Friday, March 27, 2015

What if I maim a garbage collector?

In 7th grade home economics (yes it was really called that and yes we were required to take it) we learned how to properly dispose of broken glass. If you broke a glass or a mirror or anything glass you were to put it in a paper bag, tape it up securely, and mark it BROKEN GLASS.



To this day I still do this whenever I dispose of broken glass.

Because if I don't? I may maim the garbage man (or woman).



I cannot have that on my conscience. Even if most garbage collection is automated these days and most garbage collectors never handle the garbage themselves. Because what if behind the scenes there is someone sorting through garbage that I don't know about? What if they are sorting my garbage and I haven't placed my broken glass securely in a paper bag and clearly marked BROKEN GLASS? What if they reach in my garbage and my broken glass slices off their hand? What if they are alone in the garbage sorting area and they bleed to death because of my improperly disposed of glass? No. Cannot risk that. I better wrap up my broken glass and write in huge letters on every inch of that paper bag CAUTION: BROKEN GLASS. Just once is not enough. I need to cover every side of the bag. Just in case they only see one edge of the bag and think it's just a bag. Nope. Gotta make it clear. Someone's life might be riding on my broken glass. I cannot fail them. Their life depends on me. Whoever they are.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Brain Aneurysms



When I was in junior high a family friend died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. She was in her mid-30's. She had just given birth to her 3rd child in the past year. I babysat for their family sometimes. I remember my dad told me after softball practice. And I was like "what the heck is an aneurysm?" And then my life was never the same.

Every time I have an intense headache...which lets face it, is often since headaches are triggered by stress and hello? My life is stress. But luckily, as I've gotten older, understood my OCD, my anxiety and started taking meds my stress has gone down and so has my frequency of headaches. Thankfully. But every time I have an intense headache I am sure I'm having an aneurysm.






Welp here it is. My fatal brain aneurysm. I'm ready to drop dead at any moment.

Every.

Single.

Time.

And every time I don't die? I think whew. Just a regular headache this time.

But it's probably a headache because there is a clot forming in my blood vessels. So next time I'll die.

And then I massage my head vigorously because I reason that massaging my blood vessels externally will break up any of the clots that are starting to form. Because obviously I have magical de-clotting fingers and if everyone would just massage their brain blood vessels more often we could stop dying of brain aneurysms.

See how OCD works? Obsess, obsess, obsess...oooh. Some sort of compulsive, repetitive solution to soothe the obsession. Brain aneurysm -> magical de-clotting massage -> reduction in anxiety...and then the cycle starts all over again. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You'll Poke Your Eye Out!

Continuing with the theme of ridiculous fears this week, today I'll share my fear of 4 way clothing racks. Yes, 4 way clothing racks. Like these:




Gah. Just looking at them makes me all blinky. This obsession didn't start until I worked in retail at the age of 16. I worked at Fashion Bug for years. At some point I started worrying that I would turn around too fast and gouge my eye out with the end of one of the racks and lose my eye. This made it unbearable to go to work. I wanted to wear safety goggles to work, but I knew that was weird so I just made sure I walked slowly around the store when putting things away and tried to work the cash register as much as possible.

Even today I'm scared of them. When I go shopping I'm always on high alert for eye stabbage. I'm always afraid I'll be unaware of my distance from a rack and smash my face into one. Which is ridiculous since I'm hyper aware of the racks and my distance to them. But I'm also clumsy. So what if I trip on the carpet, my own feet, the air and land eye first onto a rack arm? So risky. I just try to stay away from those kinds of racks in general. And mostly online shop. Eeek.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Realistic Dolls...They're All Chucky to Me

I almost couldn't even post a picture on this blog post because I'm that terrified of realistic dolls. I most DEFINITELY could not post a picture of the worst doll of all time...Chucky from Child's Play.  Hooooo. Leeeeee. Shiiiiit. That was most definitely the start of my doll fears.

When we moved to Indiana and I was in elementary school horror movies were just becoming THE THING to do at slumber parties. I hated horror movies. But I wanted to fit in so I would enthusiastically join in with movies that would give me nightmares for months. The worst movie I ever say was Child's Play. That scared me and scarred me for life. After watching that movie, all of my realistic looking dolls had to go.

Especially Pamela.






Pamela was a talking doll much like Chucky. I got her for my birthday from my Grandma Gatlin. She was very expensive at the time, and as a child who grew up in a thrift store hippie family, was totally out of character for me to own something so extravagant. So when I became terrified of her I also had a tremendous amount of guilt. How could I get rid of a doll that I had wanted SO bad and was SO not worthy of having? I was in a pickle. At first I just tried hiding her in my closet at night time, because that's obviously when dolls come alive and kill you. But then I realized if Pamela was coming to life then she would be able to open my closet door and murder me anyway. So then Pamela had to go farther away.

