Every Friday, Band Back Together runs an advice column, in which our (wise) readers help you answer the questions you need answered.
You can even do this anonymously.
Now let’s get our advice on:
I know this may seem weird or stupid, but I think my parents are bullying me.
Let me explain why I believe they are bulling me.
The whole situation began about two years ago.
(Background: I am a 23 year old who loves technology.)
To attempt to cut a long story short, our house used to be filthy; and I mean filthy. How filthy? Well, there was actual black mold growing on walls. And with that mold, came mold mites, tiny white mites feeding on my technology.
So I went in to a panic and cleaned, sanitised, and vacuumed my stuff and desk. I wrapped anything that I wasn’t using into sealed bags: I did NOT want these buggers on feeding on my things.
Since that incident I think that I’ve developed OCD, although I’ve not been medically diagnosed, but now I clean my stuff everyday, in perpetual fear of mites.
I explained this to my family and they know why I’ve developed OCD. They have witnessed the mites. And I’ve asked that they do not let anyone near my room or stuff.
But for the past two years, they keep saying I am unwell, or I need to see a doctor. Like this is my fault.
My parents also put filthy items on my desk despite that I’ve asked them not to. They’ll also move my stuff around or put it on the dirty carpet
My OCD has gotten worse due to my parents interfering and I think they’re doing it just to get a reaction from me. Once I blow up, they blame me and call me “crazy.”
I just don’t know what to do anymore: I feel depressed and alone. I’ve really starting to think they are right. Maybe I am crazy.
I should also note: my fiancee says it’s my family that’s causing me to clean more due to their interference.
You’re not crazy, and your instinct that anyone who accuses you of craziness is bullying you are correct. For one thing, calling someone crazy when you want them to change their behavior is bullying even when their behavior is born of mental illness – that’s not how one compassionately addresses such things.
My parents were financially sloppy to a ridiculous degree. As a result, by the time I was 20 I could, and obsessively did, budget to such a high standard that I got a job doing it even though I didn’t have the required certification. I had to learn where the happy medium was, how to care about myself and be comfortable without driving myself useless from stress… but was I crazy? No. Just responding to the extreme condition life had stuck me in at first.
I feel like you’re the same: your urges to clean make sense, and they’re not bad as long as they don’t drive you bonkers from stress. You may need to learn to dial them in to a healthy balance there, but clearly your family’s way of doing things is equally bad if not worse, so don’t buy their shaming. Your tendencies may be un-normal, but they’re also good, and could potentially be a source of real power if you harness them – like my budgeting skills have been for me!