The fragility of peace under constraint

The Orthodox Church prays in one of its litanies for ``freedom from contraint'' -- a term which, abstractly, fascinated me for some while before finding its place in my thinking... it found its place while I was suffering fairly severaly from obsessive-compulsive disorder (manifested mostly in the checking of door-locks and electrical switches) whenever I was walking along the street and felt a small compulsion to go over and look at a particular poster, flower, or some such thing... and wa annoyed by the constraint that someone else was laready doing so, or that I'd look daft crossing back over the road having only just crossed it already, and the irritations of such things (perhaps driven only by contrariness) led me to realize on reflection just how fragile my peace was... quite different from Christ's peace ``which the world cannot give'' [:] and which ``no-one can take away''[:].

I then noticed similar effects in someone not conventionally labellable as neurotically ill... someone who needed to control those around them so that they could feel that they were in control of their own lives (or at least, that no-one else was). If anyone put any pressure on them, they couldn't cope at all (although normally competant in lifeskills and reasonably brigh tand breezey)... what kind of history must they have had, what expectations and thwartings of co-operation in acheiving their goals? A helpless child, or a spoilt one, or both?

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