Out of Control

We read a lot online now about controlling relationships, what they are, how to get out of them and how to recover. It’s finally coming to light properly that domestic abuse isn’t just beating someone up…. and this goes for both sexes, I’ve seen women who are as controlling as men. But here’s my story of how I’ve recognised this behaviour recently and managed to have some lucky escapes. Perhaps it’s this experience that really makes me consider whether I ever want to be committed to anyone again, and the idea of living together again is still a big no.

One of the first experiences I had after the relationship with my daughter’s dad was this guy (Sad Mechanic) who at first seemed charming. He would treat me like a princess (this I now know is controlling in itself) and make me feel special. However there was always a flip side. He was insecure, and his insecurities led to strange behaviour, accusations I was cheating, or just hot/cold behaviour. He’d asked about how many people I’d been with and I’d been honest, he hit the roof. Called me every name under the sun, I hadn’t fully got better at that point and thought perhaps I was in the wrong. Although looking back I should have kicked him out at that point.

This guy had no understanding of my past. He would for his own entertainment wind me up about how great a life my ex was having now he was gone. Luckily I’d had my first round of therapy to deal with the anger so it was all out and done, I was able to tell him to shut up, I didn’t want to know. But imagine if I hadn’t had therapy at that point? With a history of suicidal thoughts, this really could have done a lot of damage.

He would try and force his political views on me and also be weary of me going out with my friends… in case I got raped… although really he was just worried I’d find someone better. This guy, knowing my past tried to keep me in a box where he knew where I was because he wanted control. Please bear in mind we never lived together. My daughter had talked about getting a cat, I wasn’t sure… but after the death of a dog was getting a dog to keep my other one company. This guy had actually had the nerve to tell me he’d leave me if I got a cat once! And then when I got my new puppy had sulked for a week, he had actually said “it’s me or the dog” when I told him I was getting one! The relationship didn’t last long after that, it was the first time I’d actually had to end it on my terms and I felt terrible, but it was the best decision I’d ever made.

His controlling behaviour had started to make me paranoid. One thing I’ll never forget, I’d got tickets to a large company party and had invited him, but he couldn’t go, so I went with my friends and had the best time! It was fancy dress and we had an absolute ball! I had been telling him about it, and he had the nerve to say “you were seen leaving with a man”… this wasn’t true… well I left with a group of men and women… my friends… but not how he’d insinuated. After a bit of an awkward conversation where I felt I had to prove my innocence he admitted he’d made it up and was testing me. What a psycho! Glad he went!

The other big controlling one again started off nice, the guy with the “I did a walk against domestic violence T-shirt” was the Stand in. This was the guy who should have been a one night stand but told me he expected a relationship. This is all very well but he gave me no time to adjust to the idea of one and no space to even think if I actually wanted one. Every moment of my free time got eaten up by this guy. If he was in my office, we had to go to lunch… my gym routine slipped. I’d complain I needed to work out, he’d say he wanted me to have a bigger butt. I was so unhappy about it, I’d finally got my body to a place I was happy and this guy was trying to dictate I should put weight on!

He’d insist on cooking. Again this was actually quite passive aggressive in his approach. He’d insist on picking the food. Now my relationship with food isn’t the best, I go for simple, low carb fuel, I’m not in any way a foodie, I will happily eat the same thing daily as I know I’m getting what I need to stay healthy. After all the ups and downs of diets, gym regimes and making myself ill I’ve broken that bad relationship with it and stick to what works for me. Yet, here is this guy undoing all the hard work I had to put in to break that!

He would insist my daughter wore a coat, she would of course do the opposite. I could see it was damaging, hence he had to go. This guy’s uprightness about everything, rules, things having to be in terms he saw as the right ones made me and my daughter to an extent more uptight. I’d been happy at first, it had felt like someone who actually cared, but in reality this was just a guy who used care to control. There are so many examples of this that I won’t put here.