Our house in Indiana had a storage attic. You couldn't walk around up there or anything, but it did have a little attic ladder that pulled down so you could climb up there and store things.





One day when I was home alone I climbed up there and stuffed Pamela in a box. I scurried down and put the ladder and hatch back up. I felt immensely better and not as guilty as I would have felt if I would have given her away.

Over the next few days I started worrying that putting her in the attic would make her really mad and therefore more murderous. I would lay in bed listening for the sounds of a doll walking around in the attic planning my murder. I was worried she would figure out how to open the attic ladder and come through the garage and THEN kill me. But the attic door was really heavy and strong. It was hard for me to pull it down and I was much bigger than Pamela.

At one point the ladder broke and we had to use a regular ladder to access the attic. I was so freaking happy. I figured if she somehow could open the heavy ass door she might be injured from the 15 foot fall onto the concrete floor of the garage and definitely not be able to come and kill me. I could mostly stop worrying about her. Mostly. Weeks and months would go by and I wouldn't think about her. But every once in a while I'd panic and think "What if she's REALLY PISSED NOW? She's been up there for years stewing in her anger. She is totally going to develop superhuman rage and find a way to come murder me."

Years ago I finally got the courage to get rid of her. Donated her to Goodwill so she can terrorize someone else. When I still lived in Indiana I would occasionally worry that she would find me and kill me. Now that I live in California I know I'm too far away and she'd never find me. Obviously.

But realistic dolls still scare me. There are none in my house. They few collectible ones I have are packed away in a special box in my garage labeled "Dolls" and if I never look at them then they won't know I put them there and they won't develop murderous plots to kill me. Obviously.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sharks in the Pool






I wrote about this previously, but it was before I had a full understanding of the extent of my OCD and how it impacts my life. And it's funny so it bears repeating.

Probably one of my DUMBEST and most long-standing obsessions is swimming alone in a pool and worrying about being attacked by a shark. I KNOW. So dumb! But I have worried about this since...forever. If there are many people in a pool, I'm good, because duh, a shark wouldn't come into a pool with so many people. Why? No clue. But that's the rule. But if it's just me, or maybe one or two other people in the pool...paranoia. I check the pool obsessively to make sure a shark isn't sneaking up on me.

How would the shark get into the pool? The drains, duh. When I was younger and lived in Santa Cruz that seemed sort of plausible. They would swim from the ocean into a pipe that was in the sea, would swim up the pipe and pop out into the pool I was swimming in. Obviously. Once we moved to Indiana all quasi-rational explanations for how the sharks would get into the pipes was gone. But OCD isn't rational and doesn't need no stinking explanations so I just kept on believing I'd be attacked by a shark if I was alone in the pool.

I think this obsession stems from Jaws. I love the entire Jaws franchise, but watching Jaws in childhood apparently altered my brain permanently. I also went on the Jaws ride at Universal Studios when I was a kid and my parents didn't know I would be on the side exactly where the animatronic Jaws would come out to attack our boat. I about died when that happened. When I picture the shark that's going to attack me, it always looks like Jaws.

I also worry about sharks at the beach. But that's sort of normal-ish. Many people worry about sharks at the beach. Probably not as much as me, but I don't feel too weird about it.  

I turn 35 in less than a month and last week I was swimming alone at the pool at the gym and I was still worried a shark was going to attack me. This shit is ridiculous. But alas, here it is.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Motherfucking Pretzel Nugs




True confession: even though I endeavor to eat health, am a vegetarian, believe in green movements and eco-friendly everything, etc. etc. I am a total disgusting junk food lover. Fake cheese, microwaved snacks, all of it.

We recently discovered these SuperPretzel Softstix cheese filled soft pretzel sticks. And by "we" I really mean me and my stepson Trevor. One day I picked some up at the store when Trev had asked for some soft pretzels. I got the soft pretzels and thought, "oooh, he might like these!" (because he loves junk food and doesn't care so much about nutrition or vegetables or anything health really). I brought them home and he was pumped to try them and after eating one he was like "OMG, you have to try these. They're SO GOOD." So I did, and he was right and now we're addicted to them.

One night he was in a goofy mood and had had a great day and he came out of his room and was talking about his great day and said "MAN, you know what will make this day even better? MOTHERFUCKING PRETZEL NUGS!" and now that's what we call them. Pretty much always. Unless we're trying to be polite. Then it's just pretzel nugs. On a side note Andrea says Trev's potty mouth has gotten SUBSTANTIALLY WORSE since she started dating me. Probably just a coincidence...

On my electronic grocery list MFing Pretzel Nugs x 6 million is a constant category. We actually get 6 each time we go to the store (about every two weeks). Four for Trev and 2 for me (cause I'm healthy like that). Andrea will snack on some of ours but isn't compelled to nug out every week like us. We joke that she was really just my surrogate, because Trev and I are more alike than she and him are. This is based on more than pretzel nug love, but that's for another time.

