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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

OCD... A STRANGER WITHIN.

OCD...A Stranger Within. | Blog Post... Mental health | mental illness |Intrusive thoughts. OCD | Awareness.
I avoid talking to strangers. I'm never comfortable in unfamiliar company. Wary of half the world; it seems.

There is one stranger who just won’t let me be; one who I am especially afraid of! This particular stranger has shadowed me for as long as I can remember, yet she remains to this day a stranger to me.

She says that someone will hurt me or mine; puts bad-guys in crowds, bombs on trains... knives in many pockets. 
She's taunts me with death; My death. And has done since I was a child. I can't remember a day-night that didn't have death-dead-dying in it!

She tells me I'm capable of terrible things; I pray to GOD I’m not.
She hints that I have hurt people in the past;  I have no memory of doing so.
She imagines that I will hurt someone in the future; I find this inconceivable. 
She suggests that I am capable of hurting my children; I would rather DIE!

***
The stranger has suggested to me, on more than one occasion, that whilst I’m brushing my daughter’s hair I will become a monster mum. You know. One of THOSE MOTHERS! 
A mother who lost in the depths of mental illness, perhaps a product of an abusive or disruptive childhood herself, screams and shouts, and in moments of blind rage lashes out; hurting her child, mentally and physically. Instilling fear and distrust into childhood years, and causing irreversible damage. A mother who (without meaning to) takes her desperation and inability to cope out on her child. A mother I have first hand experience of!  

The stranger I speak of is extremely well informed, after a life time of shadowing me she has acquired a great deal of knowledge into my inner fears and vulnerabilities.  She has long since mastered the art of intrusion, she is a gifted impersonator, a powerful oppressor, a terrifying intimidating presence; hard to ignore, and exhausting to challenge! She is a creative script writer, inspired and empowered by my reactions to her demented story lines.

The virtual realities she creates for my eyes only, appal and frighten me. Locked deep inside my own skin, frozen in front of a built in screen, I am forced to watch as the graphic day mare unfolds! My mind violated by the context of each scene, afraid and oppressed in the strangers company, I pray urgently to GOD that I be released from her grasp,

I see the brush slam down onto the back of my beloved child's head. I hear her desperate screams as the brush comes crashing down again and again! I see myself standing over her, a stranger masking my face; the mask vaguely familiar and yet at the same time completely unrecognizable. I see my child confused, hysterical and consumed with fear beneath me.  I repel with every fiber of my being against the illusory images; my heart breaks!

An inner coldness crawls slowly down each side of my face; a strange trickling sensation. Making its way down my neck, through my shoulders and into my arms. A prickly numbness dulls sensation in my lips and fingers, until struggling to maintain a normal breathing pattern I experience a heavy, unnerving pain across my chest into my shoulder and down into my left arm.

Preoccupied by my inner turmoil and carrying out secret compulsions I continue to brush my precious girl’s hair, by my trembling hand her favourite hairbrush glides slowly through her long, wavy mane; with careful, gentle strokes. I lovingly tease the knots from this wonderful crowning glory, then after nervously guiding a comb through the hair on the back of her head to form a parting, my tingling fingers twist and turn through shiny strands to form two perfect, pretty braids.

I am consumed with emotion, filled with a powerful feeling of fierce protectiveness. I experience feelings of overwhelming hate and anger directed at the monster that dares to suggest that I would allow any child, let alone one of my own, endure such anguish.  I will punish the monster later when I get her on her own! 

Through all of this; through the reality and the virtual I have described, I count. Urgently I count! Mentally drained, tears frozen solid in my throat, no longer able to suppress facial and body tics, still gently tending my beautiful child and somehow responding periodically through the haze to her eager chattering; I count!
Four-eight-twelve-sixteen, on and on, the more horrifying the images, the more complex my count. Until finally, hoping that outwardly I appear relatively normal, I am able to close my mind to the horror.

Until the next time!

