Control freak diaries: Double check ten times

Overtime till 8 pm at the office.

Gathered my things to go home. Switched off computer, UPS, air-con and lights. I opened the door and went outside.

As I was a few meters from the dormitory, I realized I forgot to double check the office doors. So I went back and made sure I locked it by turning the knob 10 times. It was locked.

I went outside again. Then I realized, I did not double check if I turned the lights off.

So basically, the rest of the evening was just a scenario of double checking if I turned off the air-con, lights, blah, blah. I was finally at peace when I double checked everything for the nth time.

That’s just how I do things. It is hard being a control freak.

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Control freak diaries

It’s hard being a control freak. I have always known I was different.

Dating back in high school, I hated spontaneous activities or spur of the moment situations. Everything had to be planned and I always wanted to be in control. Surprise quizzes or exams always freaked me out, and while everyone else laughed it off, I was “panic-studying”. That was when I earned “panicker” as my nickname.

My situation got worse in college. The pressure was undeniably getting into my nerves, being the daughter of a known professor at the university. All eyes were glued on me. People started expecting me to be as great as father. Freedom was not a privilege. Making mistakes was not part of my to-do list. I could not do what I wanted and I was always bugged by other people’s thoughts. Hence, I became more paranoid and controlling. Over thinking and weeping was part of my daily routine. I’d easily get depressed on low exam scores and scolding professors. I had a tough time.

In class, getting a perfect score resulted in applause combined with a few gossips about the-perks-of-having-a-professor-father. Whereas a low score resulted in gossips about being not as great as father. So, there was always a comparison between father and I.

I almost lost my mind at that time. It never occurred to me that I’d be experiencing that kind of pressure. It was no longer normal. Seeking professional psychiatric help came into mind but I was afraid of stirring another round of gossip. It was then that I realized I had to solve my own problem and rewire my brain. It was a matter of mind conditioning — filling up thoughts with happy things like rainbows and unicorns, and teaching myself to be positive and not over think. I pretended not to care about people’s thoughts until I no longer had to.

I cannot say I am better. But I know that I am not as controlling and paranoid as I was in college. I may still show signs of being a freak but I’ve had worse days. I have long accepted this side of myself and I am now good at controlling by control freak tendencies. Oh the irony.

I apparently just found out that mother and I share the same personality. Good to know I’m not the lone freak in the family.

So, I’d be starting a weekly post on my being a control freak. Hopefully, this would send a message to people who are quick to judge. Acceptance is, I think, the best cure to anything.