Tuesday, January 22, 2013

OCD meddling in my education (again)

What do you know, the insert picture function thingy is working today! Hence my photo not taking over more of the blog than it should.
Today, if OCD were little g gods, I would have offended the gods.
Actually, I did it last night. Thank you so much, professor, for giving OCD the opportunity to knock me to my knees. I'll have you know, however, that I am making some small show of resistance. Which I will explain.
This is what I did. I did the communication screen with a little kid as per the instructions.
Then, looking over it at home, I thought I missed something, so proceeded to correct something to say how the child actually pronounced it, not how I forgot and left it. And then the monster pounced.
Because, being an hour or so removed from the situation, I no longer knew for absolute certain how the child said that word anymore. But I had just struck through the assumed mispronounced sound. So do I go all the way and put above it the sound I think she substituted? Do I stop where I am? Do I type the lab up so that they never see the offending strike of the pen?
Context; the child's pronouncing or miss-pronouncing this sound is irrelevant; the sound doesn't need learned until later in the child's life.
But accuracy! has forever been compromised. And, since I have OCD and the OCD happened to pounce on it, I am dreadfully aware of it.
Well, I tried to cut my losses and just not do anything more. Which might show them that I made a mistake, or might look like the child ommited the sound, which I'm positive didn't happen. So maybe leaving it was misleading. But you can't erase blue pen from black print on white paper. Which is kind of the idea of using a blue pen. Showing it is valid and unaltered. Rats!
The OCD is very disturbed.
So, I did not explain my predicament to the instructor about my minor pen mark. I thought that sounded too compulsion-like ("Professor, I'm so sorry; I made a mistake. I put this mark on the paper and now I don't know what I should have done. So here is my scrupulously honest letter explaining my very horrible tiny mistake. Please don't fail me for "falsifying" information on a lab").
The "falsifying" word comes from the exposition on the academic honesty standard that was carefully expounded to us at the beginning of the semester. I realize that what it really means is that I will actually do the lab instead of sitting at home and making up the answers. But OCD is busy trying to make a way for me to be kicked out of school.
The other thing I didn't do was re-type the lab. Which is compulsion-ish while also arrousing OCD on the "that might be dishonest" account, so I'm kind of left 50-50 on that being a compulsion resisted and a compulsion completed all at once.
So if I drew an OCD cartoon today (which I still might, but you wont see it until later), it wouldn't be as victorious as the picture above. It would probably be me suffering the anxiety of a run-in with OCD before I come out the victor (which means OCD doesn't have to get back at me yet, since he's still getting at me the first time, so I guess that is a small plus).


  1. Abigail, The quandary you got in over correcting/not correcting the lab report is so familiar to me. I have the same issues with accuracy and honesty. I think you handled it well and with a lot of self-awareness. Love the cartoon, and I think it's great to express yourself through art!

  2. Ugh I remember those stressful situations from college!!!! I was forever tormented wondering if I was cheating or not. Good for you for not re-typing!

  3. Love the cartoon! And I think you handled your "situation" well!

  4. Concerns with perfect accuracy and the topic of your cartoons, about not knowing if you stole something, are things that I often worry about. In stores I usually check my hands, especially if I've looked at jewlery, just in case I forgot. I've even had a dream that I stole sunglasses on accident. When writing, I check facts even when I am 100% sure that I am correct, silly things included. All of my letters have to be just right, too, circles always have to be closed. There are other things like: walking up stairs in a particular way, lights have to be on when entering a closed off room, turning faucets and light switches on and off because I am not convinced that they are truely off, tapping my door to prove it's shut, checking my alarm clock over and over again and feeling the occasional need to say a word with a specific letter in it. I check everything several times before moving on, and even then I am not satisfied. I am not superstitious AT ALL, but I do not like to step on large cracks. In fact, when I walk on a sidewalk I like to take an even number of steps on each slab. I used to avoid the side of my bed that I had dubbed the wrong side, and if a part of my body slipped over I would have to clean it by putting it over the good side. I am constantly washing my hands, for any reason, though I have no fear of germs, and I will not touch anything. I hate any sniffling, coughing or sneezing sound to the point where I have to cancel it out with my own sound or snap of the fingers. Also, I have to have the last word, always, or I go nuts. I am not very tidy, even sloppy, but with some things I can be picky. Bad grammer and spelling make me cringe and I try hard to erase the images from my mind. There are other things, too. I drive my family crazy. Could this be ocd, or just strange habits; I have been reading lots on ocd, but I cannot tell. My lack of order makes me think not, but my frustrating habits, which at times seem hard to control, make it seem possible. I am sorry, this isn't really a comment, though I did like your cartoon. I just felt the need to get this out. I haven't really talked about this with my parents, I am 16, and I wanted to put this somewhere appropriate that didn't require my email or phone number.

    1. make an appt. with your doctor and tell him/her this info. They will get you started with a proper diagnosis if you need one and places to go for help. good luck.

    2. I agree with Karin; this would be a good thing to discuss with your doctor. I hope you can talk about it with your parents, too. You could even print off your comment and show it to your parents/doctor; sometimes I find some things easier to say in writing (or in pictures).

      Not everybody with OCD is worried about germs, and not everybody with OCD keeps their surroundings clean and orderly.

      And I wish you good luck, too. :)

  5. Loved, loved, loved your cartoon, Abigail. My college years were full of ocd ruminations in my head- about cheating, being honest, sexuality etc. It was not a fun time- altho i did have fun. Now I understand those years better as at the time i had no idea what was wrong. I thot i was just having 'evil' thots.

    One of your pic's struck home! I remember years ago, wishing i was worrying about something real- like whether i was stealing as it could be PROVEN that i didn't take anything. Nope, i had to 'feel' that 'maybe' i had been molesting my son while i changed his diaper.- something that couldn't be proven. Now that i know what ocd is, i realize that actual proof doesn't solve the problem- ocd would find a way around the lack of evidence. But your pic. reminded me of how i used to long to be able to show myself evidence of no wrongdoing.

    I hope you're able to jump on the ocd monster enuf to get your school work done- and get some rest too.

    1. Thanks, Karin.

      And your obsession experiences you mentioned here bring memories of more of my obsession experiences. But I need to remember that these obsessions aren't all attacking me anymore, thankfully.