I have had irrational fears/obsessions all of my life. From fearing that my father would die in an accident, to my autistic brother drowning (a big one, to me blurting out racist words that compulsively form in my head.I remember, from an early age (6 or 7 being the earliest), being on the schoolbus and making up prayers or 'conversations' to God, asking him to spare my mother, brother and father from anything that would cost them their lives. I was CONVINCED that I would be contacted at school, that the teacher would tell me someone had died. I've been suicidal before--believing that everyone hated me--analyzing every situation to the point where I have been paranoid that everyone believed me to be a horrible person. I've felt the need to constantly ask for reassurance that I'm not being annoying, analyzing every slight facial movement to indicate some sort of disgust.
The worst of these obsessions, however, are the ones that are sexual in nature. When I'm actually secure in who I am, I'm worried that I'll contract (or have contracted) an STD, or that I may find out later on in life that I'm sterile, when I'm not worried about sterility I'm afraid I'll become pregnant if I come in contact with ANY of my boyfriend's ejaculate--even though we don't have vaginal or anal intercourse.(which resulted in a mini nervous-breakdown last summer, resulting in me shoplifting dozens of pregnancy tests, something that I feel deeply guilty for to this day) I've worried that my boyfriend doesn't truly love me, that he's using me. I've worried that I'm some horrible pervert liking incest or pedophilia or bestiality--thoughts that horrify and disgust me.
These thoughts are paled in comparison to the fears of being a homosexual or that my boyfriend is a homosexual. Seeing a television show when I was 12 where one of my favorite characters (Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who I had personally identified with come out of the closet scared me--was I a lesbian? Mind you, the same year, I had gone through a major crush on a guy--the typical writing his name and mine over and over again on my binder and publically mooning over him. I was distressed for the rest of the night. Over the following years, these thoughts would occasionally show themselves but they weren't nearly as distressing as they are now--I was able to shrug them off and continue on with my heterosexual fantasies of which I had many---throughout my teen years I was constantly reading romance novels, chatting up men online (dangerous, I know), writing erotica, and dating men who I always fell head over heels for. My senior year of high school however, it came back with a vengeance, I began having intrusive thoughts about homosexuality--analyzing my own poor body-image and subsequent constant comparison with the fear that I might be 'checking girls out.' This was (and has) been further aided by the mere volume of individuals I've known to come define themselves 'bisexual' and my gay male best friends--I wondered if I was "drawn" to these people because of something within myself. If I acted like a lesbian, if the books I read were written by lesbian authors, if my preference for female vocalists was strictly a homosexual thing to do. The approaching college year frightened me--I had this innate fear that I would develop a crush on another female, specifically my roommate---these thoughts disgusted (and continue to disturb) me. I had a severe nervous breakdown and tried to commit suicide because I couldn't stand *not* feeling the natural sexual and romantic attraction I have had with males. I felt NUMB and completely unlike myself, everyday would consist of me compulsively taking every 'are you gay?' quiz online. I was never hospitalized because my parents told me that they would refuse to let me go to college if I continued acting the way I was. I somehow was able to pull myself out of
It's been almost two years since my senior year of hs and I 've been able to carry on a relationship with a man whom I've loved voraciously for 2 years. The first year of college we were seperated at two different schools--it's here that I became obsessed with HIS sexuality. Wondering if he was cheating on me, if the homoerotic joking of his male friends (who attended a mostly male college) was indicative of homosexuality. I was obsessive in the need to know if he still -loved- me, writing on his facebook everyday, calling him nearly 3 times per day. My harm obsession came back again, this time believing that my boyfriend was going to get drunk and get into the car of another equally or worse drunk person and die. I would stay up and pray that he wasn't doing anything stupid.
Now, the HOCD has returned. Sparked partially by my decision to get my hair cut above the shoulders, I started wondering if I got a too masculine haircut, also sparked by my worry of falling out of love with my boyfriend, the nagging voice in back of my head constantly replies, "maybe you can't -ever- love him because you're in denial." I know that I'm not gay---I've never once wanted to pursue a relationship with a woman--the thought of it nauseates me, and makes me severely depressed. I've known girls who were bisexual and lesbians, and I cannot equate myself with them. It's okay, in my mind, for them to pursue relations with other women, but I want none of it. I'd actually still much rather be dead then gay. These gay worries don't even sound like me--it's like they're from another woman completely different from me. I want to be me. I want to be able to love and actively pursue men and not feel like I'm 'cheating myself.' I want to be able to moon over Johnny Depp again and hang out with my female friends without feeling like I secretly want something personally disgusting from them.
