Change and Control

You have a rigid personality much like an autistic person would have.   Change causes you an abnormal amount of anxiety.  You have a hard time moving through the unknowns of life.  You want to tightly control what happens in your world.

No this wasn’t from a slip of paper I pulled out of a fortune cookie, this was my pdoc talking to me last night.

He always surprises me when he starts saying things like this because half the time I don’t think we talk about myself.  I have a feeling he’s fairly observant without me being aware of it.  I’m not exactly sure how this came up, but we were probably talking about how my therapy will be coming to an end soon.

I have seen this guy for four years now and so decided to say what he apparently already knows, “I hate change” “good change, bad change, any kind of change, it feels all the same to me when it’s happening”.

He just smiles at me.

I told him with all the chaos that was going on in my childhood I would try to control what was happening around me.  When I think about it I probably spent a lot of energy trying to do this.  I say this because I spend a lot of energy doing this as an adult.  For example: if I act a certain way then a certain thing will happen as a result.  As a child I would bake cookies and in doing so maybe I would be recognized for it.  Or if I made sure that if I acted a certain way maybe Wayne (father) wouldn’t turn rageful.  My control tactics would rarely work but that didn’t stop me from trying my hardest.

I can look back and see how I was doing this as a child but I didn’t realize I was continuing this behaviour as an adult.  I am seeing this more as I’m starting to acknowledge how much change affects me.  Ouch.

We talked about change and control in regards to my therapy.  We talked about how people kept disappearing out of my life unexpectedly.  I told him how Wayne would say that he was going into town to pick up a few things and would be back shortly.  I wouldn’t see him again until a year later. (in reality that was a good thing).  I told him how my mother would go out on a Friday night and I would not see her again until Sunday night, never knowing when or if she was coming back.  At this point my pdoc said that my mother had bizarre behaviour. (I don’t want to look at that yet). How we would pack up and move in a moments notice. (maybe not but I didn’t know we were moving until it happened)

And so we talked about how my t made an unexpected disappearance with the unexpected break.  How it threw me into the child/trauma reaction that I am having now.  But we mostly talked about how I’m feeling a loss of control of the situation and how the unwanted changes are throwing my life into chaos.  Even if it is ultimately good change, it’s all the unknowns that seem to drive me crazier than normal.

And then he said something that I have already been giving some thought to.  He said when I’m finished with my current t I need to decide if I even want to continue with therapy at all.  Maybe I should just continue on with my life and make the best of it with how I am. (I think he says these things because he sees how hard it has been for me.)  But as painful as all this is, isn’t this the type of stuff I need to work on?

This entry was posted in Abandonment, Anxiety, Change, Control, Mother, Psychiatrist, Therapy, trauma, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Change and Control

  1. One long journey says:

    Wow that is an interesting comment from your pdoc! Is he someone you could see more frequently? I sometimes wonder the same though – would in be easier to go on with my life without therapy since it seems hard so much. But as you say, we chose to do this for a reason.

    Thinking of you,

    • lostinamaze says:

      From what I can gather I actually see my pdoc more frequently than what is usual in my part of the country. Sometimes I do wonder why. I haven’t asked for more appointments, I have always let him set them. He is a really nice guy and in high demand. From talking to others I lucked out in getting him as my pdoc. What surprises me the most is that he continues to see me even though I don’t take any meds except for clonazepam although he also does some talk therapy.

  2. Do you think about life without therapy? Can you picture it? I think, and this is just my opinion, that it’s easy to get sucked in and feel like you can’t get out. You’re working on this or that, and you forget that you can be living your life. Now, I’m not one to really talk as I’ve been in therapy for two years, but sometimes I think about what I could be doing instead of therapy. Could I be dating? Working harder towards something? Traveling more?

    Then of course, I come back to reality and think about having to end, to say goodbye, and I think, heck no.

    So I’m curious, will there every be enough therapy to “heal” you or get you to where you want to be? Or do you think eventually you’ll have to step out on your own and just do it?

    Hard questions, I know.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Hard questions but ones I have been thinking about lately myself. I actually can picture life without therapy. It would be the easy way for me. But I also try to remember why I ended up in therapy in the first place. There is a danger for me in getting sucked into the vortex of therapy and my whole world being consumed by it (this does happen to me more then I like). But I do try to balance my life out with other things that cause me to think of something besides myself all the time. I do volunteer work, play on a couple of hockey teams and I also have another blog that has nothing to do with my mental health. I think for everyone this may be different.

