Two nights ago, I told my dad about my OCD. It was one of the most intense emotional experiences of my entire life. As I said in my first blog post, I've gone my entire adult life without confiding in any of my friends or family. My dad is only the second person I've confided in, other than mental health professionals and one friend who I told several weeks ago.
When I confided in my dad, I had no idea how he would react. I did not expect a positive reaction, nor did I expect a negative reaction. It was impossible for me to imagine how he'd react because it was completely inconceivable that I would ever open up to him.
Before I told him about my OCD, I was trying to tell him in vague, general terms about having anxiety. His reaction was not very positive. He mocked me a little bit at some points. At other points, he insisted that he "understood completely" even though I was only speaking in general terms.I started getting frustrated because I knew he would never grasp the depths of my anxiety unless I told him about having OCD.
At this point, I made a conscious decisionto open up completely. I started telling him about how I was scared that people might die if I didn't perform certain compulsions. I told him about howI almost became homeless because of my OCD. I told him about how I'd been scared of getting kicked out of college because my OCD made me so non-functional. Within minutes, I was crying. It was the first time I've cried in maybe seven or eight years. Bear in mind that I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HIS REACTION WOULD BE as I was saying all this. I was not comfortable telling him about the recent manifestations of my OCD, so I mostly told him about how OCD affected me back when I was in college. Back then, I had more compulsions. Nowadays my OCD is mostly obsessions.
Anyway, he did not react with much emotion. He asked questions and made comments, but he did so without showing much feeling. He did not even show surprise, nor did he say something along the lines of, "I always knew something was wrong." At the end of the conversation, I asked him if he had any thoughts about it, and he seemed surprised by the question. Then he said he was sad and that he understood my anxiety better. Overall, I'm happy with his reaction because at least he took me seriously and didn't tell me to "just get over it." He may not have acted sad, but at least he said that he was sad.
Thank you very, very, very much for reading all this; I hope some of you can identify with me. If you're comfortable talking about it, Iwould love to hear people's thoughts about my experience or about their own stories of confiding in people.Thanks for reading.