'that's Me!...i Have Ocd'

When I was 7 my nan died. I didn't know her all that well, but I remember the phone call to my house from the hospital. The dreaded feeling you get from the sound of the phone ringing late at night, who could it be? Surely it's the dreaded news... My mum burst into tears. I didn't feel much emotion but I knew there was a bad feeling in the house. I froze. This was the first loss to death I had experienced within the family, and within my mere 7 years of life. I don't remember clear the days or weeks that went by after I lost my nan, but I do remember developing obsessive thoughts about death. I began to be more 'careful' with things, putting things away that I felt could be 'hazards' to the family. Whenever my family were out, and the phone would ring. I would worry they had died. I began to act on my obsession, and from somewhere, something inside my head was telling me I could control it. I had compulsions. Compulsions to touch things, to do rituals, to make people say things, to keep my bedroom spotlessly tidy and clean, to make sure everything was neat and lined up front facing, and so on. It got worse.... I kept this secret, when I was at school I found new things to touch certain number of times, like the school table top. It had to be even, 8 times. Yet then I realised touching a table top corner 8 times is not even because the other corners remained untouched, and so this developed with everything to the point of extreme exhaustion. I didn't understand it but I just knew I felt relieved and in control when I had completed each little mission or task I would set for myself. It was mentally soul destroying, and yet if I didn't do it, I had to face the death of someone I loved. So I had to get on with it. It progressed and went on for many years, haunting me even as I lay to rest at night, the obsessions and compulsions would not leave me, or let me sleep. The room was full of things I could use to control whether my mum would die of a car accident the following morning or whether my dad would die suddenly at work. These thoughts invaded my mind and I had to act before it was too late. The 'safe' number 8 had now become different numbers for different objects, as some greater objects would need to be touched more times to have impact. For example, my bedroom walls, before I could sleep, would be touched 50 times each and the floor and the ceiling. Sometimes 50 times each at a round of 8. Plus all the little things. The light on and off 8 times. The lamp on and off 8 times. Every switch in the room on and off 8 times. Any bits of fluff I could see on the clean carpet would nag me. And I had to pick them up. If I left my room for the bathroom in the middle of the night, the ritual would start all over again when I returned, because if I left the room, it deactivated what I had already done. Would I ever escape this exhausting control that my own mind was creating? I couldn't keep getting up to straighten things I could see around my bedroom! I was too tired! And I couldn't sleep with the light off because I was scared....so I found a solution. I turned to use something more convenient. Myself. I began to scratch myself, sometimes until I would draw blood, all over my chest. I reasoned I couldn't do it anywhere else because people would find out. But that didn't last long....I began to pick and make rashes on my skin, on my arms and legs. It looked dreadful but it became a addiction. And provided some relief from my exhausting rituals. At school I became tired, I made excuses up every day not to go in. I told my mum the teachers were nasty, I was being bullied (part true) and I was ill. I couldn't do p.e or swimming because I had to hide my rashes. Even in summer I wore long sleeve jumpers to cover up my skin. One day I left the lamp on and my sister came in to switch it off. She saw my skin and told my mum. I knew I had to stop this, and so I returned back to my full OCD. I felt proud when my skin finally healed. I still had scars but my mum would tell me they would heal. My dad would hear me up late at night banging around in my room, and he began to wonder what I was doing, he would come in and shout at me, and stopped me from doing what I was doing, telling me I had to go to bed. I suppose that's what I needed, a greater authority than me literally banning me on doing this, so I went to sleep. The next day after school I realised that nothing had happened no one had died. And I slowly began to teach myself new tricks to avoid OCD. I would leave my room a tip and then reason that because everything was messy, it was 'even', so no need to tidy it up. Instead of straightening everything up, I would leave even things unstraight, I began to become a master of control of my own mind. It was completely justified to me. A year or so later, my grandad died. I was so close to my grandad. I had helped him with everything. I questioned myself, was there something I had missed? Did I not do something I should have? I took a pen and paper out and wrote every single thing down I could remember about my grandad, but I knew this wasn't my fault. I couldn't control death. My mum had began to study the bible and she had found a faith from studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. She told me why we grow old and die, and it made sense. I began to feel safe. I escaped my obsessions. Years went by, and I established my own life. I had a great best friend, and we stuck together through everything. I still brought my ocd into times of stress. I turned to it for comfort in some things I felt I couldn't control without it. But I believe I reasoned myself out of this mental disorder that many still can't understand. I have grew up to be a intelligent and psychological woman. I get complimented on my abilities to analyse people and situations. I studied social work and college and I have a great interest in how the human mind works. I told my mum years later of my torments. She asked me why I didn't say, and I explained to her that I didn't realise there was anything wrong with me, I just thought it was me. She asked me how and when I understood it wasn't normal, and I recalled one day sitting in her arm chair, I saw a real life experience magazine titled 'I had to touch things ten times' and I looked inside to read of a young girl with the same things I did, and I thought 'That's me! I have OCD'.
Pinkminx22 Pinkminx22
22-25, F
Dec 11, 2012