Aside: PTSD or OCD ?


I have the urge to repeatedly bang my palms against my temples as hard as I can.  Maybe I need a helmet.  I want to scream, but I am far too concerned of what those around me will think.. a muzzle, a sound proof room perhaps?   How about a strong dose of “grow a pair of balls and stand up for yourself.”

I feel suicidal again. I can’t leave my room except for basic necessities.  My house mates were gone for a couple days on a trip.  I had the house to myself.  I loved it.  With one exception.  I couldn’t relax.  I cleaned the house from top to bottom. No one noticed, but that’s not the point.   This is no exaggeration. I literally went through 7 Mr. Clean magic erasers cleaning smudges off the walls.  I washed windows.  I searched the entire house for ceiling cobwebs with the vacuum in my hands.  I even cleaned the vent on the ceiling!  I am fully aware that it is spring, but this was no spring cleaning.  This is an obsession.  I rarely can enjoy my living room anymore because I share it with others.  This is my choice to remain in my bedroom. I am not used to living with other adults.  I am not blaming them. But, instead of enjoying my time alone, I spent 2 days bent over scrubbing and cleaning.  That’s just not normal.  How can other people sit and enjoy themselves, going along with their daily activities surrounded by dust, lint, and smudged kitchen counters?

So, during my last therapy appointment, I mentioned how I had intended to sit down and write. I explained how I never got the chance because every time I would attempt to sit down, I noticed crumbs on the floor, sticky shit on the counter, and well, by this point I may as well vacuum. I have always been this way, a little obsessive about cleanliness,  but it’s getting worse. I live with 5 other people. One is away, the one who helps me. I am essentially cleaning up after 4 children.  I am tired.

Upon mentioning this to my therapist, I used the term O.C.D.  I said it hesitantly because I never thought my obsessions were as extreme as those I have heard of in relation to this disorder.  I don’t tap or count things. He said those were extreme cases.  He also informed me that O.C.D. and P.T.S.D. are often connected.  I am apparently trying to evade myself by distracting myself.  The bagel crumbs on the floor that catch my eye, stopping me in my tracks, is my mind diverting from what I really need to do… work on me…. be me. I had never thought of that before. I won’t buy bagels anymore. Croissants? Out of the question. It sends me into a tailspin.

I am somehow satisfying myself by being angry with everyone else for making a mess.  It gives my brain a distraction. A diversion.  An excuse.  I am really fucking angry.  That much I know.

Everything hurts.  My joints, my back, my head and my heart.  I cry at just the thought of crying.  I am so tired of being sick and tired…oh yeah, the old AA saying.  It’s truth in its most raw and painful form.  Since I’m referencing AA slogans… “Do it Sober.”  I can’t do that one yet.  I want to though. I still need to drink a few beers in the afternoon to cope.  Everything seems and is so hard right now.  I have lived in my room for over two months.  I stare out my window.  I glance in the mirror.  I try to write when I can’t watch any more Netflix.  I am tearing myself down without my own knowledge.  It doesn’t make sense.  I don’t make sense.  I hurt.  I want to die.  I have tried more times than I can count on one hand. That’s one of two reason I won’t try again.  I am afraid to fail.  It doesn’t get more humiliating than a failed suicide attempt. The other reason is my kids.  I know it sounds cliche to say that.  But they have already lost their father.  I can’t leave them without their mom. They can see crystal clear how miserable and angry I am.  I want to fix that.  I want help. I want to be happy for them.  Faking a smile for your children hurts the soul.

I am afraid because help means uncovering myself.  I don’t have the first clue who I am.  My mother and my ex-husband shredded any recognizable piece of the original me. Yes, that sums up my entire life.  And when I see the original me, I probably won’t even know her.  It’s exciting and petrifying at the same time.  Whatever amazing woman is unleashed, she will be new to me, and I will need to learn how to live again.  This is exactly why I am stuck in this depression.  Change is disabling.  So is pain, but I am at least familiar with pain.



One thought on “Aside: PTSD or OCD ?

  1. So raw and vulnerable! Melisa I am trying hard to live in the moment and not run from being uncomfortable. It’s hard but I fall back on the passage in Matthew 6 that says don’t worry about tomorrow. I’m not promised tomorrow so I have to make the most of today. I applaud you for writing your journey. You are never alone. Thank you for being real and human! Love you!!


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