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Are you always aware of your checking compulsions?


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@Caramoole, so it's okay to give myself permission to be happy and it's okay to ignore the doubts when they ask me to stay stuck? I'm asking this because I'm at the university right now, trying to have a normal life, with little guilt and self-hatred but it feels wrong and weird, especially the not feeling guilty part.

I'm sorry if this sounds like reassurance seeking but it's not - I just want to hear, for one last time, that it's okay to move on, to be happy and that I don't have to listen to my brain when it tells me to continuously stay in a guilt and shame cycle. 

Thank you. 

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15 minutes ago, Cora said:

 

I'm sorry if this sounds like reassurance seeking but it's not - I just want to hear, for one last time, that it's okay to move on, to be happy and that I don't have to listen to my brain when it tells me to continuously stay in a guilt and shame cycle. 

Thank you. 

No Cora because it won't be "for one last time"  These answers have already been given many times.  You now have to trust in yourself, make this decision for yourself and move forward, dealing with these moments of doubt and resisting the need to have someone else reassure you.  You do know the answers, it's just that when a thought crops up it makes you panic and you react.  You have to stop being shocked by these thoughts and treating them as though they're happening for the first time.  Be ready for them, know they're going to happen, recognise them and don't be caught out. :)

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1 hour ago, Cora said:

I'm sorry if this sounds like reassurance seeking but it's not - I just want to hear, for one last time, that it's okay to move on, to be happy and that I don't have to listen to my brain when it tells me to continuously stay in a guilt and shame cycle. 

The need for reassurance is a lot like an addiction. Right now you're a junkie desperate for your fix, and blotting everything out except for that need. There's absolutely no judgment here--I once called my best friend for reassurance about some imaginary medical issue when she was recovering from surgery and shouldn't have been talking. 😔 So yeah, I know how hungry that reassurance demon is. But it's really important to at least acknowledge that that's what you're doing--engaging in the compulsive behavior of reassurance-seeking. 

You can do this, Cora. But you need to start believing that your brain has the capacity to look at the OCD symptoms in a new way, to consider new behaviors. I know you have the ability--it's about the willingness to try. And as someone who still struggles with that myself, I know it's anything but easy. Nonetheless, it is the only way to achieve peace and alleviate suffering. 

Sometimes I think about my OCD anxiety as almost being like a magic spell I'm under. When my perceptions are warped so radically by OCD, it's like I'm in the grip of a delusion, some evil curse. You're just the same, all of us are the same--we are all under that same spell. The only way to break the spell is to take the chance to not believe it, and to have the courage to try something different than what the OCD tells you to do. 

<hug>

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Today I went to my boyfriend's house and while I was there I played with his dog. Things seemed alright at the beginning and playing with the puppy seemed really lovely. However, a couple of moments later I started having sexual sensations throughout my entire body, the strongest and most overwhelming one being the ones in the groinal area. Of course I freaked out and stopped petting him immediately because it felt extremely wrong to continue doing that. But I think that was a compulsion. So now I have a question: next time I'm in this kind of situation do I continue to pet dog while having intrusive sexual feelings, even though it feels like I'm doing something incredibly disgusting and immoral

Thank you. 

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The answer is yes.  But you also need to look out for other compulsions as well like ruminating, trying to push thoughts away etc etc.

You also need to stop using the bold typeface, we don't need you to emphasise  any points just be certain that you've made us understand fully.  That's a less obvious compulsion

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Hi @Caramoole,

I'm struggling today. Past mistakes, especially the ones that involve my brother, my mum and boyfriend, are getting to me. I'm currently at uni but I can't focus on anything and I just feel very little, insignificant and disgusting.

There's this awful thing I did (I talked about it in a different thread but it got closed) when I was 14 or 15, which was that I intentionally dropped my brother on the bed because I was extremely angry at him for continuously crying, and I'm very worried he's going to struggle with mental health problems (like severe depression and anxiety) or antisocial personality disorders in the future. He seems alright now but sometimes he behaves very weirdly, such as that he doesn't understand the concept of boundaries, including the word 'No', even though that has been explained to him numerous times, sometimes he hits me and throws things at me or mum; he's not very empathetic and it takes him forever to understand that he did something wrong (which most of the time happens only if I raise my voice). 

I'm very worried he's going to struggle a lot, and that he even is going to hurt other people. I'm worried I caused damaged to his brain. 

And there's so many other things. And I just feel worthless...

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I'm sorry you're having a bad day but sadly, as long as you keep reacting to the thoughts in the same way they will continue to cause distress as they are doing.  That includes the obsessive worry you have above.

