Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Exam... I Didn't Finish The Whole Thing Yet.

Remember how we had mice awhile ago and i cleaned everything up.  Well, unfortunately there was a part i didn't write about, because what i did write was so horrid to relive thru.  And then i forgot about it- to write it, not in real life.

When i was moving clothes from our closet to the upstairs closet of our new bedroom (old playroom) I wasn't being too careful.  We had cleaned out the kitchen and living room from the mice, but hadn't seen any evidence in the bedroom.  I dropped some of the clothes onto the shoe rack that was at the right side of the closet.  I picked them up and put them upstairs.  No problem, right?  Wrong.

A day or so later i moved the shoe rack and found a couple - or maybe just 1- piece of evidence.  So i cleaned the shoe rack and the floor but wasn't sure what to do about the dropped laundry that i'd had put in the closet, esp. since i had added more clothes afterwards, not knowing there was a problem.

Solution for me:  don't use that side of the closet.  Just leave it all alone until the EWW feeling goes away.  Which, as i found out, it didn't.  Bruce wanted some ties for a funeral but i asked him not to take stuff from there, as they were still on my OCD list.  Thankfully he didn't.

Last Sunday was the work Chr. party for  the kids.  Bruce wanted to wear a tie, and thinking i was sort of ok with the closet i said, ok.  Bad choice on my part.  Because it was NOT ok,  I didn't want to touch him for the rest of the day, when he touched the dog leashes to take the dogs out I classified THEM as contaminated too and so now every time i take the dogs out i either have to wash my hands or feel like i'm 'sort-of'' contaminating everything else.  The door handle has been contaminated, which i find sort of ok- ERP ishly but i can't touch a library book without washing to make sure i am completely clean.  Because the leashes touched my pants, they are also sort-of contaminated.

Sort of contaminated means i still wear the pants but put a house robe over top of them so they don't contaminate my computer or library books, and i feel sort of icky/ unsure if i should be noticing and labeling everything i touch after touching my pants as contaminated.  Lots of head space is being used up feeling completely confused about whether this is necessary or not.

Bruce had already told me that since this metal shoe rack was against the wall and because there were no mice droppings at the front or open side, that no clothes would have gotten dirty.  The slots between the bars were small enough that nothing (EXCEPT MAYBE TIES???  or belts??}  could have fallen thru, so not to worry about them.  So technically it should be ok to touch stuff.

Since Bruce was wandering around the house both before and after the party with the tie/ same shirt that the tie was on, that everything must be fine, even tho i marked a few certain things as contaminated.  I didn't go around the house vaccuuming after every step he took.

So some things i ignore- like the door i touched after touching the dog leashes and some things I wash after touching or before touching to keep contamination at bay.  So confused in my head.

Monday was a really foggy day in my head.  Slept lots, just wasn't very productive.
Sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning i made a decision that cleared the fog out of my brain, but didn't stop the excessive hand washing, altho in a haphazard fashion.  I decided to ask the nurse at today's exercise class if SHE would just wear those clothes in the closet or if she'd wash them all first- just in case one touched a mouse dropping back in October.

Yes, i actually haven't worn clothes hanging in my closet since that date.  Fortunately many items that usually hang in the closet must have been in the laundry so they were just put away in other drawers until i figured out what to do with this.

I will follow what the nurse says- she's a trained professional.  If she says wash, i will either wash or pitch stuff.  If she says wear, i will either do that or do erps to become comfortable with this decision.

I felt better after making this decision.  Only today, in a few hours i will be getting my answer.  Will I accept it, or look around for more advice- an ocd ritual?  I'm getting nervous.

OH, BTW, i am doing ERPs with my daughter every night.  Under the guidence of a therapist.  They are not so fun either.

OCD CAN REALLY SUCK BIG TIME   but i will get thru this....

Again, sorry if this is a bit unclear.  I really don't want to relive this again by rereading it right now.


  1. The answer from the nurse was to wash all the clothes, belts, suits etc. b/c mouse pee can be dangerous. Since the clothes had only fallen on the floor for a couple of seconds before i picked them up, i knew (in my regular brain) that THIS was not the problem. i was sure a 'professional' would give me the 'don't wash' advice which i wanted b/c then i wouldn't have to take clothes to the cleaner, wipe off belts and ties and other non-machine washables. And i wouldn't feel guilty either that i was contaminating the world as i wore a contaminated piece of clothing b/c a PROFESSIONAL had told me it was ok. Then she told me to wash it all 'just in case'. So i had a melt-down at my child's therapist's office. He told me to go to my doctor and tell them this story and to get a therapist. I had more work to do. Which i did. There is a post a little later that tells how i actually worked on this with a therapist. I am using my closet nowadays.

    The answer was to keep wearing stuff from the contaminated closet and putting stuff back in it that were in the laundry basket at that time. I had been just putting clothes into my drawers instead of in the closet to keep the contaminated clothes away from the washed clean clothes. I found a new therapist (my other one had retired) and worked on the erps for this and some other remnants of ocd that i thought were just not going to go away.