I'm getting a little better lately at managing my P-OCD, at least to where I can be in zen states of mind mid-day or mid-week. I can be around my sibling's kids like I used to and have a fun time, not needing to monitor or test my bodily reactions whenever I'm around kids in general.
Still, I prefer not dealing with this. I think about how it used to be when I didn't have this obsession on loop in my head, had to repeatedly test myself, suffer a moment of dread when I find my body react a certain way and think, "oh, no! I really am what I fear deep down." I didn't have the word for it back in the day, but in hindsight, I'm pretty sure I've dealt with this my whole life, themes cycling through having parasites, harming myself or others through contamination, washing my hands or drenching them with sanitizer when I touched the wrong surface, monitoring my thoughts for any "blasphemous" or "sinful" shit that would warrant eternal damnation, praying multiple times, beating my chest, wondering if I'm attracted to men, and so on.
Is this just how it is?
I miss being the fun guy/uncle/father figure when the kids come over. I miss holding a baby in my arms and sleeping soundly without seriously wondering. I miss being sure of what kind of man I am and who I want to be. At the risk of sounding totally juvenile (autism/retard/loser 👏), the film scene that describes my emotional state might be from Disney's "Pooh's Grand Adventure." Piglet asks what he's "braver than," but Pooh has no recollection and shrugs, somewhat defeated, "if only I could remember."