Not an Uplifting Post

So I’m still working my way through the L Word – very nearly done now! – and I find myself stuck in a parallel universe that has none of the fun sex and all of the stress. I think I’m Bette in this terrible scenario, facing the reality of being too controlling.

For the five of you who didn’t check out after reading “the L Word” but don’t have the context, suffice to say there’s a relatively successful woman (Bette) who has lots and lots (and lots) of flaws and who is generally finding herself either a) angry, b) angry and sad, or c) angrily trying to fix things. After setting the rustic table at her girlfriend’s home with a tablecloth, she is accused of trying to control everything. And, the viewer has to admit, it’s more than a little true.

I can’t see myself from the outside but I feel like I’m that person. The one who is putting a tablecloth on a perfectly fine table in someone else’s home. Bizarrely, my own home is a jumbled mess. The books stay where RR has dropped them. The pictures she has drawn litter the living room floor. The clothes are folded but not put away. There’s a t-shirt on the table and a backpack under a chair. Some library books are due. I don’t know when. I haven’t looked for them. I hope no one else is waiting for the audiobook of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

At work I have all the things I wanted but am on the wrong side of every conversation. I can’t seem to fix or stay on top of anything. People talk and my feelings are hurt. And yet, I know I’ve got it right (or mostly so) and this is the consequence of being a somewhat more noticeable chess piece on the board. Still I wake up each morning with a pit in my stomach. Every shower is a problem-solving session. Supper is fuel for worries. Story-time a merciful pause before the constant mental scrolling of the work yet to be done.

I’ve been to this place of inertia before and then I felt hopeless. Now, I feel like I’ve done this to myself and that I perpetuate it by trying to fix everything. If I stop trying to fix things, I’m afraid I’ll be awash in everyone else’s tides and THEN I’ll feel hopeless. I’m not interested in that particular trip. So, of course, I try to fix it and in the midst of seeking a solution realize I’m trying to control something quite out of my control. Which reminds me of Bette and the L Word and how if I wasn’t that person, I’d probably be just fine.

I keep hoping it’s not noticeable to everyone else. This unfortunate personality trait. I’m afraid it’s the most noticeable thing about me and I don’t know what to do about it. And, if I wasn’t this person, I wouldn’t care. That’s a horrible circle to be stuck in.

6 Responses

  1. Ok, so. I think I’ve been in your house at least as much as anyone else reading, maybe more. (Maybe the most! Please let me me special and have been there the most!)
    But for real:
    A) I’ve never seen a t-shirt under a chair or a backpack on the table. (It’s usual the dog on the couch with me while I pine for the big boy cat who is probably under a chair.)
    2) I’ve watched Ye Olde L Word in real time and in Netflix time and sometime I’ll tell you ALL my feelings about that.
    III) Do we have twinsie-control issues? Yours are so much less obvious than mine! Please advise.

  2. Your description of your house sounds far more orderly than mine.

    This morning, as she forbid me to walk past the front porch, my daughter said I looked like the mom (Amy Poehler’s character) in Mean Girls and I’m pretty sure she did not mean it as a compliment. So that’s my tv character reference for today. (I beg to differ!)

  3. It’s funny how watching some of these characters cause you to analyze who you are as a person. Callie says I’m like Bette. I try to control everything. I tell her she’s like Alice. Smart but sometimes aloof and just, noooootttt always 100% there. Then we consciously try to fix these things. The truth is, that’s just who we are! These things are ingrained in us for whatever reason, probably since our youth. Why am I so controlling and possessive and sometimes selfish? Well, I am the oldest of 5, i never had anything to myself. I had to share EVERYTHING with my siblings. I was always in charge (my parents worked a part time job and since I was 12, i would stay at home on evening, check homework, make sure everyone was fed and bathed and in bed at 8 before my parents got home from cleaning doctors offices). I was BRED to be that way! Callie, well, her parents let her do whatever she wanted so long as her grade were good. And then they weren’t and they STILL let her do whatever she wanted. We can try and change those things about ourselves, but I’ve found it easier to just, i dunno, embrace them? Learn to live with them? Warn people that this is how I am? That’s all i got…::drops the mic::

  4. From one control freak to another, I am here to give you gentle hugs and tell you that I get it. And to remind you to be gentle to yourself!

    Leave the mess be at home. It’s your safe space.

  5. Everyone who matters knows this is how you are, and loves you anyway. Everyone who doesn’t matter is too busy worrying about their own problems to really observe you and/or care if you are a control freak. Really!

    If you’re worried about it, take steps to change things. I recommend “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-free Living.” The first 3 chapters can be dense, since they’re a summary of current brain research, but I’m sure you can handle it.

    I think you’re awesome, and don’t care if your house is a little messy. Mine is too.

  6. Rebeca says that I have PC (power/control) issues. I say she should just do as I say and all will be right with the world. The world, dammit!

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