the beginning – a summary

A sense of wrongness. That was the warning. It both crept up and hit me all at once. Like a word on the tip of your tongue or a thought on the edge of your memory. I woke up with my husband Charles and we went about the day. I was back at work after my six weeks maternity leave. So Charles and I started our day with our adorable new son, a 2-month-old bundle of squishiness.

I don’t even remember what day it was. I just noticed things started bothering me. Mostly touch. I worked in an engineering office as an administrative assistant. Nothing about my job had bothered me before, but all of a sudden, I was gingerly handling the pages of any work that came my way. I starting washing my hands more, and for longer periods. Eventually I could only use the soap, I couldn’t use the dishwashing liquid. I couldn’t handle the box of dishwasher detergent without paper towels, and I had to wash my hands immediately afterwards, and scrub them like I was a doctor going into surgery.

I had hand sanitizer everywhere. On my desk at work, in my bag, in my glove compartment. I went to Goodwill and got enough clothes to last me a week at work, and wore only those clothes. My stomach tied itself in so many knots that even when I tried, I could barely eat, almost to the point of throwing up. I lost a lot of weight fast, to the point that co-workers asked me about it. None of my co-workers knew about my problems.

When I came home from work I had to give my son a kiss on the cheek, then immediately strip and shower and change before I could hold my son or do anything else. I couldn’t touch my bag when I was home, fearing it was contaminated by my current job or previous jobs. I bought a new bag only for work. I was suffering in silence, the world oblivious to the torture I was getting subjected to every moment of the day. I was developing postpartum anxiety and OCD and it would, as I told me therapist once, turn my world inside-out, upside-down, and backwards, where I wouldn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. I’d have no mirror self.

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~ by phaerygurl on February 7, 2013.

3 Responses to “the beginning – a summary”

  1. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    First post of my wife’s Postpartum Depression blog. Please follow her journey.

  2. Love love LOVE your blog. You are a great voice for PPD/OCD awareness. Looking forward to reading more in the future!

    • Another OCD’er, heh. Thank you so much. It’s crazy that it’s been more than 3 years since my diagnosis and I’m finally able to talk about it. I think I also have the OCD gene from my mother, at least according to my aunt. At the moment my son’s too young (I hope) to really understand any of my OCD stuff, which has thankfully calmed down as time has gone on.

      I also love that you’re tackling OCD holistically. I would love to do that, so I’ve already followed you and I’m really excited. You’re beautiful, thank you!

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