Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dark night of the soul...

I need to share something with you. I have been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Mainly manifesting itself as Religious Scrupulosity. I'm bringing it up now, because while Chowder is interviewing for new positions and our household future is up in the air, my OCD is "flaring." I am not on medication because I am breastfeeding. My therapist suggested that I try journaling to help rid my mind of some of my obsessions.

After panicking so badly that I almost threw-up, I explained that to write down the horrendous morbid thoughts that plague my mind would make them concrete. It would ensure them actually happening. There was no way. He suggested then that I write them down using fictional characters in the role of my various loved ones. I'm not completely sure that I can do that, but we'll see.

So, I started another blog. WAIT! Do not go rushing over there. There are images there right now that you do not want to see. They are horrid, tragic, and unfortunately real. The content over there will be, by intent, incredibly morbid and melodramatic. I will also not be censoring my language. I will post this link, just once. (you can reach it through my profile) The comments are disabled.

My reflections over there are not of my true faith. my true belief in God. They are distorted by this mental illness. I welcome any prayers that you would like to offer up for the healing of my mind, but I don't need advice on reading the bible more or any other theological teachings. I am seeing a therapist and soon a spiritual director. Chowder has tried to help me be more rational and understand the nature of God. This is not the problem. I know the obsessions are irrational. I know that worrying about things out of my control is not productive. I know these things.

My obssessions focus around my motherhood and the undeserved blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I feel the need to be the perfect mother, so as to deserve the children that God has given me and not incite him to take them back. That is the big umbrella. The smaller compulsions that fall under it are many and varied. My first post on the other blog is an example of one of my "penances." I couldn't figure out at first whether my morbid behavior was an obsession or a compulsion. But, after writing it down and thinking more about it, I realized it was a complusion. A penance. Because I have done nothing to deserve living my life in the company of my beautiful children, and yet I have been crabby and distant with them lately. Since, I have my children with me I owe it to them and those that have lost their children, to be a perfect mother. If I'm not, God might notice that and take them back.

I know I know. You are chomping at the bit to try and make me feel better. to tell me how we are all crabby and distant sometimes. how God doesn't work that way. And some of you, my darling friends will still try. I love you for that. But the reason I put that paragraph in italics is because it is completely irrational and I know that. I will continue to post about my faith which is seperate from my mental illness.

9 comments:

Jenni said...

Oh gosh Kate, I understand. I really, REALLY understand!! I can't believe I understand, but I will not try to make you feel better because I understand that it will not help. I will pray for you, though. I visited your other blog and...I understand. Dark nights indeed.

PastorMac's Ann said...

Cakes, I'll pray for you.

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry you suffer from this. Many (((HUGS))) and prayers for you.

natalia said...

Dear Kate, Thank you for your vulnerability. I had a look at your other site, and what you are saying does not seem so strange to me. We may think more alike than we know. Perhaps for different reasons. I have lost a child and these thoughts come to me too, I don't call them morbid, though, just tragic, because I have looked on my own child's body, and that was awful, and crazy-making from loss and pain, but not disgusting. Sometimes I feel a need to focus on these things too, it almost seems cathartic but I'm not sure if it really is - but I don't share those times because I'm sure others would not handle it! Again, I may be unusual but I really appreciate your sharing. Many, many hugs....

Rebecca said...

Thank you for being so honest. As a mother I too sometimes struggle with that huge responsibility. I can feel that I don't deserve such happyness, such beautiful children, loving husband, dream home. I know that I have so much, and I live in fear (even terror) of the loss of what I have. I know loss too, both my father and mother to cancer in very recent times. I can't bear to begin to imagine the loss of a child.

I've been going to hypnotherapy which is helping me to work through my fears, learn from them and understand them. I go to reiki healing, thats time only for me, because I deserve the time out and tlc in a completely neutral setting.

The suggestion of writing it down is a good one I think. Write it all out, just let it flow, let it go wherever the words want to, don't think about what it means when writing. Then afterwards, what about putting a match to the paper as a symbol of releasing those fears. You could then write a page of how you want life, and your thoughts, to be ... all positive. Keep that good piece of paper, when you feel bad, read it.

Cakes said...

Thank you, Ladies, so much, for your comments, your prayers and your honesty. The night is not so dark when you're not alone...

Anne said...

I can't make you feel better--just love you. Just because.

One thing---do you know how happy you make others? At least every Saturday morning.

chris said...

you're absolutely right when you say that no one else can do it for you. i applaud the courage you show by taking the bull by the horns. we have 5 kids too, and i struggle with them being the "other gods before me." blessings

Sally said...

Kate, I know OCD only too well.
It is a painful path to walk and one you must walk for yourself, but you are not alone.

I am praying for you, my dear, that you find release from the darkness and the compulsions.