Mental Illness: Describing My OCD

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – everyone throws the term around without regard to what it really means. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” Cleaning your room once a week doesn’t mean you “are OCD.” Keeping an organized binder doesn’t make you “OCD.” OCD is not a term to throw around when you are feeling organized.

Many people struggle with “extreme” ends of the disorder, like washing their hands many, many times a day to the point where the skin becomes raw and inflamed. Other people, like myself, may not even realize that their behaviors are out of the ordinary unless it is pointed out to them. One day, I was talking with my friends as we walked to class, and I was counting in my head in threes, timing the counting with my steps, as I did regularly. I had zoned out to what they were talking about to focus on my counting, making sure to end on the “right” (what I felt was the right) number of set of three. For example, I may have counted to three 21 times. I was aware that someone had called my name, but I had to finish on the “right” multiple of three. Once I felt satisfied, I re-entered the conversation, “Sorry, it’s kind of hard to count and listen at the same time, you know?” That earned some strange looks. It turned out, I was the only one out of my group of friends to do this. Now, I just seemed like a weirdo to my friends; fantastic.

I didn’t know why I was counting the way I was; sometimes I just felt this strange, maddening feeling of tight anxiousness in my stomach and so I counted in threes to multiples of threes. There wasn’t any particular reason why I counted that way, I just did. Years later, and I do recognize this behavior as compulsive counting, a form of OCD. I try not to make it obvious when I feel the need to count, as I still do not want to feel like I am some “weird” person for a behavior that I have little control over.

 

 

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My First Slam Poem

I had to write and perform this for my AP Comp class, and I feel that it reflects who I am at this point as a result of my personal experiences thus far; tell me what you think.

 

Hi, my name is Faith.
I am a 4.0 student
I went home today, and my mother asked me
how school was.
Hi, my name is Faith
I got two hours of sleep last night and every night before that doing school work.
I woke up and my father told me how proud he was of my grades.
Hi, my name is Faith.
After school today, I studied so hard and long
I forgot to eat dinner and I almost forgot to sleep.
Hi, my name is Faith
I didn’t turn in an assignment online on time,
So my teacher emailed my mother.
My mother called me up and told me,
“Am I supposed to tell them that my daughter is a fuck up?!”
Hi, My name is 4.0
My name is 4.0
and I went to class today and I answered every question asked, correctly!
But the other students clicked their teeth at me and rolled their eyes
“It must be so easy being her,” they whispered
Hi, my name is 4.0
Most days I want to curl up into a ball on my bed and not move,
or think, or even breathe
Some days, I do just that,
listening to my mother tell me I should be doing work, unmoving
Hi, my name is 4.0
All of my time spent isolated behind a stack of papers leaves me socially inept
Leaves me struggling to meet the social expectations of my peers and other adults

It leaves me vulnerable in social situations, where sometimes it just too loud, I can hear the hoard of people laughing and talking thundering in my ears and person after person brushes my shoulder or touches my hand and I can feel the weight of their touches crushing me and the thunder and I CAN’T BREATHE!
Hi, my name is 4.0
I experienced an immense emotional trauma
that I don’t understand how to deal with
Sometimes certain things trigger the memory of my paralyzing fear holding me in place, and the smell and, hands, AND-
So I do the only thing I know how to do
I work
Hi, my name is 4.0
Sometimes, I get this tight feeling of anxiousness in my stomach
that makes me want to scream
And the only way to get rid of it is if I tap my finger in threes (one two three, one two three, one two three) or walk to the count of threes (one two three, one two three, one two three) [demonstrate]
I told my mother and she brushed me off, and asked me how my grades were
Hi, my name is 4.0
I am not a human with feelings and insecurities
I am nothing but a number for my parents to show off
I am a brain with a constant thirst for validation
With no other real motivation
Than to get a pat on the back
As I try desperately to keep my head above water
With the voice in my head tempting me to just let myself drown

 

MotionallyPerpetual – Faith Tillman TM

Relationships: Cheating

It’s the year of 2017 – and there appears to be an increasing culture of cheating in youthful relationships. Why? To what could you benefit from cheating on your partner? Perhaps your partner doesn’t have a body type you deem valid? Or maybe they lack a certain degree of intellect? That begs the question – why even start a relationship with someone if they don’t meet your physical or mental expectations? Are you simply bored, and want to toy with another humans emotions? Is it a game, how long can I go without getting caught, how much damage can I inflict on this individual?

On the flip side, maybe it is a matter of getting multiple things from numerous people. Perhaps it is the allure of receiving attention, physical contact, sexual pleasure and physical gifts from numerous people at once that drives people to cheat in relationships. Of course, those who cheat must at some point realize that there is rarely a long term benefit in cheating – those who are being ‘played’ for the allure of receiving are likely to find out, and leave the relationship. That leaves the cheater to go through the effort of establishing and building new relationships. The social repercussions of such actions, if exposed into his/her social life, is a negative consequence of their actions, too. Surely these consequences would steer potential cheaters from performing their actions, or motivate active cheaters to discontinue their decimation of human trust?

The cheater who cheats for the pleasure of inflicting emotional damage on individuals may have the satisfaction of their efforts when the relationship(s) come to a close, but they will also have to find, establish and build new relationships over a long period of time before the damage, again, is inflicted. In addition, although the “high” of destroying human trust, witnessing the emotional breakdown of an individual is a short term “benefit” to him/her, surely they would, at some point, feel guilty for their actions? Perhaps even guilty enough to discontinue? Unless guilt is easily overlooked in favor for the satisfaction of causing long term damage to another human being, or he/she is sociopathic or has sociopathic tendencies (where they do not much experience guilt for their actions).

This cheating culture needs to be squashed before anymore long term damage on how the youthful mind views and experiences relationships can occur.

Preview My Next Post On Relationships:

As unfaithful relationships are on the rise, the result of this damage on the victims of cheating is starting to become apparent; how victims of cheating view relationships before and after being cheated on in a long term relationship can be drastically different.

 

 

MotionallyPerpetual – Faith Tillman TM

Sleep Paralysis – My Experience

“Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon during which an individual is unable to move during falling asleep or awakening, but is aware of their surroundings. It is often accompanied by frightening hallucinations.”

I had never heard of sleep paralysis before I had experienced it, so when it happened, boy was I terrified. I went to sleep as I normally would, in a fetal position up against the wall of my room on my bed. A couple of hours into my sleep, I woke up and realized I absolutely could not move and I panicked. I also couldn’t see anything, because it was pitch black and I am absolutely blind without my glasses on. This was an important factor in my terror, because I was genuinely convinced that an intruder was in my house and coming to murder and rape myself and my family, a hallucination, and I couldn’t move or see anything.

The next logical solution I could come to in my hysterics was to scream for my mother, who was sleeping in the next room, but upon trying to scream, I realized I couldn’t do that either. I started crying as I continued to believe that someone was coming to do harm to me, and I continued to try to move my legs and scream. I have no idea how much time had passed since I woke up, but eventually I was able to slowly slam my leg against the wall and make faint moaning sounds as I tried to  scream for my mother; feeling was starting to come back to my body.

Another unknown amount of time had passed and I realized that there was no reason to be in the state of panic I was in; the hallucinations were over and I could move again. I got up, heart racing and dried tears on my face, to check the house. It was, in fact, not invaded by a murderer.

Looking back on this experience, it seems absolutely ridiculous the amount of sheer panic I was in, but at the time I was genuinely terrified about the lack of control I was experiencing over my body as I was hallucinating, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Hopefully next time I have a sleep paralysis experience, I will be able to realize what is actually happening and not drive myself into a panic induced heart failure.