EPISODE 5 TRANSCRIPT
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For part two in this series about my personal story I’m going to focus on my university years through to my early thirties. In writing this out I realized how complicated it would be to separate the parts of my life that aren’t relevant to the concept of this channel, the parts that need to remain private as to not implicate other people and the parts that I feel have more to do with who am today as opposed to who I was in those moments. I don’t want to lose your interest by making thirty minute videos. So for the sake of brevity and clarity, I’m going to focus on the developing of my symptoms and their immediate impact during this time period. What I mean by that is that I’m going to try and stay away from the larger ramifications my behaviors had on my life that I still carry with me. We’ll save those for a video in which I discuss the cumulative effects of living with OCPD.
Jumping into where I left off in the last video, we’ll start with right after high school. Because of the religion I was raised in, no value was placed on higher education. So throughout high school I had planned on advancing myself further in the religion. Without going into detail, those plans were derailed and what happened was out of my hands. I had always desired further education, so without a plan up to that point and without ever considering what I would study, I moved to England to attend university. It’s not really relevant to the story, but I studied radio and press journalism. The only reason it’s even slightly worth pointing out, is that I have pursued many careers, but never any in that field. The only reason bringing up my secular education at all is relevant, is because as time was of the essence in making a quick decision as to what to do with my life, I really feel that I got adulthood off on the wrong foot and it haunts me as I still feel the implications today.
As a quick blast through of the facts for that time period, I moved to England, went to school, finished my studies and moved back to the US. By the time I came back to the US, I had been involved in two serious relationships. Maybe serious is the wrong word. I’ll call them long term relationships. Both relationships started locally in person, but coincidentally became long distance relationships. The reason that’s relevant is because in both cases my OCPD had nothing to do with those relationships ending. I’ll mention this at the outset - I have a long history of being cheated on by partners. I’m not saying this in judgment of them, but I mention it as things are never simple or cut and dry. There’s no doubt my OCPD causes me an incredible amount of anxiety and depression, but there’s also no reliable way to determine what percentage of anxiety and depression just came out of having bad interpersonal relationships in life and I think that’s important to mention. I want to be as relatable as possible to those suffering with OCPD and I want to be truthful with my stories so people can determine where they have things in common with me and where they don’t. In regards to the cheating however, I won’t be labeling which partners were cheaters and which weren’t. But based on my history, the odds aren’t in any of their favors.
Going back into the progression of the OCPD at that time, I got away with it for a little while. While attending school in England, I was living with relatives. One of those relatives has an undiagnosed something or other. It’s not my place to hypothesize as to what that thing is, but it meant that the house in which I was living in was spotless. Because of this there were many things I could get away with doing that didn’t seem out of the ordinary in that household. During my initial time there my life was semi-typical. I made friends, I was in a band, did some traveling, partied, studied and was mostly alright. I’ve had life-long depression, but this was probably the point in my life where it was at its lowest. I was probably just too busy to even put any focus on it. So initially the depression and OCPD didn’t hold me back, and of course at that point I didn’t know I had OCPD anyway. I had incorrectly been diagnosed with OCD and didn’t care much and I didn’t think too much about it. But again, a lot of that not feeling too uncomfortable in my own skin cam from my living situation as I sort of fit well into it.
Now the longer I was there the more people did start to notice my rituals or routines. At that point I was able to keep almost all of them private outside of the hand washing. The hand washing for me was a result of a sort of fear of germs and oil or grease. But again, having OCPD and not OCD meant that to me the behaviors felt right to me. Although I knew I was the odd man out, I still felt I was in the right and others were in the wrong to not wash as frequently as I did. Anytime I felt as though I touched something greasy or dirty I would immediately have to wash my hands before being able to touch literally anything else. If I used a public restroom or a restroom at someone else’s house I would obviously have to wash my hands as would most of you. But to take it to the next level I would have to use toilet paper or paper towelsto grab anything I would need to in order to exit the bathroom. I’ve repeatedly mentioned that I knew I had been misdiagnosed with OCD early on, however I wasn’t really sure what was going on with me at that time. One of the things I would do privately is keep things incredibly orderly and organized in the way you would see a person with OCD portrayed in the media doing. So between the hand washing and the orderliness, I related enough to OCD that I went along with it when everyone around me was happy to slap that label on me at that time. There’s a lot of little things that started to build up and consume my time and cause minor embarrassments, but I think I can move onto talking about the next phase of my life by finishing up this chapter with a story that is a culmination of everything that came before it.
