I admit, when I think about people with OCD I think this:
It’s mainly the media’s fault. We are shown only the people who clean so obsessively is abnormal, or clean themselves. Or you see people making perfect lines of perfect things- rarely are you shown anything else.
Last night I had it. I’m sitting in the living room and CDubs is sitting funny on the couch and I start to picture- involuntarily ways he is not safe, ways he could be harmed, ways I could accidentally harm him. It hits me like a wave and I panic. Like hugely panic. Like I’ve got to calm down. So I tell myself I’m not an abuser, I don’t want to hurt him or watch my inner thoughts imagining all the ways he could be hurt.
What is wrong with me? Who does that s*%+#?
Finally, I google it, and it pops up immidately. OCD Contamination. What in the fricky frack is that?!
My house looks like poop, I’d say it’s pretty contaminated.
But I come to realize as I read that contamination is when you are so afraid your actions that you may contaminate or harm another person, or your self. Imagine if you will, new mothers checking to see if the baby’s breathing at night. Totally normal. But I doubt those mothers then imagined all the ways then the baby could die, then in total fear, watched their mind show them ways they could complete the task.
Then you freak out- what kind of monster thinks this stuff?! Apparently OCD- contamination ones.
It was all there, the worrying, the over protectiveness, the mental anguish of being able to picture it it all, the shame you would think that, the rituals to “make it go away.”
When I was little I was afraid unseen forces would “get me” so the only way I could make them go was to sing a set of songs over, and over, and over until I fell asleep. Only then I was safe. (Another branch of contamination is the fear of “magical” forces, etc. being perceived as harmful to the point of obsessing and ritualizing- my extreme fear of the undead anyone?)
I obsess over cleaning, I’m not clean but I sit up and think about it and then frantically clean until I’m exhausted. Like…. All nighters, like obsess over people seeing it and judging and I get overwhelmed a lot.
Why did I think this was normal?
*head in hands*
People with OCD contamination who visualize harming or harm coming to their children are not abusers. They shouldn’t be reported to CPS. In fact studies show they are the person you want watch by your kid, because they will do everything in their power to not allow harm to come to the child in question. (Even to the point of harming themselves in order to keep their child safe. No this is not an confession- I’m not that far gone….)
Can I tell you, discovering that… My mother is nuts. I’m sorry that’s not PC of me but- I lived through a lot.
She harmed me, she had crazy cleaning phobias and I thought I was…. I was afraid I would turn into her, so afraid. So very… (I’m getting teary here) I don’t want to be her. Ever. I’d rather find a bridge than….
Anyway, I know. I told my husband. He looked at me and laughed and said “yeah, you’ve always been OCD, I know you would never hurt anyone, and the cleaning things is aggravating but… It’s okay.”
Seriously you knew? Why didn’t you tell me?
I’m going to digest this for a bit. It’s a relief, because I thought I was secretly a monster. I constantly ritualized (but I didn’t know I was doing something that was considered ritualistic) and talked myself down from why I wasn’t and all that goes with that. Now I know I need to stop ritualizing.
And find a therapist, and afford a therapist. They can’t fix it but they can teach me not to flip out when I realize what in doing.
I guess I’m a little off after all… I’m just glad it understand it better now.