Taking it Personal - Cleaning and OCPD
Sometimes the kitchen feels like a battle zone. And not just because of any food issues or tempting cookies in the fridge. It's New York tiny, cramped with two ego's and one obsessive, both of which are trying to eat and drink without too many bruises. Only one of which cleans up. Guess which one?
I do the dishes and I don't mind - we don't really cook or use that many. But its hard to to attached my "pass/fail" logic to how clean my kitchen is. I try not to obsess about it, as nothing will ever be totally, perfectlly clean. Mostly I keep all this domestic worry inside.
But then he wanted a cup. I heard him rummaging. I asked what he needed, eager to make him stop messing up the cupbord.
"Oh I need a cup, and they all look kinda dirty" He grabs one cleanish on to examine and started to leave the kitchen. He didn't sound hostile- just a fact to him. But to me? It was a condemnation.
I started by apoligizing, anger and hurt coming though. He was taken aback. No big deal he said. "I feel like a failure!" I responded as I began to haul out all of cups from the cabinet, into a soapy sink. I had to fix this!
He came back into the kitchen, and stopped me. I paused. Time for mindfullness. We looked at eachother. "Not a big deal" he repeated" I nodded. I saw it now. It really wasn't about a cup.
I took a breathe and fessed up to my obsession with a "perfect" kitchen. He understood, I was honest that it didn't make sense to care so much but I did anyway. He listened.
The cups stayed a bit foggy, but our relationship just got a little clearer.