76 and Counting:

This crone-ish elder’s healing perspective on her decidedly strange OCD…

By Marcia Singer, MSW

Crone Angel Fetish Dollie © M Singer

I do this compulsive thing, mostly while watching tv or movies at night. I repeat phrases I just heard, silently in my head, while I count the number of syllables on my fingers. And as if that wasn’t enough, I need them to come out even, ending on either hand. I sometimes recount, or, if they don’t come out even, rearrange the wording to mean the same thing, but have just the right number of syllables to come out right. Right to soothe a savage habit.

I can control it if I really want to: stop doing it. Tell the voice in my head to stop narrating. Or focus fully again on the program I am watching. I am honestly not sure if the tendency to repeat dialogue, and count on my fingers relates to how tired I might be after the day’s endeavors — I need to check that hypothesis out.

I also can’t recall exactly when this started… It’s been around, I suspect quite a long time…

I do remember back in junior high, being friends with a math genius who had the first visible OCD I’d ever witnessed. We had no name available for it. But when thinking hard or deeply, Mark’s fingers would trace a pattern, both hands working as a singularity. First, thumb and pinky would touch. Then atop that came ring and index fingers, with the middle finger settling on the mound. Over and over again, as if affixed to his thinking. Away on my own, out of curiosity, I tried to copy it; but I never quite got the hang of it. Not the emotional or sensate appeal.

I wonder if he still does it? We were teens then, now we’re approaching our 77th year…

Another term, word, concept that was not much on our radar back in the 60s was “autism.” Neither was “spectrum.” Nor “neurodiversity.” Mark and I both certainly are neurodiverse, perhaps also located somewhere on the high functioning, autistic spectrum. Mark more than I, was socially awkward –which in my case was a product of a number of factors, more socially installed than genetic — although I am a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), more inclined to solitary endeavors to avoid being over stimulated –to have more control. Friend Mark had trouble relating emotionally, or talking about things other than physics and derivatives…

Today, I wonder out loud about whether I’m a tad autistic. I saw a documentary on autism, and lots of kids rock themselves… As a kid, I used to rock myself –my parents called it “shuckling” (a Yiddish term.) I was ordered to stop it, must’ve made everyone else uncomfortable … I still rock myself, like a pendulum, at the drop of the proverbial hat: to self soothe often, but also I believe to regulate my degree of neural arousal at large. I also become a natural pendulum when I meditate, especially sitting on Mother Earth. Mostly rocking back and forth, but sometimes, side to side. And I move fore and aft as well, very gently, when I channel (yes, I am a very seasoned psychic sensitive) –even during professional readings. It’s like my whole body is involved in the Reading: Why should this be considered weird? Or unnatural? Or otherwise undesirable?

I can control these things in the presence of others. But I’d like to not think I have to! It’s probably time to just come out of the closet — which is what I am doing herein. And treat myself with utmost kindness, acceptance, curiosity and wonder about my eccentricities. They are deeply connected to the whole of me. They are wHoly me.

And the more I accept, appreciate and revel in being Me, the more I can extend that grace to you. Shining DeLight, Marcia



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Marcia Singer, LoveArts Foundation

Marcia Singer, LoveArts Foundation

Seven decades of exploring the Inner Life, writing down the bones. Careers: singer-entertainer, tantric-shamanic healing artist; mindfulness/shakti educator