You all thought I'd fallen off the face of the planet, didn't you? 'Fraid not. I've just had a lot on my plate, and one of the bigger things is school, specifically how I can take advantage of higher education with OCD, which is what I'm going to be talking about today. For any of you who may be hoping for answers, I'll apologize in advance: I have no answers. Just questions, which I now address to the cosmos at large in no particular order.
How does one afford to go to school? As a person with OCD, the number and types of jobs I feel evenly remotely capable of performing seem pretty limited. Waitressing? I can just see myself attempting to take your order: “I'm sorry, sir, could you repeat that? I'm getting a little distracted by the buzz of conversation, the clatter of dishes, and the din of our restaurant's 'background' music. . . . Sorry, I still didn't catch it. Maybe you could write it down? Except you'll have to use your own pen, because I don't want you touching mine.
Bussing tables, perhaps. Gimme a break. If you think I'm going to wipe up your greasy fingerprints and pick up your saliva-smeared silverware and used napkins, you've got another thing coming.
Retail? Please. By the time I worked up the courage to say, “Can I help you find anything?” the customer would have finished their shopping and walked out the door.
Work in a grocery store? “Um, ma'am? Did you just touch that apple?” “Yes, but I don't want it, it's bruised.” “I'm sorry, ma'am, if you touch it you take it. That's the rule.”
Does this sound familiar to anybody? I don't want you to get the impression that I've never worked before or that I can't do anything, but I do have trouble fitting in at work, holding down a job for any significant length of time, and finding any kind of satisfaction in my work.
Would I be better off playing the lottery than trying to win a scholarship? I've applied for about fifty that the deadline is now past for, with no result. I'm beginning to think that prospecting for gold in my backyard might be a better use of my time.
How does one choose a school? I don't know if decision-making is a problem among most people with OCD, but I struggle to decide whether I want chocolate or vanilla ice cream in my cone; and if, (as I often do to avoid choosing) I decide I want a scoop of each, then which flavor on top and which on bottom? With decisiveness of that level, what am I supposed to do when confronted with a thousand universities?
How does one survive school? Dorms, for instance. Dorms mean roommates. Roommates mean living with someone else. Living with someone else means that one of us is probably going to end up in a federal prison for trying to murder the other one.
Classrooms. How often do these rooms get scrubbed down with a lethal concoction of cleaning chemicals? Oh, a cleaning crew comes in, do they? Do they submerge the tables and chairs in boiling water and ammonia? I thought not. And you expect me to be able to focus on your lecture in this kind of squalor?
Transportation. 'Bus' is a filthy swear word that we are not going to sully this discussion with. And cars? I'm sorry, but how? It seems that every school poured a parking lot, dutifully reserved spaces for all the faculty, and then realized they only had two dozen spaces left for students.
These issues may sound ridiculous to other people, but they're genuine concerns for me. I have an Associate's degree that I got online, and I would love to get a Bachelor's and then a Master's degree in linguistics, but at this point I don't see how that's ever going to be a real possibility. Does anyone have any insights as to how I might be able to make this work? Any unorthodox options that have worked for you?
I don't mean to sounds desperate but . . . HELP!!!