Monday, April 27, 2015

Garbage cans- Revisited. Karin Does Something Really Strange.

I did a job interview at a theatre because I wasn't told it was a telemarketing job.  I was told it would involve computers and phoning.  By the time I found out what it was really about, I figured I'd do the interview, and since the job was only for a few weeks I would handle it.  I was really hoping they wouldn't call back and I wouldn't look like I was being really picky at the March of Dimes.

When I first got married I was thrilled that now my husband could make all the phone calls in the family and he seemed ok with that. When I was a student at university and my roommate was moving out, I was supposed to call the phone company to re-register the phone in my name.  I didn't do it.  I waited and when the phone was cut off, I bused my little self to the Bell phone centre to do it in person. - For a higher fee.   That's how much I hated using the phone to call strangers.  Then when our son was 4 and I got increasingly depressed, I went to see a counselor.  One of the things we worked on was me being able to make my own phone calls. Which, btw, I can now do. This came in handy after the germ-OCD hit and I didn't want to meet anyone, use door handles and the like.     So this is not an innate talent I've got.  I will see how this goes.  For all I know, I'll be really good at it and have a ball.  One can hope, can't one??

Now, on to the Garbage.   This is the 'last' ocd thing, I think, that I have to get rid of.   Back in earlier blogs I explained how I did the garbage and how I improved  (link: and:  But I was still showering and using 'garbage' clothes.  So Cory told me to not shower afterwards (it's been a whole week, now.  I wonder when i'll get to use the shower again!  Snicker.) Bad joke.

 I could just wash my hands.  And no changing clothes.  OK.  And to touch the garbage cans daily (the ones in the house, but I did one better than that).

Monday night is garbage night at our house.  In the winter I'd change into shorts & tee shirt and socks, while in summer I'd put on a long sleeved sweat shirt and long pants.  This was so I could put these clothes onto a special shelf each week and only wash them when the pile got big.  Since I didn't need the out-of-season clothes, they could sit for awhile on the shelf . Then I'd take out the recycle and garbage, wipe  down the kitchen garbage can and the floor in the basement.

Last Monday i did not put on special clothes.  I took out the garbage and washed my hands.  Then it hit like a ton of bricks.  Sure, my hands were clean, but the recycle bin touched my pants and if i sat on the couch i would be contaminating it- maybe.  Did i really want to take this chance???  I stood in the kitchen for a half hour or more not touching anything, just working this thru my head. It was not a fun time.  Basically catatonic.  Finally, the dread started to leave and i could entertain the idea that I wasn't contaminating anything by sitting down at my computer.  So I did.  But I could not write about it that night because it was still too raw.  I didn't want to relive that half hour.

EVery day afterwards, I went outside and purposely touched a garbage can (not with my hands, just brushed it with my clothes)  and didn't wash it off or change clothes.  After a few days it stopped bothering me a lot. (A chocolate covered ice cream bar after I did it, didn't hurt either.)

It went much smoother tonight.  And no catatonic freak-out afterwards.  I know I used to complain that when I did an ERP   nothing much happened- never again.  Last Monday's response is not one I want to have again.  That was hard.  It actually worked tho.  Surprise, surprise.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Closet Full of Clothes -Free.

Just for the taking.  Ooops, I mean touching.  That I did, but as you can guess, I waited til the day before my appointment with Cory to do it.  Nothing like waiting til the last minute.  And then to find out that touching it didn't give me any 'who-hoo' feelings at all.  Such a let-down.  And the come the 'see, you could have done this MONTHS ago' voice in my head.  Which voice is NOT very. helpful at all. I wore one of the blouses to my therapist's office.  After all, if i'm contaminating my universe, then HERS should get done too.

And that was the topic of the day:  I shouldn't be using contamination language to describe my life.  I need to say:  i am wearing a blouse from my closet.  No adjective needed.  I am NOT contaminating anything.  After years of using this contaminated/ not contaminated talk to myself I need to stop that idea.

My computer fell ill and had to go to the computer hospital and didn't come home for almost 2 weeks and that was very hard on me, not to mention that now I have to remember back weeks.

One Saturday afternoon I decided it would be kind to help someone else move their stuff and so I volunteered myself, my husband (with his permission) and child to go to their house before OCD could have a think about it.  We were there all afternoon and I touched black garbage bags, and basically lots of stuff that wasn't mine, or 'cleaned'.  I told OCD to go on vacation - this was happening and it didn't need to bother me with the 'what-ifs' or 'ewww- yucks'.  I did compromise by not pulling stuff of high closet shelves that I couldn't see onto.  I wondered if i was going to need to have a bath or at least get everyone to change out of their clothes into something 'cleaner'.  Amazingly enough, I didn't have a problem that evening.  Nor the days later, which is when OCD sometimes gets its way because it uses the contamination language and I give in.

I don't think there are any contaminated spots left in my house.  I even told Bruce that if he wanted to just take the garbage out and not shower afterwards, that would be OK with me, as long as he didn't tell me about it.  He could just take out the garbage like he wanted to.  I did make one small, teensy request and that was to was his hands after.  So now he does the garbage and it's not under my supervision.

My daughter's ERPs are kind of hit and miss.  Some days she is fine doing stuff with a bean nearby, other days she gets all riled up and runs out of the room.  She also has this ritual of putting her shirt over her nose while the bean is in the room, to do ??  She says she doesn't know why her nose needs to be covered.  It just does.   One time i got her to uncover her nose for 3 min +  for a make up brush and she agreeed to do it.  The next ERP back up came the nose cover.  So she can't seem to take the idea that it didn't hurt her yesterday to not cover her nose, it won't hurt her today, either.  Or if a bean is 7' away and doesn't hurt me, 5' shouldn't be any trouble either.  Target stores left Canada this month and when the store close to us had 80% of makeup stuff, i bought a lot for my daughter who loves to paint her face and she gets one for every ERP that she completes.  AND she still gets to colour in a square for her to own her mermaid swim fin/ bathing suit she wanted. ( $200= 200 squares to colour in,= 200 ERPs).   Unfortunately, these rewards do not keep her at at her ERP.  When she freaks herself out, she usually leaves and doesn't come back to finish it.  I try to be calm and patient about it but it's hard work.  For a month or so, she was really good about completing an ERP, then all of a sudden she started running out of the room.  Not for the therapist to see and deal with, just us poor parents at home who aren't really ERP specialists at all.  Oh well.

On a good note, I think spring may have really arrived for good.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  And my foot is doing fine.  Not completely healed but I'm back at doing exercises again.

Oh, I decided that I do not want to do before/ after school day care for kids.  If I work at a day care, it will be with the babies/ toddlers.  I also put in a resume for an office clerk's job.  I like being with the kids at brownies.  That's good enough for me.  I will be doing a careers interest test at the March of Dimes to see where my interests lay instead.