Sunday, September 10, 2006

My little black ache

So, I've thinking about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder lately. I've always known that I have my little 'eccentricities', but I've never really worried about it. I just figured I was a bit weird, is all. But maybe my weirdness is a bit more clinical than I realized. I want to write about my strange behaviour but some of this stuff makes me feel ill and weak just thinking about it. So, I will make a point-form list:

- As a child if a sentence didn't end in an even number of syllables, I had to add an extra word to make it feel 'right'. I would tap out the syllables with 2 fingers on the palm of my hand. Same with words, but only when I was spelling them out. I don't do this any more, unless I'm really stressed or not paying attention.

- I have to have my toes crossed at all times. Unless, I 'm wearing shoes, of course. I'm not crazy, you know.

- I cannot bear the sensation of a wet wooden spoon or a certain type of wet wood on my skin or especially on my tongue. I played clarinet for about a week before I had a meltdown. That's how I discovered the tongue thing. Before that I couldn't wash my mother's wooden spoons. This got me in a fair bit of trouble during washing up time.

- I can't touch foam. Styro-foam is okay - but not foam. I remember one time when I was being difficult about sleeping on a foam mattress during a camping trip with my family - my dad thought it would be funny to roll me up in the foam like a jelly donut. I think I saw angels that time. I freaked out and bawled my eyes out and my dad got angrier. His joke bombed and he still had a 7 year-old who refused to sleep on the mattress.

- I have serious vein issues. I cannot look at the tops of my hands. If I do, I start to feel very far away. As you can imagine having blood work done is very unpleasant for me. I manage to keep it under control during blood tests - so it's not so bad. But, I feel very upset for a day or two after the test and I have to get someone else to remove the band-aid for me.

- When I get stressed out - my feet become unbearably hot. I remember as a kid in Saskatchewan getting up at night and standing in the snow on our back deck - trying to find some relief.

- Wet fabric in my mouth. Cannot. Do. It. Children who suck on mittens or face cloths should be dealth with sternly. Maybe rounded up and kept in a bad box. I know that if I were kidnapped I would die the moment a rag was stuffed in my mouth. This thought used to obsess me as a child. Now I just don't think about it.

- I cannot touch or have the raised mole on my neck touched. No way. Nor the raised scar on my right knee.

- Oh, here's a weird one. I can't have my finger nails touch each other - nails edge to nails edge. It makes me feel seriously unhinged.

- Very thin strands of hair or threading a needle upset me.

Okay, I need to stop now. Jesus, I sound like a nutbar. Seriously, I'm not uptight! No, really! I'm not uptight in bed and I'm easy-going! I mean it. You better believe me.

Hmm...I've just published all my weaknesses. My kryptonite list, in a matter of speaking.

There was a point to this post, but I feel too freaked out and uncomfortable to keep on going. The worst thing is that I don't have that whole compulsive tidiness thing. Now, that's a disorder I can get behind. I'm a miserable housekeeper.

Shh...I'm going to tap out sentences now. Calm.

13 Comments:

Anonymous WTL said...

And guess what? You aren't any stranger (mostly) than the rest of us.

You want to talk obsessive? I am unable to eat coloured candy of any sort randomly. I eat my "least favorite" coloured candy first and work my way up to my favorite - saving the best colour for last.

M&Ms, Smarties, licorice bits, you name it.

Pretzels - I eat the broken ones first... You get the idea.

9/10/2006 8:28 PM  
Anonymous n said...

the story you wrote ,'everybody has more stuff'..or something like that title is what first peeked my intrest in your writing. Today I am feeling a deep resentment and guilt for having stuff but feeling like it isn't enough. I need a vacation.
P.S. being nerotic isn't a dysorder , just makes you more intresting than say, the regular Joe.

9/11/2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I hear you on the vein thing. It's very upsetting. When I'm looking at a rack of magazines and I see some bodybuilding dude on the cover of a msucle mag and he's got huge veins...my flesh just crawls.

Also, touching my wrists. Don't do it. Pressure or elastic wrists give me the heebie-jeebies. Strangely, I'm able to wear a watch, but have to take it off when I get nervous or tired. I think this comes from getting snow caught between my parka and my mitten as a child. Blargh!

