I don’t like not having a plan. Yes, I admit, I am a control freak in a hell of a lot of ways. And yes, I do tend to vacillate between wanting to control those around me, followed fairly quickly by trying to take a far more hands’ off attitude, putting all my control in controlling myself.
And I have gotten far too good at trying to make sure I am always in control of myself.
It’s one of the reasons that as a young 20-something, I chose to lock away all of those chaotic feelings. Highest on my list was passion. I locked that away actually far earlier than 20. I locked it up my sophomore year of high school (1983/1984). I put passion deep down in an oubliette, and bricked up the hole. The way I was thinking, passion did nothing for me except cause more pain. Without it, I was able to be more rational, more able to deal with the fairly normal ups-and-downs of teenage angst.
Aggression was next. Note, not assertiveness. Pure aggression, with all of the violence that it entailed. I had spent far too much time dealing with keeping myself as safe as possible without having to join a gang, and wanted to end that willingness to physically destroy someone else to keep myself safe. I forced myself into the mold of a pacifist (not that I could even honestly call myself one).
Shame was on that list too, but I was never very good at keeping it or guilt under control. In fact, far too often both shame and guilt were fairly easily used for someone else to control me, or at least manipulate me into allowing them to control me. A fairly strong lack of body modesty helped me to turn body shame (except in relation to romantic interactions) into my bitch, but instead of turning it onto myself, I externalized it quite a bit. That left that huge hole open for my ex-husband to use against me.
Anything relating to ego or self-importance were also shoved down deep (amusingly….since thinking I can “save someone from themselves” is the height of egotism). It was the egotism of feeling superior to which I held on tightly enough to strangle myself.
Sadly, I kept things like vengeance and a sense of moral righteousness.
Rage, on the other hand, was blocked almost completely. I only let it out to give myself an edge in a physical confrontation.
I got so good at doing these things that frankly, it took an entirely chemical/hormonal change to break the seals on those emotions. I’m still picking up the pieces from that explosion. But it did allow for me to actually come to terms with the abuse, and to name it for what it was. It was a rupture that was decades late, but needed to happen.
Now I’m facing all of these chaotic emotions (and other unnamed ones), and learning to deal with them in a more healthy fashion. I have to. With my body not being as reliable, sometimes those chaotic emotions still escape and end up spread over far too many people who don’t deserve me to puke my issues all over them.
Learning to feel them, to sit with them and not let them turn into some twisted form of righteous anger is what I am working on the hardest. And, slowly, I’m making progress.