Monday, 16 April 2018

I'm out of control

I'm done with being in control. 
I'm done with being everyone's 'go to' person. 
I'm done with taking responsibility.
I'm done with being blamed if things go wrong.
I'm done with being called a Control freak.

You see where others feel I'm control of my life, or feel I'm a control freak or feel that I just get things done, I don't actually see myself as any of those things.

I see a 46 year old woman, whose life is dictated to her by others. Other peoples needs, other peoples expectations. Like every other person in the world.

I don't live my life as I want. I'm a daughter, mother, wife. I can't have control over any of these things, as my mother, children and husband have their own list of needs/wants/desires and we all just have to fit together, doing things we don't want to do, or things we don't feel capable of, to be able to live together, however far apart we actually are.

I have no control over my kids lives. I don't want any. But I will help, guide and support them.

I have no control over my husbands job but I have literally followed him to the end of the earth to support him.

I had no control of my father's life or his sudden death last year and my mothers subsequent move to a flat.

Therefore I have no control over my own life, other than how I choose to deal with all the above. The only choice I have to have control over my own life is to live it on my own, but then I'd need to work and my life would be controlled by my salary and my employers.

We all have choices in life, we can make the right or the wrong choice, which could turn into the wrong or the right choice later down the line, even many years later. We can plan our lives with our choice of education, employment, decisions on where to live, who to date/marry, have kids or not have kids. But we have no control over external factors, other people and their impact on our lives through their deeds, behaviour, their wants and needs or education and employment choices.

We also have little control over our health. Yes we can eat healthily, not smoke or drink, we can exercise. We can also find a myriad of excuses to justify why we don't take better care of ourselves and we all know someone who ate well, exercised, didn't smoke and drink who died young, so it can happen to anyone in our minds.

I'm not good at delegating matters when it comes to my personal life. In my work life there is structure, predictability, clearly defined job roles. In our personal lives there is little of that. 

I'm not good at asking for help. Why? Because I often don't feel the need to ask for help, or too many times I've been promised help but it's been followed up with a string of excuses. It's easy to say 'just ask' but when you have asked and been let down, you just don't ask again. But this is often viewed as you don't ask, because you feel that other people just aren't up to the job, that they aren't as organised or as skilled as you. That they're not as capable as you, therefore you become a control freak, you won't let people help you.

But whereas I can't manage the effect of other peoples lives on mine. I can manage my own thoughts and feelings on how I deal with the lack of control in my life.

When I got married, had kids, I didn't make a sacrifice, I didn't give up a certain way of life. I made these choices. I didn't make these choices alone. When we became an expat, I made the choice to jump in feet first. Yes my husband said we could make a choice on whether we went or stayed. I didn't like the choice we made. I didn't like the decision to move to Dubai either. I had no control over a lot of things such as the actual relocation, the youngest having to return to the UK for boarding school. Yes there were other options, other routes we could've explored, but either way. I had no control over the fact that decisions and choices had to me made and I might not like the outcomes. Some decisions that felt wrong or right have since reversed.

I know I will always have to make decisions from the choice of restaurant where we eat to when we relocate to the UK and all the stuff in between. There are some things that others can't help us with, but their needs and wants will form part of our decision making, however they won't necessarily be part of the discussion or be able to take any part in our decision making. Such as the health of our mothers, our disabled adult child.

I have no control of my husband reaching 65 and having to retire and our relocation back to the UK at this point. We may choose to relocate earlier, we may have to relocate earlier. 
But I do have control how I choose to spend my time between now and then, how I react and behave and who I choose to ask for help. Just because I don't ask you, doesn't mean to say I don't have people to ask, who have similar experiences, who may actually be able to help in some way.

After all you're not going to ask a car mechanic to listen to your irregular heart beat, any more than you'd ask someone without kids to share their experiences of giving birth.


  1. Powerful post and one that really made me think tonight when I am struggling a little but not too much now I have more control of my own emotions and can choose how to react to things. I like the acknowledgement here that we have made our choices as it makes me feel less the victim of circumstances. Thank you #BestBootForward

  2. This makes me think about the saying “Pickers can’t be choosers” alluding to the possibility that some people pick from the options presented to them and others choose which options they’d like to have. In reality, life is both picking and choosing. Occasionally no choices or options whatsoever. You have made best of those times when you’ve had to pick though in the past you may have been more used to choosing, which is probably why it can be hard at times. Know that many simply wouldn’t have coped and that’s a big credit to you, and often when we have many more people in our lives it tends to be more like that. You’re a strong, capable woman but that doesn’t mean you have to be all the time. I hear what you’re saying about asking for help too. Thank you for adding this frank and honest post to this weeks #BestBootForward x

  3. This is a really powerful post and while reading it I felt like we were alike in many ways! You are right that all of us have situations we have no control over in life and nobody is ever fully in control of their own life. It's so important to concentrate on what we can control. #BestBootForward