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OCD and fears of the past...ruining my life...
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OCD and fears of the past...ruining my life...

Hi Everyone,

So I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that I do indeed suffer from severe OCD.  Not the type of OCD where I'm obsessed with touching a doorknob a million times, etc., but the type of OCD that affects my thoughts and causes me to repeat ideas over and over in my head, specifically when it comes to diseases and fears of STDs/HIV.

Anyway, to make a long story as short as possible, I've been with approximately 25-30 women in my past sexually (I'm currently 27).  While I've been obsessed with the possibility of having HIV or STDs since I was very reckless and would use the "pull and pray" method a lot in my past, I've been tested and had a full STD screening done and everything came back negative.  Getting the test done is the easy part and I do accept those results.

However, I recently began dating an AMAZING woman with whom I'm trying to take things slow.  We've been out a number of times and just recently kissed.  Haven't rushed into bed as I have been known to do in the past because I'm very interested in having a worthwhile relationship that could potentially lead into a marriage one day.

Anyway, as soon as I noticed all these amazing things that we share in common and felt as though she could be "the one," I began having this fear that's literally overwhelmed my thoughts every day for the past few weeks that perhaps somehow, I got a woman pregnant years ago while I was being promiscuous and that one day down the road if I get married, I'll have a woman with a child of mine show up on my doorstep demanding money, etc. and it'll ruin my marriage and my life.  There was one woman in particular I was worried about (don't even have her number anymore and have zero way of getting in touch with her) where I actually did use a condom; however, midway during sex the condom broke.  After noticing this, I immediately pulled out, put another one on and we continued to have sex.  Mind you, this was more than 2 1/2 years ago.  I can only think that any rational woman who had gotten pregnant (even if it were a one-night stand) would want financial support at the very least if they decided to keep the child.

That pretty much sums it up...I can rationalize it all day long in my mind that I'm thinking crazy things but the more I think about it, the more it feels like it could be a reality and it's scaring the hell out of me and ruining the good times that I spend with the woman I'm now dating because I'm CONSTANTLY thinking of this.  I don't know what to do but all I know is it's exhausting.  I know the "pull and pray" method is NOT foolproof by any means, but there are women I used it with for years who I know for a fact still have no children and I keep trying to tell myself that for a one-night stand where I immediately put the condom back on, I should be ok...

If you think I'm being crazy and that this is an irrational fear, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me so...I don't know what to do to get my mind off of this and just enjoy the present.

Thanks...
13 Comments Post a Comment
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3149845_tn?1386354841
Hi Buster, i think most of us men have gone through this concern as stems from being promiscuis! All things that go against nature and society have a consequence. Sometimes the consequence happens and sometimes not and each is specific to the event.
I dont believe you have a child out of wedlock hiding in the shadows as the pull and pray can be quite effective. I did it for 20 years with success. Its not that easy to get a girl pregnant. Even when they are ripe so to speak, it just does not happen every time and since you used caution, the odds are way high in your favor that there is no child.
I dont think your being crazy with these thoughts as you now are starting your life over again and your worried something from your past will come back to haunt you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Life360 for the comments/insights.  What I've noticed about myself is that if it's not this thought, it's something else that will burden my mind down.  I already have a very high-stress job that requires a significant amount of attention-to-detail...so OCD absolutely benefits my professional life; however, it makes my personal life a nightmare.  I feel like the gears in my head never stop turning and I can never just be content with the thought that things may very well just be "ok" with my life and I should just enjoy it.  Time is fleeting and life is short and I'm so sick of worrying myself over this.  I spoke to my friend who suffers from mild OCD as well and he just looked at me and said "dude...if you got a chick pregnant, she would've definitely told you if for no other reason than for the financial support."  He also shared that he's used the pull-and-pray method (and still does) and nothing has ever happened with him.  The thing I keep repeating in my head is that I used it for years with women I know for a fact don't have children, but it only provides fleeting, mild relief and then it's right back to obsessing.

I was SO crazy to the point that I went back through phone records from 2010 and contacted numbers I thought might be hers.  Turns out, the ones that I believe could've been hers all belong to other people at this point, meaning she most likely changed her number since then.  I feel like I'm going insane sometimes over it and am just exhausted. I used to turn to drugs and alcohol to just tame these thoughts, but for more than 2 years now, I've refrained from going down that path because I'm trying to do things the right way.  Just don't know what to do anymore and am exhausted :(.  Just don't want a "love child" to show up and ruin my life down the road and don't know how to just be happy with the present...
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3149845_tn?1386354841
Iv also noticed that my OCD was established with self. The more i focused on my life and my situations the more intense and paranoid i became.
Ask yourself the question, why did God make other people and not put us here all alone? The answer is that we are all here together to help eachother and not just human race, but all livings things.
To me, The consequence of focusing on ourselves is OCD as is not a natural thing to do since there is so much work for us to do with all the living things around us.
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1699033_tn?1345482688
I also agree with Life that there is no baby waiting in the shadows.  I'm from the 80s (i.e., teenage years in the late 70s..early 80s)...HIV was barely on the scene and so trust me people were doing a lot of sleeping around..hate to say it...and well, I don't think I was with 25 guys but you know...I wasn't always safe and I never got pregnant.  

