OCD: Living by the Rules: Numbers: Tapping in Sets (Topic#029)

Fun with Numbers! (Part 3 of 4)

Tapping in sets

Autumn Trees

Autumn Trees

I actually don’t want to write this one out. It’s going to be much too difficult to explain (not to mention embarrassing). Who could understand tapping rituals if you haven’t done them yourself? I will do my best, but man. I don’t know where or how to begin this one.

I think that if you read the previous numbers post, on counting in sets, you’ll understand the concept of the sets of three already. But damn. I just don’t know how to explain this.

In elementary school, I heard a teacher or someone use the expression “knock on wood” and it was explained to me that it was like calling the tree spirits out to protect you, or something. Well, that seemed really stupid to me. Why would processed wood have tree spirits? Wood was dead and man-made and I only found sacredness in Nature.

But it stuck with me, unfortunately. It had to be something organic and something that I’d have access to at all times of day or night. I can’t explain the rationale, but I used my own wrist instead of wood. But it wasn’t “for good luck” or whatever people used the wood for. It was … oh god, how to explain this?!?! It was any time I felt scared, any time I felt anxious, any time I thought at all. It was a prayer, it was asking for protection, it was keeping me safe while I was counting/tapping.

It was sets of three, simultaneously saying “Knock on wrist” in one part of my mind along with the taps, and asking for protection or whatever with another part of my mind. It was insanely difficult. It took more mental focus than I have now-a-days. But I had it back then.

What began as just a few sets of three grew. More and more. Then more. Then more and more. I could sit on the swing during recess and be doing this the whole time, even after being called in for class. …One more set… another, another… I couldn’t stop unless I mentally also simultaneously said that the next set of three would be the last and I would be protected after I stopped… It took so much mental concentration and energy, sometimes I would just keep tapping instead. Am I making any sense?

Come later middle school or early high school (I can’t remember now), I put an END to it. It was so hard. It took so much forethought and so much focus and concentration. But one day, I was able to do all of the mental thoughts at the same time, and the tapping, and gather the strength to say that the set-of-three (whatever future set I had in my mind) would be the last of my life and I would be covered/protected for the rest of my life. And I was able to do the final set of three and balance the thoughts just perfectly at the right moments. I can’t explain it all, it was so complicated.

But yeah. So now, my Rule is that I cannot ever do that again. Otherwise, it would undo YEARS worth of not-tapping and would make me unprotected from then to here. Do you understand? I am not doing it, and that’s still a Rule. Or it would be bad luck.

These were extreme-anxiety things ~ the tapping. These were moments of extreme, extreme anxiety, enough to cause me to sweat profusely at the time. And it over-rode anything else in my life while I was tapping; it could NOT be interrupted; it was, feeling-wise, a matter of life and death.


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