my earliest memory of an ocd obsession was around 4-5 years of age. i noticed a neighbor’s cat with a dead mouse in its mouth, and i was fascinated. i remember telling my mother about the sight, and her response was, “oh, you didn’t touch it did you? that dead mouse will have germs and i hope you didn’t touch it.” nothing more, nothing less. for more than two weeks i went to bed every night crying my eyes out, scared sick that “what if i had touched the mouse?” in my young mind, i could not remember. maybe i did touch the mouse. maybe i did stoop a little too close and it touched me. i didn’t know. but if i did, surly i would get very sick from the germs of a dead creature, and i too would die. i cried before going to sleep every night for a long time. my mother could not comfort me, because even though i did express my worry, she caused the worry, and i think, in her mind, she couldn’t ease it because she honestly couldn’t tell me i did not touch that mouse. the obsession of “what if?” i had touched it was in my mind, and nothing she said now would take away the doubt.
many other things happened as the years went on. at the age of 12-13 (this would have been in 1970), i felt i was different, and did ask my mother if i could see a psychologist. but of course, the answer was no. “decent, normal” people did not tell their troubles to anyone else. everyone had troubles, and you were expected to deal with your own problems, not air them out in public. after reading articles on ocd, it probably wouldn’t have mattered if i had seen someone, because from what i’ve now read, a lot of therapists did not know much about ocd in the early 70’s.
another problem with me and the ocd was when i finally got my license. every time i hit a bump, i would circle the block, 3, 4, even 5 times looking for a dead or injured body. i would even get out of the car and look for signs of blood, anything that would show that i had hit a living being. of course, i didn’t, but even now, at the age of 40, i wonder when i hit bumps, and i still circle and inspect the area and the car, just to make sure everything is all right. i have even gone so far as to check news articles, or have called the police station to inquire if anyone had been injured by a hit and run driver.
i asked my daughter the other day if she counts when she washes her hands. she looked at me like i was nuts. i just assumed everyone counted while washing, or bathing, brushing their teeth, putting on deodorant, ect. i know now how lonely and alone i am with this disease.
i am going for therapy, specifically for the ocd. i finally grew tired of living with such an odd, troublesome problem. in fact, my therapist pointed out that i was dual diagnosed, using alcohol as a way of “self medicating” for the ocd symptoms. i have since entered into a rehab to help treat the alcoholism, and along with group therapy through the rehab and meeting with my psychologist once a week, i am coming to terms with the ocd. i am not “cured” or anywhere near that, but i have been directed to a psychiatrist to help get on the right medication. hopefully through behavior therapy and medication, and ridding my body of the alcohol is was so used to, i will be able to overcome this crippling, doubting, disease.
thanks for letting me share.
The content in this post is mirrored from my original OCD site here;