December 5, 2011

Two steps forward.....and one small step back.

I had a really good week last week.  I faced a number of exposures - felt VERY anxious, but got through it and actually got to see the "other side"!  Here's what happened:

1. My cousin writes a blog as well, but her blog is to promote her developing wellness retreat.  Lately, her blog posts have been about the grieving process, since she is not only grieving the recent loss of her Auntie (my mom), but the loss of her father a couple of years ago.  A few days ago, she wrote a beautiful post that mentioned my Mom, and I commented on the post.  NOT REALIZING that my name would AUTO FILL as Pure O Canuck.  I published my comment as Pure O Canuck, and then went to bed.  The next morning I woke up to a text from my cousin that said: "You're Pure O Canuck? I had no idea!".  I just about vomited.  Due to my carelessness, I was "outed" to my cousin!  Not exactly how I would want her to a) find out that I have OCD, and b) find out the theme of my OCD!  Not only that, I write this blog (mostly) annonymously, for very good reason.  This blog is like a diary to me - extremely personal.  Only my ex-boyfriend knows about my blog, and though at the beginning, I didn't plan on keeping it annonymous, I really do like the fact that I can write anything I want and not have to worry about any of my close friends or family reading it. 

Soooooo......I was VERY anxious when I found out that not only had my cousin found out about my blog and that I had OCD, but that I was basically advertising to the REST of my family (they read her blog too) that I am Pure O Canuck!!!  Anyway - I wrote to my cousin and asked her to remove the comment.  I also explained to her that my blog was like my diary and I really didn't want people that I knew reading it.  She was fantastic - and completely understood. 

That being said - DO I KNOW FOR SURE that she's not reading my blog?  Nope.  DO I KNOW FOR SURE what she THINKS about finding out that I have OCD?  NOPE.  We didn't discuss it.  What needs discussing?  I need to live with the uncertainty of not knowing.  (If you're reading dear cousin - I love ya.  LOL.)

2. My good friends A & Y have been talking lately about inviting some of their friends up to our town for a little get together.  The thing is - one of these friends is a lesbian.  Last week - my friend emailed me and invited me over for the little get together.  Normally, I wouldn't have gone.  No way.  OCD started barking at me: "They think you're gay and they are trying to set you up."  Despite those thoughts thous, I said YES.  Just saying yes was exposure enough!!!  The party is in a couple of weeks, and no matter what - I will be going.  I am terrified though. 

For several days, I felt like I had fantastic control over my OCD.  Those quotes that I wrote in my last blog post went through my head so many times.  I reminded myself of the choice that I can make in that SPLIT SECOND that will either help me gain control over my OCD or continue to let OCD control me.  AND I DID IT.  MANY TIMES!!!  Yesterday though - something happened that has stuck with me and it is really bugging me.  Here's the story:   

I have had one of my best friends visiting me from out of town for the last few days.  She's married and has two kids.  Of ourse, one of my fears - since I am almost 40 years old and single - is that most of my friends think I'm gay.  Another fear - connected to that fear is that I am in denial, and that all these people around me think I'm gay and that someday I'm going to come out of the closet and everyone is going to say "I knew it!".  So.......somehow - on Saturday night - my friend and I got into the discussion about someone that she thought is gay, but actually isn't.  I said "maybe she's bi-sexual".  Anyway - she told me that one of her friends in her home town is bi-sexual, and I made a comment "maybe I'll decide to be with a woman someday" (exposure for me saying that!).  My friend reacted kind of funny.  She didn't say "yeah right - you???" or anythig like that.  She kind of said "Yeah - maybe you will".  Of course since then I've been obsessing about the fact that she really does think I'm a lesbian!!!  I have been resisting the urge to ask her, and also resisting the urge to talk TOO MUCH about men etc etc.  But now I kind of feel as though she's testing me.  I'm obsessing.  I know it.  And I'm struggling to let it go.  I've tried to remind myself that I have to live with the uncertainty.  Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't.  But either way - what does she know anyway?  I am trying so DARN HARD to let go of the spinning and AMAZINGLY STRONG DESIRE to find certainty about this.  Does she think I'm gay?  I suppose I'll never know.  I'm sure if I asked her - she would probably lie to me - if she thought I really was gay.  But my OCD keeps saying to me "maybe she knows something you don't.  You better investigate this further." 

My friend left today and hopefully as time passes this obsession will go away.  At least until I see her in the spring when we meet each other in Palm Springs for our 40th birthdays.  Hmmmm....Palm Springs - a "gay mecca" - maybe I "subconsciously" chose Palm Springs because I knew that it's a great gathering place for gay people.  Maybe SHE thinks that too.  Oh well.  Somehow I have to find a way to live with that. 

P.S.  Just publishing this blog post is an exposure for me because I still don't know if my cousin knows the theme of my OCD, and if she is by chance reading this blog, or anyone else from my family who inadvertantly found out that I'm Pure O Canuck - they will know now!!! 

7 comments:

  1. good job with all the exposures.

    When I was in college, I didn't date anyone, played varsity softball, and had a couple of close friends who turned out to be lesbians (they weren't out at the time, but it was no shock.)

    I often wonder if part of the reason I didn't get asked out was that the guys assumed I was gay (and apparently the women knew I wasn't- they never asked me out either. :) )

    Anyway, since I don't have your kind of OCD, it doesn't really bother me, but it appears to still be in my head, since I'm aware of it lo these 20 years later.

    Hmm, such a rambly comment. Keep it up with the exposures. These were some big ones! And you're handling them well!

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  2. Congradulations on the great job you're doing living with your uncertainty.

    Only 1 sister has my blog address. And i kind of like my anonymity that way. She's the only one in my family remotely interested in my ocd. The rest of my family knows as i can't hide this problem anymore, but they don't know the daily ins and outs of it.

    keep up the great work!

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  3. Between blogs and Facebook, I know of several people who have had similar experiences to yours...inadvertently "outing" themselves on Facebook.....but what a great exposure, as you say, and you're getting lots of practice living with uncertainty! Glad it was a great week.

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  4. Hello, I'm a fellow OCD person. I'm impressed with the way you're doing the exposures, taking chances and working with the uncertainty.

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  5. Glad to hear your ERP is coming along! :)

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  6. Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone! It's definitely two steps forward and one step back but I feel like I'm back up on the horse and starting to feel empowered again.

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  7. I like your post and thanks for sharing it.

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