Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On being a Control Freak

I am a control freak. I don't like the unexpected, unless it happens during a timeslot that I've set aside for it. I am very good at reading people so I basically know what to expect from them in any situation, and i shy away from testing the waters by going outside safe territory with them. If they do go outside the expected and act immoraly, say, or unpleasantly, I immediately drop them because I don't like unpleasant feelings and I try to avoiud them at all costs, or at least delegate them to given times, when I know I'll be expecting them.
This need to control the world around me has made me more and more introverted and made me withdraw from other people, more and more. I've lived an exciting life and been in a lot of dangerous situations which I've mostly been able to turn around, but I'm less and less willing to take that risk. Sometimes I do get bored and want some adventure, so I'll slot in a new, unpredictable adventure, such a sdoing difficult bushwalks in unfamiliar places, or visiting new churches, learning a new religion, visiting pagan religious festivals, trying new walking trails with my dog. Each of these has grought new friends, new excitement and unpredictability and I love that. For a while. And then I need peace- to stay away from people, to become a hermit and be invisible for a while. I can't live up to people's expectations- I never could- I never wanted to. Whenever anyone looks up to me, I tend to bail. If anyone starts to think I'm special, I go out of my way to make them doubt their opinion of me so I can just melt into obscurity and be a nobody. Being a nobody is a safe option. No one picks on the invisible- it's the people who stand out that get burnt at the stakes, or persecuted, or raped. In the invisible state you aren't faced with moral dilemnas, you don't have to pretend, your world is quiet and predictable which means you can, to some extent, make it a perfect little world. Should some calamity happen to break that perfect world, then I just switch over to adventure mode and deal with that. I allocate a slot for dealing with it in my to do list and then suddenly it is manageable and under my control. That is why I'm glad when I have no e-mails or comments on my blog- no unexpected interactions, no unexpected emotions to hit me when I don't want to feel them. Sure, I like to feel excitement sometimes- but not outside of its planned timeslot. I lkike dealing with people, but not outside the planned timeslot- it's unexpected, I'm not prepared, I might blow it and say the wrong thing. I'm obsessed with being perfect, when I'm not I hate myself.
The roots ofr this were of course that my parents expected me to be perfect, and also, if anything, anything at all went wrong for them they could find a way to blame it on me. By being very very careful about every word I said and everything I did I could avoid their wrath about 70% of the time. I took that into my interactions with other people, even my own family- always be perfect in everything you say and everything you do and the world will be sweet. It works- I'm close to my husband and my children and I've been married for over 23 years. Still, this means people are work for me. I'm always afraid I'll screw up. I wonder if I'll ever get better?

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