My mother was really proud of me when I was growing. I was given the job of keeping the house clean and tidy, and this was such an important task.
Our guests would judge us based on how clean the house looked.
I had 4 more sisters but they were not given this job. This meant that I was important to Mom and I was better than others on this.
So I cleaned. I cleaned each day and for several hours a day.
I didn’t go to school; we didn’t have that much money. I gave my exams through open schooling mode. Without any friends, I made cleanliness my friends.
I loved to clean. Dirt and germs were my enemy.
As I grew up, my exams became tougher and we got the help we could afford: a young college student willing to help me out with my studies.
He was a horrible man. He did bad things to me. He told me that I like what he did. I didn’t! I really didn’t! I cleaned more and more, trying to remove all the dirt he put on me.
One day, some of his dirt was there on my hands, and it just wouldn’t come off. I was about to chop my hand off because I didn’t want a dirty hand. “I don’t want a dirty hand, mom!” I shouted.
My mother came running from the other room and was horrified at the sight of me. She was really scared and started to cry. She requested me to drop the knife in between the sobs and took me to a doctor.
The doctor told me that I had OCD. But I like cleaning, I said, it’s my only friend. Along with the medications, I was asked to see a Counselor.
We did a lot of art, and one day she asked me “has anyone touched you wrongly?” and I started to cry. I cried long and hard as all the hurt and dirt came outside.
We slowly worked through my years of trauma and abuse. She told me my OCD could be related to this childhood trauma I underwent. She explained to me that cleaning was fine, but not to the extent that it harms me.
Slowly, we worked on my urges to clean and now, I am in much more control than I ever was. There is still a lot of dirt in the world, but it’s not mine to clean.