General Question

butterflykisses's avatar

Why am I obessed with an image?

Asked by butterflykisses (1376points) December 16th, 2009
54 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I have built my home from the bottom up. It is 27 rooms. It takes me 4 hours a day to clean it and about 9–12 once a week to deep clean it. I cannot leave anything unmade, out of place or out of order. I dry all my sinks, showers and tubs. Sweep the carpet so the nape is one way. everything has to be “just right” everyday, all day. If it isn’t I get anxious about it. I cannot relax until it is just right.

I recently developed an illness RSD where I cannot keep the house the way I want to, so I hired a maid. I know it is silly! In my head I know this, because it is clean, but it is not in order to fit the image.

I didn’t use to be this way. It is not cleaning that I am obsessed with, it is this image I have in my head of what my house should look like. I have ever since I started building it I hate the cleaning. I know this because my mother asked me to clean her house for her and I said no, the idea turned me off. My car is not this way. It is clean but not like my house.

Can someone please tell me is OCD something that can be developed like this? My daughter tells me all the time I am OCD, but she is a teenager and I just think she may be teasing. How can I be so obsessive about a house? Nothing else, just my house?

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Answers

SirGoofy's avatar

My thinking is that maybe this beats doing nothing at all or having nothing to do. On the other hand, isn’t life a little too short to be devoting so much time to keeping things “just right”? If you enjoy cleaning, then you are doing exactly what you want to do. If you don’t enjoy cleaning and are simply driven to do this based on the need to keep things “so, so”, then you might reconsider you’re goings on and get some counseling. So much of your energy could be poured into doing more creative things. Sounds like you need another outlet for your frustrations.

syz's avatar

I am not an expert and I have no training, but I think under any circumstances, that is an exorbitant amount of time to spend cleaning and the details that you mention seem to scream “OCD” to me.

syz (35679points)“Great Answer” (1points)
shilolo's avatar

Indeed, your teenager is probably on to something. Here is some useful information from a reputable site. It seems that you have a compulsion theme involving cleaning, which is probably the most common one. Psychotherapy is supposedly very effective at dealing with this, so perhaps seeking out a local psychologist or psychiatrist would be a good place to start.

Val123's avatar

And four days after you get healed, and have slacked off of the cleaning, we’re all going to crash your house unexpectedly!

butterflykisses's avatar

I do many things during the day other than clean, but the house must be in order first, and I make sure it stays that way. Lately with the RSD I have not been able to do many of the things I use to, but before the RSD this was the way it was.

my old house wasn’t this way.It was clean and all but I didn’t do all of this. Sometimes I wonder if all the new appliances and carpet and everything being “new” just sparked something. I never knew much about OCD, but I didn’t think it was something you could just develop, I thought you were born with it and I don’t understand why it is just this house. I have not really spoken about it with anyone, I know they all think there is something wrong upstairs with me LOL when they see me go in the bathroom and dry everything after they have showerd. They are pretty good at keeping their thoughts to themselves other than my teenager.

My friends will come over and move things around when I am not llooking..I HATE THAT as a joke but after a while it is not funny any more. they say things flippently like ” you and your OCD.”

Just wondering if that is what it is or if I have lost it.

Val123's avatar

Honestly, it sounds like it could be a type of OCD. I don’t know much about the disorder, but it could be triggered by a combination of events…the new house is one of those, but what else has been going on that you maybe feel you’ve lost control of? And how long has this been going on? AND what is RSD?

JLeslie's avatar

First, I want to say I am sorry to hear you have RSD. A very trying ailment that few people, not even doctors, understand fully and difficult to treat.

I do think you are a little OCD. It also seems that you are very proud of your home, and want to take “care” of it aside from just needing to keep it clean so to speak. The thing is it seems overboard. It probably is already clean enough. When people come over they do not take a white glove, they just get an overall sense of a home and if things are put away.

butterflykisses's avatar

@shilolo Thank you..I just don’t want to talk to a doctor and tell them all of this and find out I am perfectly normal, how embarrassing, then they would know I am a nut job. =Z

@Val123 LOL Then the maid would have something to really do..lol

6rant6's avatar

I vote OCD. But if the RSD abates, please come over and help with my house.

