Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here's an OCPDr You Know and Love

So, I admit it - I've been jealous.

I've been reading other blogs, and they have pictures.  They have video.  They have cute little tie-ins to this-and-that.  Me, I got nothin' - because OCPD, on its own, isn't particularly photogenic.  Often those with OCPD even hide out, put on a "street angel," "house devil" persona, and friends and family are shocked, shocked!  when the dirty details surface. 

Still, I wanted a spokesmodel.

And then, there she was.  That voice.  That amazing fashion sense.  Those unforgettable lips.

Most people think Mrs. P-head, above is a joke, a caricature.  Too extreme.  That real people aren't like this.

Oh, but they are.

If you've ever driven with an OCPDr at shotgun, you'll never forget the experience.  Only when our peops are in the car, we never get a break where their lips fall off.  (Unfortunately.)

True life experiences:
  • An OCPDr wil not trust the GPS, may be convinced it does not work correctly and gives the wrong directions. Only HE knows the best route to get anywhere. If it says go right he goes left just to get the upper hand over the GPS lady and hear her say "RE-Calculating".
  • She said I was going to hit the bollard in the middle of the road and then after I completely missed it (which is what I have managed to do for the last 20 years) she gave me another verbal scolding.
  • Or how about this one:  on the freeway if someone comes up behind him faster than he thinks is appropriate he slows down (he'll show them!)
  • Criticizes nonstop, especially on familiar roads.  Why?  Why?
  • Either excessive, blow-by-blow directions you don't need on familiar roads, and no hints whatsoever until too late to get over or make the turn in unfamiliar areas.
  • Ever been stopped by the cops for going too slow?  Yep, happens to those with OCPD, and on a not-infrequent basis.  If we listened to their constant screaming about how we're going too fast, we'd get stopped, too.
 He's nodding off in the seat beside me. Wearing a big hat, so it's a distraction in the corner of my eye, and we've got a long way yet to drive.
  • Me: Honey, why don't you incline the seat back, so you can doze and not get a crick in your neck?  (And not be obstructing my vision, you dolt!  I only thought it, didn't say it.)
  • Him: But I have to make sure I wake up every little while to keep you from killing us.  (This might be funny if it were a joke - but he's not joking.)
  • Me: No, you don't.
  • Him: Yes I do.
  • Me: I know that you think that way, but no, you really don't.
Later, I'm first in line at the signal, waiting for the light. Light changes, I've got a green arrow.  I don't immediately speed through, because I know this intersection.
  • Him: Go, go go! It's not going to get any greener. (sarcastic)
  • Me: I always wait... <Car screeches through the intersection, proving my point> for a three-count in this area, so all the idiots running the red light will have cleared the intersection before I drive into it.  
  • Him (semi-apologetic): Okay, thank-you-for-not-killing-us.
 This is the sometimes funny, but mostly sad and tragic thing about OCPD.  Those with it, who are untreated, truly believe that it is only by their hyper-vigilance and constant monitoring of "scary" situations, is horrible disaster averted.

The reality is, when somebody is verbally riding you like the Pony Express, you're much more likely to have an accident than avoid one.  But there's no convincing them of that.

Why don't we simply turn the wheel over to them?  Sometimes, we do, but generally, they drive remarkably worse than they think we do.  They get lost, they panic over missed turns, they freak out and do have accidents.  Their one saving grace is they usually realize this, on some level, and don't want to drive.

Driving with normal people, or by myself, I have such a sense of peace now.  Gratitude.  There's a sense of blessed quiet, like when a car alarm has been going off in the neighborhood for twenty minutes, and they finally shut it off .  Even if I'm blasting Led Zeppelin or Black-Eyed Peas for my own listening pleasure, it's sooo much calmer in the car!.

Sure, I could still get hit by some idiot - but at least I won't be getting hit because I'm distracted by another idiot.  Oooh, for detachable lips!