I’m so OCD

I was talking to my mate today, and he asked me a question and used that phrase that makes me want to punch people in the head … is it because they’re OCD?

Now, I forgive my friend for this because I know he doesn’t understand the disorder. He doesn’t understand it because society is so damn stupid with it that they make it impossible for it to be understood.

I get annoyed at memes over OCD. They show things out of place, and then there are all these comments about it setting their OCD off. Or people make comments about something, I’m so OCD about …… 

I was at Uni a couple of years back and a woman there said, she had slight OCD because she hates coffee tables being messy and has to tidy them. I said, oh yes. I have slight paraplegia. My legs go numb when I sit too long. The looks I got … but to me, that is how stupid her comment sounded.

I have OCD, and I feel I have to clarify, that I have REAL OCD. I am not a neat freak. I don’t like things tidy or in line or whatever because of this condition. I don’t give a shit if I have all of my orange M&Ms mixed with the yellow ones.

OCD has three words. Obsessive … compulsive … disorder.

People need to understand that when something is a disorder, it is not a quirk. It is not cute. It is not this thing that comes and goes. No. It is a disorder because it brings disorder to your life. It causes problems. It can, and does, ruin many lives with it.

I wish people would stop using it so flippantly, so people like me could get better understanding from others.

Have you ever gone out and then thought, did I lock the door? You get that feeling inside yourself, like you’ve forgotten something. It’s a niggle, but its manageable. That is part of OCD, but …

Have you ever got a song stuck in your head and by stuck, I mean, it is driving you bonkers and you keep humming it to yourself? I am sure you have.

Put those two components together, and you have the start of an OCD thought. But increase it. That, did I lock the door becomes a stuck record. It becomes so stuck that it goes over and over in your head. And you try to remember, but when you try to picture locking the door, your mind is so confused with thoughts of, well what if you didn’t. What if you only thought you did?

So what happens?

You go back and check the door.

No, worrying if you locked the door and going back to check it, is something people without OCD do. It’s fine. But … remember for someone with OCD, it is at song stuck phase.

Someone with OCD will check, and check, and check. And you know, maybe they just can’t get that thought to go away. So they get the idea of, well if I unlock it and then relock it, then I know for sure I locked it. So they do that.

Guess what?

Doesn’t work. Your OCD sufferer then does it again, and again … familiar, right? You see people say they turn light switches on and off, or plug sockets. Even Neil Hilborn in his poem talks about doing just that. This is why.

OCD is a freight train of repetitive thoughts that are so loud and so insistent that they make us do things to try and calm them.

I iron clothes to perfection. I iron them within an inch of their lives. My son thinks this is because I am a neat freak, and I want everything flat and neat. Nope. Not at all. This comes from being a parent and having OCD. Somewhere in my muddled brain, to be a better parent, I had to be perfect. I had to get everything right. That meant my kids had nice clothes. Nice clothes have to look neat. If I don’t make them neat, then I am showing I don’t care about my children, and if I don’t care about my children, the universe, God, fate, whatever, will take them away because I don’t deserve them. So … basically, if I do not iron my children’s clothes perfectly, my children will die, and it will be my fault.

Tell me how this compares to someone who sees some dust and their OCD comes out?

To someone reading this, badly ironed clothes causing the death of children, seems nuts, bonkers. Hell, even I know it is stupid, but OCD whispers to me. He leans in and says, yeah, maybe it is crazy, but what if?

And this is just an example. This isn’t a one off occurrence that only happens when I iron. OCD makes sure it is in every corner of my life.

What if I don’t fill the kettle right? Maybe it’ll blow up? Maybe it will splash a germ in and I’ll get sick and then I can’t look after my kids, and then they leave.

What if I wear my blue jeans on Friday’s instead of the green ones? And I’m not even kidding, that is one of the things I have to do or not do.

OCD comes in many shapes and forms. Usually it is always, a thought, followed by a way to fix it, followed by more thoughts, followed by more fixes and it gets to the point of taking over your life. Then it is a disorder.

Could you imagine saying, oh, my diabetes is coming out? Or, I have slight cancer. My back hurts every time I see a ladder …

It’s so stupid.

I live with OCD. Every minute of my day. Not just when it doesn’t like something.

I know my little rant won’t change how the world sees it, but it sure as hell makes me feel better getting it out. And I hope, someone understands.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is an illness. A very debilitating illness.

