Friday, August 28, 2015

What About Our Asses?

I am now afraid of the toilet...and it is all  my mother's fault.

Two weeks ago while my husband was cleaning out the garage he asked me to come downstairs and look at a little friend he found. By words such as little and friend I was under the impression that this little friend would be something cute and well, little. What I saw, however, ran a chill in my bones. He motioned me to the sewer drain and proclaimed that something adorable was inside. This is the point where I should have realized my husband loves animals a little too much.....It was not some tiny little mouse, or a playful puppy, or a tiny kitten. No, when he removed the drain cover what popped out was a beady little eyed monster that kept washing it's face in sewer water. This was not friendly, this was not cute, this was a rather large sewer rat.

My pulse quickened. My mouth became dry. I could feel the icy fingers of my OCD niggling in the back of my neck. "Isn't it cute?" he said.

Oh, sure, sure it was. If by cute you mean cute like the Bubonic Plague, Weil's Disease, Rat Bite Fever, or Hanta Virus cute. If you mean cute like tearing off your own arm with your own teeth rather than touch anything it has ever touched as cute then yeah, it's cute alright. I am sure people that got the Black Death just thought these creatures were truly adorable. I know I felt all warm and fuzzy as it made eye contact with me, watching me watching it, as it cleaned it's disease covered hands with it's disease covered face.

And I may have possibly screamed (not going to confirm or deny) as it decided to go back into the pipe it so hideously came out of and back into whatever sewer system it dwells in. I felt better after it was gone. I felt safer and cleaner.

But then, I mention this whole incident to my mother because I now question my husband's sanity a tiny bit and she mentions that sewer rats can climb out your toilet.... .... .....I am just going to pause here a minute and compose myself while letting that little "I probably didn't need to fucking know because ignorance is bliss" factoid sink in.

My reaction was that of a total nuclear meltdown. I begged her to explain to me why she felt the need to share this little nugget of information with me knowing how truly fucked up in the head I am. I mean, I have been hovering my pasty white rearend over the toilet for thirty six years in my own houses and never once have I ever had a second thought about whether or not I could be hovering over a rat washing it's face in poop water. Did I need to know this? Fear welled up in my voice. Panic set in. I immediately went into the bathroom and shut the toilet lid. The last thing I needed was to be thinking that beady eyed bastard was walking around in my house somewhere after it took a Sunday stroll through my toilet pipes only to munch on my face while I was asleep. Assuming I will ever truly sleep again...

I was told it can't happen to me because I have cats but let's be real for a second, I know my cats. I have had them for years. I have watched them as creepy crawly spiders have run across the floor and they were to busy licking their own butt to give a damn. They saw said spiders, they just didn't care. They won't even get up off of the couch for a treat. They expect you to bring it to them. They are so lazy you could leave the house for six hours, come back and they would still be in the same spot napping. Maybe someone else's cats would be a deterrent. Not my cats. They are lazy fat asses. I love them to pieces but it is the truth.

I get that there are rodents, I know there are such things as sewer rats, I am not judging. We are all God's creatures. I just prefer that some of God's creatures stay the fuck away from where I sleep, eat, and poop. I don't think I am asking too much. I mean, I don't pop up in his little rat house unannounced washing my face with his poo water now do I? It's common courtesy. That is all I am saying.

 Pooping will never be safe for me again....Great just great.

And finally, just as I got these images out of my mind after a week of obsessing and deflecting my new found terror of the commode, I go on facebook and my dear friend, who I had not told the rat story to, had felt the need to post an article about how easy it is for a rat to crawl out of your toilet. Seriously????? Is there some kind of rat in the shitter conspiracy I am unaware of? Did she too find an "adorable little friend" in her drain? Because if so, I think I am going to just start pooping in the yard. I don't need this kind of anxiety in my life....

I mean, we can put a man on the moon but nobody has figured out in the 400 years of having toilets how to create one that prevents Cinderella's little helpers from getting into your house and biting your ass?  Am I the only one a little freaked out about this?  What about our asses, people? Who is protecting our asses???!!!????

