Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 627
Movingon wrote:
Said he cannot commit to pay for 1/2 of their medical and dental til age 27 or they finish college, whichever comes first.


That isn't your problem and you should not accept it. Make him adhere to the normal expectations of your state.

Movingon wrote:
He told me yesterday and said his family said to tell me not to send anything to them.


I would not believe anything he says. In case it is true, just send a simple condolances card. If they don't like it, they can toss it...and if it isn't true, then you have reached out. You want to show that you are a nice person.

Movingon[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Learntofly,

You are amazing! Thank you for the boost. I know in my head it was right to leave. But I struggle with the "how" I did it. The secrecy and blindsiding all at once. It was a researched and informed decision to leave that way...but ultimately very hurtful to him. I constantly think that I should have told him prior, gave him notice of our misery...but there is part of me that knows he would have dismissed it and who knows if he was capable of hiding money, etc. He showed an ugly side to him with others when they crossed him...so I had to be prepared. Still it doesn't take away the hurt and the guilt. I know that you don't know me...but I have been very truthful in my posts and if you did know me your observation would be that I am too nice for my own good, put myself last, and most importantly was too weak to confront him on the situations throughout our 30 years together. I met him when I was 23...am now 53....so who knows how much of my weakness is a direct result of years of submitting, feeling inadequate, etc. So my biggest contribution to the failure of our family was my avoidance to conflict, deferring to him all the time, and generally not speaking up. We never fought. I tried a little in the beginning, but gave up because I could never win an argument. So there you have it. I guess my goal is to figure out a way to forgive myself. It's going to be tough to do.

Hugs...and will update soon.
Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am
Posts: 1083
Moving on ,
A truly difficult phase you are now engaged in.Filing for divorce is difficult under normal circumstances but add the baggage of a long term relationship with an OCPDer and it becomes infinitely more stressful.
Glad you and your girls are enjoying the change.
You did not shatter him...he choose to not take responsibility for his PD and seek help and make the change that was necessary to keep his family together.
Stop feeling guilty..he doesn't ..he probably just blames you.
Hugs for the resolve it takes to see this through.gs


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Thanks for the feedback, Garden Sanity. What I am struggling with is the fact that I never talked about anything with him. I let him control. He really had no idea at all that we were miserable. I just stayed clear of him most of the time-even in the house, but when we conversed, I just let him control. Girls were afraid to challenge him at all. They told me so. So where I am struggling with guilt is that he knew nothing that we were miserable with his control and then wham! Bang! We moved out and had him served with divorce papers without him having any knowledge. I reiterate that to a properly functioning person...one could see that he and I had no marriage. Not sleeping together, no intimacy, no physical contact whatsoever. Talking only about chores that needed to get done. But he honestly did not see that anything was wrong. So in essence it is my fault in that I did not tell him anything. In the planning stages of leaving, we did look at the option of telling him beforehand, but everyone I spoke to, my daughters being the most vocal, said not to tell him ahead, because the control of it would go to him. At least this way...I had control. So that is where my guilt is coming from. I know I will have to learn to live with it. I have a therapy appt Weds. Hopefully I will feel better. Girls are continuing to do well.

Hugs!!

Movingon.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:08 am
Posts: 3
Son of an OCPD father here.

I'm pretty sure that what's most important at this stage to take care of yourself and your family and to the maximum extent possible, put your husband out of your mind.

In saying that I'm repeating advice that an Uncle gave me shortly after I became a father for the first time, when he realized what was going on in my family, at a time my father was especially bad, to the point where he couldn't hide it. (My uncle lived on the other side of the world & had come over for a once in a lifetime family reunion). At the time his words floored me, because up until then I was still way to close to the craziness, and in hindsight, still trying to construct a "Happy Families" outcome for us all. Uncle gave me permission to let go of the guilt, and I did.

As a kid, on several occasions my (wonderful, long suffering) mother talked to us kids about leaving Dad. Each time we cried and pleaded with her not to and ultimately she did not until every last one of us had left home. I really regret that, though I also understand that we were just kids. Of course she should have left.

My father was extremely controlling and always angry about everything. Like a tinder box just needing a spark at any point for any reason, no matter how trivial to set him off. I won't bore you with the endless and often awful details.

