Anxiety Trigger, Depression, Control

One of the main emotional mind-twisters that happens to those who have been in any type of relationship with controllers, abusers, and/or narcissistic people is that when they're happy, you are not. When you're happy, they are not.

Your happiness triggers their control behavior.

This means that anytime you (the target) are doing something, planning something, or experiencing something that brings you joy or confidence, they (the controller) will feel something "negative" such as annoyance, arrogance, jealousy, envy, anxiety, fear, or even the compulsion to stop your activity or feelings, like a cat putting a paw on a skittering mouse (simple compulsion). They follow their emotional reaction with a behavioral action.

So if they notice you go swimming, and swimming makes you happy, they will try to stop you from doing that somehow, using any number of subtle or overt tactics. They might try to shame you about wearing a bathing suit, or swimming in public, or being seen by the opposite sex. They might make it difficult for you to get a ride to the swimming area. They might find tasks for you to do when you plan to go swimming. They might invite themselves along, not to join you or just hang out, which would be healthy, but with the intention of disrupting your swimming experience, or diverting or destroying any human connections you might have made. They might insert their opinion and control over everything you do involving swimming, getting ready for swimming, and your aspirations or goals around swimming.

Their behavior is triggered whenever they notice you are feeling joy, confidence, or peace, because their emotions are triggered.
This leads to you, the target, developing an anxiety response that is TRIGGERED by YOUR OWN JOY, HAPPINESS, OR CONFIDENCE. After a long enough period of time, which can be very short depending on the circumstances, you will learn that when you feel positive, there will be a consequence.

When you feel joy, there will be some kind of consequence.

When you are working on something and succeeding, you will show a signal, and there will be a consequence.

When you are praised by someone or given positive attention, there will be a consequence.

When you make a friend, or connect directly to one of the controller's friends or associates, there will be a consequence.

When you go to bake a cake, fix your car, clean your room, or wash your clothes, buy groceries, repair the steps, get a haircut, get new shoes, there will be a consequence.

When you sign up for a class, or go to practice an instrument, there will a consequence.

When you have an enjoyable time with another person, regardless of who they are, there will be a consequence.

When you do something that shows your talent, insight, skill, or intelligence, there will be a consequence.

When you find something to be very funny, or very soothing, or very fascinating, there will be a consequence!

The consequence could be very big, or very small, almost imperceptible~ but nonetheless, there it is. It might be aggressive and hostile. It might be some kind of shame, silent treatment, or ridicule. It might be more about control and taking over what you're doing, perhaps treating you as if you don't really know what you're doing, or over-complimenting and focusing on you in such a way that implies that you've FINALLY done something right... or correcting and re-doing whatever you've done. There are myriad ways of giving consequences, and asserting control.

So after awhile, you can develop a trigger to your own positive feelings. When you feel good about anything, you feel anxiety. When you feel excitement, you then feel stress. When you feel confidence, you then feel shame. When you feel optimism, you then feel guilt. And so on, and so on.

A real life example:
When you realize it's time to change your oil, you start to plan whether to do it yourself or bring it to a shop, but soon your planning feels negative, and the whole task feels overwhelming. Then, whether you do it yourself or bring it to a shop, it will feel like you made the wrong choice. Whichever you end up doing, you will feel that the other would have been better, and you screwed up yet again. If however the original negative feelings grew more overwhelming, you may have instead pushed it aside completely.

The planning to change your oil gave a natural twinge of confidence. This confidence feeling, albeit small, was the trigger for the anxiety.

Pushing the task aside gives relief from the anxiety that was triggered. Avoiding the task also means avoiding the actual consequences that may occur from any controlling human (such as criticism, ridicule, control or sabotage) when you change the oil yourself, or when you deal with the people at the auto shop.
WHEN we keep pushing aside tasks because we get overwhelmed with anxiety, we can find ourselves in a pattern of stagnation and avoidance. We may find ourselves lonely, or bogged down with unfinished tasks, disorganization, or an escape addiction. We may find that we have anxiety disorders that keep us from participating in life. We can develop depression or illness.


There is but one single reason that controllers give these consequences for all these different things: when the target feels positive in any way, the controller feels compelled to stop the positive feeling. Positive feelings lead to self-confidence. Self-confidence leads to decision-making. Decision-making leads to success, which reinforces self-confidence. Strong self-confidence leads to independence

In a controller's emotional processing, independent people leave. Independent people might abandon. Independent people might hurt or betray. Independent people may take away resources and company. Independent people might have more power than the controller, and that either angers them or scares them, depending on the individual. (Different controllers have different underlying agendas; some are quite dangerous, see NPD, or psychopath, but others are not actually dangerous, they just don't know any other way to interact or manage their emotions.)

The other side of this coin is that when the controller is happy, it is usually because he or she is in control. Control feels good to them. That means you are not in control of the situation at that time. The controller can not do things with you, in an equally shared experience. They cannot and will not follow your lead.
They may pretend to, but they won't really do it; they'll keep doing little things to rebel, whether you can see them or not. They can not wrap their minds around true "WE", because they arrange everyone in their minds as either "lower" or "higher", as "leader" or "follower", as "teacher" or "student", as "expert" or "novice".  

They can't be your classmate, they have to be your teacher.
They can't be your friend, they have to be your leader.

They will "follow" someone who they have labeled "Above" themselves, but that's probably not you. You are relegated to "Below" status, because you don't meet the requirements in their mind of being a person who is "Above".  You can only be one, "Below" or "Above". There is no "equal".

Therefore, they can not be happy unless YOU ARE FOLLOWING, and THEY ARE LEADING.

SO, you are probably not relaxed when they are happy, because when they are happy, they feel they are in control over you. Their happiness is tied directly to you, your actions, reactions, and behavior. Also, you know it will end shortly. Their happiness means "uh oh" to your subconscious; you wait for the other shoe to drop. 

The reasons behind the controller's triggers can vary widely, and are usually based in past emotional hardship such as childhood abandonment, trauma, the death of a parent, an abusive family member, having to take care of others or work too much during formative years, or being exposed to adults who behaved in these ways.

In summation, the important point of all of this is that we can develop an anxiety and negativity response that is triggered by our own feelings of confidence, joy, hope, happiness, excitement, and friendship connections. This can be healed, of course, with some effort and focus, after awareness has taken place.