Thoughts of a Pansexual: OCD, My Sexuality & Me
By Talia Bellia
Before I begin, I want to say that OCD is not just limited to having to have things neat and tidy; in fact, I am probably one of the most disorganized beings on this earth you’ll ever meet. I feel as though media commonly portrays OCD as something cute and surface level, and never truthfully reveals its true forms, as its intensity and its repercussions vary per individual and their experiences.
One of my first memories having OCD (this being around the age of seven) was having to arrange my dolls a certain way every night. I would also have to tap my foot or touch my hand to something twenty-seven, thirty-five, or forty times if it felt like I didn’t touch it correctly. Sometimes during these instances, I would have to repeat a phrase of something I heard that day or whatever I was thinking about at the time. All of the repetitions I did because I felt that if I didn’t, someone or something --such as the dolls-- would hurt or kill my family or I.
I believe this fear arose from living in which my father was verbally and physically abusive to multiple family members. I felt as though if I told somebody what was happening in my head, it would be a burden for them, especially since my mother was freeing herself from my father through divorce. This, in addition to my mother believing, from the one time she saw it happening, that OCD was just a quirk as media had shown her. This caused the disorder to be left untreated and continually worsen.
At age 11, deciding that suppressing my emotions was the only way to stop what was happening, I became like a shell of clay, adapting to everyone else’s beliefs and feelings. I believed that what everyone else felt and said was right except for what I felt. In my effort to devoid myself of emotion, I ignored all natural feelings. I ignored any physical pain, I ignored my gut feelings when someone did something problematic, and I ignored my sexuality.
I remember I was sitting in class, and the thought of kissing girls popped into my head. This beautiful thought was met with the fist of my suppression, pushed down into hole of emotion that was soon to volcano. At age thirteen and fourteen, with the help of other people’s stories, music and films, I realized that the constant cycle of emptiness and bursts of emotions was not how I wanted to spend my life. I started researching OCD and ways to cope, and through my research I found the site rookiemag.com, that of which introduced me to feminism.
I realized I had become what society had wanted women to be, malleable, and how absolutely horrid that was. I have started to listen to my emotions and accept them with open arms; through this I have realized my pansexuality, and ultimately my OCD and trichotillomania have calmed down. The feeling of wanting to help others get through times of hardship has always been something I wanted to do. Since art has helped me get through rough places, I have been very much so crafting my butt off, centering my music, conceptual photography, writing, and drawings around feminism and demolishing the cages that society puts on people.
The purpose in me sharing a piece of my experience, is to let you know that whatever you may be feeling is real, and anybody who tries to diminish what you are experiencing is completely wrong. It’s okay to want help with things. It’s okay and not selfish whatsoever to need time to check in with yourself and say “Howdy my beautiful self, how do you feel today?” And if your answer to that question is not good, it’s also totally okay to take time to help yourself. Furthermore, it’s okay to share your story, and never be afraid to create, because we all need each other to grow, and the world is worse off if you don’t share your talent and gifts.