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I'm a control freak


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Hopefully admitting it is the first step to something better.

 

I worry so much, I analyze constantly, I nag non-stop.

 

I want to be relaxed, and soft and open and sweet. I don't want to be this * * * * * * * I'm being.

 

Has anyone overcome being controlling? Any advice for me?

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If you consider the problem to be severe enough you could see a therapist. With issues such as this you can usually see a big improvement in just talking with a psychologist for a few sessions. You could also go see your doctor, explain your problem and ask for some calming meds (xanax, etc), but I wouldn't do this until after you've tried some therapy, tbh.

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I am already in therapy. I have been seeing a non-directive counsellor for 3 years now, I went back to her this summer - but I just don't feel like the talking cure is really rooting it out. I have been thinking about doing Cognitive Analytical or maybe even hypnotherapy.

 

I was on anti-depressants before - and I'm not anti-medication, but I would just love to sort this out without them.

 

I exercise 3 times a week, and I have quit drinking. My job is very stressful, and that is a major contributor.

 

My boss is very aggressive and bullying.

 

I also grew up in an awful family dynamic that is just with me all the time. The * * * * my parents did to each other and to me - I know we all have our stories guys - It's so powerful - still affecting my life all of these years later.

 

I can't trust, I can't relax, I don't like myself.

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Generally speaking, controlling others is a way of feeling 'safe' in an unsafe world. It's just an illusion, though, as others won't be controlled. Nor will the rest of the world. I guess you don't need me to tell you that!

 

From what I've seen, it's partly an issue about boundaries - where you finish, and the rest of the world starts, and sorting out what is your responsibility and what rightly belongs to others. You can't do anything to change others, but you can change your response to others ... does the nagging actually solve anything, for you or anybody else, for example?

 

I don't know if you've ever come accross a book called 'Women who Love Too Much' by Robin Norwood; it's primarily about codependency, but has some very useful chapters about letting go managing and controlling others. If the idea of a support group appeals to you, it may well be as useful if not more so than therapy.

 

Finally, be gentle with yourself, first and foremost! You developed a pattern of control in response to a dysfunctional family of origin, and at one time this really did help you survive. You are not a ******** (or whatever!), you are a valuable human being doing your best!

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Hopefully admitting it is the first step to something better.

 

I worry so much, I analyze constantly, I nag non-stop.

 

I want to be relaxed, and soft and open and sweet. I don't want to be this * * * * * * * I'm being.

 

Has anyone overcome being controlling? Any advice for me?

 

Hmm.. I think everyone is sometimes controlling. You have to put yourself in the other persons shoes and basically realise your pushing them away bybeing annoying, controlling and nagging. Specially if you're trying to be less controlling with a bf/gf/friend.

I had to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes I can be bossy/controlling but after realizing that I may be overbearing too and that that can be scary/dominating I decided to try and back off. It really puts a damper on everyones mood (or it can over time).

 

I also feel much much much more happy and relaxed when I'm not constantly nagging.

The biggest tip I can give is to first STOP LOOKING FOR FAULTS/THINGS TO CRITISIZE WHICH ARE WRONG. A few weeks back I realised unconsciously, I used to for instance come right thru the door and be like "why are the sofa's all messed up? why have you left all your stuff all over the living room?"

Not exactly the best way to greet people. They start seeing you as a police, and also become less relaxed around you.

So I just keep these things/consequences in mind when I feel I want to nag.

 

And when those thoughts come in your head and you want to nag.. maybe try and keep busy with cleaning or something else?

 

Oh and also, don't be so hard on yourself. Take it step by step. You can't change over night but trying your best is a huge step and will get you far.

 

Having a stressfull job.. YES I can imagine how much it must contribute.

 

What is it you tend to nag most about?

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Today someone directed me to The Work by Byron Katie, and I have to say I am really into it so far. There are tonnes of videos up on YouTube, and she did some great interviews with Oprah as well. I'm posting where I am so far on inquiring of my beliefs about my relationship.

 

1. Who angers, irritates, saddens, or frustrates you, and why?

 

I am angry with Bunny because he doesn't really love me, because he doesn't try to show me he loves me, because he doesn't try to understand me. Because he doesn't want me to be his wife. Because he doesn't want me to have his kids. Because he doesn't accept all of my flaws. Because he doesn't love me unconditionally.

 

2. How do you want them to change? What to you want them to do?

 

I want him to never get angry with me. I want him to never go away. I want him to always love me. I want him to not find anyone else attractive. I want him to spend all of his time with me. I want him to just listen to me. I want him to agree with me. I want him to do all of the things that I consider to show love.

