Dear friends, please bear with me – I'm not sure what I'm about to say is going to make much sense, but I'll try.

My harm OCD is still bothering me a great deal. Right now my biggest focus is on the new kitten my parents adopted – she's so tiny and fragile, and for some reason my fears always focus on hurting something or someone small and vulnerable, like an animal or a child. (Strange, I have another cat in the house who is much bigger and older, and I don't have any fear of hurting him.) Tonight my mother and I were sitting on the couch, and the kitten was jumping back and forth between our laps, and I was petting her, and I was petrified that at any minute I'd try to "test" myself and I'd end up hurting her. I didn't, of course, but this sort of "exposure therapy" didn't really do much to allay my fears. Then later tonight, I saw a news article on a police officer who had been shot and killed in a robbery attempt. Right away I thought, "Do I feel bad for his family? If I post a comment saying that my sympathies are with his family and I hope the killers are caught, do I really mean it?" I second-guess every thought that I have, and for any kind of sympathetic word that comes out of my mouth, I ask myself, "Did I really mean that, or am I just doing it out of habit?"

I can't understand how I can doubt myself so much as a good person. I want to be a good person. Earlier this evening, I broke down and cried over this whole thing. I have been beating myself up all day long for things I haven't even done. I prayed to a God I'm not even sure I believe in to give me strength, and to help me be a good person. Logically, I realize that I don't want to hurt anyone in any way, whether it be physically or emotionally. I think about nice and considerate things that I've done for people recently, and it still doesn't convince me. It's as though there's a disconnect between what I know logically to be true and what I fear. I'm afraid that there's some evil thing inside me that's just waiting to break to the surface. When that thought hit me, I was thisclose to having a full-blown panic attack, because I figured I was convincing myself that I was possessed, which would probably indicate that I was schizophrenic – this thought held me for only a moment, however, before I was able to tell myself convincingly that I don't honestly believe that I'm possessed with anything, other than a horrible side of myself.

I tried explaining my fears to my mother a little bit, although I didn't get into the full scope of my harmful thoughts – I just told her I had "bad" thoughts that made me feel like a horrible person. She told me that I need to stop thinking so much, which I think is probably very true, but sometimes I feel like worrying about them is the only way to control them. In between the worrying, I still go about my daily life, think about things I want to do and need to do, and then I feel guilty for letting my mind wander away from "testing" my thoughts to see if I'm still disgusted the appropriate amount. I feel like if I still fear the monster around the corner, so to speak, it means it's not here yet. It's as though if I let my guard down and stop fearing the awful thoughts, they're one step closer to becoming real. There are some moments when I'm able to tell myself that my fears are ridiculous, and I feel almost normal again, but then there are times when I just can't manage to convince myself that they're not true.

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