Friday, July 30, 2010

Down with OCD

Sometimes my anxiety and OCD exhaust me.  And sometimes they are funny.  And sometimes I become very, very sad when I see my daughter presenting these same symptoms.  I try to be super calm about what's going on and explain why things are o.k. or why she doesn't have to spend hours thinking through how to plan something for optimal performance.  But it fucking breaks my heart.

Recently, we went to a big family party, and a lot of times I get anxiety about these things.  Part of the problem is that I'm not the woman I once was - I've gained a ton of weight, my hair hair has become even more curly and less tameable, and I don't dress as delightfully as I once did [because I used to dress very punk rock girl, and frankly, that's not a look I feel I can rock in my 40s.  I am not Kim Gordon.].  And there are many members of my extended family who will not hesitate to mention any and all of these things. Mostly that I'm fat.  That's always a good time.

But I was o.k. at the party.  For the most part.  I decided to go for comfort [not a t-shirt and shorts or anything, but pants instead of a skirt - I actually prefer skirts because I'm short, but my skirts were all bindy] and I kind of finagled my hair into prettiness and I wore my talisman [a really pretty rose quartz crystal necklace my husband bought me when we first started dating].  I felt o.k.  And even though I don't have a summer purse and ended up shlepping my giant brown scuffed up leather bag [it was 8,000 degrees and I was bringing my DSLR camera and a water bottle in addition to the other stuff] I felt o.k.  Even though I was one of only 3 women wearing pants, and a lot of the women were wearing cocktail dresses.  Still o.k.

That is, I felt o.k. until one of my aunts poked my belly and said something about how big it was and I kind of laughed it off and it turned out that she thought I was pregnant and TOLD people that I was pregnant which I found out about because some other random relative shouts at me across a few tables, asking me if it's true that I'm pregnant.  Wow.  Awesome.

And until my daughter started obsessing about not having worn heels instead of flats, and all the other girls were wearing heels and I wish I had worn heels and . . . then I reminded her [gently, I hoped] that she needed to let go of what she couldn't control and just enjoy what was going on, otherwise she'd end up spending the entire evening lamenting what was wrong rather than enjoying herself [and I gently pointed out a NUMBER of other occasions where I had listened to her lament about how she wished she had done B instead of A, and did she want to relive that again? No? I didn't think so.].

But it made me die a little, inside.  That anxiety and obsessiveness.  I hate when I get caught up in it and it kills me when she gets caught up in it.  When she runs through so many, many options and methods and what about this and what about that and why didn't I do that?  And I just want to hug her and make her brain stop whirring.

It's exhausting.


  1. I'm totally OCD so I can relate.

    but I think you should punch some of your relatives in the face. we wouldn't put up with our friends calling us fat, so why do we let our relatives do it? why is it ok for them to put us down? it isn't.

  2. I swear, it's like relatives get a free pass for being assholes. That has to stop.

  3. I worry sometimes that my son will get the "crazy" that is his mother. I don't want that for him. But then I also worry that he might be a psychopath or a serial killer-in-the-making, so really it's hard to know where my crazy ends at this point.

    What the hell with the relatives??? You need new family members. I don't know where one gets them but if you find out let me know I need some too.
    (I think you should start a rumor that your aunt is a meth addict)

  4. Tonya, I think that that's the hardest part of parenting - worrying about how your crazy is going to come out in your kid.

    Relatives blow. They really do.


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