Outside a relationship with Christ, ‘personality’ makes us who we are. It influences every aspect of our lives including how we interact with others.
Growing up in a family of strong personalities that exhibited controlling behavior affected me in my adult life.
Sometimes, family can go from being helpful, to being “too helpful.” As my son transitioned into adulthood, trying to find the balance between allowing my son to be independent and still looking out for his best interest have been challenging and a process. I didn’t always know how to let go and allow him to make his own decisions. I now understand that leaning too far in one direction can result in a controlling household.
Studies show that families and parents that control a child’s every move create adults who display maladaptive behaviors. You can’t be a dictator, you have to learn how to work with your children especially through the teenage stage.
I grew up being a perfectionist, often times to avoid criticism from within the family. As an adult it carried over to my everyday life. Its caused problems in my workplace and relationships. Which carried over into areas of uncertainty in the form of self-doubt. I sought out affirmations from everyone and anyone. I had difficulty doing just about anything without getting approval from someone even now it’s still a battle. I have struggled with feeling intimidated around people with a controlling demeanor, this was a carry-over from feeling intimidated and belittled within my own family as a child and even as an adult. My decisions were taken over by my controlling family members, this made it difficult for me to learn how to make decisions for myself. I’d seek input from others or simply avoid making them at all.
Before I confronted these deep-rooted issues, I was unaware that I processed my emotions in unhealthy ways which left me feeling intimidated by people who probably had no ill-will towards me. I found it hard to relax, always feeling like I was being watched or scrutinized. As an adult, I still felt like I was being watched by my family regardless of how far they were away from me.
When I began to exercise my freedom, the Holy Spirit showed me these areas that had affected me in profound ways, I didn’t even realize I was exhibiting such behaviors.
If you see yourself in my story there is hope, the power of the Holy Spirit is able to transform issues that took place during the course of your life. Because, believe it or not these deep-rooted issues affect how you parent which impacts your relationship with your child.
Mental health experts can help you untangle from the effects of having grown up with a controlling family or parental figure. I am a Believer that you can have Jesus and a therapist. There is no shame in going to counseling—you don’t have to stay bound.