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.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Chap 9 - Work As A Means of Control

via Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhoto
This post continues with The Driving Forces: WORK AS A MEANS OF CONTROL from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992.  If   you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.
Finally, many people see hard work as one of the most important tools for controlling their destinies, either indirectly, via the Scorekeeper (as I've already mentioned), or directly. Since many obsessives never feel financially or professionally secure enough, no matter how much money they have, or how impressive their accomplishments, they may feel enable to ever turn down any opportunity to work more. Or they may be afraid to take time off work because of the attendant loss of control over everything from in-house politics to ensuring that things are done "their way."

"Control - or the illusions thereof - is vitally important to workaholics," writer researcher Marilyn Machlowitz. "The question to achieve control is not simply a contest but a brutal, futile battle. Workholics' cluttered calendars represent an attempt to 'beat the clock.' Their lists [of things to do] are but 'a  way to organize the unorganizable.'... The perceived need for organization creates a tendency to cram all objectives into a stable, predictable, and inadequate amount of time in order to achieve a semblance of control."


If you slow down, 'It' might catch you. 'It' being the BoogeyMan, some nebulous childhood monster. Or your feelings, or some family duty you don't want to accept...

I have a friend who's always claimed the "never turn down work" mantra, yet when I offered to show him ways he could afford to do so (something that's part of my day job) he had countless reasons excuses why it wouldn't work for him. I'm something of a slow learner, but I finally figured out "having to work" was like his security blankie, something he clung to. He felt scared and directionless without "having to work," so he was always going to "have to."

via AndrewEick at Flickr Creative Commons Some rights reserved

How can someone challenge you if you say you "have" to work? They can't, because the average person does have to work to keep a roof over his/her head and the lights on.  "Having" to work becomes like a "Get out of Jail FREE" Monopoly card, a free pass from all other obligations.  And when the workaholic does free up some time, it's then treated like a precious jewel; the family of the workaholic is made to feel, not like this is their rightful due, but that the workaholic has done something heroic to create this time. A control issue all the way.

Does "having to work" give you a sense of security?
Will you put in extra hours, unpaid, to have something
"done right" at your job, rather than let someone else do it differently?
Your thoughts?
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