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When you drive down the streets of your neighborhood, do you ever wonder what's going on inside other people's houses? What really goes on behind closed doors?

Ronda is one of millions of Americans living a secret life, and her neighbors don't suspect a thing.

"My secret is I have obsessive-compulsive disorder," Ronda says. "I have taken it to the extreme that it affects not only myself, but also my family, my children. We live in a home that cannot get dirty."

Ronda's extreme fear of germs and dirt controls every aspect of her life. She spends hours every day scrubbing, mopping and vacuuming her already immaculate house. Ronda says she maintains a constant vigil against anyone touching and "infecting" her things.

Ronda's most rigid rule? Once she's bathed and in bed, her side of the mattress is off limits. "My bed is my bed," she says. "You're not going to touch it. You're not going to climb on it. You're not going to sit on it. You're not even going to go near it because it's my side of the bed."

It's not just possessions Ronda tries to protect from contamination. After her bath, no one is allowed to touch her for any reason...not even her husband and children.
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FROM: The Mom Afraid to Touch Her Own Children
Published on October 19, 2006

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