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OCD and the fear of hurting someone

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#1
I recently talked to a mental health professional on a website offering free counseling for people in dire need of it.

I feel terrible about myself. I have aggressive sexual fantasies going on loop in my mind and I feel so ashamed of them.

I was sexually abused by my older brother when I was 6 and he was either 14 or 15. I've never really felt bad about it. Like I suspect the years he lived with his biological dad (we're stepbrothers) he might have been exposed to the same. So I never hated him for it nor felt he truly understood his actions. I did however spoil most of my sisters party with friends a few days before getting married telling her it because I needed to know if she had experienced the same (she hadn't). She promised never to tell our mom though, because as I said, I gone past it and no need to rip up all wounds.

Fast forward a few years and I started developing a problem with addiction. And I was never built nor have the conscience (or lack of) to commit crime. So I prostituted myself to older men. And I felt gross doing it. But even after having gone through rehab and getting clean, with no need to do so, I've done it again a few times. Been with older men that leaves me feeling gross and exploited. But it's my own fault. I've sought that out on my own even though it feels like repeating a pattern of selfharm somehow.

So recently I've talked to this person. Because I have these sexual aggressive ideas in my head. Things I'd never do to anyone but can't keep thinking of. And she mentioned OCD, I don't know if I have that but I know I can't keep pursuing sexual encounters that are so much against my own selfunderstanding and leaves me feeling really disgusting and hollow. It's like I keep living the same things over and over and even when I don't need to keep doing it, I just do it anyways because I don't know better or haven't learned to deal with it and overcome it.

And the fact it feeds into my own sexual fantasies, almost becomes the norm, is so offputting and shameful for me. I can't read about Jeffrey Epstein without feeling more jealous at him than disgusted.

I almost can't stand it anymore. I feel so gross inside. I haven't told anyone besides a few therapists about it but I just feel like I can contain it. That it's gonna spill over into reality. That I shouldn't have internet or be able to go out anymore because the fear is I'll exploit someone or let them exploit me. It's so stupid of me resorting to repeat things like that to reinforce and validate how gross I feel I am.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#2
I can actually quite strongly relate to this in some ways. I'm gonna extrapolate from my own experience with OCD so apologies if this feels more miss than hit in some areas, but i hope it achieves the intended goal. Some of this gets a bit graphic, which i apologise for, but i want to show you that i do get this.

My violent fantasies tend to be less sexual and more homicidal, but i suspect they come from a similar place. They both come from places of disempowerment. The experiences you went through growing up and earning that money made you feel owned, beaten down and weak sexually. In a similar way, my experiences growing up autistic as well as unknowingly gay, and therefore different led to a lot of larger kids using their size and numbers to beat on me, and that made me feel disempowered socially as well as physically.

In a similar way, this, coupled with the loss of my mother at a young age, caused me to develop explosive anger issues, and more and more to contemplate all manner of visceral, horrifying butchery. It's the desire to fight back in such a way that the world can no longer terrify or belittle you, because you have become the scariest thing in existence, at least in that given field. And so to this day, someone honks their car horn at me for making them wait an extra 5 seconds to get where they're going, i'll spend hours imagining dragging them out of the car and slamming their head in that door until it's a pile of mush, so strongly that i have to actively restrain my arms from twitching. I'll get images in my head of police officers bursting into a house to find me in a tableau of body parts. I've had dreams so visceral i could literally taste the meat and blood of the people i was ripping to shreds and consuming.

For a long time i also worried if one day it would become too much, and i would just snap and resort to those base instincts. I went through a phase of regularly breaking noses, generally beating the hell out of other kids. I even started choking a kid once and for a short moment, felt absolutely no intention of letting go. For years i considered killing myself just to make sure i could never kill anyone else. But eventually, i actually did go completely off the deep end. It's complicated, but suffice to say that i have some kind of genetic neurotic disorder that means if i get anxious enough for a prolonged period of a few years, i can actually start to completely disconnect from reality, to the point it can be misdiagnosed as psychosis. Reality was completely malleable for me at that point. I'm talking "i'm an angel sleeper cell agent for the upcoming holy war and i have to guard my thoughts because everyone can hear them" kinda stuff.

