I’ve spent most of my adult life in therapy, I’ve come to realize. Therapy was no stranger to me starting from the age of 15. I don’t believe that the reason I started seeing a therapist at that age was for the right reasons, not that I didn’t need one. I’ve needed one from about the time I was 4 if I’m honest. That’s when I can remember the anxiety starting, that’s when the OCD first reared its ugly, controlling head. Of course, I didn’t know things like OCD back then, it was just this force within me that I knew I had to obey. Being raised in a religious household, at first I thought it was God. What else was so powerful to make you do something? I wasn’t a bad girl so it wasn’t the devil, I knew that much.
I wasn’t diagnosed with OCD til I was 15. I hid it from my parents, my friends, my siblings, teachers, classmates, doctors, any and everyone. I just knew that I would get these compulsive needs suddenly. It wasn’t anything distracting and I could hide it well – I’d count my steps in my head, for instance. It wasn’t noticeable, but it was tearing me apart from the inside. That’s about the time I started losing faith in the religion side of things. It’s been tearing me apart since I was 4… I have a lot of damage to control.
The anxiety has always been the issue. The rape only made things worse, for apparent reasons. Only recently has all this therapy started doing something. I did four years of nearly solid work on the rape alone – one incident that had happened recently. It’s only been here lately that I can choose to tell someone about it with very little emotion – Just the facts, ma’am. This is progress in leaps and bounds compared to previously, but I wouldn’t have been able to cover so much had I not pushed through it time and again for so long before.
I don’t know where this underlying anxiety comes from. No matter how I dig, how much I will myself off that cliff and into that black abyss, it never happens. Or it does but it’s just…black. Still. Had it not been for getting through the rape to a point where it holds so little power over me, I wouldn’t have thought it’d be possible to deal with this anxiety that’s always been for as long as I remember. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy or will happen quickly. I wish it would but it’s not ready yet, but I can feel that it’s time in the shade is coming to a close. I’ll set fire to the rain if I have to, but come hell or high water, this deep seated anxiety has an expiration date on it and I’m going to find it.