From “The Emotional Incest Syndrome” by Patricia Love with Jo Robinson.
The Perfectionism of the Chosen Child
(The child within a relationship of enmeshment with a parent.)
From pages 43 – 46:
(BUY THE BOOK if you find this relevant to you!
This is a gross condensing of the main points of the text!)
Denial of Needs
“It's really strange, but I didn't realize I had any fears or problems until I was twenty years old. I did have them, of course, but I blanked them out. It's almost as if I were two people – one who was always on top of things, and then an inner one that was terrifyingly needy. I didn't let that inner one see the light of day.”
It's normal for children to be “trouble” from time to time. They need you when you're busy; they ask questions for which you have no answers...they are a constant reminder that you do not have a solution to all of life's problems.
The Chosen Child often has to repress these needs. A client nicknamed Sunny told me that she'd gotten her nickname from her mother, who elected her to be her perfect well-adjusted child. “You're always happy,” she would tell her daughter. “You're always smiling.” The hidden message was, “Don't be unhappy or have any problems.”
Compulsive Need to Succeed
“I'm one of the most driven people I know. I once dreamed that I was going to be killed unless I was promoted to vice president of my firm. I woke up in a cold sweat. But that nightmare was just an exaggerated version of what I feel every moment of the day.”
Many Chosen Children are burdened by the belief that they count only if they are superior...It took me many years to get a handle on this embarrassing episode. What I eventually realized what that my compulsive drive to succeed was a direct consequence of my mother's high expectations and of my secret fear of inadequacy. I felt I had no choice but to live up to her unrealistic vision of me... [P]art of my legacy as a Chosen Child was the belief that to be average or ordinary is to fail.