So if ever there was a time where i was gonna act on those thoughts, it would be then, right? And yet, that never happened. I never even threw a punch at anyone. A few at inanimate objects, and a few at myself, but that was it. And it's because as horrendous and pervasive as those thoughts are, as much as some part of me loved those thoughts, they were never me. They were the wolf costume i have instinctively created growing up to terrify the rest of the world away from attempting to disempower me ever again. It can make people cross the street when they see me, or tell me they find me terrifying, or respond to me genuinely laughing at something with "that's a really good evil laugh man", but that's all it amounts to. The real me is the guy who hasn't even thrown a punch at another person in over a decade now. With OCD, especially pure-O, which the things you're describing sound like, it can get hard to draw that line of where the costume ends and you begin, but the truth is that if those thoughts scare you like they do, if some part of you remains sickened by their presence, the likelihood is that those thoughts are not the real you. As you say, you'd never want to act on these thoughts, and that is a more important distinction than the OCD wants to give credit for. You are much more than your darkest fantasies. You are not alone in this, nor are you the monster that you're worried you are. *hug10
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#3
I can actually quite strongly relate to this in some ways. I'm gonna extrapolate from my own experience with OCD so apologies if this feels more miss than hit in some areas, but i hope it achieves the intended goal. Some of this gets a bit graphic, which i apologise for, but i want to show you that i do get this.

My violent fantasies tend to be less sexual and more homicidal, but i suspect they come from a similar place. They both come from places of disempowerment. The experiences you went through growing up and earning that money made you feel owned, beaten down and weak sexually. In a similar way, my experiences growing up autistic as well as unknowingly gay, and therefore different led to a lot of larger kids using their size and numbers to beat on me, and that made me feel disempowered socially as well as physically.

In a similar way, this, coupled with the loss of my mother at a young age, caused me to develop explosive anger issues, and more and more to contemplate all manner of visceral, horrifying butchery. It's the desire to fight back in such a way that the world can no longer terrify or belittle you, because you have become the scariest thing in existence, at least in that given field. And so to this day, someone honks their car horn at me for making them wait an extra 5 seconds to get where they're going, i'll spend hours imagining dragging them out of the car and slamming their head in that door until it's a pile of mush, so strongly that i have to actively restrain my arms from twitching. I'll get images in my head of police officers bursting into a house to find me in a tableau of body parts. I've had dreams so visceral i could literally taste the meat and blood of the people i was ripping to shreds and consuming.

For a long time i also worried if one day it would become too much, and i would just snap and resort to those base instincts. I went through a phase of regularly breaking noses, generally beating the hell out of other kids. I even started choking a kid once and for a short moment, felt absolutely no intention of letting go. For years i considered killing myself just to make sure i could never kill anyone else. But eventually, i actually did go completely off the deep end. It's complicated, but suffice to say that i have some kind of genetic neurotic disorder that means if i get anxious enough for a prolonged period of a few years, i can actually start to completely disconnect from reality, to the point it can be misdiagnosed as psychosis. Reality was completely malleable for me at that point. I'm talking "i'm an angel sleeper cell agent for the upcoming holy war and i have to guard my thoughts because everyone can hear them" kinda stuff.

So if ever there was a time where i was gonna act on those thoughts, it would be then, right? And yet, that never happened. I never even threw a punch at anyone. A few at inanimate objects, and a few at myself, but that was it. And it's because as horrendous and pervasive as those thoughts are, as much as some part of me loved those thoughts, they were never me. They were the wolf costume i have instinctively created growing up to terrify the rest of the world away from attempting to disempower me ever again. It can make people cross the street when they see me, or tell me they find me terrifying, or respond to me genuinely laughing at something with "that's a really good evil laugh man", but that's all it amounts to. The real me is the guy who hasn't even thrown a punch at another person in over a decade now. With OCD, especially pure-O, which the things you're describing sound like, it can get hard to draw that line of where the costume ends and you begin, but the truth is that if those thoughts scare you like they do, if some part of you remains sickened by their presence, the likelihood is that those thoughts are not the real you. As you say, you'd never want to act on these thoughts, and that is a more important distinction than the OCD wants to give credit for. You are much more than your darkest fantasies. You are not alone in this, nor are you the monster that you're worried you are. *hug10
Thing is I never had a tough childhood. Despite a very visible facial deformity I've never been bullied or felt anything but in control in social gatherings until I turned 17/18 years old. I've never had a reason to have these insane ideas or urges yet still fell them at times.

