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, December 18, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Chap 10 - Don't Be Pressured Into
Disavowing Your Own Feelings and Preferences

This post continues with Living With the Obsessive: 4 - Don't Be Pressured into Disavowing Your Own Feelings and Preferences from Chapter Ten.

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.

4 - Don't Be Pressured into Disavowing Your Own Feelings and Preferences

Even if you can't win a debate demonstrating the superiority of your position, you are still entitled to your own view. You should feel free to assert that right.

Unless you're equally obsessive, you're probably no match for an obsessive in an argument. Obsessives spend their lives analyzing things; they're experts at it. But just because a course of action seems to be more efficient, practical, or logical to him or her, you still don't have to choose it. Don't be shamed or bullied into doing so. <snip>

<snip> If something truly conflicts with your values (e.g., a disagreement about how to handle your children, or some other important matter), listen to his arguments and think it over when you're alone. Then figure out what your position is, and reopen the discussion. Don't give in just to silence him or her. Don't be afraid to ask for time to think it over.
One of the biggest issues I had with my ex was him not being able to accept that we were different people, in different skins. When, in his opinion, there was no REASON for me to feel cold, he became highly offended when I felt cold, anyway.  Obviously I was just doing it to piss him off. I tried for two years to think myself warm, before deciding, "Screw this, I'm putting another blanket on my side of the bed."  After that I probably got an extra hour's sleep each night, which I badly needed, instead of lying in bed, too cold to fall asleep.

Chick Corea & Return to Forever
Chick Corea & Return to Forever via
We had many common interests and beliefs, but sometimes we diverged. We went to a Return to Forever concert. For him, it was like Jesus and the Beatles rolled into one concert. And I was delighted - for him, that he enjoyed it so. For me, meh. Parts of it I enjoyed, and I could appreciate the level of artistry and musicianship, but it wasn't my kind of music.  Again, he tried very hard to talk me into liking it more on the drive home.  He couldn't let it be that we could have different thoughts, feelings and tastes. He frequently claimed he could tell exactly what I thought and felt - and he was almost always wrong.

One of my friends related a story that once with her partner, they were discussing a favorite restaurant, and he was recalling how much she liked some particular dish. She gently corrected him, "It wasn't terrible, but actually, honey, I didn't care for it that much, and I wouldn't order it again for myself." This turned into a twenty-five minute harangue where he tried to convince her she really loved that dish, after all.

Is it worth fighting about for twenty-five minutes whether or not you loved the veal (or whatever it was)? Of course not. The best thing is to end the conversation, "Guess we'll have to agree to differ," and walk away if you have to.

If you simply cave in to avoid a fight, you're enabling the distorted thinking and boundary violation, plus you may be shivering in your bed, cold and resentful.  If you love someone with this condition, it is vital that s/he come to accept that you ARE different people, that you can have different tastes and preferences, and still the world will go on spinning.

Your thoughts?
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