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Monday, April 28, 2014

The trail of contamination/OCD train of thought

Clothing contamination is a huge issue for me right now.  I have thrown away so many articles of clothing over the last few months that I have basically depleted my entire closet.  I have been frequently buying inexpensive clothing online from places like Old Navy or Kohl's just to replenish my closet.  It seems like more often than not anymore, something is always happening to my clothes to contaminate them, to the point where I feel they are ruined and I don't want to even wash them.  I feel horrible throwing all of this away.  Certainly a lot of this could be donated, but of course my OCD tells me its not safe for anyone to wear, so I just throw it away.  I want to list several examples of how I feel my clothing gets contaminated, and where my OCD mind goes at these times.
       A couple of days ago it was so beautiful outside that I decided to take my dog for a walk.  It was very windy outside and we live in a neighborhood where there is a lot of construction going on right now.  As I turned the corner off of our street the wind really started blowing and I felt things being "pelted" at me for lack of a better word.  It was more than wind or breeze, but felt like something was actually hitting me, like sand or dirt, who knows?  That is the problem with OCD.  There were some people working on framing a new house and my mind just started to go all kinds of different places.  Was it sawdust from the wood?  Some type of chemical they sprayed?  Dirt?  I just didn't know.  As I got home I felt itchy on my body, I'm not sure if that was my imagination or not, but I felt like all of my clothing was contaminated.  How would I ever know what had gotten all over me?  I wanted to go through a drive through to get dinner, but I couldn't get in my car with those clothes on because then I would contaminate my car and I did not want to have to go through the process of wiping down the seat in my car with soap and water to decontaminate it.  I took a shower and changed into clean clothes and discarded everything I was wearing on the walk--everything.....shirt, bra, jeans, and underwear.  I couldn't even bring myself to wash them because I would always feel like there was something in the clothes and I didn't want them tumbling around with my other clothes in the wash.
     Another example is that I have been throwing a lot of socks away lately.  My hands have been so dry lately and I have developed warts (proably as a result of frequent handwashing with my OCD), so I have been trying to do Vaseline treatments on my hands at night and covering them with socks.  In the morning I throw the socks out (I bought a new pack of socks to do this for a week straight), but when I looked at my sock pile to wash recently I was worried what if one of those socks that I used on my hands somehow got in my pile of normal socks?  Then I was worried that there would be wart fluids on the socks and they wouldn't get killed in the wash, and then when I put them on my feet I could get warts on my feet.  So I threw out every one of my socks and went and bought several new packs to start all over.
     If you read through previous posts, you'll find how I throw out lots of laundry that is in the process of being laundred when my husband comes home.  Somehow I feel my husband contaminates them, and I have problems with the indoor plumbing and obsessions that once the toilet or sink goes off, that that water will somehow go into the washer and contaminate my laundry.  So please refer back to previous posts as I describe that very much in detail in my laundry ritual post in particular.
     My family (parents and sister) came over the other night, and this has caused a lot of problems for me anymore, having people come into my house.  I'm always worried what they are going to touch, where they are going to sit, etc.  My mom noticed some new shoes I had on and said she liked them and wanted to try them on.  Well of course I don't want anyone trying on my shoes.  My family doesn't know I have OCD, so I probably looked very rude during all of this.  Then she asked me to take off my shoe because she wanted to look at the inside to see what style it was.  Well, I didn't want her touching my shoe because then she would contaminate it.  Here is the ironic thing--it was already contaminated.  I had actually just got back from the store to buy a new pair of shoes to replace the ones I was currently wearing.  My dog licked my shoe and I couldn't stand the thought of wearing that shoe and feeling like her saliva was on me everytime, so I went to the store and bought a new pair of shoes.  Well of course if I had new shoes, I needed new slippers because if I put the shoes on my socks, they would contaminate my socks, and then my socks would contaminate my slippers, so I needed to make sure I had new everything.  I was going to keep myself contaminated for the night (socks, shoes, and slippers), and then after my shower replace everything.  I couldn't let my mom try on my shoe or touch it though.  Finally she acted kind of put off and just said "never mind then".  I have bought a lot of new shoes lately--5 pairs to be exact--in the last month probably.  One of them fell off in the garage so I felt it was contaminated because it "might" have landed on the part where my foot goes in.  Another couple of pairs were contaminated because my husband "might" have touched them....I accidentally left them out not realizing he was home, and I wasn't sure if he moved them.  I asked him and he said no, but my OCD can't trust that and I don't take a chance, because he is contaminated to me.  My dog licked the other pair, and now I'm on my 5th pair.  Very expensive.  Also have gone through countless pairs of slippers for the same types of reasons, usually because my dog drops her ball on my slipper, or some other reason like that.
