Controllees' Response to Childhood Wounds
Updated: May 4
Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity. - M. Scott Peck
When you were a child, you expected your caregivers to give you what you needed: affection, belonging, acceptance, validation, order, autonomy, value, challenge, self-expression, hope.
But you were raised by fallible human beings, who failed to give you these things either sporadically or spectacularly. You could not make sense of why this happened. “Mommy and Daddy love me,” you assumed. For if they had not, they would surely have rejected you and sent you out into the streets to die. They were perfect and they knew what they are doing.
But mommy and daddy didn’t give you what you needed, despite their love for you. The only logical conclusion that your child self could come to is that there was something drastically wrong with you. That was why mommy and daddy treated you this way.
You were not enough. You were not good enough to love. You must earn their love.
You perceived from your caregivers a set of rules or beliefs that you must follow in order to get them to show you love correctly. Since they were damaged themselves, of course this never happened. But you kept trying and kept trying, with your parents and with the copy of one of them that you married, to get it right.
This time, this person will love you.
At first your mate, who is a repeat of the parent who was most damaged, showed you real love. He or she idealized you, thought the world of you, told you that you were his or her soulmate, that you were meant to be together forever. Finally, you could do no wrong. You had finally corrected the relationship with that damaged parent.
And then something changed. You ceased being perfect in your new mate’s eyes and you became fallible again. You made mistakes. You didn’t measure up. Ah, you thought. You had seen this before. You knew this game. You had already perfected ways to earn love. You would implement those all over again and you would earn back the love that this person once gave you.
But that love never returned, did it? You tried and tried until, years or decades later, it dawned on you that you were chasing an impossibility. And now you are so tired, so very tired, of trying and self-sacrificing and suffering. You gave your power to another and now you feel powerless and dependent.