OCD Christmas

Every year I look forward to Christmas and every year I become overwhelmed by the number of preparations involved, so naturally I was happy to see this card, painted by my grand-daughter, Rachel, who is 10. I love the simplicity of the tree and the bright colors.

Rachel's Tree large

If only decorating the tree was as easy as this simple painting. The first thing I do is assemble my large imitation tree. I help my husband as he places the color-coded branches in their respective spaces on the pole, which eventually becomes an evergreen-shaped plastic object. Once the branches are in place, I go around the tree spreading out the small boughs like lettuce leaves, so they are available to hang ornaments.

Next I go for the lights! This year I am using the larger colored bulbs for a more old-fashioned look. As I struggle unwinding the cords, my husband says:

“Do you want some help?”

“No,” I answer, “Then I’ll just have to change them.” What? Can’t I accept help with this humdrum job?

No, because I am OCD. (Doctors say this means Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I say it means Overly Concerned Dunce). I can’t accept help because I need to have all the lights spaced evenly around the tree with no two lights of the same color next to each other. No one else seems to have the patience or concern to do that. And if they do, they always make a mistake and I have to do it over. And if you are a mental health practitioner, yes I am in therapy!

Unfortunately, I am that way with the ornaments too, so the next day I drag out the old foot-locker that has held our Christmas decorations for the last 20 years. It is always fun to open it, because years ago I glued a giant picture of Santa’s face on the inside, and he greets me with a big smile. I can’t help it. I always smile back and giggle.

I begin routing around for ornaments, pulling out the larger glass balls first, then the medium and small. I put them on the tree carefully, according to color, spacing and size until I am satisfied that it looks perfect. Then I add the special ones, including angels of different sizes, a snowman, a glass elephant and a Madonna and child ornament.

At last the tree is beginning to look done. I fall exhausted onto the sofa, while my husband tries to revive me, patting me softly and saying “it looks beautiful.” But I don’t hear him, I’m asleep.

 

 

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Give Gifts to your Alters

We often talk about feeling like a kid at Christmas, but few of us are blessed to be able to become one when we want to. People with multiple personalities usually have a few alters who are still children. When they were abused they hid and are still available for fun and games in the right situations. Unfortunately, they can’t let their inner children come out in front of normal adults because the adults think they’re crazy. Imagine that!

I have several children inside me who love Christmas. Around the holidays I start to see ads for wonderful toys and these inner children want them. I cut out a few pictures of the things my little girls want. One personality, New Nancy, wants a Barbie Malibu Dream House.

Doll House

I also have an alter named Allen, a nine-year-old boy. He likes to play Indian so perhaps I could find a headdress for him. He also likes guns, airplanes and magic.

I think the best present to give a child alter is Play-Doh. This toy is inexpensive and can be used in most games as anything from play food to small sculpted objects.

Play-Doh

If you have an alter who is still a child, try buying them an inexpensive toy this Christmas. I bet they’ll like it, and all of you will feel better. Please let me know how this plan works for you.

Image

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them