 

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Just Listen

I hate my head. I hate it with a passion. I wish there was a way to kill off parts of myself, and just leave the bits that can cope with life …

My skin feels like it is on fire today, except it isn’t burning. I don’t really know how to describe it other than a sensation inside my skin that makes it crawl and makes me want to cut along it because it is skin made of fire and anger and everything inside that wants to come outside, but I don’t know how.

I can’t tell anyone other than the people who read this. I’d say faceless, because that’s what you are to me just now, but it feels insulting. Faceless is better than being able to see you, though … of being able to see the looks of pity, or misunderstanding.

I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the world and everything is spinning in the opposite direction to me. I’m screaming, but I don’t know what about. I scratch at my own face, but I don’t know what I am trying to get rid of. My mind has declared war on me, but it won’t tell me what it’s fighting for, so I don’t know how to yield and make it all feel better.

I stood in the shower this evening with my head in my hands and water taking away the only scream I could let go. I don’t feel real.

 

I try to work out what is wrong with me, and the only thing in my life that is a problem just now is a doctor’s appointment in a week. If you remember, I wrote a post, I’m Fine. Ages ago. I still didn’t make it there yet. I try and I try, and even picking up the phone to make an appointment triggers me.

But I did it. I called, and I made the appointment. Now it looms and I picture it in my head and all I can see is myself standing at the door begging the dr, please don’t touch me … please don’t touch me. And maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s the thing because that breaks the barrier in my head and makes me break down as I write this, but I type. I type just to get this out of my head because if I don’t, I’ll do something bad. It’s right there, on the edge. I could jump …

I cut as I write this. I cut both my arms. Don’t panic. It isn’t bad. I just needed to feel it … I needed that sting to feel something that was something bigger than the ball inside my chest, the one that’s choking me from the inside. The one making is so my lungs are crushed to asphyxiation even though I can still breathe perfectly fine.

I need to make it stop. I need to find some way to shut all this up inside my head … inside my mind. It’s so loud. So god damn fucking noisy and it doesn’t stop. Ever.

I think of telling the dr I was abused. Of saying those words before he does anything. When he asks why it’s taken so long to go to him … I’d say because I was abused, but what if he didn’t understand? What if he told me that was silly?

The first thing they ask when you go for therapy is was there penetration and it’s the first thing that always chokes me up. If I say yes … do you know what that means? Do you know how bad that makes me? If I say no, then I’m wasting your time. It isn’t important.

I rake my hands through my hair and dig them into my scalp because I can’t make any of this stop. I can’t take it away. I make people who know me tired. I have people who knew me because they’re tired. That’s how they change their tenses in my life.

At least you can leave me. At least you can stop speaking to me when I am too much, but what can I do?

I’m a wound-up box with a door closed tight and sometimes, someone dares to open it, but the sound gets to loud and they try to listen, they try to stand, but in the end, the doors got to close again.

I went to a therapist once. It was at the time all those people came out to say the guy Jimmy Saville, had abused them. There were many that came forward. My new therapist asked me if because of all this fame, was it the reason I came to speak about it … I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to leave. He asked why now? Why … now? Because that’s when I needed it.

How do I go to the dr to make sure nothing is wrong, and not have him touch me?

How can I say I was abused, when even in my own head, I don’t believe it?

They can ask if there was penetration, and the yes will catch in my throat because then I make the it sound bad … in my logical adult brain, I know the actions were bad. I know what happened. I know what it means and if that child had been anyone else but me, I would agree … but I can’t lie. I can’t say I was abused when I wasn’t. I can’t say that there was sexual things with my father because it lets the world know I am some sick fuck.

I wish there was a way to end it … just a way to end me … the me in my head.

I just needed to tell someone. I don’t know who you are, or if you made it this far.

I just needed someone to know that I’m not okay.

But if you ask me, I’ll tell you, I’m fine.

 

 

Why Watching Child Pornography is a crime.

I recently had a debate with someone about child pornography. I left the discussion because it was triggering me and not because I agreed with them.

Basically, I had commented about a celebrity who had ended their life and they were facing punishment for owning and viewing child pornography. I had commented that I wasn’t sorry about his death, which, I wasn’t. Not that I wished him dead. I never wish anyone dead, but as far as I am concerned, he had committed a crime.