JLeslie's avatar

I know this is out of left field, but is there any chance that cleaning chemicals might exaggerate some of your symptoms?

butterflykisses's avatar

@Val123 It has been going on for 7 years, but I never really thought it was a big deal until I had to pay the maid. It hit me a bit.

RSD-http://www.neurologychannel.com/rsd/index.shtml

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie I hadn’t thought of that! You know, I know I’m being paranoid, but…would it surprise anyone to learn that the cleaning chemicals are adding some…pheromone based scent or something so that….you can actually become mildly addicted to them???? I’m not saying that they have, but would it surprise you if they did??? Now I’m scaring myself!

shilolo's avatar

I’m a doctor, and it would be part of any internist’s practice to at least evaluate and/or refer you to a specialist given the circumstances.

butterflykisses's avatar

@JLeslie you mean my cleaning symptoms..LOL Who knows..they could..LMAO As much as I breathe that crap in…I am sure a few brain cells have withered and died..

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 oooohhhh, now that is sinister, LOL! I had not thought of that. I meant that since RSD is nerve related, that maybe the chemicals were exaggerating her physical illness, not her mental one. Not that I think @butterflykisses is mentally ill per se.

JLeslie's avatar

@butterflykisses I think if the cleaning interferes with you doing other things, or to spend money you cannot afford, much like addictive behavior, then it is a problem. Maybe just talking things through with a therapist will give you better perspective again on how important it should be. Or just writing things out. Well, I guess you are writing here.

butterflykisses's avatar

@Shilolo I read the link…maybe you are right, I should. It would be so embarassing to tell my family doctor ..=Z Some of the things kinda hit home. =(

RSD and the chemicals..humm now that is a good point. I am however doing quite well with the RSD!! Improvements all the time. I’ll have to keep an eye out and see just how bad it gets after using the chemicals that I do.

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie I think McDonalds puts something addictive in their egg McMuffins!
WHAT IS RSD???

butterflykisses's avatar

http://www.neurologychannel.com/rsd/index.shtml

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Basically my foot is a lovely shade of blue and feels like little tiny scissors that have been hooked up to an elcetrical source are chewing away at my foott. I wish they would just chew the thing off at times..but it is getting better.

I don’t know wha caused it as there was not a previous injury.. been 10 months of it.

Val123's avatar

Oh, ow! Ouch. I am so sorry…and the Drs have no idea what causes it? It sounds like your foot is always asleep…circulation, maybe?

OK, I’ve been sitting on my deck and worrying about you! MAYBE this cleaning thing has just become a habit, no different than, say smoking. If I’d been able to build my dream house, I imagine I would obsess over perfection for….about, 3 weeks, then I’d probably let it slide some. And I think that initial obsession over something new is perfectly normal. But maybe you took that “initial obsession” on for so long that it’s now a habit. I mean, the symptoms you describe are just like mine during the first month when I quit smoking (picked up up again after 8 years. Slaps myself.) Maybe….this is a thought…..set something out of place, and really fight against the urge to “fix it.” Keep a log of your feelings from day to day. Or use your log as an outlet. Every time it gets overwhelming, rant in your log. And just keep walking away, like I did when I quit smoking. Keep walking away. See if, after a couple of weeks the anxiety starts decreasing, and maybe after a month it’s gone all together. Then let something else go in the same way….. In other words, go cold turkey, a little at a time. It’s worth a shot and a lot cheaper than a doctor!

butterflykisses's avatar

See thats what I wonder too?? Is this really an OCD thing? My daughter cannot believe I am paying a maid..but SHE doesn’t help me…she says I am too over the top and expect too much..hubby just sits there with a grin on his face..I love him

I don’t know if I could do it..but I could sure try… I mean it’s not like my head is going to fall off right? =Z The worst thing that could happen is I hyperventilate and grab the duster breathe again.

Payton_Evil_is_as_evil_does's avatar

Sounds to me like you need to take up a good old fashion drug habit.

