1. Imagine a nice sunny day. You are walking down the street and suddenly you hear a friend you haven’t seen for years call your name. You turn around, but this friend is nowhere to be seen. Ok you think, so she must have crossed my mind and then I heard her voice. Makes sense, no big deal. You go on walking. A bus whooshes by, and there, you could have sworn that you saw her face on the bus advertisement. Weird. A few days later, you are working on the computer, dead tired since you haven’t slept for quite some time. You feel uneasy. Although there is no one in the room besides you, you feel that you’re not alone. It’s her. She is watching you from inside the computer screen. This is creepy.
2. You can’t sleep at night because you are tormented by awful thoughts. You see yourself torturing others. You, of all people, who can’t harm a fly and feels bad when he accidentally stepped on an ant! These thoughts are like a huge bug in your brain that just doesn’t let go. You want to run away from it but you can’t because it is INSIDE your head, with a tight grip on your thoughts. You cry out loud to chase these thoughts away, to get rid of the bug. You are scared that someone will hear you and wake up. How can you explain to anyone what you are going through? No one will understand. You will get to hear things like: stop the nonsense, calm down, go get some sleep….. No one has the faintest idea how immense your suffering is.
3. How must it feel to have to spend ten (10!) consecutive hours in your bathroom, obsessively cleaning everything, including yourself, over and over again because you are convinced that the tiniest drop of sweat or urine or other body fluid, once outside of your body, has supernatural destructive powers and endangers everyone that comes in contact with it? Just the thought of that terrifies you and haunts you day and night! This gets so bad that you reach the point when you don’t leave the house anymore because home is still the safest place, familiar and with the water tap and soap always within reach. It is a downward spiral. The ten hours began as one. In the beginning the fears were manageable and there were periods of calm between the compulsive tempests. However, the more you sought to control the angst the more it got OUT of control.
I can tell you how it feels as a mother seeing your child go through this living hell: It hurts real bad and makes you feel so extremely helpless. At first. Until you realize that only by taking a dramatic step you can help him get out of his misery and halt the downward spiral. You decide to take action. And that’s what I did.