Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
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 Post subject: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 am
Posts: 43
Hello. I discovered what OCPD was about a month ago. Whenever I searched for more information this forum would keep popping up.

I haven't slept at all last night. We went to our first therapy session a little less than two weeks ago. Our second is coming up this week. We had to cancel last week because our son got sent home sick from kindergarten. The first session went really well. Husband seemed to accept the therapist. I came in prepared, led with his positive qualities, explained what brought us there, really emphasized how much I loved my husband and wanted this to work. There was a tense moment but we got through and it seemed overall really positive. We were given homework.

But mostly the homework was going pretty well. It was about being loving and affectionate and spending more time together. I think I vaguely remember one instance of him being affectionate to me in a way that I like/or without me feeling like I prompted him. I shouldn't have been keeping any kind of "score." I did things that I thought he would like and I could see his pleasure in his expression when I was spontaneous and exciting. I could feel my resentment rising.

And then his job woes piled on top of those feelings of resentment that I had been keeping in check, hoping desperately for another good therapy session. He's not timely with finishing his work. I've suspected excessive perfectionism. That's what I feel is happening at home (things around the house don't seem to get done unless I do them, and when I say I'm going to do something he tries to tell me and push back and tell me that he should do it because have I considered X Y and Z?) and apparently his boss gave him similar criticism which husband told me in order to tell me how wrong his boss is.

So we had an argument last night that ranged through those two subjects.

And I feel the most hopeless I've felt since that therapy session. The language he was using pits me against him. He was saying I was adversarial. All the things I'd worked so hard to avoid in the first therapy session came crashing down because I can't tiptoe gently enough through the minefield of his sensitivity to criticism and defensiveness.

I'm on his side! I want a family where everyone is thriving. And he's not. Of the OCPD types, he's most like the "conscientious" type. He's really trying to do his best and think of other people first. But he takes it so far that he's letting his health suffer (no exercise, poor sleep, refuses to try a sleep study, puts a lot of effort into his work). I really feel divorce might be the kindest thing I could do for him, especially if he's going to take the attitude that I need to be argued into seeing he's right.

I asked him if he'd ever had the experience of having to win over someone who he felt didn't like him. I could remember times in my life when people didn't have a great impression of me, but I worked hard and took criticism and they came to really respect me. He couldn't think of any such experiences. He said he always did his best and people appreciated him, except for recently at his job (having a family I think has cut into his ability to work a ton). And when people haven't appreciated him, it was either because something was mentally wrong with them or there was a misunderstanding that he was able to locate and convince them of.

I wonder what category I'll fall under...

Anyways. I'm picking myself up, dusting off last night's set back, and going to throw myself back into the therapy process for like 6 months. I know I'll **** up again because I'm human. And based on last night's conversation, I now know that he'll not say anything and quietly withdraw for years. Apparently years ago we had an argument that he says made him less affectionate. That kind of astounded me because I've tried to encourage him to be affectionate in what I thought was a positive manner. He had no specific words to cite from that argument, but he didn't like the coldness of my face. And he's only stayed with me because sometimes I can still be the super fun, silly girl he first met. All these years I've been wondering things like maybe he's not actually attracted to me. It really hurt to know he can pinpoint a specific time when he said to himself, "I'm not going to be affectionate to my girlfriend/wife," that he could do that for five years and not say a word to me.

The more I write, the know I deserve better than that. I deserve someone who can tell me their needs aren't being met like a fucking grown up.

All these years, I've thought I was the person with the problems (And as an adult I discovered my ADHD, so there is something to that, and my parents were great role models for what a happy marriage is NOT). If only I could communicate better. No, he still won't hug and kiss me like I'm a grown woman and he's a grown man? Then learn to accept the bad with the good, keep making myself the better person. He won't get any **** done? Well, plenty of hours in the day. Just you do what you think is important because there are still so many hours in the week for me to spend time with friends and pursue hobbies. Until it just doesn't work anymore because raising a family takes a lot of time out of the day. I love my kids. Every time I start to think that maybe I wish this marriage had never happened, I think of them and I know I wouldn't trade any of it away for them. I'm so happy to have them in my life that I'm starting to cry again.

Okay, seriously this time I'm done rambling. I've tried to stop this like three different times now.

