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.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Are You a Good Flea, or a Bad Flea?

Remember when Glinda asked Dorothy a question along theses lines?

Well, fleas can be good fleas... and they can be bad fleas.

Fleas are personality traits that we pick up from someone we live with or work closely with.  Fleas can be neutral - an acquired taste for Armenian food, the color puce, or Metallica.  They can be helpful - ex b-f was fanatical about not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight - not so much as a single coffee spoon.  Or, or, or, the sink would be crawling with ants (sometimes it would be anyway, dirty coffee spoon or no dirty coffee spoon) and much trauma was experienced by all.

Now that I have my own place, I - usually - follow suit on leaving an empty sink at night, and I think that's a good "flea."  Although, I have left dirty dishes in the sink overnight in my new place.  And the world has apparently, not come to an end after all, lol!

Here's how one person described the feeling:
So here I am, trying to rediscover myself. And I cannot quite shake his being from me. It is as though we melted together and I have to pick at the pieces one by one and decide, "Is this me or him? If it is him, do I want to make a conscious decision to keep this piece, or will I reject it?" Brainwashing, is how this has been described on another forum. Did I turn a little OCPD by living 22 years without resisting his efforts to define me?

I realized I was experiencing a "flea-bitten" moment last Friday night, as I was heading to meet a g-f for dinner at her place.  Now, we had set the time I expected to arrive as "6-ish."  And I truly thought I would be there on time, although I was coming after work, and LA traffic is always a variable.  But, a couple of things got in the way, and I realized I was looking at the car clock display and stressing out, "OMG, it's 6:08.  And I'm still several minutes away."  Because there was always a time-math pressure with ex b-f - you were supposed to be on time, always, but up to five minutes late, you usually didn't have to call, unless he was in one of those moods, but if it will be more than five minutes late, you had better, so then, I should call, but I'm reasoning, it's my g-f and she knows how traffic and work are, and I don't want to put the pressure on her if she's coming to me, and we'd left it a little loosey-goosey anyway..."

I didn't call.  She wasn't upset about me being late  (I think I got there at 6:13, but who's counting?!)  And we had a good talk and laugh together about my fleas.

Now, about me and my other girlfriend - last week, we:

Slept in on Saturday a.m., and didn't it feel good?!
Socialized with several fabulous friends. Good times!

Painted our toenails bright pink.

Drank some wine and burned some candles.

Did some household chores.  Feel so much more enlightened after replacing burned out bulb in office ceiling fixture!

Had fun with lingerie.
Thought, briefly, about calling ex b-f.  Took apart that feeling.  Missing him?  A little bit.  The good parts, of course, like his smile when he was in a good mood.  Worried about him - the RescueWoman side of me?  A lot.  Decided it's not time to check in on him yet, according to what's good for me.

Took a long, glorious walk on the beach (which combined exercise, spending social time with somebody I adore, AND research for latest novel, talking about multi-tasking!) 

Although now I have an almost-blister on my big toe.
Yes, it *was* warm enough to lay out and swim last weekend.
In mid-January.  BUT, you guys get to have colorful autumn leaves.
And snow.  Really, you're BOGARDING our snow.  Selfish of you.
Rehung the moon in the sky - distressing when it falls out.
Happy this time I did *not* get Gorilla Glue all over fingers.

Did some writing.  Some reading.  Some listening to music.

And all in all, felt pretty good about life.  I feel truly blessed to have a wide, incredibly beautiful circle of supportive friends and family as I pick off my fleas and work through all my Hard Emotional Issues.  And realizing, I simply couldn't address anything scary in a real or deep way, until I felt safe.

I do feel safe now.  Especially with the moon, stars and sun all in the sky, where they belong.

How 'bout you?  Got fleas?
Tell me about them,
in the Comments, below.