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Control Issues?

Discussion in 'Symptoms & Other Disorders' started by Philippa, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    I'm just wondering if others here have noticed any need to control being heightened, as in, feeling the need to control people or even inanimate objects...like the printer that didn't work for me yesterday and I kept yelling at it!

    I'm not sure if this is something that is due to trauma or if I am just a control freak?

    I've always prided myself on being the sort of person that doesn't want to be controlled or control anyone else, but I've noticed in my external reality I seem to attract controlling people and, recently on the other forum I frequent I started a thread about communicating open and honestly with my father about some issues that have come up for me.

    Some people there gave their two cents worth and basically said that their truth is they have no boundaries because nothing can harm them emotionally. I'm learning to stand up for myself and place boundaries, which I think is healthy but I am having these people impose their version of the truth on me, and when I reject it I get accused of having control issues or get asked "why do you feel the need to control everything around you?"

    I suppose it's hard to convey on a screen without giving the context or the exact post interactions, but it has made me wonder whether I am acting in a controlling manner lately, and if it is because of the sexual assault and the trauma?

    Can anyone offer some light here?
  2. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser VIP Member

    I think because so much control is taken away by the event (s) that caused the ptsd the brain searches to control it's environment to make up for this.

    I've made small progress with all this.

    I can leave most things alone (as long as I'm in a state).

    But no one lays a finger on my laptop.
  3. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    haha. Yes, I was able to think on the way home from work "if I want to not be controlled and do what I want, why not let the printer do what it wants too" which felt more freeing, and I felt happier. I know I can't control anyone or anything really...and printers pretty much live to annoy us, it's universal in the workplace.
  4. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser VIP Member

    See I know I can't truly control the laptop but as odd as this sounds controlling who is allowed to touch it is soothing.

    It may crash and burn one of these days with all I put it threw but dang it! I will be the one to wear it out not someone else!
  5. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    If I ask a person to not impose their version of reality on me though, is that the same as feeling threatened by their version and feeling the need to stick up for my version? This is what this person suggested to me, and I'm not really sure if this is what is happening or if that's just his opinion about what is happening? Sometimes it is hard to know how much to take on from others.

    I don't want to be totally dismissive of someone elses perspective, but I find myself quite reactive when someone lectures me or tells me that my feelings aren't important, which this guy said. He said that he thinks his feelings are unimportant, and that most people just clutter their minds with emotions.

    I can see his point, but I also think that my feelings are important, which I said, and asked him not to impose his version of reality on me as though it is THE truth...and then this other guy who agreed with him jumped in and said that I have a need to control everything around me and everyone. I'm just not sure if this qualifies?
  6. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser VIP Member

    I don't think your trying to control there. You were asking that he validate your point of view as he was asking you to validate his. A point of view is an opinion and nothing more. But even so every one has a right to their own point of view and feelings.
  7. seedling

    seedling VIP Member

    Wow, "clutter our minds with emotions" - and here I thought most of my problem dealing with PTSD came from holding down and ignoring emotions I should be dealing with and acknowledging. I don't see how they just go away any other way.
    I've had to set boundaries on this journey so others wouldn't run over me, out of my being too "nice" to set them. I think there's a time and place for boundaries. People do hurt us emotionally (and physically for that matter, if we let them).
    I think you'll figure out in time what it's healthy and worthwhile to control and what it's not. Some things might just feel good to you to control right now and sometime in the future you won't need to anymore.
    I think most people have a basic urge to at least have the illusion of control. My T has suggested something for me to do as a way to "take control of what happened." It was something that could have helped me to feel in charge again and doing something positive and active.
  8. intothelight

    intothelight Totally Quackers Duck Staff Member Premium Member

    Great topic!

    I think when one is abused, the lack of control is one part that gets ingrained, and feeling out of control is frightening. (Or in my case scary as Hell). I find my need to control things around me increases as my stress level increases. When big things in life happen, that I have no control over, I over focus on the little things. Its usually when I lose perceived control over something little the melt down begins.

    I guess I equivocate control with security. I know I definitely need work in this area.
  9. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser VIP Member

    hey my biggest accomplishment in this area is letting people help me. I use to refuse help from anyone. By doing everything for myself at all times I controlled what happened to me. Unfortunately it those few friends I had at an arms distance. I wouldn't take any form of med because I was determined to do it myself. (I was really stubborn) But now more often then not if someone offers to help with something I just say thank you and accept the help. I'm learning that just because someone helps doesn't mean they are going to try to take over anything.


