A few interesting articles I saw online today on Psychcentral.com:
Motherhood and depression, An interview with Tracy Thompson
Keys to becoming a positive person
Respectful child discipline starts with the parent
Regarding this last one, resisting power plays with my children is something with which I often struggle. I guess I was raised with pretty traditional discipline; we were spanked when appropriate, but not overly so and we knew we were loved. Yet I know that I have power issues. It angers me, I feel, too quickly, when I am defied by my kids too often or with attitude. I WANT to wield my power over them, to bend them to my will, maybe even occasionally to break their spirit. Isn't that awful? Why? I'm not sure. If it were someone else, I'd say this behavior indicates someone who does not feel in control of their own life and has a psychological need to see themselves as being in control, with defiance threatening to expose their actual lack of control and therefore threatening the self.
But, why would I not be in control? It's not like I live in North Korea, right? My husband and I moved back East after he finished his degree in order to be close to parents who needed care... but I think I wanted to do that, to get back home. I wasn't abandoning any dream of being somewhere else. At one time, I did feel very ashamed of how long it took from initial dating until finally marrying my husband (8 years), and that it was I waiting on him year after year to propose.... This involved a distinct period of feeling powerlessness at the time, but I pretty much never think about it any more. And of course I ultimately could have left, but I chose not to do that: again, not powerless.
My mom had MS, another thing I couldn't control, but it was normal to me and not anything I ever struggled against. It was hard to witness her decline, so I guess there was a certain powerlessness there, but again, I didn't and don't ruminate on it.
I am overweight, but I don't really feel powerless against that.
I have sometimes felt angry at having anxiety and depression when pretty much all of my friends do not have this complication.
I am quite competitive and it does irk me when I see people who have simply had more fortunate circumstances, but isn't that normal?
I have had complexion issues since the 5th grade, which continue and make me very frustrated because all this was supposed to be OVER by now, dammit! This problem along with reactions to topical medications that caused redness and peeling did definitely mold my self image and sense of worth. I wore nothing without a crew neckline (except for two strapless formal dresses about which I was very self conscious) until I was 33 and was forced into scoop necklines by the maternity-wear industry. Anyway, in school I was convinced my complexion was to blame for my obvious invisibility to boys despite my athletic build. I blamed missing my Junior Prom on this as well.
Even when I did date, pursuing someone who would have rather been left alone but was doomed by his being the first male ever to pay me a compliment, I accepted the role of the one pleading for attention way way way more often than feeling I had any power. Beggars can't be choosers, right? I went from a first love with whom I was not to admit in public that we were dating and with whom there were to be absolutely no public displays of affection, to someone I loved but was too mentally messed-up to react to properly and who eventually got me to break up with him because he was cheating and wanted out. From there to someone who saw me as a conquest and who never called again after there was no challenge and who enjoyed bragging about that to mutual friends who seemed to coincidentally become distant; then to an embarrassing hook-up with a friend who then also dropped off the map; and finally to a good but very platonic friend who pushed his crush on me to fruition and eventually love and marriage (but not until after cheating and reversing the pursuit so that I was again the one waiting for a decision to be passed upon me).
Now THAT'S a lot of perceived powerlessness, but would it really manifest itself as needing to be "she-who-must-be-obeyed?" Maybe, I guess. I do still feel knots in my stomach when thinking about these relationships, though that is as things are for me with any past pain, I relive it rather than remember it. It is getting less vivid, but it's taken 20 years and I can still cry over a first love despite now completely understanding the circumstances I was too naive to acknowledge back then.
My Dad always said I was too sensitive, too emotional. I think that it is simply that the first experiences of love seared themselves so strikingly on my brain that they're like the poop stains on white baby onesies---those suckers will never come out completely no matter what you do.