False memories - please help

11 October 2014 - 14:32

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Hi everyone. I've followed this forum for a long time but not posted until now - I hope some will be able to offer me some of the wonderful support that I have seen on here.

I've suffered with OCD and false memories for some time now, my biggest fear is that I will unwillingly harm someone in some way. My most common false memories revolve around hitting someone in my car or inappopriately touching a stranger. The thought of these things makes me feel sick as I would never want to hurt anyone but I understand that this is how OCD  works - latching on to our biggest fears and the very things we would NOT want to do.

Anyway, I work in a school and I'm terrified that I may have done something awful but don't remember. Last week I was walking down the corridor during break time and it was really busy so I was getting intrusive thoughts about touching someone and so my anxiety was going through the roof. I do not remember actually touching anyone inappropriately as I walked past but I DO remember feeling something touch my bum - I turned round to see a group of boys just chatting and one of them had quite a few bags so I thought it was probably just that. For some reason though straight afterwards I started to think - 'what if someone just touched me because I touched them?' sounds ridiculous I know. The memory seems so blurry now that I feel I have no idea what happened, I just remember getting to the end of the corridor and feeling so anxious that I'd done something and felt like everyone was looking at me. I now feel like I've grabbed/touched someone inappropriately in the corridor. What upsets me is that I literally CANNOT remember it clearly anymore. 

When I try to think about it rationally I think I don't remember doing anything and if it was true then I wouldn't keep imagining different possibilities and I would have some idea of WHO I touched because I don't even have a face in my memory but for some reason I just cannot let go of this fear. Usually my false memories will fade within a few days but this one is still going strong. I've cried so many times this week and I feel like I'm just waiting to get found out for something and lose my job, which then upsets me because I think thats just so selfish if I really had done something that should be the least of my worries. 

I'm a new young teacher at a fairly small secondary school and I understand I'm still a bit of a 'novelty' there so I always feel like the students are looking at me and this exacerbates my fears. The other day I was standing near some male students and I don't remember if they were really looking at me or not but I felt like I heard the words 'touched' or something similar and that was it - my mind went into overdrive I was so anxious I could have been sick. I feel like I've done something awful and everyone is talking about it.

Sorry this is so long, I just don't know what to do anymore. I can't live my life this way. I'm starting CBT in a few weeks but I feel like with this memory I will never be convinced that it's not real and it's killing me.

Thanks xx

11 October 2014 - 18:29

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please help someone I desperately need some perspective on this 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 11 October 2014 - 19:36

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Hi   HoldingontoHope.   

I can identify with your intrusive thoughts big time. While I have no words that will fix you I can offer my experiences. Feeling I had done something wrong, and therefore felt condemned, totally rejected, unwanted, unloved, bad beyond words and help.....yes, that bad. Felt like I was going to explode with fear at times...trying to act normal yet feeling disconnected, isolated, crazy in my head. Yes my thoughts felt real and yet I knew they weren't, at some deep level.  OCD thoughts are just that, they are scary thoughts only and no connection to the outside world. Once I started getting help I got some perspective. Talking to a person you can trust DOES change things. It helped me stand away from my OCD thoughts.  Nowadays I still get thoughts telling me to analyse, justify, obsess etc so that 'something bad won't happen and I will be safe'. My obsessing was always about trying to reassure myself I'd not done anything wrong, and hence I won't be Punished.  All I can offer you is that it does get better with help. 

punished. So with help ( I use the 12 step principles on my OCD too) the intensity of the anxiety has diminished...in my experience OCD is fed by isolation and shame so I needed others to talk to.

12 October 2014 - 10:19

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Hi, thanks so much for replying

i know what you mean, I do find that talking about my ocd helps to put it in perspective and detach myself from it sometimes , mostly just because it sounds so ridiculous! Hopefully CBT will help, it seems to have done a lot of good for others.

Do you still get the thoughts? Do you just find they cause less anxiety?

xx 

12 October 2014 - 18:39

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I know everyone says OCD sufferers don't act on their intrusive thoughts and never will but I'm so so scared that I  have and that I will be that one person that one exception who has actually done it. I'm struggling just to function at the moment I don't know what to do. Will it get better? Have I done this terrible thing??  

12 October 2014 - 21:36

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Yes it will get better.

Yes the anxiety reduces as I learn they are only thoughts, not real stuff. You would know, no doubts if they were real. Real is deeper, wiser, feels peaceful...keep going..xx

19 October 2014 - 19:18

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Thank you.

I don't understand why I can't accept this as OCD and move on, it's got such a hold on me.

I now keep thinking that everyone is talking about it and that I hear snippets of conversation which I automatically think must be about what I have done. I can't really find anything online about OCD and paranoia though, does anyone else experience this???

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