Both Controllers and Victims come from difficult homes where parents are a source of danger or neglectful. In these are chaotic homes there is no way to predict a parent’s mood or behavior. There is often substance abuse, mental illness, multiple marriages, sibling abuse, and or emotional, sexual or physical mistreatment. Kids in these homes experience no comfort but rather terror, humiliation, shame, anxiety, confusion, manipulation and a host other negative feelings. Feisty kids can become controllers. More compliant kids can become victims.
Controllers need control to keep vulnerable, difficult emotions experienced in childhood from surfacing in their adult lives. Having control means having protection from the feelings of fear, humiliation and helplessness and uncertainty. The childhood home of the Controller was chaotic and volatile so as adults these folks want control because it creates predictability. Anger is the one emotion that is not vulnerable so intimidation and anger are often used to keep or regain control. Control may be highly rigid or more sporadic and unpredictable but controllers rarely realize their childhood trauma is the real reason they need to be in charge.