Control Freaks

January 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm 1 comment


I’ve been meticulously making lists for the wedding, doing drive bys of venues, looking into doing my own flowers, and I finally found a dress. The one thing that is keeping me from bridezilla territory is really lack of a diva worthy budget. The other day when I was talking to my friend about it  (she’s also engaged and is planning her own spring wedding) I realized how controlling of a person I am. I guess I’ve always been a controlling person, but having something like a wedding to focus my efforts on may have just magnified the situation enough for me to see it in a more obvious light.

I started to wonder (as I always seem to do lately) WHY I’m such a control freak.  Is it just in my nature? Or is it really another manifestation of the effect of “the primal wound” upon me? My personal theory is that since I was “abandoned” I decided subconsciously that people couldn’t be trusted and I would instead rely on myself. I feel good when I’m in control of a situation. I feel safe when I know exactly what time we’re supposed to be at point a and point b. I’m not the kind of person who just “goes with the flow”. I like to KNOW.

It’s not really only adopted people who are like this either. My mom was always a controlling, had to have the last word, stubborn woman. Much like me, she liked to “know” and felt safe when she did. Unlike me, she wasn’t adopted, but I do believe she was abused as a child. That type of lack of control in a situation might also lead someone to (like me) be a control freak since all we are really doing is overcompensating for a lack of control in past situation that allowed us to be hurt. Really all we’re trying to do is prevent ourselves from being hurt again.

Another different aspect of that was brought to my attention by a question asked on Yahoo! Answers in the adoption forum. The question was  “Do You Think Adoptive Parents are Controlling Types?”. Obviously there are all types of controlling people including adoptive parents, biological parents, non parents, kids, monkeys….you get my drift. But there do seem to be a lot of well, control challenged adoptive parents. I know my mom was, and I know of other adoptees who say that their parents were controlling growing up.

I wonder if that is more because they type of people who become adoptive parents are really type A, hyper vigiliant, stubborn people, or if it is because they are also trying to overcompensate and in a sense make it seem like their kids are their “real” kids, because they might be trying to live up to the whole “pool, pony, unicorn” thing a little too much, or if they are scared their kids might really go back to their “real” parents.

Focusing more on the last of the things I mentioned above, I started thinking about something my own mom told me once when I told her(in explaining to her why I was pushing them all away)  I was afraid that when I moved out I would no longer be part of the family, that they would all move on without me.

“Well,” she said, “Sometimes we create what we fear.”

I think she got that from Dr. Phil. As much as I dislike Dr. Phil, I think that statement is particularly true. In the case of adoptive parents being “controlling”, they may be trying to control a situation that they don’t have control over by being unwilling to reason with their kids, by not being open to talking about adoption and the traumatic effects it has, by demanding their kids be grateful, they will ultimately create that which they fear by pushing their kids away with those controlling behaviors. I mean, think about it, why would you want to come to your parents and include them in your search at all if they are going to make you feel like pond scum for doing it? A lot of parents don’t say outright that they are against it, in fact a lot of them say they are all for their kids searching. How many of them are being genuine when they say that? The secure ones I believe. The insecure adoptive parents who grasp at straws and cry that their kids are “different” from other adopted kids are the ones I don’t believe.

Going back to the reasons that people like me and my mom are control freaks (overcompensating to prevent being hurt in a situation where we have lack of control), I wonder why it is that some people (such as my adopted sister who is not controlling) who have faced similar circumstances as we have, did not turn out controlling? What is it that they clung to after the “primal wound” as a method of survival? Are they more naturally trusting people to begin with? Have they evolved past people like my mom and myself to a place where they are comfortable with change, and able to relinquish control? Where was I the day that they taught that in school???

My sister’s situation was a lot milder than mine, but I still believe she too was inflicted by the “primal wound” when she was relinquished. Unlike me who constantly pushed people away, my sister was a lovely, friendly, outgoing child. My parents compared us a lot and her demeanor being so contrary to mine was probably large in part why they could never believe that adoption traumatized either one of us.  Maybe it is just really beyond my understanding because I do not understand her since we are so different. I think she is a “closet” control freak who seeks order in her own unique way. After all, no one ever said that a control freak has to be a domineering, stubborn bitch like I am. I see her as a very open person who lets a lot of people in, but never goes very deep into anything with anybody. Perhaps it is her desire to be liked that controls her life, rather than my own desire for solitude and control.

I am starting to think there is a little control freak inside of all of us. I can’t think of anyone I know that doesn’t desire control, doesn’t need it, doesn’t use it to their advantage. Control can be a beautiful thing. It can make us feel safe, help us survive.


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A Ghost The Soundtrack to My Life

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Adopted Jane  |  March 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hey 🙂
    Im a control freak, a mega control freak, no one can do anything the same way as I can, and when I try to allow someone to do something because I’m too sick, too tired, whatever, I start to let them and then in a heartbeat I take over – with a sigh – oh its ok Let me do it or I’LL Do it…and then I get shitty because no one is helping me :p lol go figure !
    I tell you its a vicious cycle.
    One thing that terrifies me is dying..there is ZERO control over any of that , when how etc ..It sits in my subconcious and knaws at me … Im trying very hard to over come that.
    Nope my control freakish nature comes from being abandoned, adopted out and a controlling (but loving) adoptive mother.
    (((hugs to you)))


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