Thursday, August 18, 2011


We've just started back to school. Well, THEY have. I just enjoy the freedom and ability to indulge/fight my compulsions.

This week I'm supposed to work on not reorganizing a closet every time I walk by. Even if I'm running late for the 'Apocalypse is coming, there is one bunker left' I cannot leave without removing any empty hangers and grouping them all together. They feel sad if they don't have anything to hold, you know. If they are left between Other Smug Hangers, they will be suffocated and their tiny hanger souls will cry out to me for injustice. I HAVE to free them from their imminent death and let them all commiserate together on an empty closet rod.

So, 2/3 of my kids are at school now and the 1/3 that is left for me to watch doesn't care if Mommy rocks back and forth when the trash needs changed and there isn't a OCD-free individual to tend to it.

They flew into the house yesterday, plunked their germ-infested backpacks on my couch, and made straight for the kitchen. I know you probably feed your kids carrots and hummus, grapes and yogurt, or those idiotic celery stalks with raisin 'ants'.

RANDOM RANT- Who wants to eat ants? I understand trying to get kids to eat something by spicing up its attributes. Why not Super Powered Raisins That Make You Fly? Why would we tell the small people to eat insects? I am literally frowning, squinching my eyes and stomach and fighting the urge to pick my cuticles when I think of the raisin-bugs crawling around in my mouth. *shudder*

Well, I decided through all of my stress with OCD issues to give myself a gift. I am not allowed to freak out about the kids food. As long as it is peanut/tree nut/fresh veg/fruit/carrot/green pea free, and they want to eat it, it is acceptable. I don't give them cookies for breakfast, but I also won't consider myself a horrible parent if they have a Pop*Tart. I used to document everything they ate and then lay awake freaking out if they ate a dye that I hadn't researched. Austin had to take the computer away from me. And the scissors. And mirrors. Yikes.

All of this to say that the kids had a cupcake for an after-school snack. I might have had one. It might have been my second one that day. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I can't lose 23 pounds. Damn buttercream is so comforting when life is so complicated.

Are you following? I'm a bit scattered in my thoughts today, and I'm trying to tell you why but getting there is proving to be a bit sticky. I don't like the word sticky. It makes me think of dirty mouths in the morning and melted popsicles of the floor that I can't clean up because it makes me dry heave.

The girls ate their cupcake while I inhaled mine, and they told me about their day. Sabra told me that the gym teacher was mean to her and also her classmates don't wash their hands enough. (Parenting fail) Moira told me that a kid in her class threw up.

Suddenly I felt warm. I knew it was just the response to a sick person, and I shouldn't freak out. I'm rising above the OCD! It doesn't matter if there was a sick kid. Right? RIGHT?!?! We are all going to throw up and die. (I say throw up because if you say vom*t, you will be cursed with it. Vom*t is a magic word and if you invoke it, it punishes you.)

"Well, I hope he feels better!" I said, hoping to sound like a Normal Person.

"Yep. His mom didn't come to pick him up so he just sat in the corner all day throwing up. It was blue for some reason. It was so gross. He had to ride the bus home."

Shit. I've sent my kids to the World's Worst School. Everybody knows that if a kid throws up, you throw them into a closet and run away screaming. If the mother doesn't show up, you call every.damn.person. on their Emergency List and demand they pick up their Disease Carrier. If nobody comes, you sit them outside of the building and sanitize your....everything.

I sent Austin a text about this horrible news, but then deleted it. I'm not supposed to seek reassurance, as it is a compulsion. I can DO this. Vomit does not own me! Crap, I said it. Might as well go to the hospital now.

I continued to spiral downward into the abyss of OCD insanity. I kept telling myself it didn't matter, I was above all this, and even if by some chance we all got sick, we are not going to die of throwing up. Except that sometimes it does happen.

I spent the evening twitching (sexy) and scratching (very normal) and hitting my leg with my fist (only to be expected) and trying not to appear in need of a shock collar while I sat in choir practice. By the time I got back home, I didn't want to touch the kids. They were dirty little germ magnet monkeys.

I thought about breaking out the nail scissors and attacking my feet, but managed to just scratch at them instead with my short stubby fingernails while watching BBC telly.

I didn't resolve anything. I tried to go to my happy place, but Austin wouldn't let me leave with a credit card. I finally fell asleep, my body tired of shaking and hitting itself.

So here I am, chronicling the absurdity of my problems in the hope that I'll find the answer. I hope you find this all entertaining, informative, or inspirational. If nothing else, you now know not to say vom*t.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guess What, Honey? It's A Diagnosis!

I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder two months ago. While I've found some great websites about the serious stuff, I haven't come across much that pokes fun at the craziness that is OCD. If you have it, or know someone that does, you know that aside from the I-can't-leave-the-house-the-elves-want-my-soul problems, it is a really funny disorder.

Case in point: I eat dog poop.

Not really. I don't actually eat poop of any kind, nor do I ever want to.

But my OCD tells me ALL THE TIME that I have poop in my mouth. Yep. It is fun to be me.

I never knew how much this obsessive thought happened until I casually mentioned to my husband that when I see a dog hunching up its haunches, I feel the result in my mouth.

He called a therapist the next day.

Color me surprised! This isn't normal? You mean other people don't feel the need to brush their teeth or chew gum when they see a dog?

I've found that my previously labeled 'eccentricities' are normal....for someone with OCD. And, while this isn't earth-shattering news, it kind of is for me.

I can't use public restrooms. I don't run out screaming (except in my head) and I don't blow the place up with my mind powers (ditto) but I do have to wait until I find an 'acceptable' restroom, doing the pee dance for hours if need be. Alternatives include using the questionable restroom, which I can do if it is somewhere in the Scary But Acceptable category. After feeling the hepatitis A-Z crawl up my unexposed yoo-hoo and giving the hidden cameras an angry stare, I wash my hands with their fake soap, leave the room and then apply a heavy dose of sanitizer. I then make a mental note to Lysol the contents of my purse that I touched in order to find the sanitizer.

I used to think that other people were hideously unaware of the Terrors of Public Restrooms. Perhaps they didn't know that crazy men with scraggly beards are waiting on the other side of the door to kill you with a jagged dagger. Maybe their nasal sensibilities were compromised by a disease unwittingly caught from a previous bathroom experience.

Instead, now I know that OCD is talking to me. Sometimes it whispers, and sometimes it yells. I'm learning how to deal with it, but it is a slow and weird process. Sometimes I cry, and sometimes I laugh hysterically at the strange thoughts that fly through my brain at top speed.

While I've always struggled with these issues, becoming a parent really emphasized the existence of OCD in my life.

I have 3 girls, aged 8, 5, and 20 months. While they are the light of my life, it should be noted that lights cast shadow. I will not have a 4th of either gender, so don't bother asking. If for some reason a hideous miracle occurred, I'd pull a prom-night delivery and nobody would be the wiser.

No, I wouldn't? Well, I eat dog poop. What's a little more controversy?