October 8th, 2004

I’m trapped behind my own eyes. This low level… anxiety, feeling of failure(?) of incompleteness (?), of something left un-done (?)…burns somewhere near the center of who I am. It’s stuck in there. It’s a persistent infection; a thin but immovable scum on the otherwise clean surface of who I am. It’s a stain, a growth, a tumor.

My “self” is a square pane of glass set in a frame. I scrub, and scrub, and 95% of the surface gets clean…but I can’t get all the way into the corners. There’s always something left behind in the corners.

Sometimes, in my imagination, I zoom down, WAY into those corners, or a I shrink myself to microscopic size and wade into those filthy little spots with a teeny little scoop shovel and I clean them out good. But when I realize that my life is really a SERIES of those panes of glass, and that each pane has 4 corners, and the amount of time and effort required to fully clean out all those corners would occupy ALL my time (and I still wouldn’t get to all of them before they got dirty again), I begin to understand what it means to be clinically obsessive/compulsive. I can see frequent hand-washing and saving urine in jars somewhere on my own horizon…

Getting all the corners perfectly clean just can’t be the answer.

But it wasn’t always like this. It all changed at puberty. The sense of getting off track, of skipping required steps or of building a “shotty” life only came at 12 or 13.

Why? How did it happen? When I ceased being a child?

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