I Am Powerless

I am not in control. I was reminded of this recently. But before I delve into the myriad reasons why this is the case, I want to briefly comment on the concept of control and how it pertains to my life then and now.

Control is an asshole. Control is resilient, persistent, non-discriminatory in the worst kind of way. Control is inconspicuously destructive.

Control is the time I spent two years actively attempting to mediate my parents' marriage. It started, quite innocently, in my worry for their well-being. I wanted them to be okay with one another. I wanted them to refrain from using the turmoil tool under the roof that we were all emotionally privy to. I wanted to shield that from my brothers.

In retrospect, I'm not sure if it was more about keeping them together or more about my empathic yearning to make some sort of difference, whatever that may be, and however misguided.

My attempts at control did not work, obviously. Their relationship wasn't ever going to work. I only see that now. Then, I thought I could change the world. Then, I thought I was in control.

I was not, clearly.

Flash-forward to the present and I'm still finding control to be a prescient asshole.

I took a trip to visit a loved one recently. I came to learn about what this loved one was experiencing. I came to express my love and support. I came to find support and camaraderie and clarity in my relationship with control. And, as suspected, I was given this support and cameraderie and clarity. I was reminded that I am powerless.


I am powerless to enact change in my loved one. Yes, I do in fact need to tell myself that. Despite it reeking of an arrogance to think that I could control any semblance of his life. I am powerless. I am heartbroken. I am sad. But I am hopeful.

Powerless. It's not an easy word to be associated with.

And as it pertains to the lives of others (i.e., the things we have no goddamn control over no matter how much we whine and fret and expend energy on), it's absolutely necessary.

I'm looking ahead. I'm working on my own life. Not his. I'm taking care of myself. I'm discovering joy in the release of that control. That is what I have control over. I have control over myself, my actions, my thoughts, my emotions, my writing, my garden, my back, my happiness, my bowel movements. Not theirs. Their burden is not mine to carry.

And yet I still have to remind myself. Because control is an asshole.