Being a control freak has an incredibly negative connotation. The phrase is synonymous with abuse, narcissism, and antisocial personality disorder among other things. Today I was called all three as I am every day. After all, I am a control freak. My life circumstances have had a major hand in this aspect of my personality. Being subjected to the cruelest aspects of the human psyche will do that.
Over the last eight years or so of my life, I have made changes. Some of these transformations have alienated me from my old friends. Quite frankly, I am OK with this. When I look back at how I used to be, I was nothing more than a coward - lacking a spine and unable to stand up for myself. I hated who I was.
But the fears of being trapped in the horrific hell of my past has created some maladaptive personality traits. Notably, I am as power hungry as they come. One would not be faulted for confusing me with someone who is antisocial. However, I seek power for different reasons than the average person.
Because of where I fall on the social hierarchy courtesy of circumstances of birth, I have to fight for every inch. Living with Autism, while also being Jewish and small of stature, means that I am viewed as an easy victim by many. I have been betrayed by more people who used me as a stepping stone than I have fingers and toes. As a result, I do not feel safe unless I am in complete control of my surroundings.
When I play Dungeons and Dragons, I do not feel safe unless I am the Dungeon Master. I was kicked out a campaign recently because I lacked control and influence. I was part of a fraternity when I was in my early years of college. The moment I was not on the executive board, I was subjected to cyberbullying that requires the use of hyperbole to describe.
I have been called a crybaby by my peers. Told to "suck it up buttercup" by friends and family. Being forced out of countless jobs for roughly ten years of my life taught me that trusting anyone is foolish. I am accused of being too picky when selecting my line of work. This is despite the very real health issues I posses where dealing with dealing with toxic coworkers poses a direct risk to my health.
When I lack control of my peers, I am passed over. Whether because friends don't trust me, or there is more for others to gain by harming me does not matter. I am made to suffer so that others may rise to the top so frequently that it has left me bitter and jaded. Cynicism is part of who I am. I straddle the line between becoming unfettered and staying true to myself every day.
Constantly I am told that I need to stop caring what others think of me. It's strange how those who give such advice do not like when I disregard their opinions of me. I cannot exert myself confidently without being called egotistical. And when I try to pay heed to the opinions of others, I am trampled all over.
So where do I feel safe with all this emotional baggage, when I am the dictator of my own little castle? I am aware of the harsh reality of might makes right. Thus I am willing to have a power trip of my own for the sake of protection. Perhaps I am narcissistic in thinking my way is better than another's. However, what I can say with confidence, is that I know what it is like to be oppressed and silenced.
When I am lord of the realm, I always seek to let other voices be heard. It is telling that many who have given me that power in their lives have told me that they appreciate what I do. My dictatorship is one of passive control, just like the voice that I used to write this. So long as I control the destiny of my environment, I can guarantee the safety of myself and those I care about. However, should I let another make a power play, I do not think I am secure at all.