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Getting worse again

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Guest Smudger

Hi all.

So, my ocd (if that's what it is) is doing it's usual 'pump up the volume' that it's done for the last god-knows how many years around this time.

I was doing really well-you guys have all been really supportive and helpful, and Hypnosinc and my psychologist said some really helpful things that gave me hope (please understand, I'm not saying that their advice is 'better', just reassuring in that way that, say, if your boiler was making funny noises and your friends told you it was normal, you'd feel slightly more reassured if a qualified plumber said the same-I hope you understand what I mean-I don't mean offence to anyone, although I've probably done just that).

I don't know what to do. I'm sure that most of you by now know that my worry is that I abused a child and can't remember, and I still can't. That is, I have no memory of doing such a thing, but rather a head full of thoughts/memories that seem to indicate my guilt. My latest one, which may not seem like much, is that I knew I did it, and just said to myself "as long as you don't do it again, it'll be ok". It just feels so real, but not, if that makes sense. I can believe it, and it feels real enough to not be ignored, but at the same time I'm not sure if it's real.

I have loads of things like that in my head. Things that are genuine memories which have become part of my worry, to the point where I can say that I know they're from something totally unrelated, but which also make me think that maybe they're not. I'm terrified that I'm a monster-I can barely look at myself in the mirror without seeing someone who I despise, and I don't know what to do. I can't help but think that I'm the exception to the rule-that one person who did act on their ocd thoughts, and then when faced with the knowledge in the cold-light of day underwent some kind of temporary insanity that for a short time allowed me to think that I could get away with what I had done, and slowly but surely the evidence has been seeping back to me while my brain tries to defend me against it by blocking the truth from coming through.

I can't take this anymore. It's not enough to think 'it's just ocd', because it doesn't feel like it. I feel guilty, and even if I'm not, what is the point of half living a life which will always be this way? I'm afraid of everything-even when I'm having fun, I'm aware of my guilt, and that I'll never be happy, so why carry on? I'll never know if I'm innocent, so why live a life that could go on for another 50-60 years feeling like this? And if I'm guilty, what right do I have to life anyway? This isn't about suicide-I tried that 2 years ago and saw the pain I caused so I'm not going down that route, but if I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up again, I think it would be for the best.

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Sadly, Smudger, this is OCDs biggest weapon.

It knows exactly where to strike to hurt you the most and it does so with gusto.

The fact that you KNOW you didn't do anything - and you DO know that - is what the OCD is now attacking. Rather than just bombarding you with images and "false memories" it's trying to make you doubt your knowledge as well.

You didn't do anything bad - you know you didn't - you WILL feel better.

Most of us have been where you are - absolutely desperate to be rid of this thing - not knowing where to turn - not seeing anything positive at the end of the tunnel - not even seeing the end of the tunnel sometimes - but it is there and you will reach it. If someone said to me two years ago that I'd be doing as well as I am now (which is not great - but is VASTLY improved) I would have laughed at them through my hysterical tears. There is no way I could have believed that things would get to the point that I could accept my OCD as part of me. A part I wanted to change and get rid of - but a part nonetheless.

Hang on in there - keep talking to us and particularly your psychologist - things will get better

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Hi Smudger :lol:

Why are you here on this board?

I mean who pointed you here, thinking that you had OCD.. rather than you being a bad, dangerous and wicked person?

I suspect it's because at some level you know that you have OCD. That's why your Doctors, Pyschologists etc aren't remotely worried, aren't having you investigated and don't see you as a danger to anyone, because you're not.

Anyone who is standing two steps back from you can see that this is OCD, just as you could see it and reassure someone else with their OCD problem.

I don't know if you've read 'Imp of the Mind', if you haven't please do, because all of your fears are summarised there, if you have, read it again and see yourself on those pages.

