hi..im new here..i know that i had OCD as a child, i was constantly in fear of harming my mom. She always brushed off those symptoms because she didnt want to think that she had a less than perfect daughter. Well about a year ago, the OCD came back, usually just one week out of the month i had the fear that i would harm my dog (whom is my best friend) or my sister (a close second to the dog.) well, when i was a junior in high school, I had an abortion. (I know...go ahead ..i am beating myself up about it.) and never told my mom. I know that if i tell my mom, i will be kicked out of the house and my family will disown me (including my sister..who seriously looks down upon this) and i wont have anywhere to live. Well all of a sudden my OCD is telling me that i have to tell my mom/dad/sister about the abortion. I can't get the thoughts out of my head...Ill feel okay for about an hour or two and then all of a sudden the thoughts come back and overtake me..im depressed, anxious..i can't sleep...i cant eat i need help! and i feel like therapy isnt an option right now, not until i get out on my own because i cant afford it and my mom wont take me seriously. aaah..anyone relate? anyone have advice? please help!
Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time. I get major OCD guilt, too, with the compulsion to confess. When I'm having an OCD guilt attack, those feelings almost feel worse to me than the obsessive thoughts. For me, a good way to distinguish between "OCD guilt" and "regular guilt," is 1) if I don't feel guilty about something right away, and one day, boom!, the guilt hits me and 2) if the guilt comes and goes, as you describe, then in these two situations it is probably OCD guilt. If, however, I feel guilty as soon as I've done something, then that's more likely, "real" guilt.
I think that it is very normal that you would feel a lot of emotions, including guilt, after having an abortion. If, however, there have been times when you feel like you accept that your decision was the right thing for you, and were able to feel comfortable keeping this information from your family, then this particular guilt episode that you describe is probably OCD guilt. In the case of OCD guilt, I've heard that it's best not to confess, as that is feeding into the compulsion. Is it possible for you find an objective person to confide in regarding this (i.e. counselor, etc.?)
ah..its a relief to know im not alone with these guilty feelings. I have found a lot of information about OCD guilt for people who havent done REAL things that they should feel guilty about, but none for those who have. No i dont feel like i have anyone that i can talk to about this, which is why i decided to join a forum. I was hoping maybe someone had advice on what their therapists told them to do when they are experiencing these guilty thoughts and feelings. Im really looking into Cognitive Behavioral therapy..like workbooks or things i can do at home..i think im EXTRA nervous because my sister and i are going on a trip in a couple of weeks, just the two of us and im afraid im going to lose control and confess! I CANT do it...and I KNOW that i dont want to tell, but for some odd reason, my ocd all of a sudden decided to give me an attack of conscience. :-/
Last edited by ineedhelpasap21; 12-21-2007 at 10:28 PM.
Ok, I have OCD Guilt/Confessions all of the time. So, you are not alone at all!!! I am so sorry that you are going through this b/c I do know how you feel about having the compulsions to confess. It feels like you just need to blurt it out to get it out.. but what happens after you do, you feel worse. My therapist says that you need to not confess in order to have the obsession go away and if you give in and confess it makes the obsession worse and it may not go away and you may not even feel better after confessing...Maybe this will help:
1. If you did not feel this need to confess when you had the abortion, then it is definatly OCD Confessing that you are having now and it would be worse for you to confess it....
2. This was something that was a personal decision of yours and you DO NOT have to tell anyone...you are entiteled to have somethings kept private to yourself. You do not owe anyway your business...even if it is your close family.
( I do that, I tell everyone too much info.)
3. Let's say you do tell them, what would make things better for you? Ya know, it is just an obsession so it is hard to see that.
4. My therapist says to exaggerate the obsessiong....like ok, you had an abortion and you are obsessing about telling your mom and sister....oh no if you don't you are keeping secrets from them and you are the only person in the world that keeps things private from others...come on, that is silly, right?? How many people do things and keep it to themselves, SO MANY!!!!!!
I hope this helped?? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is great!!!!
I really liked Danni's approach to dealing with obsessive thoughts or the need to confess.
Originally Posted by dannic1
I need my car to be perfect without scratches - if I scratch my car, then I'm careless, if I'm careless, then I'm stupid, if I'm stupid, then I don't love myself, if I don't love myself, then no one else will, if no one else will, then I'm totally alone.
In your case, this could apply to you having an abortion without your family know about it. I also agree with Purplegirl when she says that some things should just be private and not shared with other people. All of us, OCD or not, have private things that we don't share with anyone, and in your case you're no different. I'm sure that as a woman, having an abortion was an extremely emotional time for you, especially only being 15 or 16 at the time since you said you were a junior in high school. All of these emotions coming to the surface can really trigger the OCD. At the time, you did what you knew was right, and there's an old saying that goes, if you do what you know is right, then you've never been untrue to yourself.
I had to have an abortion, too, when I was much younger. I never told family at all, because I knew what their reaction would be.
I understand your fear of telling your sister on vacation - but you might want to ask yourself these questions: If I tell her, will it do anything good for her, my parents, or myself? Or will it just hurt everyone and disturb everyone and put a wall between me and the family, probably forever?
I thnk there are times to remain silent. You chose to do this on your own, which was very brave of you. It was your decision and your action, and if you wish it to remain in your world only, that is your right.
Perhaps a bit later, when you have access to a counselor who will hold everything in confidence, you can get this dealt with. You probably need to talk to someone about it, not only to confess, but to deal with the inevitable emotional pain and guilt of having an abortion in the first place.
Do you have anyone at all you can speak to without involving your family?
Wow. you guys have really helped me a lot. Thank you so much. It just helps to know im not alone in suffering like this. Im SURE its ocd but it'll just flare up every few hours. The compulsion to confess and the guilt that i have this big secret. Idk why? It has gotten better though since my last post. I also wanted to ask if anyone knows this- my hormones have been really off this month (the beginning of the month was when all of this started) and i wanted to know if you know if that has anything to do with my recent attack of OCD? Thanks again! youve all been very helpful.
I am very sorry to hear that you are struggling with this and its even more difficult that you are afraid your family wouldn't be understanding. Its an immensely difficult position to be in and we all wish you the best. I hope you will be able to see a therapist or a psychiatrist soon, they will definitely be able to help you with the guilt your are feeling, whether its OCD or otherwise.
Personally I do agree with the others that there seems to be no reason to tell anyone about this in your family. It seems like it wouldn't help anyone. I also want to add a personal note that I hope will help you. I'm a born and raised Catholic, and I'm definitely not in favor of abortion, but I also want YOU to know that I don't think you are a bad person for the choice you made in the least. I'm 100% sure it was not an easy decision for you to make, probably one of the toughest you will ever make and I feel sorry that you had to make it. In a perfect world society around you would have given you more options, but you made a tough choice and thats in the past now. If you are still feeling guilty, I want you to know that you don't need to, even from a Pro-Lifer like me Hang in there kiddo, you have a long and happy life ahead of you and i really hope you'll be able to get help , the professional kind soon. In the meantime this board is a great place to be and I hope you will stick around.
thanks. its just been soo hard this month with my hormones and all. this just started like 2 days ago, but i'll be having fun and all of a sudden my mind will say "you're a liar, you shouldnt be having fun..you dont deserve to have fun because you lie to your family and friends" ITS SO ANNOYING and weird! i can't wait to go and attempt to get my hormones regulated so that i can try to get my ocd to calm down!!! thank you all so much for your help and support. It really helps me to read what you guys have been saying. Hope you all had a WONDERFUL new years, hope '08 is a good one.