If I ever lift that lid and see one of these evil disease spreading bastards looking up at me I am going to burn my house down, starting with the toilet. I am not even kidding. I can go back to pooping like it is the 1300's. I can find a bucket like that crazy hobo my mother saw last year copping a squat by a junked out car on the side of the road as she drove downtown. We all  thought he was gross and crazy but maybe just maybe he once had a toilet and lifted it's lid only to be bit on the ass. Maybe he's not the crazy one.  Maybe we are, playing poop russian roulette every time we sit down unawares and unconcerned on the porcelain throne. Eh? Eh?

I mean if you think about it, the only thing that could possibly keep a rat from coming out of your toilet is the lid that we all take for granted as a seat because it is implied that is what the lid is for. And as times have changed we made the lid out of cheap light plastic so it is more sleek and stylish instead of the first lids created out of heavy wood. Now I ask you, if a rat can hold it's breath for fifteen minutes, can tread water for three days, can survive a fall from five stories, can swim a half a mile in the open sea, can dive 100 feet underwater, can crawl vertically along walls, and can chew through aluminum sheeting, plaster, wood, rubber, and concrete block.....are we actually naive enough to believe a thin light weight lid made of plastic is going to keep them  from crawling out of your toilet...yeah, right, sure it is. I don't know about you but I no longer feel safe in my own bathroom.

I am now afraid of the toilet.....and I just want to thank my Mom. Thanks Mom. I needed to be just that much crazier.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Shit Day and A Piss Pot.....

Well today is going to be a shit day.....

I was going to write on Tuesday like usual but life got in the way, as it often does, and more stress has decided to take up residence in my life. I am trying to breathe.....I am not sure I am doing it right. I mean, it looks like I am breathing but I don't feel any better about it. I think I am breathing through all of this but between my clenched teeth and white knuckles, I am not so sure...I may just be drowning and am too busy paddling the waves of stress to realize it. Can you actually drown from stress? If you don't hear from me on Tuesday, I guess we will have an answer to that....Hopefully I will find a life jacket soon.

I think people sometimes get irritated with me because I am a positive thinker. I can understand that the glass is always half full can be an annoying concept. But reality is, that I can not afford to dwell in my misery with no hope of salvation. No hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. No hope that things will eventually work themselves out. I have to believe that, because if I didn't I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning and face, obvious shit days like today is going to be. I need hope to keep fighting. I wish more people could understand that. I am positive not because I am a positive person but because I have to be to survive.  I was not born a ray of sunshine, I will myself to be a ray of sunshine because beneath this happy looking exterior I am a boiling pot of over pressurized stress. I am simply trying to continue to hold the walls around me up. Granted my walls are currently held together with chewed bubble gum, used tape, and wet newspapers but I am a firm believer in working with what you are given. And I was given recyclable refuse.

Again, I am confronted with the same ole, same ole issue of people thinking I am dealing well because I appear to be dealing well. Well, I am not dealing well. I am just really good at faking it and I would love to let my hair down and just fall apart at the knees but I have responsibilities, and kids, and shit to do today so I do not have the luxury of full nuclear meltdown this morning. I am not sure anyone would understand if I lost it right now and locked myself in my crappy closet sized bathroom and shut out the world for a few minutes while I ball my eyes out, anyway. I need sleep. I need a break. I need a good old cry.......I don't have time for that right now though. I guess losing my complete composure will just have to wait. What I wouldn't give for the fairy God mother to be real so she could turn that sewer rat I saw in my basement drain into a a beautiful white horse so I could ride away. I don't have a pumpkin to make into a carriage but I think I saw a half rotted peach in the back of my fridge this morning. She's a fairy so surely she could make something you could ride in out of that...

If I were still in Texas, I would say that I don't have a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of but there seems to be an over abundance of piss in my life right now. I don't have money for a pot to piss in but  I can't have this much piss and not have one so maybe I just have a cheap hand me down pot that smells of  old bologna and asbestos that used to belong to my great great grandfather and I am unaware of it........I am pretty sure this is too much piss for one person. Clearly someone else is pissing in my pot uninvited and unannounced....How rude. They could at least have the decency to rent it from me first.

