“I have the OCD under control. Now I just need to figure out how to recover. I will.”
One of the first things I remember is trying to get as far away as possible from the two cottonwood trees in the backyard, terrified they would fall over and crush me. My parents were in the backyard and I couldn't leave them, but no matter how many times they reassured me that the trees wouldn't fall, I couldn't stop begging them to come inside, far away from the back door, far away from the trees.
Fears seemed to add up one by one over the years, and although I performed some typical rituals like checking and hoarding, those rituals were easy to hide and went unnoticed. My parents only knew was that I was very "intense", but then, so were they. My mother, grandmother, and great uncle all had many of the same quirks I did. My orthodontist noticed I was grinding my teeth and recommended a psychologist, but my parents and I laughed at that. After all, my mother also ground her teeth.
With school it got worse. I had to do everything perfectly, despite my parents' insistence that it was really ok to get a B. By the time I was in junior high, I would joke with myself about how I thought I'd die in the gutter if I missed a single question in a year. But that