        I've also spent way too much money on bras lately, and they are not cheap.  A couple of them were stuck in the washer when my husband came home, so then they were ruined (refer back to my laundry/toilet contamination post).  Most recent problem I had with them is I bought a couple of new ones and had just washed them and everything went well.  I dropped one on the floor in my daughters closet (where I currently keep all of my clothes), and all I could think about was how my husband had been in her closet one time after we moved in, to fix a closet rod.  So that triggered me into thinking my bra was somehow contaminated because it touched the floor that he stepped on, with possibly a dirty sock of his (keep in mind he stepped on this carpet probably over a year ago now).  So then I made my next mistake of hanging the bra up with another dirty bra of mine, that was going to go in the wash.  Well of course then I realized I had just contaminated the other bra too because whatever contamination was on the bra that dropped on the floor had now spread to my other bra because they touched.  Well then my 3rd bra was ruined on the walk the other day, so I had to go buy new bras again.  So frustrating.  I was able to get them washed up and hung up to dry.  Here is where things are starting to get really weird, and I am really nervous for how badly things are spiraling out of control recently.  My thoughts are starting to become very far fetched and irrational.  The good news is I do realize they are irrational, but I so badly want reassurance that everything is okay.  I hung the bras up to dry in my daughters room, and my husband left for the afternoon.  I work from home and use the computer downstairs, so usually I will hear if the garage door goes up.  I am so paranoid anymthat he might come home and I might not know it.  So I'm obsessed right now with what if he came home and I didn't know it?  What if he walked into my daughters room and touched my bras?  I know that is so irrational, but I can't get it out of my head.  I don't even want to wear them anymore.  I want to ask him so badly if he was in there, but I know he will just get mad.  But if I don't ask him, I am worried I will throw the bras out just because I think he "might" have been in there.  It seems like I have to be really mindful of what I do anymore, if I make one wrong move then something becomes contaminated.
My puppy is also causing a lot of problems with my OCD because she has been vomiting in her bed lately, then she eats it, but it still hits her blanket and kennel and I know she lays in there before it can get cleaned out.  I am worried that somehow there is vomit on her and when she brushes up against me it will get vomit on my clothes, and I feel so many of my things are ruined because of that.  She is aso a source of "secondary contamination" with my husband.  He picks her up and she is all over his clothes, which are contaminated in my mind.  Then she comes over to me and runs by and brushes up against my leg and I feel like his contaminated clothes gets on my clothes through the dog.  I am really having a hard time lately.  It seems like most of my days are spent making sure that my clothes are clean, and avoiding having them contaminated.  I'm afraid that my husband will brush up against me as he walks by.  Even if he is 10 feet from me, my OCD mind is still telling me that he might have brushed up against me.  I'm absolutely mortified by the thought of his clothes touching me.  More and more, everything in my house is starting to feel contaminated.  I am going to post about my "safe zones" next, because I spend most of my time anymore keeping my "safe zones" safe and contamination free.  Hope you all are fighting this OCD monster better right now.  I am not doing so well and feel like I am losing miserably to this monster.  If anyone has dealt specifically with clothing contamination I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New obsessions have started

I am really having a heck of a time lately.  Have developed some new obsessions and I just can't get them out of my head.  Sorry for the randomness of this particular post.  It is going to be a collection of some new problems I've been having and some other things I've been avoiding.

      I have developed a problem with using the toilet.  I've never had this before.  I noticed about a week ago when I was urinating, that a urine drop got on my upper back of my leg when I was using the toilet.  Immediately I washed off that part of my leg with antibacterial soap and water, then dried it off and pulled my pants back up.  I guess I didn't get all the water wiped away because then I had a wet spot on the back of my pants.  In my mind I knew I had washed the urine off, and this was just water that soaked through my pants, but I could not get it out of my head.  I had stuck in my mind that this was urine on my pants, I think I ended up changing into another pair.  Every time I urinate now I notice that a tiny drop sometimes gets on the back of my leg.  I squat over the toilet seat (I won't sit down, even in my own house) so I don't know if its just the way the urine is spraying out.  Or maybe my urine stream just isn't coming out straight.  So almost every time I urinate now, I am washing off the backs of my legs with soap and water.  This kind of goes along with not liking a feeling of wetness.  If I have something wet on me and I don't know what it is, I feel contaminated, like I need to change.  I wash my hands before I use the bathroom, so sometimes when I pull my pants down to urinate it will transfer water onto my clothes (because I rarely dry my hands).  Then I've got stuck in my head that it is urine again.  I'm not sure what to do about this.  I almost dread going to the bathroom because this has become another routine I have to use.  Also not to be gross, and sorry if this is TMI, but when I have a stool I am worried that somehow the toilet water could splash on my clothes when the stool hits the water.  So I kind of squat over the toilet again and as the stool comes out I move myself forward off the toilet to avoid getting any splashes.  Sorry, that is gross, I know......
Another issue I've been having is we have a new puppy.  Our dear labrador passed away last November due to leukemia, and we got another puppy about 2 months ago.  I will post about our sweet lab in another post, because this is something I want to write about.  Today I need to focus on the new puppy and how she is affecting me.   She tends to jump up on furniture which bothers me because she runs around outside and since she pees and poops in the yard, I would think there would have to be remnants of that on her paws.  Also she tends to drag things behind the couch that my daughter and I sit on, and sometimes my husband will try to fish her out of the back of the couch and in the process he puts his hand on the back of the couch cushion (where our backs/heads rest).  This bothers me immensely because his hands are a huge trigger for me.  So I don't think he ever gets up in the middle of the night to let her outside, but I will ask him sometimes in the morning.  He usually gets irritated with me.  If I don't feel comfortable with his answer, and let's face it, usually I just feel more comfortable if I clean the couch anyway.  I wipe the couch down with antibacterial soap and water a couple of times a day usually, just so I know my daughter and I are sitting on a clean couch.
