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Once again Anna, you have given us a clear, compassionate and sensitive view on the ways in which abuse affects the lives of survivors. I don’t personally believe that procrastination affects only those of us who have been abused because it is something that can be present in the lives of everyone to some extent. But here we are talking about how chaos affects those of us who have experienced severe and traumatic abuse and how procrastination manifests itself in a way that makes a survivor’s life even more difficult than it already is.
As Anna Waldherr says: “In the aftermath of emotional abuse, victims may try desperately to be perfect — at home, at school, at work — in the hope of winning the approval denied us as children. Of course, we should not have to “win” love at all. It should be freely given, certainly to children. As for procrastination, the longer we put off a task, the greater the likelihood we will fail to complete it “perfectly”, perhaps fail to complete it at all”.

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Entwined Geminis, Safavid Dynasty, Persia (c. 1635), Author Unknown, Source pinterest.com (PD)Entwined Geminis, Safavid Dynasty, Persia (c. 1635), Author Unknown, Source pinterest.com (PD)

This post was written in collaboration with Marie Williams whose remarks are highlighted.  Marie blogs at Come Fly with Me, https://mariewilliams53.wordpress.com.

“Most of my life has been spent circling or avoiding important things that I need to do and I get very frustrated with myself.  Sometimes, I find myself trying to locate passports or important papers at the 11th hour, when I’ve had ample time to deal with matters like this.”

-Marie Williams

Procrastination and perfectionism are patterns of behavior well familiar to abuse victims, twin destructive forces that have deep meaning for those who have suffered abuse.

We invest the necessary (the “shoulds” and “musts” of life) with the power to annihilate us, or at least demolish the fragile image we have of ourselves.  Then we defer, delay, and defer again – certain that we will…

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