 

3. What is it that they should or shouldn't do, be, think, or feel? What advice would you offer?

 

Bunny should think about me first always. Bunny should always be totally in love with me. Bunny should put me first always. Bunny should do every little thing he can think of to show me that he cares about me more than anyone. He should introduce me to his family, he should compliment me constantly. He should make love to me every day. He shouldn't ever go away from me. He shouldn't shut me out. He should fully support everything I think and say.

 

4. What do they need to do in order for you to be happy?

He needs to move in with me, ask me to marry him, and agree to having a child some time in the near future. He needs to say he will never leave me.

 

5. What do you think of them? Make a list.

Bunny is friendless, withdrawn, cold, unemotional, distant, not self-aware, not self reflective.

 

6. What is it that you don't want to experience with that person again?

 

I don't ever want to experience abandonment again. I don't ever want to feel like Bunny will leave me ever again.

 

1. Is it true?

 

Is it true that Bunny doesn't really love me?

Is it true that Bunny doesn't show me that he loves me?

Is it true that Bunny should want to marry me, or have kids?

Is it true that Bunny should love me unconditionally?

 

No, it's not true.

 

2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?

 

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

 

Does that thought bring peace or stress into your life?

It brings stress into my life.

 

What images do you see (past and/or future) when you believe that thought? Close your eyes, relax, contemplate, witness.

 

I see images of myself alone and crying, I see images of myself being on my own. I see images of myself being taken for granted. I see myself falling more and more in love and Bunny falling out of love. I see him wanting to spend more and more time away from me. I see him wanting to touch me less. I see my heart breaking. I see myself becoming a shadow and losing my confidence. I picture myself with my ex. I see myself alone. I see myself single for the rest of my life. Or I see myself with guys who aren't good enough.

 

I compare the things that Bunny does to the things that fictionalized versions of my friends and brothers would do in their relationships, or what an idealized fictional version of myself would do in relationship, then I get angry with Bunny for not being those things.

 

I think of myself as never settling down. I think of myself being old and alone with no children. I think of myself being alone and watching my friends being together with their husbands and feeling envious. I see myself on the outside, bitter. I see myself longing to have the love of a child and not being able to have it.

 

I think that I can't pass all of Bunny's tests. That I will get to a point where he will get sick of me and dump me. I think I will eventually act out in this huge way, that I am capable of so much worse than I have ever done to anyone, that I am capable of the things that were done for me, and that our relationship will never survive the awful things I’m capable of. I think I could torture Bunny and hurt him, and ruin our lives. I think my rock bottom is going to be awful and terrifying and he will not be able to accept me in those places. I see myself huge and fat, and drunk and in a violent rage, and sexually and physically abusing our kids, and cheating on him, and I feel like I know I will do all of those things, and he will not love me through them or after them.

 

Describe the feelings that happen physically when you believe that thought.

 

When I think he doesn't love me I feel sad and devastated. Physically I feel a lump in my throat, a headache, a soreness and heaviness in my chest. I find breathing difficult. I feel sick in stomach. I feel jittery.

 

When I think he doesn't show me love I get very angry. I feel like he should be punished. I get hot and full of rage - my body feels big and strong and like I could kill him.

 

When I think he doesn’t want children or to settle down, I feel a little empty and sick. I feel like I will have wasted my life.

 

When I think he will not be able to love me unconditionally, which I feel I need because I am ultimately unlovable, I feel ashamed. I feel dirty and sick and rotten and ashamed. I feel like I am evil and capable of anything nasty or bad. I feel like, I am just a bad person.

 

When I think he should love me unconditionally and he can't, I feel sick and panicky in my stomach. I feel guilty and ashamed. I feel like nothing. I feel like I can be found out. I get huge headaches, and high blood pressure.

 

How do you treat that person and others when you believe that thought?

 

When I think he doesn't love me, I treat Bunny suspiciously and with contempt. I treat him as though he is a scumbag. I defend against him constantly. And defence is the first act of war. I am miserable in general when I think that thought. I am dried up and shrivelled and I treat everyone with contempt and suspicion. I don't behave freely and generously.

 

When I think he doesn't show me love I treat him really badly - I freeze him, or scream at him, I criticize everything he is doing. I call him names. I keep saying angry things to him until I can see I have hurt him.

 

When I think he doesn't want to settle down with me, I hound him for reassurance. I pressure him to say exactly what I want him to say. I get really angry with him when he doesn't say those things. When I think we should get married, I feel panicky, like I am not living up to other people's expectations.

