July 8, 2011

New Exposures.....ROCD and HOCD combined.

Expwoman has commented a couple of times on my blog posts that she has suffered from relationship and sexual orientation obsessions in the past.  She so very poignantly and accurately describes the fear.  On one of my posts she commented: “One of my compulsions was to major in feminist theory in college as a way to figure out if that was the only way to be safe – be a lesbian and a feminist (not every lesbian is a feminist, so in my world, I needed to invoke both, in hopes of being completely safe from violence by men, or betrayal)."  She also wrote in one of her posts: “....they were so interconnected that trying to separate them out would have been futile.”

Growing up, my family experience of abuse was not “overt”.  Though my parents spanked me, they were not violent people.  My dad didn’t physically abuse my mom.  They never called each other horrible names like “you’re an asshole”.  No one ever overtly said “you’re a loser and you’re completely un-loveable”.  But a lot of that stuff was implied.  There was a lot of passive aggression.  And – my dad and I fought.  And he scared me.  He still does on some level. 

Expwoman hit the nail on the head though with her comments.  I am not so scared of ending up in a violent relationship.  What I am TERRIFIED of, however, is ending up in a relationship where I feel emotionally starved, where my needs aren’t being met, and I don’t feel loved.  Just like what I grew up in.  I am terrified of being betrayed by a man.  I am terrified of being hurt, rejected and disappointed even on the smallest level by a man – just as I was by my dad.    

What also scares me is that due to my family history, my “filter” is defective.  I don’t trust myself.  Though I’ve witnessed healthy relationships, I don’t know if I have any idea how to be in one myself.  I don’t know if my selection process is even healthy.  And – in all honesty – it’s not all that often that I DO witness a healthy relationship.  Many of my friends are in marriages that I would never want to be in.  Marriage for the most part, does feel like a trap. 

My big anxiety spike the other day, that I wrote about here hit right to the core of all of these issues.  Though Stephen not texting me the next day to see how I was doing emotionally, WAS disappointing, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  He is still a rock in my life.  He would never purposely hurt me.  But to me it FELT like a huge rejection.  And it FELT very risky to not start compulsing.  I FELT like I was in a danger zone.  And OCD was all too happy to start chiming in with “You don’t obsess about your female relationships.  You must feel safer.  Women are so much better at emotional stuff.  You’d be happier if you were with a woman.”

(Let me clarify – Stephen and I aren’t even in a committed intimate relationship at the moment.   However, he still continues to be there for me during rough times regarding my Mom’s Cancer and my OCD.)

My ERP assignment this week is to watch a movie called “Lianna”.  It’s about a woman who is in an unhappy and repressive marriage.  She gets fed up and starts a relationship with a woman.  I have no idea how it will end, but the whole thing scares me.  I watched the first fifteen minutes this morning, and it caused a lot of anxiety. 

I don’t know my way out of this type of obsessing.  I’m not sure where the obsessions end and the compulsions begin.  In my opinion, this isn’t as cut and dry as the pure sexual orientation OCD.  It’s fine for me to watch a movie about women being attracted to women (though I have to give myself some credit here – I didn’t always feel that way!), because that isn’t really what my OCD is about.  There’s some genuine pain here, and real history that I have worked very hard over the years to over-come. 

I have faith that my therapist and I will work through it. 


  1. Here's to hoping that as you work thru your ocd obsessions AND your difficult relationship with your parents and that concequence on YOU with your therapist, that these questions can be answered to your satisfaction. :)

    Keep learning and growing into your best self!

    Ps. it's hard work changing the thots in your head that are there because of childhood. They are ingrained but can be changed! And then new skills of relating to people come. It took me 2 yrs of therapy after years of trying on my own to work thru a lot of issues i had as a result of my childhood. I'm still not great with dealing with people but i'm not afraid of them anymore. i'm better than before and am still working on it. Good luck!!

  2. karin said: oops, the above was mine. :)

  3. Hi Karin! Thanks for your support and your positive message!! I've definitely been working on this for awhile, but I"ve never really faced the OCD that is related to it, which, I think is what continues to perpetuate the problem. I like what you said about "keep learnign and growing into your best self" That's great!!!