But I still think you're (adorably) unhinged.

9/11/2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

I use all my tweekie behavioral foibles as a barometer of my privilege.

The poor, the unemployed and the general under-classes do not have the time or energy to indulge these types of obsessions.

So whenever I find myself avoiding street grates I think to myself "Hmm, life must be pretty good right now".

9/12/2006 8:14 AM  
Blogger Shane said...

I hate bugs. I hate them. Really. I do.

... and which ones -in particular- do I hate?

1) Wasps. They suck ass. They are just bastards. Plain and simple.

2) Cockroaches. They are filthy beasts. Did you know they fly? I never believed it until one of them got in to my apartment via the balcony. How does this happen?

Anyway. I have a present for all of you. There is a Turkish pop singer. His name is Tual. I absolutely LOVE this tune. I can't stop listening to it. I don't know what "Tiryakinim" means. I think it has something to do with addiction.

Listen. You're gonna love this:

http://odeo.com/audio/1781607/view

9/12/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

1. mine is when i drink water, and only water, i count to ten. if i didnt, how knows what would happen.

2. if i say the word coldsore, i get one. fuck i almost said it when i typed it.

3. i read magazines backwards. which makes the articles really confusing. it would work if they were formatted that way like the asian magazines but they arent.

4. i dont delete numbers out of my cell phone, even if we aren't friends, just in case. and sometimes i call them to see if they are still working. and hang up when they answer.

so i am sure there are more but i think thats enough info.

hearts and sunshine for everyone

9/12/2006 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The labels on cans have to be turned to the front.

The milk cartons...the spout has to face right in the fridge.

There's way more, too. You're not alone.

9/14/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Doppelganger said...

3. i read magazines backwards. which makes the articles really confusing. it would work if they were formatted that way like the asian magazines but they arent.

Apparently, something like fifty percent of magazine readers do this. I learned this when I worked in the biz. It's why pretty much every magazine has a catchy little one-page article on its last page: to suck people in. Go figger.

I have a huge list of crazy behaviours (but as a member of the middle class, I get to call them "eccentricities") that are probably fascinating only to me. Needless to say, you're not alone, Ms. Slush, not by a long shot.

9/14/2006 9:40 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

"i read magazines backwards."

I jump around all over the place. That way, I have no idea what fifteen different people are talking about.

This is how "I" remain "eccentric".

9/15/2006 5:27 AM  
Anonymous 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 said...

Uh... is Mata Hari suggesting that the poor do not suffer from OCD? Maybe they can't chat about them in on a blog or over cocktails, but I'm fairly sure the "the poor, the unemployed and the general under-classes" have compulsions just like the rest of us privileged folk.

In fact, I'm unemployed and judging by my poor station in life, I'm a proud member of the underclasses and I can't stand the sound of teeth gnashing together. I also count backwards from ten whenever somone says the same word as me at the same time.

I'm just saying that compulsions are some of the things that draw the classes together. Mental illness, no matter how mild or comical, can be the great equalizer.

9/15/2006 10:55 PM  
Anonymous lightswitch toucher said...

"The poor, the unemployed and the general under-classes do not have the time or energy to indulge these types of obsessions."

Is this quote from Chairwomyn Mata's Little Red Book?
Does it pertain to people of color and the indigenous as well?

Should we thank her for speaking on our behalf?

9/16/2006 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, how about the opposite?
I'm one-third working, one-third reading Slushpile one-third watching that old Scorsese documentary, The Last Waltz, and suddenly I look up: an impossibly young Neil Young, Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson are singing Helpless into a single mic--why have I never noticed how sexy three guys singing into a microphone is? I suspect we have as many positive/odd OCDs as plain odd/odd... The first swallow of freshly opened sparkling water, the feel of hot new sheets freshly laid on the bed... I can now add the need to stare at the jugular veins of three guys singing to my list of obessively-enjoyed pleasures.
~Oksana

9/19/2006 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer, this is the most beautful thing I've read by you in a very long time.

You are a poet - tapping out sentences is poetry. the kind of poetry no one seems to acknowledge on the street.

10/31/2006 7:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home