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My experience started when I was just a toddler, I had a massive stuffed animal collection and if anyone touched or moved it I would get a panic attack and begin to rage. I felt as if my world was going to end if they weren’t in a specific place, it progressed onto different topics as I got older. After my parents divorced I suffered from intrusive thoughts of me hurting myself. Not by suicide, but by smoking. My parents smoked around me all the time and I hated it, I had nightmares and thoughts of me smoking a cigarette and drinking alcohol which I also had an issue with.

I’d get thoughts of me stealing my mom’s cigarettes and smoking them. It was debilitating and terrible, after that came the thoughts of suicide and my own father wanting to hurt me. I’d text him and call him every night because I missed him after the divorce and I had to be sure I was okay and that he wouldn’t hurt me.

As I got older it became more prominent with sexual thoughts. Around 5th grade I began watching videos of girls kissing each other after my sister had left that search tab open. It was confusing and I hated it, I began to get urges and thoughts of me liking two of my closest female friends. I began to wonder if I was bisexual, so I watched more and more videos and television shows with lesbians. I didn’t gain anything from it, and I had always only been attracted to men my whole life. I only saw women as people i’d like to be friends with. I’d feel the need to tell my friends I had crushes on them, like a nagging voice in my head. I grew uncomfortable with the thoughts of kissing them and all and eventually I forgot about it. I closed the videos and I immediately began to feel better. One of my friends is bisexual and she would act as if we were dating at times, she never kissed me or anything but I didn’t know what was going on. I only wanted to be her friend. These thoughts lasted for a bit of the last few years of elementary school. I never got the thoughts going into middle school, which I was overall happy about. This year I got into a new relationship with a guy and he makes me intensely happy, I really feel like I’m in love with him although we are only teenagers.

A couple of months ago I got a thought of me breaking up with him, and I got all of this anxiety and I broke down. I didn’t wanna leave him and it felt terrible getting these thoughts. I wondered what was wrong with me, I felt like a horrible person. It was a couple of weeks after getting this anxiety that I realized I had OCD. My father had it but my parents always told me it was just something that made people want to clean all the time, I’ve been having different forms of it my entire life and I didn’t even know until this year. After realizing I felt better, it was like I could finally breathe again and all of those years of these terrible and confusing thoughts made sense. At times I spike with the sexual orientation part of this. I am heterosexual and I’m proud to not date girls, as bad as it sounds it’s true.

My thoughts concerning harm and my relationship have gone down, although I spike here and there. I began to do exposure and response therapy and it feels amazing. I plan to go into therapy soon enough, my thoughts around my sexuality have been bothering me for awhile again. I feel like it’s needed although it’s scary. Meditation helps me, I’ve learned to talk to people about it and I want to go into psychology as I get older, and possibly help treat people with OCD. I’ve learned to not listen to my thoughts and accept them for what they are. Realizing I’ve been living inside my head my entire life is relieving. Although I only figured out I had this a couple months ago I have learned how to treat it on my own and accept it. I feel more confident in knowing I’m straight, my relationship, and going into therapy. I hope that people out there can realize that although it is scary, taking the necessary steps to recovery will help in the long run. Thank you for listening.