Hey, remember that one time when I got harassed by my ex-roommate about actually using the bathroom I thought I was paying to rent? Or how about the time I got bitched at for daring to put a bag in to line the icky metal decorative trashcan? No? Well, maybe the time she berated me over the undersides of plates not being clean enough? Do you at least remember when it got so bad that I wrote ten reasons why I was ready to move out? It turns out I wasn't off by much when I described Medusa's bastard child as clinically psychotic. As far as I'm concerned, the only reason I'm not 100% right is because I don't think the woman has ever been officially diagnosed. And while I suspected that she most likely suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as well as Bipolar Disorder, I learned about something today that's far more insidious, and probably exactly what she actually has.
See, despite suspecting OCD, the creature exhibits none of the standard obsessive repetitive routines so common to the disorder. And while she certainly had her ups and downs, I'm now beginning to suspect I was wrong about her being bipolar. See, today I learned about Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. To put it simply, it's something that makes my reaction of thinking she might try to hit me over the head with a frying pan a reasonable fear. Which, in hindsight, is terrifying. (Perhaps it's time I suggest that Roommates.com start paying close attention, as it's through their service that I ended up living in that nuthouse. Obviously, it's not their fault I ended up there, but I say this because I wonder what that might do to ensure that others don't end up in my same position, having to call the domestic abuse hotline at one point because you're afraid either for your own life or for the life of someone who shares that living space.)
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) can also, apparently, be considered "Perfectionist Disorder." And from every description I read, it's perfectionism to an outrageous extreme. According to this article my ex-roommate would check yes to pretty much every single item listed in the description of the disorder. Obviously, the immaculate state of the house and relegating me to two cabinets she frequently organized, is an easy indicator. But perhaps this is why she never knew why she pissed me off so much:
Unfortunately, OCPD insistence on doing things according to logical rules angers others. Some individuals with OCPD become aware of their impact on others but they do not understand it. Others with OCPD appear oblivious to the negative emotions they elicit. In fact, if confronted with this anger, individuals with OCPD are inclined to believe that these people have no right to be angry (Turkat, 1990, p. 85).
And the following may explain the totally unreasonable conditions of her keeping $150 of my deposit for merely cleaning the carpet and painting a few spots on the wall (notice I said 'explain'; in no way does this excuse her actions, in my eyes):
People with OCPD will go out of their way to impress those they define as in a superior status. They are quite anxious if they are unsure of their position with these individuals. On the other hand, people with OCPD are autocratic and condemnatory with subordinates. They often behave in a pompous and self-righteous manner. They are haughty and deprecatory but cloak their actions behind regulations and legalities. They justify their aggressive approach by referring to rules or to authorities higher than themselves (Millon, 1981, p. 225). (Emphasis added.)
I suppose, given her uncontrollable desire to control everything, it's no wonder she didn't respond well to me asserting my own human rights. I don't believe I did anything wrong, but given that I witnessed (and had to involve myself in) a particularly violent outburst from her when she realized she was unable to maintain control, it would have been nice to have known about this ahead of time.
It scares me that I willingly put myself into such an environment, and makes me triply glad I'm no longer there. Worse still, I fear for those still involved in her life. But most of all, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I fear for this woman. She needs help desperately, and I wonder if she'll ever seek out that help, or have someone in her life who cares about her enough to insist on it. It seems to me that people as unstable as my former roommate, especially given her nature, have absolutely NO BUSINESS even seeking out a roommate. I just hope that my brief time spent living with her woke her up enough to realize the same thing.