When I was seven I would walk up and down the stairs, over and over again, until things just felt “right”. My best friend would do the same, telling me how cool it was that I danced up and down the stairs. The “feeling right” would last for about 12 seconds and then it would be bedtime and I’d be stuck switching the light switch on and off, on and off, on and off. I cried all of the time. My parents, not knowing what to do with me, took me to a psychologist. Hey. It was 1980, and Frasier Crane was all booked up, trying to psychoanalyze Carla’s inherent need to keep breeding.
I felt anxiety at every turn as a child. Whenever my mother was leaving to shop for groceries for her insatiable hoard of children, I would have very real images of her in a horrible, horrible car accident, head severed. The reason she’d had the accident was always because I’d forgotten to tell her “I love you” exactly three times.
Two would have been negligent; four unimaginable.
It was agony.
The counselor didn’t really know what to do with me, saying to my parents that I was simply a “sensitive child”.