When we came home from a recent vacation, I was looking in the freezer when I noticed a box of pretzel nugs that had been opened.

Me: There's an open box of nugs...
Trev: What? Why is it open?  [because we both would not open them and change our minds, nor would I have allowed an opened box to be purchased, because duh, murderers]
Me: Maybe Lauren opened them when she was house-sitting...and ate just a few...?
Trev: What? Who does that? Who only eats a few? It's clearly one serving per box!
Me: Look! Only a few have been eaten! What the hell? What is wrong with your sister?
Trev: WAIT...what if...she...DIDN'T...LIKE...THEM?!?!?
Me: NO! Blasphemous! How could you not like MOTHERFUCKING PRETZEL NUGS?!?!
Trev: I don't even know...but good! That means I get a box and a half today!
Me: UGH! Jerk!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is this real life?

One of the hardest things about having OCD is my inability to tell when I'm being a total obsessive compulsive spaz or when I'm having "normal people" worries.

Am I have a reaction that most people would have? 

Is this really what I want or is it what I want because I'm obsessing over some random ass thing in this moment? 

Am I overthinking my thoughts? Am I overthinking my overthinking?

Not being able to trust your own judgment is hard. Obsessing over your own judgment is even harder. It's exhausting in fact. I spend more time wondering if I'm nuts or if I'm normal than I do pretty much anything else.

Sometimes it's little things...like "did I accidentally say something that someone could interpret as rude in that interaction?" or

Most of the time it's about repetitive things or my serial obsessions...like does everyone think about murderers as much as me? Or does everyone do the same shower routine every single day or do they just go all wily nily with their bathing steps?

The worst things are big things. Like cutting my hair in a drastic way. Yesterday I got my hair cut. That seems like such a simple statement. Yesterday I went from chin length hair to super short hair. That seems a little more dramatic. But when I think about the amount of time I spent thinking about cutting my hair...lord. That's a lot of thinking.

Where does it start? Do I start with the time I was about 12 and I saw a runway model on some tv show that had a shaved head and a fantastic Chinese dragon tattoo on her head and I secretly wished I would get cancer (and sometimes I find my mind lingering there sometimes now) so I could shave my head without being weird and then be a bad ass like that model? Should I start when I DID cut my hair off in high school and at the time thought it was so cute and when I look back now I realize what a tragic chili bowl it was? Do I start when I saw GI Jane and realized that I didn't really just like Demi Moore because she was a great actress (because, let's be serious, she's really just ok) and it wasn't so much that I wanted to look like her as I probably wanted to have sex with her? Or do I start with "I really really really hate the feeling of sweat on my head -- not so much other parts of my body. Body sweat is tolerable. But head sweat makes me want to rip off my head? So if I have short hair my head will sweat less? And summer is coming and Chico is hella hot and I sweat a lot." Or should I talk about how much I hate getting dressed every day and doing my hair? It takes so damn much time. Time I could be reading or blogging or anything other than spending it on superficial stuff like fixing my hair or picking out something other than sweatpants to wear. It shouldn't matter if I look like a wreck or socially unacceptable for work -- I'm great at what I do whether I'm stylish or look like a bag lady. Ugh. I hate social expectations. Or should I talk about how much I hate the media and patriarchy and I hate performing my gender in stereotypical ways (femme) even though that's really who I am and I want to cut my hair because fuck blow drying and flat ironing and fuck long hair and fuck stylish hair and maybe I'll just shave it all off and give a middle finger to the world because my value is on the inside instead of my external appearance? But oh god. What if I look hideous? What if I look like a fat headed militant dyke...which is an ok thing in the conceptual world, but not ok for me in my real life I stare in the mirror everyday look...and oh my god I not only sound like a judgy asshole but that's totally me playing into patriarchy and media and gender stereotypes...and god I am so tired of thinking. Let me ask all of my closest people what they think. Nice. Ok. Good. Yes! I'm pumped! Oh, that was underwhelming. Oh, huh, that's not so great. If one more person says "it's just hair" I'm going to throat punch them. It's MY hair. If my hair is tragic I'll be obsessed with it's ugliness for the next 2 years while I grow it back out. Maybe this isn't what I really want. Maybe I'm giving into some compulsion and it's not really what I want. I'll sit on it and not make a hair appointment because I'm now paralyzed with doubt and conflicting feelings. Oh my god, I've dreamt about cutting my hair for the last three days in a row. I have been obsessed with cutting my hair for the past month. The past decade actually, but really I've spent hours each days thinking about my hair. This is ridiculous. No one obsesses about their hair this much. You're bonkers. Fuck it. I'm making a hair appointment.

And until my stylist turned me around in the chair and I caught a glimpse of how I now looked I still wasn't sure. Actually, I'm still not sure what my motivation was for cutting my hair. But now that I don't look like an ugly troll I'm at least happy I did it. Whew. Good choice. Nothing bad happened. Now I can move on to a new obsession.