Apologies and Excuses
I’m sorry I have been slacking off this week with posts. I know you are all hanging on my every word (and if you aren’t, shut your mouth and leave me to my fantasy)! My excuse is that I have been in West Texas all week visiting family. I should have written extra stuff last weekend to post this week, but I thought Hey, I won’t be working at all this week, so I’ll have tons of time for my blog. I’ll probably post every day and it’ll be awesome! Yeah, that clearly happened. Instead I have been spending all of my time with my family who I hadn’t seen in a couple of months. Weird, right? I know, I know. Blogging is way more important in the grand scheme of things, but I just can’t help it.
Ok, so all joking aside, this week has been a whole mess of OCD traps. Traveling always is. OCD likes routine and safe zones. Travel takes all of that away. I love traveling, but it does result in a lot of extra stress and anxiety. This is my real reason for not having posted since Monday. I have been avoiding writing this, because I know it’s going to be tough.
Fears Turned Obsessions
Traveling stirs up some crazy fears that OCD turns into obsessive thoughts. I start to worry about saying goodbye to my boyfriend because what if it’s the last time I see him? I could die while I’m gone or he could die while I’m gone and I’d never see him again, so I better get the goodbye just right or something bad will happen. I continue having those kind of thoughts the whole time I’m gone. Every time I talk to him on the phone, it starts repeating again. I better end the call with “I love you” just in case it’s the last time I have a chance to do so. And on and on. THEN when it comes time to go home, I start having the same thoughts pertaining to my parents: What if I never see them again because one of us could die while I’m away and I better get this goodbye right and say “I love you” because something bad could happen if it isn’t perfect. And on and on and on and on (you get the idea).
I HATE thinking about the people I love dying, but I can’t stop. My therapist would tell me that the way to combat this is to stop thinking the obsessive thoughts. I have had her explain this strategy twice and I still don’t get it. I can’t stop obsessive thoughts. I try. And I try. And I try, but it doesn’t stop.
I also worry that I haven’t spent enough time with each of my parents and that they’ll get their feelings hurt or think I don’t love them enough. Now I know this is totally crazy. I know they know how much I love them. OCD doesn’t get it, though. OCD likes to not only make me doubt myself, but make me think that others doubt me, too. OCD puts me through such a guilt trip for living 300 miles away from my family. It’s totally normal to live far away from your family, I know, but I feel huge amounts of guilt on a regular basis for it. I don’t know what can be done about that, but I would love to find out. If I remember, I’ll ask my therapist about it on Monday.
Then there’s my cat. I have had this cat since I was in elementary school. He lives at my mom’s house because I couldn’t take him with me when I moved away. He’s a bitter, angry old man. He and my mom don’t get along that well and he is always ecstatic when I’m here visiting. He acts like he’s neglected when I’m not here, which I know is total BS, but I spoil him anyway. When it comes time to go home, I’m also racked with guilt over leaving him. I know he’s a cat and he’s totally fine and has a great life, but I feel bad leaving him. I’m his “mom” and he hates when I leave and I just feel like the worst cat mommy in the world for doing it to him. I wish I could take him, but he’s old and an outdoor cat and I just can’t take care of him. So I end up on a huge guilt trip for all of that, too. I worry as I drive away that he hates me and that he doesn’t understand why I always leave him and maybe he thinks I don’t love him. And there’s a good chance he will die before I visit again, because he’s a really old cat.
Ok I have to cut this off here. I’m getting really worked up writing this post. I’m heading home tomorrow, so I have already been worrying about this crap all day and writing about it is making me want to cry. I had more to say, but I’ll have to do a follow-up post soon instead. [Edit: You can find my follow up here.]
Can any of you relate to these traveling fears/obsessions? What other fears does traveling bring up for you? What other OCD traps do you face when you visit family?