_________________
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪
Take a bow,
the night is over
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪


Last edited by thenightisover on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 62
Hi thenightisover,

I can feel the emotional pain in your post! My heart goes out to you, truly. I understand how you feel. Based on what you have described so far about your H, he does sound like he has OCPD: The perfectionism, the very strong work ethic, putting work and value of work above everything else, not completing tasks at home and he does not want to delegate the task to you, lack of emotion, having a very hard time showing affection...

I know that you really want him to respond to therapy and make real change to make your marriage work. Please be advised that it is very difficult for OCPDers to truly change. They are truly wired the way they are and the majority of suffers are not knowing that the way they come across hurts others. They truly think that the way they think is the CORRECT way. I have heard through this forum that it is very, very rare for OCPDers to change. Most of us here would say that the change will have to come from you in how you deal with him. And to change your expectations. I am sure that you did not want to hear that, understandably.

Based on what you have written, it seems that you still love him and want your marriage to work and be HAPPY. You also have the stress of young children. I would still continue to go to therapy with and/or without him, preferably with a therapist who understands OCPD since that is the root of the issues. If you have not done so, think about how your husband was raised. Usually their upbringing directly contributes to the development of OCPD.

Take the time to read through our posts here. You will be blown away with the similarities. Keep posting to update us. You will get replies. It might take a few days, but you will. This will help you in your journey to make decisions down the road.

In my case, I stayed in marriage way too long, for specific reasons. But when I left, (sept 2016), my love for him was long gone. The love was gone. The hate was gone. And the crying was done. My thread is called: Movingon↓
New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support. Anyway, reading other people's stories have really helped me along with individual therapy.

Hang in there!

We are here for you.

Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 619
Another problem is that OCPDers have Demand Resistance...if you ask them to do something, they tend to automatically not want to do it...even if they might really want to.

So with counselling, you are saying "I would like you to show affection this way." So then they don't want to do it. Because you asked.

Example:
http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com/2 ... emand.html


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am
Posts: 1083
Night,
Glad you found this site.
We all are here for the same reason..we find ourselves living with someone who has a disorder that has gradually destroyed the structure of our relationship.
There is a great deal of wisdom on this site.This site will be an invaluable resource and sounding board on your journey.
Keep reading and posting.
gs


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 am
Posts: 43
Thanks Movingon. I found your thread and read through it. A lot of the stuff in it really speaks to me.

"Things were going pretty well when my daughters were little."

My husband adores our kids. They're ridiculously adorable so that makes sense. I don't know what things will be like as they get older.

"And my father-in -law was an alcoholic"

Ditto my husbands dad.

"He does not have hobbies outside of the home."

Ditto.

"my younger one was crying in her room because of his criticism regarding gymnastics"

I'm certain I'm the one more likely to be critical of the kids than him. It's something I'll be keeping an eye on myself for because it was always really hurtful when my mom did it to me. He was always really supportive of me through our early years together. Like I said, I think my husband is the conscientious OCPD subtype. I notice the things he's critical of mainly revolve around food preparation. He's very particular about food prep.

"Honestly, that is the most unbelievable comment. No intimacy, no physical touching-kiss on check, hand holding, nothing."

And he had the gall to blame it on me. >_<

"even though I would see that our life was not "healthy", I just continued on focusing on what little I controlled"

Same.

"This is going to sounds spooky, but here goes...I have never mentioned this in my post so far but...my husband has had sleeping issues for years"

Mine has had sleeping issues for a long time. He once mentioned the idea of a sleep study to me and I told him to go for it. He never did. So then he crashes all weekend long and wakes up really late. I feel all alone parenting the kids and I rarely get a chance to sleep in. At least if we split things after a divorce I'll get nights to catch up on my sleep. The lack of sleep and stress has really been hard on my physical health. I'm not looking good right now.

"his off-the-scale levels of anxiety. Social anxiety"

I see it. He thinks I'm the weird one and insists other people think the way he does.

_________________
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪
Take a bow,
the night is over
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪


Last edited by thenightisover on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am
Posts: 1083
You have had an 'awakening' and now you are working to process it.
Take it easy on yourself.Small steps ..what you have discovered about the control this disorder can exert over your life is huge.
It was this site that helped me process my awakening.With the help of others who understood what I lived ,I was able to move out of living in the disordered lane of life to the ordered lane..I just wanted to experience normal...nothing was ever normal or easy because of the disorder that controlled him.
Take good care of you.
gs


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:22 am
Posts: 16
bopper wrote:
Another problem is that OCPDers have Demand Resistance...if you ask them to do something, they tend to automatically not want to do it...even if they might really want to.

