Having All Your Ducks in a Row

I’ve contemplated this post before, but I wanted photographic evidence.  I know depression and anxiety disorders can be hereditary.  My maternal grandfather often had severe depressive episodes as he aged, requiring hospitalization on more than one occasion.  My mother suffers from depression and anxiety, and I seem to have gotten a full blown anxiety disorder.  I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 12, but can recall, in retrospect, episodic evidence of the problem as early as eight years old.

My husband also has some issues with anxiety and depression, although I’d wager not all of his issues are due to chemical imbalance like mine, but also partially stem from loss and abuses he suffered in his past.

So my poor kid has got her work cut out for her.  I have often wondered and worried about if she would inherit these issues from us.  It seems possible, if not likely.

And now I have the evidence! Two years old and already obsessed with lining things up!

Hold on, don’t get your knickers in a twist.  I’m just kidding.  I know she’s likely just exhibiting normal two year old learning behavior when she lines up her little rubber ducks, or our shoes, or her diapers…  I mean, I’m assuming that’s the case, because even though I was a psych major, I didn’t study kids specifically, and as this is my first time raising an actual child (as opposed to an imaginary, fictitious, or counterfeit child,) I am learning a lot about child development as I go.

But in all seriousness…  I’m going to be watching my kid like a hawk as she grows up.  Luckily, I felt comfortable enough to talk to my Mom (who actually worked for a shrink for many years) and to her credit, she got me evaluated when she began to recognize in me patterns of obsessiveness and sadness.  I often felt abnormal and guilty.  Still, in my mind, memories of my childhood often come with a painful bittersweet twinge.  I had way more worries than a child my age should have had.  I don’t want that for my daughter, and you know what they say…forewarned is forearmed.  So as she grows, I’ll try to foster the kind of relationship where she knows she can tell me anything, no matter how weird it may seem.

Mommy’s got your back, baby girl.  I’ve got this shit under control.  I’ve got all my ducks in a row on this one!

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I’m More Messed Up Than I Thought

You know that satisfied feeling when you pop a big pimple?  Or maybe that urge you get to scratch at a scab when you know better?  I was lying in bed last night thinking.  (Do I think because I can’t sleep, or can I not sleep because I am thinking too much?  Oh the mysteries of the universe.)  So anyway, I was curious about where that urge, that sense of satisfaction, comes from, so today I started to Google my question about scabs.  Predictive text had the related pimple popping question out before I was even done, and through the few pages I selected and read, I learned a disturbing thing…

I have Dermatillomania.   Great, something else to add to my list of things that make me a dysfunctional human being.

The simplest definition is basically compulsive skin picking, often to the extent that damage is caused.  A lot of people can’t resist popping a giant red zit on their face when it’s sitting there like a beacon calling attention to itself.  But have you ever passed by a mirror and leaned in to look for something to pop?  Do you feel compelled to pop on other people ? (I don’t, but I am totally grossed out when I see huge blackheads on other people’s faces.  Okay, maybe I pick at hubby a little.)  Do you do it in spite of the fact that you usually make things worse?  Does your skin cause you a lot of anxiety?

Dermatillomania has been regarded as an Impulse Control disorder, compared by some to Obsessive Compulsive disorder or even substance abuse (Wikipedia.)

Some of my followers and friends may have heard me mention my OCD from time to time.  Until recently, I never really thought much about my need to pick at my face.  I hate having plugged pores and when I have a subcutaneous zit, I often irritate it to the point where it’s much worse than it has to be.  Reading up on Dermatill… oh, hell… picking…today I realized with some dismay that my need to pick is a little excessive.  It’s not as bad as it could be.  Apparently there are a few different “levels” of the disorder, and I while I do actively look for pores to “unclog,” I’m not to the point where I can’t leave the house because I look like someone suffering from leprosy.

Some cases however have been severe enough to cause infection and even require surgery! The face is the most common place people pick, but the scalp, arms, back, legs, and pubic region may be affected.

English: Skin Picking pattern and effect on th...

English: Skin Picking pattern and effect on the skin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, from what I learned during the course of my studies for my Psychology degree and also in the course of my own treatment for OCD, there are certain behaviors that may be obsessive or compulsive, but assuming they do not cause you anxiety or physical harm, they are regarded as OCPD rather than OCD.