There could be all sorts of issues with your Brother, more likely straight forward behavioural ones.  This is for your parents to assess and seek advice for. If they feel there's a problem they should perhaps enquire abour his behaviour at school and speak to his teachers and/or consult his GP for advice.

Beyond that, you know that we're not going to discuss specific details of these intruive thoughts :(

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29 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

There could be all sorts of issues with your Brother, more likely straight forward behavioural ones

How bad would this be? And wouldn't I be at fault? 

Deep down I really hope it's nothing serious. I just don't know what my life would turn in to if it turned out there's something really wrong with him. I know it's too late now but I wish I would have been taught how to manage my anger as a child, or that my parents would have never left me alone with my brother that day. 

I'm so distressed...

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50 minutes ago, Cora said:

Asking for reassurance? 

Yes :yes:  And given that we've explained many times what do you think you should be trying to do?

You're ruminating

Asking for reassurance

Posting details

All things known to make things worse.  I know it's really tough but you can't begin to improve as longs as you keep doing the same things that make it worse :(

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7 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

All things known to make things worse.  I know it's really tough but you can't begin to improve as longs as you keep doing the same things that make it worse

Okay, but this is a real event. And I did do something bad. It's not like the others. What do I do in this case? I know that you'll probably say that I have to sit with the uncertainty and just accept that it happened, but do you believe me when I say it seems impossible? 

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1 hour ago, Cora said:

I know that you'll probably say that I have to sit with the uncertainty and just accept that it happened

:yes: Yes, you do

1 hour ago, Cora said:

but do you believe me when I say it seems impossible? 

Yes I do believe you.....but there's one important word in there......"seems"......  It "seems" impossible but it's not.

The problem is that you've completely over-inflated an incident because it's viewed through OCD goggles, you've ruminated over it, worried about it, added to it until in OCD fashion it has become real to you.  But we can't keep doing this Cora, going over and over imagned events.  Yes, the event may have happened (in a fashion) but the outcome you've fast forwarded it to is the creation of endless rumination and catastrophising a non-event.

Your dropping your brother on a bed (probably covered with a duvet and matress) is the equivalent to the Mum who put nappy cream of her baby and became obsessed that she'd abused them.

So we get back to this "I have to sit with the uncertainty and just accept that it happened"

It's no good asking for advice and then not trying to work with it.  Typing up accounts with recollections of every intrusive fear isn't ever going to help you and that's not what the forum's for.

 

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1 hour ago, Caramoole said:

Your dropping your brother on a bed (probably covered with a duvet and matress)

That's the thing though, @Caramoole, I practically grew up with that bed and I clearly remember that it wasn't soft at all. It was one of those old, soviet beds that was only good for breaking your back. And we used it more like a sofa in the every day room area so it didn't have a duvet or a mattress. But maybe I'm missing something. I remember it was cold outside when the incident happened so maybe there was something more than just a throw on it. 

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14 minutes ago, Cora said:

That's the thing though, @Caramoole, I practically grew up with that bed and I clearly remember that it wasn't soft at all. It was one of those old, soviet beds that was only good for breaking your back. And we used it more like a sofa in the every day room area so it didn't have a duvet or a mattress. But maybe I'm missing something. I remember it was cold outside when the incident happened so maybe there was something more than just a throw on it. 

@Caramoole, after adding these other details, do you still believe that I have to get back to the 'sitting with the uncertainty and accepting that it happened' thinking? 

Edited by Cora
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Okay, so you slammed him down on the bed, on purpose, caused him permanent damage. What's your next step? What would you like anyone to say? What do you suggest you should do?

You already know what I think, so what about you?

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I don't know what to do. I'm more worried and scared than I was yesterday. I also keep looking at my brother telling myself that maybe he's alright and that maybe the things I see as life altering problems are only part of his weird temporary behaviour because he's only a 9 year old boy. 

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Hey Cora,

I have to start by apologising, I thought for a while whether I should say this but I decided to go for it!

What I have noticed in a lot of what you have said is just how much caring responsibility you have for your brother. I understand this may be a cultural thing and you have said that a lot of your friends do the same. It's just that a lot of the things you are worried about should be things your parents need to deal with, not you. You say your brother is having some behavioural issues, have your parents noticed these as well? Has his school mentioned anything?

I just think that you're taking on excessive responsibility partly because you have been given way too much responsibility. I mean, how is a 14 year old expected to deal with a crying baby for so long, all alone?

Again, I really don't know if it's my place to say this, but it is something that concerns me a little for both you and your brother. You're barely an adult yourself and you have a lot of stuff to deal with in your own life - you have uni, a job and a debilitating mental health condition that you're pretty much dealing with alone (all of this is a lot for any person to handle!). His acting out could also be down to a lot of different reasons, so I hope that he's getting the kind of support he needs from all the other adults who are responsible for him.

