Student or Learner
"needed to be in control"? In whose control? Her own control or her mother's control?
In 1983, writing in The Washington Post, Susan Okie, a journalist and longtime friend, described Dr. Ride as elusive and enigmatic, protective of her emotions.
“During college and graduate school,” Dr. Okie wrote, “I had to interrogate her to find out what was happening in her personal life.”
Dr. Okie quoted Dr. Ride’s younger sister, the Rev. Karen Scott, a Presbyterian minister, as saying, “ ‘Closeness’ is not a word that is often used to describe relationships in our family.” Dr. Ride always needed to be in control, her mother told Dr. Okie.
IMO, it says that Dr. Ride always had to have control, both of herself/her feelings and of the situation. She did not like things to go any different from what she liked.
Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.