Wednesday, May 1, 2013

control freak & feeling like shit

I'm a control freak.

And lately, with it being May... things in the photography department have been kicked up a notch, less sleep, more work, less free time, more depending on each other.

And as the busyness of our lives has started to take control, I've been more controlling... and more freaky.

Today Joel said he wanted to say something honest to me.

I stopped and listened.

He said that his intention was not to make me, "feel like shit"... then explained how sometimes the way I speak to him- makes him feel like shit.

And I totally felt like shit as I went over all the things I had just said aloud to him that were not kind.

Things I said to kick him into gear... take it up a notch, when in reality I was tearing him down.

And if I'm really being honest with myself.... after our talk, I apologized and slipped away to google "verbal abuse."

I fall into that category.

Verbal abuse includes withholding, bullying, defaming, defining, trivializing, harassing, diverting, interrogating, accusing, blaming, blocking, countering, lying, berating, taunting, put downs, abuse disguised as a joke, discounting, threatening, name-calling, yelling and raging. 

More feeling shitty.

As the day continued, there was lots of internal dialogue, quietness and apologies.

I read so many parenting books talking about how not to label your children and how to speak to them and somehow, somewhere, along the way- I fell off the wagon when it came to my own spouse.

I'd like to think there was a time I wasn't always like this.

And I did make it through the day with only positive and kind words when I spoke to him.  I was more intentional and more thoughtful when I opened my mouth.

I still feel shitty.

At dinner, I promised him I was going to change.

And as the day unfolded, I remembered a conversation I had with my friend, a few months back... she mentioned how we're the most unkind to the people we love the most and why is that?  We say the most hurtful things and do the most grotesque things (like farting) but never in front of a stranger.  Why do we hold ourselves to such standards for a stranger... for someone we don't know well, but not for family?  It's a bit perplexing, isn't it?

"There are two things over which you have complete dominion, authority and control 
your mind and your mouth."
 -African Proverb

I encourage anyone reading this to examine the relationships in your life with the people closest to you. I could easily say this is just who I am... that I lived and breathed physical and verbal abuse, but I know better.  There comes a point in your life where you have stand up and take responsibility for yourself and change, really change and stop the cycle.  There is no excuse.

I am very embarrassed, and still very shocked.  But I wanted to share, in hopes that someone else might read this and realize they are in my shoes, or my husband's.


  1. Gosh, I love so many things about this post. I love your honesty and your transparency and the truth of what you share. It's brilliant.

    It's funny because I can relate, but from a bit of the other standpoint. My husband and I are in the throws of moving and he is a control freak, Mr. Organization-of-the-Year and I'm over here like, yea whatever, sure that can go there, uh huh, shrug. We are so opposite when it comes to that kind of stuff. It's kinda funny to see our personalities so exaggerated - stress seems to do that. He gets uber-controlling and I withdraw. Your post reminded me to be more patient with our differences, it's all gonna be ok :)

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for sharing Kaci :)

      Moving is absolutely one of the biggest stressors of life! If that doesn't bring out the control freak in a control freak- I don't know what does.

      We're actually in the middle of a yard sale and after writing this post last night it was SO different, and stress free for once in my life. It was nice :)

  2. Oh I love this! My friend and I always talk about the same thing. I am guilty of being the meanest to Steve and I'm pretty sure he could say the same as far as him to me. It's so true...we take out our frustrations and anger on the ones we love the most sometimes.
    Steve and I have had many conversations about "it's the way you said this or that to me."
    Thanks for sharing, Olivia!


"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

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