I am not Catholic and yet I often times wish I had a wandering priest following me around so I could have someone to unburden myself from all of my constant guilty feelings. I feel the need to confess. I need a portable confessional, anyone know where I can get one? Anyone?
I try very hard to hold in the urge to confess my imagined sins. Intrusive thoughts that I would never act on and that horrify me. Something said that made me uncomfortable. The feeling that I may have inadvertently insulted or offended someone or said something that was bad about them. I can feel it rise up my throat like bile as it threatens to explode out my mouth in a wave of mass hysteria. The more I bottle it in the more pressure bubbles to release it.
Always the guilt. The dread. It bogs me down like wet concrete threatening to close off my wind pipe. I am weighted down. I am drowning in my own mind. I can't breathe. I need to confess. I might have said something that would be offensive. I need to apologize, I might have overheard something that makes me feel like I have done something to be ashamed of. I must let it out. I must let it go. I must be absolved.
.................................................................The voice in my head plays over and over like a broken record that suffers from Tourette's syndrome. It yells at me, randomly. It damns me. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Bad! Bad! Bad! Pathetic! Pathetic! Pathetic!
I feel bad. I feel like an evil, awful, terrible excuse for a human being. I must be reassured that I am decent. That I have not done anything bad. That I am not a bad person. That I am not lower than dirt. I go out of my way to be good but for my OCD it is never enough. It won't stop until I have called my absolver. I guess she is kind of like a priest except that she is a Southern Baptist, and a woman, and my mother.
It is so hard to openly discuss what goes through my mind. My insanity is overwhelming to some. I know that explaining the feelings I have of guilt, even though I know I have done nothing wrong, is hard for many to understand. Hell, it is hard for me to understand and I have been going through this for thirty years. I don't know how else to describe it except that it is a soul shattering awareness that your mind is often times your own worst enemy. That you suffer needlessly because you can not totally accept that what your mind tells you and reality are two different things. That you are not alone and yet at the same time feel excommunicated from the rest of the world. It's difficult and sad and frustrating.
To say I have an overactive guilt complex would be an understatement. I blame myself for everything. The eco system, what the neighbor said to me, world hunger, the fact that I can't work, the ozone layer depleting, the Pope's caravan driving down the wrong street. I realize that I am not responsible for these occurrences but I feel guilty about them non the less. I have so much guilt I could seriously share some with the rest of the world and still have plenty to go on myself. Overactive guilt complex wouldn't be the right term for me anyway, because that seems to indicate that at some point you don't feel guilty. Like you can have some days where you don't feel like you are drudging through a tar pit of guilt. That doesn't happen to me. I am always feeling guilty about something. Always.
So I confess. I try to rid myself of this warm, wet, suffocating cloak of shame. I try to save what's left of my day. I confess to my mother, sometimes my husband, occasionally my friends, mostly to this blog.......My personal confessional. My personal journey from out of the mouth of madness to the reality of what I go through looking back at me on the computer screen with the little blinking line patiently awaiting what I decide to type next. Sometimes it comes easily and sometimes I swear to God, I am pulling my teeth out trying to figure out how to describe what I am dealing with. Always afraid in the back of my mind that others will think I am insane......kind of ironic actually. Because I am certifiable. Not that I am proud of that fact but I have just recently decided to stop being ashamed of it. It is what it is. I can not change it. I can only keep getting better, stronger, and doing the best I can. I can only do what I can do. I can offer support to those that suffer the way I do. I can be an advocate, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. If that means that I feel guilty over and over again then so be it. I have to confess. I have to be honest. I have to open because I am incapable of being any other way.
So, this what the guilt of OCD is like. This is what it does to people. It makes them feel bad when they are the complete opposite. It makes them feel guilty when there is nothing to feel guilty over. It makes people feel lost and alone. Always second guessing. Always doubting. Always unsure..........
I hate OCD but I refuse to be shamed any longer because of it. This is my confession.