The phrase 'It's not me, it's my OCD' doesn't work for me (as such), you have to find a statement you can work with and you've got to try to 'feel' it, just repeating it in a perfunctory manner isn't enough....I think..'Shut up, that thought is a bl*!dy lie, it isn't real, it's OCD and I know that'

You can't out-think OCD, you can't rationalise it, when you do all you're doing is feeding it, you've got to live with it....say 'okay, so I'm mad' and then do the things you think you can't. OCD is vile but it's not as strong as you think.

One line that helped me in Brain-Lock was the advice about Pure O "Anticipate it and accept it". You know that this thought is going to hit you over and over again, don't be shocked and suprised by it when it does, don't buy into it. I think that is probably the most important part of beating OCD, that is 'Catching the thought', recognising that stupid thought that flits through your mind and then carrying on anyway. What we generally do is recoil in horror, think OMG, it's here again, and start to churn it round and round in an attempt to disprove it...It won't work.

I can't help but think that I'm the exception to the rule-that one person who did act on their ocd thoughts

I think if anyone of us were honest we've all thought this, we've all had that seed of doubt that maybe OUR OCD is the exception to the rule, that maybe ours is worse than someone elses and because of that, it can't be cured.

WRONG :omg: It's OCD doubt at it's classic best.

Honestly Smudger, I can remember a time when I was terrified when I saw a policeman :omg: in case I admitted something that I hadn't done :lol: Wouldn't mind if I had a particular crime in mind but I didn't :D

what is the point of half living a life which will always be this way?

Now you simply don't know that, as CBT would ask, 'Where's your evidence?' 'How come you can predict the future?'...It's called Fortune Telling !!

That's just desperation talking. I am obviously older than you (unless you're going to live to be a hundred and odd :lol: ) and have had a lot of experience with this wretched condition. You can live with OCD and have very lengthy periods where it is more of a minor nuisance than a fearful Monster, honestly you can.

For now, make your homework catching those trigger thoughts and then work on some counter statement to use. It is latching on to that trigger that is the problem and yes, you will have to live with that uncertainty for a while. At the moment you are trying desperately to be 'Certain' and it's destroying you, try the opposite, it can't be any worse than you already feel, live with uncertainty and hopefully you'll find the opposite is true.

Also, bear in mind, it won't happen over night. Hang in there and Good Luck :D

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smudger how are you i hope you are better,my fear is that i will abuse my daughter and it has been this now for a long time about 18 months,it is horrible isn't it ,i want to tell a short story about myself,about a month ago i went over to see a liverpool match with a mate of mine who is an absolute lunatic,i mean the bloke would kill you in a secound if he thought i was this monster ,now the hole ways over i was worried that i would tell him and other people so you can imagine my anxiety ,i got through the first day ok apart from zeroing on a little girl on the boat that i thought i looked at the wrong way,went out in liverpool and had a reasonable night ,then the saturday came didn't drink much but strangly that night i got it into my head that i was attracted to my mate now the anxiety went through the roof but when i thought about it the next day i realized my ocd didn't have my daughter to upset me so used something else.the reason i am telling you this is that you had done something you would not feel the badness you are now you would be happy about it ,also i ahve started doing something lately that i am finding ok ,i have set a folder in my phone and have started putting all the thoughts and urges in there and also the things that i used get enjoyment from so evrytime i get anxious i just read it to myself,by the way i kind of use a bit code when i am writing them in so as i am the only one that can understand them.

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Guest Hypnosinc

Hi Smudger,

Do try not to become too anxious when symptoms seem stronger. OCD does wax and wane according to what is happening in your life at the time.

My latest one, which may not seem like much, is that I knew I did it, and just said to myself "as long as you don't do it again, it'll be ok".

To arrive at that statement, you still have to be accepting that something did happen, so you are coming at it from the wrong direction. Turn the statement round "I didn't do anything the first time, so it can't happen AGAIN".

I can barely look at myself in the mirror without seeing someone who I despise, and I don't know what to do.

Try not to see the person looking back, as a monster, but as a regular guy trying to get at the truth. If you handicap yourself with a false image, you will find it difficult to see the real you. OCD cannot thrive, if you refuse to accept this false image, no matter how strongly it is painted.

