I am a control freak, I temper it, it takes work. Last week I said I was going to go visit my mom, she is the queen. Don’t get me wrong, we had a very nice visit, I love my mom dearly, but a couple of times I might have lifted an eyebrow to something she said but if I have learned anything in my 48 years, you don’t cross the queen!
She is well intended (mostly) but bossy, telling me where to go, where to park, how to get my tea…..she likes control. She will be the first to tell you that she likes her life like she likes it and that’s why she has a cat (she is pretty bossy to her too!).
I also consider myself pretty controlling (bossy). Maybe most of us are. I know that when I feel in control I feel safe and safety is huge for me. When my kids came on the scene I discovered that I had to make a choice between a fairly calm joyful mom or a raging angry bossy mom…..I feel like I picked the former, however my girls might say differently.
I grew up not knowing what was going to happen next, I had no control. Big fights were actually easier to handle because you knew what was coming, the screaming was a good indicator. It was the dinners when everyone was seemingly fine and then a plate would be catapulted at the wall, corn being scatter shot all over the place. What the hell!?!?!
I learned to protect myself, to figure out how to cope with the powerlessness I felt, the uncertainty. One of the results however is that I crave control. I need it. Without it I actually feel frantic, like a mountain lion is about to pounce and I can’t do anything about it. I hate it. My brain goes into overdrive and I end up dredging up every little thing I can–great way to completely avoid showing up!
When I feel out of control I often retreat to my home, Which translates into that I spend a lot of time at home as let’s face it, we as humans don’t have control over much.
I am trying to utilized some of those tools I have hoarded in that tool box of mine to let go of patterns created to protect. In fact, my last therapy appointment (2 days ago) consisted of having a conversation with the Amy that wants to keep me safe and the Amy that wants to choke that Amy…..yea it was a little strange, but effective…..I think. The me that wants to keep me safe really causes me a lot of problems. I don’t take the chances that I want to take, I run from relationships, I don’t show up. The feeling of anxiety and fear that comes over me is so real, paralyzing.
One of the tools that has helped me is so very simple. I tell myself “I am safe”. I manage my breath and say it over and over. Another tool is Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. Count down 5, 4, 3, 2,1 and take an action however small it might seem. Often it is letting go of a thought that keeps circling in my head.
I am trying to be kind to that other Amy, the one who believes there is a mountain lion around every corner. She took care of me through some pretty tough times but now I’d like her to know that I’ve got this. I don’t have control over much in life, from what I’ve been told, just me and most times that doesn’t even feel true. But I know I am tired of living the life I have lived, the “safe” one. I want to show up!
We are in a fabulous time as women, we are starting to be heard, stepping out to be seen. I want to be a part of all of it, I will be!
Until next time, be kind to yourself!