Monday, April 11, 2011

Tight Rope Walking

Why is it, that no matter what, I have to clean my house when I get home?  Everything is such a routine for me.  At times, the routine and schedule is more important than anything else, and at other times I put it off.  However, the fact remains that when I get home, it's routine; and it's followed.

It goes like this:  Come in and have the kids put away their coats.  Fifteen minutes of "down-time" commences then, which includes the kiddos turning on the wii or finishing the movie from the previous evening.  While they decompress, I do as well.  I check my e-mail, facebook, and blog.  Just a once-through to gage my readership, comments, etc.  I tell the kids downtime is over.  They now have to clean up their room.  I quickly walk from the back of the house (my room) to the front, analyzing each room and thinking of how long it will take me to get it in order.  I pour a glass of wine or open a beer, go outside, call someone and have a smoke.

Another ritual, if you will, upon coming into the house:  I start in my room.  I clean it up, make the bed, take the glasses into the bathroom.  In the bathroom I wipe the toilet and sink, as well as gather any glasses and cups left there.  I take said glasses to the kitchen.  I go back to the boys' room and grab dirty clothes to put in a basket, and then begin cleaning the kitchen.  The kitchen has to be clean (spotless) before I can even begin to think of dinner.  At this time, I check the boys room, and if it isn't clean, I throw all items out of place into the middle of their floor, and make them put it all away properly.

It's quite exhausting, actually.  I just realized today that it's all a routine I've made for myself.  It's an OCPD system of control.  The funny thing though, is that I can put it off.  I have realized that, if I'm tired or exhausted, I tend to not come home.  I will go to the grocery store, go visit a friend, go chat with Ben at the restaurant, or go to the bookstore.  Most people go home to relax, I know.  However, I try to avoid the ritual.  Deep down, though, I realize even if I'm tired, the ritual is still going to be there, and I can't avoid it.  

The fact remains, when I get home, it's always the same.  I know what you're thinking, "Why not just relax?"  Well, I can't relax until the ritual is done.  I can't break the pattern of control I've made for myself. I am incapable.  So instead of relaxing, I avoid my own home.  It's a very hard thing to communicate to people.

I was reading a post this evening, while researching OCPD.  Not a post so much as a document, but I will outline a few things that interested me.  The whole thing was interesting to me, actually.

The artical is by Lending The Way.  OCPD people are referred to as "Tight Rope Walkers."

Who knows just how many
‘closet’ TR Walkers are out there, in doctor’s surgeries,
in families, in the work place, going unrecognised – at
risk of depression and maybe even suicide? In terrible
daily pain because no one understands them. People
know something’s wrong but think TR Walkers are just
‘difficult’ or perverse, or eccentric. 
In my view, there’s a grave danger that unless
OCPD is properly acknowledged and recognised for
what it is, it will continue to cause hidden problems.
Have a look at the Internet. Would you want to admit
to something that has such a bad press?

Sometimes, TR Walkers come to the attention of the
medical profession for drinking too much or getting too
aggressive with people who won’t do what they want.
There’s some research on this which I’ll come to later. 
But most don’t. They blend in with other people. But
their private life, their inner life, is one of tragic
torment. If you’re a TR Walker, you’ll know what I
mean. If you’re not, try to imagine how it must feel to
wake up every morning, worried about what you have
to do that day. Whether you can find your list.
Whether you’ve got enough time. Will people
cooperate? What will happen, what will you feel like, if
you can’t do everything you’ve got to do the right way,
all through, everything, all day?
Think about it. Dwell there for a while. This is what
this book is intended to encourage people to do. Get
sympathetic. Even better, discover some empathy. It’s
not too hard. All of us, at some point in our lives, have
something about to happen that’s so important to us
that we just mustn’t mess it up. TR Walkers feel like
this all the time.

What are these influences? It has generally been
thought that faulty upbringing is the cause of OCPD.
This helps explain why some children show the
symptoms, even though rarely – OCPD tends to show
up in late adolescence or early adulthood. Although
this can hardly be levelled at parents as a fault, TR
Walkers often said one or both parents were
emotionally unavailable. This meant they felt they
weren’t valued or even loved. Now that we know OCPD
runs in families, and that one of the symptoms is the
tendency to stay out of reach emotionally, parents
who withhold affection and reward for their children
could perhaps be TR Walkers themselves. Or at least
share some of the characteristics that define OCPD.

Anyhow, I know it's a lot of useless information, unless you are truly interested in it... if you are, or know of a tight rope walker, please read the information here.  It's quite intense and honest.

After the day, I'm tired.  My house is clean and my children are in bed.  I'm going to watch some Gray's anatomy and just breathe for a bit.  I have to get up early and work tomorrow.  Here's hoping my car doesn't break down or get blocked in.  I guess we just never know.


  1. One idea ....Yoga. Not as a cure all, but a way to calm the mind

  2. Hello! Could it be that you suffer from OCD instead of OCPD? I remember Monica of Friends while reading your experiencies... who theorically was OCD... I think I am an OCPD but I don't follow any routines, I am just a perfeccionist but just with what I am really interested with, not with house cleaning or ordering material things (in which case I am a completely lazy one!).

    All the luck!

    Sorry for my English!

    TOCP (http://maniesicomplexos.blogspot.com/)

  3. Hmm, yoga? I could try with all my spare time:) As for OCD, I don't meet all the criteria for that diagnosis, though it has been brought up before. I believe my routines have more to to with me being "in control" of my house. I have to stay in control at home because of the lack of control I have in other areas of my world... your english is great, no worries! I am following your blog as well now, the translator is wonderful. Keep writing.

  4. Thanks Mel. I must say I read that book entirely in 1 day and it was like a great find for me, cause I saw myself reflected on some of the ideas of the book.