Dear Dr. Romance:

I recently read "Could He/She be a Control Freak?" and I suddenly found information that seemed to pertain to a failed marriage that I was still pondering about. I am wondering, if a person had a chaotic childhood and teens growing up, like you mentioned, do those types of people blame others for things? Do they say the other person is the controller? Do they not see any responsibility on their part for things and only blame others? Could they easily become upset and lock themselves in their room and maybe not speak to you for a day or so?

Just curious about the types of behaviors control freaks may have.

Dear Reader:

Yes, these actions sound like the survivor of a chaotic childhood. For this person, it's really important to blame someone else, to deflect the ensuing storm from him-or herself. The problem with this person is, the traumatized child from the past is still running the show. At the least upset, the person reverts to early childhood, and reacts in the same way he or she did then.

Because the early trauma is not resolved or healed, the person lives as though the childhood chaos could come back at any minute. Thus, the traumatized person tries to control the environment (including others in proximity,) is hyper-vigilant (ultra alert for impending doom) and emotionally over-reactive. "Mirrors and Teachers" shows you a simple way to handle these people better, "Self Control: Who’s in Charge Here?" explains the difference between controlling others and yourself. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction, will explain controlling and other types of dysfunction more thoroughly, and is designed to help heal early trauma.

For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.