It's not enough to think 'it's just ocd', because it doesn't feel like it.

No surprises there. It is scarcely in the OCD's own interests to have you doubt it. There is a line in the film "The Usual Suspects", if you have ever seen it, where Kevin Spacey's character remarks, "The smartest thing the Devil ever did was to convince people that he didn't exist." Apply that here. OCD needs you to believe that all your doubts are your own, and not brought about by the OCD.

When you recognise this truth, you deny the OCD it's power.

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Guest Smudger

Thanks for the advice guys :lol:

I'm in a different mood at the moment-it's not great but it's better I suppose. It's like, I don't know-I'll get an image of the girl I'm worried that I abused (nothing dodgy, just her smiling), and it causes a little 'spike' followed by the desire to search my memory in case the image is relevant to my having done wrong, but then the feeling goes away. Probably won't last, but what the hey.

I also had a dream about her last night-nothing to do with my worry, but in this dream it turned out that I was her father-I don't really buy into the whole 'dream interpretation' thing, but I'm sure it says something.

The sad(?) thing is, I can rationalise it all really well, and understand that I've nothing to worry about, but then the ocd goes 'you were drunk-you can't be sure you have an acuurate memory of that night', and it all falls apart again. What doesn't help is that I have done things when drunk that I have no recollection of. Nothing violent or sexually wrong, stupid things like going for a pee in odd places :D , but it still seems to reinforce the possibility of my having done wrong.

Anyway, no idea where this is going, so I'll be off.

:lol:

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Guest marah

Hi Smudegr,

I am so sorry to hear that you are going through such a horrrendous time at the moment. Like everyone says - we all doubt the OCD and think we are the exception and will be the first to act out these thoughts, never be cured etc etc - because if we accepted it full for what it is - OCD - then we would not be frightened any longer. I am actually really saddened by your post as I have been there so many times - it is so frightening and soul destroying. You will get there Smudger - you have had the strength and courage to deal with for this long - so you can't keep going and will come through it.

Thinking of you.

Lots of Love Marah xxxxx :D

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Guest Smudger

Thanks again everyone :)

I keep thinking I'm doing ok, and then I'll get a 'flash' back to that night-nothing awful, just an image of me in my bedroom or bathroom, and these images come with a huge feeling of shock (it's the best way I can describe it), and all the confusion over that night starts to come back again. I just can't get past the drunk part of that night-I feel that had this all happened but I had been sober I would have been able to accept this as just ocd, but I know how booze can change people.

Part of me tries to reason that I can't remember doing anything wrong because there was nothing to remember, and that my recall of that night is actually pretty good for something that happened over 3 years ago, but then I just get the 'but you were drunk-anything could have happened' thoughts and I'm back to square one again.

I once heard ocd described as 'the wallpaper of my mind', and I've yet to find anything else that describes it so well. To me it's like trying to watch something on the telly with someone (the ocd) talking on the phone next to you: you end up only half watching the TV because try as you might, you can't fully shut the phone conversion out.

I feel guilty all the time. On the odd occassion that I do go out (normally to do the shopping) I often find myself looking at people and wondering if they'll remember me when I get arrested in that "he used to come in here all the time-he always seemed a bit funny" or "he seemed so normal-who would have guessed?" kind of way. Either that or images of me in my 50's, getting a knock on the door one day and it being the Police. Then it moves onto how it would affect my family, and how their lives would be ruined by something that I had done. It just doesn't stop.

I mean, isn't it possible that this is just guilt? That I know what I did, and the only reason I can't remember it is because my survival instinct knows that once I uncover the truth, that will be it-no more excuses?

Every time I try to imagine a future for me and my fiance (a job that I like, a nice house-the usual), all these thoughts and more hit me like a sledgehammer in the stomach, and I just have to dismiss any thoughts of doing little more than surviving day-by-day until the innevitable happens, and I get taken away. Even though I've never wanted to do anything sexual to children, it still feels like I have-that in a moment of madness I gave into the hatred inside of me and ruined someone elses life, and for what? What was I hoping to accomplish? Revenge for her parents telling me I had to move out of their house that night? The argument I had with my girlfriend? What kind of a sick freak does something like that?