I gave up on him in my thirties for a number of years. By that time he had estranged all of us adult children for periods of years at various times. An odd thing happened though, apparently OCPD sufferers seldom seek treatment because they can't admit they have a problem. Certainly that applied to my father. However he had chronic sleeping trouble, and at some point his doctor must have picked up that the problem was more than just sleeping issues and prescribed him antipsychotics, which despite the name is a medication the often benefits OCPD sufferers. Long story short, he slowly turned into a pretty nice old man whose humor and company I came to appreciate. I never would have imagined that could happen. I think this was a very unusual and freakishly lucky outcome however. Most people, and OCPD sufferers 100x more would reel at the prospect of (1) being labeled a mental health sufferer and (2) being asked to take a drug called an 'anti-psycotic'. My point in mentioning it is that it turned out that OCPD was treatable in my father's case.

I think the guilt goes with the territory. My father did an amazing variety of horrible things to my mother and us kids, and *really damaged us all - some of my siblings much more so than me. At the same time, he worked hard and kept us fed and clothed and genuinely did want the best for us despite going about things in a completely perverse, counterproductive and actually destructive way. What's hard is that you love these people, hate the harm they do to you, but know they have a mental health issue which is actually not their 'fault' but the fault of their genes, neurotransmitters etc. Messes with the mind.

But anyhoo, step one is to *survive and *thrive. The philosophy can come much later.

All the very best to you and your kids. You've surely got by far the hardest step behind you.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Sunnydays,

Thank you so much for your advice! 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 and in recent years has gotten worse! 4-5 hours a night. He constantly complained of never being able to sleep. Is this a common symptom of OCPD I wonder?? It feels so good to hear the words, "Permission to let go of the guilt". I am so hoping I can succeed with that. I am meeting with a therapist on Weds. Hopefully this will begin a new and successful road for me.

Thanks so much for your story!!!

Hugs from afar,

Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
One more thing I forgot to mention...my girls have zero guilt. Only me. They are so happy and thriving. They barely ever mention him. As I mentioned before, they were pulling me out the door at the end. A reversal of what Sunnydays described as his experience of him and his siblings as kids. My kids are much older, basically adults, so that is probably the difference. But still it is weird that they basically took an eraser and removed their dad from their life, as well as, their mind. Very telling.

Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:08 am
Posts: 3
Hi Movingon

It's great that your girls were able to do that. Even as young adults, we were still trying to win Dad's affections, which is perhaps natural, but not a winning strategy.

Regarding sleep problems, I'm working from a sample of one, so it's hard to say. My father had /major/ sleeping issues his entire life. I don't know whether is an OCPD thing generally. In his case, I'm sure it was related to his off-the-scale levels of anxiety. Social anxiety (especially around perceived "high(er) status" people) and home/personal security anxieties. I later learned a word that perfectly describes the latter aspect: "Hypervigilence". He was on full alert 24*7. Any noise with 100 yards of the house & he'd be out there within seconds, even at 3am, big flashlight in his hand. This made life tricky for us as teenagers. Sneaking back into the house in the small hours was pretty much impossible.

I think at some deep level my father saw the world as a scary and dangerous place (though we lived in an incredibly safe town with barely any crime). Everything was a potential threat or catastrophe, and when a person is feels threatened, fight or flight takes over (jumping to wrong conclusions, shouting, anger, violence). I think this explains his control freakery to some extent also: the world is full of risks, so how do I protect my family? By using my life experience to tell them /exactly/ what to do and how to do it all the time. Wait, you didn't catch the bus like I told you to? Danger danger danger shouting anger arms waving!

I think I'm making him more reasonable than he really was. At the same time as were miserable (actually we lived two separate lives: a happy life when Mom was around & a scary/mad life when Dad was around) he himself was often callously oblivious to the emotional devastation he was forever causing. A bad episode was scarring and traumatizing for us, but Dad would often be over it in a couple hours relaxing with a the newspaper or in front of the TV. He had the comfort of knowing that he was "right" and we were all "wrong" on every occasion. (He never ever ever apologized for anything. Didn't need to - was always right).

ATB


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Sunnydays,

It is uncanny how similar your dad was and my husband is! My husband never showed any physical violence. Other than slamming doors occasionally and throwing a phone across the room once when he was mad at his mom, (he hates her). She is probably the cause of all of this. He would be verbally abusive once in a while. But it was mostly emotional abuse.

I know it is common practice for teenagers to sneak in and out of the house at night. My daughters never did that. They were scared of him. The number of times they had friends over, you can count on one hand. He said that he wanted to put the fear of God in them when they were little so they would behave as teenagers. He got his wish. He may have won the battles along the way, but he lost the war.

Thanks so much for your posts. It is great to get validation that I am not crazy!

Hugs!

Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi all,

Been a few weeks since last post on my girls and me. Girls are continuing to do very well. They both started spring semesters.

