EPISODE 3 TRANSCRIPT
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So this is a weird third video to produce. As someone that follows many YouTubers, I know it’s not unusual to create a video telling your own personal story. The difference between those YouTubers and myself however, is that they usually release this type of video far into their time on YouTube after gaining a substantial following. As much as I’d like to hold off on producing this type of video, if I’m going to position myself as any type of authority on OCPD and hopefully gain some of your trust, I’m going to have to tell you how I got to this point. My plan is to make this a three part series in which I take you from childhood and bring you up the present. In this first of three videos I’m going to start with the beginning, and bring us up and through my high school years. So as much as it pains me to do this, let’s get started.
One thing I want to be careful of in telling my story, is to not stray to far from the facts as they pertain particularly to OCPD. The second thing I need to find a way to do is to protect the identities of those I NEED to mention in my videos. It’s going to be tricky as I want to be specific enough to identify the moments that compounded my symptoms over the course of time, but vague enough to not call anyone out specifically. So wish me luck on that.
I was born in England and grew up between the north east of the U.S. and the south of England. I don’t have any strong early memories any of the OCPD characteristics I know and have today. The earliest symptoms would probably be being overly neat and tidy for a young child. My toys would always be put away when I was done playing with them Everything had a “home” and my bed would always be made. That sort of thing. My early years were relatively happy, or they were at least situationally happy.
I grew up in a religion that was very restrictive and my earliest memories of unhappiness were a result of bullying I endured because of my faith. I didn’t fit in with peers partially because of my religious convictions and partially because I never felt I really related to people my own age. All throughout my teenage years most of my friends would have been older than me and very few of my friends would have been people I actually attended school with.
I have no doubt that I grew up with parents that loved me, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t without faults as is the case with all parents since the beginning of time. I don’t want to go too far into revealing all of the things that I struggled with, with my parents, because I can’t even be sure which things affected me and which things didn’t. There are a few things that stand out and there are a few things worth mentioning. I mentioned that my early years were relatively happy. The reason I say only my early years would be because at some point there was some serious friction that came up in my household between the “adults” and from that point on things were never resolved and there was an air of uneasiness. The next thing worth mentioning is that I have my own suspicions that my own father is OCPD. There are many different ways in which OCPD can manifest itself and I’ll say there was a strong controlling component to the way my father parented. I love both of my parents and have no desire to throw anyone under the bus here other than myself, so I’m going to leave that there for now. If there are questions that come up in the comments I feel comfortable delving into, I”ll answer them there. The last thing I’ll discuss as relates to them for the time being is that there was this moment when I was pretty young that I was confronted with information that the possibility existed that my father was not my birth father. I know that it affected me to know that from that point on and it shaped certain ways in which I see the world. But again, it’s hard to say how much that would have influenced my personality disorder. The trouble being, with OCPD, the jury is out on how much of it is the result of nurture and how much is the result of nature (ie genetics).
I lost three of my grandparents all during my developmental years. The death of my grandmother hit me especially hard as she was the warmest and kindest person in my life up to that point. Part of the struggle of my disorder is grappling with the realities of death, and I think that some of that would have come from that time period. I also experienced a few deaths around me of people that died much too early. Those deaths also shook me and those experiences are still rattling around in my head to this day.
The earliest memories of what I now know as symptoms of my disorder would have been in high school I believe, or right around that time. What I remember is being overly particular about things to a point where others were taking notice. At this point I began feeling different from others in a bador negative way. In a way in which I started to try and mask my feelings or come up with excuses for my strange behavior.
Before I get into those years though, there were a few other events that shaped me before high school outside of issues I may have had within my family. During my middle school years i was bullied to a point where i became very sick. This time it wasn’t by a fellow student though. I had a teacher that despised me because of my religious convictions. She targeted and harassed me and for a very long time I remained quiet about it. Eventually I developed this persistent cough and felt sick and tired all of the time. The long and short of it is that I was hospitalised for ten days while they ran multiple tests per day for all of those ten days. By the end of the ten days they determined it was a psychosomatic illness. Basically my body was was telling me through actual physical maladies or symptoms, that it was under two much stress. I would have been around 9 or 10 at this time and I think it’s very telling how much stress I took on and how negatively my body would physically react to that stress at such a young age. I finished out the rest of that school year with a tutor. I then had to return the following year to all the same students, without being able to explain why I had been gone. People generally don’t like non-comformists, and with how much I stuck out at that point, being bullied became a part of my life from that point on. I mention this only because as I try and reach out to others with OCPD I would like to see where there are similar crossovers during those developmental years, as there is no way of currently knowing how much this played a part in what happened later in the developing and cementing of my symptoms or routines as others would come to call them.
