David, 35, Dorset, UK

Being a good father is hindered by my OCD

david-no-textMy beautiful little girl takes pride in how beautifully she plays and paints. All I see is chaos and mess. I am a proud dad but my OCD just makes me an angry one.

I become distant from my child because I want to avoid being short tempered on the occasions where you know playtime is going to end messily. The anxiety begins long beforehand because I have a rough idea about what lies ahead, i.e. she wants the Playdoh out of the box, or colouring pens. I have to leave the room and her mother will have to take over. However, my anxiety necessitates that I have to constantly check the mess situation, and then retreat once I’m sure that everything is where it should be.

The anger is not only a result of physical mess, but comes from frustration at the anxiety itself. I am angry because I can’t control the anxiety and the only means of dealing with it is to walk away, thus precluding any interaction with my daughter and her enjoyment of a child’s most basic desire to play.

Categories: The Wall

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