“Kids raised on perfection don’t feel loved and can’t find reason to live. Everything stems from the situation where parents have a conception of what the perfect child would be – a perfect athlete, a perfect scholar, the one for whom the goal is 100% performance.
Parents become prisoners of this ideal, and their whole life revolves around performance. The son then learns to perform and has an idealized vision of what he should be. Anything that doesn’t fit this ideal must be repelled, must be annihilated. By the way, all the human qualities present in the child, all that is “dirty” – his sexuality, the ordinary world of the everyday bodily – the child lives as if not being part of the perfect ideal. Spontaneity—as well as even natural anger or joy, or the natural love of rocks and mud—is blocked and the child formulates the notion that, at some level, is unable to be loved. “Whoever I am, in the reality of my being, cannot be loved”, that is the conclusion she is.
The natural being is repressed, and performance becomes everything.
In any given situation, a person subjected to that repression will realize who to please, and then “show up” to please that person, and their own reality will not be present in that performance. People are starting to live in the name of an ideal – there is nothing left in the name of living. But if you live by an ideal controlling yourself as much as you can to be perfect – both at work and in the role of a wife and mother – you lose the natural, slow pace of life. There is only the rush, the attempt to reach the ideal. The slowest pace of the Earth’s pulse, that state where you are simply relegated into oblivion. “
~ Marion Woodman, Awake Femininity