Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

I follow my sister Lisa around like a shadow.  She walks out the door; I turn off the light, the stereo.  I hate to waste electricity.  I follow my mom around too.  She leaves a cupboard open, I close the door.  Open cupboard doors are a recipe for disaster.  When alone, I check the stove, make sure it is off.  I am petrified of fire.

I check the locks on the door, lock-unlock, lock-unlock ten times.   On a good day.  On a bad day, the sets of ten go higher.  I glance at the burglar alarm to ensure it is on, ten glances.  Again, on a good day. I don’t want someone to kidnap me.  Prevention is worth all this work and energy that my mind expends.  A sinful thought, quick!  Think something good, I don’t know what.  After all these years the transformation is so automatic I can’t remember.

When I leave a room, I check the light, flip off-on, off-on, ten times.  The same good day/bad day rule.  Everything in its place.  After my mom dusts, I place everything back in its proper place.  Not a knick-knack a millimeter out of order.  Throw off the sheets every night; make sure there are no insects lurking in there, waiting to terrorize me in my slumber.   All my books in neat stacks, all my clothes neatly folded.  Not a typical kid’s room, nor a teenager’s. 

I have an aversion to fuzz, string, yarn, and lint.  If I see it, I feel nauseous.  I have to rid my sight of it.  I pick it up and throw it somewhere I can’t see it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I have to yell, scream, or make peculiar noises to rid my mind of the sight.  I don’t like odd numbers, everything in evens, please. Toiletries must be oriented to the front, nothing touching.  Bathroom linens hanging on a rack must be straight, not a smidgen crooked. 

No one knows this shameful secret.  I can’t let anyone know I am crazy.  Looney. Going mad.  My silence protects me.  No one sees what I do, no one hears. 

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