Not to be confused with OCD. OCS is a condition found normally in people who are, well the “only child”(OC). These are not your common characteristic traits of Only Children. If you want those, I’m sure physchologist or child devlopment reseracher, have doucmented several experiements. These symptons are the odd, less obvious, less talked about. Every OC, I meet, I now asked them if they suffer from the same things that I’m getting ready to describe. I have yet to meet an OC, that doesn’t suffer from alteast one of these symptoms.
1. The Shutdown: The completely and abrupt stop of all social and friendly communication. This commonly occurs at casual social gatherings. At random gatherings, I can be enjoying myself, socializing and partaking in the moment if you will, and if OCS kicks in I shutdown tighter than Fort Knotts. Normally the verbal responses become short, yet tactful. Then it quickly evolves to non-verbal communication; head-shakes, shrugs, facial expressions. We normally don’t remove ourselves physically from the crowds. We sit quietly and observe amongst the crowd. Attentive, but just not very responsive, nor receptive to communication. We usually only drift away, when non-verbal communication is no longer effective enough to satisfy the conversationalist. The shutdown’s duration, is highly dependent on the individual, and the situation. Most often the shutdown, is uncontrollable, unpredictable, which leads to problems at times.
2. The Bubble. The transparent wall of protection, commonly placed around an activity. It’s like we really don’t want to be bothered, but we allow engagement, and it’s very controlled. For instance, when I paint, I do it in my room, listening to easy music. I normally leave the door open to “invite” spectators in. But I normally place objects around me to prevent people from getting to close. The bubble is more often abstract rather than physical. We use body language and gestures, and subtle verbal phrases to let people known, that what we are doing, is for us and us only. Similar to a bubble, you can see through it fine(Allowing observation), gently you can touch it(ask questions and converse in small talk), but not to hard, because it’ll pop(You can not take part, or ask too many questions or stay for long periods).
3. The Jewel; The holding and up-keeping of a special item. I’m sure that some of us have items; teddy bears, lockets, and such that we hold on to, because they hold a very special place in ourhearts or lives. Perhaps someone special gave us the item, or we found comfort in it. We as OC’s don’t hold on to special items for the same reason as decribed before, I’ve discoverd that we choose the very random items. We have a higher percentage of keeping this item in tact and with us. I still have a comforter, I had as a child. The “jewel” is more likely to be an everyday item, that for some reason, we just can’t let go of. With the case of my comforter, it wasn’t given to me, it was simply my bed spread. It is a Garfield, twin -size comforter, that I have had since I was two years old. I still use it today. Whenever I’m home, I will use it, regardless of where I’m sleeping, bed couch, floor, in the heat or cold. It doesn’t have a nickname, it’ not oddly small, or colored. When I move a great distance from home, it’s coming with me, that’s for sure. Guess you can call me Linus, or something.
4. The Ranking of Friends: The compulsive, ranking of friends. This is something that I’ve found myself doing, constantly. I thought maybe I was, just being a little odd, but when I asked several Only Children, about this, they, surprising admitted to this or something similar, such as groupings. I will normally rank my friends from Best to Worst. Think of it as Speed Dial, the higher on the list the more I value the friendship. More so, what do you bring to the friendship table. Do you call often to hang out? Do you make me feel good?, Do you just call me when you need something? Are you dependable? The more you bring, the higher on the list you are? I think it stems from our reliance on other people for things. As Only children growing up, we at first rely on adults for help, and then ourselves, this causes us to view people by the criteria of how much they can do for us when we are little. It’s sad, but true.
5. Super Autonomous Person: Built in, by years of self-independence. The most obvious and weaker of the OCS symptons. An OC will normally do things, alone, that are commonly done together. We can dine alone, go to the movie by ourselves, and in general entertain ourselves with out much help. We as only children tend to prefer working by ourselves. That’s not to say that we don’t work well in groups or teams, we just prefer to work alone. There’s something about accomplishing a project solo, that’s just more rewarding. We take the “borrowing” or “stealing” of ideas extremely personal.
I started 22 different drafts of the the past week and was only able to type about 3 lines, but I have returned, and you know what it feels good to be back! 🙂