Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
It is currently Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:52 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]



Welcome
Welcome to ocpd

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. In addition, registered members also see less advertisements. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 am
Posts: 75
All,
I know laundry had been brought up here in the past. And I certainly get that even non OCPDers have some very particular habits with laundry.

However, I thought this one was interesting, and a great case of how things can happen.

My OCPDw had said she wants to see me do more around the house. As such, I endeavored to start folding the laundry as she had requested a few times before. I've done it a few times now - then went up to do it today. I now see that she has taken to turning EVERY single piece of clothing inside-out. To include pajamas. We have excellent machines that are gentle with no arms - but we mustn't have ANY signs of wear or age on the clothes.

To me, this is a perfect example nothing ever being good enough. For her - she must continue to add steps, procedures and rituals. Her to me is that when I fold, I must now not only fold, but reverse every garment from being inside-out. What's next???

This would be funny if it wasn't sad at the same time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 988
Well, you are one step closer to perfection now in laundry matters.

Your story reminds me of the movie 'Ordinary people' by Robert Redford in 1980; I was always surprised nobody mentioned it as a movie about OCPD.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:38 am
Posts: 76
If turning the garments inside out is truly a new procedure - you might ask her about it. You could say that it makes your offer to help slightly more complicated and wonder if every item needs to be reversed? Maybe you could request a new household chore to assist with that matches your interests more.

I myself turn most garments inside out to wash and dry. In fact, many care labels recommend it.

It finally started to dawn on me that something was truly amiss with the ex when he started to quiz me on my laundry habits. I think he wanted to know how much detergent I used. How could someone with a 10-12 hour per day job have time to micro-manage my laundering habits?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 228
In my husband's house, I can't really call it "our" house, laundry had to be done daily and since it was just the two of us, any item that had been barely used needed to be washed.

Whatever the task, the more complicated he could make it the better, I think it soothed him somehow. Each of his t-shirts was hung in an individual dry cleaner's plastic bag.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 2623
WhichWayToGo wrote:
To me, this is a perfect example nothing ever being good enough. For her - she must continue to add steps, procedures and rituals. Her to me is that when I fold, I must now not only fold, but reverse every garment from being inside-out. What's next???


Don't obey. Just don't. If I were in this position, I'd consider several alternatives here:

- Doing my own laundry from start to finish, and she can do hers however she pleases. Shared laundry, like sheets and towels, I'd just do when they fit in whatever load I'm doing, whether she likes it or not.
- Folding the laundry without turning it right side out. It's still neatly put away, and if she doesn't like having to turn things right side out at the last minute while she's dressing, well, that was her choice.
- Having nothing to do with the laundry and taking over some other task start to finish, one that is harder for her to sabotage.

It's not as if she's ever, ever, _ever_ going to appreciate your efforts to pitch in. Ever. Did I mention ever? It's not going to happen, no matter what you do and no matter how you do it. The only value here is for you to know that you're doing your share and that her complaints are invalid.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 1978
WhichWayToGo wrote:
she must continue to add steps, procedures and rituals.
This happens. In my experience, the compulsivity, if not aggressively countered, progresses. The more things that can be done like this, and checked off, either mentally or on an actual list, the more momentary relief and escape from the anxiety and distress, underscoring the same mental patterns. So we add things ultimately to be able to check them off the list. Sometimes they have some (fleeting) basis in rationality that is used as the basis for argument. But that's mostly at the molecular-level picture. The bigger picture is that they expand to fill the mental universe.

My SO says a lot of this: "STOP making things more complicated." "Why are you adding extra steps?" "just do it the way you did it before." For each one I have a reason that seems so valid. It's hard to see that it's part of the distorted thinking. This is current - it still happens and I don't expect it to stop happening, though I am becoming somewhat more aware of it and can on occasion catch myself. But even aware of it, I also find myself, as fava paralleled in your other thread, hiding the bottles.

And yeah it's both absurdly funny and absurdly sad.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 1978
confusion wrote:
Each of his t-shirts was hung in an individual dry cleaner's plastic bag.
:shock:
You're correct, I believe, about the soothing part. But we keep needing more and more; current reality is never good enough.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 am
Posts: 75
Thanks everyone! As usual.

The turning inside-out is more an escalation than a new procedure. She did it on some key garments (blue jeans) and the rational and understandable reason is that it stopped the zippers from damaging other items in the wash. This week - however - EVERY single garment that was meticulously hung to dry on a rack had been turned inside-out. Even our daughters' pajamas.

I like the idea of putting the clothes away folded inside-out. I will also ask her about it. It's getting hard to ask about much around here. There is so little talk since I have been rocking the boat too much.

