Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer

interviewHey peeps!  Since I’ve been getting so much traffic on my blog in regard to HOCD (homosexual OCD), I thought I’d do another post on it.  This interview is with “Hannah,” who tells me she is ready to bare all (except for her real name, ha!) for the sake of helping others better understand HOCD, that obsessive-compulsive phenomenon where a straight person obsesses over being gay or a gay person obsesses over being straight.  

I think you’ll enjoy this interview.  Hannah said there was no question too personal, so I really went for it!  🙂  If you have additional questions, leave them in the comment section, and maybe we can force more truths out of Hannah.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to make a statement on homosexuality itself.  It’s intended to open up our eyes to HOCD, which is a lie that both straight and homosexual obsessive-compulsive people battle with.  It’s not about the morality of homosexuality– it’s about people who believe lies about their sexuality at the hand of OCD.  My blog readers are ahhh-may-zing, so I doubt I even need to say this, but nevertheless: if comments get mean or stray away from the topic of HOCD, they will be deleted.  You’re a fool if you think I’ll let you bash any of my friends, gay or straight.

Jackie: Tell us a little about your history with HOCD.
Hannah: I was in junior high when I first started questioning if I was gay.  It came on really suddenly, like, in a MOMENT.  One minute I was this boy-crazy girl and the next I wondered if maybe I was gay.  But the thing was, I didn’t want to be gay … at all.  AT ALL.

Jackie: What triggered this sudden change?
Hannah: I found one of my (girl) friends attractive.  OCD doesn’t need something big to work with.  It will take whatever you’ll give it.

Jackie: What was your reaction?
Hannah: Cold dread.  I mean, I was terrified.  I didn’t want to be gay.  I wanted to like men– I DID like men– but suddenly it was all I could think about.  Every girl I would see, I would think, “Do I think she is pretty?” and then, of course, I had to take it a step farther: “Would I want to kiss her?”  Every girl, I’d start imagining myself kissing her.  It made me sick.

Jackie: It made you sick?  Readers will wonder how you didn’t realize then that you weren’t gay, you know!
Hannah:  Yes, I know.  Because it doesn’t FEEL obvious.  I kept focusing on what I was doing: thinking of kissing every girl.  That felt like evidence that I was gay.  The fact that it made me sick barely registered, for some reason.  I guess it’s just how OCD works.  It’s all very confusing.  Well, then of course, there was the fact that I DO think girls are beautiful.  Sometimes more beautiful than men.  Their bodies definitely are.  Most of us can agree to that, haha!

Jackie: So there was a part of you that found women attractive then?
Hannah: Yes.  There still is.  Women are hot!

Jackie: But you’re not gay?  Or maybe bisexual?  I know I already know these answers, but I think this will help my blog readers process things.
Hannah: No, your questions are fine.  I told you anything goes, right?  Haha!  No, I’m not gay, and I’m not bisexual either.  I know that now.  And the key to learning that was learning to be uncertain, as opposite as that sounds.

Jackie: Okay, we’ll dive into that more in a bit here.  But tell us more about what happened when you first started wondering about it.
Hannah: Well, I couldn’t STOP wondering about it.  Like I said, every girl I saw, I thought about kissing her.  I think it was like my way of “testing” myself– to see what my instincts would tell me, to see what I really wanted.  I hated doing this though.  This was the compulsion actually for me.  The “testing” was like what you talk about about seeking reassurance.  If I thought about kissing the girl and it still made me sick, then I was still okay, still not gay.  (Again, no offense to your gay readers!  This was just my experience.)  I thought about this so much that one night I had a DREAM where, in it, I kissed a girl.  When I woke up, I thought for sure I was gay.  I was having gay dreams!

Jackie: It carried over from real life!
Hannah: I know that now.  But it felt like this stamp of homosexuality.  I was so scared.  I didn’t want to tell my family that I was gay.  I still didn’t even WANT to be gay.  Oh, and this one thing.  I still liked boys.

Jackie: So, you didn’t want to like women, you felt sick about liking women, you ACTUALLY liked men, but you still thought you might be gay?
Hannah: It’s OCD.  It feels confusing.  You know what it’s like.

Jackie: I do.  I really do.  So, what changed?  You’re pretty confident now in your sexuality, yes?
Hannah: I am!  And it feels awesome!  I love knowing I’m straight– and get this, this is so good– I can even appreciate the female body now, and I am not joking, I could see a NAKED WOMAN today and I could GET TURNED ON BY HER and I would STILL know I am straight.  Because I am.

Jackie: And that came about how?
Hannah: Exposure and response prevention therapy.  You preach it.  I preach it.  Cue Hallelujah chorus.

Jackie: You could see a naked woman and get turned on by seeing a naked woman, and you still wouldn’t doubt your sexuality?
Hannah: Not for one second.  I’m as straight as they come.  I love men.  I want to be married to a man someday and have sex with a man and build my life with a man, and it doesn’t make me flinch to say that I think boobs are hot.  Like, super hot.

Jackie: You’re hilarious.  You’ve come so far!  I’m sure there are HOCD sufferers out there who can’t imagine admitting something like that.  And people who are probably thinking you must be bisexual if you feel that way.
Hannah: Haha!  People can think that all they want!  I am FREE from my HOCD and totally straight.

Jackie: You’ve come so far through ERP.  It’s amazing, right?
Hannah: Amazing, for sure.  And hard.  But good.  It made me able to think clear finally.  If I like men and want to be romantic with men and DON’T want to be that way with women, then I am not gay.  It’s obvious, like you said.  And the more I realized that I am in control of my own response to it, the more freedom I found.  That’s why I can say women are hot.  Doesn’t bother me anymore.

Jackie: So, your advice?
Hannah: ERP.  For sure.  Best treatment out there.  For the gay obsessive-compulsives too, the ones who obsess that they are straight and that causes them as much anxiety as the opposite thought caused me.  ERP is absolutely the best treatment for OCD.  I know you know that.

Jackie: I absolutely do.  Do you still struggle with OCD?  Not just HOCD, but other obsessions and compulsions?
Hannah: Rarely.  ERP kinda took care of OCD, you know?  Instead of just one issue, it went after OCD itself.  I know you know these things, but your readers need to know.  ERP is the solution.  A one-stop shop.

Jackie: And you think women are more attractive than men?
Hannah: I think the female body is more attractive, but I am attracted TO men.

Jackie: But you know you’re not gay?
Hannah: Yep.  But that certainty only came through embracing UNCERTAINTY, the whole point of ERP.

There you have it, folks.  

My thanks goes out big-time to Hannah for her willingness to be interviewed and her awesome vulnerability.  The bottom line is ERP is the best treatment for OCD.  

In other words, just what I’ve been saying on this blog for the last two years. 🙂

Related posts:
Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
No One Wants to Talk about HOCD
A Closer Look at HOCD
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer