If I moved or spoke, the rituals would have to start again
I should start by saying I had the most wonderful of childhoods. I wanted for nothing, I laughed and most importantly I knew how much I was loved. It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realised how unusual my upbringing had been and how hard my Mum was finding life.
My Mum has a checking form of OCD but she wasn’t diagnosed until she was much older. In fact it was me who googled OCD and said “I think it might be this”. Now in her 50’s she leads a good life and OCD lives alongside her, like an annoying little brat of a child who never flew the nest. Everything takes longer, everything is panic inducing and everything generally feels hard. My Mum has accepted that this is how she will feel for life which breaks my heart because I am sure we can fight it. Although to do that, we have to find out why it started 40 years ago and what the initial intrusive thoughts were and that is a Pandora’s box that is too frightening to open.
OCD has become a ‘cool’ thing to say about yourself and your love of stationery. I am even guilty of doing it myself. I see a lot of my Mum’s tendencies in myself, and I often panic at my ‘OCD ways’. The difference is I can stop it. As soon as I realise what I am doing, I stop the routine and think sod it, it doesn’t matter! My Mum can’t do that. OCD is all consuming, you can’t just turn it off. Years of my Mum’s life have been wasted checking, and I mean years. Luckily the world today is a different place and awareness is growing but it still shocks me how misunderstood and trivialised OCD is.
Categories: The Wall