    And as I said I have my lap top. It's my one item. It does help to find one thing that is just yours to control. It takes so much stress off of other things. And the knowledge that it is there and you are the only one with any say over it is a help for me.


    http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2010/12/22/182a6c82-8874-4061-bedc-ee1714a4bb03.jpg
    seedling likes this.
  10. seedling

    seedling VIP Member

    That cat just cracks me up!
    Junebug likes this.
  11. shadowchaser

    shadowchaser VIP Member

    mwahahaha... Yeh I love that one!
  12. Junebug

    Junebug VIP Member

    I'd take on a lot but not that kitten, heehee :eek:
  13. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    I'm a lot like you in this regard. Stubborn as all bejeezus. I have made some major breakthroughs this year though and have reached out to people and asked for help...which has been relieving to know I don't have to do it on my own anymore, that there are people out there who do care about me, and want me to be happy and love to watch me grow.

    It's a huge learning curve, so I can appreciate what it takes to be able to move beyond stubborness.


  14. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    Yes, well it's possible that this person has PTSD and just doesn't know it, or is denial of it?(;

    I know that on one hand I am the only one who can allow others words to hurt me, but then, words can and do hurt, whether you allow them or not. I used to be so strong in my conviction of that, and now I'm all jumbled up and don't know what's what...and the effort to have to think about it all again, or try is so much that I seem to just get even more confused.

    I think that's true that the urge to control may not be something that is forever, but perhaps just for a time I need to be this way and not judge myself for it...which is the hard part!
  15. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse ) Premium Member

    I think you're correct, though and yes, it's easy to second guess yourself with this. I get annoyed with myself after awhile and just plain tired of my own head. I absolutely need to control my environment, in the extreme. I also know this is the PTSD- things have to be predictable and if they are not, then the confusion in my head becomes louder. I simply can't function. I give it the nice name of 'containment', however, so it just sounds better that I'm doing this. :) I don't control people- there's no ego there so the thought processes just don't go that far- that this is even possible, if that makes any sense. Christmas is making me insane, for instance-things out of place, routines gone all kefluffled, more activity to fit in. It's not negative-just makes me foggy and it's tough to navigate the day. I see others here able to be much, much clearer on this and even that is beyond me, since it's an energy scramble at the moment.
  16. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    I know what you mean, though I have been walking around almost oblivious to it all. I don't 'do' christmas...though I do like the ritual of giving and receiving gifts(; Got some nice stuff from work mates today...not too shabby.

    I tend to get stressed just from absorbing all the stress form everyone around me. I'm pretty empathic, but I'm improving at not letting it get to me, or not taking it on.
  17. Maze

    Maze VIP Member Premium Member

    I've been reading a book that you might be interested in. It's called If you had controlling parents. It describes many different controlling parents. Like control in a cult like way, control by chaos, control by smothering, using parenting and depriving parenting.

    Control is mostly something in your subconscious, many people do it without being aware of it a few don't is what the book also says.

    Apparently a bad experiences like a parent who was controlling parent or having a parent who died makes you more likely to be controlling.
  18. Philippa

    Philippa VIP Member

    Yeah, that could be relevant to me. My father is pretty controlling. He's been through a fair bit in his life as well, and has never sought help for his issues. I think I've heard of that book from another friend...thanks.
  19. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost Premium Member

    I am dealing with this at the moment. Control. I feel like I need, I must have, control over everything in my world. I feel very frightened of the future because I don't know what is coming and I have no control over it.

    My T suggested doing Control/No control lists. She said that gets both sides of the brain working and 'talking' to each other. For example, I write something on my list that I am in control of i.e applying for a new job. I chose to do that, that IS in my control. What is NOT in my control however, is if I get an interview for the job. What IS in my control is if I prepare and have my resume up to date to increase my chances of getting an interview. What is NOT in my control is if I don't get the job etc. It's about getting the brain working again and claiming back some control over parts of my life that my PTSD has convinced me I am no longer in control of.

    When I get overwhelmed or feel completely powerless, doing these lists helps me to see I still have some power or control over some things. The only thing I have complete control over is myself, but I can't control anyone else or their behaviour or the weather etc. (although I still feel the PTSD has more control over me than I do!)

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