I am seeing my new therapist tomorrow for 2nd appt. still have my up and down days. I am really down today. Received yet another bill from my atty and it is taking a long time and my h and I settled almost everything ourselves. Thinking I need to look into whether it makes financial sense with a new atty or push her to get this done! I am going to look into options later this week. I set up Appts to interview 3 real estate agents in early Feb. And I had the flu this week-I had the flu shot too!

Not feeling sorry for myself. It's the guilt thing again. Hopefully therapy can give me some good coping mechanisms for long term. And hopefully the therapist can help me restore some of my spunk I had many years ago. I feel so weak and am angry at myself for not being tougher. Why am I so nice? I would just like to be a b***h for a while. They are so much better off. If I can just end up being a smarter and tougher person after this is all done, I will be pleased with my progress.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 4:50 pm
Posts: 387
Hi, Movingon. I was a regular here a couple years back, but have been away for a bit. The other day I was thinking about what I have learned since my divorce from my (undiagnosed) OCPD ex and I popped back in – sort of like a check in the rearview mirror. Many things about your story were familiar to me, and I wanted to try and encourage you. I know the guilty feeling: maybe if I had done this, what if I had said that, should I have done something different? Like you, I didn’t fight much with my ex, instead I tried to be nice and avoid conflict. Unlike you, I DID tell him we were unhappy before separating. It did not go well. The consequences for me and our kids were severe, and damaging. Please remember, when you are not in a “normal” relationship, normal relationship rules do not apply. In my state, one of the requirements for divorce when there are minor children involved is that both parents attend workshops on parenting through divorce. At that training they stressed that if your ex-partner is abusive (physically, emotionally, verbally), then any information you give them will be used against you. Keep things factual, they advised, and as brief as possible. Don’t explain yourself, don’t share your emotions, and don’t give extraneous information. This goes against the grain when you really want to believe the best about someone – but, please believe what the trainers said. It will really help you.
My divorce was final three years ago. I went back for a graduate degree after the divorce, and the years since then have been a struggle – not going to lie. BUT, that struggle was a lot about shaking off the fuzzy thinking and ingrained patterns of behavior after living with an OCPD partner for 24 years. Here are some things I learned that were important to me:

1. Give yourself grace. We tend to extend grace to others – including our OCPD partners. We want to believe the best about them, and do our best to be as understanding as possible. Do the same for yourself.

2. You don’t have to do it all, and certainly not right now. For so long I lived with the anxiety of trying to get everything done just right to avoid my husband’s displeasure. The list of things I was responsible for seemed to grow longer each year, and the degree of perfection with which they had to be achieved became increasingly more stringent. Well, trying to go to grad school while working two jobs, parenting, and taking care of a house made it impossible to do anything perfectly. I had to let go of a lot of things and focus my energy. Guess what. We all survived. In fact, having to let things go was really good for me because it forced me to separate myself from the persona my husband had forced me to adopt in order to survive. I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Now I had to decide what was important to ME, and that process was essential to gaining mental clarity and becoming emotionally healthy.

3. You don’t have to do it by yourself. There were a lot of times I felt really alone – but I wasn’t. There were always friends and family willing to lend a hand or an ear or a shoulder, but I had to let them know what I needed. It was often hard to express what I needed, but when I did my family, friends, and church family stepped up and carried me through. They gave me firewood, cleaned my gutters, taxied my kids, met me for coffee or lunch, watched my dog, trimmed my trees, plowed my driveway, threw parties, and stepped up in a hundred small and large ways.

4. Let yourself shine. I don’t know about your relationship, but it made my partner uncomfortable for me to excel at anything. He was very sparing with compliments and my successes seemed to diminish him (in his own thinking). He undercut me a lot, and constantly pointed out all the areas where I didn’t live up to his expectations. Consequently, I lost all my confidence and really doubted my ability to do just about anything. Applying to graduate school was terrifying. I was certain they would reject me because, obviously, I wasn’t qualified. I was shocked when I was accepted, and each time I successfully completed a course, I was sure it was a fluke. It wasn’t until I graduated with honors that I began to accept that I might actually be good at this. You are good at something – maybe many, many things. Find them. Shine.