So with counselling, you are saying "I would like you to show affection this way." So then they don't want to do it. Because you asked.

Example:
http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com/2 ... emand.html


This is the one thing I can not seem to break and it is true... It is a deep seeded feeling inside that automatically puts up a big wall of NO. :( Even when I really mean yes. I have a very understanding wife it seems as she realizes that every single thing has a time to get completed.. in my OCPD world. So she asks and is happy when in my round about way (sometimes in a day or two) I get it done.

_________________
tick tock tick tock
Finding my way before alone is all I can be


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:22 am
Posts: 16
My advice as someone who realizes I have OCPD and struggles everyday is that if you want to make your marriage work then you are going to need a lot of patients and I mean a lot. There is not cure that I have seen yet, but there is an awakening that can happen. Once that does, you two can work as a team and ride the ups and downs as your vows said you should. But, with all that said you can't do all the work to fix him. I had someone explain it to me as mental abuse on the spouse because no one can live up to the standards of someone who has OCPD. Especially if they don't believe they even have it.

_________________
tick tock tick tock
Finding my way before alone is all I can be


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 am
Posts: 43
Together Twice wrote:

This is the one thing I can not seem to break and it is true... It is a deep seeded feeling inside that automatically puts up a big wall of NO. :( Even when I really mean yes. I have a very understanding wife it seems as she realizes that every single thing has a time to get completed.. in my OCPD world. So she asks and is happy when in my round about way (sometimes in a day or two) I get it done.


Were you always aware of the demand resistance? I understand that the way people's brains often works is that we get a feeling first and then we rationalize/justify the feeling. So I'm guessing he feels the NO inside of him, but he wants to be so nice, so he tell me yes (and then never does it) or starts running through details/excuses.

The stuff that finally broke me was that in his own time feels like never. It isn't a one or two day delay. He goes weeks, months, sometimes years not doing something he says he's going to do. He's probably got things on his list that have been there for a decade. The deck on our house has been rotting for ten years, according to him. His solution is just that no one go on it and he won't let someone else fix it.

_________________
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪
Take a bow,
the night is over
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪


Last edited by thenightisover on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 987
Hi TNIO,

There may be some awareness of demand resistance among OCPD'ers, I believe many ocpd'ers are pretty harsh critics of themselves. But I do not believe it translates into anything useful for the non-partner, unless the ocpd'er is awarae of ocpd (and even so, the testimony indicates that the refelx to say no is very strong).

The one thing not described in any of the posts in the last 5 years or so is: how to make an ocpd'er aware of ocpd. There is no way of making it happen. It sometimes happens, it looks like similarities to the behavior of an ocpd parent can help uncover ocpd to the person afflicted, and I believe that audio recording of a rant could help, but apart from that, there is no way of bringing ocpd-awareness to the ocpd'er. Since even aware ocpd'ers have a gruelling time changing and will keep up the resistance to the change, chances of really improving the situation are slim and take a LOT of effort.

I am basically saying that if you are really done with your marriage, then it may be best to swallow the bitter pill now. Or learn to live with it. The forum is great and will help you, so keep coming here...

Strength...


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 am
Posts: 43
belgianguy wrote:
Hi TNIO,

I am basically saying that if you are really done with your marriage, then it may be best to swallow the bitter pill now. Or learn to live with it. The forum is great and will help you, so keep coming here...

Strength...


I want to give him a chance to improve. My sense of fairness and hope.

We had a second therapy session today. We have our homework assignments.

His father was very tight fisted with the family. Maybe OCPD. My husband says he thinks his dad had aspergers and I know the OCPD diagnosis didn't exist back then and even now very few people are aware of it. But if introducing the idea by speaking of a parent seems the most likely to yield results, I'll put that in my back pocket.

It's only the second therapy session, so I don't know if this one aspect of him can improve:

My facial expressions are upsetting to him. He wants me to look happy, warm, welcoming. He says that's why he is unaffectionate. He can't be affectionate to someone who looks dour/cold (even if it has nothing to do with him!). He is also worried that if he is affectionate that I might rebuff him.

