So I submit to you, in all humility – yes, I am a control freak. I’m not as bad as I once was, but there is still a lot of work to do in this particular category of my life. Along with patience, it is probably my life lesson. This past weekend was yet another example of how I can let my controlling tendencies get the best of me, and sometimes hurt other people in the process. I’m not proud of that. But I am a work in progress. I figure as long as I am at least learning from my mistakes, there is something positive born out of a bad situation.
I’m not quite sure when I decided that my ability to keep track of everything and everyone around me was “the right way.” And truly, a lot of my “knowing how this is going to turn out” comes from my own stupid mistakes. I’ve been there, I’ve tested that hypotheses, and the outcome stinks. Two failed marriages, countless bad relationships, and a generally bad track record when it comes to love and life decisions pretty much sealed the deal for me. I got lucky though. I finally stopped trying to control that part of my life. I met Bill and he was the best thing to ever happen to me. But still, I watch the people around me, people I love, and I can’t help but feel the need to tell them how to avoid the stupid mistakes in life, especially the ones in which I have lots of experience. The problem is that unless you make those mistakes on your own, you never get the benefit of learning firsthand how to not fuck up. I can’t protect everyone, as much as I would like to, it’s flat out impossible. That little voice in my head keeps saying “they need to walk their own path.” My heart keeps saying “you know, you could just drag them kicking and screaming down the right path and you would save them the trouble.” I know I know…control issues. But really? Is it so bad to want to save your loved ones from heartbreak? Well in theory, no, but in the end it just causes a lot of stress that no one really wanted in the first place, and then those very same people start to view you as the world’s biggest pain in the ass. Guilty as charged, and I have the big ass to prove it. Again, luck is in my corner though. Usually those very same people recognize that I am a recovering control freak and they forgive quickly. I always appreciate someone who can see me for my faults as well as my fabulousness. Truly, it is all meant with the best of intentions, just sometimes I have really bad delivery.
I do reserve the right to exercise a fair amount of control in my daughter’s life, although I am inclined to sugar coat it so it’s not so annoying for her. She gets it, and for right now, she deals with it like a champ. That, of course, is always subject to change when dealing with a teenager, so I will hold out hope that things continue to be awesome around my house. I also know there are no guarantees. I’m never going to get Mother of the Year, but hopefully I won’t screw her up permanently. I am positive I still have those discount coupons for therapy that I was given at the hospital the day she was born. “Here, these are for your daughter. She’s going to need these someday.” Damn that hospital staff for seeing right through me. I guess control freaks are easy to spot. I should upgrade my “mom camouflage.”
So, I just felt it necessary to throw myself on my sword and shout out “mea culpa” to my always patient possé of family and friends. If I push too hard, if I become too insistent, please know it’s only because I care so deeply. Then feel free to tell me to shut the fuck up. I promise I will stop trying to screw with your gps in life so you can walk your path without obstacles and wrong turns, at least any caused by me. The rest of them…well, you’re on your own.