A/N: This is a new original fiction written by myself. It concerns a girl who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, I do not have this disorder but I have done extensive research on the subject to reach a believable and respectful perspective on the ordeal. I do not intend to offend anybody who suffers from OCD and if I do, please contact me so I can change it.
Reviews are appreciated!
I do submit on other sites but I won't post the link here as I have allowed personal friends to read the stuff I write on but not the other sites so if you are interested, please send me a message.
Touch Wood - The Story Of An OCD Sufferer.
Chapter One - Human?
Isn't it strange how people say it's our quirks that make us human, and yet it's my quirks that make people see me as a freak?
Have you ever had to flick the light switch seven times because six wasn't enough and eight was just too many?
Or have you ever walked down the corridor at school and had people just carry on with their business and not stop to stare at you?
I think I appreciate my life all the much more because others don't understand it.
"Polly, if you don't get up now, I'm coming up there,"
Okay, so my mom isn't too good on the old parental compassion but I'm used to it. It must be hard to feel close to a child that can't accept a hug without tapping her back repeatedly. But still we lived here together and I still had to get out of bed for school.
"Alright, alright," Getting out of bed, I slipped my feet into the slippers that were in the right place as always and walked from my immaculate bedroom into my immaculate bathroom.
Twiddling with the tap until the water gushed into the faucet, I glanced into the mirror at my tired reflection. Plunging my hands under the freezing water, I started my routine of cleaning my hands.
As you have probably already guessed I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. I've had it for around two years and my therapist reckons it was triggered when I was in a car accident that left my cousin paralyzed. A lot of people don't understand OCD which is why at school I am known as a freak.
Drying my hands for the fifth time I finally stepped into the shower and after cleansing every inch of my body and washing my hair, I moved out of the cubicle onto a towel that was put down to catch any stray dripping water and wrapped myself in a freshly cleaned towel. I tidied the counter. In my room everything had its place and throughout my daily life I had a routine for everything.
See, that's one of my obsessions, cleanliness. It's next to godliness, my mom always used to say. But to me it is higher than godliness, it's everything.
The counting and tapping are a few of my compulsions, they seem strange to others that I have to do things the same everyday but it helps me through the day. I wash my hands repeatedly because of my obsession with the risk of contamination. It may seem over dramatic and pointless to others but to me, if I didn't do it I'd have vivid images in my head. Images that were so horrible I would do anything to get rid of them.
I move through to my room and pick out my clothes for the day. Looking into my wardrobe is like reaching into a rainbow. All the clothes are ordered by colour and garment style. That morning, I reach in and pull out my outfit laying it on the bed uncreased.
For an obsessive compulsive my clothing style was pretty messy. I wore grunge clothes, skinny jeans, band tees, baggy shirts and converse. But the clothes were always washed daily and my shoes were constantly clean so I had created my own version of clean grunge, if that's possible.
Pulling on my skinny jeans and Fall of Troy t-shirt, I glanced into the mirror to check my complexion. I had such a rigid skin routine that I never got spots but when I did, I popped them immediately before washing my face repeatedly. My hair was always brushed straight and my nails were painted black, they were never chipped though and if they did I would immediately apply a fresh coat.
"You're going to be late," My mom interrupted my inspection so I had to start all over again. Hair brushed, belt on, make-up perfect, teeth cleaned, shoes laced, I was ready to go.
Walking towards the door, I paused before I crossed the frame and flicked the light switch seven times to steady my nerves at going to school. Afterwards, I headed downstairs a little
more calmly than before.
I grabbed my bag that was always at the bottom of the stairs and nodded to Mom, who had been waiting, impatiently. After locking and double checking I had locked the front door I headed off on the walk to school. Mom always waited for me to leave for school before going to work.
Let's just say, if she didn't I would probably succumb to the panic attacks and stay at home instead of going to school. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate school. Actually let me rephrase that, I do hate school.
People treated me like a freak there because I was different but I had grown used to it over the past two years. But you'll see soon enough what I mean since past this next corner I'd be at school.
Heads turned and whispering met my ears as I neared the steps. Awkwardly, I moved inside the building and all the fresh air was sucked from me. Subconsciously, I felt my shoulders slump as the oppressive atmosphere that was found in all schools infiltrated my body.
My locker was a few corridors away from the entrance and I had to pick up my English book before homeroom so I strode through the corridors, counting my steps to avoid people's eye contact.
Every turn on the combination lock, I tapped against my leg and counted while people paused what they were doing and tried to subtly watch what I was doing, waiting for me to have a compulsion, to see if they could work out what my obsessions were.
I blushed as I felt the 'subtle' eyes bore into me and the locker opened with the books inside falling onto the tiled floor with a thud. A few stifled laughs escaped into the air and I bent down to collect the books into a neat pile.
A vivid image flashed into my mind and I gasped for air. To cover my compulsion, I picked up each book individually and placed it inside the metal box before touching the locker walls. Half way through my routine the bell filtered through the protective walls I surrounded myself with and the gazes dropped from me as the hall emptied with everyone heading to homeroom.
I sighed heavily, and finished my routine before closing my locker door and taking a moment to lean my forehead against the cold metal I steadied myself. Then I began to run down the corridor towards homeroom.
"Sorry, I'm late," A few heads turned to watch me but most people remained in harsh silence. The teacher at the front of the class nodded and motioned for me to take my seat.
I bent down my head and ambled down the aisle to my seat at the back of the class.
A tiny shower of paper pellets rained down on my left arm and I tried to shake them off. I ignored the snarls from the cheerleaders and I blanked out the glares from the jocks. They weren't only throwing paper at me, but tossing their arrogance and ignorance along with them.
I slid into the stool behind the desk and placed my hands palm down on the table top.
Turning my head, I looked at Tim and he smiled sheepishly at me. I returned the gesture and faced the front again. Tim was one of my best friends but after sixteen years of knowing each other he decided that he had a crush on me. It would have been awkward between two normal people but I wouldn't let that happen.
Sure I didn't have those feelings for him but I wasn't going to shut him out of my life ever.
I counted to twenty two repeatedly and managed to survive homeroom with the whispers of the other people in the class. I stride quickly from the room after waving goodbye to Tim.
I bumped into a heavy body and their laughter rained down on me as I picked myself up from the floor. Rushing into the bathroom, I rinsed my hands and taking a few deep breathes took off towards English.
The room was busy and I slipped quietly into my chair, leaning my head down. I pulled my book out of my bag, placing it on the desk, on my lap and on the desk again.
"Another day, another compulsion," The dark haired girl that had just sat down beside me winked at me and I smiled back. Meet Dahlia, my best friend.
Her nose and lip rings sparkled in the light as the teacher entered and everything settled down. A piece of folded paper was pushed onto my desk and methodically unfurling it, I read it.
'One more day and it's the weekend. How are you, pretty girl?'
Dahlia was one of the only people I knew that wrote notes in full sentences and punctuation. I scrawled a reply and focused on what the teacher was saying at the front of the class. A secret smile played across my lips as I struggled through the rest of the day.