Triggered by a Kids Book

It’s two days from when I’m going to propose and I’ve woken up every day this week with this heaviness. This unease. Am I supposed to feel so unsettled? The first things that rush into my head are things she said that I don’t like. That’s not even natural; why would I think about that stuff first thing every day? It feels like my body is trying to protect me from some deep fears. But I don’t know if it’s helpful.

But it’s hard because several times while we’re hanging out she says things that make me think, how do you not understand that? I don’t know if my feelings are reasonable. But I think of other women that would have known what she didn’t and would have spoken with intelligence and nuance. I shouldn’t compare. B is who she is and I’m marrying her for the things that set her apart from other women in other categories. She really is the best, so why do I feel so heavy.

We had couples counseling and during the session she joked about how she became a crazy person when I brought her ice cream, because she was so annoyed I had put sprinkles on this premium ice cream. She compared it to this kids book called “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.” She said just like that book the issue snowballed in her head. And she thought, if he doesn’t know I don’t want sprinkles, he’s not going to ask for my parents’ blessing to marry me before they die of COVID! (her dad had been in the hospital for COVID that weekend).

She was teasing herself because she knew her conclusion was ridiculous which is awesome she’s so self-aware. But what I latched onto (started obsessing over) was that the main point of the kids book she mentioned was not what she used it for. I assumed she didn’t understand the most basic message of the book. She said it’s about a mouse that asks for a cookie, and when the person gives him a cookie he asks for a glass of milk, and by the end of the book I assume the mouse is asking for the whole house or something. (to see how ridiculous I am, I haven’t even read the book). But when she gave us the summary of the book, and then she said how that snowballing effect is what happened in her brain when it went to the worst case scenario of her dad dying, I felt like she didn’t understand the main point of the book at all. I brought it up in the session, and we spent time talking it out.

She said she’s learning to see these things as my OCD moments and is learning not to carry them herself. And that might be the right thing to do. But that’s not what I want her to do at all.

With the counselor we came up with three things I wish she would say to help me in those moments. They involved her showing me that she realizes her mistake, and what she didn’t understand before, now she realizes makes the most sense. I want to help her learn to think more critically and I want to see ability and improvement in that category. She tried to repeat back to me what I had requested, “So you want me to apologize and help you feel validated in your concerns?”

I said, “Not really. It’s not about me feeling more validated. I just want to have confidence my girlfriend can understand some really basic seeming things. I hope we can start with the same basic assumptions and conclusions about things in the world. Otherwise I feel extremely disconnected from you.”

I don’t know, is this stupid of me to request? I felt some resolution and we were kind the whole time, but we didn’t fully resolve it before I had to leave and I’m learning to just be okay to carry the unsettledness.

This is the stuff rOCD messes with, I think.

R, 2-12-21

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