So as my time in England was coming to a close I was involved in an incident at a place I was working part time while attending school. I was working at a skateboard shop and although I enjoyed the work, the people I worked for were just awful human beings. For reasons relating to the OCPD I didn’t like to try out clothes in the store if I was interested in buying them. So I had asked the manager if it was cool if I took stuff home, tried it on, and either brought it back or paid for it the next day. There was no problem, so I occasionally did that. Well unbeknownst to me, the two managers running the shop had been stealing from the business. Apparently both cash and merchandise and a considerable amount as well. The owners of the company caught on and instead of investigating that location, they foolishly assumed that it wasn’t the managers doing it. What that means is that they alerted the managers that they knew about the theft taking place, essentially giving the thieves the heads up. I guess they must have decided to pin it on me. They had footage of me leaving the store with some bags and decided to use that in conjunction with what they did next. They had asked me to take out the trash and that wasn’t something I usually did. I had no desire to go out to the filthy back alley and touch the dumpster, so I went out the front and just disposed of the trash in some regular garbage bins. They sent the security footage to the owners and claimed the bags were full of merchandise. They then waited for a day that I grabbed an article of clothing to try on, knowing full well what the deal was, and they called the police claiming it was a stolen article of clothing and had me arrested in front of all of my friends. Spending a night in jail as an indirect consequence of having OCPD was not a pleasant experience. Being humiliated in front of all of your coworkers and losing your job due to a personality disorder is not a fun time. Nothing more came of it afterward as I was able to corroborate my story with unseen security footage and charges were dropped. But I was considering staying in England after graduation and that experience prompted me to move back to the States. Now I’m not excited about telling that story. I’ve just put it out there and I’ve shared something that was incredibly humiliating, but this is how serious I’m taking showing you exactly what this disorder is. Irrational doesn’t even begin to explain it.
So if that was bad, I’m about to jump into something much worse. I’ve been married and divorced twice. Now if you’re watching this and you know me, there’s nothing I can do about you knowing the identities of the people I will be talking about. But for the majority watching that don’t know me, I’m going to be very brief and to the point as to not make them the focus of this next part of the video. There were things done on both sides that led to divorce in both situations, but this series is about OCPD, so we are going to shine the light on what I did wrong and how it ties into the personality disorder. For the first marriage and well into the second, remember, I was still unaware that I had OCPD. Depression? Yes. Some form of OCD that I couldn’t figure out or make sense of? Yes. But nothing more as far as I was concerned. Also, this is a hard subject for me to talk about. Not just because it’s deeply personal, but also because I’ve spent most of my life trying to forget my past. So a lot of the details are foggy. In the first marriage I think there were signs early on. I had that rigidity that is such a staple of OCPD in so many areas of my life. I was hard to live with. Incredibly high standards and wanting to do everything myself from the cleaning to the organizing to the cooking to the shopping. She wasn’t really allowed to do much if it was something that was going to affect me. Now this is incredibly common in relationships where one partner has OCPD. The healthy partner feels manipulated and controlled even though that isn’t the mindset of the person afflicted with the disorder. They are just trying to make order where they see chaos. But everyone around them begins to become a causality of thatvery, very unhealthy way of thinking. I’m just trying to do things to calm the mental anguish that I feel every minute of the day. The other person is just trying to stay out of the way as best as possible. I know eventually what happened is that my partner felt unloved and felt like my priorities were cleanliness and order, not them. Now sadly this wasn’t true. In my first marriage I actually thought we were becoming closer over our time being married when in fact the opposite was happening on her end. It wasn’t my desire to end the marriage, but I was too ignorant back then to do anything about it. I knew things were wrong with me, but I didn’t seek treatment at that time and I take responsibility on that end. For what I’m guessing were about the last six months, the signs started presenting themselves. She was fed up and after being together a long time she knew what buttons to press. Something as simple as cleaning our home when I wasn’t there was enough to just break me down. My brain couldn’t cope with having that little control of a situation and there was a lot of anger. The more upset I got the more I felt like those buttons were being pressed on purpose. There was a final incident that prompted the split and I’m not going to go into specifics. But the important details are that something bad happened and my partner wasn’t honest with me about it. It wasn’t something catastrophic, but she realized that she felt she could no longer tell me things. She was afraid because she didn’t know what things would upset me and what things wouldn’t. On my side, my world came crashing down. Not only was my world ending, but I realized that I could get so upset by little things that my partner didn’t even feel like they could talk to me anymore.
