Can the beginning of one’s OCD often be traced back to one event? Looking back, I do think this was true for Dan. When he was around twelve, he and his good friend were horsing around at our house. Dan was twirling around while holding his clarinet. The mouthpiece of the clarinet flew off, hit his friend Connor near the eye, and proceeded to leave a one inch vertical gash on Connor’s face. A freak accident with a good deal of blood. Dan came running to me, yelling hysterically, “Connor’s eye is bleeding.” Luckily it was Connor’s face, not his eye, and all was easily taken care of with a few stitches. Connor was as calm and forgiving as could be the whole time ( as was his mother, thankfully), but Dan was deeply affected by this event.
The thought that his actions had caused injury to his good friend was a lot to shoulder for Dan. Right after it happened, he spent hours sitting inside his closet, refusing to come out. Of course we all told him we knew it was an accident, and he even wrote an apology note to Connor. Everyone else forgot about the incident as quickly as it happened, but I suspect it festered in Dan’s mind.
Whenever I mentioned this story to Dan’s health care providers, they all said OCD was not triggered by one event. Now I know that this incident didn’t cause Dan’s OCD, and that it was bound to appear sooner or later. But maybe this event made it sooner. Perhaps it was like The Perfect Storm……..everything was in the right place at the right time to kickstart the OCD.
Not that it really matters much………….again, it’s just me trying to make some sense of a disorder that makes no sense. What do you think?