PRAYER  
Lord help me to trust; that intrusive thoughts (no matter how appalling) are a symptom of OCD and not a reflection of who I am. Amen.

POSITIVE THOUGHT                                                                      
My kids are happy, I must be doing something right. I will always be 'Mum'; which makes every day worth fighting for!
Quote. "I will always be Mum, which makes every day worth fighting for" | Blog post | Mental health | Mental Illness | OCD. via @stuckinscared

Thank you for allowing me to share

GOD bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x                                          Copyright©2012kimmie All Rights Reserved

 

25 comments :

  1. You sound like a wonderful mum. It must be so difficult - and draining fighting off that demon.
    I hope you're putting all these moving pieces into a book one day. I shall certainly be buying it. xx

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  2. I would love to write a book, its been a dream for many years, trouble is I tend to write whatever comes whatever is on my mind at in the moment and wouldn't know how to put random thoughts into a full length story. Blogging allows one to be random, wherever your mind takes you so to speak. Maybe it is just a matter of time, perhaps I have some growing to do first.

    Thank you for your lovely comments they have done wonders for my confidence!

    God bless

    Kimmie x

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  3. A book of short stories or vignettes perhaps? X

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  4. Now that is a good idea, Or a blog in a book perhaps? Thankyou x

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  5. I understand this so well. I wrote (and write) of my own struggles on my blog at No wriggling out of writing.I am sure you are a terrific mum, but I know how hard it is to manage OCD. I used to think that if I didn't make my children's beds in a particular way something terrible would happen.I do think it would be marvelous to write your experiences for a book. I published 'Dandelions and Bad Hair Days' in October - it is a collection of pieces written by contributors to my blog. People have found it really supportive to know there are so many others out there with the same feelings.If you fancy writing a guest post for me just let me know. It might end up in Vol 2...Take care. Suzie @keatsbabe

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  6. This is an amazing post: I have never read such an eloquent, evocative expression of inner turmoil as this!

    Please know that you are not alone, many others have troubles similar to yours. And they have found help.

    So I would strongly urge you to find that help, as it is there. See your GP & describe your struggle: he can refer you to a specialist.

    Obviously you can't tell just from a post but you appear to be describing schizophrenia / psychosis. These are potentially dangerous medical conditions if left untreated, especially as you are a Mother caring for your children.

    By the way, I'm not an expert - but I am married to one, & I also work with her :)

    Keep writing, but please please get the help you need x

    (I tried to comment on BDT but it seems to have vanished)

    'JalleDaddy'

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  7. Thank you for taking the time to comment! My intrusive thoughts are a symptom of OCD, I saw my first therapist and psychiatrist at age 11 and have engaged with lots of different therapies and professionals since! I continue with therapy today!

    Many people are not aware that OCD can cause symptoms like I describe so in addition to writing being very cathartic I also hope that by sharing I can raise awareness!

    I am 47 years old and have five children, they are all happy and well adjusted and the four grown up ones are a tremendous support to me! I am so very proud of them!

    I've suffered Intrusive thoughts everyday since childhood writing about them helps in the short term, brings relief and I remain hopeful that one day therapy will rid me of them for good!

    Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the blog

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

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  8. You speak straight from the heart and your readers can feel the tremendous battle you have with your inner demons. They are as you rightly say a little known or little admitted symptom of chronic OCD but the very awareness you have should comfort you in the knowledge you will never succumb to them.

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    1. I'm not sure if my own awareness comforts me when in the midst of an intrusive thought but what I have found comforting are peoples supportive (non judgmental) reactions to this post! (Including yours today Penny)!
      This post wasn't an easy one to share and I am truly overwhelmed by peoples kindness and empathy.
      Thank you for reading and for taking the time to connect with me here :)
      God bless you and yours
      Kimmie x

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  9. I'd read your book too, especially appreciate the prayer and positive thought that accompanies your post(s).

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    1. Thank you Denise, both for stopping by and for your lovely comment.