The person who debated this with me, did not agree. He said that it was a victimless crime because the man wasn’t actually hurting those children. I disagree with that too. Maybe he wasn’t actually touching the children or abusing them, but he was funding the system. And that doesn’t have to be financially. He could have funded it by creating a demand for it.

Imagine if everyone in the world stopped smoking, companies would stop making cigarettes because it would be pointless. If the entire world became vegetarian, people wouldn’t raise animals for slaughter for their meat. Mime films are no longer watched, and therefore no longer really made.

It is supply and demand.

I also get that removing one uses of child porn will not stop it, but it is one less and that is never a bad thing.

By watching child pornography, a person is supporting the production of it, and in doing that, they are supporting child abuse, rape and whatever else happens. By watching it, owning it, downloading it, or whatever, a person is participating in the activity of abusing children.

But also, those children .. they are real. They exist. Someone somewhen has them. If your mate took photographs of your partner, and then got off on it, sat and downloaded it, you would be mad. You would feel that they violated your partner.

Another argument that people say, is that it manages the urges. I don’t think so. Most crimes start small. Drug users start with cannabis, rapists start with exposing themselves, thieves start with shoplifting. How long before it goes from watching, to doing?

It is no different than if you buy stolen goods … you become part of the crime.

I enjoyed my sexual abuse

I enjoyed my sexual abuse

Weird title for a blog post, right? Weird thing for anyone to say. Let me explain it.

It’s taken me years to write that one line. So many years, you have no idea. Why am I writing it now? Well because maybe someone else can’t say it.

Do you know how many times I have googled that phrase? So many. Like this compulsive need in me to know that I am not sick, that I am not perverted, that there is not something wrong with me. I just needed to find one thing that validated that statement and let me ease the burden I feel inside every time I think that.

I tried searching it even yesterday and I can find reports about childhood victims having their bodies react, or they become aroused. Places like the NSPCC use phrases like, forced pleasure.

I remember when I was eleven years old, there was this child helpline that opened. I believe it still exists. ChildLine? Maybe. I went to the call box two blocks from my house and I dialled the number. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe no one would answer me, after all they hadn’t in the past, so why now. But this woman did answer me and I put the phone down. I stared at it for ages, unable to breathe, feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like a liar.

What was I supposed to say? My father was sexually abusing me? It was lies. He wasn’t.

There was an incestuous relationship there, but to me it was like stealing sweets with your mate and then running to tell the shop keeper your mate did it, while hiding a bar of chocolate in my pocket. That was how it felt with my dad. How could I tell anyone when I was part of it?

Everything they teach children is that they won’t like it. That it hurts … yeah, it did hurt when I was younger. But not like they say.

Sometimes I think to myself that that was the most dominant relationship I had. I would write the word best, but that’s not the right word and I can’t think what else to use, but then when I think about it, maybe it was. From the age of 4 to at least 19 it was happening. That’s probably the longest sexual relationship I’ve ever had in my life. It’s natural we measure future things with past things, so why wouldn’t I use that one?

I sit here now, wondering why I am writing this. I don’t really know. Aside from to tell someone else looking like I do that they aren’t alone. I don’t have any piece of wondrous advice about it.

It plagues me a lot. Makes my head spin when I try to think about it and think it logically. I still can’t say I was sexually abused because it still feels like lies. I know people will say I was innocent because I was a child, but nah. I wasn’t. I remember my head. I remember being the one to start things sometimes. It was like some craving inside myself that needed it, wanted it even. I don’t even know why.

Maybe I craved the arousal and the release.

It was always like a bad cycle when I was a kid. I’d try not to go to him. If I didn’t go, he’d leave me alone. But I’d give in. Climb in bed and then afterwards, I’d cut my arms in my room, cut my legs, carve words into my skin like freak and fuck. I’d cry myself to sleep most of the time. That seemed to get worse the older I was. I don’t even know why.

Sometimes now, those thoughts still keep me awake and I feel them in my chest like a wound-up ball that stops me breathing. It makes me want to cut. It makes me want to hurt him inside.

It was my fault.

I liked it.

I wanted it.

Untitled … like me!

I don’t write here very often anymore. I used to write on here a lot. Sometimes it was daily, sometimes weekly. Now I don’t even think it is monthly. It isn’t that I have got bored of here, or found something better to do. It is that I get sick of the sound of my own voice. I get sick of saying my things … not because I don’t want to, but I imagine you … whoever you are reading this, looking at me and shaking your head. Looking at me and thinking, here he goes again.