Perhaps I’m just like that rescue animal that struggles to trust again. Some people think I’m mad to want to stay single. But I can honestly say when I’m not reliant on anyone, when I’m not compromising my happiness that I am of course happier. I see friends desperate to find “the one” and I understand that, having that special relationship can be nice. Having children with someone you love can feel like you’ve won the lottery. But the biggest worry for me is that I’m never sure it’s real. Domestic bliss has its place for some, and that’s absolutely okay if it makes you happy. But domestic bliss for me sounds like actually just allowing someone else to have control, and I’m not really sure that can ever be bliss. There’s a guy right now who has chased me for about 2 years for a date, but I know already that he’s just more of the same. I know already that he will want me to change, he’ll want me to pool my free time and do couple things. I’m not sure I want “couple” things. If someone’s brain isn’t going to engage mine the couple things will just be the same old drudge once the novelty of a new person wears off and I’m not built for that. Is this an introvert problem? Perhaps. I wonder actually if it’s an extrovert problem, as in not mine. I can happily now go a while without human contact and feel great. In fact, I need that time. These guys so desperately seeking the other half can’t do that and I can understand. Everything has to be filled up so they don’t feel the gap and have to do thinking. I’m quite happy here thinking and enjoying being out of control… what does out of control mean? Well just that, no-one is controlling my thoughts and my actions. It is my responsibility what I do, how I behave and I’ll deal with the consequences and reap the rewards. Out of control is actually great, it’s the thing that those in authority shudder at the thought of, because if they can’t control you, you are therefore unpredictable and they have no rules for dealing with that. Out of control is what every human should be, it doesn’t mean you have to party 24/7 or drive your car 100MPH up the wrong side of the motorway, but if you wanted to you could, the consequences are yours…

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Be the person not the job

Today’s little thoughts as I was driving back from a riding lesson was all about labels. How we and others see ourselves. Very often the first thing that people ask is or try to find out if they’re stalking us on social media or checking out our profile on a dating site is “what do you do for a living?”. Fair question, it’s always interesting to find that out, but does finding out change that persons perception of you? I think it does.

When I say what I do normally people look confused so I broaden it to I.T. Which of course has other connotations at that point, people think I can of course fix their computer, their wireless router and anything else that involves wiring. Most of the time I can but that’s not what I do. The other image is of course the dismal one of the guy on the Helpdesk, headset on, listening to people’s woes over Outlook, Word, internet connectivity or something like that. And that perception that I fix stuff is yet again there. I guess actually my job is more about designing my bits right so the help desk guy gets as little hassle as possible…

If I had told you I was a refuse collector would you have perceived me differently? I suspect yes, but why? Well that’s because society still classes us by the jobs that we do and not the people we are. Lawyers, doctors, priests, the upstanding citizens of our so called human ecology can be as immoral as the next guy, in fact can be worse. The immunity such a profession can give means that some feel they can manipulate the situation to fit their favoured outcome, and as a society we let them because that’s what we do.

The call centre worker, well I’ve been there before, being shouted at, then looking after or training the poor guys being shouted at, probably demonstrate some of the most powerful problem solving skills and quick thinking in order to resolve the being shouted at situation. It is those on the front line, the anonymous voice who get abused the most and yet they have no power to manipulate the world as the guy in the grey suit with the letters after his name does.

But here’s the thing. Every single profession I’ve mentioned above involves people with likes and dislikes and hopes and dreams. They are merely acting in the paid time that they are held captive by the employer to do what they do. And yet still it defines our perception of the person.

I spend a lot of time playing down my intellect to people when they discover the work that I do if they don’t quite get it. I often feel embarrassed like I’ve been found out. The “Oh so you must be pretty clever then” is almost an accusation of being stealthy in my approach to appear as a human when I clearly am not.

But my life is so much more than the job that I do, and each time my job role has changed I remain the same person, I just learn a little more. Sometimes I’m a mom, sometimes I’m a zookeeper, sometimes I’m a wonderer, a biker, a horse rider, a lazy bitch watching Netflix in bed, at every single point I’m not being clever, I’m simply being me.

Some people certainly live and breath the work that they do. They just don’t stop and whilst it’s admirable it makes them boring to me. Yes the passion is great when someone loves what they do, but you can be too much of a good thing at which point you become that and nothing else.

