Jim and I went to my in-laws house on Sunday afternoon to wish my father-in-law a Happy Father's Day. While there, my mother-in-law accidentally pushed a couple of napkins next to a lit candle. It was a tea light, so the candle was very small and the flame was low to the table. Well, that sure got the OCD humming.
Because I've gotten so much better, these panicky moments are mostly unusual for me now. It was definitely strange to be feeling like that again. I started obsessing about it immediately, though I tried to let it go. When no one was looking (including Jim!), I grabbed the napkins and held them under the kitchen faucet to get them wet. Of course, with the way that OCD works, that did not feel like enough. I was not convinced that the napkins were really soaked. When my in-laws left the room, I quickly whispered to Jim about the situation, and asked him what I should do. "Nothing." Somehow, I just knew that was going to be his answer. Meanwhile, I'm thinking to myself, "Hello? These are your parents. Don't you even care about their safety?"
I threw the napkins out in the bathroom garbage, but continued to worry about them. I asked Jim if he would toss some water on them the next time he went to the restroom. Being the good non-enabler that he is, he refused. Grrrrr. So I finally took my cup of soda (there was a little left) and I went into the bathroom and poured it in to the garbage and onto the napkins. Then I started to worry about the soda causing a fire, because I've read that sugar is very flammable. Oh the terrible tangled webs that OCD weaves.
Don't ask me how, but at some point I did manage to sort of forget about the napkin thing. We left, and although I secretly wondered if I would hear about their house burning down the next morning, I was able to put it behind me for the most part. That feels really kind of cruel to me that I was able to let it go. What kind of loving person does that? (I know, I know - that is just OCD talking to me through cognitive distortions, but still . . .)
Jim just happened to talk to his parents last night. So I guess that means they are alive and well and that their house is still standing. No thanks to me, though.