Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:05 am
Posts: 174
Francie wrote:

To paraphrase St. Augustine, if you do understand it, it's not OCPD 8-)


:D


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:31 pm 
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LearningToChange wrote:
Just because someone didn't have an obviously rigid upbringing doesn't mean there weren't other triggers in their life that brought out their genetic OCPD tendencies.
Great point.
For me, the more I widen my view of things and how they were, the more I see that there were people in my life wanting to help me out, and I systematically rejected them for it. Not that I think nothing in my environment could've helped me out in not developing the OCPD, or to the extent I did, but these tendencies do seem, in my retrospect, pretty damn stubborn. Like that tree that grows through the sidewalk, upending the pavement :shock: :lol: .

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:18 pm 
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Francie wrote:
LearningToChange wrote:
Just because someone didn't have an obviously rigid upbringing doesn't mean there weren't other triggers in their life that brought out their genetic OCPD tendencies.
Great point.
For me, the more I widen my view of things and how they were, the more I see that there were people in my life wanting to help me out, and I systematically rejected them for it. Not that I think nothing in my environment could've helped me out in not developing the OCPD, or to the extent I did, but these tendencies do seem, in my retrospect, pretty damn stubborn. Like that tree that grows through the sidewalk, upending the pavement :shock: :lol: .


Agreed. I was just telling my husband that I wish I could tell the child me that it would have been okay to ask for help, to tell teachers that I didn't know what was going on, to tell my mother that I was lost and overwhelmed. There were plenty of people who would have listened, and even some who asked if I needed anything.

But I thought I should already know what to do on my own. So I pretended to know what I was doing, and the problems compounded.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:05 am 
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It is right that my opinion is colored by the fact that the first rant ever was related to a situation of shame (being somewhat ridiculed in an E.R., although I suppose it was rather gently) and that to me this marks the onset of ocpd. When I think about it some more, the main point about that incident must have been that I advised her and she was put in that position as a consequence. I guess she had trusted me up to then in navigating her through the 'real' world instead of the sheltered countryside environment she grew up in and this fell apart at that point in time.

I can easily accept that ocpd is basically about a bewildering, threatening world where an intelligent, logical child cues in on the cause - effect approach in order to avoid bad things happening rather than on the emotional 'safety' provided by other people. Maybe 'fear of abandonment', where most kids cue in on the fact that although their parents will 'punish' them for misbehavior, they still love them and ocpd kids may not be so confident about that. Maybe somewhat autistic in not trusting the emotions of other people. Fear of being ridiculed does play a role though, a lack of emotional self-confidence, compensated by a very high confidence in their own thinking and brain.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:10 am 
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Location: Suburbs of Atlanta
Shame vs. Guilt:

I can acutely feel both of these, but I can often avoid guilt by making a sincere effort to not do anything wrong. What I fear the most is the unavoidable humiliation.

For example: I feel guilty about my house not being clean enough for guests. I can fix that by cleaning, and am only held back by demand resistance. But if someone were to pop in for an unexpected visit---I would feel ashamed of how my house looks.

So it seems like I could control the guilt by "always" doing the right thing (as if that were possible :roll: ), but I have little control over the unexpected situation where I might feel humiliated.

It appears to me that guilt is generated by me and shame by others. I know in reality that those two feelings come from within, because other folks might not feel either emotion in the same situation, but in my mind it still seems like guilt is something I can control, while shame is not.

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Liza Jane

Peace is the result of training your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. ~ Wayne Dyer


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:01 am 
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LizaJane, I feel those same things over issues I stress about. The difference I think that is key is that I am able to talk myself through it and acknowledge that my feelings are just my feelings, and I'm usually satisfied with the thought that I'm not alone in my problem. That plenty of other people experience the same thing and that I'll be okay. Then if I'm still upset about it I will talk about how I'm feeling with a friend and we can talk or laugh. I find my husband can't acknowledge what he's feeling and that it's coming from himself. Then he can't take that situation and turn it into something he can bond with someone over. The same situation causes him to retreat and beat himself up or get angry at someone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:25 am 
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I think my OCPDer feels shame rather than guilt in many instances, eg. he knows the mistake he made that resulted in an unfortunate incident, but he describes it to others in such a biased way that makes him the helpless victim. He didn't seem to feel much "guilt" for causing the incident, and definitely no guilt at all for describing it falsely. But he feels shame that he made a big mistake and therefore he does not want others to know, thus the false description.

