Obsessing About a Near Impossible Future

Now that school is out, my mind has shifted to a new target. The shift started as school was winding down after AP tests, but had yet to fully set in. The new target of my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is relationships. It’s kind of messed up and has gotten far from realistic, but that seems to be how OCD works.

It comes as no surprise that I am not the relationship type, and have many issues regarding relationships. The first issue comes from having to touch the other person and the germs associated with kissing. I relate the level of germ infestation with kissing as similar to smearing your hand with dog poop, but your hand is covered with cuts that allows the fecal matter to seep into your bloodstream. I really wish I was kidding but mouth germs are terrifying and not to be messed with (helpful hint I learned from experience: don’t look up oral herpes online, it won’t go well). Physical contact is also hard for me, sort of germ wise, but more like a contamination from the presence of the person I touch.

Another issue with dating is that it will eventually lead to living together (pretty much everything past that is beyond terrifying and I try not to think about it) which means that I can’t keep my mask up. When I’m out in public I’m pretty much always faking having everything together, which includes being able to smile and laugh. At home I’m rarely, if ever, like that. I drop the act, showing the stress and exhaustion without much restraint. According to my family, it is very rare to see me smile or laugh. I don’t want to have to keep up a mask all the time with someone I’m in a relationship and living with, I don’t have the mental energy to do that. However, I have no way of knowing if they will stay if I drop the act and let them in.

I know my OCD is frustrating for those around me, and those I live with get a lot of it, which isn’t something anyone wants to deal with. In my vast relationship experience (two people liking me, it never actually got to the dating part) they both were insistent that they didn’t mind my OCD and that it wasn’t a big deal, but then later changed their mind once they saw how all consuming and not easily fixable it is. Even if someone says that they can handle my OCD, how can I believe them? They could wake up one day and be tired of dealing with it and I wouldn’t blame them one bit. Letting down my mask just gives this hypothetical person more reason to run for the hills. There isn’t a way to be sure they won’t just leave, so then I will never be able to fully let myself be emotionally involved, if I manage to dig up any emotion at all.

Trust is a huge issue for me, I hate not being in control and I’d like to avoid anything that gives me less control. One terrifying prospect is getting married, which legally binds me to someone. Sharing a bank account is far worse, since they could take all the money and run. The more scared I get and feel like I’m losing control, the more my OCD grabs on and attacks the things around me.

My compulsion is analyzing fake relationships, which makes everything worse. In reading about the characters and their own “normal” relationship, it shows me how I will never be able to have anything remotely similar. In all of my countless hours of relationship analysis, I have yet to find a scene that I could potentially think would realistically happen, thanks to my lovely OCD.

I know I don’t need a relationship to achieve happiness or anything like that, I plan to have a job where I help people and make a positive impact. The thing is I want children (probably adopted because of my OCD and everything about having a child) to teach and help grow, to be able to do their own part in making the world a better place and accept everyone with their differences. I also know that I cannot raise children on my own.

In addition, when this compulsion was going downhill after school was winding down, I was working on not over studying and getting worse grades. The downside of this is that I was (and am still fighting to not completely believe) convinced I wouldn’t be accepted into college and wouldn’t be able to help people in the way I intended, and that I’d be stuck with a job I hated just to pay the bills. That potential future left the kids route as the only way to positively impact the world (OCD thinking I’m aware now) which made the fact that I don’t do relationships all the more fear-inducing and hope-destroying.

The thought process led to the (medication assisted) feeling of hopeless and question why I even bother living if my future is pointless and a waste of resources. With medication being adjusted and probably switched soon, the dark thoughts are more manageable, but the compulsion remains.

While my summer won’t involve a ton of school, it will certainly be challenging, and I have a lot of ground to cover before the next school year starts. The first battle is figuring out how to right a compulsion of something that doesn’t exist for me, which I hope will be figured out soon. I am ready to fight my way through to have my last year of high school not be OCD dominated, to discover who I am and where I want to go in the future.