OCD, PTSD, and My Saving Grace

If you read my most recent post, you know that the past two weeks have been a nightmare. You think that I’d be used to this routine by now; nope. Every time a new problem arises, my PTSD gets triggered, and I shut myself down emotionally. Not the best way to cope, it’s the best I have for now. When my PTSD gets triggered, that [somehow] triggers my OCD. When someone thinks of OCD, they picture someone doing “crazy” or “weird” things that have to do with order and repetition. Yes, some people do things, like, having to open and close a door a certain number of times before they can exit. I don’t have those type of compulsions. What I do is try to control any and everything within the confines of my house. I do things like washing every, single piece of laundry, wash my hands so much that my skin starts to crack, organize things that don’t necessarily need to be organized, reorganize things that fine the way they are, you get the idea. Those are just some of the physical manifestations of my OCD. Then the PTSD flashbacks start, making me angry.

Angry at what? My beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, and wildly stubborn daughter? Our new puppy Remy who is so freaking cute I could die and is purposed to become a therapy dog? My husband, who despite the issues we’ve had, has been extremely supportive of the burden I place on our family? No, no, and no. I get angry about things I can NEVER CHANGE. Why the fuck do I do this to myself? I seriously have no idea why I do this. I know that I can’t change what’s happened; I know that. But, for whatever reason, I can’t let go of certain ‘things’. Like the house we bought when we lived in Las Vegas; I think about that damn house every day. I LOVE that house. I’m not naive enough to think that I’m really THAT devastated about a building, it’s what happened within those walls. I miss the life I had in that house, I miss the person I was, I miss my teaching jobs, I miss how alive I was…

What I really hate is the person I’ve become. That’s why I replay those years in my head to get me to sleep at night. I absolutely cannot accept my life as it is; I just can’t. My life was taken away from me. I feel cheated. I feel useless and helpless and unworthy. I choke these feelings down so much that, every now and then they come back up and make a mess of everything. They make me a mess. I want my old life back. I think about what would have happened if we stayed in Las Vegas and never had kids, like we planned. Would I have MCTD? Would I have some other random, shitty disease? Or would everything be what I wished my life was like now? No one knows why I have MCTD. No one knows how long I’ve really had it, my body has a habit of hiding illnesses for years. Sometimes I think that the pregnancy either “created” or triggered it to “start”. I hate that I think that. My pregnancy was hell, but I wouldn’t take it back for anything. Ava is meant to be here. Maybe my purpose in life was never to be a therapist or a crime analyst. Maybe it was to bring her into the world because she’s meant to do something far greater than I ever could.

This post is the first time I’ve mentioned our new puppy Remy. Everyone probably thinks I’m out of my mind to add a puppy onto my already overflowing plate. Remy isn’t just a puppy, she’s going to be a gift to the people I otherwise can’t help. I am going to train her to be a therapy dog. I want her to visit children’s’ hospitals and be a happy distraction for kids that see the hospital walls more than their own homes. I want her to go to senior centers for those people who were dumped in a “home” and left by their children. I want her to bring those deserving people a reason to happily reminisce about their past. I want her to remind me that even though I will never be able to do the things I worked so hard to do, I can still make a difference, no matter how small or how brief it may be. It’s going to be a lot of work, I am very aware of that, but she has a purpose greater than most dogs. She manages to make me laugh and smile more than I did before she joined the family. It’s a promising start, for both of us…

Remy

Remy at around 7 weeks old. She’s a mix of Husky, German Shepard, and Golden Retriever

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