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gingerbreadgirl

Not a good weekend OCD wise

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So in general I've been doing much better, but this weekend I went away with my partner to celebrate our anniversary and I had a big setback.  I was worried this might happen due to being confined in one space, not being able to get away by myself, the pressure to enjoy myself, and so on.  My partner got very upset about it and confessed how much this relapse has affected her and to my eternal shame I got defensive and annoyed about it rather than being compassionate and understanding.  I did later apologise, but still.  Not my finest moment by far and she deserves so much better. 

I am feeling really down about the whole thing today.  I am concerned that my partner has become a trigger for my OCD and I'm worried about what this means for us.  I love her so incredibly much and i'm terrified that OCD is going to drive a wedge between us.  She has always been my rock and my safety, but now I feel like I have to be on my guard round her - not because of anything she's done but because of my OCD triggering when I'm around her.  It makes me worried for us to go on holiday together.  I don't know what to do about any of this.  

I'm hoping that this was just a temporary setback and that now I will continue to get better like I was before we went away.  But I'm genuinely worried that things are never going to be the same again since this relapse last October.  I'm worried I'm never going to be the same again.  Even if I get my OCD back under control, I've had some big shifts in thinking about things these last few months and I don't think I can just "unthink" them.  I long to just have a time machine and go back to before this relapse.  

Sorry for the moan, just wondering if anybody has any advice. 

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Hi Gbg, I can really relate to set backs occurring when nice things are planned. My OCD gets worse at Christmas time, when we have holidays planned and anything really that I’m really looking forward to. I think it’s the nature of the OCD, to weave its way in if it can and place doubt about enjoying ourselves, or give reasons why we it thinks we shouldn’t be. I find now that I constantly just try to refocus on something else, usually by getting out and walking my dogs, or something like that. I don’t always find it easy though.

As for your partner being a trigger, I’m not sure if it’s the same, but in the past I’ve kind of thought that about mine. I’ve wondered if it’s because I love him too much, or sometimes when life’s hectic I’ve then thought is it that maybe I feel I’m not supported enough. I actually now believe it’s OCD trying to get us to focus on something yet again that we care about and love, to place doubt in our heads, and so the process and vicious circle again begins about something else! 

From what you say I don’t believe anything is wrong with your relationship. You’re having a set back and it’s putting some pressure on your relationship, but that would happen to anyone. Unfortunately we have OCD in the mix. I would personally keep talking to your partner about how you’re feeling, even just 10 mins of an evening about the OCD and the day you’ve had, so she’s kept in the loop of what’s going on in your head. 

I’m sure you will get back to how you were. I’ve had times where I really thought how am I ever going to come back from feeling like this - one time my husband was practically begging the doctor to give me something. That passed though, and I’m sure yours will too. 

Hope you feel better soon x

 

Edited by Dragonfly
Word missed out

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So sorry for u at this time, i know what you mean,imy partner triggers me in a way because she is the one i feel i need to confess to, i feel like i drive a wedge, at the moment im forcing my self to be as loveing as i can, wether its a massage, just trying to focus all my energy to make her happy rather than all the attention on me, stay strong

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5 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Not my finest moment by far and she deserves so much better.

And so do you (from OCD), don't be so hard on yourself.  

The weekend was a blip, it doesn't need to be the future. Your partner's not been a trigger for your OCD in the past, so there's no reason to think she will be in the future.   What I might suggest when the time is right is talk it through. It's right she was upset by your relapse, she loves you I'm sure, but that doesn't mean she will always be upset each time you have a blip. 

And it's ok to be upset together too!

 

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Thanks very much Dragonfly, Battlethrough and Ashley for you kind words.

At the beginning of this relapse on holiday (in oct), I confessed something to my partner which I was hoping to get reassurance for - but actually it became a gigantic issue. (The dangers of reassurance-seeking!) I can't undo this confession and it has since become the focus of my OCD.  I have tried to talk to my OH about it a few times but it is a very 'hot topic' and she doesn't really want to talk about it, and we end up arguing if I try to bring it up.  In my head it is a huge unresolved thing and it is creating somewhat of a barrier between us.  I am trying hard to just leave it be but finding it difficult.  I don't think there is a way we can talk about this and resolve it and it has to be something we don't talk about but I find that quite distressing.  This is a big part of why I found the weekend difficult.

