Yes, I do.
I've wasted an awful lot of my life, mental energy, and mental health spoons ruminating over past choices where I believe that I might have broken a rule. For me it's not rule-breaking that's the problem, but the worry that past decisions might have negative consequences in the future (so, this is fictional, but questions like "did I declare all of my savings income on my tax return in 1989?"). I'm so anxious about it that I've kept it all bottled up (in case discussing it with anyone increases the risk of something coming back to haunt me). So even under cover of confidentiality at counselling, I've struggled to talk about it. Even here where I'm anonymous, I feel that I must point out that these examples are fictional and that I'm 99.99% sure that I'm worrying unnecessarily incase someone thinks I've done something serious. It's easy to catastrophise. And the counter to that catastrophisation is so easly extended rumination where I attempt to prove to myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that, actually, I did the right thing.
The older we get, the more "life" there is to look back on and worry about. There is no "reset button".
I'm even weighing the pros and cons of posting this, despite having said nothing concrete and despite the real "things" being things that many, many people will have done and not worried at all about.
I am compelled to 'do the right thing'. It's very deeply ingrained into me and i strive to be perfect in everything I do. if I have a negative interaction with people or am not sure if I have behaved correctly, it troubles me to the point that I can't sleep. I will process it over and over again seeing if I can be judged to be 'at fault'.
For example - A few years ago, I sold a car on ebay - it had a slight overheating fault - nothing terrible - I've been driving it like that for 6 months. I did an awesome advert, lovely pictures etc. - but clearly stating 'spares or repair only'.
A guy bought it, came to collect it and thrashed the *** out of the car as he drove off down the road. I was concerned.
I got a nasty e-mail from him in the evening claiming I'd mis-described the car as he'd blown it up on the motorway. After an exchange of e-mails he backed down. I had done nothing wrong. I re-read my advert over and over - and it was all absolutely clear. Did my superb advert cause this muggle to read more into it than was actually there?
It upset me a lot - it took a year before it wasn't intrusive in my mind. It still bothers me - it's just another of the many little things that I get to reprocess in the small hours when my brain decides to wake me up for a laugh.
I appreciate your reply it makes me feel less alone in this struggle.
Things will go round in my head for years and years.
The thoughts hit me at unexpected times
I wonder if it's an autism trait?
Thanks for your replies both of you. I also feel compelled not to lie or to do the right thing. Even over little things for example if someone asks what time is it I'll say 10.30 then think hang on its 10.32 I have to correct myself and say sorry its 10.32
Yes I get this 100%, to the extent that I feel compelled to list every possible niggle with things I sell on eBay - most people would simply rely on the implicit "sold as seen / no returns".
I once sold something that worked 100% but had been repaired & I forgot to mention it, got accused of trying to pull a fast one, and simply gave a "no return refund" rather than argue.
It really upsets me too if someone questions my motives / suggests I'm not being honourable.
I avoid selling sites now for this reason. One big item I lost was a phone for 250 pounds. The person said it didnt arrive. They refused to help me by filling out a form from the post office saying so. Therefore the post office wouldn't pay the compensation so I pretty much gave my phone away free and paid their postage.
I dont trust people anymore but I'm still as honest as I can be. I cant figure out why they dont care about other people.
I do the same - I cannot live with the thoughts that I am without honour - maybe I'm part Klingon?
On the other hand - the definite and careful descriptions and well framed, focussed and corrected photos typically earn me 50-100% higher sale prices when compared to the illiterate 'pictured in the dark' photos of muggle's-adverts. .
Yes, you are not the only one, I believe it is a common autistic trait. Plastic sums it up well with this...
Plastic said:I am compelled to 'do the right thing'. It's very deeply ingrained into me and i strive to be perfect in everything I do. if I have a negative interaction with people or am not sure if I have behaved correctly, it troubles me to the point that I can't sleep. I will process it over and over again seeing if I can be judged to be 'at fault'.
I don't drink any more but back in my late teens and 20s when I'd go out with NT friends into town I'd often get very scared the following day that I'd said or done something wrong after the alcohol had made me let my guard down. Sometimes the worries would last days or even weeks.
Very occasionally, my internal sense of what's right contradicts some external rule or other and I end up doing what *I* think is right. This is fine, until maybe years have passed and the decision somehow comes back to me and I end up ruminating with thoughts like "What *was* I thinking? Why did I do that?". The very thought of this subject sends chills through me, and yet the real life examples are often quite trivial in most people's minds.
Yes I used to torture myself when I was young.
Happy to say I no longer give a flying fig what anyone thinks of my decisions. They can mind their own business. Much happier now.