Wow, it is amazing to read everyones different experiences. It gives me a sense that I am not alone.
My story is a long one, but I will try to condense it. When I was sixteen years old I was raped by an older man at a party, while heavily intoxicated. What makes it worse is, I was a virgin. Anyway, I didn’t really realise that it was rape until a year later. I was sitting in class six months later when I saw a sign about HIV. That was when I had my first panic attack. I really thought I was going to die because I remembered the incident and put two and two together. Besides the guy who raped me, was into drugs and a pretty devious character. I ran straight to the school nurse and told her my situation. I asked her “how likely do you think it is that I contracted HIV?” Her words resonate with me even today. She replied “very likely.” The drive home on the bus was a total blur I was in shock.
Long and short, I had an HIV test (my parents went with me, although obviously in shock.) That week waiting for the test was the WORST WEEK OF MY LIFE! I sat on the end of my bed, feeling incredibly guilty and like I deserved what I got. I clutched onto my Bible and prayed that I would be ok. I think that’s when OCD came into play. I kept asking and praying “god will I be ok?” “send me a sign”. Over and over and over
and over and over again….Funny thing is my father (who is a priest) came in right after one of my prayers, and proceeded to dance saying “all will be well, yes all will be well….” A true God send if you ask me.
For two years after that event I had numerous HIV tests, all negative. But then I would find myself in situations where I would think I had contracted it. So then I would go for another test. This behavior
went on and on. I eventually stopped having tests, but it was always in the back of my mind.
Sixteen years later I still have contamination fears. But now it has progressed to worrying that I will get up in the middle of the night and drink poison. So I tie up all my cleaning solutions so I can’t get to them. I can’t stand blood also. If I see blood I start to freak out. I can’t even handle it when my husband bleeds. I worry that he will get HIV because he has cuts on his hands often and he might come into contact with someone’s blood. The list of paranoid thoughts goes on. Sometimes I think I am the only one in the world who thinks of these things. I constantly fear needles as well. And I also have paranoid thoughts about other people. I annoyed a nurse the other day and I am worried she may try to harm me, she knows where I live too!
I have been to counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and even tried “spiritual healing.” Well, I am sad to say that neither has worked. I am currently not on medication and haven’t been for many years. I just
live one day at a time, hoping not to get into any OCD provoking situations. Its by no means the life I always wanted for myself. But on the bright side, I have a husband that is very understanding and a family that supports me and they have come to accept that I have some weird stuff that I do sometimes.
To the outside world, I am “normal.” I have hidden this disease incredibly well. The only people that know are my family and husband. I am ashamed to have this. No doubt my past has a lot to do with the
progression of my OCD.