Deep Thoughts: How my husband helped me improve from borderline-diagnosible OCD cray-cray to being just “Type A”

ThaliaBrandon.com says it's all fun and games till the men with the white coats show up.I used to be crazy. Seriously.

I went through my daily life fighting serious impulse control issues and borderline-diagnosable OCD. Here’s what a normal day included for me back in my early twenties:

  • On the way out of the house in the morning, pick up the level that I left in the exact perpendicularly-aligned spot on the counter and go through the whole house making sure everything hanging on every wall was perfectly level.
  • Drive the same route to work every day, counting the dashed white lines in the pavement along the route. If I got the number wrong on a block, I would circle back around and drive that block again to correct my count.
  • Perform the same work tasks in the same order and for the same duration every day, organizing tasks by seasonal necessity
  • Keep my desk meticulously clean with items lined up parallel and perpendicular at all times.
  • Everything must be organized alphabetically, numerically, and even my closet was organized by color and season
  • Everything I bought must be of the correct brand, package size and quantity. This never deviated.
  • Falling asleep by repetitively counting the folds in my bedroom curtains until I couldn’t keep my eyes open from sheer exhaustion and I’d finally pass out.

This list could be much longer… seriously. This is just the regular stuff. I’m not listing the cray-cray stuff for fear of sharing with the world how bad I really was. As ca, be learned via this awesome article about OCD, OCD is really nasty to experience. I’m about to quote here so read this:

“OCD is “ego dystonic,” which means “out of sync with your ideal self” or “making you look and feel like an asshole.” People with personality disorders usually think they’re always in the right, and people with psychosis often don’t realize that their delusions are coming from their heads. But one of the defining aspects of OCD is knowing that your thoughts are bizarre and your rituals are senseless.

Additionally, OCDers don’t even get any joy out of their compulsions. Relief, sure, but it’s temporary, like scratching a mosquito bite or responding to a YouTube comment. You don’t want to count all the leaves on every tree you pass, you have to.

Panic attacks, Tourette syndrome, hypochondria, body dysmorphic disorder, and eating disorders are all so-called OCD spectrum disorders. They’re diagnoses in their own right that exist on their own but also hang around in the background while OCD fucks your mind. They’re like its creepy cousins.”

So at that time, for me, if something was out of place or happened to come out of order in my day, I could quite literally feel my heart rate increase, my anxiety increase, and I was for the most part a nervous, neurotic, anxious mess of a semi-depressed person who couldn’t control my impulses most of the time.

This created problems in all areas of my life, including dating and relationships.

Because I had such poor impulse control as a young adult I was rather voracious sexually (I joked this morning to a friend that it’s amazing to me that I’ve been friends with this guy for a while now and I still haven’t eaten him.) Yeah. I used to hunt men. Simply because I had such poor impulse control that I couldn’t help myself doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and now I look back and I’m just so thankful that I never got into drugs or alcohol because with my habitual tendencies and lack of impulse control I would have been on a one-way trip to Amy Winehouse town. Continue reading

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Deep Thoughts: How at age fourteen I experienced a valuable epiphany about human sexuality

ThaliaBrandon.com knows that people hating you most often has nothing to do with you - it's them. Not you. So don't waste time worrying about other's opinions. At twelve years old I was in seventh grade. Yes, I was a year ahead in school. Anyhow…

Picture this:

Me and my female tweeny friends sitting around on the quad for “lunch”, which at that time consisted of a can of Barq’s Root Beer and a small bag of crunchy Cheetos – because I did eat that unhealthily at that age, but I digress…

So picture this group of tween/teen girls sitting in a circle in the shade, all of us relatively grunged out in flannel shirts and holey jeans because this was the 90’s.

The topic of discussion on this particular day was suggested by the nominal leader of our pack, Hannah. Her question was, “What type of man do you want to marry when you grow up?” and we went around the circle in no particular order giving our answers, and the rest of the group generally ridiculing each and every answer because no two girls answered the same and tearing each other down was what the group did. Continue reading

How the culturally accepted myth of the “Happily Ever After” relationship/marriage is actively destroying our happiness

ThaliaBrandon.com asserts that Disney is ruining your happiness. Read why. Disney is making us unhappy.

Let me be more explanatory, and I’ll get this idea across eventually here.

Romantic love is a very new idea, considering the entire span of human history. If we look back over the course of recorded history, we actually see that arranged marriages for the greater good of the families/culture/society were more the norm regardless of the feelings of the two people being hooked up by their village leaders or parental units.

From that random tidbit of data, I’m going to segue into my own thoughts on the matter.

Teaching young girls to “follow your heart” essentially translates to this:

Go out into the world as soon as you’re barely legal and make some serious life choices based on nothing more than your emotions; without consideration for reason, logic, and especially without thinking through the likely outcomes that will stem from your choices. Continue reading

I’ve redecorated my kitchen! Alternate Title: How the wonderful women in my family helped shape my character by bringing me to the table.

Raise your daughters with love and learning, with help from ThaliaBrandon.comOver the last year and a half or so, the same conversation has come up time and again between myself and my assorted mom friends. It basically amounts to these other moms having difficulties (all minor – nothing serious here) with their tween-aged daughters. Not having any female offspring myself, my only point of reference is my own upbringing; and thinking back on what worked with me at my many difficult developmental stages is where I’ve turned to for answers for my mom friends on this subject.

They have been troubled as their daughters begin to change from contentedly playing with the other younger kids and now suddenly start to grow a little awkward and need different care and certainly a new and different kind of communication between mother and daughter as they are starting to become young ladies.

In every instance, I’ve described my Grandma’s old kitchen and how, as I was growing up, she and my aunts and my mom would so kindly welcome me into the kitchen and put me to work peeling apples or helping in some way as all these wonderful women bustled around me, talking and working, socializing and doing. Continue reading

Neighborhood Crime: Why Prevention is Better than Punishment

B&E on ThaliaBrandon.comLast night was awesome, to say the least! For National Night Out, we had a big event in our neighborhood park that featured free ice cream, an official dedication of the new length of sidewalk we helped put in including a local city official speaking and confirming the city’s commitment to doing the next two blocks of sidewalk next summer, and just a whole lot of meeting neighbors we’ve never met before and making new friends. Over sixty people showed up! More than triple the turnout from last year! Everyone had a really good time.

During the event, I was approached by three different retirement aged men asking my opinion about the ongoing crime we experience in our neighborhood area. The most common forms of crime are graffiti tagging, cars being broken into when a bag or something of value is visible inside the car, and sometimes we even get a home being robbed when it’s quite clear that a door has been left unlocked or the house is otherwise very vulnerable.

Here’s what I had to say on the matter: Continue reading