I’m a control freak

Oh, I know I am, a control freak. I am also obsessive compulsive. I won’t go into the details, because they are not all that pretty, but I am.

Although I think control freak has a pretty negative connotation in our world, I also think my personality has served me well in the healing process. Blue Eyes’ recovery from sex addiction (still very much ongoing) and my recovery from betrayal trauma (also still ongoing, of course, because healing from betrayal takes time) has required a whole lot of patience and understanding, but also a level of endurance and stamina that seems to be propelled by my control freak nature. Once his truth was revealed and I started believing all the shit he pulled off was not about me but was indeed about him, we both realized he was the one that needed to make changes. If he was able to do that, I was going to be able to stick with him. At times I feel I have been a gauge of his progress, the only gauge. His therapist seems happy to slowly meander along a path of theoretical healing. His 12 step sponsor does not push Blue Eyes to complete his steps in any timeframe. There is no timeline, but, in order to live with Blue Eyes and feel safe, I feel like I have a sort of internal time clock. It’s an awareness inside me and it seems to have two settings… he’s moving forward, or he has stalled out. Lately there has been no indication that he has moved backwards or relapsed. That’s a good thing. I am learning patience while still listening to my instincts.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like I can control Blue Eyes’ recovery, and I wouldn’t want to. The message, loud and clear, coming from all sides is that we each must want to be a certain type of person and do the work necessary to be that person in order to be successful. In other words, no one can do it for us, or bribe us, or coerce us. My mother in law used to try to bribe me to lose weight. This was years ago. Her tactics were not enlisted because she was worried about my health. At the time, I was perfectly healthy. No, she was embarrassed that she had a daughter in law that by her standards was overweight, even 20 pounds overweight was an abomination to her. She offered to take me on shopping sprees to New York City, buy me a whole new wardrobe, if I just lost weight. Hmm, nope. It didn’t work because I didn’t really care that much whether I lost the weight and I didn’t care whether she was judging me or trying to make me conform to some box she and her friends had concocted for what was normal, or good, or attractive. I was (was being the operative word here) pretty happy carrying around that extra weight. I could find plenty of stylish clothes that fit and I could participate in as many activities as I liked without aches, pains or injuries. At one point I was playing tennis three times a week and had a personal trainer two days per week. The personal trainer had me on a special “diet.” I didn’t lose a pound. As a matter of fact, I weighed about 10 pounds more than I do right now. All that changed when I hit my forties. Signs of the extra weight coupled with genetics started appearing and could not be ignored. It was going to happen all along, I was just too stubborn to acknowledge it. I am in control, remember? The question really should have been, what was I in control of and why did I feel like I needed to hold onto that control so tight?

So, I know I can’t change Blue Eyes or force him to recover more quickly, especially not for me. BUT, I do, for me, need to feel safe around him. My senses are heightened now. I see everything, but more importantly, I know what it means. I really believe that I can live my life happily with Blue Eyes as long as I have a voice and my voice is being heard. I need my voice to be strong and loud. I will not be pushed aside. I strongly believe that although I cannot change him, I can help him see when he is checking out, or when he is slipping. With addicts it’s all about the rationalizations and denial. In most aspects of my life, I deny nothing. I rationalize little. But with my weight and subsequent issues related to it, I seem to have subconsciously decided that somehow that weight is protection instead of the death knell that it is becoming, and I need to get to the bottom of it.

I had my regular six month doctor appointment check in this morning. All my numbers are moving in the right direction, but still far from my goals. My doc is very enthusiastic about my trip out of town. She wants me to be successful and be able to manage my health. The resources that will be afforded me in the area of weight loss, proper healthy exercise for my age and body, cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapies to help me get to the bottom of the why I struggle with getting to a healthy weight, and the luxury of being able to focus solely on me, will hopefully propel me to my goals. I leave in five days and will be gone for a minimum of four weeks. I have so much to do before Saturday.