What he cares about is what others think of him, and he cares about this a GREAT deal!


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:05 pm 
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While I understand the difference between shame and guilt, how they could be comorbid in extreme form - their roots are very opposite - confuses me. Shame is selfish and guilt is selfless, we may experience both, but couldn't be consumed by both at once. If OCPD is our main disorder, I'd assume, for the most part, we primarily avoid guilt and maybe often (but not as often) avoid shame.

LizaJane, interesting to read your take on the relationship between the two.

LizaJane wrote:
So it seems like I could control the guilt by "always" doing the right thing (as if that were possible :roll: ), but I have little control over the unexpected situation where I might feel humiliated.

Yes, doing the right thing or even (not good, but it happens) changing the rules around to create a new "right thing". This is, from what I understand, guilt avoidance - something I've unfortunately become a total pro at. The shame avoidance reflex, however, is something I lack. My ex narc avoided shame so effortlessly, but on occasion, would reflect (in great detail) on a shameful memory. It seemed very calculated, as if his inner masochist needed this shame. I don't feel this need for guilt and wonder if others receive any amount of pleasure or relief from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:43 pm 
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tasha wrote:
While I understand the difference between shame and guilt, how they could be comorbid in extreme form - their roots are very opposite - confuses me. Shame is selfish and guilt is selfless, we may experience both, but couldn't be consumed by both at once. If OCPD is our main disorder, I'd assume, for the most part, we primarily avoid guilt and maybe often (but not as often) avoid shame.

It does not seem impossible to me that ocpd'ers develop a keen sense of guilt in order to avoid actions that could result in feeling ashamed. Having had my head chewed off several hundreds of times over some minor humiliation I have landed her in has contributed a lot to my belief that this is a core mechanism at work. But it is true that there is also a lot of self-reproach over issues that no one else has noticed.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Forum magic :D . Just when I was getting confused and turned around by this discussion, I got some gifts from it.
First, props to this line. While I don't think OCPD can easily be encapsulated, the following feels like a fantastically accurate summation of this part of things for me, in a clear and objective way I hadn't grasped before:
belgianguy wrote:
I can easily accept that ocpd is basically about a bewildering, threatening world where an intelligent, logical child cues in on the cause - effect approach in order to avoid bad things happening rather than on the emotional 'safety' provided by other people.

Then this, also from belgianguy:
belgianguy wrote:
But it is true that there is also a lot of self-reproach over issues that no one else has noticed.

Coupled with what LizaJane described along the lines of guilt starting with internal thoughts and shame coming on from an outside event, helped me with some clarity with the ongoing responses of shame & guilt (which, to be clear, I feel tons of both.) What it really seems like to me is that huge chasm between what and how I'm perceiving things and what and how others around me are.
Here's how it looks to me:
I"m sitting in my world, and in there it's filled with guilt for what I haven't done - which essentially amounts to that I haven't made my life add up to that perfect view of what things are supposed to be. Big sweeping things I haven't done, when pressed for details it's hard to clearly describe. Like bg described, things that others really aren't thinking about or noticing the way I am.

Meanwhile someone brings something to my attention, some actual thing that I've done or not done that they have issue with. "hey you left X here" "hey I've been trying to engage you all day and you're just not here with me" etc. anything. Most often something I'm either largely oblivious to, or have some sense of but am basically avoiding being really aware of.

My response: Here's where the shame kicks in, what I think Paul would describe maybe as the guilt-avoidance - I can't have done this, there's got to be some mistake, I'd be a terrible person for doing this, how can I be this person, what's wrong with me. And shame ripples out in all sorts of negative ways - defensiveness, resistance, arguing, bad feelings, resentment, despair, etc. But nothing that really deals with the actual issue at hand.

And this seems to clarify things in a way I hadn't seen them before, especiallyl the guilt-avoidance + shame-pit kneejerk response to just about anything someone says to me :shock: . (But also keeping in mind that it's all being manufactured out of disordered thinking and whatever else is misfiring in here to begin with.)

