For me, signs of insanity of any level are frightening. I heartily listened to my father when he preached to "live like video cameras are on you constantly". His meaning was actually to not be hypocritical--live at home with the same manners that you give to the outside world. What for him then was simply a preventative to say, nose-picking, turned into an intense paranoia for me that has led to forty-plus years of carefully edited The Real World, Laura.
Thusly, I have tried to teach my children my father's view, sans the performance. If you wouldn't do it in front of others, don't do it at all. So if you have some strange tendency or quirk, don't hide it, learn to not do it. And then I bear Olivia. A child who gains the most solace in life by her family, her stuffed chicken, and a furball.
A furball is a hand-picked, personal piece of OCD, comprised of the white wool carpet that covers our living room. At an early age, she rolled around on the rug and pushed herself up on it, triumphantly rising with a fist full of white fibers. As she learned to walk about the house, one furball in each hand aided her balance. I kept pulling them out of her stubborn little mitts, envisioning that the day would inevitably come when she wouldn't be able to attend freshman year without them. They are an uninvited guest everywhere, to wit:
Today I caved in. I threw away this morning's little ball and she looked at me so pitifully.
"Come on," I sighed. "Let's go make you a new furball."