I see my first psychiatrist this afternoon. I hope to God she doesn't confirm my fears because I don't think my mental state can handle that.
WHICH is totally no big deal. You would be abnormal if certain things didn't spark your curiousity. It's in our media, books, magazines, homosexuality is everywhere, and it's normal and completely fine. Who cares. Your fine for thinking about things like that. Jesus Christ, I was so curious that I tried it!
That fine line between curiosity and obsession is a prime "target" for OCD type disorders, fixations, and the usual gang of suspects. Like so many things, it can work for you, or against you.
An early step to bring some order to all this chaos, however, is a step you've already taken: you laid it all out, in black and white. It is important that we see it, so we know the story. But it is more improtant that YOU see it, objectified, channeled, compartmentalized, labeled and shelved within your very excellent prose.
I'll make a "SWAG" which stands for "scientific wild-*** guess" about what's going on with you. Promise me you will absoluetly, positively run it by your therapist, and understand that I'm not medically qualified to pin any tails on any donkeys here. My suspicion is that, due to the sexual themes of your thoughts, there's a missing ingredient (or an extra ingredient) in your childhood years in terms of sexual identity. This is something that doesn't just happen as you grow older physically, and in fact, our sexual presence and sense of self, as a male or female, is not even all black and white. We are all a "mix," physically, socially, mentally. I'm totally making this up as an example -please run it by the shrink- but my theory is that ALL the elements involved in the process of determing what we are going to be have a vote; physical endowment carries a large block of voters -sort of a "California," as it were- but every vote counts. After the voting is over, even if the decision is just by a few votes, we basically say we have a "man" or a "woman" in office, and everything follows along with that. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN the constituency that returned the vote all become whatever the ultimate choice was -it simply sets direction, boundaries and expectations. And the reaction and interaction with early big figures like parents and sibs, play group peers and even, sadly some sexual abusers at times will challenge or support what we "are." And thus, within the very rich and diverse panorama of human sexuality, we see all kinds of adaptations and variations -and many are regarded as normal. There are those here on this forum for example (simply because we have a cross section of people here) who have sexual fantasies, desires, fetishes, obsessions and interests which they wouldn't disclose to any but the closest friend, but which they lustily enjoy (or wish they could enjoy) with a lover or someone else.
Let's just take it that far for now. You've begun to turn the tide. Please let us know the results of your visit with the psychiatrist. And, for heaven sakes please show what I said to that person; the last thing we need around here is ME injecting a bunch of wacky ideas into your head.
Your type of OCD is described in detail in an article by Dr. Stephen Phillipson, check it out here if you like: http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson7.php. You are anything but alone in this. I think everyone, at some point or other, has as much as wondered, and definitely everyone has intrusive thoughts that could potentially make them question their identity, nature, or preference -some go even further, like you mentioned yourself, by suggesting we're perverts, molesters or have incestuous sexual desires! All experts say that these thoughts are normal -we're animals by nature, and sometimes our brain is just overactive. We have those thoughts because we can. They have as much significance or weight in reality as the thought of a flying pig -just because we can think of it doesn't mean they're real! And just because these thoughts pop in on occasion, it doesn't mean they say one thing about who you are. To put an example, a real sexual molester doesn't feel horrified at their thoughts of that kind -to that person, those thoughts and desires are normal. The fact that you have been repulsed by them already tells you that you're as normal as it takes.
Now, as far as your fear of being a lesbian -I think it's significative that your OCD revolves around sex, like you point out yourself. All of your obsessive thoughts seem to deal with sex and relationships. OCD typically focuses on areas where we have fears, insecurities, or some other weakness -those are our weak spots, and OCD always bites us where it will hurt us most. Also, OCD is about wanting to be 100% certain about something; our mind doesn't deal well with the sole possibility that it might not be the way we want it to be, even if that possibility is only theoretical or one in a million (or several millions). I think you are straight in your sexual orientation, but, theoretically speaking, there would be one little chance that you might not. It's like worrying about being hit by a meteor -chances are that we won't be, but who can guarantee it?
Also, I think that nothing is 100% when it comes to sexual preferences (as well as in many other things). A person is mostly straight, mostly gay, or bisexual, when both preferences are nearly 50% (although most bisexuals will still have a preference for one gender over the other, which also says something about how not black-and-white sexuality is). Maybe you could remind yourself that, by this standard, you are mostly straight, and that's all you need to be and know -doesn't matter what exact percentage your heterosexuality is, and it doesn't matter that you might (or might now, only you can know that) feel curious about your same gender sometimes, because that percentage is a minority and it doesn't change the whole result.