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:53 pm 
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OCPDmanager wrote:
I understand we have a difference of opinion. While I believe OCPDers feel bad when they do something wrong, you seem to think OCPDers feel bad when they're perceived as doing something wrong. I'll just take this as irreconcilable. Though ... I do have some thoughts on it.

It seems to me unnecessarily complicated to say the OCPDer feels bad when he's perceived to have done something wrong, rather than just to say the OCPDer has a harsh conscience, so that when he does something wrong, he feels bad.

I wonder if it's more a philosophical difference between us. Like the question, if a tree falls in a forest, and there's no one to hear it, then did it make a sound. If an OCPDer does something wrong, and there's no one there to see it, does he feel bad. This seeing and being seen, perceiving and being perceived, is so closely linked with human experience, it's difficult to separate from the issues we're discussing.
Francie wrote:
What about gender? For ex., to me the world looks like it's made up of men crashing and banging around - with less regard for what others think of them - and women who've learned that what others think of us can and will be used against us.

Mainly, I was trying to steer discussion away from the trigger word "Shame" and any association of that word (or similar ones like ashamed) with NPD, and toward the concept of imperfection (being "wrong" in OCPDese). My experience is close to that described by belgianguy and his xDW. I do think the point about gender is very relevant, and on top of this for my situation is raising kids, which is the lengthy and ultimate achievement of many traditional-role women. When I started giving DW negative feedback and "undermining her authority" with respect to her handling the kids, that generated significant rifts in the marriage. Standing up to her OCP-driven decisions/rules that I felt were strongly disordered, she began perceiving herself as wrong/incorrect. When the DSs became old enough to be able to express their displeasure themselves, and for the times when I agreed with them, it magnified/validated those feelings of imperfection (she's a Feeler, not a Thinker, in MBTI terms). She was caught in a difficult spot, thinking she was right but feeling that she was wrong. The large majority of the overrulings I made have proven themselves "right", which is bitter to her (and reassuring to me).

DW is much more concerned about how DSs, and her parents/siblings, and neighbors, and acquaintances view/perceive her to a point. She will be authentic/true to herself about her thoughts, but her actions are heavily weighted by who she is dealing with. So I believe the social aspects are very influential, as are the levels of confidence of the inner circle members in calling out bad behavior/decisions. In her forest, there are many people to hear when she falls from the lofty and dizzying heights of perfection, and she's embarrassed if not ashamed when they get hit or have close calls, or when the DSs and DH are the ones falling and she cannot stop them.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:25 am 
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On this, I just want to add that the rants were far worse, way more vicious, when some real or perceived (public) humiliation was involved. The 'normal' rants were unavoidable and kind or ritual, not a lot of meaning, bad enough but took them in my stride. But the ones after a 'humiliation' or other difficult spot she was put in, I really went a long way to avoid those. I can more or less understand that this sensitivity to humiliation does not feel to 'belong' to ocpd if looked at from the inside. But to me they were an integral part of ocpd and since they scared me the most, I think I feel it is a dominating aspect.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:23 pm 
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For what it's worth, my experience mirrors that of RC and BG, even with the gender roles reversed.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:35 pm 
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realitychecque wrote:
Mainly, I was trying to steer discussion away from the trigger word "Shame" and any association of that word (or similar ones like ashamed) with NPD, and toward the concept of imperfection (being "wrong" in OCPDese).

belgianguy wrote:
I can more or less understand that this sensitivity to humiliation does not feel to 'belong' to ocpd if looked at from the inside.

Perhaps things have gotten convoluted and lost in translation here, but in my book, shame and a sensitivity to humiliation are indeed a big part of OCPD.

From what I can tell, it's fallout from the chasm between my internal perception (I should be building a perfect castle of a life) and external reality knocking things down to real-world proportions.

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: Any Idea WHY OCPDers Believe They Are Perfect or Must Be
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:04 am 
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OCPDmanager wrote:
It seems to me unnecessarily complicated to say the OCPDer feels bad when he's perceived to have done something wrong, rather than just to say the OCPDer has a harsh conscience, so that when he does something wrong, he feels bad.

This quote for me is the source of the 'denial' that shame and humiliation are core to ocpd. I want to add that the extreme sensitivity to humiliation felt completely out of character in my ex as well.


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