I don't even feel like a person anymore-I feel like an imposter, that people see me and think I'm the person they used to know, not realising that that person died that night, and something else is just wearing his face. Not literally, but it's the best way I can explain it.

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Hey there Smudger

I hope your feeling better. I can only say I know EXACTLY how you feel. You know I have very similar problems!! I am at the moment going through a bad time too as you know. Please don't take this the wrong way...but actually your comments really gave me some comfort because a lot of what you say is what I feel.

I too have had this thing of..well ok i have done something but I wont do it again..but like Hypnosinc said that is just accepting the fact that I have doen something and I CAN'T do that!!

Also whenever I try to think of the future and being a good mum all my thoughts just knock me down and I find myself just existing rather than living.

I don't have any advice I'm affraid...Im still dealing with it myself..but Im here and Im at the same place you are.

I guess its just a case of getting on with evryday..waking up, going through the motions until it begins to wane again!!

And realling remembering that is is OCD even though I dont believe it I still keep trying to tell myself its OCD. YOu know its a crazy vicious circle its the ocd that makes us this way and the ocd that makes us doubt its ocd..

Im here if you need to chat

God Bless

Saffa

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hi smudger and saffa,reading the posts is like reading my mind ,i am feeling good lately ,still am nervous around my daughter stll get the feeling and urges that i want to do something but i just think my anxiety levels are low at the moment ,even just writing this down makes me think i am tempting fate ,i still get the the the feelings that i don't find women attractive anymore ,oh god it is horrible the thoughts that it will never be the same and all that ,well all i can say is that with each others help we will be alright and get through it and i am always here for ye if ye want my help.

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Hi Smudger,sorry to hear that you are struggling.As you know,I still am struggling daily with my fear,also of abusing a child.I think that because I have had this for 5 years now,I have convinced myself that I have done something wrong,and as you say,everytime you think you may have not done anything,it smacks you in the face and tells you it is still there :) .I think that the biggest problem may also be, that what you feared you had done,happened at night,as with mine,the fact that other people in the building would've been asleep,and so it isn't like it was in the day down a busy street,where chances are,people could then say no you didn't do anything.I now always want to have people around me,to make sure I act appropriately,do you feel that way too?Im sorry I can't be of any more help Smudger,but I am desperately looking for the way out of this as well,and with each day,I manage to convince myself that I just can't cope,if I actually did anything wrong.

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Hi Smudger,

Sorry to hear you're going through a tough time of it at the moment.

So what actually did happen that night? Really? I bet when you don't think about the OCD worries of what you 'did' do, you could just sit and write down what really happened.

I think if you had done something so awful - you would remember - drunk or not drunk. Also, your post shows it's the OCD. If you had done something, you wouldn't be on here worrying about it and doubting it. The whole reason your OCD is picking up on it is because you know deep down that you would 'never' do anything like that.

I am not going to go into detail, but I know somebody who 'was' really abused when they were little. It happened when they were very young, yet they remember it happening. Also, can you recall your earliest childhood memory? I was 2 yrs old and have memories around the time my mum was pregnant with my sister. I have very clear memories of the time my sister was born - I was 2 and a half yrs old. Does this not mean that the child in question would remember if something so awful had happened to them? Would that child then turn around and tell everyone what you did? NO - because it didn't happen.

I think there is one very valuable point in this thread - at least 3 of you on here have all replied with exactly the same feelings. This just proves it's the OCD. I bet if you met some real child abusers/paedophiles, there is no way they would post these sorts of worries. In fact, they wouldn't even tell anyone what they had done, let alone feared they had done it. This is a board for OCD sufferers. You don't see any real paedophiles posting on here. The whole point you are all here, is because you know you suffer from OCD, and unfortunately this is one of the many debilitating symptoms.

I hope this has helped a little...

