Not only was I constantly cleaning myself, but I also spent countless hours doing housework; Housework in the nude. (Of course when no one was home and the blinds were closed.) If I were naked, it would save me from having to wash more clothes if they became contaminated. Great thinking, huh? Before I could clean my house, I had to be completely sanitized, so I would take a bath and wash my hair. Unfortunately, a thought or item may lead me to believe I was dirty and I’d be off to the bath tub to get clean again. This would also include changing the clothes I had on so that is why I cleaned in little or no clothes. Otherwise a daily cleaning routine could turn into several changes of clothes and a heck of a lot of laundry.
Laundry was really hard for me to complete. Sometimes when switching the clean clothes from the washer to the dryer, I would think a bad thought and I again had to obey my OCD and rewash the load. After several washings I would leave it in the washer for my children or husband to do for me. Eventually laundry was a duty performed by anyone but me. By the time I would have gotten it dried, folded, and put away, no one would have clean underwear. There were also many times my head led me to believe that I saw contaminants on the clothes that were not actually there (e.g., a piece of gold metal, like the metal on a class ring) and I would have to rewash them. It is crazy how my mind was so convincing. The easiest of household chores became scary and sometimes impossible for me to complete.
I was constantly cleaning the carpet because every time someone walked on it that was contaminated I had to sterilize it. I kept the company who manufactured Resolve Carpet Cleaner in business for many years. I would spray my entire house with carpet cleaner, let it dry, and vacuum it. Then I would have to turn the vacuum cleaner over and wash the roller because it was dirtied with germs. Then…I would have to take a bath to rid myself of germs…again!
Then one day I read an article about the harm of using rug cleaner when you have babies crawling on your carpet—OMG! Now the worry set in that I had poisoned my children, it had seeped into their bodies through their skin where contact was made with the floor. I went so far as to question my doctor many times and check the kids over when we were at his office for visits. After that there were still times I felt I needed to use the carpet cleaner, but then after I vacuumed I would go over all the carpet with a wet mop to get the chemicals off. I’m sure all the liquid that I put on the carpet stayed underneath and rotted or molded the carpet, which probably was not very healthy either.
I probably had the cleanest house around, but in my mind it was constantly contaminated. I was living in a prison of never clean enough, never organized enough, no matter how many hours I slaved to this voice of torturous authority. It was as if OCD was a kidnapper holding my loved ones captive and constantly demanding rituals of me to keep them alive, with no intention of ever releasing them back to me.
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