Yes, today is going to be a shit day and I accept that but because I strive to see the positive side in things, I am going to see this piss pot as half full of shit instead of half empty...although, I am uncertain if that is actually a positive thing to want...

Till next Tuesday my friends, I hope today is treating you far better than it is treating me,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blow Out The Candles and Laugh Out Loud....

Monday was my 36th birthday and my mom's 57th. We celebrated on Saturday at her house.

My mom picked out the candles.....

Birthdays mean a lot to most people but for me it is deeper because I get to share mine with one of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am honored to share that special day with her.

It started on Friday night when we decided to try and dye our eyelashes at home. My advice is don't....Redheads have blonde/red eyelashes and it makes us look like we don't have any. Mascara is nice but there tends to be gaps near the root where the mascara won't get. We tried the dye and other than thinking I may have blinded myself, I saw no difference except where the dye had gotten on my skin. My mother had a slightly better outcome but I didn't feel the feeling of chemicals in my eyeball was worth it. I think we will just get it done professionally next time...

Then when went to the store to get me a new dress. Every woman should have at least one fancy outfit for special occasions and none of my old dresses fit anymore. We found really great deals and I got out of there fairly cheap.

After makeup and doing my hair we left to go to our chosen restaurant....we picked the wrong one. It took 45 mins to get our cokes. The waitresses were really busy so I wasn't upset about it but after another twenty minutes I was starting to wonder if the kitchen area that all the waitresses kept going back to was actually the Bermuda Triangle of wait staff. We were given spinach dip that resembled something scraped off of the windshield. It tasted so strongly of onions that I had to resist the urge to expel it from my mouth with such force it would have ended up on my mother's forehead, I forced myself to swallow this offending spinach. I almost didn't make it. I thought I was going to die. I was not so secretly hoping that the rest of the food would be better.

Then after an hour and a half our food order came. Well, more accurately my mother's food order came. Mine had apparently been given to another table on accident and they ate it. The manager came over to apologize profusely and offer my meal for free. He acted as if the people of the table had stolen my sandwich. I wasn't too worried about it, I mean if someone has given my plate to another table I sure hope they eat it after they breathed all over it because I sure as hell am not going to.

Thirty minutes later my food arrives. My only regret is that someone else wasn't there to have "stolen" my second sandwich. It was terrible. It tasted as if someone had drenched it in pickle juice. I later found out my mayo may have been separating. The manager came over to ask me how it was and he had so much hope in his eyes I lied to him and told him it was great.....I just couldn't do it. I could not tell him that I would have rather went out to the parking lot and licked the tar off the tires of my car rather than finish this sandwich. This free sandwich....beggars can't be choosers.

So I ate half of it just out of hunger and we left. It was so funny. I rarely get upset at hiccups like this. I do however laugh my ass off. I mean as far as birthday dinners go it was pretty bad. But it was the company I had rather than the food I ate and I was happy to have just spent the day with my mom. To talk to my mom. To laugh about my bad luck with food with my mom.

We then had cake at mom's with the rest of the family and opened gifts. I got some cool things and I was really excited to get my new fangled cheese grater........Moral of the story is always appreciate the good things you have, especially the people, and learn to laugh at the small stuff. It isn't important and it makes for great story telling. Just blow out the candles and make a wish and laugh out loud.

I also learned that with my dress on sale and my meal being free, I am a cheap date, so there is always that. :)

With sincerest regards,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Greatest Tragedy......

         I am going to go into a territory that is going to make everyone uncomfortable and I am going to go there because someone has to. It needs to be said but more importantly it needs to be heard.

         This country and it's media are adept at avoiding it's problems head on. We are masters of deflecting and sensationalizing. We stick to our ideals and angrily attack others for theirs and yet no one is listening to anyone and no one is getting the bigger picture. Someone needs to step up and be honest and I think it should come from our community because we know what is really going on. I am a representation of this community. The mental illness community. I am mentally ill.

         We have had these horrible incidents of mass murder, carnage and pain, blood and bullets. Yet instead of reporting the facts, instead of having an honest conversation, what we do is sensationalize and look to the first thing we can look to to explain the events.

