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“Is this who I really am?”

December 19, 2009

When was the first time I worried I was a murderer? The first time I freaked out that there was something so innately awful about me? I don’t remember. I know it goes farther back than I can remember. But I do remember one instance. I had just gotten my driver’s permit and was out driving with my dad…..


I was in the driver’s seat. I had driven a few times before and my dad was always so patient with me, encouraging, and helpful (not like when I drove with my mom!). He was coaching me like he usually did—when to stop, when to slow down, when to go, how early to put the turn signal on, etc. We were driving in my town center and there was a cross-walk up ahead. I could see that pedestrians were preparing to cross.

Dad: “Okay, slow down and make sure you stop a bit before the cross-walk. They have the right of way.”

Me: “Okay”. I braked, and slowed down. And then….

OCD: Let’s be honest. You don’t want to brake. You want to hit them. Hit them. Hit them. Hit them.

Now, I started freaking out. But at this point, I didn’t know I had OCD. So I thought I was crazy. I was a murderer. After all, why else would I get a thought like this? I didn’t realize it was an OCD voice—I thought it was my own voice. And I couldn’t tell my dad. So I fought it—I pressed as hard as I could on the brake, thinking, No. I’m not a murderer. I’m pressing extra-hard on the break because I want to slow down. I don’t want to kill these people. I don’t I don’t I don’t.

Dad: “Great. Now, as soon as they cross we can keep going.”

OCD: Nope. You don’t want to wait. Take your foot off the pedal. Do it. Now. If you take your foot off, the car will keep going. And you will hit them. They’ll be dead dead dead. You want to. Take the foot off. Do it. Kill them.

Me: Oh god. Am I a murderer? I must be. Why do I want to kill these poor innocent people? Oh, if my dad knew what I was thinking…he would hate me forever. His beloved daughter—a murderer. A killer. I am an awful person. I deserve to be locked up.


I didn’t take my foot off the pedal. And now I know the reason I didn’t is because I didn’t want to kill those people. I’m not a murderer, and never have been. It was OCD feeding me with fear and hate and worry. It wasn’t reality, it was OCD. But I did not know that at the time.

When I tell my dad things like this today, he laughs. Not in a mean way, but because to him this sounds so absurd. He can’t comprehend how I could ever worry about such things. I tell him he is lucky that he can’t understand what this worry would be like. But it tormented me for years. So many years, and so many worries.

Can you imagine?


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Totally Detached permalink
    December 19, 2009 8:58 pm

    Yesyesyesyesyes! Although I don’t need to imagine because I KNOW exactly what you mean.

    I really wanted a pet, like ever since I’ve lived out of my parent’s house, and I thought rats would be best for my lifestyle but every time I thought about getting rats I would see myself hurling them against a wall or crushing their little bodies. And it made and still makes me feel sick and sad and want to cry because I love animals and would never ever want to hurt them but I could see it in my head.

    I did get rats and of course I have never, and will never, do such an awful thing, I absolutely love them, but even now I can see it in my head and even though I’ve just typed that I would never hurt an animal The Voice(!) is saying “yes you would, you’re horrible and evil”.

    It’s really weird for me to realise how much of your accounts I can relate to.

    At least you can now rationalise things like this and know it’s OCD not YOU that puts these thoughts in your head 🙂
    xx TD

  2. Allie permalink
    December 23, 2009 11:51 pm

    Hi i know how you feel i am 12 and have ocd I hate it and it is the worst thing ever i was good at school till i got it i got i when i was 7 or 8 and still have it!

    • December 24, 2009 2:26 pm

      Hey Allie,

      Thanks for writing! I hope what you read helped remind you that you are not alone. Hang in there–OCD is tough, but you are tougher! 🙂

      Take good care-

  3. January 1, 2010 8:52 pm

    Amelia – I think you and I are secretly the same person…or separated at birth. Big hugs to you – and thank-you SO MUCH for your honesty. You have no idea how much this is helping me. 🙂

    • January 2, 2010 4:47 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words–this blog helps us but it also helps us to know we are helping others, if that makes sense. It means a lot–I’m so glad you are able to relate!


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