Expectation feels like pressure. Commendation feels like pressure. Love feels like pressure. Things that should feel good often don't. And it drives me crazy.
There is this odd thing that happens to me when I am given a compliment on something I do. My gut begins to gnaw on itself. My breathing becomes shallow. The smile on my face masks an innermost dread: if what I've done is good, you're going to expect me to repeat it, and soon, that won't be enough, you're gonna want more. And then what? Where will it end?
Perhaps it's a throwback from living under the thumb of a perfectionistic mother, a perfectionistic cult and a brain that is wired for sensitivity. As a Jehovah's Witness, there is no such thing as enough. It's always "More." Proselytize more. Attend the meetings more. Pray more. Study more. Meditate more.
I remember hearing so many of the "brothers" speak of the end of the world with such fervor and how important the preaching work was to save the "honest-hearted". This constant sense of urgency was born out in comments like "There will be plenty of time to rest in the New System (the next life). Now is the time to push forward." It's no surprise that one of the most common diagnoses amongst jw's is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There was no time to rest. No time to be. It was all about the doing.
It took its toll on me. All of it. And I don't think I'll ever be "normal" again. If I ever was.