What really concerns me is your statement "What I've noticed about myself is that if it's not this thought, it's something else."  I get it that OCD does have its advantages and it can make us more productive because we do pay more attention to detail, we do think down the road at the consequences.  But if you are getting rid of one thought just to go on to another then you should think about getting some help via a psychologist.  OCD doesn't go away it lies dormant until the next big stressor comes along and makes it come out.  Your job sounds very stressful and that may be paying a part in it as well as the fact that you do have something nice going on with your girlfriend and of course you don't want to mess that up and so you are doing what everyone with OCD does...what-if and catastrophize to the point that you frantically tried to find this girl's number...why,...because if you can just get closure then you can move on.  What you really need to do is learn the ways to help yourself so that you don't go through this period of craziness and that my friend is cognitive behavioral therapy.  

Take care.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your comment, JGF25.  I absolutely just HATE this feeling.  Today is particularly bad for some reason.  I feel like the only way I'd get over this and put it behind me is if I had contact with this woman and just flat out asked her, but honestly, I have zero way of getting in touch with her as it appears she's changed her number.  What kills me more than anything is I ended up spending some time with this woman I'm seeing over the weekend and we were just talking about everything and anything getting to know one another, and she said she could never date someone who already has had children as she couldn't see herself loving someone else's child like she would her own.  It's a very honest answer and to be honest, I'd be the same way.  Just ***** because even though I've never been contacted by someone saying "hey, you have a kid..."...I'm still having a difficult time accepting the fact that I don't and moving on and being happy with my life...I don't know what to do since I absolutely cannot afford psychotherapy or afford medication.  It's just making everything I do very difficult.
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1699033_tn?1345482688
OCD is about control and you cannot control what you did years ago.  The fact is that what is done is done and I firmly believe that there is no baby.  You would have been contacted by now especially in these hard economic times.  So counter those negative thoughts with something positive..."there is no baby so I'm not going there anymore...ENOUGH!"  and then busy yourself with something else.  The reason this is rearing its ugly head is because you like this girl, you don't want to lose her, and you have already in your mind conjured up a baby and have her bolting out the door.  

Go on Amazon and look at the book The OCD Workbook:  Your Guide to Breaking Free of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  You can actually look at parts of the book and see if you think the worksheets would be helpful to you.  It would take effort on your part but I think the reward in the end is worth it.  Do you have insurance?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi JGF25,

Thank you for the response.  Everything you're saying does indeed make sense to me and believe me, I can very well say the things you're saying to myself all day every day.  What I've noticed to be providing me some comfort is the fact that I keep reminding myself that I've had unprotected sex with plenty of women who were not on any form of birth control, used the pull and pray method and it was never an issue.  On top of that, I DID use condoms with the woman in question, replaced it as soon as it broke, and was unprotected for less than 30 seconds and that this is an unrealistic fear that has deeper, more internal roots.

I think I'll check out the OCD Workbook you mentioned.  I'm very much in desperate need of anything that might help me.  I do have insurance; however, it would cost me $75 per session to see a therapist...between my mortgage and other bills, it's just something I couldn't afford right now.

You know what else I've noticed?  When I'm with the woman I'm seeing now (or even so much as receive a text from her) I don't fear anything anymore.  It's like this OCD thought is out the window and I can see it as being something made up in my head.  I don't know if that's relevant or not, but just something I noticed about myself.  Just thought I'd share...
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1699033_tn?1345482688
Yes, please check out the book but also keep in mind that medication does work and while I always advocate for CBT first and then medication if necessary, you could probably talk to your GP regarding the irrational thinking you have been doing and they can, if necessary, prescribe medication to you without going through a psychiatrist.  Mine comes from my GP although I have been down the psychologist/psychiatrist route before and learned CBT and know exactly what I need.  

Good luck and post again if you need anything else.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi JGF25,

Hope you're doing well.

Had a quick question...

The past couple of days have been particularly bad for me in my OCD.  I've been reading about this much more and I absolutely believe this is what I've suffered from for YEARS, but without ever having put a face to it.

My question at this point is a bit more biological...

In brief, I've been suffering from erectile issues since the time I was about 19.  Since then, I've been in a number of relationships where I have taken ED-drugs (Viagra, Cialis, etc.) to overcome my anxieties about "performing well."  After some time, I'm able to perform naturally; however, my erections certainly are not naturally as strong as they used to be when I was a teenager.  

