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Lance Merrick

"My obsessive thoughts don't just bother me; they torture me."

0 · 348 views · located in The School

a character in “The Wayward”, as played by Thadine




"If you do the wrong thing, you are contaminated and dirty and your grief swells. Then the voice says, Why did you do that? Don't you know better? Ugly and wicked, you are disgusting to me."

Full Name Lance Merrick
Nickname None.
Age: 20
Male/Female: Male
Ethnicity/Race: Caucasian, not sure where his heritage lies.
Orientation: Bisexual



“Habits are safer than rules; you don't have to watch them. And you don't have to keep them, either. They keep you.”

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)is an anxiety disorders characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, stress, fear, or worry. By doing repetitive behaviours such as obsessive hand washing, cleaning, hoarding, etc, the person is able to calm this anxiety. Types of obsessions can be either very intense, or vague. A vague obsession would just be the thought of disarray or tension with the belief that a certain routine must be carried out to avoid it. An intense obsession could be the thought that someone close to them might die or be harmed if they don’t carry out certain routines or rituals.

“Intrusive thoughts” are quite common as well. The person with OCD might have sudden urges to do things that would be against the social norm, such as screaming in a very quiet room. It can also be a bit more dangerous, such as the craving to jump off of a ledge when very high up. People with OCD might realize that their notions don’t correspond with reality, yet still feel the need to carry them out anyways. OCD can be categorized into a few different groups. “Purely Obsessional”, “Compulsive”, or “Overvalued Ideas”.

For Lance, he has compulsive and obsessional OCD. He feels the need to follow a certain daily routine, otherwise believing that something bad will happen to himself, or his friends. This comes from the fact that as a child, he went through a set routine nearly everyday, and when he didn't follow it, he noticed that bad things would happen. As well, he has an obsession with hair, stemming from his childhood. With this, he often will hoard pieces he finds, tug at other people’s hair, or just comments on it very often, it being the basis of how he may judge others.

Lance used to recognize that his obsessions were not normal, and was quite aware of this. However, as time passed and the stress grew, he soon fell into a more severe form of OCD, and will now justify his habits as being necessary in order to keep things orderly.

Doctor's Notes: Patient: #512 Merrick, Lance


Although suffering from a quite severe case of OCD, Lance acts as one of the more regular patients here. We've noticed that much of his daily routine is made up of normal things, such as getting dressed, combing his hair, etc. However, when and if he forgets a step, or messes up a step, he will return to his room and start all over. If his day is going well, with no repetition of rituals, then he is a fairly joyous person, smiling more often than most of our patients, and often joking around. He treats this place as some sort of school that he's required to go to everyday, and if no one mentions his OCD, then he will act as a normal person. He treats most people as his friends, unless they purposely go out of their way to mess with his routine, or comment on his habits. When in a bad mood, which doesn't happen very often, he's very quiet and prefers to be on his own. There are a few...odd, noticeable things about him, such as the fact that he'll tug on other people's hair, or collect pieces of it, however he does this very nonchalantly so others don't notice. When we restrict his routine however, he will get violent and shout or yell, believing firmly that something bad will happen if he doesn't do it. (This 'something bad' seems to be linked to eyes or memory loss)

Seems to enjoy combing his own hair on a regular basis, it looks like it soothes him when he is stressed. He likes long hair, he says it reminds him of his sister. Other than his obsession, he seems to take a liking to photography. He'll often stop in the hallways to look at the few pictures of black and white landscapes we have on the wall. When given a camera, he'll use it for hours, taking pictures of nearly everything. He seems to enjoy collecting small things as well, from hairs to little trinkets he'll find on the ground. We don't let him know that we've found this stash, for we're sure he would not react positively.

He does not enjoy when people mess with his routine or comment on his habits too often. It's seen that Lance will hold a grudge for a long time, and will act bitterly towards the person from then on if they do so. He doesn't like when people touch his hair, and will often act out violently when they do so. When restricted from doing his routine (as we've tried a few times) he'll turn hysterical, crying that 'his eyes will cloud' if he doesn't follow through, and will try to injure the Doctors or Nurses. Thankfully, this doesn't happen much. He does not like being in closed spaces very much either, and often prefers to be in rooms with sunlight or high ceilings.

Lance often tugs at his own hair, or twirls it around his fingertips when nervous or stressed. We've found out what most of his daily routine is as well. He starts with waking up at exactly 7:30 AM. He'll get dressed, often in a coloured t-shirt and jeans sometimes a hat added on. At this point, he'll check his drawer where he keeps the small bundles of hair he's collected from people and around the place, and the small trinkets he finds outside. He usually checks each one over a few times, counting to make sure everything is there. He usually then combs his own hair for the few remaining minutes until 8:00, then moves to the cafeteria to get breakfast. He always has an apple, and we make sure we are constantly stocked up on them so he doesn't have to restart his routine multiple times and get angry. From this point on he usually feels free to do what he wants. It seems that his routine only lasts for the morning. Aside from this, he often picks at his lips, enough to cause them to bleed. It's unknown why he does this, but it seems to have been there since he came here.




[door opens]

"Good afternoon, Lance."


"Care to take a seat?"

"I guess..."

[chair is pulled away from table]

"So, how are you today?"

"I'd be better if I was back home. This isn't part of my regular schedule."

"Well, you're going to have to adapt to a new schedule."

"That's what cause the problem in the first place, I can't let anything bad happen again."

"What problem, Lance?"

"You know, my sister. My mom."

