'Do I look all right? Will I annoy people through my behaviour? Do people still like me as much? And so on.
A lot of people who I am close to, who clearly want the best for me, often tell me that I needn't worry about these things. I'm fine just the way I am. And my behaviour is also fine - OK, I do come with an instructions leaflet, but who doesn't? My loved ones say those things to me and I should just accept it as the truth, I'm told.
I believe it for a few days; sometimes it only lasts for a few hours. It can even last a whole week. But then I take a torn for the worse again and I'm usually totally unaware of it. Otherwise I would just put myself back in the right direction again!
I’ve achieved so much in my life and dared to do things all on my own. In 2001, during an Assertiveness Training Course I was asked if I would write down all the positive things in my life. I have kept the folder with all of this in it and whenever I look at it, it is all still so true. I think it's beautiful!
Writing my poems, buying my apartment where I have lived for almost six years, taking five sailing trips all on my own, you name it. They were all big challenges and I have taken them on. I've always liked a bit of adventure!
I tend to suffer from having a poor self-image, for example, when someone is watching me as I’m doing something. I noticed this most when I was working as a Home Help in people’s homes. When washing the windows outside, it is quite normal that every now and then, people would watch what I was doing. I used to get really nervous when this happened, though less so with some clients than with others. I was worried that they ‘may be able to see what I might be doing wrong.’ And yet I knew full well that I was often complimented for my great work!
My perfectionism helped me in this, but at other times it could be a hindrance. Even with my Home Help work, when someone told me that something I had done was fine, I still had to finish it off to meet my own standard. Some people felt that I took far too long doing a certain task whilst others appreciated the fact that I finished things off properly, concentrating on the smallest of detail.' ×