 

When I believe he should love me unconditionally I start to treat him as a totem, or an icon for all my life - for all my missed love, for my parents in particular. I take out all my rage on him. I take out all my victimhood on him. I set him up to fail, because no-one can be in a relationship without conditions, although if they are special and unique like he is, they may be able to love people without conditions, even while they don’t condone the behaviour. I can't even love myself without conditions. There are actions I could take that I wouldn’t be able to love myself for. The actions that I fear would drive him away, would drive me away from myself. I wouldn't love him if he did the things my parents did. I can't even love my parents for those things or through those things, or reconcile or forgive those things.

 

How do you treat yourself when you think that thought?

I treat myself badly when I think that he doesn't love me. I'm not engaged in my life. I don't express passion for anything else, I just fixate on love, and not getting it. I don't take care of myself. I don't feel like I am worth taking care of.

 

By attacking him, I am attacking myself when I think he doesn't show me enough love. I embarrass myself and disrespect myself and I lead myself into acting in ways I detest.

 

By trying to force him to commit to me, I feel desperate, and sad and without self respect, without self restraint. I think I am a total failure when I think of being husbandless and childless.

 

By expecting unconditional love, I treat myself like a needy child. I make myself into a child throwing a tantrum. I really dislike myself. I think of myself as weak and pathetic.

 

What addictions/obsessions begin to manifest when you think that thought? (Alcohol, credit cards, food, the TV remote)

I begin to manifest problems with food, alcohol, and withdraw to tv/internet usage (over and above relationships) when I believe that thought. I begin to just try to numb up and disappear.

 

When I think he doesn't show me enough love, I fantasise about being single or getting attention from another guy - to "show Bunny". I would never do that, but I visualize it.

 

When I think he should give me unconditional love but can't, I become addicted to wounded victim thinking. I just go through the victim act litany over and over. Magnifying little things into big things. Projecting into the future – he will never be able to love me through the tough times.

 

Where and what did that thought first occur to you (at what age)?

The first time I didn't feel lovable - I think I felt that my whole life. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and being forced to eat cubes of fat by Dad. I was probably only 6/7/8 years old.

The first time I didn't feel loved by Bunny was immediately. As soon as we got together it was thrumming there in the back of my mind. I was 30.

 

When did I first think he wasn't showing me enough love? As soon as we got together. I have always been feeling that I'm not loved, and no one is showing me enough love.

 

When did I first think he didn't want to marry me or have kids? As soon as he told me he was unsure about having children. Even though he has told me that he will have them with me, and that he will settle down with me, I keep going back and beating myself up with the Never belief.

 

I have never felt like I've received unconditional love. Maybe for moments… Actually, this is another belief I should inquire of at another stage.

 

Who's business are you in when you think that thought?

When I think he doesn't love me, I am in his business - I cannot control that.

When I think he doesn't show me love, I am in his business. I cannot control that.

When I think he should want to marry me and have kids, I am in his business.

When I think he should love me unconditionally I am in his business.

When I think I should be loved unconditionally, I am in God's business.

 

What do you get for holding onto that belief?

I get to hold onto being a victim. I get to not take responsibility for my actions, i.e. not being lovable. I get to bundle Bunny's relationship to me, into a much longer story about my relationship with men, and about my relationship with myself. This inclusion into that longer story makes me blameless, and powerless. It means I don't have to take responsibility for outcomes. It means that if things don't work out, it was because of the other person.

 

When I hold onto the belief that he is not showing me enough love, I get to hold onto being righteous, and I get to hold onto being on the higher ground - he is not doing this for me, I am the victim.

 

I can attach all of my fears to that thought, since he has expressed doubts about it. I can use that thought to make the other ones plausible and concrete, i.e. if he loved me he would want kids with me.

 

When I think he should love me unconditionally I get to be righteously injured. I have a right to his love, and he is denying me, thereforee he is injuring me.

 

What do you fear would happen if you didn't believe that thought?

I'm afraid that if I didn't believe the thought, I would relax and just let myself be loving and happy and open, and then I would be devastated when I was inevitably wrong again.

 

I'm afraid if I didn't believe he wasn't doing enough to show me he loves me, that I would stop watching him like a hawk and then get taken for granted and hurt and abused.

 

If I didn't believe that thought, I'm afraid I would be open to him, before he was open to me, and I would really love him deeply and I would inevitably be hurt.

 

If I didn't believe I was entitled to his unconditional love I would be afraid that I was really just alone in the world. That I was just on my own all the way through it. I would be afraid of the consequences of conditional love - conditional love would mean I will fail. I will fall, I am so far from perfect I would fail and lose him.

 

4. Who would you be without the thought?

Close your eyes and drop your story just for a moment; notice, who would you be without that thought? Who would you be without your story?

