Ever since I was a child I remember making sure everyone in the house was sleeping, that I was breathing properly, and that my heart was beating. This was constant behavior based on constant worry and fear of my family being harmed. I also worried about death, not knowing that something was latching onto things that I loved the most which were my family and my livelihood.
I was a very creative young black girl inspired by everything I consumed from cartoons, music, and television. As I grew older I was belittled for certain things that I loved due to generational trauma and societal norms. One thing I found truly essential and true to my core being was how much I valued my attraction to the opposite sex. I was always very boy-crazy. I took so much pride in that, it is what fueled my authenticity. It’s something that brought absolute focus into my world. However, I was often shamed and criticized because as a black girl, it upset people around me that I was mostly attracted to men outside of my race. This led to me shutting down my feelings at all times because I had no one to talk to about these feelings.
When I entered high school I continued becoming a woman which meant a lot of things to me. It was such a beautiful experience, my feelings for the young men within my reach ignited my maturity in such an uplifting and loving way. It makes me blush and gives me peace as I write this because these feelings were true to my core being and I was never allowed to express this because I feared the insults and criticisms I would receive. I felt that by hiding my feelings I could survive, not live but survive. I often expressed myself through my writing and artwork.
Fast forward to adulthood, and all of my lingering repetitive behaviors began to resurface. These came in with an added bonus, a vicious attack on something I valued the most, my womanhood. Fears about my sexuality were added to my fear of death and my family being harmed.
I remember these weird responses in my groinal area when I was around other women or when I saw women kissing each other on television. I was filled with so many odd sexual thoughts throughout the day. These were followed by intense feelings of sickness, I felt physically ill. There were no butterflies or blushing involved and I was very much convinced I was bisexual. In my mind, there was no argument. I believed I was truly bisexual. I had heard people saying how all women are bisexual and that sexuality is fluid. I was so confused, afraid, and very unhappy internally because I felt like I couldn’t defend myself against my thoughts. I believed that I had to accept I was bisexual. This led to a pseudo-porn addiction. I was often checking to see if I liked women having sex with each other, I was crying and my whole body seemed to be screaming at me, asking me to stop it.
I fell in absolute love with a wonderful man and that’s when things became so clear and I realized that my OCD latched on to all of my suppressed feelings. I was confused why I was feeling this way about women for so long and I began to feel ambushed and attacked by these thoughts viciously. The thoughts had become worse over time. I began checking the internet. I was asking if I was a lesbian or not and wondering why I had these thoughts. This led me to OCD forums. I am able to recognize now that I was seeking reassurance. At the same time, things did make sense to me and made me want to get a proper opinion. I realized, as an adult, I had nothing to fear. I wanted to be true to myself and embrace how much I wanted a wonderful boyfriend and a loving family of my own.
I almost made the mistake of going to talk therapy which, thank God, was not in my price range, but I wanted to continue helping myself.
NOCD was an affordable place for proper treatment. I was so afraid that it would be revealed I was a lesbian this whole time. Still, I went forward with treatment because my life was worth fighting for. If I had to choose between being okay with not knowing or living in fear I was going to choose uncertainty. I received proper treatment and throughout those few months, I felt my eyes being opened again. I felt like I was being returned to myself and to love. In fact, I cried during my last session because I was so grateful for NOCD and my amazing therapist.
It’s now 2022, constant intrusive thoughts, constant repetitive behaviors, groinal responses, and frightening moments still exist. The only difference?
My spirits are high and I am thriving in the happiest and purist way I could have ever imagined. Fear stood in my way, for far too long. Now that I am able to live a life without that in my way, it is the most incredible thing I could have ever accomplished. I am so proud of myself and I am so very thankful to have found a light at the end of the tunnel.