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Control (long)

Posted by littleone on August 24, 2005, at 16:05:42

I've been in therapy hell for the last two months.

It started with me expressing a wish he could be my dad or friend, I didn't like the way he responded and things have just been spiralling out of control since then.

When is actually kind of ironic considering this is all about control.

My T says I've been trying to control therapy and him. And he's right.

I try to control *everything* in my life. People, environment, work, money, my body, my internal life, everything. Every single thing I say or do has to be carefully thought through to see what outcomes or reactions will come from it. These can be positive or negative, eg trying to get someone to like me, or trying to invoke rejection, anger, etc.

And it's over every little tiny detail.

For example, say I drove into a carpark and there were two parks available - one was big and roomy and the other was squashy because the neighbouring cars had parked on the line. I'm guessing most people would park in the roomy park because it's easier to park plus there's less danger of their cars getting dented by doors or whatever. But those reasons don't factor in at all for me. I too would choose the roomy park, but only because I would be too worried that by parking in the squashy park, the other car owners would come back and get angry at me because they had to squeeze into their cars. And even if I wasn't there to witness their anger, just knowing that they might get angry is enough to upset me.

My T says it's from a need for emotional/physical survival. One example he used was how even really minor things would set my dad off into a rage. To avoid this and protect myself from that threat, I learnt to carefully weigh up and consider every word and action and even facial expression.

My last (hopeless) T diagnosed me with depression which included "psychomotor retardation", ie really slowed down and suppressed movements/expressions/etc. I now think that for me this is more about the whole control thing rather than a symptom of the depression. I deliberately don't move or reveal any expressions in an attempt to not reveal anything and risk certain reactions from others.

My T says my silence and withdrawal is a form of control too. Even they can elicit reactions from others.

He said something that really blew my mind (even though I think a lot of you will be thinking - no sh*t Sherlock). But he mentioned one example where I would be very concerned about what other people in the waiting room think of me. Whereas if it was him in the waiting room, he couldn't care less what they thought of him. He said he'd be courteous to them, but not in an effort to get them to think positively of him, but rather just because he believes it is good to be courteous to others.

And that just floors me. I have a lot of trouble distinguishing the difference between them. To me, I would be courteous so they thought positively of me. I would also believe that it is *good* to be courteous, ie that would make me a good girl. But even that is about wanting someone (not sure if I mean the other person, or myself, or my internalised parents) to see me as a good girl. It's still about trying to control someone's reaction to me.

I'd love to hear your thougts on control.

Also, I think my T has underestimated how close I was to leaving. After prolonged and intense agonising, I finally decided to leave and booked into a new T, but there was a 1 or 2 week delay before I could see her. As I've been so unwell and unstable lately, I decided to see my current T twice more to take me up to then. So yesterday was supposed to be my last session.

I haven't yet cancelled the appointment with the new T. I know I have to and I will, but it's hard. Once I actually decided to leave my current T, she became a real safe haven for me in my mind. In fact, I'm sure I would have tried to draw comfort out of her. And even now, she remains like a safety net for me. It's hard to give that up. I want to cling to it.

I still don't trust my current T. I have this giant wound that needs guarding. I've had to work hard to keep emotional parts from making that wound vulnerable again.

PS Falls, "The Womens Comfort Book" finally arrived and it's already helped me through a very difficult weekend. Thank you for the recommendation.




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