 

 

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Hey malina, 

Thank you very much for your reply. 

3 hours ago, malina said:

What I have noticed in a lot of what you have said is just how much caring responsibility you have for your brother.

I think because I've been so involved in his life since he was born, I can't help but feel responsible - it's part of me now, I guess. 

3 hours ago, malina said:

I understand this may be a cultural thing and you have said that a lot of your friends do the same.

It most definitely is a cultural thing. But there's also the fact that we moved to a different country. Because my English was always better than my parents', they had to rely on me a lot, such as homework, parents' evening, calls and appointments with the GP and so on. I'm slowly trying to be less active in all of this because, honestly, I don't want to be part of it anymore.

3 hours ago, malina said:

You say your brother is having some behavioural issues, have your parents noticed these as well? Has his school mentioned anything?

In my opinion, he does have some behavioural issues but because it's just an opinion, it's not accurate. And I'm saying that because at school he has quite an excellent behaviour. We have received no complaints at all, at every parents' meeting we've been told he is a very helpful and caring boy so I guess it's actually quite the contrary.

Maybe he behaves the way he does at home because of me, because he knows I'm his sister and it's alright. I'm really not sure. There are days when he is an angel but there are days when he is simply the opposite of that.

Maybe sometimes he feels bored and ignored and that's his way of showing us that he's hurt. (Sometimes I just don't want to spend time with him because he's one of my many OCD's targets; mum is very tired when she gets home from work and she also cooks a lot so she is not always free; and dad works evenings and nights so he's free only on his days off.)

 

3 hours ago, malina said:

His acting out could also be down to a lot of different reasons, so I hope that he's getting the kind of support he needs from all the other adults who are responsible for him.

I don't think my parents think there is anything wrong with him. Yes, mum has noticed all the behaviours, and she is mostly concerned about his nail biting, but nothing else. 

 

I don't know. I'm terrified by all of this. The thought of me ruining his life is unbearable. I'm so ashamed of myself and my younger self. 

Edited by Cora
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I confessed this to my therapist but I completely forgot to add the details (such as no mattress or duvet on the bed) so that's why she didn't really say anything, I guess.

I can't speak to her anymore though because she decided that there was nothing else she could do for me. And I agree with her. She tried everything but at the end of all those 19 sessions, I was as stuck as before starting them. She did contact my GP and refer me to an OCD specialist in Sheffield for further help. But I don't see how that's going to help me. 

Edited by Cora
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1 hour ago, Cora said:

It most definitely is a cultural thing. But there's also the fact that we moved to a different country. Because my English was always better than my parents', they had to rely on me a lot, such as homework, parents' evening, calls and appointments with the GP and so on. I'm slowly trying to be less active in all of this because, honestly, I don't want to be part of it anymore.

Hey Cora,

I really do understand your situation, I'm from an immigrant family myself and given what you said about having soviet style beds I think probably a similar culutral background to yours 😅

So I do get how difficult it is for families in this situation, they have to work hard and everyone has to contribute. But at the same time, I think, in additon to your OCD, there is a huge amount of self blame going on. I just hope that you can look at the bigger picture and realise that you do a lot more for your family than many of your peers are expected to do. Moreover, you are by no means the only person responsible for your brother, there are other people who hold a lot more responsibility for both of you.

1 hour ago, Cora said:

In my opinion, he does have some behavioural issues but because it's just an opinion, it's not accurate. And I'm saying that because at school he has quite an excellent behaviour. We have received no complaints at all, at every parents' meeting we've been told he is a very helpful and caring boy so I guess it's actually quite the contrary.

Maybe he behaves the way he does at home because of me, because he knows I'm his sister and it's alright. I'm really not sure. There are days when he is an angel but there are days when he is simply the opposite of that.

Maybe sometimes he feels bored and ignored and that's his way of showing us that he's hurt. (Sometimes I just don't want to spend time with him because he's one of my many OCD's targets; mum is very tired when she gets home from work and she also cooks a lot so she is not always free; and dad works evenings and nights so he's free only on his days off.)

Ok but do you see that you have gone from describing your brother as a budding psychopath with brain damage to coming up with a perfectly reasonable explanation for his behaviour? So do you see how your OCD glasses are distorting your view of reality - they are making you think that your brother is brain damaged, that he is going to hurt someone someday....when you take the glasses off you see that he's likely acting out because he wants some attention.

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1 hour ago, malina said:

Ok but do you see that you have gone from describing your brother as a budding psychopath with brain damage to coming up with a perfectly reasonable explanation for his behaviour? So do you see how your OCD glasses are distorting your view of reality

 

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