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.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

I was recently validated as not being the only woman on the planet looking back on a relationship (or, alas, more than one relationship) and asking myself, What Was I Thinking?

They've got stories from 58 women asking themselves the same question.  So, I'm not the only slow learner.

I'm sure, if you asked a bunch of gay women, gay men, or straight men, they'd have similar "light bulb moment" stories about their girlfriends, boyfriends, and ex-spouses. 

Unfortunately, sometimes we turn the bulb out again.

From the Intro:
What Was I Thinking? is a collection of personal essays written by women describing that moment in a relationship when, no matter how much you think it should work or want it to work or need it to work, it becomes clear to you that it's not going to work.
The really hit me - too much of the time we focus on exactly that: "I think it should work" and "I want it to work" and "I need it to work" and we don't want to pay attention to: Hello?  It's not working.  They say you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but we get wrapped up in trying to help somebody else overcome their problems and live up to their potential.  Maybe our partner doesn't want to be a silk purse.
...this is not necessarily the moment of the actual breakup.  Rather, these stories describe the instant when logic, common sense, and simple self-interest triumph over the human need to be loved - or, at least, the need to be in a relationship.  The relationship may not last beyond lunch, or it may linger for weeks or even longer.  But inside, you know: He's going to be an ex.
Trying to remember when the first time I knew with OCPD ex b-f it was not going to work out.  There were so many, many moments, and I just kept overruling my common sense and gut instincts.  Was it the time he started in with the Shower Rules?  The jealous spazz attacks about my boss and co-workers?  The way he would come in to "touch base" with me (aka, constant interruptions) whenever I was trying to write?

I just kept telling myself, with enough time and love and patience, I would be able to make it work.  I was an idealist.

They cleaned this up just a smidge for the broadcast version.  The written version describes the guy as being built, not like a 16 oz can of beer, but like two 16 oz cans of beer, stacked on top of each other.  <wincing yet?>

I dated a guy like that for a while, and concocted an excuse to break up, because, well, sex wasn't fun because of his can-cans.  (Or big banana, take your pick.)  Couldn't think of  a tactful way to tell him that, though.

I'm having fun reading the stories and watching the video clips.  Apparently Nicole Hollander (cartoonist, Sylvia) was once married to somebody with OCPD - seems he felt she deliberately ruined his soup by making it with noodles that were the wrong width.


Well, I'm glad they rediscovered this holiday, and I'll definitely be celebrating.

Have you had a "Come To Your Senses" moment?
What triggered it for you?