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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Touch of OCD

Yesterday I went to counseling with my husband, and we talked a little bit about how I usually take on way too much, and then I'm way too hard on myself about how things come out. Like the time that I sent the photo of my 2x2 ribbing to the Knitters Guild to have them look and tell me that I had done wrong, and they told me that the swatch looked fine and I was being too hard on myself. "This is not machine knitting" she told me. I've always had a hard time accepting compliments, and I usually concentrate on the areas that I didn't do well, and don't see all the things that I did very well.

During the session, I got to talking about how the stress of my father's death, my break-up, moving, and finding out about Dante's ADHD left a mark on me and how I haven't been quite the same since. I feel like I just didn't handle things as well as I could have...I was just too tired and too agitated to be much of a parent to Dante for at least a year. I wasn't very much fun to live with, and I think that it affected my relationship with Dante for a long time. We weren't very close and I had a hard time connecting with him. All my time went to making sure that I got him to school, that I got to work, and that we both got to church. I felt a bit like Bella in New Moon after Edward left her, and she spent most of the book pretending to be normal for Charlie. I tried to look like nothing was wrong for Dante. And now I have guilt about that. Even though I know that I shouldn't and that nothing that happened was my fault, I still feel it. Now I get really upset anytime I talk about Dante and things that he's been through, like 6th grade math, because all I can think about is everything that I didn't get to do for him. My counselor stopped me in the middle of telling her everything I was doing now to make sure he can pass math this coming year, and told me that I started to cry about not doing enough, but all she's heard me talk about is everything that I was doing for my family. It's just that what ever I do never seems like enough when I'm working, and maybe I'm feeling a little anxiety about going back to work.

I should start work in the next week or two and to help me stay focused, I have asked Aaron to tell me when I'm being too hard on myself. We talked in the session, and decided that he should ask me if he can help me with anything, and that can be my que to calm down or re-prioritize. But the really funny thing that we talked about is that I knit constantly because I need to do something with my hands at all times. I'm used to running on all cylinders, all the time and I don't know how to do one thing at a time anymore. She said that I might have a touch of OCD and that the knitting helps hold off the anxiety. It's funny because I studied OCD this week, and usually Psychology students get paranoid that they have everything they read about (like med students do), but I didn't pick up anything when I read about OCD. I figured I had some issues with depression (which I have in the past) but not any compulsive issues. And maybe I have a little bit of a compulsion to knit, but it doesn't help at all that there are so many patterns out there that I want to knit, that I couldn't get them all knit if I did nothing but knit every day of my life. So last night after I realized that I made a mistake on the heel flap and had to rip it back, I decided that it was a good time to put the knitting down, went and got a hot cocoa, and sat on the couch next to Aaron and just watched wrestling with him. It was relaxing. Maybe I'll try today to allow myself to do nothing, and see what happens.

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