Also I've been having a lot of problems with separating my clothes into "outside clothes" and "inside clothes' anymore.  I know that a lot of people with OCD do this, and certain clothing is designated to wear outside or in public.  Other clothes are only to be worn inside.  I have definitely started doing this lately.  I used to be able to wear my PJ pants to take my daughter to school, then come inside and sit on my couch.  Now I feel that once my pants have been in my car or "outside of my house", that they are considered outside clothes.  I especially have this problem with pants and I don't know why.  When I get home from the store or going out for any reason, I will hang those pants on a hanger in the closet for the next time (usually outside pants get a couple of wears before they are washed, because they are dirty anyway).  Then I put my clean indoor clothes on before I can sit on the couch.  Also with my daughter I have her save her PJ pants from the night before.  Then when she gets home from school in the afternoon I have her do the same thing with her jeans...hang them up, and put her PJ pants on.  Then she usually wears layers to school.  So she takes off her top layer and then has a clean shirt under that, so I feel we are clean to sit on the couch.
My grandma had her 85th birthday party this last weekend.  My parents had our extended family over to their house for dinner and a get together.  I had to work that day and I avoid social gatherings like crazy anymore.  I told my mom that we would try to stop by after work, and of course we didn't, and I haven't even talked to her since and it has been a few days.  I feel really bad.  There are a lot of things about that situation that bothered me, and so I avoided as usual.  First of all there would be small children there, which are a trigger for me.  My niece and my cousins kids.  I always worry about them having colds or viruses and not wanting to catch anything.  I also don't like to hug people or sit on others couches, so I knew that whatever I wore over there would then be contaminated and ruined and I would have to throw itaway.  I've been throwing away so much clothing lately, that I really don't have anything to spare to throw out.  I am also tired of buying new clothing all the time. Also I don't like eating at family gatherings, but I haven't done that for so long, my mom just knows by now that I won't be coming to eat.  Not even for holidays, I won't eat at gatherings.  Again, I've never told my parents about my OCD.  I imagine they think it is odd that I don't go to some gatherings and never eat at their house, and I am always asking if my niece is going to be there and she knows that if anyone has colds/viruses, we won't be coming.  They have no idea the degree of the problem though, or that it has a name...OCD, which encompasses much more than being germaphobic.
Also I was expecting a package from a clothing store the other day and it was set to arrive on a Saturday when I was working.  I gave directions to my daughter that if the package came to our doorstep that she was to go get it and put it away in the spare bedroom.  I didn't want my husband touching the package or else it would be contaminated in my mind, and I wouldn't be able to wear any of the clothing.  I didn't want to take the time to return it all to the store and then rebuy it online, so I really wanted this package drop-off to work out.  When I left for work I reminded my daughter and my husband became irate with me.  Didn't understand why I didn't want him touching the package.  He commented that people in "third world countries and the postman could handle the stuff, so why couldn't he?" I don't think he understands that he is a trigger for me and his hands are a big trigger.  Anything that his hands touch is contaminated to me, and I don't know how to get him to understand that.  I buy clothing online often anymore because then I don't have to worry about watching the clerk at the store handling my clothes.  As I mentioned in a previous post I had a hard time with a certain set of clothes the other week.  I have had other similar instances too.  I had a bunch of stuff at a store one day about a month ago and I got up to check out and the only cashier there kept coughing and coughing.  Granted she coughed into her sleeve, but I know when clerks fold the clothes to bag them, they often end up brushing the new clothes against their own clothes.  And I couldn't stand the thought of what would then be on my  newly purchased clothes, so I left the store without buying anything.  When I buy online, at least I don't have to see any of that and my mind doesn't wander, so its easier that way.
I had to buy a new pair of shoes yesterday because my tennis shoe and possibly my jeans brushed up against my husbands dirty pair of work shoes in our laundry room.  It made me so mad because I was trying to take the garbage outside and our puppy kept following me.  He wasn't doing a good job of getting her out of the laundry room (I didn't want her to run outside), so I had to turn around real fast and I know my shoe made full contact with his work shoe, and like I said possibly the bottom of my jeans.  Those shoes are worn for working for him (dirty work) and he also used them recently during a dry wall project so the shoes look covered in drywall powder.  Well I knew I couldn't wear the shoes again and the jeans bothered me too, so I threw my jeans in my "discard pile"--the only pair I have left that fits me, and bought a new pair of shoes last night.  Now I have one pair of jeans currently that is too big.  I have lost about 5 # recently with the OCD because I'm not eating well or taking care of myself well.  Now I need to add another pair of jeans to my list to buy.