"Tell me. Start at the beginning."

"Fine then...
I grew up with my mom and dad. Well, for a little while anyways. I remember when I was about maybe eight, my mom got pregnant. It was at a bad time too. We never had much money, but that year it was really bad. The crops that we grew on the farm and were able to sell had all died and dried out. It was a really hot summer, a drought or something had come across. We weren't doing so well. But of course, my mom had to be healthy enough for the baby. So my dad would send me out every other night to go steal some things. There was this really rich woman who lived across from us in a really big house. She had a huge garden filled with tons of fruits and vegetables...stores were so far away, and they were risky to take from too, so I just would run over to her house in the night, grab some fresh food, and run back.

I didn't think she'd miss any of it. This went on for a little while, and I got comfortable with it, everything seemed to be going okay. I'd wake up in the morning, eat some of the food I've gotten the previous night, help with the farm, sleep for a few hours, wake up, go steal some food, come back, sleep, then do it all over again. It was a nice routine...but then I screwed everything up."

"What happened?"

"I messed up the routine. When I went to steal food, I...I got curious, and went towards the back door. Then woman left it unlocked. So I went inside. I had no idea why I did, but I walked around for a bit, found some money lying on a table, and left. It wasn't part of what I usually did, but it was money and we needed it really badly.

When I came back my mom had gone into labor. We didn't call the hospital because we didn't have the money for her room, or to pay if...anything went wrong. My dad said he knew what to do but everything started going wrong...She died giving birth to my little sister. I didn't want the baby to die too though, so I walked to the store and bought supplies for her. When I came back my dad wasn't...he wasn't there. He had left us all by ourselves, and I didn't know why! Guilt? Sadness? Did he just not want to be by himself to care for two children? And then I realized why everything had gone wrong."

"Why's that?

"I broke the routine...the ritual. I took the money instead of just the food. It was the butterfly effect. Me taking the money lead to my mom dying, and my dad leaving. But anyways, I couldn't take care of her myself. I needed help. So I...asked the rich woman across from us if she'd help me. I knew no one else, and I didn't want to get split up from my sister at some adoption place. I didn't know if it would work, but she said she'd take care of me and my sister. I was so thankful, until I looked at her eyes. There was something in them, some...hidden knowledge. She looked at me, and it felt like she was staring into my soul. I think she knew that I had been the one leaving tracks in her garden each night, stealing food and money. I knew something was wrong about her, but I didn't have anyone else to turn to."

"So what happened after that?"

"My sister grew up. When she was five years old, the woman locked her away in a room I wasn't allowed in without permission. I was left alone most of the time, doing chores around the big house, working on her garden. I guess as some sort of punishment for all the stealing I had done. She was always with my sister, and I was hardly able to ever see her. It was almost like the woman had wanted a daughter for a long time, and finally had one. One day, I was let in. She asked me to brush my sisters hair because it was too long for her to work out all the tangles. She was right, it was long. Some of the longest hair I'd ever seen on a kid. She was only about six and had a bit past her ankles. It had never been cut before. I sat for hours and just brushed it for her, talking with my sister for the first time in years. Every day I was sent to do this, just go and brush her hair. A new routine formed. I'd wake up, do some gardening and chores, then go and brush my sister's hair for a few hours. I don't know why this woman kept her in the room, away from the outside world. I mean, was she preparing her for something? Or did she just want a child she could shelter and take care of for the rest of her life?

The routine was comforting, for awhile. But my sister was getting curious about things outside and so...well, I helped her leave for a bit. I took her out into the garden once, and for a few days this went on. I knew I was breaking the ritual, but if it would cause harm to myself, then fine. As long as my sister could enjoy herself for once. But every day I took her outside, I'd look at her eyes and notice that they were getting cloudy. Something was happening, and I didn't know what. Then one day the woman found us outside. She yelled at both of us, screamed, and tried to hit us. My sister fell trying to avoid injury, and hit her head on the concrete edge around part of the garden. After that, I wasn't allowed to brush her hair anymore. I missed it though, it was so beautiful. So calming. I got really stressed and scared because the routine had been broken, I messed up again.

I nearly went insane. I knew bad things were going to happen if I didn't go back to brushing her hair. Weeks passed, and I was able to find a way to sneak in to see her. When I finally saw her though and ran up to hug her, she stared at me blankly with her clouded eyes. It was like she didn't know who I was. It was painful for me, trying to explain to her that I was her turns out that she had started to forget things. I didn't know why, but then I noticed her eyes. Her eyes had started to cloud up, just like her mind. She was losing her mind, losing her memories. And it was all my fault, because I had taken her outside."

"You know that...eyes clouding could be cataract, right?"

"No, no no. It wasn't that. She was losing her memory, so she got cloudy eyes. The butterfly effect, you know. Because I stopped brushing her hair, because I took her outside. If I could just brush her hair again, maybe it'd fix everything."

"She got amnesia. From hitting her head on the concrete."

"No, she didn't! It was me, it was her eyes! That's what every Doctor tells me, just because they don't want me to think it's my fault."

"It's not your fault, you didn't cause any of this."

"I caused all of it because I didn't follow my routine!"

"Your routine doesn't have anything to do-"

"It has everything to do with it! That's how my mom died when I was younger, it's how my dad left. It's how my sister got clouded, in the eyes and in the mind."

"....Alright then.
Thank you Lance."


Theme Song:

Motion City Soundtrack - Everything is Alright

So begins...

Lance Merrick's Story