      My thoughts are that therapy doesn’t need to end unless you want it to or it has become unhealthy in some way.

      As for your last question I think that I’m am trying to figure out that myself. Although I wonder if there is a balance between doing therapy and at the same time stepping out and just doing it (with the support of therapy).

  3. Mike says:

    “You have a rigid personality much like an autistic person would have. Change causes you an abnormal amount of anxiety. You have a hard time moving through the unknowns of life. You want to tightly control what happens in your world.”

    Wow. That describes me almost perfectly. My pdoc has said something similar to that in the past, as well. I am extremely rigid, and I must have control of every situation. Everything must fall evenly into its right place, and, if something doesn’t, anxiety occurs.

    I sometimes think about quitting therapy, too. I am having such great success with CBT, I want to quit working with my talk-therapist and find someone to work on CBT with. That’s having the biggest impact on my anxiety. I think if you do quit therapy for good, you will need to find some support elsewhere. Maybe you can get that through a close friendship or something, or through exercise or meditation.

    • lostinamaze says:

      He surprised me when he said that. I wasn’t quite expecting it. But I have been that way all my life when I face the truth of myself. It’s been hard for me to see this about myself because I don’t overtly try to control things. It’s more of a hidden manipulation. If that makes any sense. And I want everything to stay on an even keel.

      My t has been saying to me in the last little while that I need to make a close F2F friendship(s) for support. I have a number of friends but I don’t let any of them in very deep. I guess I need to learn how to do this.

  4. Dear Lost,

    I’m not sure how to respond to your post…
    I hear what your pdoc is saying, and to be fair, some of it sounds very insightful, but I’m really interested to hear how YOU feel about what was said…

    I understand what you say about not letting people in… It’s so so hard. maybe you DO need to work on it… But you might need some support whilst you do that? I don’t know.

    Like you, i know that I could easily survive very well without therapy. I just wouldn’t think about it. But I’m not really convinced that that is the way ahead.
    It’s all so complicated and I probably shouldn’t comment without something a little more ‘worthwhile’ to say, but I really wanted you to know that I’m reading and that I’m thinking of you.


    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m not exactly sure what to think about his comment to me. I do have a hard time when circumstances change on me. But I haven’t thought of myself as rigid before. Maybe it’s just his choice of words. He did kind of throw me a bit with what he said.

      I’m also not convinced that I should do without therapy at this time even though I know I could as you say. There was a reason why I went into it in the first place and the reasons why haven’t been dealt with by a long shot. It just seems the therapeutic relationship has side tracked me somewhat.

      Your support is worthwhile to me…

  5. Just Be Real says:

    What a post! I know what we did as children to survive our trauma carried over into our adult life. I see it in mine as well. I know I still have quite aways to go with my t. I have learned so much about myself from someone eles’ perspective, my t. The reasons why I did what I did and why I do what I do now. Naturally, working on the issues that need to be changed in order to get to the freedom I so long desire is our major focus. And Yes I do NOT like change either. Appreciate the post, very much. Blessings.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m starting to see more clearly how my trauma has continued into my adulthood. I’ve always vaguely known that I’ve had issues but didn’t know until I started therapy where they stemmed from. I have learned a lot about myself as well which also shows me how much I need to work on. I do need someone else to let me know about my skewed thinking and acting. I can’t always see this on my own. Hence the therapy.

  6. Milo says:

    lostinamaze, he sounds like a very insightful man. like a very wise person. i think it is really nice to have someone like this.
    good luck.
    p.s. I still feel uneasy about what happened with the t and the break. Do you think she can see how hurt you are?
    love, Milo

    • lostinamaze says:

      It is nice having him and for some reason so far he still sees me.

      If she does see how the break has affected me, which I think is obvious, she hasn’t said anything to me about it. Maybe she doesn’t want to face it herself. I do know I have a pile of questions that will never be answered.

  7. Harriet says:

    I’m kind of sorry that I ever started therapy, because I don’t think I can stop. But my life is so different now from when I wasn’t in therapy. I have totally isolated myself, maybe I am thinking about myself too much? Don’t you hate that feeling of having unanswered questions from your therapy and knowing they will never be answered? I’ve got a few of those questions too.

    • lostinamaze says:

      If I had known before hand how hard the ending would be I’m not entirely sure I would have started. But I did have to do something at the time because my life fell unexpectedly apart. I know that I think too much about myself.

      And yes the unanswered questions really bother me but I also wonder that even if I straight out ask them, will I get an honest answer anyway.

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