          In the eighties asylums and mental hospitals were shut down at such a rate the many mentally ill people who had resided in them were left destitute and homeless. Unable to get the proper support they needed, they lived on the streets ignored and overlooked for decades. And as the people that needed help languished in poverty and filth, laws were passed to make having adults committed to mental illness facilities almost impossible unless the person first tried to harm themselves or had committed a violent crime. Problem being, that many of our mass shooters have never committed a violent crime until they became mass shooters.....pretty terrible loophole right?

           America, we do not have a gun problem. We do not have a racism problem. Are these two things problematic and causing issues? Yes, but that is not what is going on here. America, we have a mental illness problem and it needs to be addressed.

           We as a country love symbols. They are simple and neat and convenient to blame when things go horribly wrong. We want to look at inanimate objects as the cause of our issues instead of the root of the whole problem. It is much easier to blame guns, or flags, or people that have been dead for over 150 years and make it seem like we are making progress because in this country we have accepted that we don't really need actual progress, just the symbolism of it. Symbols make great scapegoats. They are easy targets. Take them away or call for their desecration and on the surface it appears that we have solved our ills. We have cut out the offending issues. We have accomplished something.

          The only problem is, we are not looking at the right problem to fix. We are not even addressing the real issue. Symbols are neat and tidy and fixing the actual issue is messy and hard. We have become lazy and we accept our laziness as long as we are able to sleep peacefully at night because we have gotten rid of inanimate objects instead of the very animate issue. Our denial makes us feel safer. Our denial is slowing killing us.

         I am not a doctor, but I can see the problem very clearly because I belong to the community of those who are overlooked or ignored. I know when someone goes and shoots up a theater, or a church. or a school that it isn't because of guns or flags or whatever the media wants to spew out of it's mouth hole. These people are insane.  These are the people who's families have tried to get them help but were turned away. These are the people who can not get or do not take the medications they need to stay functioning. These are the people that said and acted as if something was very wrong with them and people ignored it. The world ignored it. The system ignored it.

       And why? Because this system is fundamentally broken. Laws have been passed with loopholes so large you could drive a train through them. Lack of funding. Lack of desire to try and fix it. Lack of understanding. Lack of staff. Lack of empathy. Lack of proper medication. Lack of fighting stigma. Lack of accurate representation. Lack of media truth. Lack of proper places to go. Lack of places that are willing to help. Lack of education on mental illness. Lack of honesty about just what is going on here. No this isn't just a symbol problem...this is a "lack there of "problem.

      Many people knew these people needed to be committed but there was no one left willing to take them, no place left to help them, and nothing left to stop them.

      I say it isn't solely about guns because when someone has gone this far they will use anything to kill whether it be bombs, knives, or sharpened spoon handles. I say it is not solely about racism because there is racism all around this world for every single race and yet most people, ignorant as they may be, do not go and shoot up a church and murder nine innocent people. I am not saying he wasn't a racist, I am simply saying he killed because he is insane.

       President Obama in a speech once said that America doesn't have a monopoly on crazy people and he is right. Except that what America does have a monopoly on, is a poor understanding and an extreme sense of denial when it comes to "crazy" people. We are one of the few countries still willing to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that mental illness plays no part in our daily lives....

These people didn't slip through the cracks, they were thrown out of the door without so much as a second thought.

Adam Lanza's mom tried to get him help but was turned away.
James Holmes's family knew something was wrong but was unable to stop him.
Aaron Alexis was known to be violent and had acted violently but it was all brushed over.
Dylan Roof's friends had seen his bizarre behavior and said nothing.
John Russel Houser's family was so terrified of him that they fled and got a protection order against him.

No one listened and no one cared....until it was too late.

       None of their victims had to die. It was not inevitable. It was not unpreventable. It was not fate. It was ignorance and the lack of support. It was pure and simple denial and it makes me wonder how many more times this will have to happen before people stop making it about their political agendas, stop making excuses, stop blaming symbols, and start to open their eyes.