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54 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I don't think there is a way we can talk about this and resolve it

Well I don't know how, but maybe this is what needs to happen, no matter how uncomfortable for you both?   But, can I ask (without knowing the actual issue), is you wanting or needing to talk about it a genuine emotional/relationship need to talk or an OCD reassurance need?

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1 minute ago, Ashley said:

can I ask (without knowing the actual issue), is you wanting or needing to talk about it a genuine emotional/relationship need to talk or an OCD reassurance need?

you have hit the nail on the head I think - perhaps a bit of both.  I find it very difficult to deal with things feeling "unresolved". 

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2 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I find it very difficult to deal with things feeling "unresolved". 

aaah....Mr OCD's old friend, the need for certainty?

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Yes I think that is a big part of it.  I disagree with my OH about some aspects of it and I find it almost intolerable to just leave it as a 'difference of opinion' - I feel the need to talk it out until we agree.  (Which does my partner's head in!) 

I guess the usual things of not ruminating, letting it fade into the background, apply here. 

I think aside from having OCD, I can be a bit obsessive about things (in a general sense) which is part of this issue too, I think.  I can be a dog with a bone at times!

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22 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think.  I can be a dog with a bone at times!

I want to make a very sexist comment about this being the trait of your sex... but I won't :lol:

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I think it's important that you can talk to your partner about anything you want. I think having subjects that you can't discuss is no good. There's also nothing wrong with wanting something resolved either but why and what you want resolved is important. For instance, if things were said that hurt your feelings, you are entitled to bring that up and at least have your partner recognise that you felt hurt. However, if you want to bring it up because your partner didn't react how you wanted them too then i think that's unfair to keep bringing up. It's a real fine line. 

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4 minutes ago, Gemma7 said:

However, if you want to bring it up because your partner didn't react how you wanted them too then i think that's unfair to keep bringing up. It's a real fine line. 

I think this is probably closer to the truth than I am willing to acknowledge.  I feel in my heart of hearts that her reaction was not totally fair (but then I would say that wouldn't I!) I have brought it up a couple of times now and it's not gone well either time so I have tried to just leave it be.  The whole thing is linked to my whole thing of "am I a bad person" and I feel like I need her to agree with me in order to be satisfied that I'm not a bad person, if that makes sense.  But really I ought to work on it being OK for me to think differently to her about this.

Thanks for your advice (again!) :) x

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4 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I feel in my heart of hearts that her reaction was not totally fair (but then I would say that wouldn't I!)

This is important I think. Maybe your partner was unfair, maybe it's not just your opinion. It's fine to think that and trust your judgement on what happened. 

6 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

But really I ought to work on it being OK for me to think differently to her about this.

I think this is really important too and something i find hard to do. I try to firstly stop assuming that i must be the one in the wrong and secondly see that my partner is separate from me, has had different life experiences, has different beliefs and fears and so at times we won't have the same perspective on things. 

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You have hit the nail on the head I think.  I find it difficult to accept us not agreeing.  I either browbeat her into agreeing with me, or I change my opinion to fit hers.  If I can't do either of those things I find it really difficult especially over something like this which I feel is to do with morality.  I keep dwelling on it (which I know I shouldn't) and find myself jumping from guilt to resentment (which I know is unfair) and back again. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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25 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You have hit the nail on the head I think.  I find it difficult to accept us not agreeing.  I either browbeat her into agreeing with me, or I change my opinion to fit hers.  If I can't do either of those things I find it really difficult especially over something like this which I feel is to do with morality.  I keep dwelling on it (which I know I shouldn't) and find myself jumping from guilt to resentment (which I know is unfair) and back again. 

This is a really great insight and something you can work on. For that reason I don't think you should bring it up with her again. Instead you could try to work on this need to be in constant agreement with your partner. I know easier said than done, but now at least you know what your mind is doing.

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3 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think this is probably closer to the truth than I am willing to acknowledge.  I feel in my heart of hearts that her reaction was not totally fair (but then I would say that wouldn't I!) I have brought it up a couple of times now and it's not gone well either time so I have tried to just leave it be.  The whole thing is linked to my whole thing of "am I a bad person" and I feel like I need her to agree with me in order to be satisfied that I'm not a bad person, if that makes sense.  But really I ought to work on it being OK for me to think differently to her about this.

