One Long Night

 

Planning my daughter’s nursery was a nightmare. Not just because I could barely move from the spd, but because everything in my room in my house growing up actually just added to the terror.

 

Let me explain. Nothing ever happened at night. Nobody came in. Nobody was after me. But, I believed there were people, every night, trying to get into my windows and through my door. I had OCD, and not only was I asking/begging God to spare my life from these evil things trying to get in, I was also trying to convince him not to kill my parents. Because, you see, I was in control of that. Somehow. And somehow kissing mailboxes during the day, writing notes to God and leaving them under rocks, kissing car windows and singing certain songs quickly or backwards was the way I warded against evil. I also bowed to clocks. Something about the passage of time, something about those numbers and what they represented…

 

I remember my neighbor had made sweet bedding for me. It was animal themed. Later I got a bed with canopy, and it rattled every time I breathed, it was horrifying.

 

My mom would read me a story, I would close my eyes, and after she left I would get up, turn on the light, lock the door, and start my night.

 

I know I slept. I know this because I would wake up in different spots in the room – never in my bed. I would pass out during the pacing or bowing and just fall asleep right on the carpet. Dark blue carpet. Dark blue is my least favorite color.

 

There was also a lot of pee. I wet the bed when I was in it, but I would pee in mixing bowls that I hid under my bed. I couldn’t leave the room to pee – there were people waiting.

 

This went on for so long that I actually don’t remember a night when it didn’t happen. It feels like nighttime in my childhood was one long night of terror.

 

When I reread what I just wrote my immediate thought was, “Then why the hell did you have a baby who might have this?” You might be thinking that, too. But, my brothers weren’t like that. Just because I have red hair does not mean she’ll have red hair. But, if she does have red hair, I’ll teach her to use sunblock and to wear a hat. If she has any of these signs of OCD or anything else? I’m going to advocate for my child the way I know my mom wishes she had done for me. But she just didn’t know. It was a secretive time – though it lasted years. Once my brother found a letter to God under a rock that said I love my mommy and daddy. He thought it was so cute. When he told me about it as an adult I said yeah, because I didn’t want him to kill them. His face fell.

I wonder about every object that goes in the nursery. Is this white bunny her blue carpet?

But so far, and it’s only been 6 months, there has been so much joy. I have to believe that I can be a great mom for her. That I can push myself, that I can keep taking my medicine and go to appointments, that I can eventually have a job to show her that disabled people can work, doing things they love.

OCD

 

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