I originally wrote this in the very early morning hours of November 1st, after coming home from a party. It was originally meant to be a rant about having OCD, but it turned into a rant about my friend, which is why this post is so long. I didn’t post it until now because I’ve been too tired or busy to edit it.
How was everyone’s Halloween? Mine was pretty good. I had a party and a makeup-heavy costume that were causing me a lot of anxiety early on in the day (I actually woke up in the morning!), but the costume turned out really well and the party was fun, for the most part. Actually, I’m writing today because something happened at the party that ticked me off and upset me, and, well, this is the perfect place to express those emotions.
I suppose I should start off by giving some background information (and by some I mean all). The party was a birthday party for my friend Nevaeh, who’s just turned twenty. I’ve known Nevaeh since the eighth grade, and I’ve had my ups and downs with her. I guess it’s mostly stemmed from the fact that she’s very immature. She also had a habit of lecturing me about religion in the first part of our friendship (she was very outspoken about her Christian faith), and her family lives very differently from mine. In that, I basically mean they’re slobs.
Now look, my family is extremely messy too. I bet most large families are. It’s a given. You either raise your kids yourself or you keep your house clean. I imagine it’s pretty hard to do both, and mine and Nevaeh’s families have opted to focus our energies on the family instead of organization. That being said, Nevaeh’s family is a whole new level of messy I have not seen anywhere else. Their house is just disgusting, which is a shame because it’d be a really nice place if it weren’t so messy and they hadn’t chosen the most uncleanable tile for their flooring. Let’s just be brutally honest: the place smells like period blood and dirty clothes, there’s shit (not literal shit…thank goodness for that) everywhere, and they NEVER vacuum. NEVER. There are crumbs and junk and GOD knows what on every flat surface in that house, and it is just disgusting. I get anxiety just from walking through their front door, it is so bad. They also often fail to adequately provide for their guests (an autistic girl at the party almost didn’t get to eat anything decent for dinner because there was one shitty piece of pizza that had been sitting out for hours left for her to have; I think the only reason she ended up eating it is because she was so hungry), and as I discovered tonight, it is apparently impossible to locate a towel on the premises to dry your hands. I think Nevaeh’s house has always managed to trigger my OCD. No matter how hard I try to push through, I don’t think I’ve ever left her house not at least mildly revolted. Combine that with the fact that her youngest sister is an uncontrollable wild animal (I used to like her when she was little, but tonight she pushed my limits too far) and her mom has adopted a bitchy attitude exclusively towards me for no given reason since Nevaeh and I reconnected, tonight was definitely a test of my sanity.
After I left public school in the eleventh grade, Nevaeh appeared to forget about me. I was hurt, because I thought she cared, but I moved on. Well, come this past summer, I get a random text at one in the morning from Nevaeh talking about a poem I wrote her sophomore year. We chatted some, then a few months later she started a group message with me, her best friend Ivy, and our mutual friend Shane. It was nice. I’d forgotten all the negatives about Nevaeh, and I was happy she remembered me. But then she started being a douchebag towards Shane. Shane confided in me that Nevaeh had neglected him, too, and that when the two reconnected she was suddenly being a bitch to him (granted, those two used to date, and Shane has a questionable history, so maybe he’s getting crap for a justifiable reason). I try to defend Shane in the group chat, but it’s difficult when he starts being an ass and Ivy joins in. Usually I just let them all at each other.
I went over to Nevaeh’s house a few weeks ago, for the first time in years, only to be treated like shit by her family. Despite helping with the groceries (without being asked or thanked) and being my usual demure, polite self (I really am in real-life, believe it or not), her mom, who used to be oh so nice to me, decided to give me the cold shoulder. Our only real interaction at the house was her yelling at us for being too loud; it wasn’t until she drove me home that she decided to treat me like I existed. And, as I mentioned earlier, Nevaeh’s hyper little sister Ulu (I was the only one who was nice to her when she was little), who I’d been so excited to see again, has morphed into the most annoying and unsanitary brat ever. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration; I still like her…but…not really that much anymore.
Alright! Fast-forward to today, or, yesterday, I guess. Fast-forward to Halloween. I’ve been invited to Nevaeh’s 20th birthday party and have had to fight my parents and my anxiety in order to go. I get in the house, wearing my awesome costume that I worked hard on. Ulu’s there, but she’s actually acting her age. Nevaeh’s mom gives me…could that have been a smile? I get to see Ivy for the first time in ages. I’m finding it easy to talk to the other two guests, which is a rarity for me. And then…cue Ulu. She switches from being pleasant to just no.
She decides to test every limit I have with my OCD. Sitting on me with shoes on, with her shoes near my stuff. Putting her shoes in my face. Licking me in various places (she’s a fourteen year-old; yeah, I know). Biting me. Pointing out her shoes have goat poop on them, and then shoving them in my face again. And more licking and touching and biting. NO! JUST STOP! And here’s what I want to talk about.
