When I was growing up. my mother was very controlling in a subtle, almost abusive way. Very passive aggressive and very grudge-holding. Anything that wasn't her idea was a bad idea. She is a very strict fundamentalist 'bible is fact' Christian.
For my entire childhood I'd seek her approval and usually not get it. I went from 4 years old straight to adulthood because I always felt such pressure to make a mature, responsible decision. I picked the wrong career, the wrong husband, the wrong car, the wrong education and on and on... everything I've done is wrong (according to mom that is).
The counselor I've been seeing said that it is a displaced locus of control. My want for approval was natural and never having gotten it left it unrequited in a way. It's perfectly natural for a child to be guided by a parent and have her decisions made for her. Mom screwed that up by expecting to be able to ALWAYS make my decisions and to condemn as wrong any decisions I made that weren't hers. I didn't rebel at first; I just wanted her approval. When I was younger I let her decide everything - what I should like, what I should eat, how I should dress - everything.
The problem with that turned out to be that even with me doing all that she tried to program me to do, I still wasn't good enough. I didn't realize it at first but my gradual reaction was to learn to live without approval. I'd just do as she said for as long as it took for me to move out. I started college when I was 16 and moved out at 17 and I started my adulthood never really having had a childhood.
When I got my first real job and went and bought my own car - a brand new red Honda Civic with stripes and a fin - she said 'Tell me you didn't buy that thing.' She disapproved of where I worked, what I did, where I went, who I went with, the church I went to - everything that she could disapprove of, she did disapprove of.
It occurred to me that maybe I am in SL looking for what I am looking for because it has been easy (or at the very least, easier) for me to find approval. In Gor I was everyone's special princess. Since then, every deep relationship I've had has been all about me. I've let myself be catered to and just sat back and been adored. Meeting and knowing Mistress has rocked that boat quite severely.
Who knows what any of this means? I'm probably making more of it than it's worth.