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My Nieces Come for a Visit

What is more precious than a baby?  My niece recently had a baby girl, and she is adorable.  One thing that germophobes understand is that OCD is a snowball.  When my niece was small, I held her and played with her as any doting aunt would.  Things are different with my grandniece; I can’t easily do the same things with her twenty-some years later.  When they visited during the winter months it wasn’t so bad because I would put on my cotton gloves to hold her.  Now that summer is here, it seems silly to wear gloves, and I don’t want to offend my niece even though she knows about my OCD.

I enjoy the visits with my nieces, but without my cotton gloves, I have a feeling of dread during what should be a very pleasant time.  I am dreading the aftermath, the cleanup.  It is the standard “superwash” – alternating with alcohol and soap, gradually working my way up my arms each time.  It gets really challenging when the point of contamination starts up fairly high on my arms.  I have to use the alcohol and soap at least five times, and if the first round starts high, I have to be extremely careful to move up mere millimeters the next round.  If I run out of space before reaching my underarms I might as well jump in the shower and get it over with.

But this is a baby girl.  What on earth about such a sweet, little human being could compel me to do a superwash?  She is crawling now, and I have documented my view of the floor – any floor.  A floor is impossible to sanitize, in fact, it is teeming with germs.  A crawling baby is, therefore, covered with floor germs.  As much as I love her, this presents a huge problem.  I hold her anyway and deal with it by using the superwash.

After reading the above, I am surely stating the obvious, but my OCD has affected my family relationships.  My mother in particular has a hard time dealing with the reality that I cannot hug her.  I have hugged her only a few times in the past few years despite the fact that she is quite ill and could really use a hug.  One of those times was the day her mother died.  OCD is harsh.  The aversion to germs is overpowering and all-consuming.

About admin

I am a female in my early 40's who has been dealing with OCD since age 10 and a fear of germs since 14.
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