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    Dear KT,

    it is very kind of you to post such a long, informative reply. I actually am familiar with PANDAS as I work in Neurology. As much as I can tell there was no sudden onset of my symptoms. I remember being anxious as early as my memories start -maybe at 3 yo – this ever pending doom. I thought it was normal.

    Thank you so much for your kind encouraging words. I will look into your suggestions. I hope you are and stay well.


    Dear Anita,

    you hit the nail on the head again. After reading your response I cried on my bathroom floor for one hour. It was one of those good, cathartic cries, though peppered with feeling just so so so sad for myself as a child, for my sister as a child and her daughter, and all potentially traumatic, unfair experiences she may face in near future through contact with my mother. I have been living abroad for 5 years now and contact with my mother comes in short, controlled bursts, which is good. Because I was able to forgive her (she doesn’t know this because she never apologized or did anything wrong as far as she is concerned) and no longer held grudge for those experiences I thought it “was over” and no longer had lasting effects on me. Your replies and your similar personal experiences made me think again.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Your story truly resonates with me. Unlearning is very hard, especially because the lines are so blurry now – many OCD behaviors like extreme sense of responsibility, being very organized and oh so reliable etc. have been a strong part of my identity. I love what you said about perfection, self-compassion and being human. Thank you. I have plenty food for thought and need some time to digest. I would love to post an update here some time later.
    Stay safe!


    Dear Anita,

    I am amazed at the amount of thought, compassion and effort you put in your response. Thank you.

    I must agree with most points and conclusions you made. I do think that the time in kindergarten was extremely traumatic for me. My mother told me that the teachers there would put my jacket and shoes on and would let me stand there alone awaiting my ever late mother to pick me up as they themselves were getting ready to go home. I find it interesting though that even with this knowledge my mother kept on being late.

    Most of the interactions I had or still have with my mother end up in some sort of conflict. She sees bad intention everywhere and feels attacked, disappointed or attacks herself for no reason. As a child I often felt I needed to be „the bigger person“ in interactions with my mother in order to prevent or end conflict. So I would say sorry even if she was the one who hurt my feelings.

    My niece is 2 years old and every time she (basically still a baby!) chooses to show affection to someone else or new instead of my mother when she is present she is automatically hurt and makes my sister feel guilty for her daughter does not appreciate everything her grandma (my mother) has done for her and is so disloyal! This is what I mean with unripe – huge ego problems. I do honestly see the connection between my anxiety and my childhood. I do believe I had some genetic predisposition and suffered many triggering events leading to my extreme guilt and learned OCD tendencies.

    I do have an extreme fear of making mistakes and especially causing someone harm. I do also believe I have this black and white form of thinking when it comes to myself and I hold myself to some higher standard than everyone else. I have this subconscious belief I need to have this perfectly clear conscience to be allowed to be happy. That is probably why my OCD latches on these blurry memories where I may have caused some enormous harm to someone – and until it is figured out I must hold my breath.

    I do love my mother and have forgiven her many years ago for I think she knows no better and is probably fighting her own demons.
    The previous two days I could feel the latest obsession slowly fade away. I have never ever experienced my anxiety at this intensity before though and I truly believed that I was doomed. Through some distraction through work and common OCD techniques I found online I could slowly distance myself from this obsessive thinking about the the suicide of this boy and what (important) role I might have played in his decision and started to see a bit clearer. I am not out of the woods yet and what I fear is the next „episode“. But I will continue to just hang in there – and wait for this wave to further fade.
    Your comment that feeling guilty does not equal guilt hit me deeply.
    If there was one thing you could tell me what you learned from your OCD journey what would it be?

    Thank you loads.


    Dear Anita,

    thank your for your reply.

    Just a bit of added information – I am married 30 yo female.

    I remember having an extreme separation anxiety as a child. For example, my mother was usually late to pick me up from kindergarten (age 5) so I would cry every single convinced she would not come. Another curious episode from when I was aber eight or so – my parents wanted to by a bigger TV and it was so scary to me that they would spend so much money on this one item and our financial future was doomed. I remember crying a lot that day. I felt enormous responsibility as a kid. I would go to school a few hours early. I would do my homework with coat and shoes still on. Being late would cause me extreme anxiety. Not that these tendencies were not recognized by my parents – they were but they were seen as quirks of my personality and rather celebrated, as I was trust-worthy and academically achieved. My maternal grandfather had similar tendencies.
    During puberty I relaxed a lot and did a lot of stupid things teenagers do (occasionally skipping classes, smoking cigarettes etc.) – mostly without guilt.

    My relationship with my mother has always been tense. She has what I refer as an „unripe personality“. She could be pretty savage at times and a master of giving me guilty feelings (for example for breaking a lamp accidentally, let alone something bigger).

    In later years I developed severe hypochondriac tendencies and checking behavior related to my work.

    I hope this helps.




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