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  • Writer's picturekatjagschulz

Can We Please Not Forget: The Sufferer With The Sufferer

One day during this recent year, Fiancé (Neil) accidentally 'meddled' in my morning handwashing-routine. I didn't repeat it. But I became furious instead. I shouted at him, "I hate you" - OMG, how horrible!

When I don't get to do my compulsions & do not repeat them, I often get angry. I'm never angry like that, just in those situations. I directed my anger at Fiancé. He does NOT NOT NOT deserve this - he is an absolute keeper. In fact, he would deserve a medal for dealing with my OCD. It must be hard for him! I did say sorry to Fiancé, but I want to make sure that he, and other 'sufferers' with OCD-sufferers are not forgotten in all of this. OCD is such a beast, it does reach far and beyond the actual person having it. Here is some space for my beloved partner. He says:

"My first experiences with Katja, who suffers from OCD, were an eye-opener. She was totally up front about the OCD and to start with there was nothing really to notice.

There were/are particular countries that were/are ‘not allowed’, so shopping for anything became/is a little more fraught, making sure that nothing was made in these places before purchasing. Nothing that was too much of a problem, really, until we eventually lived together which was when I realised the extent of Katja's difficulties and the effect they would have on me. Going to work, myself, and leaving Katja at home meant that I was only aware that it took a long time for her to get washed and dressed in the morning, because of the times between texts. When I was actually with her at the weekends proved more difficult, because I had to be quiet and stay in one place while Katja went through her routine for getting ready. No interruptions. For up to four hours. Although I was happy enough to go along with this, it caused problems for our relationship when the subject of the future was discussed, because I didn't feel able to commit to marriage not knowing whether I could handle these restrictions, particularly the ‘breakfast routine’, indefinitely. (‘breakfast routine’ as in over 3 hours minimum of getting ready before going out for the first meal of the day – we never had much food in our flat back then, in Paris.) As time has gone on, however (fortunately!), Katja has improved her OCD a lot. She’s reduced her morning routine that much that she is ready within about 1 hour 10 minutes now; she’s even able to go out without showering every morning. There is also no longer the restriction of having to remain in one place, and I am ‘free’, within reason, to do what I want.

And in addition to her improvement, I feel that I have matured and have been able to appreciate that the wonderful, warm human being, Katja, was actually separate from the OCD. Nothing was being done to me, actually, and Katja was having to fight against it, 24*7 and needed my help. An incident recently helped to consolidate this. I interrupted Katja, accidentally, while she was in the middle of her hand-washing routine. She became so angry about it that she shouted at me "I hate you!". My experience allowed me to know that her anger was not really fr

om her at me, it was the OCD and that allowed me to remain detached enough not to become upset at Katja's words. I love her."

P.S. And later this autumn, we are in fact getting married, yippie. :)

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