Friday, April 9, 2010
Not the brusque type of control where you tell people what to do or use of physical force over something or someone…I am talking about a more subtle type of control, one that is more deceiving and not as easy to detect or even acknowledge.
I realized I try to manage my feelings – the painful feelings of rejection, thinking I am not good enough, not special enough, not worth fighting for by clinging.
By Clinging. By Resisting. By Convincing another. By Doubting myself.
All ways to not have to deal with my own wounds, my own painful feelings. A way of avoiding them. For instance, we make a choice, one that seems good for us, one that is powerful then we start doubting our choices because it means that things will change and that means that we must change too. And change is scary, it takes us into new and unknown territory…out of our comfort zones and we want to just jump back in, to have things back the same way they were (but different), even if it wasn’t ideal.
For me, after I made my choice to finally leave a relationship that wasn’t feeling good for me in some ways, I got too scared with the choice I made because that meant life would change and I would no longer be with that person (which I am sure triggered many emotions and insecurities) so I started DOUBTING myself, started CLINGING. I reneged on my decision, groveled to have him stay (even though I was quite clear that I couldn’t stay in the relationship and I let him know how unhealthy I think his behavior is).
Then I start needing to convince him that what he is doing is indeed unhealthy and that it is not good for him or his son. I use examples, I use psychological definitions, I think I even try guilt. And even if this is all true and I am right on the money about his issues, I have come to realize that, that is still CONTROL. A way for me to control the situation, so I don’t have to make a healthy choice for me and go through the subsequent painful feelings of letting go. And so many of us do this, I know that.
Then when none of this works - my feelings aren’t soothed, he won’t change , we aren’t together anymore- I resist. I resist the process of letting go and begin to obsess and analyze him. And I believe that this may just be a tactic to manage my feelings and not fall prey to my insecurities and those old self defeating beliefs.
Trying to control.
It’s hard to think of me as controlling because it is not in the way we think of control: aggressive, malicious, loud, abusive or whatnot.
It’s more subtle, and yes I know control is a huge thing for codependents but I am not even talking about it in that way as a form of manipulation, enabling and empty threats, but, yes I suppose codependent in way of relying on someone else’s behavior to dictate how I feel and needing the other person to change to make me feel better.
All ways to control our emotions. And herein lies where I realize I have issues of control.
Doubting.Clinging. Convincing. Resisting. Trying to control the situation so that I wouldn’t have to feel these painful feelings…the painful feelings of what really are wounds from self defeating beliefs. And I realize I have done this since I was a child. To avoid feelings of humiliation, or rejection, or feelings of inadequacy - the things that seem to trigger my insecurities and cause painful emotions - I would either avoid the situation or person completely or try to “manipulate” the situation into being a certain way or the person into behaving a certain way. And it was not to be malicious or to have authority over others, more so to have authority over my own emotions because I didn’t/don’t have the healthy and mature coping skills to deal with such feelings. Again, just conditioned ways of coping created from a child’s mind.
But the irony of control, just as with addictions (another way to control or completely avoid our painful feelings) is that it ends up causing us more pain and drives us even further away from resolving these things in our life and further away from ourselves.
It’s funny how we do certain things as a way to protect and save ourselves from things we think will hurt us, but instead these tactics are the very things that end up hurting us and leaving us feeling abandoned.