Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things I learned about Fuhrer in therapy

As you might guess, it did seem like the Fuhrer had undiagnosed mental disorders.

In the months following my return home, I was telling my therapist about the things Fuhrer would do and she said pretty quickly, "Sounds like that girl had Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder."  (Different than just OCD)

So naturally, I Googled it when I got home, and what I found was incredibly reassuring because it was spot on!

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
  • Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost
  • Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)
  • Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)
  • Is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)
  • Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value
  • Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things
  • Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes
  • Shows significant rigidity and stubbornness

Even down to the hoarding thing- she was SO stingy with handing out Book of Mormons...I was just like, isn't that why were here? And if we run out, we can get more? But no, the fact that we had ONLY 13 to give out every month stressed her out. "We should only give them out if we know they're actually going to read it," she would say. And I would think to myself, isn't that kind of out of our control? What about the whole "flood the earth with the BOM" prophecy anyway? I think we gave away 2 or 3 our entire transfer. Missing the point, much? I suppose.

She did have a problem connecting with people. At the time, I dismissed it in the name of 'professionalism' I guess. In my next companionship (with the nicest girl ever), someone from the ward kind of winked at me like "Oh, you got a new companion" with a knowing kind of look. Another woman in the branch also confided in me that she hadn't had the sisters over for dinner again after Fuhrer had asked her non-member husband point blank why he wasn't baptized.

One day, when I broke down crying she just said "I'm sorry I don't have any experience dealing with someone with depression." (I had previously told her because I got sad a few days before and told her it wasn't her fault, that I have a predisposition) She seemed sincere (as she could be), but here shows the conundrum I have. It bugs me that she might think she's completely justified in her behavior...that I'm 'the messed-up one' since I was the one who had to go home. Not that I wanted to stay, but in a way it seemed unfair that I was the one who had to go home 'because I was sick' when there was so much sickness about her. Like I was the one who was wrong, the mission pariah. The one who served a mission…with an asterisk. (Although to his credit, my mission president (the nice new one-- not the outgoing one who had sided with Fuhrer) told me I was 100% a returned missionary, that there was no asterisk-- isn't that nice?)

But then I'm conflating wrong with being sick. So I don't know…I need to develop that a bit more. Does that even make sense?

She friended me on Facebook and it took me a couple months to decide to accept. When I did, I really let her have it a message. I was careful not to blame her for anything, but I sure called her out on her behavior and tried to illustrate what it meant to me and others that I had to leave early. To her credit, she actually apologized. Whether she really meant it or not, it gave me some good closure, but it's not like it erases the past.

On a somewhat related note, I've been forwarded mission letters from a cousin who mentions in every letter something he has baked that week (we're talking homemade bread from scratch, multiple step baking). I honestly rack my brain because I cannot for the life of me figure out when he finds the time. Because after the chores, cleaning, the errands, doing emails, and writing letters home, you have like 45 minutes of true free time until you have to go back to work at 6pm. As I would quickly find out, P-Day is not really a day-- it's 10am-6pm. I once made cookies for Elders for a meeting and it used up my 45 minutes of free time. I was so disoriented from all the things we had done that day (and the other 6 of the week), I told myself it probably wasn't a good idea to do that again, that I should instead find some alone time (in the apartment) to just be still.

But then my cousin talks about all the people he's teaching and his successes and "great experience" -- in a European mission! Scandinavia, not exactly known for its God-worshipping (to make a broad stereotype).
So then that makes me think rules are not of utmost importance after all since presumably he's breaking some to bake? (Presumably.)
Am I missing something? Oh, yeah, I was 'sick'. But I didn't break any rules! Aha- there I go conflating being wrong with being sick. I guess it's just frustrating for me to just neatly label my experience with that since it was something so out of my control and because I was trying my very best. As if all my effort was for naught since my sadness held the trump card. (Again, does this even make sense?)

Just a glimpse into my thought process.

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