My question is simple...is OCD-induced ED reversible?  Meaning, if I get my OCD at least to a point where it's manageable and not running my daily life, will I be able to over time beat my OCD-induced ED?  Just didn't know if you knew of any cases where libido and sex drive has improved over time for people getting a grip on their issues, or if this will inevitably lead to impotence....

Thanks,
Buster
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1699033_tn?1345482688
Absolutely I believe it is reversible.  Who can perform when you have all this stuff going through your head?  Hell, I can't even eat when I am in crisis mode.  

But keep this in mind.  A lot of anti-depressants that are prescribed for OCD do decrease the libido in case you go the medication route.  Do your research.  I chose Wellbutrin because it has less sexual side effects than the other meds and I have had no problems.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi There, JGF25

Just wanted to drop you a line and fill you in on my progress so far.

In brief, I'm still obsessing about the issue described above A LOT and it's become increasingly draining on me.  I've done all that I can to try and find this woman's contact information however, she definitely changed her number at some point as I went through an entire month's worth of my phone records from back in 2010 and none of the numbers that would've been hers are reaching her (all new people).  Which of course inadvertently makes me think maybe she changed her contact info because maybe she DID get pregnant and was trying to hide it, etc., etc.  As you can imagine, it's quite draining.

On another note, things in my new relationship have been progressing amazingly well.  I firmly believe this woman is the woman I'm going to spend my life with and can't tell you how grateful I am to have found someone as amazing as her.  However, it's bittersweet because I still have this nagging doubt in the back of my head floating around somewhere that MAYBE there could have been a kid at some point.  I even went so far as to be open and honest and explained what I was going through and she said that even in the very, VERY unlikely scenario that something like that did arise, that we would get through it together.  Despite her ongoing support, it still has me worried because OCD isn't something you just "turn off."

I've read ALL the literature online about the "pull and pray" method and what my risks are even if a condom breaks, but there isn't any ejaculation, etc., and of course, you read these horror stories of people saying "it only takes one time!"  But then I go to PlannedParenthood's website and go to the Q&A section with a very reputable OBGYN and there's a question posed about the pull and pray method and she said it's very unlikely to get a woman pregnant if it's done correctly and that it may even be AS effective as condoms.  I didn't even get anywhere near to ejaculating when the condom broke and definitely replaced the broken one with a new condom, so knowing that OBGYN's insights on the matter, gave me some relief for a few days.  But then the OCD sets in and no matter what I'm reading "black and white," the more I use her insights to reassure myself, the less comforting it is because I'm constantly trying to replay this moment over and over in my head from more than 2 1/2 years ago.  It's insane, I know...but I'm trying to understand it more than fight it at this point because I'm just so fricking tired of fighting...

Anyway, that's where I'm at.  Don't know what more to do.  Doing the workbook, but it's not really helping, so I'm starting therapy over the phone with a clinical psychologist who specializes in this sort of thing who is a friend of the family's.  Just want to get closure on this issue and feel like until I do, I'll never have any peace.  What I'm trying to come to terms with is the fact I will NEVER get closure by contacting this woman and that I need to find a way to find peace without having that concrete affirmation.

Thanks for taking the time to read where I'm at.  Hope to hear from you soon.

-Buster
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1699033_tn?1345482688
Internet searches just feed into the thoughts.  You spending all that time trying to find this woman's number is also feeding into the thought.  This is the whole reason it isn't going away.  I haven't looked at the workbook in a while but I'm sure that it says the above stuff should be avoided and since you aren't, perhaps that is why it isn't working.  When the thought pops up, you are supposed to counter it with a positive thought not get on the internet and search "pull and pray" or look high and low for this woman's number.  

I'm glad you talked to your girlfriend and that you are going to see a therapist.  I know you are looking for closure because you feel you can't move on without it.  I have been there.  I get it.  What you need to learn are the tools that allow you to say "whatever."  This is really a non-issue because there is no baby out there.  Good luck with your therapy appointment and let me know how it goes.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Buster.. Seems like your OCD started at the time you met this amazing woman? Did you worry about if you could have a kid b4 you met this woman?
What I could say is you could relax a bit about your relationship with your gf..... You are taking it too seriously... And instead of considering such potential kid as 'fearful'... Think it in a more positive way about this potential life..... All the baby is blessed..... Even one day he/she come in your life..... He/she is going to fulfill your life more rather than asking for your $$. If you turn the image of this fearful child into a 'lovely' child..... You can overcome this fear because it's not really something going to haunt you.... This child were born to love you.... If you love it with your heart. Life is not fearful.
If your current gf can't take such situation means she can't accept your past... Then you would need to consider to find someone else that accept.

I do think you don't have a kid with the woman..... But this is not the point..
The point is a life born from you is blessed... Why escaping?

I have OCD as well and I'm suffering as well... I hope you feel well.
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