I'm a firm believer that no one can 'take' control over you. You must 'submit' to their control and while sometimes it's easier said than done, I prefer not to let people control my thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Typically, it's very easy for a family member to have control over you, generally just by their relation to you. I mean, your parents do have control over where you go, and what you do, but not necessarily how you feel about yourself. There are some really great parents out there who compliment and support their children all the time, yet these kids still feel incompetent or ugly or dumb, etc. Obviously the opposite is true as well, there are hateful abusive parents who end up with very well adjusted children. I don't think that it's always a conscience decision to let someone control how you feel about yourself or a situation, but others do influence us, and sometimes it requires a fully conscious decision to listen (in good cases) or not listen (in bad cases).
Where did this random thought come from you might ask? Well, first from working with youth and seeing how they view themselves in relation to what others say about them, or how their peers treat them. It often breaks my heart to see young men/women who are so self-conscious or lack self-esteem when they have so very much to offer. I pray that as I interact with these kids I can help be that influence of positive self-image, or can foster a focus on things that they are very good at.
Me, personally, I'm no athlete, very poor coordination, but I've found that I can be a runner (and typically am, though a slow one, which is fine with me!). My parents fostered in my sister and I both that we were smart, we could/should/would do well in school, we would attend college, and we could be anything that we put our minds to--that paid off for both of us. Rene' (my fab sister) is much more athletic than I am, but she's very good at encouraging me in our running endeavors, but the fact that we both focused and excelled in academics and did strive for athletics, I believe has a lot to do with how we were raised. (I have no problem with that, just making a point).
The second reason I was thinking about this is because of the way that my emotions and thoughts have been affected by our failed adoption. I am very guilty of allowing that girl (supposed birth mother) way more control over me than I'd like to admit, but since I'm honest on here, I'm outing myself! I let her ruin my view on private adoption and cause me to be much less trusting overall, and even to taint the name we had picked for our baby. In the past few days I've decided to take back that control, and while our private adoption went poorly (and I think all birth mothers should have a background check in these cases), that doesn't mean that all will. I am a trusting person, and I don't want that to change about me, I'm not naive (as I had my suspicions about that girl from the get-go, hence my intense record keeping!), but I generally trust until you give me a reason not to (i.e. extorting money from me) and I prefer to stay that way. in addition to that I am well aware that birth mothers are not evil people out to scam you for money, this girl was a criminal, not a mother (so all birth mothers, know I very much respect you for the choices you make and the sacrifices you endure for your children). And as far as the name we had picked out last summer, we are still using it, that was not her child's name, but was for our child one day, whenever and however that happened.
Not gonna lie, it feels really good to relinquish that control. That does not mean we will not continue to pursue our case, we definitely will see it through to the end. I believe that while the whole experience was nightmare-ish, that was God's plan for us, and we are serving a purpose by keeping her from putting anyone else through such a nightmare.
I am in control of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions!