I feel quite disappointed in myself and it’s quite hard not to even though I know I maybe shouldn’t.
I’d decided, maybe as something that could help my friend to relax as she’s very stressed would be to go and get a massage – and at the same time it could also be some good practice for me too. I’d been for one whilst in America and I thought I did quite well, so this could only be better this time surely?
Clever me decided that this time I should request a male to do it if possible, and of course I no doubt sounded incredibly creepy in asking for that without explaining why. To be honest I felt quite confident to begin with and I was super ready to take the challenge on, but as things change in your day I began to feel quite rubbish about it and so to my confidence just disappeared. I began to feel nervous and nauseous and like I was making a big, fat mistake.
Nonetheless I went along to the appointment, and after getting ready and waiting for it to begin I started to feel myself going into panic attack mode. I tried to rationalise with myself as much as possible and tell myself that this is a good thing, I can do this and it’s going to make me feel better but as soon as he started touching me I just totally tensed up. Having your head tell you one thing and your body doing the complete opposite is quite strange; I told myself over and over that nothing bad was going to happen and there’s nothing to be scared of, yet my heart was racing and I could feel myself starting to get sweaty and shaky. It’s so hard to describe to someone just how distressing having someone touch me can be because nobody can really relate to it. The only way that I can think of is to ask, have you ever felt so disgusting that it makes you uncomfortable and you can’t do anything about it? Like, imagine someone covering you in the most disgusting thing you can think of and it starts spreading all over you and it’s all you can see and think about, and all you want to do is go and clean it off but you can’t. It’s kind of like that – times one hundred. It’s not like I actively look at someone and think, ew you look dirty, y’know unless you actually do. It just seems to come on the minute you come into contact with me, and to be honest it makes me feel very guilty. There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s all me and what’s worse is it’s all because of someone else who has no concept of the consequences their actions have had on me and the way it limits my everyday life. This feeling isn’t just a minor inconvenience to me, or something slightly unpleasant, it’s horrifying at times and I don’t think some people can really understand that.
Think of the amount of times you can come into contact with a person in a day: someone hands you change in a shop, someone holds a door open for you and you accidentally touch them, someone shakes your hand, someone touches you while talking to express something, a friend or family member hugs you, you bump into someone, you sit very close to someone on crowded public transport, someone taps you to get your attention, it goes on and on and on. The amount of contact you can have without even realising is massive but I notice every single thing, because each one of these seemingly normal and insignificant moments affects me beyond belief. I find myself instantly panicking and almost recoiling at the touch and it’s so distressing, especially when I’m in public. It just turns my stomach and I can’t settle until I’ve dealt with it in some way or other, either through washing or through scrubbing and scratching at my skin. It’s like all I can focus on is the feeling on my skin that spreads all over me and I can’t concentrate on anything else until I’ve dealt with it.
So, I lasted for a grand total of around five minutes. I just lay there feeling increasingly tense and upset to the point I thought I was going to have a full on panic attack; my stomach started turning and I knew I was going to have to say something before he went any further. Sheepishly I had to apologise and say that I suddenly wasn’t feeling well and that I’d have to leave. I rescheduled the appointment for yesterday in the hopes that maybe I’d be able to do it after some time to reevaluate and put my big girl pants on but I found myself still feeling as nervous and panicked in the morning, and so I cancelled it.
I feel like I’ve let myself down and let my OCD get the better of me, especially when I know how well I’ve been doing lately. It feels like I’ve taken a big step backwards and it makes me worry to an extent that I’ll never be fully rid of it. It’s just weird how one thing can change you so drastically. I’m worried that I’ll never be fully alright with contact and that of course will have a very large and most likely negative impact on my life, as my strain of OCD is certainly very isolating at the best of times.
I am trying to tell myself not to be so upset and downbeat about it, and that five minutes is still longer than I could have handled a few months ago but I just feel so frustrated when all I want to do is to be “normal” again.