I have a problem with control. I can look back and say it’s because I grew up with awful, unexpected things happening to me, that made me perpetually afraid of the next terrible thing that was going to take me by surprise. It might be that I’ve lost people I cared about suddenly, people who died or left without another word, people I never got back and couldn’t have gotten back. It’s probably all of those things and more.
We grab for control of our lives because we’re desperately afraid of what would happen if we didn’t. It doesn’t really matter how it starts.
The last few months of my life, the last year of my life, has been dramatic. The more I thought I didn’t have any control, the more I freaked out and tried to put my foot down, decide I deserved more, or better. Not getting what I needed felt like a value judgement, like I wasn’t important enough or loved enough or wanted enough … because after all, when people love us, they put us first right? They give us what we need regardless of what they need, or they don’t really love us. That’s the myth, anyway. But then you’re looking for a sign, a concrete answer, some kind of proof that you’re loved. That you’re worthy. You’re looking for someone to say, “I don’t want to do this thing but I will because you’re so important.”
I never wanted to be that kind of person. I don’t want to have to ask for proof. I don’t want what I can get by putting my foot down, I want what someone else wants to give me because that’s what they want. That’s real. Nothing else is.
Lately I’ve been trying to get my life back on track. To get back what I need to be happy. I’ve tried waiting, being impatient, making plans, marking dates on the calendar (if X happens by this date, it’ll be okay), crying. Pleading. Being terrified. That’s the thing about losing control, for me, specifically about losing someone suddenly, completely. I get panic attacks. My heart beats so fast it feels like a bird trying to beat itself to death against the inside of my chest. I’m drowning in myself and I’ll do anything to make it stop.
The sad part is that trying to hold on tightly, out of fear, is almost always exactly the wrong way to make things better.
It snowed tonight, our first big snow of the winter. I sat outside for a while and watched it fall. It was so lovely, silent and still. No one else was outside but me. I had been pushing against not getting what I what I wanted for so long, I was exhausted. I was ready to give up. That’s it, I’m not worth it, I’m never going to get what I need to be happy again.
I’m tired of being scared. I live in a beautiful place, I have a wonderful child, and I love someone amazing. I have so much potential to make my life better. The person holding me back all this time has been me. The person who thought I wasn’t good enough was me. So I gave up tonight, not on myself, but on trying to make something happen. I’ve said everything I can, I’ve done everything I can. If I’m loved, then I’ll be loved. If I have to wait, I’ll wait.
Anything could happen tomorrow. And I feel good about that.