Control, like many things we experience in our lives, comes on a spectrum from levels of healthy to unhealthy. Things in our lives require control, such as control of:
And so many more.
However, we can also get carried away with control, and find ourselves at unhealthy levels. This includes when control of our day-to-day needs becomes detrimental to ourselves or others; or, when we attempt to control others behavior and feelings.
When we experience trauma, our emotional and behavioral response patterns are often impacted. At The Bridge to Recovery, we have found that many of our clients feel expressed frustration with feelings of either (1) complete lack of control over things in their lives, or (2) a compulsive need to try and control everything and everyone around them.
Control is yet another branch on our trauma tree <link>. When we carry pain around from unresolved trauma, we react in such a way that we can survive. Massive and polarizing feelings related to control are part of our often-impacted emotional and behavioral response development.
We have found that often, caretaking and control go hand-in-hand. Caretaking can often mimic similar feelings and behaviors evoked with control.
Caretaking, as a symptom of trauma, involves a compulsive desire to help others with their feelings, wants, and needs, but often at the detriment of the caretaker and the person being helped. This can be seen as a form of control, either by feeling a lack of control, thus the compulsive need to try and help others; or, a need-to-control, and to do so involves caretaking others.
Many folks hear the term “caretaker” and associate it with taking care of a friend, loved one, or patient in their time of need, such as when they are sick or grieving a loss. Caretakers as defined this way are a necessary component of society.
When does this become problematic?
When any of these factors are present, it is time to take a step back and, for the caretaker, to visit what lies beneath the surface of their own story that nurtured this type of situation.
It’s not a matter of blame, it’s a matter of shame.
As we discussed in the section Understanding Trauma, there is nothing “wrong” with the caretaker or the person being cared for. When we find ourselves in these types of unhealthy situations, it’s a matter of uncovering unresolved pain and shame, typically caused by untreated trauma.
This is where The Bridge to Recovery can help. Anyone struggling with control and caretaking is likely struggling with other symptoms of unresolved trauma, such as:
And many others.
Healing is possible. Happiness is possible. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.
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“ Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself. ”
- Jewel, Alumnus