      The truth is that until we fix the system that is supposed to catch people that are like this, this will continue. You can protest and shout about the symbols all you want. It changes nothing. Change comes with fixing the problem that creates the shooter in the first place. Change comes from fixing a broken system that makes helping people like this before they get this bad, impossible. Change comes from seeing the truth.
This system is supposed to protect not just the rest of the world from these people but also protect them from themselves.

       We, in the mental illness community, don't like to talk about these mass killers because we do not like to be associated with them. Statistics prove that we are far more likely to victims of violence rather to commit it. We don't want to blamed when these nut-jobs do this but on the other hand, it is everyone in America's fault because although we know it's a problem, no one wants to really look at it. No one wants to do the arduous task of fixing it. No one wants to get their hands dirty with this. It is much easier, much safer to claim it is because of something else and not look the problem directly in the eye. No matter how many people it kills before we get intelligent about it.

      If anyone had bothered to ask the mental illness community, we could have told you how broken this system is. How inadequate it has become. How ridiculous the laws to prevent people that need to be committed are. How tiny the funds for mental care facilities are. How many mental illness sufferers are taking up most of our jails rather than being treated. How many hospitals don't have enough beds for those that need them. How we are running a race to a finish line that makes no sense nor has any rewards because the decks are stacked against us. We are either blamed or ignored but no one wants to actually listen and that is probably the greatest tragedy of all. These types of acts could be minimized and maybe even prevented all together if only people stopped ceasing to ignore the obvious, simply because it is the easier thing to do.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Doctors......Warning Possible Triggers....

No one really likes to go to the doctors office but for me it is like the seventh level of Hell. I don't actually know where that saying comes from, but if Hell has levels than the doctor's office has to be somewhere in there right?

It isn't just that I have contamination fears and will be around sick people (which is bad enough) but I have had some bad life lessons from the doctor's office. I don't remember hating them before the tooth pick debacle of 86  unless I had to get shots, which all children despise even thought they are a necessary evil.

When I was about seven years old I had to go to the doctors because of my foot. My Dad had this annoying habit of chewing tooth picks and breaking them and throwing them on the ground. I had the bad habit of walking everywhere barefoot (still do). I stepped on something and felt it go into my foot but saw nothing when I looked at it. I continued to play. I told no one and no one was the wiser until a few days later when I was no longer able to put weight on it. Then came the red streaks which meant I had an infection and there was definitely something in there. So, we went to the doctor and sure enough they had to numb it as best as they could and remove whatever I had stepped on. Mind you, past a certain point numbing medicine doesn't work and this was one of those points. I remember flailing and screaming and finally they were able to cut and pull out a half of a toothpick out of my heel. I remember all of it, the pulling, the grabbing it, the cutting.....not a real great memory to remember.

Then I had this wonderful doctor that used to whistle bird calls when he looked into your ear. He was kind and funny and kinda looked like Colonel Sanders. We moved away after having him as my doctor for about a  year. He was one of the only doctors that made me not hate going to the doctors office. He made me feel comfortable and less scared. I found out that a few years later he had contracted A.I.D.S. and most of his patients left making him have to shut down his practice. He was later found stabbed to death in his own bathtub. Very sad. He was a really great kid's doctor and the whole story makes me really upset. He deserved better than that.

Then there was the asshole fraud psychiatrist that scared my family into committing me so he could abuse the system and suck up all of the insurance money when I was ten. I hope he lost his ability to commit children when he was sued for fraud. Actually, I hope he rots in Hell but that isn't a very nice thing to say so I have to say I hope he is rotting in jail somewhere instead. But I highly doubt us, his many victims, could get so lucky.....Bastard.

Not to mention, the doctor who gave me my first stitches but didn't realize, I at the time, had a huge fear of needles. He thought he would just say out loud it needed a couple of stitches and go on like it wasn't a big deal for me. That went swimmingly....not. Just ask my mother, she probably still has bald patches where I snatched her hair out. I was around twelve years old.

Or the perv psychiatrist I had when I was twenty one, who made sexual comments to me when I was in need of actual counseling even going so far as to make me lift up my tank top when I was braless once to "check my heart rate". Something he never had done before the whole time I had been seeing him ....He too should be in prison but I was too embarrassed to say anything. Not to mention I figured I had no proof of his actions. He made sure we were alone. I was really ashamed and uncomfortable.....he was also a Bastard.

