I finally understand why I have been such a control freak all my life. It’s because I have rarely been in situations that have not been controlled in one way or another. I panic when control is lost, because the reality is control is comfort for me.
It started with my mom, she loved control, but from stories I get the sense that her parents were even more hectic than she was. My mother and cleanliness on are on a level of their own. I mean cleanliness is great, but yoh, I’m really happy to see her relax as she ages and realises that a fork in the sink will not end the world. (I’m exaggerating mom) I get it, when you are in control you feel safe and feeling safe in those days were important because alot was going on with brown people and white people and Apartheid here in South Africa. So I get it, saftey and control was a matter of survival, and to date we hold onto it like its the very breath that we breathe. My mom chose a career from one of the few things coloured women were allowed to choose back then, she was a teacher, I honestly do not know how she managed, but she was a brilliant teacher and she genuinley had the heart for it.
My dad was into control too, but kinda different from my mom, his was more of a mind control, observe and quitley coerce people into seeing it his way kinda guy. My dad has a brilliant mind, he could have been anything in my opinion, but again limited by Apartheid our men had to be some sort of tradesman and of course my dad was an amazing tradesman ( I’m clearly biased). He started as a carpenter and moved to shopfitting… I loved how he used to take me on site with him as a child. It moulded me into that tomboy child that ran a mock on sites instead of wearing pretty dresses and playing with makeup.
I turned out to be a solid mix of both these humans, and then a sprinkle of just me on top. Control practised in all senses of the word, I even find control when I’m spiralling out of control. I look at my life and it hasnt been a bad life, its been pretty darn good actually. But something has been niggling at me for the longest time. The word freedom. I feel like my greatest frustration is not being free. Free to really just do what I feel is best and free to not feel guilty about disagreeing with certain things.
I mean, first school controlled me, do as you are told they said. Then Religion controlled me, if you don’t do it this way then you are sinning, then family belief systems controlled me, not only immediate family, just family dynamics in general… I have always been held to a certain level and I remember always fighting it by rebelling, but I’m grown now and all that nonsense stopped a long time ago. But then work controlled me, because it pays the bills. When will I begin to actually just be free to live my life outside of this control?
I’m really struggling with this concept of freedom, mostly because I really don’t know how to address it. I’m so afraid of it, but I so badly need to break free of these chains I’ve been allowing to hold me back from living my life how I want to live it. My chains are in the form of guilt. I’m guilted by what I’m “supposed to do” and I’m afraid to do do what I actually “want to do” because I feel so guilty.
I see my little girl being indoctrinated with the same control lines, and I think to myself…Is this what I truly want for her? Do I want her to be struggling with guilt because people told her what she should and should not be doing? I’m so control driven that if something is out of my control I completely freak out, I have to learn to breathe and just wait for an outcome and I’m learning that I can only really control my reaction to the things out of my control. But does this make the process easier? It certainly does not.
Whats brought this on? I’m so tired of being told what to do, by people that don’t even have a clue about their own lives. I’m so tired of being manipulated into being who “they”want me to be and not who I truly am. I’m tired of this guilt I feel inside when I go against how I was raised and do what I want. I’m 40, surely by now this should not even be a factor? But it is, it really is. I am truly mindfucked by things that have controlled me for so dam long and breaking free of them is really turning out to be one of the most difficult things I am faced with. Just when I think I have found freedom, I realise that I’m so deep in this controlled lifestyle that the little bit of freedom I have found doesn’t even cover the tip of the iceberg of freedom and now I have to find a way to break these chains that I didn’t even see in the first place.
Wish me luck, this is going to be an interesting year of big happy changes.
Live your life free of chains.