A glimpse into life with OCD
It’s been a hard week in our house. The OCD monster is back with a vengeance. Dealing with that is causing my anxiety to go through the roof. It’s been a major struggle to get through a day. But it has helped to remind me just how much support we have.
I’m not looking for pity or sympathy. I’m looking for support and understanding. Don’t judge me when you see my child having a meltdown and I don’t seem to be dealing with it the “right” way. Don’t judge her when you see her do something strange. It might be the only way she can cope with the situation. Until you’ve spent a day in our shoes, don’t judge. To give you a glimpse of our life, here are some things that happened this week.
I had my first 504 plan meeting at G’s school. We’ve always known it needed to be done but the staff worked with us so well we just decided to wait. Things have gotten bad enough, and she only has one more year at this school, so it was decided to start the process now. I know it’s what’s needed, and I know the school only has her best interests at heart but it’s so overwhelming to try to lay it all out; makes me feel like a failure. Every day I have to hear from the staff or other kids about all the things she’s doing “wrong”, all the things she’s struggling with. I know I need to know this stuff, and I ask to be told, but that doesn’t make it any easier to hear.
We spent her lunch time in the office trying to calm her down so she could eat. She was having a melt down because even though she wanted to be in the lunchroom eating lunch she couldn’t. All because the lunch before hers got out a little late and the benches and tables didn’t get wiped down like normal. You might think this is silly (and she knows it’s not logical) but the OCD will not let her and sometimes she’s just not strong enough to fight it. And when I ask her what I can do to help she just screams at me because she is so frustrated because she doesn’t know or understand. Imagine trying to fight a bully 24 hours a day. How many adults are strong enough for that? She’s 8!
They are doing the M-STEP standardized tests this week. After dealing with the lunch problem it was her first day of testing. She couldn’t even step into the computer lab because it wasn’t the same lab they always use. When they were finally able to get her in the room she couldn’t sit in the chair or use the mouse since she didn’t know who touched it before. Once they got her a new mouse and got her going she still had to take this test (standing, by her choice) with all that anxiety. (Thank God our school has such supportive and understanding staff!)
Meanwhile, during all of this stress with G, I’m trying to help L get ready to leave for a 2 night camping trip with her school where it’s going to be in the mid-40’s and rain constantly!
Wednesday was a stronger day. I received so many comments and messages of support I was overwhelmed. It helps more than people realize. Some times on this journey I feel so alone and I forget how many people have my back and support us.
As usual, I have recess duty 4 days a week. Often people comment about how they don’t know why I do it. The kids! That’s why. It’s Staff Appreciation week, just out of the blue, a boy handed me a note. “Dear Mrs. Springer, Thank you so much for being a great person and watching the 3rd graders and taking time out of your day” At pickup another boy and mom handed me one of those large Ikea shopping bags and inside was a Costco size bag of coffee (now explains the strange questions about what I like to drink )
More lunchtime issues but she is able to pull it together and eat lunch in the cafeteria. After lunch we try to take her to the office, just to talk with her and get her to give us input to help her but she has a meltdown. First because she thinks she’s in trouble, then it builds because she doesn’t want to talk about it (it’s really hard for her) and all she wants is to go back to class. I ended up crying on several shoulders that I never would have thought of crying on.
Even with all her issues, G can always make me laugh.
Bedtime conversation with one night:
G: (out of the blue) I’m going to miss you when you’re dead.
Me: um, ok?
G: but I call dibs on your car…… oh! And your jewelry!
I guess my point in all this rambling is just to give you an idea of what we go through. And to remind everyone that it is OK to ask for help or just to say “I’m not OK” You probably have more support out there than you know.