I can always tell the level of stress I am under by my response to dirt – and, to be more precise, my need to clean obsessively.
I have long suspected that I have quite pronounced OCD traits – but they fluctuate depending upon how anxious I am. As a child, I grew agitated if my more relaxed siblings rucked up my carpet – and, during the worst of the emotional abuse, I felt an overwhelming need to have duvet covers straight, cushions at precise angles and books lined up in rigid alphabetical order. The world felt safer, I suppose because I had a sense of being in control – even if it were only of minute, and trivial (to many) things.
Having said the above, I am not in the slightest bit house-proud – am, in fact, more slattern than domestic goddess. But I do have a strong…
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