I’M MOST IN CONTROL
when I don’t follow the pack
PREVIOUS: Healthy Control (Part 1)
REVIEW posts: Letting go of being controlling
1. Q: What do most people think ‘Being IN control’ is about?
A: That it’s ONLY about being able to take action, rather than freezing up or being indecisive. WHY?
Partly it’s our culture, which constantly tells us: “Just do it”, & partly it’s the alcoholic / narcissistic family that only focused on DOING, rather than Being or Feeling!
BUT not being able to act is just as much a lack of control as taking actions that are compulsive (not in our conscious control). They’re both driven by deep WIC anxiety that we’re not aware of or not in charge of modifying.
Out-of-control Doing – Willfully trying to befriend someone in a group who is obviously ignoring you &/or clearly angry & volatile!
Out-of-control Not Doing – Staying, staying, staying, stuck in your chair – at a party where your alcoholic boyfriend is deliberately ignoring you while flirting with his ex! – you can’t bear to leave him behind with someone else.
Everyone sees what’s going on – making a fool of yourself by not leaving, but you’re paralyzed. While you can’t ignore one more indignity from him, the pain of betrayal & loss has triggered abandonment shock!
2. Q: What identifies “being OUT of control”?
A: Most people will say it’s ‘loosing it’ – by expressing some intense emotion, like yelling (rage, frustration… ) or crying (pain, sadness…..)
By itself this is not loss of control. It depends – are you OK no matter where you are & how other people react? Have you chosen an appropriate place to let loose? (Outdoors vs a small public place indoors) At a meeting vs dumping on a child or mate?…..
The KEY to healthy control is (ta-da) you HAVING a CHOICE!
➼ It’s about knowing when to do or say something & when not to, as in “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”.
• Sometimes it’s about taking a risk to act, on your behalf, for someone you love, or for the greater good. This type is not impulsive/ compulsive
• Sometimes it means being able to hold back, to wait, to be patient, to listen, to process, to plan. This type is not passivity or waiting to be rescued.
Either way – it’s always about choice. It is wisdom. It is self-esteem. It’s S & I.
Being IN CONTROL:
• comes from our True Self, which includes the ‘UNIT’ ego state (Healthy Adult + Loving Parent), allowing us to be comfortable in our skin. It’s NEVER about being perfect!
• requires a lowered level of anxiety, having gotten out a lot of our sorrow & rage
• is being in charge of our emotions, as well as – when, where & how we express them
• taking responsibility for our life choices, without self-hate, picking from available options the things that suit us
• built on having good boundaries, both in how we treat others & how we ‘let’ others treat us
• requires that our childhood rage level diminishes enough so we don’t need to take our hurt & desire for revenge out on others
• allows us to know what our needs are, permission to get them met, AND find ways to meet as many needs as possible, under the realistic circumstances of our specific personality & current life
► It’s the opposite of Being Controlling – which comes from the WIC or the PP, fueled by deep & pervasive anxiety (old terror). It’s true that children in healthier families have limited control over their lives growing up, but sadly, ACoAs had almost none.
The way we tried – & still try – to have some (unhealthy) C. was/is by:
⚰︎ hiding out, withdrawing, isolating, being invisible
⚰︎ being a know-it-all, smarter that everyone, showing off….
⚰︎ withholding, giving the silent treatment, judging, manipulating
⚰︎ trying to make everything be how we want, no matter who we hurt
⚰︎ being rebellious, doing the opposite of what the adults demanded
… BUT none of these are the real deal.
NEXT: Toxic Rules