Just a little girl (part 2)
This is a follow on from the post, ‘Just a little girl (part one)’
OCD was now a big part of my life. I can only describe it as a nomality.
As a ten year old child I found it far to powerful to battle. In many ways it made me who I was a paranoid little girl.
Though the fear of fire still gripped me, I now had a far greater fear, “Death” No one told me that the cancer within my little sisters body had the power to take her life! I just kind of knew! This petrified me and practically sent my OCD into overkill!
I never took chances, I couldn’t afford to miss a nightly prayer! I forced myself to continue with the rituals, over and over again.
Looking back, I can see why my, “Odd” behaviour wasn’t picked up by my family. Life was manic which in many ways made the OCD easier for me to hide! Yes, though OCD was a big part of my life, I still knew, deep within, that my behaviour wasn’t the, “Norm”! OCD may well have been a nomality to me, but it wasn’t for everyone else, it was, “strange, weird, odd, carzy and a little bit loopy” Did I see myself as a crazy child? Yes, I guess I did!
This was nineteen years ago, I didn’t have google to turn to. As far as I was concerned, their were no others like me. This fact a lone made it far harder to even comprehend telling anyone, so at this point nobody knew, (and if they did, they never said so)!
There was no discerment, I didn’t know why I made myself carry out what I knew deep down to be pointless actions. Yet, the OCD just obscured any practical thinking this ten year old had, leaving me relentless to it’s powers.
Despite my OCD and my sisters illeness, my childhood was a happy one. I loved that I lived with both my mother and grandmother. I remain close to my father despite him not living at home with us.
The years that my sister was seriously I’ll must have been the hardest and most tiresome in my mothers life. My mother had always worked & continues to this very day. Rachel was so sick my mother was forced to take leave. She was now frightened to leave her daughters bedside. Rachel’s care was now shared between three different hospitals, ‘Lewisham’ (our local hospital) ‘Great Ormond St’ (the London based hospital for very sick children) & ‘Barts’ (another London based hospital with a specialised Cancer unit). My mother didn’t know if she was coming or going.
Only now as a mother do I fully appreciate just how difficult a time this must have been for her.
I remember all to well the effects, ‘Leukemia’ had on my sister, who was nothing but a toddler when it struck. I was visiting her at, ‘Great Ormond St’ once, when she throw up all over me, resulting in me needing to go home wearing an operating gown, (which clearly displayed my underwear at the back)! Lucky for me, we wasn’t using public transport, (as we usually would)! My uncle was with us, meaning we would be going home in the car.
Another strong memory I have is my sisters, “sudden” hair loss. I remember this baby with beautiful, thick, floppy, White blonde hair. What seemed like over night, it was all gone leaving her with nothing but a completely bald head.
Children at school would say the most nasty things, like, “Hows your little brother?” I would often fall for it, replying, “His fine, thank you” only to be laughed at and told, “Not that brother, your little bald one”
I look back now and see that, “yes, they were just silly little kids who didn’t understand, but at the time, I just wanted to hit out at each and everyone of them!”
I do remember one particular occassion, my sister was allowed home for a few days (very rare) I danced with her in my mothers rooms. She was dressed in nothing but a nappy. It was a very warm summers day and I could her the children playing outside. I had no desire to join them, I just wanted to be with my sister. As we danced I told her I loved her, in my head I was praying for her not to die! That’s one of my strongest childhood memories.
As if our family hadn’t had enough bad news, things were about to get worse. Not long after my sisters diagnosis, my first cousin on my fathers side of the family, was hit with the very same cancer! I can’t remember how old she was, older than Rachel, just a few years younger than myself I think! This means she was 7 or 8 years old at the time. Can you begin to imagine, both my father and his sister were parents of two very sick little girls, battling leukemia. I will never forget my mother shouting at my father, “But they told us it didn’t run in families!” You have to agree, this seems like more than a coincidence, it was almost as if God had it in for us.
Well, I’m pleased to report that both my sister and cousin are now healthy young women, both each with a beautiful daughter of their own. Both fought the scary C word we all fear, both came out the otherside.
By the age of 12 and fast approaching a, “Teen” things started to go a little bonkers for me. I started secondary school, took up smoking and was fast becoming a rebel. The nights remained as bad as ever, so during the day I just wanted to enjoy myself, have some fun. For the first time in my life I noticed makeup and boys. I watched when the, “popular girls” applied their makeup, tied their ties shorter, while rolling up their skirts. This was what I was becoming! The toilets become my regular hangout, where I would smoke my way through lessons.
It was during this time, that I started to pay attention to what I ate. So much talk amongst the girls involved the topic of, “Diets”
Looking back now, this scares the hell out of me. Yes, I don’t want my own daughter who is eight to worry about her weight at this crazy age. As 12 year olds, we were far to young to take on such issues! Yet here we are in a day and age where girls as young as 7 (maybe younger) have been known to have body hang ups. This is something that causes me great sadness!
Me, I was a stick, (so to speak). I was a healthy child, a girl who could eat what she wanted yet remained naturally silm. Some of the girls, who I wanted to mix with, the ones I were convinced were the, “In crowd” openly discussed how they made themsleves throw up after dinner, how it was a win, win situation, you could eat what you wanted and remain silm… For fuck sakes, we were just 12 years old! By the time I was almost 13 I was doing this regularly. This was despite the fact I knew I was thin, I didn’t even think I was fat! Yet, it was now more then a habbit, almost an addition. Worse, Bulimia now mixed in with the OCD resulted in an explosive combination. Combined, the OCD now controlled the Bulimia. Life was about to hit an all time low.
The last part of my story will follow soon. Just a little girl (part three) will be the final post which concludes my story. Please return to find out the ending.
Note the story has been written to raise awareness of some of these issues, why highlight why I have an understanding of some of Little mans difficulties. Although I don’t have Aspergers, I do relate to his OCD behaviours and is over anxiety.