This week I would say has been a bit more of the same, OCD-wise.
I’m far from perfect. I have had some major and some minor freak outs related to contamination OCD, still mostly revolving around my daughter and her bathroom habits.
We did have a family talk about my mental illness, and we came up with and talked about family values—like honesty, respect, moderation, and cleanliness. We discussed how we can all be more loving and respectful to each other, and how my OCD factors into my behavior. I think it’s important to try to be as open as is healthy and reasonable with children. They don’t fully understand what is happening but are still a part of the family and see the results (or are direct recipients) of my obsessions and compulsions.
In fact, having children (combined with OCD) is one of my biggest struggles currently. I want so badly to be able to control or make sure that they “always” do certain things (wipe properly, wash their hands, don’t get dirty toilet paper on their clothes while they are wiping, etc.). But I can’t. This is so hard for me. I feel like these things are good practices. They are valuable habits. Arguably, all people should wash their hands and wipe properly, etc., but I cannot police and make sure that everyone in the world does these things, so what makes me think I can do it with my children? I can only encourage and try to teach them correct principles.
Uncertainty and doubt
This uncertainty and having to live with the possibility that maybe my daughter peed and then didn’t wash her hands and is now touching her toys, her clothes, the couch… well, it’s not fun and I hate it. I really do. It becomes a compulsion for me to check with her that she washed her hands or else I try to spray or clean anything she may have touched. To me, in the moment, it seems totally rational. I should do these things. But stepping back (or from my husband’s perspective), I am in OCD land. I can’t control my children. It may seem innocent enough, but it can easily turn into a battle of wills and breeding ground for my OCD.
So that’s about where I am currently: teetering on a tightrope of what seems like a rational, good idea and what could easily knock me over into full on OCD land. I know my doctor would probably say that I should lean towards the risk. I should go to the bathroom and purposefully not wash my hands and touch as much as possible (and not clean it afterwards). So maybe I’ll try to live with the uncertainty of my daughter not washing her hands instead, haha. That seems easier.
Unfortunately, though, the easy way doesn’t always kick the OCD to the curb as well as the hard way! I guess I have to start where I can and work from there.