OCD Episode: Music I Did Not Ask to Listen To

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This is part of a series of ongoing OCD episodes, which I will post as they happen. This is live, stream of consciousness. It happens. Often. Sometimes the subjects are different.

I have a space that surrounds me. This is my space. It happens to be filled with thoughts and emotions along with… air. It is mostly air, but the air is irrelevant here. What is relevant is the music being played, loud, though the walls and through the hallway. All of it, from every direction.

This, I assume, annoys many people. Scratch that, I’ve been told not to put myself in others’ heads and assume. I will correct that statement: this, I know, annoys me.

Oh, but it is more—different—than “annoying.” Random music played too loud coupled with my OCD is an entirely different… experience.

For one, I cannot make out the full range of sounds that make up these songs. I can just hear the muffled… garbage. The song was not even intended to be heard like this, so I have no idea why this construct exists in the whole world of… playing music.

I can make out some songs, familiarity is a funny thing in the brain. How the brain can complete all that should be sensed from fragments of what is sensed. “Should” is used very loosely here, as none of this “should” be happening.

You are unknowingly in my space, and my brain is forced to try to organize what I sense from your… action.

I don’t hate music, I am not even sure if I hate the specific music you’re playing right now. But I do know that at this moment in time my brain is not set up to take in this music.

My brain needs to be prepared to sense things, anything, so as to not create the dissonance my OCD makes of the random.

I’m reserving any opinions about the people involved here, they mean no harm. Oh, don’t get any of this wrong—harm is being done.

If I did not have OCD I could find so many mechanisms to accept this. White noise! (It isn’t.) People having fun! (That’s not what I want to do right now.) The beauty of music in the air! (I can’t make sense of it relative to how I want to feel right now.)

And then… a song.

A song from 1994. From when things were different in my life. A song that meant something to me. Now, content. Content, meaning, emotions. Forced upon me. I not only did not ask for music, I did not ask to be forced to feel emotions about 1994.

But I am.


I have to.

I would like to feel emotions from 1994 when my brain wishes to obsess over 1994. It does not right now, but it apparently is going to.

1994, forced upon me.