I get like that when my head is a mess. When I am standing in my house and everyone around me is living and all I want to do is find a corner and cry until whatever is inside is gone. It’s like I can hide myself. I can hide from everyone and they don’t really notice me.

Someone says to me, how are you … I say I’m fine. I say I’m okay … I type it to them, as I wipe away the blood from the last meeting I had with my secret blade. I’m fine … Fine! Don’t you hear me?

What’s the point of saying I’m not? You can’t fix me. You can’t make everything in my head go away.

I can make you go away. I can. You won’t believe me, but see … I just have to be me and then it gets to a point where every second you’re around me, it’s hard. It’s difficult. Ultimately, it’s me who leaves, but that is because you’re at the point of falling apart. I do that.

I know writing here, I’m not really speaking, but you know … this is the place I come and I take my skin off and underneath all of that I am just bones and muscle and broken cogs all loosely held together. I am open, afraid, mad, angry … I am a bunch of many things rolled into one.

My flashbacks have come back. I don’t know why. Just the other night. They started up.

When I was a child, there was a man. I don’t know who he was. I don’t even know what he looks like. I can’t remember. In my head, he is just a dark figure … a monster … someone.

He used to keep score on the wall above my bed. He’d scratch each conquest against me into the wall. I was four. He won many times. I couldn’t sleep the other night. It was like he was there … he was waiting, ready … just needing that moment for me to drop off, then he’d strike. That was always his favourite time.

I lay in bed anticipating the feel of his hands on my arms, on my legs, his breath in my face, his teeth against my skin. He used to bite till I screamed. He used to scratch down my back till I bled. He liked to make me jump. The more terrified I was, the more he liked it. I remember that.

I remember him waiting for me at the side of my bed while I slept. I remember opening my eyes and he was there and I was trapt, and that was it.

He was in my room with me the other night. Every time I tried to close my eyes, he was there … he was there and he was waiting and watching and no one would come. No one ever came.

This is my head …

I did the only thing I could think to do. My other half was asleep. I cut. I cut into my skin, into my leg, into a part of me that needed to feel it … needed to bleed. I curled up with my shame then. The shame that I had given in. The shame that I was having a flashback.

The shame that I was me.

I clutched that blade, stared at it, tempted by it. I could make it all over. I realised that, but then there is that usual thing … that part of me that gets upset because I can’t. I mourn the chance to make it all stop because if I were gone, who could care for my children? Who would they go to?

I feel like I’m mad inside my head. I feel like I could cut more. Maybe I could stop being me. Maybe I could stop being so crazy. I can’t find the switch to turn it all off. I feel like ten people inside one and we’re all falling apart.

Some days, I hate myself.

 

I can’t Stop

Self harm. It’s like this beast that I can’t shake off. It lives with me always. Sometimes, we just exist side by side and other times, we cling to each other like it’s all I have.

I have been a self-harmer since I was four years old. A long time for it. It’s part of me now and part of who I am and an addiction I can’t seem to kick. Like my old friend I have to keep going back to.

This last week there are more days I have harmed than I haven’t. I keep trying to not do it, but it’s like when you’re on a diet and that bar of chocolate says one piece won’t hurt, or when you quit smoking and your brain says, just one cigarette, its ok. If you’ve ever tried to quit anything, then you know what I mean.

My other half despairs so I hide it. 36 years of self-harm has taught me how to do it so that no one sees it. I haven’t self-harmed yet today, but it is early and its there. That feeling in my skin calling for me to cut … just to feel that. It’s like taking a breath, holding it until your head pounds and letting it out real slow. Or that sigh you get when you finally sit after a long day … that’s what I need. I can see it in my head. Grabbing my blade, putting it into my skin and sliding it down slowly so that I can make the pain last just a little bit longer.

I can feel my chest wound up so tight as I try not to give in and my brain asking, why am I abstaining? What does it matter if I cut? I’m not hurting anyone.

My other half, my friends, they just don’t understand it. They say it hurts them, but why? I’m not cutting them. I’m cutting me. They eat chocolate and junk food. They drink coffee, watch tv shows. They do stuff that makes them feel better, why can’t I?

I’m not killing myself. I can’t say I’m even scarring myself. It’s just old wounds. The more I sit here and try to analyse why there is a reason to stop … the more I know I am likely to publish this blog post and head straight to my bathroom.