The parting words given to me by my doctor… “Kat, slow down. Take deep breaths. Let yourself off the hook for feeling like a failure. You are not a failure, you are a fighter. You worry so much about what you have done to fail yourself. Instead, be kind to yourself.” And she’s right. It’s true. I obsess over what I need to do to be healthy, and then when I can’t be perfect, I beat myself up over it. This journey is not a race. I think I have shown grace and mostly patience to Blue Eyes as he slowly traverses his new path, and I need to do the same for myself.

18 thoughts on “I’m a control freak

  1. So glad you’re going to have this time for yourself. You even taking this time for yourself is a good step towards being good and kind to yourself! You will figure out the weight issues – you don’t need it for protection.

    You’re an incredible, strong woman – walking through this betrayal with all the grace you possess proves that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t wait to hear about your experience on this new journey. Caring for myself, in the way we are talking about here, was never really on my mind. Sure, I tried to get enough sleep, brushed my teeth, ate enough fiber and drank plenty of water. I also beat myself up if I ate chips and cookies or didn’t bother to go to the gym. Otherwise, I never really gave myself much thought, until 2016. Finding a healthier balance hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying. Kat, I envy your opportunity to take this time for yourself. Have a wonderful time!
    ☀️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing is more important than health: physical, mental, and emotional. Taking time for yourself and your health is the best thing you can do for yourself and for those you love. Enjoy this opportunity. You deserve it. I laughed in recognition at your comment about Blue Eye’s therapist: “His therapist seems happy to slowly meander along a path of theoretical healing.” I think my husband has that same therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have some issues with being kind to myself in ways that are also healthy. For example, brownies and cookies are not a viable way to seek comfort! 🙂 I realize it is a lot bigger issue than that, but I do beat myself up all the time for the littlest of things. My doc keeps reminding me that even if I get to my “goal weight” and exercise all day long, it doesn’t necessarily mean all my health issues will disappear. She just wants me to do the best I can and not stress myself out so much. I really am obsessive compulsive and a bit neurotic sometimes. My colonoscopy proved that… blood pressure right before going under 160/90. Blood pressure reading right before they woke me up 120/70. Sheesh. Thanks for the hugs. XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if the societal urge to push women into nurturing roles does this to us? I think you speak the words so many women feel, Kat. I saw this title pop up on my WP feed and giggled this morning. I had just had a control freak conversation with my thesis supervisor, via email, last night. All this rings so true for so many of us. Care and love for everyone, except the self. Then we are mean MOFOs. Pretty awful, isn’t it? But I also think that is what pushes us to be better. To do better. Catch 22.

    So excited for your ‘working holiday’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yikes, five days to pack for a month. I do have a washer/dryer in my apartment though, thankfully.

      Yes, care and love for everyone else. I think I always assumed if everyone else was happy, I must be happy. And frankly, I think I WAS happy. Today is a whole different ball game. I want to be healthy and I want some space and time away. I think I found a very good way to do it all. I’m not running away, I’m running to something I need and want. It is okay for us mom’s and partners to think about ourselves. I do think sometimes we created monsters that think we are there purely to serve their needs. News flash: we are people too. 🙂

      Are you all better now? xx

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  5. OK I just sent you a question and now I am reading this….I’m am bawling! It is so true…Grace and patience and care and concern for others…I’m also lacking that in how I treat myself…I should have, would have could have….
    Note to self….self love, compassion and self care….I need to be my own best friend right now!
    Thanks again Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Sue, self love, compassion, and self care. I will go back and respond to your other comment too, but in the meantime, I do believe we lose ourselves in this process. In my case, maybe I lost part of myself a long time ago when I started putting everyone else’s needs above my own. Balance is good. Loving ourselves and treating ourselves with kindness is critical to our healing. ❤

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    • We all need to learn to be kinder to ourselves and not get caught up in the fray of someone else’s brokenness, recovery, etc… but when that person is someone we have promised to love and cherish, it is difficult to stand idly by and not want to be a part of it. The trick is in taking care of ourselves first. I know you are going through all kinds of transitions now. Many hugs. xx

      Liked by 1 person

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