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- Holiday Gifts for Mental Health (2020) - December 14, 2020
- Light in the Darkest of Times: An Unquiet Mind and Ideal Love - December 5, 2020
I’ve talked about this condition of mine before. An element of my OCD, a powerful one, is entitled obsessive moral scrupulosity, or the obsessive and compulsive need to follow a specific moral code, and often for others to follow it, too. The moral code itself is molded by early childhood influences, and it springs up for me a lot. A lot. Here’s what it’s doing now.
I know I talk about it a lot, but it’s rich in content: my ex’s girlfriend recently contacted me via a fake account. I know, this happens to me a lot. I was very scared at first. I have PTSD from what her boyfriend put me through, and as I was shaking and felt sick, I considered what I should say. I ended up simply being firm that she was not to contact me, but there was so much more I wanted to say. What, and why?
I’ll start with the why. When there is an injustice operating in the world around me, my brain itches. I become overwhelmingly, bodily upset, and my brain is “set on fire,” as I like to say. I want the world to operate according to how I think it should which, while common in almost everyone, is heightened to an obsessive/compulsive level because of my disorder.
If it were up to me, I’d be able to tell my ex’s new girlfriend everything that he did. I’d make sure she was safe and cared for and fully informed of what he is capable of. However, there are some things I can’t put on the blog and there are no things that I should be saying to her, to protect myself. Even thinking of her or his name makes me want to throw up. I know she reads this, though. Girl, stay safe.
More generally, I am so upset about this incident with him largely because I was reared similarly. My parents would walk away, neglect to listen to my words and what I had to say, didn’t take me seriously, talked poorly of me to others. So when it happens in a relationship (albeit to a more sick, traumatic level), I become panicked in a re-traumatizing way. That’s what separates this experience from any other relationship I’ve ever had; it harkens back to childhood.
Back to scrupulosity. It really, really grinds my gears that he’s been able to get away with what he did, that I can’t help this new girl, that his parents likely believe anything he has to say about the issue. However, I can’t force the world to mold to what I know and/or believe to be true. I know that I can’t because I technically, physically can’t, so any effort to do so would only be a suffering-inducing endeavor.
This is the way it goes with a lot of things that are out of our control, especially in interpersonal situations. We simply have no control over others, ultimately, and any attempt to control other people must end in personal suffering because of the inability to do so, and the helplessness that induces.
So, I’m not going to write her back with all that I know. She’ll find out soon enough, if she hasn’t already. I don’t need to save her and I don’t need to be told that I’m right, at least not beyond all of my family and friends. All is as it should be, and everything will right itself in the end. That I know to be true, and that’s a part of my moral code that I can tell myself without controlling anyone else.