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IntrusiveThoughts

Ruminating, ruminating, ruminating....

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I've been recently diagnosed with OCD, so I'm still figuring out what's OCD and not. 

I seem to be obsessed with social situations. I am sick long term and mostly housebound. My current house mates, a couple of them are really cold people. I actually chose them as housemates because I thought we'd get along. They routinely ignore what I say, and are terrible at making conversation to the point of rudeness. 

Very occasionally (monthly) I ask for help with something I can't do. Nothing unreasonable. They ignore me. It blew up this weekend - turns out they are angry at me for having asked at all.

Right now I'm struggling with a conflict in my mind. On one hand, I believe that decent people ought to want to help someone who is in dire need of help. On the other, I agree with them that they are not obligated to help me - they are not my carers. (I am in dire need of a carer, been waiting months for one.) I think they 'should' be kind, but they are within their rights to be horrible people if that's what they want. See - I'm privately judgemental of them for their treatment of me, that doesn't help the situation. 

I think a lot about assertiveness and how I can be better at this. A request is when you ask for what you need with room for the person to say no, vs a demand doesn't allow for the other person to say no. So, I have a right to ask for what I need, and they have a right to say no. But they are angry with me for asking for what I need. So... I think very poorly of them now. 

I'm worried that they feel they can't say no to me, just because I'm disabled. I think I asked in a way that they could say no. They seem to treat me as an alien that they can't say no to but won't actually help, so they just ignore me. I wonder if this is normal with disability, if people are generally afraid to say no out of pity or guilt or something? But they don't actually say yes. 

They have the right to not help me. But on the other hand, it feels like there's some ableism going on. 

With the OCD, I'm continually doubting myself. Did I say the right thing in the conversation where they confronted me? Was I assertive rather than aggressive? I think I was assertive, but maybe I was aggressive. 

I'm thinking about it constantly - first thing in the morning with a jolt, last thing at night, plus sometimes waking in the night with it. I do get a lot of insights, working out a lot of things. How they spoke to me when they confronted me, I was not surprised at all, I'd already anticipated all their feelings and I was correct. Ruminating gave me a LOT of info. 

I don't think I'm presenting myself very accurately here - this is the kind of thing that goes on in my head, accusing myself of things, being unsure if I am terrible. Being unsure if their treatment of me is fair, too. I feel constantly conflicted, stressed, tense. Doesn't help with my physical problems. 

I don't fully know if I have behaved badly or not - I automatically think I'm the one at fault, but then I swing to thinking I'm ok and actually they're bad people and I'm unlucky that I live with them, which is more along the lines of what my friends say. I want to improve myself.

But I might be obsessively trying to improve myself... I've been journalling about it wildly, trying to read up on assertiveness, articles about whether it's ok to think that other people are bad people, talking to people about it all the time, and I don't want to be needy. I want to be ok. I want to be able to let it go. I'm ok when I'm watching TV, and I'm almost ok when I'm actually dealing with these crappy housemates, but when I'm alone (which is a lot of the time because of my sickness) I can't let it go. I'VE HAD ENOUGH and I want to let it go.

 

Before worrying about how my housemates have been treating me, I was worried about something else obsessively, unable to let go, crying about it, waking up in the night etc. When this problem resolves itself, will another set of worries just take its place? I don't want to be like this. I want to be able to relax and just think of pleasant things! Why can't I let it go? What can I do?

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Just had a little rest... of which 3 out of 20 mins were actually spent resting, not ruminating. I try to focus on breathing but my will is not strong enough. I'm obsessed and I'm so bored of it, it's boring, I want it to be finished with. I think up things that I could do to be more assertive but I don't think they will actually help, I'm afraid of making things worse. And even if I do take action, like I did the other day, it clearly doesn't actually stop me from ruminating. When one problem is done with, another will pop up. 

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Hello. Sorry that you didn't get any responses. Let me see if I can give you some advice on this.

If I were you I would try to stop analyze social situations. Seems to me that you are overanalyzing it waay too much. What good will it make you? You can't really know other people's intentions. The risk when you are analyzing and applying the results of such analyze is that you hit wrong.

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Hi IntrusiveThoughts, I'm sorry too that you didn't get a reply sooner! Maybe you posted at a particularly busy forum-time and it ended up on the next page.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're having to deal with these people, they don't sound easy to live with at all. I would struggle a lot with that (I unfortunately can be somewhat privately judgemental too, even though I'm working on being more open-minded, so I can understand how disheartening it can be!), I think it's very unreasonable and unkind for them to be angry and ignore you for asking for help. Maybe they are frightened by the prospect of other peoples' needs and therefore they avoid them to stay 'safe'? (a bit like OCD!) I think some people feel threatened by being aware of other people needing help, because maybe it reminds them of how they need help sometimes too, but they feel they can't ask for it. Just a thought.

I know what it's like to endlessly ruminate on social encounters, (Did I do this wrong? What did I mean by that? What did their reaction mean? etc) it's exhausting! Try not to dwell on them if you can, whatever happens happens and no-one can get everything 'right' anyway (I have to remind myself of this a lot). You're obviously very mindful of not making people feel trapped into doing things, but that you also do need help sometimes, which sounds like a very realistic perspective to me. Are you usually able to you find someone else to help you if they refuse? I really hope you're able to get a carer soon! It's no fun waiting ages for services you really need.

Would it be helpful at all to talk to these housemates about it? If you explain that you don't mean to make them feel like they have to do anything, but you would really appreciate some assistance when you need it, especially while you're waiting to get a carer.

On ‎01‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 19:50, IntrusiveThoughts said:

But I might be obsessively trying to improve myself... I've been journalling about it wildly, trying to read up on assertiveness, articles about whether it's ok to think that other people are bad people, talking to people about it all the time, and I don't want to be needy.

This sounds like OCD compulsions to me. Remember that these are not things non-sufferers generally/usually feel the need to do, and you don't have to 'improve' yourself at all. We can allow ourselves to become more open-minded, accepting, empathetic, assertive, value ourselves more. We can learn to become more skilled in many things. But there is no such thing as improvement of YOU :) And those skills are not learned through obsessive searching, they bloom gradually with time and gentle direction.

On ‎01‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 19:50, IntrusiveThoughts said:

Before worrying about how my housemates have been treating me, I was worried about something else obsessively, unable to let go, crying about it, waking up in the night etc. When this problem resolves itself, will another set of worries just take its place? I don't want to be like this. I want to be able to relax and just think of pleasant things! Why can't I let it go? What can I do?

:hug: Sorry to hear you're suffering with this. OCD can cycle through many different themes (or, indeed, remain on one particular one for a long time). The way to overcome it is to apply CBT techniques, either by yourself if that is sufficient, or with a qualified therapist. Have you looked at any self-help books and/or looked through the OCD-UK website for more details on CBT? There are lots of people here on the forum too who are really good at summing up what it is and how you can use it. It's all about seeing OCD for what it is, and that intrusive thoughts are thoughts that don't need the amount of attention you're giving them. OCD sufferers get locked into a cycle of seeing these thoughts as being much more powerful than they are, and have disproportionate reactions to them, which results in a lot of anxiety (or whatever negative emotion it causes for the individual).

I hope that's of some kind of help :) I'm off to the library, will catch you later!

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What is the nature of your disability?

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