It's the most classical cases. Cooking with a friend and suddenly get scared what would happen if I just stabbed him? Not out of hate or anger but just curiousity all most. What would happen if I just punch someone randomly on the street? Or pin a woman down and start grabbing her? It's that fear of breaking social conventions that terrifies me so much. The realization of how thin that line is between "good" and "bad" behavior.

It's so bad that to counter it I spend a lot of time searching for convicted sexoffenders in my country and messaging their friends on social media, urging them to distance themselves from their convicted social media friend (I don't know if they are actual friends or not). I spend hours trying to cope with the worst gross tendencies in myself by stalking convicted criminals and their friends and telling them just how disgusted I am. And sometimes I even feel a need to find out who the victim was and get in touch (although I haven't done that yet).

It's insane projecting my own shame over having these thoughts to a place where I have to hate on people who have done crazy stuff as a sort of penance for harboring the same sadistic insane ideas.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#4
Thing is I never had a tough childhood. Despite a very visible facial deformity I've never been bullied or felt anything but in control in social gatherings until I turned 17/18 years old. I've never had a reason to have these insane ideas or urges yet still fell them at times.

It's the most classical cases. Cooking with a friend and suddenly get scared what would happen if I just stabbed him? Not out of hate or anger but just curiousity all most. What would happen if I just punch someone randomly on the street? Or pin a woman down and start grabbing her? It's that fear of breaking social conventions that terrifies me so much. The realization of how thin that line is between "good" and "bad" behavior.

It's so bad that to counter it I spend a lot of time searching for convicted sexoffenders in my country and messaging their friends on social media, urging them to distance themselves from their convicted social media friend (I don't know if they are actual friends or not). I spend hours trying to cope with the worst gross tendencies in myself by stalking convicted criminals and their friends and telling them just how disgusted I am. And sometimes I even feel a need to find out who the victim was and get in touch (although I haven't done that yet).

It's insane projecting my own shame over having these thoughts to a place where I have to hate on people who have done crazy stuff as a sort of penance for harboring the same sadistic insane ideas.
Oh, i can actually really relate to that feeling as well, that's another very pure-O thing. It's the obsession that can gradually morph these ideas from "this is something that it is physically possible for me to do" to "how can i know for sure that this isn't something i want" to "This could be something i do want but i'm just in denial oh god what if i were to just do that?". This kind of thing is where my anxieties can cross over into the sexual, and in some majorly not nice ways. But it's not insane, it's just a heightened level of anxiety coupled with a disorder that has obsession in the name. It's something that almost nobody wants to admit to, but once i found the courage to start talking with people about it, i was surprised to discover just how many people actually get thoughts like that, but just don't admit it because they think it makes them sound insane or dangerous.

Everyone gets some thoughts like that, because it's testing the bounds of acceptable behaviour. It's actually a completely natural thing for the brain to do. The distinction between the average person and somebody with OCD is that the person with the OCD is much more likely to get hung up on the presence of those thoughts and start worrying that those thoughts define them. As i say though, they don't, they're just a natural process a surprisingly large number of people have.

I can understand what you're saying about not having a tough childhood, but the reality is that you went through some fairly traumatic experiences that sound like they have impacted your view of your place in the world, sexually speaking. And that could explain why there is such a prevalence towards sexuality in some of these violent thoughts. It could be a form of overcorrection in a way.

(Naturally, i don't mean to tell you your own mind, you will inevitably know yourself better than i do, i'm just trying to present my perspective and theorise on how you may well not be as insane as you think you are.)
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#5
Oh, i can actually really relate to that feeling as well, that's another very pure-O thing. It's the obsession that can gradually morph these ideas from "this is something that it is physically possible for me to do" to "how can i know for sure that this isn't something i want" to "This could be something i do want but i'm just in denial oh god what if i were to just do that?". This kind of thing is where my anxieties can cross over into the sexual, and in some majorly not nice ways. But it's not insane, it's just a heightened level of anxiety coupled with a disorder that has obsession in the name. It's something that almost nobody wants to admit to, but once i found the courage to start talking with people about it, i was surprised to discover just how many people actually get thoughts like that, but just don't admit it because they think it makes them sound insane or dangerous.

