The last few days have been difficult. I’m watching my son struggle with compulsions and behaviors, and I’m reminded that it’s always going to be there. No matter how hard I try to get rid of it, it’s there. It’s difficult to except that even though he’s well and progressing, OCD is still an active part of his everyday life. On the outside he’s doing great. On the inside he’s battling the monster he tries to hide from everyone, even me.
It’s so hard to balance my expectations with his “progress”, because so much of that progress is his ability to mask his fears and compulsions. It’s hard to tell the difference between progress and management. That being said, I believe that learning to manage this thing *is* progress. Don’t get me wrong. Management skills are a necessary part in this battle, but management skills are also a breeding ground for hiding.
I don’t want him to grow up in an environment where he feels he had to hide. I want our home to always be his safe place for him. A place where he can release the monster without judgement. I find myself struggling with this. I realize this morning I need to allow him to release his anxiety here in our home in a way that’s healthy for him and the rest of our family. I can’t expect to discipline OCD, it doesn’t listen. I have to remember that I can’t fix an irrational problem, and I certainly can’t reason with it!
Should I let him adjust the blinds four hundred times a day?
Should I let him shower when I know he does’t really need to?
Should I stand by while he washes his hands over and over?
Right now, the answer is yes.
Trying to control OCD is only going to make the situation worse. The more I try to control it, the more it’s going to overtake him. It’s not fair to him.
For whatever reason, he’s struggling, and he needs a safe place.
A place to just be. That is and will forever be this home! No matter what!
This post is linked to Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out weekly meme.
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Next week, October 8-15th, is OCD Awareness week. The International OCD Foundation is working hard to spread awareness and support for those affected by this mental illness. I’m getting involved and I hope you will help me. From now until the end of the month, I am offering ad space to anyone who makes a minimum donation of $25 to IOCDF. Your blog button or family friendly ad (125×125) will be featured in my sidebar for the rest of the month. For more information on how you can help fight this battle with us visit IOCDF.
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