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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Followup to last post....gasoline it is affecting me

So its been a week since I wrote about being contaminated with gasoline.  I literally could not think of anything else that day.  I was so mentally exhausted that I actually fell asleep when my daughter came home from school for about 10 minutes on the couch, which is very unusual for me.  We did end up getting take out (from one of the 3 places I feel comfortable eating at).  It was basically finger food, but I sat there with my fork and ate my sandwich and fries with a fork.  I did not want to touch the food with my hands.  Again logically I know that any gasoline has long been washed off my skin, but I just cannot get it out of my mind.  I do not feel safe touching food or washing off my hair/body with my  hands.  I have been able to get a little more relaxed, touching other things.  For instance I will put the laundry in the washer, take it out and put it away, I can touch "things" without fear of contaminating them, but for some reason I'm still afraid of contaminating myself further.  I'm afraid if there is gasoline trapped under my hand somehow that I will rub it all over my body when I shower, or into my scalp/brain when I wash my hair.  Well one thing about OCD is you learn how to be very clever and work your way around things.  You get creative in learning how to manage things.  I mentioned several weeks ago that I was thankful that I did not have a showering ritual.  Now I do.  I am afraid that I am going to have this ritual forever now and it absolutely scares me.  I feel like the OCD has been there for a long time, noticeable for 8 years and getting worse.  For some reason this summer it has really escalated and I have a lot of issues right now with food and laundry, besides my normal checking, re-reading, mental compulsiong, checklists, magical thinking, etc.  Now I am adding a showering "ritual" to that list.  The first couple of times were difficult to figure out how to shower because I shower every night.  I decided to use a washcloth and just cleanse my skin with the washcloth/body wash, then I rinse it off.  I used to just lather up with my hands, but I can't do that now.  Washing my hair is the bigger issue, I decided the best way to handle this was to squirt the shampoo all over my head, tilt my head under the shower faucet to get my hair wet, then comb the shampoo through my hair.  I can tell it is cleaning it, my hair definitely smells clean.  I usually do it twice just to make sure.  So right now, here is what I do:
1.  Get in the shower and wash my hands
2.  Step out of the shower and grab a washcloth
3.  Step back in the shower and wet the washcloth, squirt body wash on and clean my body and rinse it off.
4.  Step out of the shower and grab a few Kleenexes, then I get back in the shower and squirt my face wash on the Kleenex, wipe the soapy Kleenex all over my face, rinse off, and throw the Kleenex toward the trash can.
5.  Step out of the shower again, grab a few new Kleenexes, get back in the shower and squirt antibacterial soap on them and wash my face again.  Throw Kleenex toward the trash can.
6.  Squirt shampoo on top of my  head and get hair wet.  Get out of the shower again and grab my comb, step back in the shower and comb shampoo through my hair.  Repeat again.
7.  Get back out of the shower, grab a few more Kleenexes and get back in the shower to wash my feet.
Then I'm done.  Whew.  It takes me about twice as long to take a shower, because I keep having to get in and out of the shower, that is the most frustating part to me.  It still only takes about 10-15 minutes though, which still isn't too long.  The reason that I don't keep all of my supplies in the shower is because I don't want them touching anything.  I don't want them sitting directly on the shower shelfs, because that is dirty to me.  I set a towel on the countertop and put all of my clean clothes for after my shower on that.  So that is where I keep my comb and my washcloth until I'm ready to use them.  That is my clean area.  I have done that for a long time though, before I started adding the comb/washcloth to it last week.  I bought a shower caddy at the store yesterday and I need to wash it out and put it in the shower.  Yes, I will wash it out to "decontaminate it" from the store.  Just soap and water.  Nothing big.  Then I plan on putting a clean plastic cup in the caddy each night and placing the comb in there.  I'm still not sure how to manage the Kleenexes.  I only use the washcloth to wash my body, then I don't want to use it to wash my face.  I still need to think of a better way to handle that.
Needless to say, I kind of start dreading my shower, because I think to myself  "Here we go again".  It's a relief to get out the shower, I feel like I literally do take a sigh and a big breath of relief when I am done.  It seems to silly to me to go through all of this.  I bet I have had gasoline on myself before and never even thought twice about it.  I think the biggest issue for me is that it got my hand.  And with your hands, you touch everything.  I really think that is the kicker there.  I think about people that are mechanics and touch gasoline and stuff all the time and they don't seem seem to be harmed.  But of course you never know.  Gasoline certainly is not intended to be on your skin.  By the way, I did throw out all the clothing I was wearing that day, undergarments and all.  I didn't smell gas on any of them and I honestly don't think it got my clothing, but I just couldn't deal with it.  One day soon I am going to get into the issues I have with my husband because he kind of fits into that category of working on cars/things.  I am planning on writing a series of letters to people in my blog soon.  I don't know if all of them will ever see them, but they are things I wish I could tell people about my OCD.  Maybe someday I will want to share.  In that I do plan on including a letter to my husband.  I am really frustrated with him for not helping me last week.  This is where the resentment toward my husband comes in.  We already have a lot of marriage problems outside the OCD.  Throw the OCD in, and it gets even worse.  I am really ticked that he didn't come help me last week.  I find it so hard to believe that I was literally outside of his work and he did not come out to help me (until it was too late and I had already spilled the gasoline on my hand).  In his defense he did offer to go home and get our gas can from home and bring it back and put some in my tank.  But I really didn't have time for that.  What I wanted was for him to come with me to the gas station, 1 block away, help get a gas can, then put it in my tank--would have taken probably 10 minutes.  If he was willing to go home and get a gas can and fill it up for me, why couldn't he walk there with me and put it in my car?  This is when I honestly don't think he understands my OCD or what bothers me.  If he had any clue, he would have understood that I didn't know how use a gas can or put it in my car.  And even if I didn't have OCD, why couldn't he come help me?  I can't get over that.  He has locked his car keys in his car 3-4 times in the last 6 months and each time I have just taken them to him.  You see I have obsessive thoughts too.  I am still stewing about that a week later.  It really upsets me.  It makes me mad at him, quite honestly, that now I'm always going to be afraid to use my hands because of what happened last week.  Infuriates me actually.  I have a lot of anger toward my husband for not understanding the OCD.  The letter coming up is going to very therapeutic I think to write for me.

I want to share another video today from another Christian music group, Kutless.  This is an amazing song.  I don't know why I have OCD, but I have to believe there is a purpose for it.  And if the healing from OCD never comes, I know that God has a purpose for the OCD.  As hard as it is to think about, I do believe that.  There are days when I struggle to keep my head above water.  When I am literally just trying to get through the day, and survive the OCD each day.  And then going to bed and repeating it the next day.  There are days lately when I feel like the OCD is dictating everything I do, and I find myself standing in front of the washing machine for an hour, when my daughter is waiting for me in the next room to watch a TV program.  Times when I'm washing or rewashing the laundry for the 3rd or 4th time in a row.  So many things I've thrown away recently...dishes, clothing, beause I feel like they are contaminated.  My OCD is very severe right now.  This song gives me hope.  I hope it does the same for you.  Will say a prayer for everyone struggling with this disorder tonight.  


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