In a few days, I’ll have my interview for a study on OCD in children. I’m glad I started this blog because it is jogging some memories of the past. I’ll be able to provide more insight for those that want to improve the diagnosis process.
When I was growing up I had a ton of stuffed animals. I remember briefly thinking about getting one of those nets you hang in the corner to pile them on, mainly because some of my friends had them. Then I would think something along the lines of, “but then I would forget about the ones at the bottom of the pile”. Instead, I lined up my stuffed animals on a top shelf.
They were ordered from largest to smallest, right to left. It was difficult removing any of them to play with because that’s “where they went”.
My bed was made in a similar way. In front of the pillows I would have my current favorites arranged a certain way. Biggest to the back, smallest to the front. Not in a row but some arrangement that I saw as the way it should be. Every morning when I made my bed, this was a task that had to be done.
I was very much into thinking that every animal had an actual soul. That if one was on the shelf for a long time, it was probably sad. I stressed about this silently. I didn’t want them to feel forgotten but I also didn’t want to move them from their assigned spot on the shelf. I thought this was the normal way to think because I was so young.
And that’s the thing. As a child, it was beyond my comprehension to know my thoughts were not normal. I accepted it as “that’s how it is”. I don’t remember the exact moment or age when the thoughts became too much and caused a huge amount of anxiety. I wonder if it was a slow progression instead of like flipping a light switch. More on that later.