He says he's super attuned to the emotions people betray through their facial expressions. That he took an online quiz once and got every single answer correct.

I think the mistake he's making is that the emotions people show are not always directed at him. If you're not talking to me and sometimes even if you are (go ADHD!) my mind might be a million miles away. I could be thinking about laundry.

I can't stay married to someone who expects a Stepford wife smile all the time. It woudn't be true to me and it wouldn't be a good example to my daughter.

One hurdle at a time. Let's see if he can overcome this. His homework this week is when he thinks I don't look happy, to ask me how I'm feeling. And I'm supposed to reward his inquiries with some sign of affection.

_________________
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪
Take a bow,
the night is over
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪


Last edited by thenightisover on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:40 pm
Posts: 417
thenightisover wrote:
belgianguy wrote:
Hi TNIO,

I want to give him a chance to improve. My sense of fairness and hope.

We had a second therapy session today. We have our homework assignments.

His father was very tight fisted with the family. Maybe OCPD. My husband says he thinks his dad had aspergers and I know the OCPD diagnosis didn't exist back then and even now very few people are aware of it. But if introducing the idea by speaking of a parent seems the most likely to yield results, I'll put that in my back pocket.

It's only the second therapy session, so I don't know if this one aspect of him can improve:

My facial expressions are upsetting to him. He wants me to look happy, warm, welcoming. He says that's why he is unaffectionate. He can't be affectionate to someone who looks dour/cold (even if it has nothing to do with him!). He is also worried that if he is affectionate that I might rebuff him.

He says he's super attuned to the emotions people betray through their facial expressions. That he took an online quiz once and got every single answer correct.

I think the mistake he's making is that the emotions people show are not always directed at him. If you're not talking to me and sometimes even if you are (go ADHD!) my mind might be a million miles away. I could be thinking about laundry.

I can't stay married to someone who expects a Stepford wife smile all the time. It woudn't be true to me and it wouldn't be a good example to my daughter.

One hurdle at a time. Let's see if he can overcome this. His homework this week is when he thinks I don't look happy, to ask me how I'm feeling. And I'm supposed to reward his inquiries with some sign of affection.


Hi the night is over!

I understand what you are experiencing. If you see, I have posted a recent update to OCPD Convo with H. I believe I have documented a good part of our history, including counseling - both individual and martial that may give you some perspective given your current situation. We are at the end of this marriage. I wanted to document this and get feedback so it might provide some insight for others dealing with these situation.

Through it all it has come down to this for me :D

I can't change him and it is NOT my problem to fix
I get to choose how I want to live
I will not get joy or peace continuing in this relationship

I ask that you start thinking about what YOU want and how YOU want to live. We can love them all we want but life is too short. I did everything I could to save my marriage. I was very focused, consistent, and methodical. I found this forum when our martial counselor mentioned he thought my h's behavior patterns were OCD. This has been a messy, difficult, and enlightening process. I have learned so much about myself.

All the best to you on your path.

Dragonfly21


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 am
Posts: 43
Thank you dragonfly. It was amazing reading your 2 year arc. I wrote down my list of take aways:

1) I should be journaling/logging things. After every session, I'll write down notes. After every argument, I'll write down notes. In general I understand that score-keeping in a marriage is bad, but that's true in normal relationships. A relationship with a PD isn't normal. I should be logging whether or not our "homework" is being done so I know when he makes a claim of his impressions rather than reality in our sessions.
2) I saw in one of your posts at least once you took something into a therapy session to read. I'll do that for my next session. Last session I didn't lead with what was currently the most problematic thing for me staying married to my husband.
3) In my next MC I'll ask if it is okay if I see an IC on the side (probable answer: yes)
4) I'll ask about doing "7 principals of making marriage work" with my husband. It sounds like it created some great conversations with you two.
5) He will forget and return to prior behavior. There will be a cycle. What will I do with that?
6) I need to figure out what I want my marriage to look like.
7) I need to emotionally disengage from him.
8) I need to be able to walk away from upsetting conversations. I'm not responsible for calming him down.
9) Confine arguments to therapy sessions.
10) Enjoy myself. Self care. Get out and be social. Don't let his fear of social outings dictate my life.

