Text her everyday while dating
It’s a huge strain on our marriage, but he never stopped supporting me.There are times he loses his patience with me and says: ‘For God’s sake Sarah! Sometimes it snaps me out of it, but other times it upsets me even more. As for my sons, I have tried to spare them, but they have been affected by my OCD.Since going back on my medication, I am better now than I have been for years.I still have little rituals, like putting my pillow slips with the flaps facing inwards, and checking the door, but I fight the condition every day. So when I hear people say they have OCD just because they like to fold their jumpers in a certain way or they vacuum a lot, I get really angry.I made poor Martin go through the entire house throwing out all the batteries.E ven when he did that, I didn’t believe he had got them all, so I would wake in the middle of the night checking drawers and even inside duvet covers for batteries. He has always been so strong and patient, but I remember he just sat in the chair one day and said: ‘I can’t cope any more.’ I felt so sorry for him — he looked like a crushed man. ‘But I can’t help it.’ He replied: ‘I know.’ It was pitiful.I love Martin to bits and would never do anything to hurt him, but looking back I can see I put him through hell.It’s not just the person who has OCD who is affected — it’s everyone around them and I feel very guilty about that.
Over the years, I’ve had countless obsessions — all around disease and cleanliness.
From endless handwashing to checking the front door hundreds of times a day, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) makes sufferers’ lives a living hell. Here, Sarah and Martin Keywood, a sales manager, who have been married for 30 years and live in Hampshire with sons James, 22, and Adam, 15, talk to Marianne Power about the toll Sarah’s OCD has taken on their family life and relationship.
The hurt look on my son’s face the day I refused to hug him is one I’ll never forget. I love my children more than anything on earth — but at that moment, the OCD was stronger. I’ve developed obsessive fears of everything from bleach and batteries to breast cancer.
It was three years ago and he had just come back from a day shopping with his dad. I didn’t know what he might have come in contact with while he was out and I knew that if he touched me, I’d have had to get into the shower, scrub myself from top to bottom and wash all my clothes. The condition has seen me scrub my hands up to 50 times a day, get up at 4am to clean the house and throw out new clothes and a tumble dryer for fear they are contaminated.
Bouncing through the door, he moved towards me with a big smile and open arms, ready to give his mum a hug. It’s an irrational but all-consuming condition that takes over your life.
I thought if I didn’t put my children’s socks together as a pair on the washing line someone would come and take the children from school. I became convinced someone would break in and steal the children, so I would check the front door 30 times, going through the bolt, the Yale lock and the chains again and again. I tried to keep my thoughts to myself, but it was getting harder as obsessions took over my life.