Another day pushing my boundaries with the OCD. I originally wrote “my” OCD but I do not want to take ownership of it because it’s not mine. I am not an OCD person but a person who struggles with OCD. If you identify yourself by your disability then it almost feels like your giving up hope that life could be better.
On the weekends my husband quietly comes home as not to wake up either of us if we are sleeping. It’s so sweet because he knows that I never get to sleep in as my daughter is normally an early riser. No matter how quiet my husband is though I always wake up shortly after he arrives. It’s hard being on a different sleep schedule than him. We’ve been together 11 years and have always gone to bed at the same time unless one of us have been sick. 11 years sleeping by his side and to suddenly have that gone has been difficult. The job change was for good reasons but change is hard even when it’s for good reasons.
I knew today was going to be rough right from the start. He was sitting watching DS9 while simultaneously playing Civilization on the computer but looked up and smiled when I came out of the bedroom. I asked him how his night went and decided to fold the clean clothes that were sitting in the living room. Our daughter woke up shortly after. “Did you know tomorrow’s Easter? That’s makes today Easter EVE!” she says in a (can’t contain the excitement) hyper tone of voice. “The easter bunny is going to come and I’m going to rush right out and run into the kitchen and swoop up my basket into my arms and grab all the toys and candy!” she continues. “Do you think the easter bunny is going to hide eggs? or just at Grandmom’s and how does he know I’m going to be at Grandmom’s anyway? do you think she sent him a letter? OH NO! I forgot to write him a letter! I better do that today! I’m so EXCITED about EASTER! Did you know tomorrow’s Easter! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!” Everyday this week and a good part of last week she’s been talking about easter. She has been practicing hiding eggs and searching for them for practice. She has been dressing up as a bunny and dancing for her “Easter Show!”. She’s has been rearranging the easter decorations here, there and everywhere in the house. She’s been playing easter music and playing with her easter toys and talking about easter. She recounts in detail Easters past. She jumps (only slightly exaggerated) into my lap to make sure I can hear her and so she can smother me with hugs and kisses.
At this point my hands are shaking and the pain is starting in my head and I think my eye is even twitching a bit. “I can do this.” I calmly tell myself. But it’s all too much. I ask my husband to pause the TV and I stop folding clothes. He mutes the music on his game and I give her my full attention and have the easter conversation with her. Repeat this two more times during the 45 minute episode.
What’s so special about Easter? you may be asking at this point. It’s a holiday. She’s already planning Mother’s Day – all I know is that it involves a video camera and something special for me. She is already talking about all of the previous Mother’s days. She reminds me of the gifts she made last year for me. Valentine’s blended into Saint Patrick’s Day which blended into Easter. There is always something that she is SOOOO EXCITED about that she cannot stop talking about.
Then she remembers that she has watermelon and boiled eggs in the fridge. She rambles on about how much she loves watermelon and begs to have it and one of her dyed eggs for breakfast. A moment’s peace while she chomps down on her melon and carefully peels the shell off her egg. She then comes in and tells me she’s eating a baby chicken. I proceed to have a conversation with her about how female chickens lay about 1 egg a day and that unless there is a boy chicken around the egg will never be a baby chicken so she is eating an egg, not a baby chicken. She then starts asking how boy chickens turn the eggs into baby chickens and I talk about fertilizing the eggs.
Eye twitching harder, hands visibly shaking now. My husband speaks up, “Let’s go to IHOP”
My daughter had an appointment with her therapist today. It takes about 45 minutes to get there so we always try to plan other things while we are in the area. It was at such a bad time – 11am – right in the middle of when my husband should be sleeping. I offered to take her by myself but her mental health is important to both of us and he wanted to go (I love him by the way). When he suggested we head up early and go to IHOP the two of us were still in our pjs. My daughter and I quickly raced to get dressed – she won of course. She packed a quick bag of items she wanted to bring to therapy – play therapy is the best for younger children!
IHOP sometimes is a dangerous place for anxious people if you go in the morning on a weekend. Surprisingly though it wasn’t too busy and we were seated right away. I wanted oatmeal and eggs but there wasn’t a meal for that and a side of eggs was about $2.50 for 2 – couldn’t do it. I settled for eggs, hash browns and red velvet pancakes. (Yes – red velvet – yum – their new special:) My daughter insisted on maccaroni and cheese at 9:15am. She stated ever so logically that she already ate breakfast so now she is on to lunch. I glitch (mental hiccup) at the thought of spending the cost of meal for boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese at a restaurant. I can make that
crap at home. I said yes – you can have it. She was shocked and excitedly said “YAY!!!!!!”
The waitress brought out our drinks. My daughter ordered the blueberry lemonade splash – it didn’t come out in a kid’s cup but a tall glass with a spoon, lemon wedge, blueberries and lots of ice. no straw might I add. fingers plunged into the drink. spoon scooping out ice, blueberries. she is slurping out of the cup and saying, “look mom – no hands” as she leaned over the table so she didn’t have to pick up the glass.
My eggs were luke warm, the hash browns cold, coffee sloshed over the side of the cup, the table slightly sticky. I forgot to tell the waitress no sugar please on top of my pancakes. I did tell her not to put it on my husband’s but she forgot. The pancakes though? a little taste of heaven. Really working hard not to complain to my family. The coffee was delicious so I focused on that. and chatted with my husband and smiled – forced as it may be today I smiled none the less.
Hands shaking so bad I can barely sign the slip when paying. My husband asked what was wrong but he already knew – I was in the middle of a panic attack.
We sit in the car for a moment. I take one of my pills and wait for the anxiety to finally peak and then subside. Then I head out to her appointment but my husband notices that we still have over a half hour to spare. He suggested that we go to the pet store. I said that we could go if he didn’t mind me sitting outside while he takes her in. He stated that he didn’t want to go in without me so we could go to the pet store another time. My daughter was in the backseat saying, “I want to see the dogs!” I said that I just couldn’t do it today and he assured me that it was okay and we didn’t have to go.
I don’t know what made me change my mind but I pulled a u-turn and headed to the pet store. We petted the puppies, she was loving how they followed her around. My hands typically are shoved into my pockets or tucked close to me. I went up the the petting area and reached on it. One licked my hands, another nibbled. One particularly feisty puppy grabbed onto my coat sleeve and wouldn’t let go. I was able to laugh with my daughter and enjoy the puppies (something I’m not typically able to do).
We look at the rabbits for awhile then the other animals but ultimately end back with the puppies.