Love and hugs,

Andrea

xx

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Hi Smudger

I worked on something similar to your fears in CBT. It wasn't about abusing anybody but it was

about whether I had done something terribly wrong and couldn't remember. (Classic doubting OCD).

My therapist got me to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left hand side of the page he got me to write some simple SPECIFIC questions about my particular fear. On the right he asked me to answer them simply. It was very important for me to physically write the exercise rather than just answer verbally.

The questions can be applied to your fears I believe and I can see no harm in you trying something similar. My questions were

1. What is it I'm obsessing about? (answer: I fear I did 'blah blah blah')

2. What makes me think I did 'blah blah blah'? (answer: I know I didn't but because the thought keeps coming into my head I start to think what if I did and can't remember)

3. What actual evidence is there that I did 'blah blah blah': (answer: none)

4. What type of thinking is this? (answer: classic OCD thinking)

5. How do we tackle this? (answer: by relabeling the thoughts as OCD - not giving any importance to them and refocusing on something else)

This REALLY worked for me. Believe me - I let my particular obsession ruin 8 mths of my life

and it wasn't until I did some actual CBT exercises that it subsided and now I rarely get this fear anymore. Unfortunately other fears have taken its place but that again is the nature of OCD...

hope this helps!

Burt

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Guest Smudger

Thankyou everyone :)

Andrea, when you said:

I think there is one very valuable point in this thread - at least 3 of you on here have all replied with exactly the same feelings. This just proves it's the OCD. I bet if you met some real child abusers/paedophiles, there is no way they would post these sorts of worries. In fact, they wouldn't even tell anyone what they had done, let alone feared they had done it. This is a board for OCD sufferers. You don't see any real paedophiles posting on here. The whole point you are all here, is because you know you suffer from OCD, and unfortunately this is one of the many debilitating symptoms.

you hit the nail on the head. The only problem is, each one of us is convinced we're the exception and that the others are the genuine ocd'ers! That's in no way trying to destroy the validity of your post-I believe you are 100% right, it's just going to take a lot for us to absorb that and allow us to see that your truth is the one we should be accepting, not the ocd version! (That was hard to write-I was sat here thinking "Go on, tempt fate some more you idiot!").

I'll be honest-I'm a lot better now than I was this time last year, and my relentless posting has been my outlet for all this stuff that's starting to creep back in-kind of my way of letting others make sense of it for me, rather than try and deal with it by reasoning with the ocd, which can't be done. I know I'll feel worse, but I just have to keep on trying.

Oh, and Burt: I did something similar to what you suggested with my therapist, but I had to write out enough to fill both sides of an A4 sheet of paper, detailing what did happen that night (from the ocd perspective). It had to be completely negative-no "I think I did this" but rather "then I did this to her" etc. I then had to read that letter everyday for a month, and over that time I realised that I hadn't done anything wrong.

I know I'll be back here before long with this **** again, but I want you all to know how much your replies and good-will means to me: it really does make a huge difference. The important thing (to me) is that we all share these problems with each other, rather than bottle them up.

Thankyou all.

:)

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Hi Smudger

did you keep the A4 sheet that you did the exercise on? Do you ever dig it out

and read it again? I know part of my problem is I don't keep up the exercises - which

is daft cos they really do work. I generally get to a point where the fears fade into the

background and I just try and forget about CBT/OCD, etc. But then it comes back and I forget

how I got better, etc.

another thing that helped me was not to be surprised or upset if/when the same old fears

return with avengeance. I just say to myself - "well its too be expected that the fears have returned because that's the nature of OCD" - rather than - "Oh God why am I thinking about that again - did I really do something"?

hang in there - we're all in the same situation thinking the same nasty rubbish with slight variations according to everybody's particular sensitive spots...

Burt

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Guest Smudger

Hi Burt :)

I didn't keep it as such, but rather left it with my psychologist. If I had kept it I probably would have chucked it-at least this way it's still there should I need it.

I don't keep up my exercises, but I always have a monthly appointment with my psychologist whether I feel I need it or not. Sometimes it's good to go over the worries when I'm not in their grip.

