Thursday, December 9, 2010

OCD and Laundry

But before my riveting story about my OCD, here's the word of the day. It's lacuna, meaning a blank space or missing part.

I'm not sure if I told you this, but I have obsessive compulsive disorder.  Because of this, it takes me a really long time to fold laundry.  I have to do it in the same order every time and I have to fold everything the exact same way every time.  Everything has to be perfectly lined up.  I always fold my jeans first, then long sleeved shirts, then short sleeved shirts, then tanktops, then underwear and socks. I fold my towels last.  When I say that everything has to be perfect, I mean that it takes about two minutes to fold a shirt satisfactorily.  I fold and unfold everything multiple times until it's just right.  Some people who have OCD feel like something very bad will happen if they change their routine.  I used to feel like this when I was little.  Now, if I change my routine, it makes my head hurt and I can't think straight or pay attention until I fix whatever it was.  I am a picture straightener and a germophobic.  I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer so much that my skin gets really dry.  I wash my hands and use sanitizer at least twice an hour.  I used to take two showers every day, but now that my legs are paralyzed, I am lucky to take one.  After I set my alarm clock before I go to bed, I have to check it about 5 times to make sure that it is set for the correct time and AM not PM.  This might just seem overcautious, but I set the alarm, check it 5 seconds later, set it down, pick it up and check again, about five times.  The weird thing is that when I think about it, I know that this behavior makes no sense.  My clock will not change itself 2 seconds after I set it down.  That doesn't happen.  I know that it is silly and ridiculous, but if I don't do it, it makes my mind foggy.  When I was younger, I had to put things into my laundry basket three separate times.  After I changed, I had to separate everything into three piles and then put them into my laundry basket one pile at a time.  I am not sure why I did this, but I felt like something very bad would happen if I didn't.  It had to be three, no more, no less.  If I only had one thing to put in the laundry basket, I would put it in, then take it out, then put it in again two more times.  I never told anyone about this.  I guess that even then I knew it was kind of crazy and that it didn't make sense.  I got over the laundry thing, but there are other things now.  This next part will probably sound really crazy, so let me explain something first.  Part of OCD is the routines that you have to do, but another part is in your head.  Sometimes you think thoughts that you don't want to be thinking but you can't help it.  I don't hear voices.  I'd like to make that clear.  Sometimes, I will see a complete stranger and feel the urge to hurt them.  When this happens, I have to just keep walking and try to think of something else.  The feeling goes away after a little bit.  Back before my legs were paralyzed, when I was able to walk to class by myself, I had to walk across what I call the skybridge.  It is a pedestrian overpass that goes above the road.  Multiple times I have thought of jumping off it.  This is really frightening, because I cannot stop thinking it and I just have to walk in the middle and get down the stairs as fast as I can.  Don't worry, I don't want to kill myself.  This thought just comes into my brain sometime and it's hard to ignore.  It completely terrifies me because I'm afraid of heights, and the skybridge is really high up.  At first, I was scared to even walk across it.  I definitely do not want to jump off it.  (I have learned that this is an actual thing that happens to people and not just me.  It's called l' appel du vide.)

And also, if you want to watch a movie about someone who's way more messed up than me, watch Ginger Snaps Unleashed.  It is seriously messed up.  That's all I'm going to say, other than I feel sorry for Brigette and I liked Ghost, until the end.  Ghost reminds me of Luna Lovegood, and Luna Lovegood is my favorite character on Harry Potter.

And also, H came over and watched a movie with me last night.  We watched the Blues Brothers.  He is so nice.  He makes it really hard for me to be okay with being just friends, but I managed to not try to hold his hand or lean my head on his shoulder.  He wants to be just friends, so I don't want to scare him away.

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