Thursday, November 13, 2008

A whole other side to anal retentiveness

I married into a family of control freaks. My mother is one, too. I have discovered that I am a bit control freakish myself. Over the years, as I have precariously straddled two these two families while creating my own (no wonder so many marriages fail), I have learned a few things about the need to control.

There are those that need to control the actions of others, like my father-in-law. There are those that need to control the emotions of others, like my mother. And there those that just need to control their little corner of the world, like me.

The other thing I have discovered is that most of these compulsions to control are completely futile. Successfully controlling others actions or emotions does not bring happiness, as is so clearly demonstrated by both my father-in-law and my mother (two woefully unhappy people).

I am slowly learning to relinquish that need to control. Except, yesterday I was in a heated battle to control my daughter's bowel movements (or at least control exactly where they ended up).

My three-year old is mighty. She is funny and smart and strong and stubborn. She is honest to a fault, grumpy until she has her morning cup of milk and always in the mood for a party with loud music and beverages. She is a tiny carbon copy of her dad (just with different beverage choices and less facial hair). I am totally powerless in the face of either of them when they are determined.

So my littlest one comes very naturally by her need to control. However, when I say my daughter is anal retentive, I really mean it. We'll see who "wins" today.


Rockzee said...

Another great reminder. I'm a control freak, too, and I think it causes a lot of stress on my marriage. Why can't I just let him be?

Great post.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I realized last year that I had formed a life where I was surrounded by cntrol freaks. I bought a book from Amazon, Being Perfect: When being in control gets out of control. It was eye opening and helped me understand the people in my life. I used to be more controling, but losing that part of myself was one of the silver linings of going through cancer.