:)

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Guest Smudger

Hey all.

I was having a really good couple of days, then I get back from my nans this evening and my fiance tells me that someone was knocking on my front door for a good couple of minutes while I was out (she couldn't answer it as she's done her back in), so now I'm sitting here terrified that it was the Police come to get me. I wouldn't be worried if someone had knocked then left, but to knock for a couple of minutes straight is a bit persistant, which makes me worry about what they wanted.

No sleep for me tonight then.

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Please don't worry Smudger - if it was the police, they would have been back by now especially if it was as serious as what you're thinking it is.

Be brave - I bet it was just an annoying carol singer or something!! :thumbup:

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Guest Smudger

Thanks '13 :)

Talked to my fiance about it-she said she was in the kitchen when it happened, so I went outside and knocked on the door for a bit :blushing: ,and she said the noise she heard was a lot quieter. I know that one of our rabbits (who coincidentally lives right next to the front door) has a habbit of tapping her feet, which on occassion has made me think someone was knocking at the door, and my fiance also said that she was on edge because she was alone in the house, so it could have been her mind playing tricks on her.

Add to that the fact that we have people living either side of us, and it could have been anything. It will probably be on my mind for a couple of days, but at least it's not all bad news (fingers crossed).

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Guest Smudger

I think I've sussed it. I was sitting here at the computer, when all of a sudden there was a light repetative knocking at the door. Turns out it was one of my guinnea pigs chewing the wooden door of his house :blushing: Scared the ever-loving **** out of me at the time, I can tell you!

I feel a bit uncertain at the moment-even though it looks like my initial worry is nothing, the extreme feelings of guilt and fear caused by all of this are hard to ignore. I'm trying to avoid thinking about things now.

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Read my positive thread and post on there! That'll get your brain thinking about the positive things you've achieved today, rather than it focusing on your fears. :blushing:

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Oh, and Burt: I did something similar to what you suggested with my therapist, but I had to write out enough to fill both sides of an A4 sheet of paper, detailing what did happen that night (from the ocd perspective). It had to be completely negative-no "I think I did this" but rather "then I did this to her" etc. I then had to read that letter everyday for a month, and over that time I realised that I hadn't done anything wrong.

hi smudger, can you give any more info on how this therapy was done. Do you write down the thoughts that 'you think' you might have done? Ive not actually tried any therapy like this and want to try it. Having the thoguhts down on paper rather than swirling round in your head sounds like a good idea. :blushing: Ive also read that recording onto audio tapes can help.

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Guest Smudger
Oh, and Burt: I did something similar to what you suggested with my therapist, but I had to write out enough to fill both sides of an A4 sheet of paper, detailing what did happen that night (from the ocd perspective). It had to be completely negative-no "I think I did this" but rather "then I did this to her" etc. I then had to read that letter everyday for a month, and over that time I realised that I hadn't done anything wrong.

hi smudger, can you give any more info on how this therapy was done. Do you write down the thoughts that 'you think' you might have done? Ive not actually tried any therapy like this and want to try it. Having the thoguhts down on paper rather than swirling round in your head sounds like a good idea. :blushing: Ive also read that recording onto audio tapes can help.

21958[/snapback]

Hi Matt

What I had to do was basically fill both sides of an A4 sheet of paper with how I believe the night I worry about actually went (in the most negative sense).

I had to describe what I did, how I did it and where etc, with absolutely no reassurances that I was innocent allowed in there-not even subtle ones like "I think that I then...", it had to be definate statements like "And then I...and after that I did...". Not a nice thing to have to do, but I found it beneficial. You have to read it at least once a day, the idea being that you eventually get bored to tears with it (which happened after about a week for me I think).

Hope that helps!

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Ive also read that recording onto audio tapes can help.

21958[/snapback]

Yeah - I was considering getting a camcorder and doing a video diary... bit expensive though cos I don't have a camcorder at the mo... perhaps everyone could get together and buy me one for :newyear:..... :blushing:

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