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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer Update

     Just wanted to post an update as I haven't posted for over a couple of months now.  Things have been pretty stressful for me this summer in regard to my marriage, so I'm really just trying to stay afloat with that, and have had trouble keeping up with the OCD.  The good thing is that my OCD is in a place right now where I'm doing considerably well overall, so I'm kind of taking a "break" from the exposures, but I read my summer plan again recently and need to start tackling that full on here soon.  Yes, I will.  I am promising myself that I will.  I have worked on some things, but I haven't fully dived in with the clothing contamination yet like I had planned.  I do plan on joining a health club next week with my daughter for a month, so that will help push things along.  What I've really been enjoying this summer so far is the amount of rest and relaxation, and just taking care of myself that I've been doing.  I've been getting a lot of extra rest, trying to eat better (kind of), been outside every single day (unless it's raining), walking, doing fun activities with my daughter, watching movies, reading books, and baking.  I've been amazed at what this has done for me emotionally and mentally.  This is probably the best I've felt in about 7 years (aside from dealing with the marriage/relationship issues still every day). 

     Today is the 3rd of July.  The 4th is a holiday I have also loved and enjoyed.  Being outside in the summer, pretty fireworks.  I have had a lot of difficulty with this holiday the last few years.  Exactly 3 years ago on July 3rd is when I developed an issue with our clothes dryer.  I still remember looking at, thinking it was contaminated, and that was the day that my laundry issues began.  And then they only grew worse after that.  The last couple of years I have had more issues with being outside and clothes feeling contaminated, being out in the smoke, being in close contact with others, the idea of fireworks and what they are made of.  It just wasn't much fun those years.  This year, I am doing better with the clothing contamination, although the smoke is still a concern for me.  And I so badly wanted to get out tonight and socialize with our neighbors.  Our street had a block party and I had every intention of going.  Then my husband told me he didn't want to go (and I believe this was for the reason that he doesn't really know our neighbors, this has nothing to do with the OCD at all).  I feel disappointed, because I have worked really hard to get to a point where I can go out and do things again...but you want to know what I'm really disappointed about?  That I should have just went with my daughter and left my husband at home.  But you know what I'm still concerned about?  Yeah.  The whole safe zone thing and not wanting to leave when my husband is home alone.  So, we stayed here and didn't go out.  And in hindsight, I should have pushed back tonight.  I should have went. 

     I am letting my husband have too much control over what I don't let myself do with the OCD.  Does that makes sense?  What I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of things I could do, but I still avoid because my husband will be there.   Watching me with his hawk eyes.  Rolling his eyes at me.  Sighing.  Frustrated that I do things differently.  And so I avoid...not necessarily because of the contamination issue directly, but more to avoid the reaction from him.  That is so messed up!  And I need to work on this.  Last weekend, my daughter and I went to church for the first time in quite awhile.  We typically only go to church services when my husband is out of  town or out with friends.  Otherwise, we attend online through our church's live stream.  Again, it is not even a clothing contamination issue necessarily.  For awhile, I avoided church because even sitting in the chairs there (as did anywhere in public) felt too contaminating.  Now I feel I can be there and sit comfortably, but I still want to sit in the back row, which I have done for several years now.  I don't like being in a crowd and I don't like people sitting directly behind me.  I don't want someone coughing or sneezing behind me.  So, I sit in the back row.  Big deal, right?  To be honest, it will probably one of those things that will always be the case.  I think I will always just want to sit in the back row.  And that should be okay, because the important thing is that I'm going, and not avoiding.  Yesterday, I suggested to my husband that the three of us all go to church together, and there was no positive words, there was no "yes,  let's do it".  There was a general sense of irritation in his voice, and the question, "did you guys sit in the back row again?"  It's that frustration/criticism that I get from him every single time we go out to do something.  Whatever I'm doing with my OCD, it's never enough for him.  And I'm so tired of it.  It is probably the #1 reason why I avoid doing things with him if possible.  And it's why I try to go out and do all kinds of activities when I get the chance (when he is at work or gone on the weekends).   To prove to myself, that I can fight this thing.  To keep getting out there in public and doing things.  And it feels incredible.  If I could just find a way to be able to leave the house when he is here and feel comfortable, then I would be doing so good overall.

     I have been taking lots of day trips with my daughter this summer and having a blast.  And I so thankful for that time together.  My laundry rituals are getting better, and that is still on the burner most days, but on the "back burner", not the "front burner", so that is good.  There are even several days that my washer doesn't run at all anymore.  I have started combining some more of my outdoor/contaminated clothes, which has cut down even further on loads.  I can't seem to get comfortable with contaminating my car seat though.  I am very comfortable washing contaminated things and rewearing them now again, and that is really something to say compared to how I handled those things just one year ago. 

     If I could just find a way too, to get my husband to be involved with this.  He is checked out of our marriage, I am certain of that.  And sometimes I wonder why I am holding on?  Is there something wrong with me to keep holding on?  Why am I staying in this marriage when my husband has no desire to spend time with me, share life with me, talk to me about anything, cares so little about my well being, refuses to have conversations about our marriage or my OCD, and basically walks around the house completely ignoring me all day, other than to point out the frustrations that my OCD brings into the marriage.  When I have virtually been the only one to try to inititiate conversations about our marriage and my OCD.  He is a very angry person and this affects me very negatively, and just worsens the OCD and how I feel about him.  It is very dysfunctional and toxic.  I stay in the marriage because I believe God wants that.  But there are 90% of days when I question how much more I can take, and if God truly wants me to keep living in a marriage like this. 

     One more thing I can say for all of us with OCD, is that we are not quitters.  We are strong, brave people.  And we'll just keep fighting the fight.  Summer is halfway done already, which is hard to believe.  I will keep taking the best care of myself that I can, and I will push myself harder this second half of summer with the clothing contamination.  A friend of mine, passed away from breast cancer last fall.  It was her 3rd diagnosis of cancer in the last several years.  Breast in remission, then leukemia in remission, then breast again, this time stage 4.  I hadn't had much contact with her in the recent years, other than through Facebook, but I kept up with her posts and her blog that ske kept, fairly frequently. She was one of the most positive people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and her motto was "I can.  I will".  She certainly lived her life to the fullest.  Never let her cancer slow her down, until the end when it took her life.  She was an avid runner and traveler.  If she set her mind to something, she did it.  She swam with sharks, she skydived, she took advantage of every opportunity that came her way.  She was certainly inspirational and motivating to me.  So, this is for you, Andrea.  I can. I will.  Get myself further out of this OCD. 


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