Not compulsively looking for my obsessive-compulsive behaviors from my childhood this time (thank God!–that's not a good idea; believe me!), but these things popped into my head, and they're interesting.
I was a late bloomer when it came to learning to read. Since I was homeschooled, this worked out fine, thanks to a patient but persistent mother. I would try and try and try to learn how to read, but I couldn't. I could read some, but not much. (That probably has nothing to do with OCD; just explaining the setting.) Around the age of nine, I got ajournal forChristmas. I wroteabout in it for a bit–ALL about how I had lost the Christmas money my grandparents had given me and I wanted it to buy theCool Sitter Teen Skipper (Barbie). It was all I could think about and I would write about everywhereI looked. It was hard for me to write because it was so hard for me to think of how to spellanything–but I didit anyway.
After awhile, I did give up on writing in my journal (until about a year later whensomething clickedin my brain and I took off reading and writing) because it was so hard for me to figure out how to spell anything. I think even at the time I asked myself why I didn't just spell it the way it sounded, regardless of if it was correct or not. Icouldn't. It was a battle. Don't get me wrong, many of the wordsI did write downwere misspelled. But I remember what a struggle itwas–I could not keep writing because I simply could not decide which way it should be. Later on, I wrote the dateof the journal entry at thetop ofeachpage of the entry.
Around the same age, I had an experience where I had a song going through my head when I saw the neighbors' cat in the orchard across the street, playing with a mouse. I went over because I was curious because it looked like it was a brown mouse. So I picked up the kitty to look at the mouse. (I was good friends with this cat; he often came over to our house.) Suddenly the neighbor lady called over sternly/harshly from across the road, "What're you doing with my cat?" Startled, I put the kitty down and left.
For years after that I could not hear or think of that song that I'd been thinking of at the time without going back to that incident and it would make me feel stupid or put horrible butterflies in my stomach–it was awful! Other times, I'd just remember the incident and it would play over and over and over again in my head and drive me crazy–even though I now lived far away from that neighbor and I told myself it was silly to let it bother me. It's not like I had even been in the wrong–that neighbor was a bit…well, she had issues. At the same time, it's not like she would've done anything to hurt me. So why did it bother me so much? I couldn't figure it out. Sometimes I forced myself to stop thinking about it. But it was always a struggle.
A bit of insight into what it's like for a kid who has OCD…. (As ifmany of you would need this to know.) What a relief it is to just be fondly remembering these things with amusement–not feeling any of the anxiety of the incidents, not being pressured by an insane impulse to dig into my childhood to find the incidents!