4. Changes I Don’t Have to Make
I remembered my first encounter with Jameston. “Hello,” he said, extending his hand. “My name is Jameston.”
I shook his hand, and not sure I’d heard him right, asked, “Jameston?” A sour look crossed his face. He told me he pronounced his name ‘JAIM es ton’, not ‘jaim ES ton’, not ‘james TON’, and please never refer to him as ‘James’, ‘Jim’, or ‘Jimmy.’
After telling me how to say his name, he half blinked, and a weak smile crossed his face. It took me a long time to recognize that tic was one of recognition. I imagined an inner voice telling him he was right, struggling with a softer one recognizing he was overreacting, and asking him to relax.
“Do you know the difference between OCD and OCPD?” he asked. “If you want to help me, it is important that you do.”
I said, “OCD, is an anxiety disorder. People feel bad about having it, at least in its severe form. Most wish they could stop the rituals and counting and hand washing. The problem is not doing these things causes them a lot of stress. Likewise, they need to have things organized to avoid anxiety. People with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, OCPD, think they are right, the world is wrong. They wish the rest of us would do things their way, the only way, the correct way. They need things to be organized and done exactly as they see fit, or they experience anger and frustration. ”
“Well, you seem to have a basic understanding. I suggest you read a little more to sharpen your knowledge.”
There was the tic again. I felt a sad sort of gratitude about not needing the rigid control Jameston needed.
Today I will be grateful for difficult changes I don’t need to make.
Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com