OCD, Shame, Fear, Hate, Traumatic Childhood…Oh My?

I find myself upset, or “moody” currently and getting depressed. So rather than anxiety triggering a compulsion…it’s my depression. Which for some reason, doesn’t really feel right or make sense. It’s like my brain is saying, “Hey, this makes the anxiety go away, will it make the *sad* go away too?”

I can’t stop listening to my song on repeat. And while that doesn’t sound like a “compulsion”…I need to go on my drive and do it. My anxiety is now building because of my depression and the need to do this. So…it’s like feeding into it. It’s just, disgusting.

My intrusive thoughts had actually been a bit better the past couple of days because I had emailed my Pastor…and basically was like, yeah maybe I need to connect with someone from the church. Which is a HUGE step for me. Because I’m flat out terrified of people. But, I was doing ok, because I felt that was a necessary “evil” for me to actually get better.

And I listened to a podcast my Pastor did on fear…and then the subsequent one played on shame. I had not intended to listen to it, it accidentally played. But I did listen. And it shed light. I didn’t think I felt shame, but I indeed do. Shame for my childhood.

When pressed by anyone (mental health care professionals), I pretty much am tight lipped about my childhood. I give a brief overview and tell them that my previous therapist called my childhood “traumatic”. Air quotes and all.

I’m a moron.

I was driving with my loud music and thinking (that’s when I think best), and analyzing what I had heard. I was trying to identify my fear and the why. This was directly after driving to the church to do my ERP by parking outside to sit, and I couldn’t even pull into the parking lot. There were too many people so I panicked and drove past.

What are you scared of?

I realized I’m terrified of people. Not just the thoughts. The intrusive thoughts are indeed triggered by the anxiety, but I’m scared of people. And why? Because since being a tiny child, they have all been horrible to me. Close family members have molested, abused, yelled, blamed, shamed…my home was not a safe haven for me to find comfort.

My sister hated me when I was little, like truly hate. And not like normal sibling rivalry, she would delight in torturing me. It started very young when we shared a bed, she would pretend at night to be possessed by a demon until I would scream for my parents. She was delighted by this. As we got older and after our parents divorced, things did not improve either. She would encourage the other children at our schools to make fun of me. No matter what school we went to, so a fresh start was always dreaded. What new way would the kids find to pick on me? As we got even older and my mother felt comfortable enough to leave us home alone? She would chase me around the house with a kitchen knife. Laughing maniacally. A very real, sharp knife from the butcher block. I would feel outright terror, because in all honesty I thought she was going to stab or kill me.

I suppose those things could be dismissed as children being children. But not when one is obviously being tortured and the other is taking extreme delight.

I’ll gloss over high school, that was a train wreck. But after my rape and my mother telling me I was stupid/horrible and it was my fault, things went even further downhill (it was indeed possible). Only 2 months after my assault, I started in a huge university (Vs. a graduating class of 49) and I ended up so very overwhelmed. After only a few weeks in, I caught pneumonia and missed a week of classes. I ended up back in class and so behind and hit with pop quizzes and work I didn’t understand, plus a trauma I had not recovered from (I did not admit it at the time)… it was a pressure cooker!

I ended up attempting suicide by taking every pill I could possibly find. I laid down to just die quietly. Well, that was my hope. But a bunch of pills is NOT a quiet peaceful death. No, no sir indeed. My stomach hurt immensely and I began to regret my decision, and I reached out to a neighboring psych student and told him what I had done.

Well, my mother reacted to this just as well as my rape I suppose. My school’s response was to expel me, which I guess…is what it is. What was she to do? She told me I could move back home, but I needed to get a full time job within a few weeks, pay rent, insurance, and start attending the local college.

I was honestly just in shock. I was in a very bad place mentally, I had just attempted suicide and spent a week in a mental hospital in a large city, with folks absolutely bat *poop* crazy, compared to me. And this is what she thought I needed? For real?! (No mention of any mental health treatments).

So what did I do?

I ran.

I packed up and moved several hundreds of miles away to live with my father, whom I didn’t really know very well. And his soon to be wife and her set of kids. Little kids, because he liked his women young. That was a huge mistake. His wife ended up being a raging alcoholic bipolar nightmare who would beat her own children with kitchen utensils (or whatever she could grab that would hurt). I lasted with them about a year, when she got drunk one night and he was out, she was raving on the phone with her mother, complaining about me. I honestly don’t know why she hated me, because as an honest assessment, I did my best to not be a burden and help as best I knew how. Anyways, I basically got kicked out and had to call my grandparents to come help me pack up my stuff on the spot right that night.

So abuse after abuse, from the pot into the fire. Never felt safe at home. My step-fathers were always jerks. The one I had longest term as a teen hated my guts and would threaten to throw me down the stairs. The only reason he didn’t was likely legal reasons and he knew my mom would boot him out. Can’t exactly hide or deny broken bones, now can we? It honestly just really hurts that my sister is still in contact and on good terms with that particular step-dad of ours. He hid money from our family when at one point we didn’t have money for food. He was a bad man. But, my sister and him got along well. Go figure.

I digress.

People scare me. Even my closest people have mistreated me, so why wouldn’t I be terrified of everyone? My own husband has only recently taken steps to stop yelling at me and talking to me badly.

I sit here now and hate on myself. But why is the hate aimed at me and not the rest of the world for being so mean to me? I really am a kind and loving person and go out of my way to do nice things for…everyone. But I hate me and not everyone else who has mistreated me. This doesn’t make sense to me.

My thoughts today have been on repeat, “I’m stupid and horrible, I hate me.”

Why? WHY?

I tried to counter them with biblical truths like my pastor suggested, but honestly…I’m just too distressed to think of a verse or truth. Maybe I need to write them down and pull them out to read. But well, that would be hourly. Or, what’s more often than hourly?

This is why I’m depressed. And I guess why I feel the compulsion to do SOMETHING to make it stop. My anxiety has built now until it’s nearly unbearable. If I don’t do my “drive”, I feel like I will…die. I don’t know how to explain it. If I don’t, I honestly have the urge to actively self-injure. And well, I don’t want to do that. But the tiny voice says, “Just a little will help and no one will know. Just a little.”

That’s a lie. A little becomes a need for more and more and more. And the need grows and doesn’t stop.

I want it to stop but I don’t know how. I guess that’s why I give in to the acceptable need to drive and listen to my music. It’s a safe release of my anxiety. It’s a bajillion times better than self-harm, hands down, no contest.

A little giving in to the compulsion will make the hate stop. I hope.

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