 

I would be way more confident. I would feel sexy. I would feel powerful and attractive. I would be funnier and lighter. I would be very relaxed in our relationship. I would be nicer to be around - I would be lovely to be around. I would be ok with little things being beyond my control. I would be ok with big things going differently. I would take a chance on doing things Bunny's way. I would be able to recognise and appreciate the good things he does for me, instead of just concentrating on and mostly inventing the bad.

 

If I didn't think he wasn't doing enough to show me that he loved me, I would recognise all of the ways he shows me love. I'd enjoy them, revel in them. I'd be free. I’d magnify all the beautiful things that he does for me.

 

If I didn't think he didn't want to marry me or have kids with me, if I didn't expect that from him, I would just journey with getting to know him better. I would just put my efforts into knowing him and learning from him. I would just love him naturally in the moments we have together, and be happy with that. I would just enjoy our relationship, and let it evolve naturally. I would let him work out what he needed out of life, and I wouldn’t make his answer pressurized.

 

If I didn't think he owed me unconditional love, I would act as though I knew love was conditional. I would be more gentle and caring towards him. If I thought I owe myself unconditional love I would be so sure, so confident, so good to myself. If I thought god would give me unconditional love, my spirit could open up, I could have a dialogue with someone who would always love me. I could have a relationship with someone who would always be there.

 

Turn the thought around.

Statements can be turned around to the self, to the other, to the opposite (and other occasional variations). Replace an object with "my thinking".

 

Find a minimum of three genuine, specific examples for the turnarounds that are as true or truer than your original statement.

 

Bunny doesn't not really love me.

Bunny does really love me. There is so much evidence for that.

I really don't love me. I don't take care of myself or believe in myself or bolster myself. I at the bottom of it all believe this thought that I am unlovable. I keep repeating it to myself and living out my life as though that thought is so true, and so powerful, that I'm totally defenceless against it. That it will always be true.

I really don't love Bunny. I don't care for him like I should. I don't make him a priority or put him first. I'm so worried about myself, and how he feels about me, I am not thinking about how he feels, or how he would like to be loved.

I am angry with myself because I don't really love myself. I am angry because I let my life go this way, and get based around other people, rather than directly for myself.

 

Bunny shows me that he loves me. Bunny is really thoughtful and loving.

I don't show Bunny that I love him. I show him unlove, harshness, nastiness, I retain my love instead of letting it flow out to him.

I don't show me that I love me. I rush time with myself, I am impatient to myself. I am not gentle on myself. I don't invest time in treating myself to loving experiences.

I do show Bunny that I love him. I am capable of doing that, I am not a bad person, I have the skills to show him love, and I just need to focus them and practice them more.

I do show myself that I love myself. I just need to take it more seriously, and give to myself more. I need to cultivate that healthy love for myself, and let it become a natural part of my life.

 

Bunny doesn't absolutely not want to get married or have kids.

I don't want to get married or have kids!! That’s as true as the original statement. I am not sure, neither is he – we are only figuring out what we want out of life.

My thinking about marriage and kids is unhealthy. It's focussed on what I can get out of it.

My thinking about marriage and kids and Bunny is unhealthy. I don't just let him work out what he wants.

Marriage and kids are not things that everyone should have.

Marriage and kids are not necessary for my happiness.

Marriage and kids are not necessary for Bunny's happiness.

Bunny doesn't have to want to have kids and get married for me to love him.

Bunny doesn't have to want to have kids and get married for me to be happy.

 

 

Bunny does not owe me unconditional love.

I don't owe Bunny unconditional love.

I owe myself unconditional love.

Bunny gives me love. Bunny gives me more love than I deserve from him sometimes.

I am not open to unconditional love.

I am not open to unconditional love from Bunny.

I am not open to unconditional love from myself.

I am not open to unconditional love from God. At all.

I am terrified of recognizing the unconditional love of my mother. No matter how she behaves the love is always there. Like my love for her is always there.

I am even more terrified of recognizing the unconditional love of my father. No matter how he behaved his love was always there too. Like my love for him is there, no matter what he did.

 

Embracing Reality

I am willing to experience abandonment again. I will definitely experience abandonment again in my life. It will definitely happen. It is part of life. Bunny may leave me. I am willing for that to happen, if that is the way that my life goes, it is because I haven’t learnt enough, or because we aren’t compatible. I will survive it. I can overcome my fear of abandonment.

 

I am willing to feel that Bunny will leave me again. If I don’t feel that feeling of us being in danger, if I don’t monitor myself and our relationship for that possibility I will not be able to learn, I will not be able to prevent it from happening, I will not be able to grow and understand myself better.

 

I am grateful for this danger for getting me to wake up.

 

I am grateful for this danger for showing me I need to get to the absolute root of my issues.

 

I am grateful to this danger for giving me a mirror.

 

I am grateful to this danger for showing me I am not a victim.

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