Ever since I can remember, my father would always talk to himself or bite his knuckle with his eyes wide open as his body moved in a angry fashion. I never thought much of it other than it was weird. When he was in the mitts of these actions, he was in a zone and you can just tell he was in a different place.
My oldest brother Jim mimicked his actions and I would think “He is just trying to be like my dad”. However, I was following in both of their footsteps. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It started off just talking to myself. Usually when I was alone In the shower, driving the car or doing anything mundane. They say “An idle mind is a devil’s playground”. Well if that’s true, my mind was an amusement park!
As I meandered through my childhood and made my way into the adolescence years, my vocal tics grew aggressive. The conversations I had included all the four letter words and usually a derogatory statement about myself or someone who upset me. Since I was only doing this alone, it was never an issue in my social life. However it was my social life that was causing these outbursts.
Once I graduated from college and entered the family business, I began to realize this was not normal. I was seeing a therapist for other reasons and mentioned my unusual habit. Within 30 seconds he labels me with “Tourette’s Syndrome”. I was floored and relieved to know there was something driving this weird habit.
As I did research on “Tourette’s” I realized I was not fitting the mold of a person plagued with this syndrome. Yes, I would blurt out curse words, make funny faces or even count numbers in a random order. The difference was why I was doing it. I am a obsessive thinker. My thoughts usually brought me to the past (recent or distant) and for a moment, my mind would get lost and I would begin to tick.
My research on people with Tourette’s led me to believe that they tic based on a ritual, similar to those with OCD. So, for clarification anyone who suffers from Tourette’s, please enlighten me! I am now 50 years old and would like some closure.