Have a great day!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 4
So funny and sad!!
I am SO glad you brought this up because this is a major issue in our house. So major for him that in our first therapy session, when asked what he thought we were there for - he said he thought it was because he had such a problem with my laundry habits that he wanted to learn how to not become so frustrated. I just leave a pile of dry laundry on the kitchen table without folding it - and he just didn't understand why this was so hard for me! It seemed to him like a fuck you.
To me - I do the laundry for the whole house (he will literally walk by the overflowed basket for days in a row) as well as work from home, take care of our two dogs (entirely myself at that point), get called out on appointments on a moments notice - so sometimes the laundry gets left out until I can get to it. Why couldn't he see the laundry pile, realize that I must have gotten side tracked, and fold??
Well, because it was my mess - not his. He is not messy, so if it were up to him the house would be pristine.
He also will pull a piece of his clothing out of a drawer, see that it is wrinkled and say sarcastically "I love wearing wrinkled clothes!" in reference to me not folding the laundry right out of the dryer. He will also say, "yea, the sheets still aren't dry because you forgot to take the lint out of the screen again." All the while by the way - he will not take the initiative to do the laundry.
So now I have turned it over to him and I do not deal - just remind him that he needs to do the laundry once a week - which makes me feel like a mother - but its the only way it can get done.
By the way, he leaves the ball of lint on top of the dryer - gross for the obvious reason, but this washer dryer is also in our half bath which guests will use - though we rarely have guests, story for a different day! - he leaves it there because he says because he does not want to touch the trash, its gross - but even though I have told him, almost every time he does laundry to throw away the lint (outside trash if he has to) he still does it every time and he sheepishly realizes he did it again and he is sorry. It's like an auto-habit!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 2623
WhichWayToGo wrote:
I like the idea of putting the clothes away folded inside-out. I will also ask her about it.


Wait - I'm puzzled as to why you're going to ask her? She's going to refuse, of course. When the idea is to set boundaries with her, you can't ask her permission to set those boundaries.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 1978
favasquash wrote:
WhichWayToGo wrote:
I like the idea of putting the clothes away folded inside-out. I will also ask her about it.


Wait - I'm puzzled as to why you're going to ask her? She's going to refuse, of course. When the idea is to set boundaries with her, you can't ask her permission to set those boundaries.
I'm thinking he means asking about the added step in general, as that was another of the suggestions.

That being said....I'd avoid any discussion about the particular details of this new added step, and talk about it, if you wish to talk about it, solely in terms of the generalized subject of adding extra steps to things. If only to chip away somewhere somehow through the defenses, to plant a seed about complicating things. Any discussion of the details here will lead you into the fog of arguing and explaining, which will only frustrate you and entrench her further, in all likelihood.

To be clear - a discussion here about the particulars of turning inside out can only take place inside the OCPD construct as that's where it was created. A discussion* about complicating things, on the other hand, is staying outside of the construct and attempting to engage on that level. You may not be successful in the least, but it accomplishes two things - not engaging the OCPD, and possibly planting that seed to be reinforced by you or others down the line. Seeds can get planted.

*edited to add - actually, I'd try to steer clear of discussion in this regard, unless she's somehow open to discussing complicating things, and keep it to a simple statement about the concept, to lessen the likelihood of getting engaged in an argument about the folding. This can seem odd and can seem like it would veer into being patronizing - but really all you're attempting to do is stay out of that arena entirely. Think about it like walking up to a fenced off area where some chaos is happening, and simply observing it, calling it what it is, then stepping away. Rather than actually stepping into the area, where all bets are off and you're in there on their terms.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:45 pm 
The ubiquity of unplugging the toaster and complicating the laundry remain startling -to me - manifestations of OCPD. OCPDxW had a particularly elaborate laundry system - minimizing use of the dryer was very important. However, I am the one that wants good jeans and some tops washed inside out to preserve color and texture. I would turn the things I wanted washed inside out into that configuration before tossing them in the chute. She complained; I explained. I said I would be glad to do my own laundry as I have been doing laundry for 50 years ....oh no....only she could do the laundry...so whenever I just insisted on wearing "...one of those stupid inside out shirts..." she would grump up from the basement bearing a wet shirt for me to invert "because getting this thing right side out is beyond me." I would cheerfully do so...and suggest again that I could just do my own laundry....


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 299
Laundry is right up there with the Seven Wonders of the World. Seems like it would be easier if we went back to a wash-board and clothes line.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 2
Ocpd&cancer2 wrote:
The ubiquity of unplugging the toaster and complicating the laundry remain startling -to me - manifestations of OCPD. OCPDxW had a particularly elaborate laundry system - minimizing use of the dryer was very important.


We can use the dryer for about 5 minutes, in order to "shake the wrinkles out" of our clothes, and then they all must be suspended. His socks are in numbered pairs, and must be matched and hung together. Certain articles may be suspended on the drying wrack, but others *must* be dried on hangers. During winter the heater is never above 65F, so it can take a couple of days to dry things. The wash is simpler, but we can only use the washer's delicate cycle, with cold water, because hot water or the longer cycles ruin clothing.

The toaster thing is truly bizarre, but I'm so glad to know it's universal. Not only does my toaster remain unplugged, we cannot use it, because it is impossible to clean it out fully. Therefore it would attract bugs or rodents. Even though it also has to remain in its packaging, in a cupboard. Because bugs will smell the crumbs and eat through the box. Toasters are a well known source of roach infestation. We use his toaster oven instead, being sure to unplug it except when it is in use, cleaning it out thoroughly after each use, and storing it in the cupboard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: OCPD Laundry Habits ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 am
Posts: 75
Amazing! I hadn't even thought of the toaster. OCPDw thankfully restricts unplugging to certain events. I am now seeing lineage. Her father and mother ALWAYS unplug!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
suspicion-preferred