I hope that helps a little, and I hope seeing a psychiatrist can help you cope. *hugs*
Well, besides the fact that I had watched that one television show when I was 12, I've also figured out that I've been literally traumatized by the events that have happened to me in the past.
1) When I was 8 or 9, my 'best friend' would have me do weird things like go into the bathroom with her while she went, and tried to make me touch her in inappropriate places. Things I told her I was not interested in doing.
2) A second best friend, this time in middle school was obviously seriously confused about her sexuality and would constantly ask me if I ever 'considered experimenting' and also would have us play highly explicit games with Barbie Dolls--me, always wanting Barbie to be with Ken, but she would sometimes make the Barbies do odd things with each other.
3) The amount of people I knew in HS who defined themselves as gay or bisexual was outrageous. Other instances of sexual harassment by females: one friend would try to grab my *** in public, most recently, a girl I know who knows I don't like being touched has tried to touch my breasts, and I've been sexually harassed by the girl who lives a few doors down from my dormroom.
Why won't people leave me alone?! It's bad enough I have OCD, I don't need people provoking obsessions!
Is there such a bad thing about being straight nowadays?
I get it, I really do. All you are trying to do is give an honest rendition of what's bugging you, and here people come along and either suggest that maybe you are "curious" or sort of insecure, etc. My previous post may seem to suggest the same thing, but such is NOT the case and I wish to be clear about that. The fact that each of us is not 100% one way or the other as a matter of our sexual nature does not mean that our preferences in terms of sexual expression aren't 100% one way or the other. But that's true with anything. I may debate the merits of affiliating myself with a political party or claiming a religious creed, and see pros and cons among going one way or the other. However, once the choice is made I am either a republican or a democrat (or whatever) or an Episcopalian or a Conservative Jew (or whatever).
The fact (if it is a fact) that you have some obsessive nature which manifests in sexual ideation does not (to me, anyway) mean you are a closet lesbian trying to figure how to come out. Nor does it mean you are NOT. Whatever you are - you are. All it means, facially, is that your brain has picked out the slides from the sexual binder to present to your thinking. For heaven's sake, THAT is why you're trying to figure it out -its getting in the way of your life.
As you have indicated in the past experiences, there's some material "back there" somewhere that must be churning things up. Makes sense to me. I can't speak for others, but all I can is that a high level of adjustment (call it contentment) with something is frequently corrollated with not thinking about it very much until something external ("what do you episcopalians believe?") causes you to do so.
There's nothing bad, nothing good, nothing at all about being straight, gay, bi-sexual or hermaphoditic (is that a word?) unless and until any of those causes us to do harm to ourselves or harm to others or otherwise presents a serious risk that harm could occur.
I think what you are REALLY trying to say is that your entire intellectual approach is not about the preference or orientation issue, but rather about the obsession, and why don't people answer the quations you ASK, instead of the ones they seem to hear.
Do yourself a favor. Become a member, you can communicate privately back and forth, then send private messages to whomever seems to be on board with you so you can establish the dialog you're asking for.
Meanwhile, I'm quite impressed with how your intellect has handled things -you are self-aware and intelligent, so I think you'll get by this "thing." And without question you will be an enormously valuable contributor to those whose experience is so similar to your own.
I know how you feel. I have the same thoughts, especially in times of stress. Its extremely disturbing and embarrassing. But it is good to know that there are other people that are suffering from this and I hope that you are feeling better.
*I* have to personally lean towards the "intrusive thoughts" possibility myself...which is basically what OCD is all about, in a nutshell.
When I was experiencing a SUPER high level of panic and anxiety...all of a sudden, one day (and this is difficult for me to even write)....I thought about how horrible it would be if I harmed my daughter (who was a toddler). I mean...talk about SICK???? OMG. And, the thought just popped right into my head.
Then, if that wasn't scary enough...my brain "one-upped" me....what if I took her life?
Well, that was it...my mind raced for a solid hour, picturing everyone wanting to kill me (mainly my husband)...me living in jail, being electrocuted, etc etc etc.....it was awful.
I called my then psychiatrist immediately and she squeezed me in that afternoon. When I got there, I told her, "I am homicidal". She looked very perplexed. I broke down and went thru everything, waiting to hear the sirens. That was the very FIRST day I had ever heard the term "intrusive thoughts"...and after she explained them to me and how they are JUST that, thoughts...thoughts basically designed to "scare" us...it all made sense. It was a VERY dark day for me....but once I realized that it was not harmful, and actually had nothing to do in CONTEXT with my daughter, or me being a monster...I was able to move on.