I think you have your answer there.  I think you have to work on "Leaving it be" and the resultant emotions and urges that arise from that.  It is perfectly reasonable that she doesn't agree with you and vice versa, even if you'd rather it was otherwise.  You're hoping for agreement so that you can feel reassured and put it to bed, she shouldn't really concede to offering a reassuring view just to make you feel better about yourself and to bring your anxiety down....anymore than a partner should strip off on the doormat and take a shower when they come in the door.

Try not to confuse what you "see" as a real issue to be resolved, with something that as every hallmark of OCD.  Work on it as OCD, resisting the urges to discuss and disect it, to resolve it, to ruminate about it.  Be ready for it to strike and rear its ugly head...because it will just like any other urge or compulsion.

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1 hour ago, JennieWren said:

This is a really great insight and something you can work on. For that reason I don't think you should bring it up with her again. Instead you could try to work on this need to be in constant agreement with your partner. I know easier said than done, but now at least you know what your mind is doing.

Thanks Jennie and I think you're right that this is a big part of the problem and something I really need to work on. x

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59 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

I think you have your answer there.  I think you have to work on "Leaving it be" and the resultant emotions and urges that arise from that.  It is perfectly reasonable that she doesn't agree with you and vice versa, even if you'd rather it was otherwise.  You're hoping for agreement so that you can feel reassured and put it to bed, she shouldn't really concede to offering a reassuring view just to make you feel better about yourself and to bring your anxiety down....anymore than a partner should strip off on the doormat and take a shower when they come in the door.

Try not to confuse what you "see" as a real issue to be resolved, with something that as every hallmark of OCD.  Work on it as OCD, resisting the urges to discuss and disect it, to resolve it, to ruminate about it.  Be ready for it to strike and rear its ugly head...because it will just like any other urge or compulsion.

Hi Caramoole - nice to hear from you, haven't seen you around the forum as much lately :). Hope you're well?

I think you're right. It's funny how sometimes you just don't see things as they really are until you have them spelled out! This is definitely what I need to work on - allowing this to be, not demanding that my partner agrees (or alternatively me agreeing with her), and letting that be OK. It almost feels like a kind of cognitive dissonance, like something's wrong if I allow that to be the case.  This is definitely where I need to focus my efforts.

Thanks again x

 

 

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Hi GBG, yes I'm still here.....had a very busy year but am around.  One really positive thing is that these days we have a huge number of very knowledgeable members offering excellent advice & support....it makes my role a lot easier but I'm always  here watching & reading :detective:

Sometimes the more we know about OCD the harder it is to spot the less classic and less obvious types...... but they are often still culprits.  It is so with me......they wouldn't even rank as "intrusive thoughts" as such, often quite minor things but they fall into the obsessive mindset in just the same way, usually with much rumination.  The phrase "If it feels like OCD...." (even when it's not immediately obvious) is worth applying anyway.  

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That's so true. I'm pretty good (mostly!) with the 'obvious' themes (checking, worrying about committing a crime, etc.) It is the inbetweeny things which feel a bit like real problems but also have that OCD feeling that I really struggle with.  You make a good point about the obsessive mindset.  This is definitely me.  I think of it as being like a "spotlight effect" - my brain's spotlight is always on something, and whatever that thing is, is the most important thing in the whole world at that moment and I absolutely must solve it at any cost.  I am trying to work on ignoring whatever is in the spotlight, whether OCD or not, and just letting the spotlight naturally fade. If that makes sense!

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3 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

That's so true. I'm pretty good (mostly!) with the 'obvious' themes (checking, worrying about committing a crime, etc.) It is the inbetweeny things which feel a bit like real problems but also have that OCD feeling that I really struggle with.  You make a good point about the obsessive mindset.  This is definitely me.  I think of it as being like a "spotlight effect" - my brain's spotlight is always on something, and whatever that thing is, is the most important thing in the whole world at that moment and I absolutely must solve it at any cost.  I am trying to work on ignoring whatever is in the spotlight, whether OCD or not, and just letting the spotlight naturally fade. If that makes sense!

I really like your 'spotlight effect' analogy. I feel the same. Thank you for sharing, it's really helpful. :yes:

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Hi gbg, it’s nice to see you are feeling a lot better and you are feeling in a more positive mindset :yes: and trying a different approach, I like the new analogy :) x 

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