I was 18 when I dropped out of school.
I was convinced to blame it on anxiety. My classmates were making fun of me. I felt isolated and the school environment caused a lot of distress.
That was true. Yet, not everything.
Years later, I realized what truly made me uncomfortable.
My anxiety was due to the expectations. Everyone thought I was the smartest girl in class and was expected to get top grades. My family, my teachers, my classmates. I couldn’t be the best anymore. I was overwhelmed by the expectations; I had mental breakdowns.
The reason why I was no longer able to get top grades was that I quitted doing homework.
Actually I stopped doing homework in 3rd grade.
In middle school, I gave up having notebooks. I no longer had the notes I needed to study. I was too ashamed to ask my classmates for theirs.
Why was that? Hard to believe, but I was a perfectionist.
Suddenly, school rhythms skyrocketed, and I couldn’t keep up with them. I couldn’t keep my notebooks tidy, I couldn’t take the time to keep a decent handwriting. I was so frustrated I gave up. Perfectionism made me lazy and messy.
How can you tell a person is obsessed with perfection, if they’re so lazy and untidy?
I kept on getting good grades until the 3rd year of high school.
Why was I preoccupied with perfection?
I was a normal kid. I liked to be praised and hated to be criticized.
I craved for praise and appreciation. I was proud and loved to make my family proud. Nothing felt as good as making people happy, and nothing felt as bad as making people sad or angry. Failure was something I couldn’t avoid, yet I was unable to accept it.
Alright, I had enough of the past. It’s time to talk about the present.
I’ll just take some “symptoms” and explain how they work for me.
You’ll also realize this disorder is self-contradictory.
Perfectionism that interferes with task completion
The story I told was mostly about this. I have nothing to add, except one reminder.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. This is the first contradiction, as people with OCPD can become frustrated by their inability to reach perfection that they will turn into the opposite, not giving a damn about perfection.
Preoccupation with details, rules, order, blah blah
Again, frustration can lead to the opposite. People with OCPD can be messy because they may have other priorities. We aren’t afraid of getting sick unlike the OCD counterpart; we just want things to be done in a certain way. If we can’t, good riddance.
Miserliness, extreme need to save money for the future
Retail therapy? What’s that? Are you kidding me? There’s no way spending money will make me feel better. I only spend money when I believe it’s an investment.
Wasting money is out of question.
Rigidity and stubbornness when it comes to standards, morals, ethics and manners
Another contradiction. I have good manners, and I’m generous. I’m unable to save money when it comes to gifts, I have a need to impress.
So far, the worst argument I had with my boyfriend has been about where to place a printer. I guess it gives a clue about those rigid standards and morals.
This includes the reluctance to delegate tasks.
I dislike surprises, too. They often feel like betrayal.
Excessive devotion to work at the expenses of social activities
I thought of doing people a favor by avoiding them, but they seem to miss that stubborn eccentric friend, from time to time. Oh well, things won’t get done by themselves.
Inability to express feelings
I’m very expressive, yet I think I’m not totally in touch with my emotions.
It can take me days to find the words to explain how I feel.
Did my experience help you understand more about OCPD?
Can you tell the difference between OCD and OCPD now?
Do you think you may suffer from OCPD?
No, but I know someone who has OCPD
No, and I don’t know anyone who has OCPD