Val123's avatar

If it’s anything like smoking, it’s gonna be real hard! But, if it is “just” a habit then, yes, you can do it.

BTW…..out of curiosity, was there a lot of competition in your family as you were growing up? Was your family “image” obsessed? Just wondering…..

Val123's avatar

@Payton_Evil_is_as_evil_does LOl! Yeah. Smoke a joint every time you get the urge to clean!! (No, don’t!)

butterflykisses's avatar

I already do medical reasons..helps me eat. My meds make me so sick I don’t eat when I have to take them.

Val123's avatar

BTW, you know, we’re all dying for a tour of your house! Pictures! Pictures!!

butterflykisses's avatar

@Val123 No not really as far as family goes..If I do this it will have to be after the holidays, I have company coming..LOL

butterflykisses's avatar

Can I do that here? From my computer? or I can send you emails or send them where ever you want…LOL

Val123's avatar

@butterflykisses Are you talking about the pics? You can download them to photobucket, then send us a Direct Link, like so

Val123's avatar

Also! I noticed in your profile you have 3 kids. Do you obsess over how clean they are, or what clothes they wear?

butterflykisses's avatar

I don’t have a Photobucket account, but I will make one..=) My kids are all gone but one..and no I don’t…just this stupid freaking frawking house!!

anoop66's avatar

You sound like my mum. Actually I am a clean freak too. I have to keep things at the desk my way, else I don’t like it. A touch of OCD I guess. Don’t worry, it’s no big deal!

Val123's avatar

@anoop66 Oh, you need to read the thread. It’s making a huge impact on her life. She’s not talking about a desk. She’s talking about a 27 room house! (Glad to hear you plan to open a bed and breakfast, @butterflykisses! How is that going, anyway?)

butterflykisses's avatar

@Val123 The pics are slow in uploading..=Z but here are a few..that I got on so far. Man this is going to take forever..lol.
http://s939.photobucket.com/albums/ad239/butterflykisses2292/My%20house/

The B&B was going rather smoothly as far as getting it done. Until I came down with RSD. It has been 7 years in the making. I built it bit by bit and room by room. Completeing it as money was accumulated. For a while it was just one floor with a basement. Then I added the second and third story. The pics you will see first are the part I am living in, the second set if they ever download..lol is the part my Step uncle lives in. He lives on the first floor. (If you want to know that story..lol I posted it under “should I put him in a home” I live on the second and third. Currently the basement ( and thats where the last 4 bedrooms rooms are) Is far from completion. We had to stop until this RSD goes away. There are some projects that you will see that are not quite done, like framing of doors in my part of the house. I wanted to get the B&B part finished first.

I have had people stay here, but not as a B&B quite yet. Mostly hunters.

Thanks for asking..=) now that I have bored you to tears

Val123's avatar

@butterflykisses Page not found…are you using JPG to load it? Also…wht is that %20 in the title?

butterflykisses's avatar

LMAO IDK..lol I never had a photobucket account before..I clicked the direct link this time…http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad239/butterflykisses2292/My%20house/IMG_0208.jpg

help LMAO

Val123's avatar

No…it’s going to be the second option down. And you’ll know it took because in your preview page it will turn red…that one didn’t link….
(You’re fine! Every one struggles with it at first! I know I did.)

butterflykisses's avatar

Please tell me that worked?? Can I just do an album?? or pic by pic as a link?

Val123's avatar

It linked but said page not found…well, try sending the the whole URL of your new albumn.
What is that 20% in the name? If you manipulated the size of it it on your computer it might be having a hard time reading it…

butterflykisses's avatar

http://s939.photobucket.com/albums/ad239/butterflykisses2292/My%20house/

I don’t know what the 20% is..LOL I take it that is not normal ROFLMAO I didn’t change anything as far as the pic sizes..=Z

I see it is still in the URL.

Val123's avatar

(LOL! At least we now know why you’re obsessed with an image!)

butterflykisses's avatar

BLLAHAHAHA I don’t know what I am doing wrong because I can see the pics on my Photobucket page..

http://s939.photobucket.com/home/butterflykisses2292/index

butterflykisses's avatar

OMG did that work?? I clicked it but I was already open to it in another browser..

