Bert’s therapy: Leashed

There’s something I don’t understand about control addiction.

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What’s that?

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You say everyone is addicted to control?

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Right.

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Doesn’t that mean this “addiction” is really just human nature?

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Well, I’m not sure what “human nature” means.  So I’d put it differently.

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bert

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It’s perfectly normal for human beings to be addicted to control.  It just isn’t healthy. 

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“Normal” and “healthy” aren’t the same thing?

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Oh no.  How many normal people do you know?

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Lots.

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And how many healthy people do you know?

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Hm.  I take your point.

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therapist-7

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But I still don’t see what’s “normal” about being a control addict.

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Do you ever worry about the future?

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Of course.

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You’re addicted.  Do you ever fret over the past? 

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Sure.

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You’re addicted.  Ever hide your feelings for fear of how others might react? 

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All the time.

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You’re addicted.  Ever worry about whether people will like or love or accept you?

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Constantly.

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You’re addicted.  Ever lie, or manipulate, or distort the truth to get what you want? 

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Okay, I get it.

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Ever avoid annoying people or uncomfortable situations? 

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I said, I get it.

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Ever plan?  Strategize?  Analyze?  Fantasize?  Agonize?  Dream?  Ruminate?  Obsess? 

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You can stop now.

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Just making my point.  Controlling is so utterly ordinary that most of the time we barely notice we’re doing it. 

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bert-16

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Until it traps us, that is. 

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And how does it trap us?

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Have you ever walked six dogs at the same time?

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No.

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You set out thinking that you’re walking them.  But before long you realize the dogs are walking you.

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Meaning…

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Whatever we try to control controls us.  And the more controlling you are, the more out of control you feel.

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* * *

 

 

 

 

Make other people do what you want them to do. 

Make them behave as you think they should.  Don’t let them behave in ways you think they shouldn’t, but probably would without your “assistance.”  Force life’s events to unravel and unfold in the manner and at such times as you have designated.  Do not let what’s happening, or what might happen, occur.  Hold on tightly and don’t let go.  We have written the play, and we will see to it that the actors behave and the scenes unfold exactly as we have decided they should.  Never mind that we continue to buck reality.  If we charge ahead insistently enough, we can (we believe) stop the flow of life, transform people, and change things to our liking.

We are fooling ourselves.

~ Melody Beattie, Codependent no more

* * *

Not recommended.

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