Or the E.R. doctor that felt the need to shove his finger into my open wound after I had accidentally impaled my shin on a stick when I was twenty six. No he did not numb it first. No he did not warn me first. He just stuck his finger in it up to his knuckle and moved it around.....That was pleasant. I secretly think he may have been a sadist.

So, yeah doctors are not my favorite past time for obvious reasons.  And I have a new appointment with my new doctor tomorrow and I am absolutely freaked out about it. I know it will go fine, probably. I am worried about my test score for my diabetes. I am worried he will be an asshole. I am worried he will be inept or mean or just plain rude. I really hate when that happens. Anyway, I have waited six months to see him and my anxiety is literally through the roof.  Ugh, I don't want to go but I have to. Ugh and double ugh. Anyway, I am just really hoping above all else, I can get my anxiety under control and make it to this appointment without a panic attack because I have to take good care of myself and that , unfortunately, means going to my biggest triggering place, the doctors office.

Wish me luck,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's Not A Sidebar.....

        I was watching a news channel yesterday and came across a story about a man cycling for awareness of a disease that killed his wife. He wants to promote awareness and raise money and I applaud him for that. My problem was the way the news sanitized his wife's illness and death.

        First, they both called her Depression a mood disorder. They did it repeatedly and then said that Depression had killed her. At no point did they mention mental illness anywhere in this supposed news article. At no point did they say that she killed herself.

        My problem with this is that it seemed very sanitized, very PC, very scrubbed clean and there is nothing clean or orderly about Depression.

        Is Depression a mood disorder? Yes, but lets call a spade a spade shall we? Depression is a MENTAL ILLNESS. Say it. Say it often, roll it around in your mouth until it feels familiar. Stop being afraid of these two words. Stop shying away from this term. We as sufferers have learned to use it without attaching stigma to it and so should everyone else. This woman didn't have Leprosy, she had Depression. It doesn't need to be dumbed down or sugar coated. It certainly wasn't sugar coated for her when she was suffering from it. She killed herself. Her Depression made her life so unbearable, so unspeakable, she was so desperate, she suffered so much that suicide, to her, seemed like the only option. Don't you dare sugar coat or undermine what she went through.

         You see, as a mentally ill person, I find the sanitizing and politically correct scrubbing of the struggles we go through on a daily basis an insult. It represents that what we go through is somehow less painful or less ugly or more acceptable.

         This woman didn't die from Depression. She committed suicide. There, I said it. I know it is hard for other people to hear that word, or read that word, or understand that word but you can not and should not whitewash that word into something less awful, less devastating. Because there is nothing beautiful or soothing about suicide. Yes, Depression is the reason she killed herself but say that. Don't over look the choice she made and the horrors she faced by saying she died from Depression and not explain what it made her do. If for some reason, you can not bring yourself to say the word suicide then simply say she lost her battle with Depression.

            Look, I am sorry that the words mental illness and suicide make other people uncomfortable. You should try living with them and see how uncomfortable that is. The point is, we don't have time to scrub away the ugly thoughts about these two words. Mental illness and suicide are ugly. We should know. In a country where suicide takes away somebody's loved one every 13 minutes, I hardly think we need to waste time trying to sanitize  something that needs to be talked about openly because only then can we get real and start making changes to a broken system that allows good people to fall through the cracks. This system is damaged and defunct and until we start looking at this problem as an actual problem nothing will change and it has to. Suicide is 100% preventable. And yet we as a society are too afraid to look into the dark abyss where it dwells because we are scared. Our society is cowardly when it comes to anything that deals with mental illness or suicide and it is proven and reiterated every single time this subject comes up. Because they white wash it. They sweep it under the rug. They look for other excuses. Or like in this case, they simply exclude these three words altogether.

