Wound Up

Jenny Two Times came for the weekend and as much as it pains me to admit it, I did not show her a good time. Unless your idea of a good time is when one of your best friends dumps a bunch of emotional crap on your lap, acts grouchy and pissy, and provides a blow up bed that slowly leaves you touching the floor by 4am and then drags you around trying to find an alternate solution.

Lucky for me Jenny Two Times knows how to handle my emotional outbursts. That’s what happens when you’re like family. I can be an uber-bitch all day and then the next morning, cry to her about what’s bothering me and then move past it.

Except, I guess I haven’t really moved past it. I’m writing about it aren’t I?

My friends tease me about being a control freak. They might refer to it as being anal retentive or bossy or inflexible or wound up tight. Anyone who knows me has seen it. I know this about myself and try to laugh it off. “Yeah, I’m totally like that. Isn’t it annoyingly endearing? Ha ha ha.”

Actually, no. It’s not. Not to me.

I am not sure I can adequately describe to you what it feels like internally to be that way. To be a certain way that you’ve been for as long as you can remember, but to know that it’s not a quality people necessarily admire in you nor is it a quality you particularly like in yourself. Except, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP. When I try to not be controlling, I do not feel like myself. I start to feel panicked. I feel anxious. I feel like I am letting everyone down. I feel angry at myself. I feel lost. I realize how irrational this might sound but it’s how I feel. Feelings aren’t often logical.

I hate this about myself. It’s a big reason why I don’t think I am very good at long term relationships. It’s a main reason why I beat myself up all the time. Being fat or being a control freak- take your pick. On any given day those two are probably battling it out inside me. Which one gets to wear the crown today?

I am really hoping therapy can help me unlearn this behavior because I am clear: I do not want to live like this anymore. It’s emotionally exhausting and damaging.

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30 thoughts on “Wound Up

  1. Ugh, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I’m glad you have a friend you can vent to, you know? But that doesn’t help the issue. I do think that therapy might be able to help you tone down the control thing without getting rid of it. Because some desire to be in control is GOOD. It makes you ambitious and proactive and means that people won’t walk all over you. So maybe you just need a bit more equilibrium in that regard?

  2. It took me about five years to unlearn that behavior but I did it. Of course, I had a breaking point in my life where everything changed but it happened. The best thing to remember is that the world will rotate without you and that people are grown ups. I’m not saying that to be harsh because I have to remind myself of that every single day. πŸ™‚

  3. Awww…try not to beat yourself up about these facts. You have recognized that you have these traits and you are working on resolving them. Give yourself the credit and a break.

  4. Big hugs. Be kind with yourself. Big habits are hard to break, it takes time and beating up on yourself won’t make it go any faster.
    xoxo

  5. You can do it — it’s all about balance. And recognizing that you don’t like yourself the way you are is an important first step. Hang in there, hon. I have every confidence in ya!

  6. Is this something for the surrender box (I kid)?

    No, I struggle with this too. Living with someone has really made me face this, because surprise surprise, my husband does not like me trying to control him.

  7. Here’s the way I look at it–
    the thing you are upset about is the JUDGING those controlling/anal qualities, and that those undesirable qualities apply to YOU. You do not like those unlikable qualities, and while you can cut yourself some slack on being “fat”, which you know really isn’t so-true as it is a feeling you have about yourself on a given bad day? You know people will love you as you are. The problem with being angry with yourself about the “controlling” is, it is based on Fear feelings, and LOSS of control. Fat doesn’t make you feel afraid, but lack of control sure does. Fear is what will make you act-out, too.

    It’s okay to face your Fear, and it’s okay to realize you have some control issues. It doesn’t make you an unlikable person. When you see what the cause-root of a trait is, it loses some power over you, so keep exploring! That you have Fear or weakness doesn’t make you a coward, or unworthy. Honest. *hugs*

  8. I think you are fantastic, just the way you are. So does Jen, I’m sure. If I didn’t have friends who let me drop all guards and just scream my fool head off from time to time, I think I might just go insane. Muchas lovas to you today, babe. From both of us.

  9. Thank you for that post today as I am feeling uber out of controlly and needed to remember it’s ok to let that happen. You have to remember that too, it’s ok to not have control all the time. Although I bet that’s one of those things about you that makes you good at your job πŸ™‚

  10. I feel for you, Sizzle- it’s not easy to dislike something about yourself that you feel you can’t change. I got all kinds of issues like that. I think you should give yourself a break and relax a little, though- you know what you want to change, and you’re doing something about it. As long as you don’t throw in the towel you’re on the right track.

