Control… are you scared?

Control… are you scared?

Case Study: “Almond”

Almond met Nate online.
She liked his words.
She was excited by how he wrote, what he said.
Her excitement also made her nervous, out of control of her physical reactions.
She got over it and met him in person, and found something even more exciting than she’d hoped.
Although again she felt out of control of her reactions.
(She even felt a bit out of control when anyone else might have said she looked in control.)

After they… met… she was brattish. Which she admitted meant she liked him.
So she got control back by blocking contact with Nate, by ignoring him, pushing him away. Being kind of wilfully awkward.

Nate sensed something significant, so he got back in touch a month or so later, and Almond cautiously started communicating. They had things in common. Smart, sensual, quiet, both offering something different that the other wanted.

When he said they should meet a second time, Almond felt nervous and out of control again.
She said yes, but found subtle ways to make sure it didn’t actually happen.
She was excited by Nate taking control, but was scared to allow him to do it.

Nate was patient. He kind of understood.
He could see there might be all kinds of things blocking Almond.
But he kind of thought if something is interesting, it’s worth pursuing.

He also knew Almond wanted someone to take charge in some ways.
He quietly tried to help Almond be OK with being out of control. He knew if they met again face-to-face they’d get along fine. He’d take control again in some ways and she’d like it. She’d keep control in others.
But Almond knew they’d get along too. And she had The Fear. The Fear of attachment.
So she wouldn’t let it happen.

But trying to maintain anything without meeting again, just by text and email, is hard even for people who’ve know each other for years.

Nate had limits, Almond alternately pulling then pushing.
Almond knew he’d have limits.
Nate consciously stopped being direct. He stopped the words she liked, played her game, became oblique.
Almond became critical then anodyne.
Then Nate drew a line.
Almond could now in her own mind choose to make Nate responsible, easier than taking any responsibility.
Maybe she resented him for changing his behaviour, for stopping.

Then, nothing.
The zugzwang of direct and indirect communication.
So maybe they found something else.
Maybe she found something more exciting than Nate, and she was able to give up control.
Maybe he raised his expectations.
Maybe she found something within her comfort zone.
Maybe something else happened.
Or they just got bored.

Maybe she began a spampaign?

If she wasn’t bored, didn’t find something else, will she be brave enough to go to Nate. She might need to get over herself and apologise. But first she needs to make a positive step, get in touch, if she wants something to happen. In any context.

Sometimes something strong emerges from conflict.
Control. Not something that can be demanded, or wrested.
Voluntary submission.

Posted by June J