What kicked this off? Someone asked me. I don’t know. My dad died a few months back, but it is so big for me now. Bigger than it was when it happened. I don’t think I paused when he died, and then something happened a month or so ago and it seemed to kick of my grief. It was the strangest thing perhaps. My grief coming months later and now it’s so much inside that it hurts to breathe because he is gone.

He’s gone …

Some people have said, when he died, they were glad he was gone. I think those people forget me, the adult, the son … still the child. They see the man in my books and see him as a monster, but they don’t see the connection that was there. It’s hard to explain to people who see it black and white. We had secrets together, a thing … it made me who I am and made him who he was and now it’s like half of something is missing.

I keep looking at my phone and expecting him to ring.

There’s no one that can make it better. No one who can fix it. I have messages that say he isn’t suffering any more, and I know. I don’t miss that dad. I don’t miss the dad in a bed who needed feeding and cleaning and dressing. I don’t miss the man who suffered.

I just miss my dad.

I can’t …

Silence 

One of the skills I mastered as a child was silence. It’s a great skill sometimes. I can sit in a room feeling completely shattered inside and no one would have a clue.

I can act normal. 

When I was a child, I used to think that if I told anyone, my parents would go to jail and I would end up lost. That’s what my parents said anyway. They’d tell me that if I ever went to care, that my brother and I would be split up, and maybe he’d be sent to somewhere not very nice and I couldn’t help him because we’d not be together. They also told me that once you go to care, you never see your family again. 

My parents never actually told me not to tell. They never threatened me. They never told me I’d go to care if I told. But making me aware of what happened to others who spoke out kept me silent. 

I kept silent for 33 years.

Do you know that a child who is abused from the age of five to the age of 15 … that’s 11 years. Everyday for 11 years is 4015 days. A child who is abused (I originally put the word rape here, but deleted it. It’s seems wrong.)  every day between 5 and 16 will be ‘abused’  over 4000 times. 
Do you know how hard that is to hold in?

Although, technicallly, I didn’t hold it in. I spent more nights than I can count crying myself to sleep. Asking why didn’t my dad love me? Talking to my bear. Asking God if he would please just not let me wake up tomorrow. I poured my words out to an empty room because I had no one to tell. 

At 33 I told someone. I sat one night and told someone. I was shaking and crying and falling apart and thinking, God, what did I just do? I’d said it. I’d said that bad thing. I’d let the shadow out to show someone else. 

I sometime get mad with myself. Mad because all of that … those years of stuff stick in my head. Like on repeat. 

Maybe my body was taken 4000 times, but in my head it’s more than that. The worst thing about abuse isn’t the abuse. You only get that rape once, physically, but in your head you relive it hundreds of times. Suddenly 4000 incidents because an unimaginable number and then someone says 

… stop thinking about it. Move on. Grow up. 

It’s like a punch to my gut and the hand across my mouth again trying to silence my screams. I can’t breathe. Is that it? Just stop thinking about it? Stop talking about it?

I guess if someone stepped on our foot on purpose in school and the hurt our feelings, we’d have forgotten about it, right? 

Suddenly I feel crazy. Like I don’t know who I meant to be or how I am meant to ask. I didn’t ask for that life. For this life. For these memories. 

Two nights ago, I was asleep. I was dreaming. I dreamt of that man. Not my dad. The other man. He had hold of my legs. I couldn’t see him, but I could feel him. I could hear him. My body reacted before I woke up and I leapt from my bed, fighting, screaming for him to stop. I was by my window ready to jump out because falling to the gravel below is less painful than what he could do to me. Then I’m down on my knees, shaking, I can’t breathe and my other half is there. Asking what’s wrong, but suddenly I am five again. And, I’m so afraid. 

Telling me to shut up makes me feel crazy. It makes me feel that when I have moments like that night that I am wrong. I makes me hate he face in he mirror. 

You want me to battle my brain with my brain. 

I’m so tired inside. 

Sometimes I cut my skin like aversion therapy. If you could just be normal, I say. If you could just act like everyone else …

I stare in the mirror and I hate the face that stares back. I hate the man there. The one with the memories. The one with the mental health issues. If I could punch the glass and hit his face, I would. 

Shut up. 

Move on

Try to get better 

These aren’t lessons  you’re teaching me. They’re just another blade to cut myself because you make me feel like my dad did.

That me, who I am, is not good enough. 

I wish I could blink and wake up.