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I know! I was so happy to hear the news, too! Yeah, I'm beginning work on letting my obsessions pass and trying not to do a compulsion. I didn't have my normal obsessions yesterday, but I did have a breakdown when I was supposed to go driving. I just can't go out on the road. I'm petrified of hurting somebody. My mom told me that I don't have to continue with my driving lessons, and I can just practice in the parking lot with my dad as long as I'd like. Oh, the OCD Workbook is really useful for someone in CBT. You can write down all of your obsessions and the fear they give you. Good luck, God bless, and write back whenever you'd like! :angel:
Amberay- If you've been with the same guy for all of these years, and you know that he's free of STD's, I would think that HIV is highly unlikely. Don't freak out! Every female gets yeast infections! I would only be concerned if the doctor's concerned, not because the OCD's concerned... Anyway, about the driving issue. I just started taking a driver's theory class because my mother thought it was important for me to learn how before I went to college. Technically, as soon as I turn 18 (my birthday's in two weeks, so I consider myself to be 18), I can apply for an actual license and not have to worry about having 50 hours on the road and being in by a certain time, like I would if I had gotten my license at 16. So, I started taking this class and right after it was over, the instructor would take me for lessons. She knew that I had never been behind the wheel of a car and that I was apprehensive about driving, but she had confidence that I would be fine and be driving in no time. Boy, was she wrong! LOL! The first day was fine because we just stayed in the parking lot, and there was absolutely no chance to hit someone, my biggest fear. Then, between the driving lessons, we would watch these horrible films in the theory class. They weren't gory or graphic, which wouldn't have bothered me since I want to be a doctor, but they were just so OCD-provoking. The worst film was one where a teen girl drives through a work zone without paying attention and she kills a construction worker! It was so scary because they actually showed the police going to the guy's home and saying, "I'm sorry, but your husband and father won't be coming home tonight..." :eek: Nobody else seemed affected, and the films that were supposed to be moving didn't affect me. This one film that was supposed to be the saddest one involved drunk driving. Obviously, I felt bad that a girl died and everything, but it wasn't as anxiety-producing for me because the 16-year-old was in the car with a drunk driver (she was drinking as well) and she didn't wear her seatbelt. When people die this way, it's extremely sad, but the main difference is that their death was partially made by their own bad judgment. On the other hand, if you do something wrong or make a bad decision that kills someone else who was paying attention and was doing everything right, the responsibility is overwhelming... So, the second lesson, she drove up to a church parking lot, and this was the last lesson for me. It was so bad- I went to turn around, and this guy (who, ironically was a cop) entered the exit lane and almost hit us! It was my worst fear realized, and it was only the second lesson! Then, she made me practice on the roads in the cemetery and the turns were so sharp. On one, I almost hit a tombstone and I felt so bad because I was worried that I would damage her car. On both counts, she told me that the incidents were no fault of my own, but they shook me up really badly. Then, I didn't go for a couple weeks, and last Tuesday was my next lesson. When I went to class, the instructor asked what I wanted to do because she knew that I wasn't ready to go out on the road, but she had taken me everywhere she could think of to practice already. So, after class, she just asks, "So, what do you want to do about today?" and I just started bawling. I felt bad because my mother would be wasting money on lessons where I wasn't advancing and that the teacher would be wasting two hours of her time on just review, and I felt pressured to go drive to please my mom and I didn't want to disappoint her. It didn't help that all of the normal students are out on the road by the second lesson, if not the first, and that the teacher was always stressing her motto of, "It might not be probable, but it's always possible," and that we should always consider the "what-ifs" like, "What if that truck turns too sharply?" and "What if I enter the wrong lane?" and "What if my brakes don't work on that hill?" What better mantra for an OCD-er, huh? That was all I needed- to watch these films and hear these scenarios that just started me worrying about things that I never even considered. The one film that was almost as bad as the construction worker one involved carjacking and breaking-and-entering, and the narrator said that a thief could break open your window and steal your insurance information from the unlocked glove compartment! Identify theft! :eek: And they also said that a carjacker can hide under your car, and when you go to open the door, they can slit your Achilles' tendon so you're immobile, and then grab your ankles! Nobody else cared, but I certainly did! It was as if all of my worst fears about driving were realized, and I just couldn't face it anymore. I knew that this was just more added stress, and my mom completely understood. When I called her after the instructor dropped me off at her house, she immediately told me not to worry, and that I could quit- when I'm crying, she knows I'm upset! There's just too many possibilities to hurt someone on the road and too many uncertainies, which is an excellent environment to breed obsessions...:(
Amberay- Yes, I do have a dad. My mom's boyfriend who has been living with us for four years now and who she's going to marry next year is my "dad." Once my father stops paying me support, he's going to adopt me. He's really good for both my mom and I because we never had a husband or father that loved us... Anyway, about the online tests. I do think that some good comes out of them. As I've said, I discovered that I had OCD by fooling around with an online test. The best one is the OCD Screening Test which pretty much covers the gamut of symptoms. Obviously, they're not a substitute for a doctor's diagnosis, but I think that they can really help you explain to a doctor why you think that you might have a certain disorder.