So now we get to the part I’m dreading. The part I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time and energy over the years to cover up. The symptoms! As much as I’d rather not go into them, it would be impossible to reach people if I’m not honest about how the OCPD presented in my early years. Now the symptoms I have today have sadly increased exponentially and also differ from those of my youth, but this is how it started.
During my teenage years I had an oily complexion. Not that rare of a thing for a teenager, but the amount of turmoil it caused is hard to justify and hard to explain. OCPD is easily and frequently misdiagnosed as OCD because it presents with a lot of rituals. and due to my complexion, I started to develop my own set of rules and rituals. It’s not uncommon for these rituals to be based around the idea of things being dirty. Usually, at least as far anything I’ve ever read has explained, this idea of dirtiness is based on things being dirty in appearance or the idea that something or someone is contaminated by germs.
For me it was something different (although there was some elements early on pertaining to germs). It was something stranger and for me seemingly more embarrassing. It was grease or oil. On an anxiety scale from one to ten, having to interact with something or someone that had been exposed to grease was a 10. For example, shaking someone’s hand after seeing them eat a french fry was terrifying. For someone that doesn’t have this particular affliction, you couldn’t imagine how many times a day I would run into these sorts of situations. From not wanting to grab door handles, to not wanting to sit on a chair in a restaurant. As crazy as all this sounds, and believe me I’m uncomfortable talking about it because it feels just as crazy to me, it became much worse over time. All of this irrational fear lead to an incredible amount of hand washing. Hand washing to the point where my knuckles were just constantly bleeding. And having an oily complexion complicated things to the nth degree when having to interact with anything my face touched, which may not seem like something that would interfere with your day, but imagine avoiding touching your face from the moment you get out of the shower in the morning until you lie back down in bed at night. A really embarrassing example of this was trying to find legitimate sounding excuses for why friends couldn’t sit on my bed when hanging out at my house. If they sat on the bed they would be “contaminated” from my point of view and from that point on, anything else thatthey touched in my room or house would be “contaminated”. I’m not really sure how to explain all of this in a way that would make sense to literally anyone, and all I can do is assure you that life was quickly becoming an exhausting and unending stream of situations I was trying to avoid.
But it’s at this level that the OCPD starts pouring over into others areas of your psyche. This is where the self doubt, the feeling that you’re crazy, the depression and anxiety start to creep in. Trying to deal with feeling like a crazy person and hiding all of these strange new routines at the same time, is a lot for a teenager to handle. Which is why I wasn’t able to handle it for very long. It wasn’t long before I was getting stares for strange behavior, people asking questions and making hurtful comments. I spent the rest of high school basically just being a freak, as the being bullied increased my levels of stress, and the heightened stress increased the number of unusual and hard to hide routines. Ostracized for my religious beliefs and being treated like a freak for incessant hand washing and not allowing anyone to ever touch me for any reason in any manner lead me to a very dark place pretty quickly. As I’ve mentioned religion a few times at this point I’d like to clear something up. I’m not clear as to how much my being a part of this religion directly impacted my symptoms. I bring it up because I am clear as to how much it indirectly impacted me. By making me stand out, it increased how much I would have been picked on, and that would have lead to the higher stress levels that partially increased the number and frequency of symptoms.
I made visits to various counselors and psychiatrists. During this time I was incorrectly diagnosed with OCD and correctly diagnosed with major depression. I was put on medications but I never liked the way I felt like they were messing with my brain chemistry, so I never stuck with them (which in hindsight sucks).
I’d like to finish this first of three videos off by saying I do not believe in a victim mentality. I own the things that are wrong with me and the odd and often poor decisions I make. Kids are mean and that’s just how we express the frustrations of growing up and how we find our way in this world, and I stood my ground many, many times. It would be ridiculous to hold grudges or throw any sort of blame on anyone from this time. I’m simply taking you on a journey with me to show you how this personality disorder simply came to be within myself.
In the next video in which I continue my story, I’ll delve into my university years and beyond. Because up until this point, the people in my life had been pretty patient with the symptoms that had started to manifest. This wasn’t going to remain the case for too much longer.