Differential diagnosis between OCD and OCPD was described in Wikipedia thusly:

Unlike OCPD, OCD is described as invasive, stressful, time-consuming obsessions and habits aimed at reducing the obsession related stress. OCD symptoms are at times regarded as ego-dystonic because they are experienced as alien and repulsive to the patient. Therefore, there is a greater mental anxiety associated with OCD.

Just thought I’d put that out there, as it particularly annoys me when anyone with a simple penchant for neatness or a distaste for germs describes themselves as “having OCD”, and since compulsive skin picking is considered related, these are things that may be relevant.

http://www.ocdla.com/dermatillomania-compulsive-skin-picking-test.html

The Art Project…It’s Pissing Me Off

I’m an admitted perfectionist.  Who knows how much of it is just that- perfectionism– or how much can be attributed to my OCD.  My best friend said I’m my own worst critic.  (Probably true of most artists…)

And my best friend is who commissioned me for this project.  She bought all my art supplies for said project.  I want it to be right.  I want it to be perfect…especially since she plans on hanging it in her house, where I’ll have to look at it.  

What she wants is two separate drawings of a man and a woman reaching for one another with longing.  She plans to put them on two sides of a wall.  I suck at drawing men anyway, and I’m out of practice in general because my drawing has taken a backseat to my writing and family, so I started with the woman.  I have drawn up four similar yet different sketches (one I abandoned outright due to proportion problems I discovered after it was already outlined in pen) .  I pretty much mostly hate them all.  She likes them, of course, and especially like ones in particular ( one of the ones I didn’t care for.)

So I went back to the one she liked best and I worked on it some more.  For one thing, the head was too big, out of proportion.  Now the head fits better but the damn hair is all wrong, and the pencil is too heavy to fix it without making a mess…

I’ll probably do a few more just until I am appeased…and no doubt, she’ll still want the one she wants now.  Damn, I don’t know which one of us is more stubborn.

Attempt 1- I was not happy with this one at first but now it seems like one of the best of the 4

Attempt 2- her favorite; as you can see, the head is too large in proportion to the torso

Attempt 3- again, the head is too large, but I had already penned it by the time i realized

Attempt 4- her ass is huge, but overall it’s not too bad I guess

Attempt 2.1- rework of the 2nd drawing… Meh

Sorry the quality of the pix aren’t great, but you get the idea… Endless frustration.

Any constructive opinions are welcomed…

My Dirty Secret

No, not dirty in a good way.  Just not something I discuss a lot…or at all.  And not something I really want people to think of when they think of me.  Why?  Not because it’s disgusting, or people won’t want to be near me or talk to me or even admit they know me.  I don’t smell funny or have some weird fetish (well, i do, but I’m not telling you!)  But because it’s sad.  Kinda pathetic really.  But I’m not sure what I can do about it.  But I am willing to bet I am not the only person who feels this way and isn’t sure why.  “What is it, already???” you may be asking.  Just this: Continue reading

Being a Mom has Turned Me into a Total Wimp!

I was not born to be a mother.  I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a princess in a castle and marrying a prince.  I didn’t spend a lot of time cradling babydolls, and I didn’t play house all that often.  I had Barbies for awhile, but they were oversexed weirdos.  In fact, by the time I was about ten years old, my make believe games often had aspects that were distinctly weird.  When my cousin and I would hang out, we’d pretend we were a bickering old vagrant couple and we’d speak continuously in cockney English accents (it used to really flip my mother out). Continue reading

Why can’t a writer WRITE???

A (writer) friend of mine recently posted an entry in his blog asserting that “writers are lying bags of cat puke” when they claim writing is hard.  I had to respectfully beg to differ. I have been trying to write largely without success for about 3/4 of my life.  Oh, I can write reasonable well as far as quality is concerned.  That is, if you measured my ability to write based on the opinions of those who read and enjoy my work, I am a ‘good’ writer.  The problem is that aside from a handful of short stories (and a ‘novelette’ I wrote when I was 15 or 16 and saved on a 5 inch floppy-which was subsequently accidentally thrown out by my dad on a cleaning binge), I have never finished anything. Continue reading