Relationships: Is The Fear Of Being Abandoned Causing You To Put Up With People Who Are Controlling?
There is a big difference between wanting to experience a sense of control over one’s life, and wanting to control other people. When one experiences a sense of control over their life, it means that they’re not going to feel as though they have no control and as though they are a victim.
This is going to allow one to feel empowered, as opposed to feeling as though things just happen and there is nothing they can do. As a result of this, their experience on this earth is going to be far more rewarding than if they were to feel completely powerless.
However, if one feels as though they have no control, it is going to be a challenge for them to enjoy life. What does or doesn’t happen in their life is going to be seen as something that is out of their control.
In fact, when one doesn’t feel as though they have any control in life, it can cause them to want to control other people. Controlling others is then a way for them to experience a sense of control.
But although it can look as though they want to control other people, controlling others is just a way for them to regulate how they feel. What they do to the people in their life is then a means to an end, and not something that is personal.
The people who come into contact with someone who is controlling are then going to find it hard to be themselves. This could mean that one is repelled by them or it could be something that draws them in.
If one is repelled by this kind of behaviour, it won’t be a problem, but if this is something that one is drawn to, it is going to affect their wellbeing. And even though the other person’s behaviour is impersonal, it won’t make any difference.
For some people, it doesn’t matter where they are in the world or how a relationship begins, as they will have a tendency to attract people who’re controlling. This is then something that is normal and therefore the rule, as opposed to the exception, in their life.
They might believe that everyone is the same and this could cause them to feel hopeless. One might be close to people who’re also in the same position and this could cause them to believe that everyone is the same.
One could believe that they only have two options; the first option is to be in a relationship and to be controlled, and the other option is for them to avoid relationships. It then won’t matter what option they choose, as they’re likely to end up feeling frustrated.
This is not to say that there is anything wrong with not being in an intimate relationship, but if one is not having them to avoid being controlled, it is it naturally going to cause problems. Just as if one avoids relationships in general to stop themselves from being controlled, it is also going to lead to problems.
So, as the need to connect with other human beings is not something that one can completely remove, they could find themselves in a relationship with someone who is controlling. And even though they feel trapped and have the need to leave the relationship, they might feel as though it is not possible for them to leave.
In the back of their mind could be how they felt when they were not in an intimate relationship and this then causes them to stay with the other person. It is then painful for them to stay with them, but they believe that it will be even more painful if they were to leave them.
More Than A Belief
To stay that they believe it will be more painful for them to leave would be an understatement; as from their experiences of being alone, they will know how painful it is. And because of how painful it is for them to be alone, being around someone who is controlling is the lesser of two evils.
On one side they can be in a relationship and feel controlled, or they can leave the relationship and end up feeling abandoned. As an adult, it is not possible for another person to abandon them, but just because someone is physically an adult, it doesn’t mean they feel like one.
During ones early years, one didn’t have the ability to regulate their emotions; so if they were left by their caregiver/s, it would have felt like the end of the world and as though they were going to die. And though being neglected during these early moments in one’s life, it would have affected their ability to regulate their emotions as an adult.
Not only that, the pain that one experienced through being abandoned during their childhood would have stayed trapped in their body. As they were abandoned during these years, there wouldn’t have been anyone around to allow them to process how they were feeling and so, they would have had to disconnect from their body to avoid the pain.
And in order to avoid being abandoned, it would have set one up to do everything they can to please others. One could believe that if they had a voice of their own, it would cause other people to leave them.
Reliving The Past
So if one was to leave someone who is controlling, it would trigger this early pain. This could cause one to regress and to see the other person as they would have seen their caregiver at the time - as the only person who has the ability to take their pain away.
Leaving someone who is controlling is then what one wants to do on one level, but if they do leave them their emotional experiences of the past are going to re-appear. Based on this, it is easy to see why people stay in controlling relationships and go back to them.
All the time this emotional pain remains in one’s body, it is going to be more or less impossible for them to not only attract healthy relationships, but to feel comfortable with them. And along with feeling abandoned, one can also be carrying the following feelings in their body: grief, loss, hopelessness, helplessness, shame and death.
These emotional experiences of the past that have remained frozen in one’s body will need to be faced and released. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.