This conversation took place around 7:00pm tonight. I laughed so hard at a friend’s response but she got me thinking, which has lead to this journal entry.
Me: I just feel like the house is getting out of control. It feels so gross. Doesn’t it feel gross to you?
Friend: Fuck you, it’s all in your head.
Me: What? You think it’s all in my head. It doesn’t feel dirty to you?
Friend: No, it’s clean, very clean, its all in your head, fuck you… and ‘Danny’ too!
Let me explain why I laughed hysterically when she told me so bluntly that its all in my head. This social-worker- to-be feels her house is messed up and that she needs a maid to help out with her two kids, husband and host of dogs. She has grown weary of hearing me and ‘Danny’ talk about how bad our place looks. She said we start off with, “Excuse the house, I wasn’t able to….” According to her, Danny and I don’t know what messy is.
She said my OCD has gotten the better of me, which is painfully truthful.
When my life feels out of control, when it feels like I have very few choices and like nothing really belongs to me including my body I start super cleaning the house. Because of OCD issues there are some things that I can’t touch at all. Those things get pushed to the way side and truly look bad but most of it is super cleaned. Despite level 8 pain I was still pushing myself to clean the house. At level 8 I still steam cleaned the furniture, my mattress, curtains and carpets each month. Despite blood clots and drama/trauma I was still micro-managing this house. The things I couldn’t do physically like go up and down the stairs went to the way side. Laundry piled up in the room and made me feel as if I couldn’t breathe. It may have taken several days to get the trash taken out and that made my skin crawl. I clean MJ’s litter box daily and began mopping the kitchen floor daily. I run the sweeper daily. Last week I washed the walls….. I know….. I hate admitting this stuff because it’s crazy, its so crazy to know how much pain I’m in, to be in tears as I’m pushing the sweeper because it hurts so badly but I can’t stop. I don’t stop and it still doesn’t feel clean to me.
Back when the cleaning was at its worst I was forced to stop. I was given stern and very blunt warnings by my doctor about why my activities had to stop. I couldn’t push like that anymore. I stopped. I’ve started again.
I know what my stressors and triggers are result in these behaviors. The primary one is feeling a loss of control. Another strong trigger for me is feeling humiliated. When major triggers happen I clean. I become super aware of every single spec of dirt around me. Everything is dirty, all the time, its not clean enough. No matter what I do its not clean enough. I’ve come to know that when I start to clean like this there’s something about ME that I want to clean, to wipe away, wipe off, steam away or sweep up. It took a long time for me to realize micro cleaning has to do with how I feel about myself, and right now its not too good.