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In episode 148 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Kim Vincenty. Kim is Vice president of OCD Jacksonville, an IOCDF affiliate. She has worked alongside the clothing brand Natural life to create the fearless collection, a range of products that target stigma and fear of anxiety disorders – as well as raise money for OCD Jacksonville.
In this episode I chat with Kim about being a parent of a child with OCD, running a support group for families, advice for parent’s of newly diagnosed children, advice for parental self-care, how a family can fight OCD together, OCD Jacksonville, the Natural Life “Fearless” collection and much much more. Hope it helps.
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I told everyone all my thoughts presuming my baby would be taken away but he wasn’t… My first realisation!!!
My main OCD story starts in 2014 previous to that I had without really knowing it suffered crippling anxiety and worry (I just presumed we all worried in the same way about the same things) I also had self confidence issues which I dealt with by developing an eating disorder (control) in my early teens.
I met my husband to be at 17 which helped me gain a lot of confidence. I managed to overcome my anorexia apart from a few blips along the way, I went to college, uni got a job we got married. One thing that I couldn’t do was drive. I had past my test first time at 20 then never managed to get behind the wheel again properly for years, I put it down to a phobia initially but now I know differently, (in my mind, I had run someone over, killed them, gone to prison and shamed my family before I had even put the key on the ignition!!!).
During these years I had no idea I was suffering from mental health issues until 2004 a big one hit me out of the blue. I was a happy newly wed, new house, new job and desperate to start a family one night I was watching tv and there was an advert for pampers. I didn’t think anything of it, the advert finished and a different advert started then an image of a young boy naked entered my mind, my life as I had known it ended there and my 12 year battle with OCD started. I panicked ‘why did I think that?’ What’s wrong with me, I must be a monster a peadophile… I went into major panic, ruminating, over thinking , every horrible thought you could possibly imagine went through my head it was impossible to live with and I wanted to end my life. If it wasn’t for my husband I wouldn’t be here. I took the meds and engaged in CBT although it was hardly explained to me properly and was not diagnosed with OCD at the time. I slowly got my self together ( I say that loosely) but lived on the edge with crippling intrusive thoughts avoiding children at all costs for the next 7 years or so, and on and off meds but had no counselling after the initial sessions in 2004, at the same time I was grieving for the family I could not have (in my mind there was no way I could be or deserved to be a mum). My life felt miserable.
At the end of 2013 , I was so unhappy about not having a family but still crippled by the what if’s that my husband and I decided that we needed to try, I think my biggest motivation was my age and that l would soon be turning 40. We got pregnant a month after finally deciding I was so shocked at how quick it was and I was petrified. Towards the end of my pregnancy I did receive some counselling but unfortunately not the right kind and my midwife and doctor were both anti meds. I was so anxious about my pregnancy and having a baby that my mind was going into overdrive all sorts of worse case scenarios…so I had already decided I was giving the baby up.