The Controller as a Parent
Lets review the traits of the Controller/Victim:
Chaotic, confusing. Parent source of stress rather than reliever of stress. May be dangerous: abuse, neglect, violence, drugs, alcohol.
Adrenalin, chaos “normal.” Calm=anxiety…next storm is coming. Move towards controller (anger, rage) or victim (passive).
Addictions to numb pain.
Controller: My way, I’m right. Control or be controlled.
Victim: To survive: unworthy, unlovable, cannot survive on my own.
Maintain control or stay “under the radar”.
Controller: Any vulnerable feeling quickly submerged with display of anger. Victim: Fear, depression, hopeless, powerless. (May only feel anger with children.) Both styles have never grieved childhood pain.
Controller: Criticism, challenge of authority. Victim: Anger in others.
Responses: Controller: rage, intimidate, bully to regain control.
The Controller as a Parent
Remember, controllers want to control to keep from ever feeling the terror, shame, and
humiliation of others having power and control.
They are very cut off from the pain of their own childhood experiences using anger as the primary emotion they feel in any stressful circumstance.
Marriage and parenting are difficult.
For people raised in the Chaotic home one must remember there was little to no modeling of healthy relationship.
In fact, chaos feels normal.
Controllers may be able to manage their anger I until they marry and become parents.
When a new home is created, that’s when the anger tends to surface and most controllers if they are honest, call it rage.
The anger feels deep, gigantic and out of control.
There is nothing like a little two year old sticking his nose in the air, folding his arms and saying, “No!” to send a controller up the wall.
The feeling in side that is often not articulated is. “How dare you say that! If I would have said that to my parents, I would have been hit across the room.”
It is difficult for controllers to judge what is age appropriate behavior or what children
need at different stages of development.
Inadequacy is an unpleasant feeling and maintaining control is a good way to deep feelings of inadequacy out of the way.
As we say in our book, How We Love, grief is the antidote to anger.
Remembering what is was like to be a child is an essential starting place.
The controller will become more sensitive to his or her children as they allow themselves to remember what is was like to be young.
Facing their own pain is the key to parenting in a different way.
Controllers often suffered greatly as children and had no comfort or protection.
No one respected them as little people with feeling and needs.
Reviewing memories and feeling the painful feelings and accepting comfort in the present provide a whole new basis of experience that can be taken into their relationship with their own children.
This is hard work and it is difficult, but it is the only thing we have done that has
provided change at a deep level.
Books, seminars, classes and mentoring in parenting and marriage can help those raised in Chaotic homes to learn what they did not learn and unlearn some bad examples carried from their own childhood.
But grieving is the key to the rage that is common to this love style.
Love and blessings,
Milan & Kay
Victim: Dissociate, take abuse, try harder, self blame, it’s my fault.