A House of Cards

December 17, 2007
By Lauren Powell, Hockley, TX

C-O-N-T-R-O-L these seven letters are the essence of my life. Without it I am nothing…only a spec of dust floating in a dark and endless void. My life is led according to it’s endless demands; do your Physics homework do NOT watch Grey’s Anatomy, the only TV show you want to watch during the week.

Mercilessly Control orders on, beheading some of my most decadent pastimes… There goes my favorite series book The Insiders all about adorable boys who need a little more control in their life. Especially in the part where the overly emotional basketball player cried on national television.

There goes that piece of chocolate I’ve been craving for so long…there goes that gooey globby peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I might have eaten for lunch.

Surprisingly, my life is not encumbered by the demands of others. Having control is my own secret weapon it’s impenetrable shield saving me from becoming irrational, emotional, unpredictable, and…vulnerable. Vulnerability, I vowed never to feel again. Never again to feel the raw anguish, the endless sleepless nights spent desperately searching for a solution. No more would I take long showers so that my tears were camouflaged by streams of water. No more, attempting to hide from certain doom in which I had no say in my own fate. Never again would I play achy breaky sappy old tunes because it was the only thing I could identify with…besides screamo (which everyone can identify with).

Yes, I would be the one who decided my own fate; no one would have control over me. Feelings would become my own. Other’s actions would no longer have the ability to make me into a psychotic soap watching emotional train wreck. But how does one take control of themselves?

In order to achieve my indestructible, impermeable existence I had only to obey the whims of five key elements.
Determination- create a plan and stick to it no matter what the cost,
Perseverance- there will be people and things that will stand in your way but you cannot allow them to deter you from your goal,
Strength- you must have the strength to carry yourself through endless trials fighting for your goal until your last breath,
Willpower-keep yourself aware of traps and trials, and
Obsession- live and breathe your goal. It became an all consuming lifestyle not allowing for any of the personal drama crap that ruins innocent lives.

It wasn’t an easy choice to make, and honestly it was a rather unconscious one. One day I just let it happen and ever since that fateful day in the 7th grade I have lived my life according to the rule of Control. My spare time was filled with making plans, schedules, and inventing creative ways to fulfill my new and improved lifestyle. One free of emotional turmoil…or so I thought.

Guilt. I had never counted on the immense guilt I would feel when lying to my parents, but thankfully I got over that quick.

“Are you ever going to learn to lie and get away with it Lauren?”

“Well, I can when I have to.”

“Yay, I knew I could teach you something…I’m proud”
Then came the guilt from covering up the fact that I had embraced this secret life and the fact that I was slowly but surely becoming enthralled with it. It was consuming my every waking moment accompanied by it’s best friend Guilt.

Sometimes I would succumb to an undeniable urge to eat anything and everything, well not the kitchen sink. An uncontrollable feeling was grabbing a hold of me, I was clasped in an iron grip that I just couldn’t shake. I could have eaten everything in my pantry; I think I might have once …or twice. No amount of planning, exercising, and self-loathing thoughts could prevent this nasty turn of events. I would stray from my carefully thought out schedule of when to eat and when not to eat. Basically eating was for when I was with my dad and every other day it should be avoided as much as possible. This critical failing of mine was proof of how weak I really was. How feebleminded I could be. These relapses or episodes only served to justify my need for Control. Revealing that I was unable to survive with out “the system” as I so fondly called it.

The advantage to “the system” is that no one ever hurt me emotionally again. I was invincible …until him. My lifestyle became a house of cards, fragile and with the slightest stir of the wind, was sure to come crashing down. He came into my life and turned it inside out and upside down. I both loved and hated him for it. It was as if there were two ropes attached to my arms. He was pulling as hard as he could to the right and Control was pulling equally hard to the left. My body was beginning to stretch to the breaking point.

Unfortunately, his plan backfired because although for the first time in five years I was actually beginning to question whether or not my lifestyle was the solution I had believed it to be. My soul felt as if it had been cut by a thousand pieces of jagged glass. My heart flies into my mouth and I can’t breathe every time I once again bow to the whims of control. Sometimes I want to break free of the reigns of Control, for I know it doesn’t love me as He does. But then again I’m deathly afraid of letting go of being on my own; of not having a shield to protect me from the world. Maybe I really need protecting from myself.

There is nothing I can do to change his mind. He believes he can save me. No amount of begging, rationalizing, whining, crying, yelling, or screaming has made him rethink his belief that he can save me. He is patient and kind, feelings that I do not extend towards myself. I know it hurts him sometimes, and I can’t stand hurting him. Guilt eats away at my soul every time I’ve lied. He thinks he can save me. I don’t know if I deserve it. He thinks he can save me. But do I WANT to be saved?

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!