CuriousLearner- I do think that the whole thing that you and I both have with the repetitive conversations and imaginary characters are the OCD- I think it's both compulsive and a distraction so we won't obsess. As far as seeing demons and monsters, this isn't as common as seeing death or the Devil, but any grotesque image that causes you fear and that you can't get out of your head could very well be an obsession. I'm exactly like you! Nobody thinks that I have anything wrong with me because I can hide it so well and I don't have any noticeable compulsions. In speech class last year, my teacher told me I "oozed confidence," and when I told her that I was a nervous person, she said, "It certainly doesn't show." Imagine their shock when I gave a speech on OCD and said that I had it! My one friend has a relative who has OCD, and when I told her at the end of the school year that I had it, I think she was skeptical. Her relative has the obvious germ phobia and washing, and he was noticeably debilitated. I get debilitated, too, but again, I hide it. At times, I do sort of wish that I could have some noticeable compulsion so people didn't think that I was faking it or exaggerating, but I guess it is sort of a blessing that I can hide it so well because that way, I'm not singled out as a "freak" when I meet people, but rather, just plain "eccentric." ;) Oh, and I've got you beat! I've got THREE anxiety disorders! LOL! :D Besides OCD, I have GAD and panic attacks due to specific phobias. We should all have a competition to see who has the most mental problems! I'm so sorry to hear that you have a similar situation with your father as I do. My father always puts "Love, Dad" on cards and, when he calls for his biannual 30-second phone call tells me, "I love you," but I don't think he knows what love is. He probably "loves" me in his own twisted sense of the word because I'm his only child, but if he truly "loved" me, he wouldn't have done such cruel things. He does have problems, but I can't feel bad about them. It's pretty obvious that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and he very well might be bipolar because he showed some of the symptoms such as a need for grandeur, extravagant expenses, strange sleeping patterns (which I have inherited from him, unfortunately), and, God, was he moody! He also has a drinking and gambling problem, but again, the reason I don't feel sorry for him is that he won't go seek help. The word "problem" doesn't fit into his personal vocabulary. Admitting he had something wrong with him would spoil his "perfect image" and, what would the clients think? Can't have anybody thinking that he needs to go to a psychiatrist! Oh, "mental illness" is just a filthy term! Heaven forbid that he might actually have to admit that he needs help. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I can't feel sorry for him. He's already filed for bankruptcy to get out of paying his debts (but still got to keep the fancy house and car), which was very shady, and he lost his job a few years back (has the same job now), but neither of these set-backs seem to have done any good. And, it's not just my mother and I that he's screwed over, but his parents and siblings as well. Maybe some day he truly will see the error of his ways, and I would never be able to ignore his request to see me when he's elderly, but right now, he still has a lot to fix, and the way his arrogant, prideful self is, I doubt that there will be any solution in the near future...

Both of you write back soon! I enjoy talking to you because you two are the only ones who seem to understand...
I'm doing good! I've been busy planning my daughters 1st birthday party and a vacation to San Diego. I'm much calmer and feeling back to normal these days. How would a therapist help me get over my overwhelming fear of flying? My fear get's so bad, I would be happy not getting on a plane ever again, my whole life. Unfortunatly, that's not reality. My sister's wedding is comming up soon so I have to fly home for that. My boyfriends parents just moved to China, they want us to fly there for Chinese New Year. I'm dreading that one even more! That is waaay to many hours on a plane! I'm afraid my anxiety will get out of controle! Ocean, mountains, this one is going to be bad! I get sick thinking about it and I'm actually thinking of a way to avoid it. Maybe I'll fake being sick or something. As bad as I would like to see that side of the country, I don't think I can go through with it. It's too dangerous on that side of the world anyway. I can't avoid my sister's wedding, so I think I might make us drive there. It's only 3 days on the road. To bad we can't drive to China. Talk to you soon!