      I really appreciate that :)

      God bless you and yours

      Kimmie x

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  10. All true to some extent but as a person who suffers fluctuating degrees of agoraphobia I can say there must be more too it. My ability to engage and cope improves suddenly for no particular obvious reason. I may suddenly get on my bike and go out some distance with no qualms at all after months of procrastination. It seems to be bound up with serotonin for me..others may have different triggers

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  11. Hello Anonymous - Not sure if perhaps you have commented on the wrong post here - this post is in reference to OCD/intrusive thoughts though I do indeed suffer with agoraphobia and have written other posts on the subject elsewhere on the blog :)

    Not quite sure what you mean when you say (all true to some extent?) unless you mean all true for you to some extent - obviously I can only relay own experiences and all content here is true for me - experience of both agoraphobia & OCD may differ/fluctuate for other sufferers. I'm glad your own experiences include periods of respite from symptoms - thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

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  12. This is such a POWERFUL and PERFECT description of intrusive thoughts. OCD is the stranger that is myself.

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    1. Thank you, for reading, empathizing, and taking the time to comment.

      I'm sorry to read that you suffer intrusive thoughts yourself, I hope that in reading your own OCD wasn't triggered, but rather that, you go away feeling a little less isolated - I know from experience how frightening, and isolating mental illness can be!

      God bless you and all those you love

      Kimmie x

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  13. Amazing that you are able to put into words those inner thoughts - I have alwasy been to scared to admit any of them - fear of having my children removed when they were young. Fear of being locked up for good - have experienced being locked up and largactyl injections, etc. You amaze me with your candour.

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    1. Hi Helga, I too have had/still have, the same fears, which is why I have (to date) never been able to admit these thoughts face to face, other than to hubs, one close friend, and to one close family member.

      I am too afraid to these type of thoughts in admit in therapy, for the same reasons as you outline in your comment.

      Writing these thoughts down has helped though, it's cathartic, this particular post was written some time ago, and though I do write under a semi anonymous name, which offers me some protection; this was an incredibly difficult post to publish.

      I continue to share this piece in my efforts to raise awareness, & in the hope that other sufferers might find some comfort in reading; even if only in the knowledge that they are not alone, but even now, some two years after originally publishing, I still feel apprehensive each time I share it.

      To date, Iv'e only had positive, supportive feedback (including yours) which I am extremely grateful for. Peoples kindness, empathy & non judgemental responses have been a relief :)

      I hope you find some relief in your own symptoms, I'm always happy to chat, if you would like to. You can find me on Twitter - @stuckinscared

      Take care. Kimmie x

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  14. truly enlightening for the lucky people who don't have to suffer this. there's so much in your post that i can relate to, forever having to convince myself that the intrusive thoughts and images are not going to be what i will become.

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  15. I have the same exact problem. It is horrifying. I know those thoughts don't define who I am, but it can be hard to overcome them at times. I love my family and still have horrible thoughts. It is so tough, but I acknowledge that I had the thought to myself and then let it go on a boat that drifts away (in my mind). I find that helps. I say to myself. I had that thought, it's stupid and it is not who I am or ever was or ever will be. It's just a thought that has no power. Then I watch it drift off.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, Yes!...It is tough, often horrifying and hard to overcome, you have my empathy.

      I'm glad you have found ways of coping with your intrusive thoughts...letting them go. ... For me, writing about them helps, aside from the catharsis that writing about them offers, exposing myself to them frequently (by reading back) reduces the power of specific thoughts (over time)... for instance... the thoughts detailed above are now much less frequent and easier to overcome... However, as is the nature of OCD, there are always new thoughts that pop up, and the process of elimination has to begin again... an ongoing battle.

      Thank you for taking the time to read/comment...I apologise for the late reply.

      Take care, Kimmie.

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  16. I have mental illness too, Kimmie. It is nice to meet you, and I love your writing - look forward to following you!

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    1. Hi, Kristina. It's nice to (virtually) meet you too...Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  17. you said it best at the end : your kids are happy so you must be doing something right. Words to focus on

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