exodus I’m sorry, I could go on and on here.
The way I described it focusing on germs isn’t even really right, at least as far as that implies I’m worried about becoming sick: it was/is centered on objects, which I needed to keep “preserved” or as close to new as possible (pristine in a sense somehow more literal than usual). I came to associate the idea of germs with the idea of deterioration (this sounds very Freudian and loose), so they were not welcome on certain things. These were basically tech objects—video games, movies, CDs (not vinyl, mysteriously), game consoles.
Over the years I’ve made the group of things I basically have to quarantine from other people smaller and smaller. It used to be all PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, DS, Vita, and 3DS games, the PlayStations themselves, Blu-rays, CDs; then it became just brand-new ones (keeping consistent here I haven’t ever bought a used game for PS3/4/Vita (sales, hooray)), then it became a select group of the new ones, and that’s more or less where I’m at right now. Helpful in making the groups smaller was every time I’ve moved to a new dwelling (school, other school, apartments) I’ve had to take different groups of stuff and decide what will even be possible to keep “perfect” (which is not everything). Also becoming an adult—this started in high school—and having to get used to normal adult housekeeping tasks (cleaning kitchen, bathroom, surfaces), as well as realizing the impossibility of keeping anything perfectly untouched, was helpful. If I had ever gone to therapy for this it likely would have gone away completely, but it’s never posed so much of a problem that I ever felt the need.
With Xenoblade I realized I could just wipe the contact points with an alcohol wipe and put it and anything else I wanted “safe” somewhere where it wouldn’t be “at risk.” I don’t think playing it again would have any negative effect—it wasn’t the only thing I was like this about (or the only victim of The Great Contamination) and in any case I booted the Wii one up recently to see if I could actually figure anything out based on memories from seven years ago. I was OK! I couldn’t remember a thing.
(Sorry for all the quotation marks, just trying to forecast I’m aware of the weirdness.)
Syzygy I retroactively wish the timestamps on posts were more exact than they are, that I might have had a chance to notice. I wonder how you feel about this, but for me it’s been having to live around and interact with people that’s helped me fight these tendencies (though it has sort of also been people who provoked their development in the first place). Meeting someone with the same set of conditions might be great, or it might make the problem worse since you would never challenge each other (guess that’s not the question). It would be interesting. If you’ve both got separate sets of conditions I have to think it would be hell on Earth trying to live fulfilling both of them.