By Siobhain Crosbie
Obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD for short. The act of repeating over and over again.
I have to have a bath 7 times a day, if I don't I won't be clean, I don't believe I'm clean unless I bath at least 7 times a day, I need to scrub myself over and over to make myself clean and most of the time I add bleach to help make me clean, it's the germs you see, they get on you, they want to make you sick so I must make sure the germs don't take hold or else I will be sick.
I'm feeling sick, I think something's on my skin, i need another bath, I don't care if my mum complains about the water I use, she doesn't understand that I'm dirty, that I need to scrub myself, that I can feel things crawling on me. She wants me to leave home.
I'm scared the bugs will get inside, they will take over and I won't be able to control them, it's not easy living life with bugs but at least I feel peaceful for 30 mins after my bath.
My boyfriend loves me, but I seem to drive him mad as he gets so frustrated about going out and I know I annoy him when I panic and want to go home and have another bath, the bugs are outside though, more outside than inside and I have to be clean.
One day he will leave me like the last one I'm sure, in the end they all do, they don't want someone that is so clean all the time or who won't go out that much because of the bugs.
No one can feel them, but me and no one understands, I sometimes feel crazy with wanting another bath especially when I get criticised all the time, it's horrible my life, but at least the bugs won't get in.
My cousin doesn't feel the bugs but she drives me mad when she checks if the door is locked 20 times over and god forbid I move something in the house, she goes crazy, I walk on egg shells when I'm at hers, each tin of food has to have the label facing outward, and all in height order every single jar or tin in the cupboard.
She says she feels anxious like me but all she seems to do is control everything I just control the bugs. We don't spend much time together as when we do we end up angry with each other so it's better if it's 30 mins here and there. People call us the mad twins, twins that have to control everything and everyone, we don't, we just want order, it calms is down when I feel spotless and she has a spotless house, but I won't visit if her dad is there.
The bugs started appearing when her dad, my uncle babysat for me when I was 8 I didn't see or feel the bugs before then so I guess he helped me.
He creeped me out my uncle and I hated it when he babysat me, he used to cuddle me and give me a kiss on the lips before he went to sleep and insisted when I got into bed that I needed air on my body before sleeping so he wouldn't let me have my quilt until I went to sleep and I couldn't wear my pj"s as I wasn't allowed to until the morning.
So I would lie in the middle of my bed naked and my uncle would sit in the corner of my room in the dark until I fell asleep. Sometimes I'd pretend to sleep and I'd hear funny noises coming from him and I didn't like it, then when the noises would stop and he would think I was asleep he would put the quilt over me, kiss me on the lips and leave the room.
That's when the bugs started.....that's when my mum and dad got frustrated with me, that's when my brother started to look at me strangely in the mornings, and I knew they knew. I was dirty and I was bad.....I don't know why I felt bad or dirty I just did. I used to ask my mum why uncle watches over me, she said he wants you to feel safe and I'm glad he loves you so much. I didn't understand his noises and didn't think she would either so didn't tell her, but it felt wrong. I felt wrong.
I read about the bugs and repeating behaviour in books, the books say Im feeling out of control and I try to control how I feel by bathing over or over or like my cousin having everything perfect and that we must have had bad things happen to us to make us do what we do, but I've never told her about her dad's noises or sitting in the corner in the dark. She might think he paid me much more attention than she got and she might get angry with me and hate me.
I get confused when I read the books, they say therapy will help, but I don't want to feel dirty I need to bath all the time, they say I'm trying to control feelings that are out of control but as long as I keep bathing I will feel ok, they say I make people reject me because I feel rejected but mum and dad annoy me and I do feel a problem but don't think they would reject me.
Maybe one day I will talk to someone, maybe one day I will tell someone about my uncle but he didn't do anything so it probably is just me..............
A therapists thoughts. Internal chaotic feelings lead to trying to control things outside of ourselves.
By repeating actions over and over it creates a sense of grounding through channelling energy into a repetitive action.
The trauma attached to the above is the bodies way of telling you to get help, that it cannot cope with the feelings so finds an avenue to express those feelings through OCD.
Working with a therapist using an integrative approach which could involve a person centred approach, a CBT approach and a more deeply psychoanalytic approach will resolve the desire and need to be OCD.
Often OCD leads to rejection from others therefore perpetuating a cycle of rejection. The youngster in this example had her feelings rejected by the uncle and this has become the trauma she tried to control, this resulted in further rejections from boyfriends, her cousin if too long together and a mum who was unaware of the full situation.
A person centred approach is based on the therapist having empathy, accepting you for who you are without judgments and encouraging you to feel secure within the relationship within therapy.
CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a structured way of working that increases self awareness but gives you the tools to manage your thoughts in relation to your feelings which lead to a change in behaviour.
Deep psychotherapy will involved combined with the person centred approach looking at the origins of trauma and helps in understanding and working through the feelings attached to the original trauma.
If you have OCD and want to learn a different way of living life then therapy is the best route to achieve this.
I write this in the hope that it will allow someone suffering from OCD the recognition this it doesn't have to stay this way and you can change.