I’ll cover this topic again with a few other stories that I think shine a light on the symptoms of OCPD, but that’s the long and short of it with my first marriage. During the years between my first and second marriage, I was pretty lost. I was involved in at least one long term relationship and we both had our issues and I never really faced mine down during that time. The biggest problem, and this is the problem that persists down to this day, is that when in a relationship, the symptoms tend to manifest in a very strong way. The stress of being in a relationship, having an incredible amount of self doubt and depression & knowing something is wrong with you but not knowing what it is, amplifies the symptoms times a thousand. The catch though, is that once these relationships end, the symptoms can become milder and as nobody but myself has to put up with them, and so there isn’t the urgency to work on them. It becomes hard to identify which habits are symptoms and which habits are just personal preferences. Or at least that has been the case throughout much of my past. So in between the two marriages I thought I did some growing, but I was about to find out that that wasn’t the case.
The second marriage was shorter than the first and things went wrong much faster. I’d like to give more details than I’m able to, but there was more than two people involved inmy next family situation and I don’t think it would be right to disclose too much information. But what I can say is that there were things that set my OCPD skyrocketing the second time around that I didn’t encounter with my first marriage. I desperately wanted the second marriage to work, but I could feel myself falling apart with the stress, the anger rising due to the resentment from someone not respecting my rituals and orderliness and a runaway train of bitterness welling up that I had no control over. There was love, but there were also constant misunderstandings. Again, I’m not going to bare full responsibility, but the OCPD took its toll as usual. The difference this time around, was that as I saw this marriage failing, I knew I had to take action. It was at this point I found information on OCPD and all of the puzzle pieces started falling into place. I will talk about psychiatry and actual diagnoses some other time. But this was an incredible wake up call as I now had information, a label & an answer to the question, what is wrong with me. It just so happens that I found this information too late. The damage had been done yet again. I agreed to seek out treatment, but at the last minute the decision was made that she didn’t want to stick around while I tried to get better. This was devastating and the depression that followed was long and dark and I withdrew to a point that there was no chance I was going to talk to anybody, let alone a therapist. I didn’t make progress on myself and I stalled out in life for a while. I worked for myself at this time, so that gave me the unfortunate side effect of not having to interact with people. Which as we all know is not the cure for depression. On her side of the fence, I believe the thought process was that I had been given the opportunity to fix myself on many occasions and that no amount of effort on my part was ever really going to change me. She read the literature along with me and saw how poor the prognosis is. So marriage number two is now over and I’m feeling like the most worthless person to ever walk this planet.
I just blasted through over a decade in just a few short paragraphs. Some of that had to do with being careful with details, and a lot had to do with the fact that I’ll be revisiting that time period in future videos. But as was the case with this video, I will be doing as much as I can to conceal information about anyone else involved in any of the stories I tell. There are two sides to every story, and I can only talk about how I think my OCPD negatively impacted others. They would have to tell you themselves in order for all the details to be one hundred percent accurate. I feel a little guilty about glossing over so much of this information, but I also know that I will be able to freely tell stories in the future without it being relevant to identify which wife or girlfriend I’m referring to. Each incident by itself will take precedent over who was actually involved.
The next and final video in this three-parter on myself is probably the most important video up to this point. It will bring us up to present day and will cover the development of my anxiety disorder, how the OCPD evolved and what prompted me to create this YouTube channel.