stubborn, i was.

i give you all that as background.  

When i read Sfp’s post yesterday, the memory of those years flooded me.  i remember the deep sense of inadequacy that i often felt.

And the memories are in stark contrast to my experience in the D/s world, where the expectations can be simple and concrete.  Where the directions are clear and the “Good Girl” is attainable.

No profound commentary on that today.  i just noticed it.

And wondered a little bit.

Lots of potential for healing in the BDSM world.

16 Responses to “Good Enough?”

  1. sin July 27, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    I wonder how many of us that might be true for? D/s gives us the opportunity to hear some of the “good girls” we missed out on in primary school and perhaps at home too.
    -sin

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      Hi, Sin,

      Yeah, i wondered about that too. i bet there’s a bunch of us…

      aisha

  2. vanillamom July 27, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    nodding.

    A profound, yet simple manifesto…BDSM…a place with lots of room for healing…

    funny how, to the vanilla world, we’re viewed as kooks…abusers..vicitms…

    it’s our own “secret” to our society, isn’t it?

    nilla

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Hey, ‘Nilla,

      It is funny, isn’t it? People have no idea. It is the secret we keep best.

      And often the healing isn’t comfortable and doesn’t look that good from the outside, so it needs to be private. But nice that we can acknowledge it here in the blogosphere…

      hugs,

      aisha

  3. yesthankyousir July 27, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Its what I’ve missed most about a D/s relationship. The affirmation of being appreciated, loved, cared for.

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Hey, Andi,

      Yeah. And funny that we need a D/s relationship to find that, but there it is.

      aisha

  4. striving for peace July 27, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    thank you for the shout out

    I like your take on it
    for me – this “not good enough” is the source of my social anxiety (or the social anxiety is a major symptom of it
    and there is a comfort in the D/s world
    of knowing how you will be judged

    or even
    knowing that failure is inevitable
    and you’re still the good girl
    for trying

    hmmm

    sfp

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      Hi, Sfp,

      YES! That’s a whole ‘nother element, isn’t it? That trying does count.

      In therapy with kids, sometimes i’ve tried to work with parents and teachers to get them to “reward effort” rather than success. It’s a difficult thing to recognize in our culture, and our tendency to recognize winning rather than striving does lots of people a huge disservice.

      hugs,

      aisha

  5. nancy July 27, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I too was that underachiever at home and school as a young girl.
    I’m sure that some of the appeal of bdsm is exactly as you’ve said. It IS possible to be the “Good Girl” and the rules are clear although not always easy!
    Thank you for the thought provoking post.

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:21 am #

      Hi, Nancy,

      Cool – i like to think of us underachievers as the ones who chose to walk our own path, find our own ways…

      But it’s still awfully nice to get the “good girl’s”!

      Thanks!

      aisha

  6. greengirl July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Now i can’t get the SNL skit out of my mind, “and gosh darn it, I’m good enough…”

    I have wondered about this: when i think about my being too hard on myself, i am torn between worrying i’m not succeeding at cutting myself a break and worrying that i will get lazy and stop trying at anything at all. This dynamic does give me an outside reference, one i am learning to trust and listen to. That helps. Well – and so do the “good girls.”

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      Hi, Gg,

      Omg, i remember that skit. lol… yeah.

      You know, as a member of your blog reading audience, i can pretty much guarantee you that you won’t get lazy and quit trying. You might get discouraged and back off, but that’s a different thing.

      i’m glad you’re getting some of the “good girls” you need!

      hugs,

      aisha

  7. Wordwytch July 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    We all worry about being good enough. I’m reposting what I did on Sfp’s blog. It’s taken me a long time to get over ‘perfect’.

    And know that Perfect is subjective. It’s judgement in the eyes of someone who can’t possibly know how good you are at cooking someone’s favourite comfort food or how you pick up on someones feelings before they even know themselves. Better yet, they won’t understand that hearing “It’s okay, or you did beautifully” means more out of your mouth than a thousand praises from someone else.

    It isn’t about being perfect, but the best you can possibly be for you.

    Hugs for all of us.

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Hi, Wordwytch,

      Yep, perfect is subjective, thank goodness. i like to think of myself as “perfectly flawed” these days… 🙂

      AND am still not a fan of having to be the best i can possibly be for me! Sometimes, “good enough” is good enough. lol…

      Seriously, for me, “the best i can possibly be for me” leads to obsessive thinking and difficulty doing anything because really ~ is that really the BEST i can do??? It’s a slippery slope for a recovering perfectionist, and had led me to be a procrastinator so i run out of time to keep tweaking things pointlessly.

      Thank goodness for D/s!

      hugs,

      aisha

  8. Michelle July 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Wow. This brings back so many memories of childhood. Your parents could have been my parents.
    So much to say on this, but I’m packing and doing lots of changing things.

    • aisha July 29, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      Hey, Michelle,

      Hope your packing and changing goes well! Glad the post resonated with you too…

      aisha

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