Val123's avatar

Whooo hooo!!!! Browsing!!!

butterflykisses's avatar

Oh THANK GOODNESS!! I am about sick of the computer!! I was ready to throw it out the old window..LOL

Val123's avatar

I’ll add them for others to see

Dining room

half bath

Another half bath, so now you finally have a full bath!

Kitchen from dining room

Laundry

Kitchen

Wow! That is splendifiirous! Wow. I love the way you put “country farm house” charm in it! My kind of house! Surely you have a fireplace?! Sniff. It would look better if SOMETHING was out of place!! Muwhahahahahahah!

…btw, just a thought. You were right clicking to get menu options, weren’t you! I didn’t think to tell you….in your album you click on the image of your picture, and it will open up a screen that looks:Like this (More explanation in the screen shot….) LOL! Too funny! The ad that came up when I clicked on your pic was for a swiffer cleaning thinger!

butterflykisses's avatar

BLAAAAAHAHAH seriously!! A swiffer?? I have one for each floor…BLAAHAHAHA

Thank you for your comments…there are more downloading as we speak..I was trying for the longest time to get my old pics but they are not labled and used an old type of program…after searching for a while..I gave up and took all of these..I will post the downstairs sometime soon..LOL

Perhaps in the morning. I can’t get the livingroom shots as everyone is in there and would groan and moan if I made them get up..LOL I will post those in the morning too.. .

butterflykisses's avatar

Thanks for linking them..=0)

Val123's avatar

I have a swiffer…..it doesn’t seem to do much, really. I mean, your floor has to be swept already, and it’s like the Swiffer is just for picking up dust or something….

JLeslie's avatar

I love my swiffer! On ceremic tile floors getting that “dust” up that your vacuum or broom missed means your grout will stay cleaner over the years, because damp mopping when there is still some dirt on the floor will eventually lead to dirt particles discoloring the grout. On wood floors it seems to bring up the shine getting that leftover dust.

butterflykisses's avatar

My swiffers actually are not used the way they are intended I guess..I took a shamwow cloth..(the bigger ones) cut them to fit my swiffers and use them instead of the store bought swiffer pads. The swiffer pads IMO don’t work very well. The Shamwows don’t work like they say on TV but work really well on a swiffer! LMAO! Wet or dry.

I have my company here…and you know what..I do have a problem. I need to see somebody. I got up this morning at 4 am so I could do some of the “cleaning” so we could have the day together. I just finished up and it is now 10 am.

I have been thinking about a lot of things and I do have a problem. I “cleaned” my corn plant a beautiful plant with a rag that had a bit of canola oil on it to shine up the leaves, because IMO they did not look shiney enough..I killed the plant…=( I wash my windows every week…do you know how many windows I have?? 43. They don’t need it…but I like the shine…I do them with rain-x. I talked to my best friend (my company) last night and she said that she wanted to say something to me for a long time. I am so embarrassed right now.

She said it is hard for her to relax here and if I want to have a B&B I neeed to get help first…because people need to relax when they are here. She said it is too “stiff here” that kind of hurt but I needed to hear it.

Even though she said all those things to me I still had to get up and do my thing this morning. I cannot leave it. I just can’t. I tried to stay in bed, but I couldn’t sleep.

I hate this. =Z

JLeslie's avatar

@butterflykisses You wash your windows every week? OK, you are obsessive compulsive. You seem to be the type of person who would not be able to rest unles everything is clean and put away. I have a friend, and her mother would vacuum every noth, even if it was 10:00 at night, because she could not go to sleep without the lines in the carpet.

The thing is if you had a B&B it would be more normal to be cleaning all of the time. It would be more appropriate. When you have guests you are supposed to be having time with them, and not making them feel like they are causing you more work, because they are causing some sort of mess. But in a B&B or hotel I want the place to be spotless.

Val123's avatar

@butterflykisses Please call someone…..

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