Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I came to a realization this morning. This will either make total sense to you, my dear readers, or it will cement in your brain that I am crazy! I tried to explain this to my husband this afternoon, but he really couldn't wrap his head around it. I am learning more and more that my way of thinking effects my reactions to things, and expecting others to get it results in frustration on both ends because people simply don't think like me.

Here's the set up. My husband visited the doctor about 4 weeks weeks ago for the normal yearly checkup. He has to return in 2 months due to so medication monitoring. The doctor wants him to have some blood work done, anytime before the next appointment. It is fasting blood work.

In my head, I have added this to he mental checklist of things waiting to be done. I always feel like I have to categorize and catalog each thing that is waiting to be accomplished for everyone in the family. I see them as actual lists in my head. I am fine when the lists are manageable. Once they get longer and longer I start getting antsy. I also get antsy the longer items are on the list.
For the most part these lists are manageable for me.

I have been nagging my husband to get the blood work done as we are into the second month. Last Sunday he said he would get up and go Monday morning since my son also needed blood work. This way he could do both at the same time. Monday came and went and he forgot. I forgot until later in the day when he had already eaten. Last night I mentioned it again. He agreed that he should get it done and he would get up early this morning. This morning the alarm went off and he said he would rather go another time becasue he didn't get a good night's sleep and truthfully there is no rush.

Here's where I should've said OK. Because truthfully, who cares when he goes as long as he goes before the next appointment in 4 weeks. I can tell myself it really doesn't matter. My initial resonse is always amicable and I say, "Okay, whatever."

Within about 2 minutes that all changes. I tell him he really should just go. Then he gets irritated. I say that it is his choice. He then chooses not to go and do it later (becasue I gave him the choice). I cannot let it go and start talking about him following through and keeping his word. Blah Blah Blah.

The sane person in me tells me this is gonna cause an issue and I should just let it go, but the OCD gets ahold of me and I CANNOT do it. Today I tried to assess the situation differently and see if I could explain it to him (and myself) in a non-confrontational way that makes sense. It took me most of the day, and I let it go which is progress!

I just spoke to him on the phone and here's what I saw inside myself when I really took a look at what was happening. This running list in my head takes a lot of energy to maintain. It is like a television show that is always on in the background. I can somewhat ignore it but I have to keep it somewhat in the forefront so I don't forget what is on it for fear the job will get forgotten. (whoa, that is hard to explain) When he tells me he is going to get something done that is on the list, I get excited to be able to cross something off, but I can't cross it off until it is totally completed, so it has this anticipation factor now attached to it. When he "cancels" the completion it is a let down because I can no longer cross off that project/job.

That is when I get irritated. The frustration probably comes across more intense than what is called for since I have this built up anticipation. My head says it is not a big deal, but about 30 seconds later the OCD kicks in and I loose my shit because I cannot finish the crossing off process, it goes back on the list and the brain has to reengage that project.

Make sense? It is crystal clear to me! LOL I tried to explain it this way. I asked him if it made sense. He laughed and said, "No!" so I start to re-explain. He said, he understood what I was saying, but cannot wrap his mind around the reaction. I get that. I just want him to understand that the frustration truly isn't with him, it is with the inability for me to control my irritation. (there I am talking in circles again) I don't know how to change the reaction, but he said he understood why I need him to follow through with what he says he is going to do even if it doesn't make sense why. Progress!! One step for me, one step for him and meeting in the middle is a good thing.

Did any of that make sense?


  1. It made lots of sense. I, too keep lists in my head for everyone. If some thing is not getting done, and keeps nagging at me form the list, it takes energy to keep that thing on my list.

    Any time you get a step for you and a step for him, it is not only progress, but a time for celebration :)

  2. I think it does. I really like the description with the constant running tv on, either in the forefront or background.

  3. I have to put my list down on paper (computer) so I can mentally release it from my head. It makes it less personal and immediate. If I'm trying to keep everyone's lists in my head then I get angrier with them about not completing them so I can check them off.

    Mary in TX