July 6, 2011

It's been awhile since ROCD hit me....

Since I’ve started with my new, awesome therapist, we’ve been working hard on my HOCD.  Makes sense because I’m not even in a relationship at the moment.  I’m nowhere near ready for dating, which is a huge trigger for me.  But it doesn’t take being in a relationship to start having ROCD triggers.  Anytime I have interaction with men (my dad, friends, etc) and they disappoint me somehow (usually regarding emotional stuff), my OCD spikes. 

ROCD manifests itself a few different ways for me, and what happened the other day is one of them. 

It was three separate incidences that all formed together to create the perfect storm:
1.  My sister sent me an email talking about how she has been doing the on-line dating thing and she doesn’t think she’ll ever have another long-term relationship with a man again.

2.  I spoke with my social worker/psychoanalytic cousin (a trigger for me), and we ended up discussing my most recent break-up.  She indicated that perhaps neither my boyfriend and I have the skills to even be able to create a secure attachment with one another and therefore create a happy, loving, intimate relationship.

3.  With all this stuff that is going on with my Mom, my ex-boyfriend has been a lot of support.  I spoke to him on Monday night when I was at my worst.  But since then I haven’t heard from him.  Not a text or phone call to say “hey – how are you doing?”  This has me feeling disappointed and abandoned. 

So the thoughts start and go something like this:
Stephen didn't even text to see how you're doing today. That's disappointing. It makes me feel alone.  See? He's emotionally inept - like all men are. Maybe my sister is right - are there any men out there who are capable of having a healthy intimate relationship and really connecting emotionally with a woman?  Kelly (cousin) said that maybe I don't have the skills to have a healthy relationship. Is that true? I think I have healthy relationships with some women. Maybe it's a man that I can't have a healthy relationship with. After all - I certainly didn't have a healthy relationship with my dad! See - you would be happier with a woman!”

I try to use cognitive restructuring, but it just becomes reassurance.  And then I start berating myself and saying things like: “You’re just too needy.  You have too many expectations.  Maybe you’re the one who is screwed up to the core.”

This is all new territory for me.  Thus far, we’ve been dealing with the straightforward parts of HOCD, and it’s gone fairly well.  But I’ve been feeling “unsteady” since Monday.  I talked to my therapist about this, and I felt like he was speaking Greek to me.  He explained that I should just let myself be disappointed in Stephen, and that it doesn’t have to be about him being emotionally inept, or about all men being jerks or about me being fundamentally flawed in some way that prevents me from having a relationship with a man.  BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO DO THAT.  I don’t understand what part is OCD, and what part is “real”, and what part needs cognitive restructuring etc.  Is this OCD and I’m being too picky and have too high of expectations or am I “checking” like crazy and taking too much meaning out of it? 

And today I did some HOCD-related avoidance.  Sigh.  This road to recovery is sure fraught with a lot of pot holes. 


  1. Thank you! I don't feel alone! I, too, have trouble speaking with men. Well, mainly physically attractive men (i.e. my type). I feel the exact. same. way. with men. My next therapy session is (I hope) going to be devoted to this. I'm going to write my concerns and discuss them with my therapist. I totally understand.

  2. Sorry to things that things have been rough as of late, both in terms of OCD and beyond that! I can CERTAINLY relate to the confusion as to what's OCD versus what's not OCD, what's something I just need to let myself feel and accept versus what is an actual problem I need to attend to. It's a whole other layer of uncertainty that I guess we just have to accept :/. Hope you're feeling more on your game again soon!

  3. Regardless of if they are real concerns or OCD ruminations, we have to accept the thoughts and let them be there, right? Does that make sense? "Yup, men suck, yup, I'm screwed up. So what? What else d'ya wanna throw at me today?" (Maybe??)

  4. Fellow - thanks for your comment! I have been trying not to compulsively try to figure it all out and that seems to be keeping me from going downhill at least!!
    Pen Pal - you are right! Accepting the thoughts WITHOUT engaging in them is the thing that I have to do. So hard with this theme though!!! I feel like a one year old learning how to walk....some days I get it - other days I fall all over the place!!!