I’m a rather sensitive person by any definition of the word “sensitive,” and for the most part, this is a characteristic I like about myself. I find people who are not sensitive to be ugly in my eyes. That is what ugliness is to me. But aside from that view of the concept of sensitivity, deeper within me is a struggle about how others view me.
I get offended easily when interacting with people. Not about real-world stuff like politics, society, economics. I’m pretty willing to accept others views beyond the obviously ignorant. No, I am talking about how I am viewed in a very specific way.
While I’ve separated OCD from perfectionism in my mind—they are two very different things—OCD presents to me a world I must strive to build where everything is right. And I often need others’ eyes and senses to tell me this “right” way that things are has been constructed properly by me.
I use clothing as an example because it is often the object of my OCD. Things don’t fit right at times, and at other times the same clothes fit perfectly. So my OCD has a clothing theme to it that, while not rational of course, has a “right” and “wrong” of some sort.
Exploring this example more, I will, for instance, purchase shorts that are two sizes too large for me so that I am guaranteed to feel comfortable even when I am having an OCD episode about the fit of my clothes. This will come from anger-shopping for said shorts. I’ll be wearing shorts that should fit fine, and for some reason, my brain just tells me they are wrong. It isn’t the only type of OCD I have for certain, but it is probably the most tactile.
So there I am in shorts two sizes too large, and I will ask someone close to me if they look ok. Here’s where things get tricky with my sensitivity. This person knows my recent fetish with oversized clothing purchased for the purpose of tricking my OCD. Well, they may not know fully that I am tricking my OCD, but they know I am in the process of buying the same shorts over and over. That’s not hard to see when you live with someone.
Anyway, so I ask. And what I have asked in my mind is only a yes or no question, I am hoping for validation in the form of a “yes, they look fine.” Or, I’m willing to go back to the drawing board if the answer is “no, they look goofy on you.”
Problem is the person asked takes this beyond a yes or no question and looks to see if I’m playing my games with shorts too large for me and mentions this is noticeable upon looking for this sizing.
My mind cannot easily handle a yes or no question answered with a more complex answer. My OCD is now triggered, and I do not know what to think. I was for certain that while the shorts are obviously bigger than they need to be, that shouldn’t be noticeable to anyone who doesn’t already know this.
I’m offended. I’m offended because another person’s reaction did not fit the simple architecture I laid out in my question.
Taking it back to the conceptual, this is how I get offended. And often. This is going to sound assholish, but I can’t process easily when people think beyond the structure my brain needs them to think within. This could mean they are thinking too complexly or without enough complexity as well.
My example above was of someone thinking with too much complexity, but the opposite also makes me offended.
My world is not simple at all. Actually, it is well beyond just not being simple. I see the world much more complexly than others around me do. I know this from how they interact with the world.
There are so many eventualities to the ways things can happen as a reaction to action, and I always see people not taking all of this into account. Of course, they don’t! They do not have OCD! I do, however, and while I don’t want to be offended, I am at the core of my person where I have no control over my emotions.
I am offended when the complexity others see around me does not conform to the complexity I wish for them to see. A lot or a little, depending.
This is all very irrational, the offense I take. But it is real. I often hide it, and when I do not hide it I soon thereafter wish I hid it. But, again, this is real.
This is me not liking the world around me, and unfortunately this also—not of my own purposeful doing—includes other people.
But to conclude with the converse to all of this: this junk I think, it offends me too.