First, she’s fourteen. She should know better than to randomly lick people. It’s just gross for everyone involved. Okay, second, I’m close to crying now because my clothes are covered in slobber germs from this wacko. She has triggered my OCD and pushed it to its limits. How do I get her to stop? Well, here’s the thing. I know that if I tell her I have OCD, I’ll get made fun of. It’ll encourage her to continue licking me, because OCD is just a big ol’ joke to everyone who doesn’t have it. This is that whole “stigma” thing I harp on all the time. I’ve dealt with enough OCD jokes for this week. I know that telling Ulu I have OCD will just worsen the situation. So what do I say? Well, telling her she was giving me anxiety probably would have had a high chance of working. But I didn’t think about saying that until I was at home, seething in the shower about this horrible incident. Yeah, so I went with something that, in retrospect, is even worse than saying “OCD”: germaphobe.
“I’m a germaphobe,” I say.
“Oh, you’re a germaphobe?” she answers. I feel a glimmer of hope that relief is on its way. I reply “yes”.
LIIIIIIIICK. And then a laugh, like Ulu has just done the most hilarious thing ever when I’m about to explode on this chick.
I tried complaining to Nevaeh. Twice. Once in a lighthearted manner, and a second time in a very serious tone. I was basically told to “deal with it”. Then, towards the end of the party, I somehow got on the conversation of germs with Nevaeh. Her maturity really shines here. After I told her multiple times not to touch me above my butt with her feet, she ran her disgusting feet through my hair (we were on her bed). A few seconds later I was gummed by…guess. No, it wasn’t Ulu’s mouth I found on my arm. It was Nevaeh’s! The girl who just turned twenty years old! Adulthood becomes you, Nevaeh. You’re very good at acting your age.
Look. Being a “germaphobe” is funny. I get it. Haha, let’s make fun of people who wash their hands. It’s funny, really. I tease Amira all the time about her germaphobic habits. Y’know what I don’t do? PUT MY F***ING MOUTH ON HER. I don’t antagonize my friend for a laugh. When someone is that afraid of something, forcefully exposing them to their fear isn’t funny. It’s rude at best and cruel at worst. Oh, you’re afraid of getting shot? Let me point a loaded gun at your face and laugh at you. You don’t like dogs ’cause you were bit by one as a kid? Let me drag you next to a pissed off pitbull. IT’S NOT FUNNY. IT’S JUST MEAN. Don’t f***ing shove your disgusting crap-covered feet in my face, and DON’T LICK ME. I don’t like germs, and as my twenty year-old friend I expect you to have the capacity to respect that.
What’s worse, is I have OCD. So not only am I afraid of your nasty saliva, but I’ll compulsively spend twenty minutes trying to wipe that shit off my body, and I’ll obsess about it the rest of the night. I’ll freak out and panic and cry. You’ve triggered an illness that has the ability to completely ruin my life, and you think it’s funny. Look I don’t expect everyone to get it. I don’t even get it. OCD is weird and illogical. But you don’t have to get it to respect my wishes of not getting licked or having goat crap shoved in my face and wiped on my stuff. Even though I didn’t say “OCD” to Ulu, I said “germaphobe”, which means I have a fear of germs. It’s just common courtesy not to force someone’s fear on them. Yeah, go ahead and tease me for being afraid of microscopic organisms. It’s funny, really. But don’t shove my fear in my face when I’m clearly very uncomfortable. That goes for any germaphobe you encounter in life. (I really don’t consider myself a germaphobe, actually; things I consider “unsanitary” trigger my OCD, though, so it’s easiest to just say “germaphobe”. It doesn’t matter though. Either way one should get respect.)
After I snapped at her for gumming me, Nevaeh got in this bitchy mood. We spent most of the rest of the time on her bed, on our phones in some unspoken bitch-off. It was like Christian Mean Girls, I thought at the time. There was a very obvious hierarchy. I’m used to that between Nevaeh and Ivy; Ivy’s very clearly Nevaeh’s bitch, at her every beck and call. But I’ve never really been a part of that until tonight. Nevaeh and Ivy were at the head of the bed on the pillows, laying next to each other in this exclusive position, looking at each other’s phones. I was in the middle, half left-out of whatever they were doing, and more so after I dared snap at the Queen. Then at the foot of the bed was the autistic girl, Hannalee, who wasn’t even trying to stay involved and was actually on Skype with someone else most of the time. Everyone else had left by now, and I felt really uncomfortable. I could tell Nevaeh was pissed off, and I had no idea which side Ivy was on. I was getting pretty mad that Nevaeh was seriously acting like a stereotypical popular girl, when someone suggested Taco Bell. Thank GOD. The air cleared once we all got in the car, and I was in a good mood when they took me home.
Really you all must be thinking horribly of Nevaeh and her family by now, but it sounds worse than it is. (Except for the house. The house is awful.) The scene with Ulu and Nevaeh’s moment of acting like a five year-old were really the only bad parts of the party, though the best parts were when we went trick-or-treating in one of the other girls’ neighborhoods, fifteen minutes away from Nevaeh’s house. But I suppose I’m glad I went. If nothing else, the horrors I experienced tonight served as fairly effective aversion-therapy…no, seriously, that’s the only way I got through the night, was to think of it as aversion-therapy and to assure myself I’d get a shower when I got home.
Happy Halloween, guys! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post so leave me a comment. 🙂