That was like 8 years ago...and I can honestly say that I have a lot of "what if" thoughts....but nothing out of context with who I am, or who my loved ones are, etc. More like..."what if I get stuck in a traffic jam that lasts for 8 hours?" kind of thing. Also...I had gone through the "what if my Mom/sister/husband...etc gets into a fatal accident"????? phase.
I also finally started to work thru that and realized that some things are just out of my control, and I cannot worry about them. That is basically another form of an "intrusive thought".
You are in the right place....keep going to therapy....and maybe just TRY for a while to stop analyzing everything SOOOO hard...enjoy your boyfriend and your time together....stop and smell the roses...etc. That might sound corny...but it is true.
Lastly...and this is just my opinion (ONLY)...but all of the gay friends I have had in my life have always KNOWN they were who they were. They might have tried to "conform" to a hetero life early on, b/c of stigma...but they always "knew"..and had strong attractions to the same sex. And, while there is absolutely POSITIVELY nothing wrong with being a homosexual...after reading your post several times...I just don't think you are. Again...that is just my opinion...and I think it is more the "intrusive" thought thing. But, PLEASE keep an open mind, okay?
Best of luck to you, and like JS said...I hope you join our forum. I also think there is one here for OCD? That might help you as well.
Thank you for your story. It is so scary to have these "intrusive" thoughts. I thought I was the only one in the world. I felt like a complete freak. I just have constant overwhelming thoughts that make me scared to go outside, or to work. I do not know whether the anxiety in my body is sparking the thoughts or vice versa. But it is debilitating.
I go to a therapist also. In your experience, do you have any exercises or advice to calm these thoughts. It has been very hard to concentrate.
I've been dealing with these thoughts for the last 3 years, but they come and go according to the stress factor in my life. It's been very hard for me because I ended a wonderful 5 year relationship because of my OCD and anxiety.In my case I've always been a worrier, and I believe I saw something that triggered these thoughts, plus the fact that I'm very insecure and sometimes depressed didn't help. I'm glad to know I"m not the only one that suffers from this disease. I've only been attracted to my opposite sex and I'm confident of my sexuality but for some reason very fearful. Does anyone know about any treatments for OCD
i typed all my repetitive thoughts into google and found this page among other hocd sites. quixotic, ive had all the same exact thoughts and feelings for the past year, where before its never even crossed my mind. all my friends told me "ive changed" because im just constantly consumed in thought and dont really talk too much any more. after being class clown of my graduating high school class, everyone thought this was just weird, making me feel more off. ive been in loving straight relationships before and would think i was overly sexual because i would fantasize about just about any girl i saw. i double think everything i think im attracted to and i dont feel like myself. dont listen to any of these ignorant people saying "youre curious". bullsh*t. must be great to be so self-rightous. youre not because you know youre not.
i pray that you get your life back and i can too =) good luck!
I'm so sick of this.
I have the same exact thing. I know I am straight, i always have been, and I really don't have anything against gays, but this thought just cannot leave my head. It started in middle school after watching a certain episode of Degrassi (oh if i had only missed school that day) but it left rather quickly. It would pop up in my head every now and then but go away. Then it came back sophomore year of highschool, but was gone quickly again and i fell in love with this boy for a year and a half. Then we went out junior year, and he broke my heart. To replace my obsession with him, i think i put this obsession back into my mind, and its never been this bad. Unlike other times, I analyzed this occurence deeply, and figured it is HOCD.
Anyway, I know how you feel, I wish i could just go back to my life. I feel like I'm missing out on being a teenage girl because of my mind. No one knows i'm going through this, and i really think i shoudl tell someone, or go see a therapist or something. But i know they're all going to say "just don't think about it" but its really not that simple.
It's so weird though, because i dont even feel attracted to girls, it's just the thought that i could possibly be attracted to girls thats messing with me. I just can't deal anymore. Also, i realized that this thought mostly pops into my head when i don't have a crush on a boy. i don't know. I just want to live again. There's so much more i could say on this topic.
I believe that it's not your past homosexual-related experiences that are the reasons for your OCD, it's your OCD that's making you think that. Your OCD has you assess every little thing to prove you wrong. OCD is called the "doubting" disorder, you know. All who say people like me and Quixotic are just curious, screw off. We have anxiety disorders, and comments like that just make our anxiety worse. So please don't comment on a post that you don't know the answer to. Thanks. Good luck and best wishes, Quixotic.
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