Hey, Amberay! I never thought that you would have gotten back to me so soon, but I'm glad that you did! Anyway, tomorrow we're driving up to a nearby town so I can go to a Spanish camp that starts on Sunday. I'm really excited because you're only allowed to speak Spanish, even during meals, and I want to work on my fluency in speaking! Then, my parents and my friend and I are going to an amusement park for a couple days! It should be a lot of fun, and take my mind off of college for awhile. I'll be back on the 11th. You asked about my "religious, tapping compulsion" so here it goes:
It started out about a year and a half ago as me just "knocking on wood" for good luck on a test or something, but somewhere along the line, it went from normal superstition to OCD compulsion. Soon after, I would knock on wood for anything "bad" that would come into my mind; it was sort of a way to neutralize the obsession and prevent it from happening. The "dreaded event" could be anything from failing a test to seeing a family member dying. (And, of course, after I wrote the latter down, I had to do it! LOL!) Then it became so frequent that it didn't have to be wood anymore- any surface would do, even my pant leg if I was walking down the school hallway without a binder or book to knock on. I don't remember exactly where the religious part came in, but it was probably the beginning of my senior year, when my blasphemous obsessions returned. Then I began mentally saying, "Please, God," or "Forgive me, God" during my tapping, depending on whether the obsession was something I didn't want to happen or if it was something "bad" that I thought. Another facet was added to this in the past few months- crossing myself. I think I got this from "Chicago," my favorite movie, because when Velma Kelly's singing "I Can't Do It Alone," she crosses herself after saying, "And, this, this we did in perfect unison," before continuing her dance steps. (I'm obsessed with "Chicago," too, and I know every line, action, and dance move by heart- OCD strikes again!) I guess that I thought, "Hey, that's pretty cool," and I started doing it after I tapped, even though I'm not Catholic, and have never crossed myself before. Then, around April, I had a new obsession: "I only pray to God. What if I don't believe in Jesus? What if I don't love Jesus? What if Jesus is offended that I'm only tapping to God for forgiveness? What if God's offended that I'm not including his son?" So that scared me, and I started putting in "Forgive me, Jesus" after a few rounds of "Forgive me, God." It's so sick that I actually have a rhythm, though I don't have a set amount of times that I say "Forgive me, God" before moving on to Jesus- I usually do the "God" one for awhile, do one single time with "Jesus," do "God" a few more times, do "Jesus" completely, do "God" some more, and then end with a tap of pure finalty when the rhythm feels right to end. After CBT a few weeks ago, my therapist told me to try to resist the urge to tap, and I did... but I just changed the ritual in a way. Now, for "minor infractions," I simply cross myself quickly while saying, "Please/Forgive me, God" with "Please/Forgive me, Jesus" interchangeably, but it's a lot shorter (seconds) than my real ritual (about a minute). I think I also was getting fed up with having to tap within seconds of each other for an obsession that wasn't nearly as bad as the previous one- for example, sometimes after I'll tap, the obsession will flash through my head again, and since I've already done my compulsion and repented, I was getting tired of doing the real one again, so I started the "abridged" version with the quick crossing. I also have a tapping ritual, which I do most nights, if the obsession(s) flash through my mind. Here's how sick it is: I tap "Please, God" for my biggest fears. They're always in the following order: I tap to wish my parents and maternal grandparents (I'm not close with my biological father's parents) a long, healthy life, and I envision their faces in a square with my grandmother and grandfather on the top and my mother and (new) dad on the bottom. I go through each of their faces in the square three times before moving on. Then I imagine a dentist's chair with me climbing out of it, and the words "no cavities." This one's harder to do because I have to see the words while mentally saying different words. Then I show a paper with an "A" for my fear of failing college, a graduation cap for my fear of not finishing college, and then a stethoscope for my dream to become a doctor. Then I just picture my mom's co-worker and her son, who are both (successfully) battling cancer. I then imagine a syringe and the words "no cancer" for my wish for a cure. (This was just recently added in the past few weeks.) After this, I save the last spot for any other people that I hope will get better, and this is where I'll put you and Hailey. I haven't done this whole order yet, but I have tapped just for you a couple of times today. I'm sorry that this is sooo long, and I don't want you to think that I'm rambling on about myself and I'm not concerned about you or anybody's life but my own, but since you asked, I figured I'd give you the whole explanation. Now you can see the twisted development of a set compulsion... ;) I wish you both the best of luck while I'm gone, and when I'm inevitably tapping tonight, you'll be there! I don't actually pray anymore because I do my tapping all the time, so you won't be in my prayers, but you'll be in my religious compulsions! :D God bless!

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