Everyone gets some thoughts like that, because it's testing the bounds of acceptable behaviour. It's actually a completely natural thing for the brain to do. The distinction between the average person and somebody with OCD is that the person with the OCD is much more likely to get hung up on the presence of those thoughts and start worrying that those thoughts define them. As i say though, they don't, they're just a natural process a surprisingly large number of people have.

I can understand what you're saying about not having a tough childhood, but the reality is that you went through some fairly traumatic experiences that sound like they have impacted your view of your place in the world, sexually speaking. And that could explain why there is such a prevalence towards sexuality in some of these violent thoughts. It could be a form of overcorrection in a way.

(Naturally, i don't mean to tell you your own mind, you will inevitably know yourself better than i do, i'm just trying to present my perspective and theorise on how you may well not be as insane as you think you are.)
Can I respond a little bit later ? I'm not able to focus right now but I hear what you're saying. As for your PS's and stuff; Mate, I appreciate your responses. Don't feel a need to put in the caveat of you perhaps not totally understanding or it's just your opinion. I get that. No need to be apologetic about it. I appreciate it so no need to worry or put in a disclaimer.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
Can I respond a little bit later ? I'm not able to focus right now but I hear what you're saying. As for your PS's and stuff; Mate, I appreciate your responses. Don't feel a need to put in the caveat of you perhaps not totally understanding or it's just your opinion. I get that. No need to be apologetic about it. I appreciate it so no need to worry or put in a disclaimer.
Thanks for saying that, i appreciate it. *hug And yeah, of course, feel free to stop or reply more whenever you need to, there's no pressure for you to respond at all. I want to support you however you want/need that support. :)
 

Gonz

sick and tired of being sick and tired
#7
It's the most classical cases. Cooking with a friend and suddenly get scared what would happen if I just stabbed him? Not out of hate or anger but just curiousity all most. What would happen if I just punch someone randomly on the street? Or pin a woman down and start grabbing her? It's that fear of breaking social conventions that terrifies me so much. The realization of how thin that line is between "good" and "bad" behavior.
Everyone gets some thoughts like that, because it's testing the bounds of acceptable behaviour. It's actually a completely natural thing for the brain to do. The distinction between the average person and somebody with OCD is that the person with the OCD is much more likely to get hung up on the presence of those thoughts and start worrying that those thoughts define them. As i say though, they don't, they're just a natural process a surprisingly large number of people have.
So, I'm hesitant to say too much because I don't like pretending to understand things that I probably actually don't. But I've mentioned before how my wife had OCD, and these bits in particular made me think of stuff she and I talked about.

I wasn't privy to every single negative thought she'd obsess over, but she would tell me about some of them, and this one in particular stands out (for, I think, obvious reasons).

For a while, she couldn't stop thinking about attacking me in my sleep. It started as a joking conversation about us (physically) fighting, and her thinking that because of our size difference the only way she could win is if I was sleeping, which then turned into obsessive thoughts about how exactly to kill me in my sleep before I could wake up and stop her.

The fact that she couldn't stop thinking about it was freaking her out and I don't know how much help I was, but I pointed out all the other obsessive thoughts she'd told me about that she had never acted upon, and insisted that she keep sleeping in our bed (she had wanted to move to the couch for a while). I told her I was a lot more worried about missing her during the night than I was about her actually acting on those thoughts.

Like I said before, I don't like to pretend to understand things that I probably don't. But it seems like people with OCD get so wrapped up in obsessive thoughts that they can't help thinking, and judging and condemning themselves based on those thoughts, that they forget that it's their actions that count.

So yeah, Jessica was worried about violent thoughts she was having, but the 30 years of her life so far that she'd spent never hurting anyone counted for more (in my mind at least) even if she had trouble seeing that in that moment.
 

Luthien Tinuviel

Well-Known Member
#8
I believe a book called the Courage to Heal mentions things like this. i got a free audiobook before from the library. it helped me through being afraid i was thinking of offending but i really wasnt.
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#10
So, I'm hesitant to say too much because I don't like pretending to understand things that I probably actually don't. But I've mentioned before how my wife had OCD, and these bits in particular made me think of stuff she and I talked about.

I wasn't privy to every single negative thought she'd obsess over, but she would tell me about some of them, and this one in particular stands out (for, I think, obvious reasons).