            If you want to help us, if you want to change the system than you have to stop making excuses. You have to stop shying away form reality. A reality that all of us that suffer are very familiar with. You have to say words like mental illness, pain, suicide and you have to own them when you speak. You have to look people in the eye when talking about them. You have to stop promoting the stigma with your fear and be fearless. After all, we are fearless when talking about these things because we have no choice and if you want to be part of the solution than you have no choice either. We are not a side line. We are not a cutline. It is not a sidebar. It is the story. We are the story. We are real and our suffering is real and we deserve to have it talked about it, exactly like how it is. No sanitizing, no white washing, no scrubbing cannot diminish the pain of mental illness by minimizing it's affects so you are less uncomfortable with the reality of it.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I Am Howard Hughes...

I am Howard Hughes. Well except for the whole being a rich man that designs and flies planes thing. I am also not a playboy....or dead. I am however a Texan...and I have OCD.

Last night, I watched The Aviator for the first time. A movie that I have purposely avoided watching till now. I sat there, palms sweaty, terrified of the mirror that would be held in front of my face. Before I hit the play button, I swallowed the lump in my throat that felt like a mini bus and asked my husband, "How much of myself am I going to see in this film?"  He had seen parts of it before. "A lot." he said.

"Wonderful." I thought in my purely sarcastic tone.

I have avoided watching this film for fears of triggers. You see, Howard had contamination fears and so do I. I was very afraid of having to sit through and hour and a half, triggering while Howard was triggering and trying not to completely freak out alongside the main character. It was daunting. It was unsettling. It was... magical.

For the first time, I saw a movie that did not glaze over my disorder. It did not present my disorder as something to laugh at. It did not show the character as being unaware of what was going on. Something that many OCD depictions overlook and try to cover up with humor. He clearly saw that what he was doing made no sense. It showed the clear agony of OCD on his face when he compulsed. It showed the hesitations. The little pauses we take when triggered. I had never seen that before in any film or read that in any book. It was like my typical day of what social dictations demand vs what my mind forces me to feel and I was blown away and thankful. I mean, I do not have all of Howard Hughes's symptoms, but I totally understood them and it was, for me, a relief.

The raw meat scenes.....totally my reactions. With the door in the public restroom scene, I could feel the complete panic. Not just because of the superb writing of the script and terrific acting of the actor, but because I do that. I look at the door knob with fear of knowing that I just washed wash my hands and I do not want to do it again. The complete panic and dread that sets in.

                               ( WARNING possible TRIGGERS on video )
                           (I do not own this video or any part of this video)

There is this part when he is in the plane with Kathrine Hepburn and he drinks after her. The hesitation before he takes a sip. I was yelling at the television. Oh my God. I don't think people understand what that means for a person with contamination fears. I do, but I am not sure other people can. I remember the first time I found someone I could drink or eat after. It was freeing and it is the first time I caught a glimpse of what it must be like to be like everyone else. To be not OCD.

Yes, I was triggered watching this movie but it moved me. It made me want to scream when they used Howard's OCD against him. It made me hold back tears when he was in pain and isolated himself. It made OCD real for the viewers and no, maybe they don't understand every nuance but they got the gist. And that means something. More than anyone else (normal) will ever know.

The hardest part of the film was the reality that many of us joke about. The dirty, unshaven naked man, reduced to peeing in his recycled milk bottles because he is afraid of being contaminated. I have often said I am one step away from being Howard Hughes. That isn't true, really. I am not to the point Howard got to but the idea of that I could become like that, terrifies me. That is what has kept me from watching this film, despite it's raving reviews, for eleven years. It was too close. It was too real for me because I can not simply walk out of the movie theater and pretend it was all just a movie. I live it everyday. I can not simply just turn off the television and go on about my day like everyone else. It wasn't a film that taught me about OCD because I know it too intimately, already. No, I am not peeing in milk bottles. No, I am not unwashed living in one tiny room afraid of contamination. No, I am not repeating myself over and over and over again. But I could have been and that is the point. I didn't really need to learn about Howard because I already am Howard Hughes on some small level. I knew him even before I didn't. And I think most OCD sufferers would understand that because I know them too. Just as they know me like only we can. Because only we know what it is like to live with this disorder. But now, because of this movie, maybe others will start to know too and that is....beyond gratifying. It is magical.

Neurotic Nelly