So next time I see the guy emptying the bins, or the lady at the check out, or speak to the advisor for my insurance, my gas bill or buy things from a shop I’ll try to see the person behind the role and wonder what else lies behind the uniform or the well trained voice. When we remember that everyone else is a human too our prejudices of the unknown melt away. The lady in the burka often persecuted in today’s society is just a woman who has made a decision to demonstrate her faith, the guy in the overalls is fixing or building the things that we need for our everyday lives and so on, without the mix of people in our world we would all be clones. I am lucky to live in a country where choice is allowed, where freedom of speech is encouraged, but it’s sad to be lucky, that’s the way it should be regardless of our location.

I don’t fight for feminism because it’s now a dirty word, sullied by the extremist views of the bra burners, the man haters and the ones who accuse and abuse the rules to make the results in their favour. We often forget that our animalistic biological roles are separate to the intellectual roles that we play in the world. As a mother I try to instil the values that I see as important into my daughter, as a female being dated or in a relationship I am a woman, the potential child bearer, the yin that balances out the yang. But it doesn’t mean that I must always be that role in everything I do. At the gym I lift heavy whenever I can, in my job I out intellect the intellectuals in the chess like mind games of design and solution, but it’s all being lead by the person inside.

Sometimes that person inside is just a small child as she tries to make sense of the world around her with the hope that no one can see her breaking inside as she bluffs her way through trying to hold it together. Sometimes that person is the oldest, wisest witch with the forces of nature behind her and intuition leading her when she feels her strongest. There’s always a balance to be had in the child like wonder and the wise witch who knows the rules of the universe, and when the balance is equal she is at her happiest. She can enjoy the experience with her eyes open wide but interpret it with the wiseness of the child that was always considered to be old for her years.

In my belief we are purely energy driving the machine of the biology we’re born into. When the biology is old our energy is transferred to a new machine to start again and experience some more. The soul which is mine is an old one, the energy is fresh but the experience is vast. There are irrational fears built from experiences before this time that cannot be explained by events of the current phase of life into which I’ve been born. It makes me patient most of the time, but frustrated at behaviour of the world as a whole when I see people are wrongly perceived, persecuted generation after generation. It means that I don’t fear death all that much, but the pain of the process in which it inevitably happens.

So be the person inside, drop the job role, the perception of the way you should act and be the person you are, you’ll be perceived as more genuine. Don’t worry about validation from the people around you, validate yourself and have confidence that when you are being who you are it really doesn’t matter what you do to earn your bread.

The problem with clever girls…

Dating when you’re clever and not afraid to be clever is a struggle. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far…

You need someone you can actually have a level conversation with – a bitch and a moan is great every now and again but for me I want to be able to talk about fun stuff with someone and learn something in the process. I see a relationship as a partnership where you constantly learn from one another. When that stops, I struggle. I need to be able to make a clever joke and someone actually get it or someone to keep my brain alive with clever jokes so I don’t die of boredom. There’s a balance. If someone gives me the need to google something to keep up! Even better! I’m not afraid of not knowing something.

Lots of clever men are very insecure – I tend to find the more intelligent the guy is, the more he’s threatened by your intellect. He’ll do that in different ways. Either he’ll spend his time making out you’re stupid, some guys are very good at this, if I get promoted it was apparently down to him, if I pass an exam he would have scored higher, if I took up a new hobby it was lame and a waste of time. It’s totally demoralising and makes you give up a lot of the things you love doing, that in turn makes him feel better because he wants me to be average. It was only when I stand up for what I believed in that the bigger issues in these types of relationship began. Others will do it by patronising you. Dr Yesterday at one point said “Gosh, you’re so clever doing all that computery stuff, much cleverer than I and I’m a Doctor.” Like being a doctor gives you the key to being ultimately more intelligent than anyone else on the planet, it doesn’t, there are plenty of physicists, philosophers, writers, and average people with the ability to think that can beat anyone with the title Doctor any day!!! The clincher “what a Darhling little data modeller you are!”…. errr oh well thanks and fuck off!