For a while, she couldn't stop thinking about attacking me in my sleep. It started as a joking conversation about us (physically) fighting, and her thinking that because of our size difference the only way she could win is if I was sleeping, which then turned into obsessive thoughts about how exactly to kill me in my sleep before I could wake up and stop her.

The fact that she couldn't stop thinking about it was freaking her out and I don't know how much help I was, but I pointed out all the other obsessive thoughts she'd told me about that she had never acted upon, and insisted that she keep sleeping in our bed (she had wanted to move to the couch for a while). I told her I was a lot more worried about missing her during the night than I was about her actually acting on those thoughts.

Like I said before, I don't like to pretend to understand things that I probably don't. But it seems like people with OCD get so wrapped up in obsessive thoughts that they can't help thinking, and judging and condemning themselves based on those thoughts, that they forget that it's their actions that count.

So yeah, Jessica was worried about violent thoughts she was having, but the 30 years of her life so far that she'd spent never hurting anyone counted for more (in my mind at least) even if she had trouble seeing that in that moment.
I encountered this the first time in my late teens/early 20's. I could be visiting a friend and cooking with him and suddenly be afraid I might stab him. Not to hurt him but to see what would happen. Like a sort of breaking social norms just for the sake of it. It's hard to describe precisely but I have had those thoughts over and over again in various forms and although I know I'm not gonna act on them it still feels shameful. And somehow weirdly attractive.

This video sort of nails that "crossing boundaries to discover something different" in a sense although it has nothing to do with violent urges or harming anyone, nor OCD or anxiety. But it's that longing for seeing your world turned upside down I can relate so much to. I fear it but feel drawn to it at the same time.

 

Walker

Admin-a-monkey
ADMIN
SF Social Media
SF Author
SF Supporter
#11
Let me start by saying that I don't really have this issue though I do have a streak of OCD, especially unmedicated.
BUT. What you describe really isn't that uncommon. Obsessive thoughts present themselves in various ways and the more we try to fend them off the more they poke their head in. Some people have these thoughts as homicidal or violent. Some people have them sexually, including pedophilia when they would rather actually die than touch a child. Some people have these thoughts with the intention of self harm all the way up to suicidal ideation. They don't actually want to die, they just can't stop thinking about the ways to do it.
Frankly I don't know any other way to rid this in yourself other than a good therapist but I do think you should realize that you're really not terribly at risk of acting on this if you know inside that it's wrong / not okay or even that you know its related to your OCD. But why live with that when it's treatable? I hope you can get some help soon.
 

Paisley

* * *
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#12
I get recurring intrusive thoughts about injuring my own eyes and sometimes other's eyes. Not sure why it's eye-focused in particular but I suspect it may be from some kind of trauma that I'm repressing.
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#13
Let me start by saying that I don't really have this issue though I do have a streak of OCD, especially unmedicated.
BUT. What you describe really isn't that uncommon. Obsessive thoughts present themselves in various ways and the more we try to fend them off the more they poke their head in. Some people have these thoughts as homicidal or violent. Some people have them sexually, including pedophilia when they would rather actually die than touch a child. Some people have these thoughts with the intention of self harm all the way up to suicidal ideation. They don't actually want to die, they just can't stop thinking about the ways to do it.
Frankly I don't know any other way to rid this in yourself other than a good therapist but I do think you should realize that you're really not terribly at risk of acting on this if you know inside that it's wrong / not okay or even that you know its related to your OCD. But why live with that when it's treatable? I hope you can get some help soon.
I'm not clinically diagnosed with OCD. I've had it mentioned to me a few times by online therapists I've talked to when describing my problems. So just for clarity's sake; I can't say for sure my obsessive ideas are actually OCD or not (the ICD-10 mentions stuff like sexual or violent fantasies as a symptom of schizotypal disorder so it's hard to say what's what and there is a common co-morbidity in between the two).

I know therapy can help but I'm quite reluctant to do therapy again (done so for years). Which is another problem associated with schizotypal disorder. The paranoia and distrust in therapists. To me it often feels like therapy is supposed to just make me cope and forget my problems or not pay any attention to it while I feel some kind of need to "overcome" something and be cured of it (which is slightly delusional on my behalf I reckon).

Therapy works for me for a few weeks and then I start distrusting it and the whole point of it. Just like medication. It feels like numbing/ignoring the problems rather than dive deep into them and help me overcome them. But then again, my delusion is the idea I can even be cured or ridden of these problems.
 

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