Finally, remember that things are always changing, like the seasons. The place where you are now is just a season. It will change. As I said, the last three years have been a struggle, but the pieces are finally coming together now. My kids and I are all much healthier than before, I finished grad school and now have rewarding work, my financial situation is stable, and the stress in my life is greatly reduced. I’m happy. It took a long time to get where you are now, it will take some time to untangle things and reorder your life. Hang in there. It will be worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Aprilshowers,

Thanks so much for your perspective. It is good to hear from someone who dealt with their OCPD spouse as I did. Most SO's fought back, which I do consider a good thing. I am sure that since you were more similar to me, you totally understand me and why I tried to keep the peace, but in my case, weakened my status as an equal partner in the relationship, unfortunately.

"when you are not in a “normal” relationship, normal relationship rules do not apply."

OMG. I never really thought about that, but it is so true! It was not a normal relationship!

The issue with custody is super minor as my youngest turns 18 in less than 2 months. Guess that's the plus side in waiting.

"BUT, that struggle was a lot about shaking off the fuzzy thinking and ingrained patterns of behavior after living with an OCPD partner for 24 years".

Interesting to note that when I was living with him, any time I did ANYTHING: put a fork away, dry a pot from the kitchen, I always asked myself, "Is this the way he wants it done?" Or "Am I doing this correctly?" I just noticed that recently I unconsciously do not do that anymore. Thank Goodness!! Progress!

As you suggested, I am trying to be good to myself and give myself "grace" as you put it. I am more successful now to be able to cast him out of my mind when I start thinking about the divorce or anything worrisome that causes me anxiety.

I am super lucky that my family has been there to help with so much. So much so that I just can't mention it at all.

I have a 5th visit to my therapist today and she says I am MUCH better than I was 5 weeks ago. Much stronger and have more stamina to not let him control the divorce process. Baby steps. :).

He wants to buy me out of the house now, so we are both getting appraisers lined up. I told him he needs to continue to cover our medical through his insurance so I am meeting to go over open enrollment options. We are splitting the bill on that til I take over with my
Company for insurance after the divorce is final. He is not required by law to pay anything after age 18 on the girls..and so he does not want to be obligated financially to that ...so it's on me.

Girls are doing very well. Leaving for a trip to So Cal Saturday to check out 2 universities so she can make her final decision.

Meeting friends for breakfast today. Then off to therapy. Then taking younger daughter to get our state ID card. No driver's license yet. Hope she feels confident over the summer to start driving lessons.

Starting off today not so good. A bit anxious that I have to meet him again tomorrow before I leave on trip. Can't wait til this part is over.

Hugs to everyone who has posted to me. So much thought and time goes into them and I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!!!

Will update soon!

Movingon


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am
Posts: 1083
Hearing that you are focusing on you and moving forward with a solid support system ..wonderful.
It is a difficult journey coming to terms with setting out on your own and coming to realizations about your past life that are confusing and upsetting. You have made and are making huge steps towards improving the quality of your internal life.
I am 4 years away and there isn't a day where I don't catch myself wondering how this happened.None of it is easy but my internal life is no longer fraught with..did I do this right?I did it and I'm living it and the weight of his anxiety is no longer on my shoulders.
Keep us posted and good wishes.
gs


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi Garden Sanity,

Thanks for your post. I think that it will be getting better for me as time goes on. Being separated is slowly allowing me to go back to the real me. At the same time, I find myself mourning the kind of marriage I wish had with him. Seeing couples in their old age still together makes me wish I could have had that in the future.

And I do the questioning...coulda, shoulda, etc. but I know in my head that he would not be cabable of change. And it always replays in my head that I was never good enough. So, so sad. Not a great day because I saw him this morn and although the meeting was fine, it's the finality that hits me. I know I did the right thing...I just hope I can have a fulfilling life without a partner.

This is certainly a journey.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum. Left H 3 mos. need support
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Posts: 74
Hi All,

Had a super nice weekend with my younger daughter in Los Angeles. Toured her top 2 schools. It was great having one on one time with her! I think she made a final decision. Flew home late Tues, so tired yesterday. Met H mid-day Weds for the first of 2 appraisers. House was a total mess. He is going through stuff, getting rid of and reorganizing.

He seems scattered. Like taking on many tasks at same time and not completing any. Which is typical. We had a few minutes before she showed up. Had a little small talk, uncomfortable, but needed to fill in the time. I am on the guilt train again this morn. I know I will have to live with it for life. As soon as we are done with the house buyout and divorce is signed off, I will be better off mentally.

Thank goodness for my job! Been there a long time and I am truly respected. It is my happy place, even though commission sales is stressful. It keeps my brain sane! Everyday I go to work, I am thankful I have a job and can support me and the girls. Hopefully this job will last well into my retirement years.

Next appraisal is next weds. One foot in front of the other I guess.

Hugs!

:)


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