Thursday, June 15, 2006

A journey into how one becomes a control freak

During my counseling session on Wednesday evening, one of the issues Dr. P said he would really like us to work on is my need for control. Of course, I have several previous posts on this...and I KNOW this is a big issue for me. But, the theme he said that lingers through everything we have talked about thus far (and that I couldn't see until he said it) is that I am looking for an insurance policy to my life, and more specifically, one to ensure that the next pregnancy is a sticky one. Unfortunately for me, I can't say he's wrong...and I HATE being wrong!

So, since I am talking about my control issues (and subsequent lack-there-of over the past year or so), this got me to thinking How exactly did I end up BEING such a control freak?

Let us take a little trip back to my early childhood...Rather uneventful really: Never really did without things I wanted, certainly never went hungry, spent my entire summers at the Jersey shore with my grandparents at their vacation house, had nice parties and such. I was happy, and much loved. The only real sore-spot to my childhood was the constant fighting my parents did...week after week, always about the same things. I promised myself at that time that, when I was older, my marriage wouldn't involve such fighting...and I wouldn't allow my children to have to go through it. This, I suppose, could be the cornerstone to the control issues: refusing to end up like my mom. She is such a wonderful person, but allows everyone to walk all over her.

We made the "big move" when I was in the middle of 5th grade (one town over - Haha!) - my old school district was desegregating the school system, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it was forcing us to have to go across town to school when we had a local school we could walk to. So, when we moved, I started Catholic school...where, I quickly learned that my public school education was rather "inferior." The first question Sister Gilbert (she would remind you of Darth Vader in a white habit) asked me to do in English: Diagram a sentance. I said, "Dia-what?" Out of sheer embarassment of not knowing how to do that AT ALL, I learned very quickly and became on of the best in the class. So, here stands another brick to the control wall: refusing to be at the bottom of the totem pole in school.

When I was ready for high school, I chose to go to an all-girls Catholic high school. I was in the honors classes...and my grades were usually very good (not 4.0, but honor's list most of the time). But, I was one of those people who had the most organized lockers...and "color coded" notebooks...and pencil cases...and nearly decorated locker door... See the pattern forming? I was too neat and organized. What was I thinking? I was involved in so many things...and loved it. I think is where I started to really develop my "craft."

In college, I was always the "mamma hen" to our group...rarely drank, and was always the one to count on to walk a very intoxicated friend home safely. I was the one to organize the chores in the house we rented in our Junior and Senior year. Then, there are my notebooks for class...neatly organized, legible, way too organized. Everyone wanted to borrow my notebooks to copy from because the notes were complete.

It was in college that I really started taking different jobs or involving myself in different activities that always involved a leadership role: supervising others and correcting their mistakes. By the time I graduated college, I was working as a TA in the Psych Department and my hours went to 9-10 pm at night (sometimes on Friday's). I loved what I was doing...but I also liked the control I had on how things were handled, and how the professor I worked for relied on me.

In the two jobs I have had (specifically, my current one) since graduation, I started out in one position, but then was quickly moved into something else when I proved I had the chops. Yet again, I worked longer hours, corrected problems that came up...blah, blah, blah. I have certainly perfected my craft now.

Control over things in your life has a rush that parallels other things that can be addictive... You know how things will turn out because you saw it through every step of the way.

But, there are obviously things you cannot control, and I am trying to re-learn how to accept that. Here are two cases where I was able to do that and the end results were what they needed to be:

  • Hubby and I were high school sweethearts...met my freshman year and dated all through high school. When I left for college, we agreed to date other people - we didn't want to rush into marriage, especially me. In my senior year, Hubby started law school and was having a very hard time adjusting (which he failed to tell me when it was happening). So, between the physical distance, his issues with school and my deciding what my next step in life would be, we started to drift apart. When I came home, we were barely speaking. I decided that, if we were meant to be, we would...and I didn't push. After a few weeks, we got back into talking and began to work things out...and rediscover each other. And, well, the rest is history.

  • When Hubby and I decided that TTC on our own wasn't working, we contacted Dr. D about it. Since, at that time, I was so new to the medical interventions, I really didn't know what to expect - or what I could control. So, we went through the testing, the ultrasounds, the bloodwork, the insemination just trusting Dr. D and his knowledge. Lo and behold, I got PG in the first cycle with Chris...and I was able to enjoy that pregnancy in total ignorance of what was to come with TTC again.

  • The question is: How do I get myself back to that point of letting things go, and allow thing to be what they will be? And, how do I balance that while still being my own best advocate?

    The first step, which I am trying to do now, is just trust again in letting things come to me when they need to. I did that with the recurrent loss panel - I didn't stalk Dr. D for the results (even though we were pushing 4 weeks since the blood draw), and he called with the problem at the right time for me. We are starting to address it now, and I am doing my research, but I am not pushing like there is a deadline to meet.

    I know I can do this, it will just take some time.


    Joy said...

    Very candid. Got me thinking of where some things started in my life... what an honest entry, Tina.

    I've always struggled with the saying, "Ignorance is Bliss." Thought it was a stupid saying - I think it may be more right on than I'm willing to admit.

    Jessica said...

    If I had the answer, I'd help myself much more because I too am a control freak and hate that I can't control things! I often have to work through things in my mind and 'let go' too. I hope you are able to succeed in what you need to do