June 6, 2011

The story of an unbalanced girl-child Part 2

Haven't read part 1, start here.

Chapter 2
I stopped eating anything I could EVER remember anyone throwing up (who remembers where they were in 1st grade when little Kimberly threw up in class…plus remembers what she ate (corndogs) that day?  Me...I do).

I truly believed that if I avoided these foods I would NEVER throw up again. 

In fact, I went 7 years without eating a bowl of Rice Krispies because a little girl we babysat, named Tori, threw them up on my pillow when I was like 4 or 5.  (It was my freshmen year of college people...COLLEGE! when I finally talked myself into it.)

I developed an extreme fear of raw meats (especially chicken with its “invisible” juices). 

I became a prisoner in my own home. I refused to touch ANYTHING in the kitchen with my hands (what if someone didn’t wash their hands well enough?).  I opened everything with my feet…fridge, dishwasher, cupboards, even the upper cupboards (luckily for me I was a gymnast and I could reach them that way).

If for some reason I did touch a handle/door knob (anything “unsanitary”), I would wash my hands 2-3 times in one room and sneak off to another to wash them another 2-3 times.  I never dried them off (who knew what kind of germs were on those towels) and sometimes I STILL didn’t feel clean (a little hand sanitizer would have been nice).

I constantly spit everywhere (in the sink, on the ground, in my sleeves) at very odd, random times because I would envisioned germs "magically" jumping into my mouth and had to spit them out so I wouldn't get sick.

Real logical, huh?

Oh no…it gets worse. 

Chapter 3
I slept with a large sized salad bowl next to my bed (I was like a boy scout.  Always prepared…just in case, you know).

I avoided stepping on the particular section of carpet that my brother threw up on.  Why?  Because somehow stepping on that spot might make me sick (I jumped over it for YEARS). 

I, over time, also developed a nightly routine. It consisted of things that could either hinder my way in getting to the toilet in time, or, bizarre enough, things that would burn my house down. 

(You see, I had had a few friends whose houses burned down, (one because of a curling iron and one because clothes got under the water heater) and I was terrified it would happen to me.

Once the routine was in full swing, it went something like this:

Bathroom: Toilet seat up, ALL small appliances (curling irons, blow dryers, etc) unplugged, rugs straight, shower curtain pulled closed, flick lights on and off in increments of 7, check everything all over again.......exit.

Hall:  Floor clear…rug straight...exit.

Kitchen: Unplug all small appliances (toasters, etc), straighten rugs, check and re-check back door lock (lock/unlock in 7’s), lights (again in 7's), stand in the doorway panicking and wondering if I missed anything (if I believed I had…I would check it all over again)....exit.

Living Room:  I only had to make sure the lamps were unplugged, since it was out of the way and I wasn’t afraid of anything blocking my way to the bathroom.....exit.

Hall (again): Straighten already straightened rug.

Down the stairs (which had to be clear, of course) to the landing (split entry).

Entry:  Straighten rug.......flick inside and outside lights on and off in increments of 7, bolt and unbolt the dead bolt also in 7's times.......re-straighten the rug.......down the next flight of stairs…same routine on the next landing...exit.

Laundry room:  Check under the water heater for clothes. Recheck under the water heater for clothes. Swipe the broom under the water heater for dirt, dust....and of course, any clothes.  Then, down on my knees to "just make sure" there were no...you guessed it, clothes.  Push all clothes as far away from the heater as possible......flick lights in 7's….exit.

 Finally…MY room:  Once there I would crawl into bed, pull my bowl out from underneath and set it on the table next to my bed….breath a sigh of relief.

At least for 2 or 3 seconds.

Most of the time, I would worry that I had missed something and I would go do the whole routine again.  If I was still awake when one of my teenage siblings came home late, I would lie in bed listening for them to go to bed and start the routine all over again.

Sometimes it would be done 3 or 4 times in one night.

Sounds exhausting, doesn't it?

Well.....it was.

Extremely exhausting!
So how did I ever pull out of it?

Stay tuned for part 3.  


Sheri said...

Oh Mel! That is exhausting. You are awesome for sharing such personal experiences. I am excited to read part 3.

Natalie J said...

I never knew about any of that until AFTER I moved out. You were pretty sneaky. I do some of the same, but not to the extreme. I always check the locks on the doors and the windows before we go upstairs for the night (kids' bedtime). I ALWAYS have to go back down and check them again, just in case I could have possibly forgot one. I can't just look at the door and make sure it is locked. I actually have to TOUCH the lock...on EACH door. Some nights, Jason is the one to go downstairs and let Charlie out. I always ask him if he checked the doors. If the answer is anything but a resolute "YES", then I have to go downstairs and check. I used to have to go down, regardless of his answer, but I have improved...somewhat.

So, you see, you are not the only crazy in the family. ;)

Just in case it matters to you, you went from "Chapter 2" to "Chapter 4" in this post. Just an FYI. Love ya!

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