I don't obsess in this way often anymore. So when I do, there is usually an underlying psychological conflict that is manifesting through my OCD. I know this obsession is related to fears about what others think of me, particularly my mother. My parents are coming to visit tomorrow to celebrate the Jewish New Year with me. They will absolutely HATE the piercing. When I was in high school (30 years ago) I got a few piercings up my ear. My mother hated it. She was always saying "Just don't get your nose pierced."
So perhaps I am a 45 year old woman who moved 2000 miles away, has her own family, her own lifestyle, and is still struggling to individuate from her mother. This has been a BIG issue all my life. I felt unloved and fearful starting at age 4. I was not allowed to express my feelings growing up. I tried very hard to please my mom in order to win her love. I also spent a lot of energy dissociating from my feelings. As an adult, I married a man who was mean to me. I relived the dynamic with him. I finally did leave him. This winter will be 7 years that we are apart - though we are still connected through our children. I am also still trying to individuate from him.
Through my recovery and ongoing therapy I've worked through a lot about my relationship with my mom. We do well together today. My biggest issues have been finding my voice with her, being honest about my feelings, and accepting her limitations. I can never "get" the love that I wanted as a child. But I can enjoy the love that she does have for me as an adult. My ex husband is another matter, but I am making progress there, too.
I do believe my fear about HIV - in my mind, a death sentence brought on by recklessness and self expression - is all about this historical baggage with my mother. I've been through it before in my life when I was going through changes and "breaking away" from her expectations of me.
I must say that sharing this with you compassionate OCD'ers (my peeps!) has helped take away some of the intensity. I still feel the obsession. But I also feel the healing potential from letting it just be OCD and not the truth. I also have compassion for the little girl that I was who struggled so much and who is still here struggling. Perhaps, this is an opportunity for her to grow up and let go a bit.
Happy New Year y'all - Shana Tova V'Mtukah ( A good and sweet year). And thanks for "listening". I really need you.