I’ve been taking a lot of notice of a particular thought pattern of mine.
I’m away on holidays - yeah! - and I’m really calm, happy and at peace. Our time away with the other parent it is exceeding my expectations. Things are going alone really smoothly. Our last holiday together, the other parent finalised our relationship was over, for good.
We were 13 hours away from home – I cried most of those days away.
Not this time though. I feel really grateful that we’ve come this far, so far. I’m thankful for the hard work we’ve all put in to be able to be here today to enjoy each day. And from this good time I’ve noticed I'm continuously thinking about those I know or feel judged by. It’s super interesting. Annoying. But still interesting. I’ve been like this my whole life. Worrying about others. This is no surprise. However, I’ve done SOOOOO much work on this thought pattern, and to no avail, it is still knocking me around.
It got me thinking while we were fishing.
Funny how you can take an autistic on holiday and they’ll still use that time to work .. in their heads! We just love to think and work. It feels as good as a holiday! Anyway, back to what I was saying. I thought about how the thought pattern is very similar to disordered eating, I experienced 20 years ago. The only difference was the topic is different. So instead of thinking about food and my body I am here obsessing about being judged and what I’d say to those people if I saw them.
I never say what I imagine I’m going to say! Ha!
Then I thought the disordered eating thinking is very similar to my child’s OCD with germs and disease. Hmmm… could disordered eating be an OCD thing? Why not, I thought. It’s obsessive thinking that runs whether I wanted it to or not. It’s not rational, and it took over everything. Then I thought, well if the disordered eating is OCD that could mean that this thought pattern about people could also be type of OCD too!
My whole body relaxed – like I finally solved a mysterious lifelong struggle!
It makes sense. My child has an OCD neurology who I gave birth too. It would make sense I also have an OCD neurology but just never saw it that way and OK I overcome the eating OCD, but it would make sense I have OCD thoughts in other ways. But just didn’t know it. I’m back from fishing, and I’m going to have searched for this thing.
OMG! I can’t believe what I have found!
There is such a thing called Responsibility OCD! Far out! “Sufferers are less concerned about their own welfare, and more concerned with the repercussions of their actions or non-actions.” Oh yes, I am! The people in my head that I feel judged by are the people I also think believe I am wrong. I do fear the repercussions of the things I said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do. That I’ll be seen in a bad light. I spend so much time in my thoughts defending who I am and the choices I make.
Read my posts … it’s all in there! Ha!
“They worry endlessly about accidentally hurting others, and often times take responsibility for things that are not their fault” Now this may be referring to physical injury, I’m not sure. However, I strongly relate to this just in a different way. I go over and over and over in my head about the interactions with others asking myself if I hurt them emotionally or mentally. I question if I what I said or didn’t say or what I did or didn’t do hurt them?
Trying to work out why they judge me so fiercely?
Is this why they tell others what a horrible human I am and turn them against me. I know I sound paranoid - however, mobbing is a genuine and common form of abuse in the family, group and social and workplace settings. Something I have done to others when younger and others have done to me.
It's so hard not to take responsibility for others harms!
Maybe this is why? “...the anxiety about possibly causing another person harm is often unfounded and detrimental to daily life”. It really annoyed me that I spent 2 days of my holiday obsessing about a catch up I had with friends the day before going on holiday.
The catch up with one friend made me feel ill.
That feeling triggers my obsessive thoughts because I try to work out why I feel ill. The thoughts are all about ‘did I hurt them; offend, upset, annoy, ignore, them? Did I take over, talk too much, not say enough? Did these things hurt them?’ It consumes my thoughts. I can’t be present to others, especially my child when my head is like this.
I feel like shit when I’m obsessing, and I can’t stop it starting.
Wait for it! “This is similar to people with Contamination OCD” OMG! Can you believe it! They relate this thinking pattern to OCD! Just like I had wondered myself! This is very validating! And the icing on the cake; “Your character is at risk if you do the wrong thing and you feel devastated if someone thinks you’re a bad person.”
Yes! I am terrified of being a bad person!
Maybe this is why it is so difficult for me to tell anyone about my work, my website. What if others feel hurt by the things I’ve shared and think I’M A BAD PERSON! ARRRGGH!! This thinking stops me from doing so many things. I understand it also makes me a target for being mistreated because my OCD happily and obsessively takes responsibility for others. Good to know. I knew I have all of these thoughts and fears and now I have a word to explain it! I use to hate labels, however, when they help to explain things about me that I've not understood (and given myself such a hard time for), that makes so much sense, I embrace them wholeheartedly.
A label can be like coming home – it can be so freeing.
Label or no label though, I understand OCD is not my fault. It’s not something I can control. I know this through the experience I have with my child who has Contamination OCD. “Having intrusive thoughts does not make you a bad person.
They are a misfiring in the brain, not a reflection of your character.”
Now my body entirely relaxes. I am not a failure. It’s not because I’m immature, weak, stupid or self-centred (due to choice). It’s because of the way my brain is wired that I think this way. What a relief to know this! FINALLY! No doubt there are other areas my OCD plays out. I can’t wait to learn about what they are and how they have impacted my life, work and relationships with myself and others.
I can now love and accept my Responsibility OCD and be at peace with it.
STRETCH _ EMBRACE _ SOAR
Whether I accept this or not, or have a diagnosis or not, it is still true for me that I feel relieved relating and identifying with Responsibility OCD.
INTRAPERSONAL CREATIVE QUEST
To love, trust, revel and lead with our beautiful autistic minds
through knowing and acting on our Roarheart
the inner inexplainable knowledge and truth
~ our intuition ~
Reflect and create a picture or journal the answer to;
Have I thought, felt, done or experienced things like this?
Share with another anything discovered in the Sacred Writing/Creating.
Do I feel responsible for others harms, fearing I harm others, obsessively worrying about my interactions with others, terrified of being a bad person?
I pause with quiet reflection upon those moments where I spend copious amounts of time worrying about harming others and seen as bad person.
TODAY’S THANK YOU
I am willing to THANK all my regretful, angry, fearful and negative thoughts I may have.
I will trust, even if I don’t want to, all that I am aware of now, is how it is has meant to be – to be open to something new.
I am willing to put aside everything I think I know about myself/child, my life, my past and my future, to have an open mind and a new experience with obsessive thoughts about responsibility of others.
I am open to the possibility of embracing my responsibility OCD, receiving new thoughts to love, trust, revel and lead with our Roarheart [our inexplainable inner knowledge and truth – our intuition] learning how to know, direct and master our individualised lives.