memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Obsessive Compulsive

The world is divided into two classes of beings – those who, on sitting down for lunch,  automatically adjust the position of their knives and forks, move their glass half a centimeter to the left and centralize their plate in some totally imagined pattern of cosmic symmetry and those who don’t.

We are not born with this disorder; we don’t think, as a fetus in the womb, I know, I might try something different this time around, I might try being an obsessive compulsive – sounds like a lot of fun!

During our childhood when our natures begin to manifest themselves this preoccupation with order is seen as a virtue – it’s called being tidy.

Then, as we grow older, our minds arrange things into compartments, the walls of which we find increasingly hard to breach.

It is known that the interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain differs according to gender. While your male brain plods deliberately from side to side, your female brain flits seamlessly from left to right and back again in a zany fashion.

To really understand OCD you have to think male, take a few paces to the end of the street, turn right between the pylon and the hedge, go along a narrow lane and you will come up against a high stone wall.

It’s on the other side of that wall.


Comments on: "Obsessive Compulsive" (6)

  1. “Flitting … in zany fashion”? Oh. Then I am normal? (ha.) This is an interesting little post, Thomas. I like the faces in the painting. The more I look at them, the more they seem to tell me. Very expressive. Thank you. ~ Lily


  2. I understand this one totally.

    My daughter has OCD and sometimes life is very difficult for her. Even to the point of a lid left off the olive oil jar, which spilled. Her dad went mad with her but he doesn’t understand that to put the lid back on at that point in time would have taken too long and been very stressful for her so she had to leave it off. I could go on…



    • Chistine, thank you for comments about your daughter; in my case stress can cause mild disorders, but I suspect that the seeds for compulsive behaviour lie most of us.


      • I think you are right Tom. I certainly have a few little “things” that could be seen as leaning that way. And my daughter’s symptoms are much more evident when she is stressed.

        Btw the imagery in your painting is spot on, I love it. 🙂


      • I did that painting very quickly in one afternoon about 3 years ago, notice that it all slants from bottom left to top right – that was the only position my poor hand & arm could manage comfortably; if there is any imagery it’s purely subliminal, Tom


  3. Subliminal or not it packs a punch! 🙂


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