  11. Like to be in control all the time? Feel like you’re spiraling downwards when you’re not? Perhaps you’re also a perfectionist? If so, you sound like someone I know (me). Don’t beat yourself up about it hon. This is going to sound cliched or silly but it does work sometimes, take a deep breath, close your eyes and count to ten. And always try to find an outlet for your stress, like your swim class.
    Just remember, you are a good hearted, smart, gorgeous woman. Don’t ever forget that.

  12. It could be said that a Take Charge, Git ‘er Done, Type A, Leader is a Control Freak. It could be said that Botticelli’s totally hot depiction of Venus portrays her in dire need of a few hundred sit-ups. It could be said that perhaps you ought to stop trying so hard to be someone you aren’t and instead step over to a different perspective which acknowledges, embraces and loves the kickass positives of who you are.

    Of course, it could be argued that cultivating such an Acceptional self-view is naught but rationalization and will bear no fruit other than a headfull of overripe ego. In my experience, the world will pluck and peck yer ego to the pits before it ever gets a chance to fully ripen, so the more you can produce the better off y’ll be.

  13. I think there should be a healthy balance of accepting the inner controller inside you and knowing when to let go when things aren’t going exactly your way. That way, you keep the stuff that is you, but dump the parts you find unattractive. Make sense? I hope you do find that inner balance. Aren’t we all searching for it in one way or another?!

  14. At least you know that about yourself and are willing to do something about it. THAT is the first step.

    Recoqnize the pattern, know your triggers and when you get that way you’ll see it about to happen, then distract your learned behavior by doing the opposite. Say it outloud. I am NOT going to freak out. This is NOT going to get the better of me. This is NOT a big deal. I don’t need to control this.

    yeah… easier said then done but hey…it might help.

  15. I am very similar in that I know I am high strung and controlling and I know people do not like the aspect of my personality but I feel powerless to change. This is who I am. I cannot count the number of times people have told me I just need to relax. And then I want to stab them in the knee because really, who wants to be told to relax? I hope you find your peace, whether it be accepting your(controlling)self as stands or trying to change.

  16. I think every person has qualities that might be on the negative side or you wish you could change — but I think it’s your positive side that far outshines that and the numerous great friends you have proves that. I’m sure that you’ve been there for all your friends at some point or another, so it’s okay that they’re for you sometimes (even though as a fellow control freak, it’s easier said than done).

  17. I feel like I could have written this (only you make it so much clearer, ha ha!). I have been struggling so much with control and anxiety lately, I hate who it is making me. I am thinking about talking to someone about it as well. Good luck πŸ™‚

  18. Oh, those habits that are so ingrained in us are so hard to part with, no matter how hard we try. (see also: must make sure everyone is happy and likes me) But I think every baby step we make toward our ultimate goal is a big one. Plus, not to be totally cheesers, recognizing the behavior we want to change is half the battle!

  19. Jenny Two Times sounds like a great friend to have around! Try not to beat yourself up too much. You could be irrational, bitchy, mean, conniving, vindict, selfish or self-centered! But you are sweet, sensitive, kind, funny, endearing, witty and charming. I am sure to your real life family and friends, those characteristics in you far outweigh anything else. But I know how you feel when you have something about you that you want to change…at least you are doing something about it. Be proud of you!

  20. Yeah, that control thing can be a problem. I know, but the important thing is recognizing it and making an effort. Plus it sounds like your friends love you and accept you for you and that’s pretty cool.
    I have been following your friend Shana’s blog and I am just heartbroken for her. So fucked up! I have thought about her a lot this last week.

  21. Remember that the anxious side is only one aspect of you. You may not like that part much, but think of all the other amazing qualities you DO like. You are an awesome person. An awesome package.

    When I was in therapy, anxiety and control issues were a big topic of conversation. One of the things I remember most is my therapist telling me it was okay not to hold myself to such high standards. It’s okay to let go. People will still love you and you can still love yourself if everything’s not perfect.

    I think the more you practice letting go, the easier it will get. And eventually you will feel like “you” even if you’re not holding the reigns so tight.

  22. It is wonderful to have friends that accept you as you are. Isn’t it great to have a safe place to be yourself even when you aren’t crazy about the self you are being? I know it wasn’t your first choice, but sometimes it is necessary to just let your feelings out even when they aren’t your favorite way to be. Lucky you to have a friend that knows how to deal with it and doesn’t get too upset.

    I like to control things too, and the past few days have been very much not myself because everything seems so out of my control and unpredictable.

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