One of the great things about having a blog is that you instantly can get ideas and feedback and opinions on anything. And today I would love to get some advice about something that has me worrying more and more.
Bailey is showing some serious signs of O.C.D.
When Chris was really sick back in November I was on everyone ALL THE TIME about washing their hands. Because I was terrified of the kids getting H1N1. So I’m not sure if that was the catalyst or not, but ever since then Bailey has become obsessed with washing her hands. A couple weeks ago I noticed they were red, raw and bleeding. Since then I talk to her everyday about how some germs are good and some are bad, we’ve put limitations on the hand washing without being overtly concerned b/c I don’t want to show her I’m worried out of fear it would make it worse.
Then last night, and I can’t remember what we were doing, but she told me I couldn’t do (whatever we were doing) that in fact I had to do this b/c then it would be fair.
And THAT little look into her mind scared the hell out of me b/c I know I have some OCD issues and that is one of my oldest. When I was little I was always concerned about things being fair. Not between me and my sister! HA! But between other totally random things. Like if I slept on this side of my pillow last night I needed to sleep on the other side the next night to make it FAIR. Or if I took this stuffed animal out with me today, I had to take that one tomorrow. If I chewed two times one the right side of my mouth I had to chew two times on the left and back and forth until the bite could be swallowed evenly.
I know this is making me sound crazy.
And I still think about things like this. Although it’s gotten a LOT better b/c I know it’s insane. The main difference between me and Bailey is that my mom never had a clue I was ALWAYS thinking about things like that. I kept it hidden very well. I actually remember the first time it came out… I was in high school and we were traveling with family somewhere. We’d stopped for lunch and my mom and I were in the bathroom when she saw me do my bathroom routine of 1. unwind some paper towels 2. turn on the water 3. wash hands 4. get paper towel 5. use wet paper towel to turn off water 6. throw away paper towel 7. use foot (if possible) to open door. She watched me like I’d lost my mind and so when we went back to sit down we got to talking about it all and I confessed other things.
Like the fact that I ALWAYS eat crackers salt-side down on my tongue and then break it in half so each side of my mouth has the same size bite. Or that I shower the SAME WAY every single day b/c something might happen if I don’t. And back then I wouldn’t wear a piece of clothing if I’d tried it on but not actually worn it b/c if it touched my skin it was dirty.
I mean seriously people. Are you wanting to have me committed?
But like I said, in college I realized a lot of these things were crazy and I got it in check. And the little things I still do are so little you would never notice. And of course, I NEVER talk about it. Except for now. On the INTERNET. So the whole world now knows I’m strange!
I think a lot of it is about control for me. I always want to be in control. But I’m not sure what it is for Bailey b/c the things from my childhood that gave me control issues aren’t around for Bailey. For her it seems, so far, that she’s just really scared of germs.
Anyway. Has anyone dealt with this before? Any suggestions? I’ve already left a message with her teachers to please watch how much she washes her hands today but is my next step calling our pediatrician? Parents as Teachers? I feel helpless and so worried b/c I know how much I worried about totally random things when I was a kid and I don’t want her to go through the same thing.