Regarding #1, husband said we didn't do the cuddle homework. I pointed out there was only one evening in the last week that had no pre-bedtime cuddling.

Regarding #3, when I referred to my own upbringing, that gave a natural in for the therapist to segue to asking my husband about his family growing up. I figure the same thing is true in this situation. Therapist could extol the virtues of IC, then ask if husband wants to do the same. Husband will probably say no. We'll see.

He then changes the conversation ( I should have directed him back but I went with) to go on for 10 minute about certain words or phrases that I use that he does not like. "I am not interested" is one of them. He detailed descriptions of my eye crinkle, tone of voice, angle of my body every time I use that phrase. As if I could be that consistent.......

This. This every time he brings up my "cold face" and then brags about himself always maintaining pleasantness during arguments (he doesn't, but okay).

I had an idea that I'll try the next time husband starts going in on how I'm not looking at him correctly:

I'll tell him that instead of making himself do the pleasant face, I'd prefer that he stick his tongue out, cross his eyes, push his nose into a pig snout with his left hand, and tug on his ear with his right hand. If he does, then I'll smile instead of the doing the "cold face."

It's a ridiculous demand. But if my marriage is going to end, let's go out with some laughs!

1. Some - immediately hit the default button, my way or the highway tactic
2. Some - ramp up the control slowly, some hoovering, trying to shift it back
3. Some - start to try to work on themselves but slip back due to difficulty and/or consequences
4. A very few - really dive in and start working on themselves


Who has actually been one of the parties in situation #4? Is there a thread someone on here, a spouse, or a greenie who can chime in? One of the comments in dragonfly's thread said OCPD was the most treatable PD. Is there a selection bias where the most tolerable forms don't need a support group like this and so I can't find their stories when I search the internet?

_________________
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪
Take a bow,
the night is over
♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♫ ♪


Last edited by thenightisover on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:26 pm 
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Posts: 62
Hi TNIO,

There has been so much beneficial posting here. I see that you are diving in, which is great! If you can get your husband to do counseling...that is such a great start.
Keep us posted on your research too. Always good to see what's out there.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: First time poster: My marriage is ending
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 1311
Location: Suburbs of Atlanta
thenightisover wrote:
Together Twice wrote:

This is the one thing I can not seem to break and it is true... It is a deep seeded feeling inside that automatically puts up a big wall of NO. :( Even when I really mean yes. I have a very understanding wife it seems as she realizes that every single thing has a time to get completed.. in my OCPD world. So she asks and is happy when in my round about way (sometimes in a day or two) I get it done.


Were you always aware of the demand resistance? I understand that the way people's brains often works is that we get a feeling first and then we rationalize/justify the feeling. So I'm guessing he feels the NO inside of him, but he wants to be so nice, so he tell me yes (and then never does it) or starts running through details/excuses.

The stuff that finally broke me was that in his own time feels like never. It isn't a one or two day delay. He goes weeks, months, sometimes years not doing something he says he's going to do. He's probably got things on his list that have been there for a decade. I feel like I can't live that way. With an unaffectionate room mate/chef (I suggested and he took cooking duties when our daughter was born, I knew anything he had to do with an immediate deadline and consequences would get done). The last house we lived in, he told me from the day I met him not to go out on the deck because it was rotting. 10 years he did nothing about that deck. And that just isn't acceptable in our new house. I'm not going to tell the kid they can't go play in the backyard because the deck is rotting. The deck needs to be maintained. We bought this house so she'd have a backyard to play in!


I still struggle with demand resistance. For something like a rotting deck, it would be caused by the perfectionism... finding the perfect contractor, who was highly recommended and would do it for the price I wanted to pay. Right now I could really use a new stove (my self-cleaning oven no longer works, and I don't want to clean it by hand). But I am slightly overwhelmed about doing the research and then waiting for a sale so I get the best price. The bigger the project, the worse it gets. I have been "thinking" about getting my basement finished for years.

For something I actually "want" to do... like go on vacation, if I get past the overwhelm of booking hotels, etc... when it gets to be time to go, I just need to feel like I can bail out if necessary. When I make plans too far in advance, I feel imprisoned by them, and all I want to do is the opposite. When I am given permission to bail (my DH is very wise about this), the demand resistance fades. It's like I don't want anything to control me, not even myself. This makes no sense, even to me.

_________________
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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