Saturday evening, I walked in to the house after a long days work, tired but happy, a sense of satisfaction for a good days work followed by a pleasant meal with my husband. The house lights were all on full, my daughter and her boyfriend have no concept that electricity costs money.
The house already doesn’t feel like my own. As I walk past the dining table I notice the cider can and glass on my polished wood table, already I feel uncomfortable, a sense of my order is out of synch. The kitchen welcomes me with dirty pots and pans, I can start to feel the level of anger building in me. I need to clean the kitchen, wash up the pans, get rid of the germs.
My washing machine has been touched, the washing that I left in the morning is out on the clothes airier, what should I do, should I wash it again? My daughter’s boyfriend had been doing his washing, did he wash his hands, where did he place the washing before putting it on the drier, was he clean. I feel panicky, frustrated, this is not my routine. He appears knowing that there is repercussions for him doing a load of washing, “I panicked, I know you don’t like it put on the worktop, or the table or the sofa so I thought I would put it on the clothes dryer”. He was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. His anxiety is supercharged as I go over to the sink and start washing the dirty pots. “I was going to do those, leave them, I will do it now”. I ignored him and carried on, he pleadingly looked at my husband, his face said it all, I’m sorry, what should I do? Please help me.
The whole tone and mood of the house had been changed within a minute because of me. Okay you can call it OCD if you want, this is probably a suitable description for my behaviour and how it affects the people around me but that doesn’t really do it justice, my problems run a lot deeper than that and they all started at my earliest memory.
How can something that starts at such a young age out of fear and innocence of danger affect your whole life! My earliest memories are that if I do this! It will kill you! If I do what! I don’t really know! Severe Abuse from my mother! And the threat of it from my father, under the influence of drink. I loved my dad and in my mind understood why he tried to do what he did. It doesn’t make it right I know! But I truly believe he had no malaise and he meant me no harm, he was a troubled soul !
I ran away from home aged 11 with my big sister Irene who was 18 at that time we ended up on the streets of London. Various encounters led us to us to unsavoury situations involving men! My sister dealt with all of it! Appearing voluntary! My last encounter ended up with me “because I didn’t consent” being beaten so badly my pelvis was fractured and I was left in Hyde park to be found by the police! Unconscious… My sister left me… The police were quite brutal! Making me feel almost like I deserved it! Making me endure examinations and being locked in a holding cell! Something I think would definitely not be allowed these days! I was a month away from 12yrs old! I went to a reception centre and then sent to a girls hostel. I most certainly remember the hand washing to cleanse and the need to keep clean because of germs being uppermost then… The fear of chemicals harming and still harming being so strong And still being so strong… It affects my life and the people I love so much I hate it!!!
I am giving you a start! A middle and by no means an end! Just bullet points…