Normal guys don’t think they’re good enough – just don’t mention your I.Q.!!!! They run! Run a mile! You probably didn’t mention your I.Q. at all but you compared your GCSE maths grades, or you worked out the tip for the bill in your head on the spot or something like that and he thought “good god! I can’t keep up.” So he ran a mile….yep! Yes I get frustrated if someone doesn’t know the basics of maths, but I don’t want to talk maths all day!!! Why can’t they just be happy that I can add up good and he’s probably better at something else like cooking, seriously I’d kill for a guy that would do my ironing!!! 😉 on a serious note though someone to help me lift stuff when I’m fixing my house would really help… haven’t got time for insecure guys who get all shitty because their maths is bad!

You earn more – for some reason no matter what has happened in the world to push equality you earning more than your guy seems to cause a problem and I have no idea why!?! Well I do, it’s the age old protector in them rearing its ugly head. I don’t see why we can’t just celebrate that sometimes she earns more, if you both like what you do and work hard then where’s the issue? I’ve been in positions before where the guy had no desire to work and you seemed to always pay, that’s different. I’m talking about the guy that has an honest job, just the way society ranks the job means there’s less pay coming in. It’s not their fault and why should it be an issue? I don’t understand why these guys would rather have a girl on less pay, or very often get taken advantage of by some gold digger (this happens a lot because this guy just wants to look after someone) than swallow his pride and share being happy with someone who can accept him for who he is. If anything it’s less pressure on him, yet somehow they never quite see it that way!

He wants the life you can offer and not you – hmmmm been there way too often. Skater boy changed every bit of me, took credit for every good thing I did and gave not very much in return. Yes he worked hard too, but not without rubbing my face in it that he was doing it all for me! That in my eyes isn’t giving, that’s martyrdom for attention. When I was the sole wage earner, pregnant working 50+ hours a week, I was so useless with money that I had to get paid into his bank account so he could control the money… funny how he always had new clothes, that student loan he got for not turning up to uni never seemed to go far, but when I needed Maternity clothes they were far too expensive. I recognised this in the ‘Stand in’ too, when he started to ask how much equity I had in my house, what my Job’s market value was, then started sending Zoopla pages with the tag, we could pool our resources and buy this after 2 months… that was a big flat no! I will share with anyone I am dating, but when they expect me to buy them a better life, nope nope nope! When you start to feel like a meal ticket to some guys middle class aspirations it’s time to run!

I don’t need rescuing – I sometimes joke with ‘the one’ that I need him to come and rescue me and we’ll make up a tone of scenarios where he’s going to scale the building mission impossible style with a husky drawn chariot because huskies are cool. But this guy knows that I don’t need recusing at all, he’s just helping me exercise my imagination. He knows full well I can stand on my own two feet and there’s rarely a time when I haven’t “got this shit handled” he stands back and applauds when I handled it. Most guys… any possible opportunity for them to come swooping in where they’re not wanted and there they are!!! Getting in the way meaning I’ve got to waste energy now handling their shit instead. It was interesting recently, my daughter ended up in hospital because of her diabetes and it was a worrying time. Whilst I stood next to my daughter’s bed giving her my full attention could Skater Boy do the same? No, Skater Boy spent more time building his own pity party and milking the attention whilst his Sloth drove him back and forth and felt all sorry for him. I was glad not to be with him any more, I realised how much energy I had wasted in the past focussing on him when I should have purely focussed on my child. On the other hand had I still been with ‘The Stand in’ well sure he would have come to recuse me as would have Dr Yesterday but we would have certainly heard all about it and how I couldn’t have copedwithout them…. WRONG! Instead ‘The one’ stayed well away, reminded me to eat, sent us video clips to laugh at whilst she was recovering and checked in when I wasn’t busy just to say hi. He knew there was nothing he could add to the situation by being there, so he saved up hugs for when I’d actually have time to get them.

Hilariously Mr Married often asks why I don’t have a ring on my finger… answer, because I’m too fucking scary! The guys that would ask don’t deserve me and the ones that might just get a yes respect me to much to assume so don’t ask!

And there it is… perhaps I might just die alone surrounded by rescue dogs… lol!