OCPD neighbour all up in our space

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Wilderhearts

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OCPD neighbour all up in our space
« on: April 10, 2020, 09:27:28 PM »
With everyone "staying home" these days, we've come across our uOCPD neighbour a lot more.  I also have a few days off from work.  My roommate was on our back porch, busy, and I was reading on the couch just inside the back door, late this morning.  Our OCPD neighbour walked all the way into our back yard, asking my roomie for me.  She didn't give away I was just inside, and I didn't say a peep.  But the neighbour looked right through our back door to ask me to move my truck, which was parked  on the street, a bit in front of her garden and a bit in front of ours. I was still in my freaking pyjamas.  NO BOUNDARIES whatsoever.

Yesterday I also caught her gardening in our garden.  She is obsessive about the appearance of everything she can see on our street, including parked cars, and controlling what is in others' gardens.  I didn't say anything because I expected I'd get another lengthy explanation about weeds and weeding "correctly."  I feel like this is the price I'm paying for my silence.

I got to reading my non-violent communication book, instead of my leisurely fantasy read that I had gotten into that morning.  Moved the truck, made nice for a whole 90 seconds about the gardening, then asked if she would come to the front door instead, since privacy is more important than ever now that everyone is home so much.

"Well your roommate was back there so I was seeing if you were back there too."  As if one of us using our back yard gives her permission to use our back yard??? Excuse me?!?!?!?  I just smiled and said thanks and left.  She didn't thank me for moving the truck, didn't apologize for the intrusion or say sure, I'll do that in future.  But I think she has OCPD, so I expected that.

I experienced so much anxiety about setting boundaries I was shaking before I talked to her, anticipating her going ballistic (she has on my roommate) like my old uOCPD roommate would go on me.  But we were in public, on the street.  And I don't think I shook when I talked, although I hesitated a bit.

I feel like this is what I got because I stopped to chat with her for a few minutes yesterday after years of grey rocking her...back to grey rock we go.

Good thing there's a "neighbour quarantine conflict resolution" process set up where we live, just in case this doesn't work.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: OCPD neighbour all up in our space
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2020, 05:52:57 AM »
Have you tried treating her like a litte child, kind and firm?
"Next time please use the front door" .....but I saw... "Yes, I still prefer you use the front door" .....but you were... "Sure, please use the front door next time"  broken record technique. If you refuse to get into an argument and just re-state your request it might eventually get through.
And with the gardening something along the lines "I prefer a more natural garden" or even only "I prefer it this way"   this is a personal preference and cannot be argued with. Again, whatever she says, you can re-state your personal preference without getting involved in any discussion. You respect her opinion and let her know that you have a different opinion.
Concerning the car - were you blocking her driveway? If not, you could say: "Oh I think it's alright where it is, thank you."
Of course this requires courage and you might shake with fear the first time you behave like that, but in my experience it gets easier with practice. Good luck!
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Wilderhearts

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Re: OCPD neighbour all up in our space
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 05:41:44 PM »
Those are really good strategies - thanks NotRight.  I think approaching her like a small child, who doesn't have sound logic, would really give me the courage to be kind and firm.  I also like the "preference" statements - we prefer to do the gardening ourselves.   I prefer you to use the front door.  Now that I know she won't "get" what I'm saying or acknowledge my boundaries, it's reasonable to just restate what she's deliberately not hearing.

The parking is tricky.  She's taken over managing the gardens for the complex across the street, so she brings in crews.  They were removing something pretty heavy that my truck was blocking, using a lift.  Two strong guys could've lifted it without machinery, but whatever.  Come to think of it, I didn't see a lift.

We have a strong sense of community and reciprocity in our neighbourhood, and I think she takes advantage of that.  I don't like feeling chased around my own street.  I don't like feeling harangued in my own house.  However, I only really have a problem with moving my truck because of all her other controlling, intrusive, entitled behaviours, so I simply don't want to help her.  Is it possible for me to still be neighbourly without enabling her behaviours?

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Bloomie

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Re: OCPD neighbour all up in our space
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 12:23:08 PM »
Wilderhearts - we have a better chance of maintaining appropriate space with our neighbors and cordial interactions if we make clear what does and does not work for us exactly how you did. You were direct and kind even though unnerved. Her defensiveness and excuse making does not negate the message you gave about using the front door.

Do you want her gardening in your garden? Because that is pretty blatantly aggressive behaviors. If speaking directly is too threatening or you want a clear record of having first directly communicated with her, can you and your roommate write her a note or involve a 3rd party like your association to kindly remind her to dig in her own garden only?

The physical response you describe when facing what is bullying and oppositional behaviors is very familiar to me. I agree with notright, this response does get better with practice though I still deal with it sometimes years into learning how to establish boundaries and speak up for myself.

I have found that it is a trauma response for me and working through the what if's and realizing that I am safe and can walk away at any time, that I am an adult and do not have to allow another person to take undue authority over me, walk into my backyard uninvited, dig in my garden, or bully me. I do not have to respond to another's defensiveness and can stay on the message that brings space and order to my life and leave their emotional response with them to deal with.

We are growing and learning to use our tools and strategies and I imagine you already have a very good sense of the balance between reciprocity and cooperation in a community and when someone is taking advantage and busting boundaries. Trust yourself!


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Wilderhearts

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Re: OCPD neighbour all up in our space
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2020, 04:25:11 PM »
Thank you, Bloomie.  It does really help to her that yes, her behaviour is blatantly aggressive and oppositional, and it's to be expected to feel apprehensive around it.  That can be difficult to see because pwOCPD tend to coat everything with a super thick veneer of "niceness."  At least, the ones I know do.

I'm relieved to hear that that trauma response dissipates over time - it can be a deterrent in and of itself to practicing this non violent communication and kind assertion.  that's encouragement to keep going.

I'll keep reminding myself to trust myself.  Thank you :)