Mornings are rough.
Getting my son to school is a challenge. Once he’s at school, I take a deep breath and feel the tension leave my body. I get a little time away from OCD!
But unfortunately, HE doesn’t. He is constantly plagued with OCD. I marvel at his resilience. I wonder if he’ll ever crack.
The best way to get him out of bed is to employ the help of our resident OCD bully. And I’ll be honest, I hate doing it but it is effective. I leave his bedroom door wide open because he’s concerned that his sister’s “essence” is going to float into his room. Because of that, he never leaves his bedroom door open. In fact, he locks it because in his mind that’ll keep the bad stuff out. Once he realizes the door is open, he jumps out of bed like it’s on fire! And I feel bad. But he has to go to school!
Once I finally get him out of bed the first time, I have to remind him over and over to get ready. He gets dressed…then it’s back to bed. He brushes his teeth…back to bed. He’s reluctant to get up because he knows it’s going to be another OCD-filled day. It’s easier to stay in bed than to face the day.
When the time comes for us to leave, picture this. He’s ready, but is laying in bed. I go down to his room. I tell him he needs to get up. He groans and rolls over. I tell him everyone is in the van. He doesn’t care. I tell him he’s going to be late for school if he doesn’t get up now. No response. Finally I use the big guns. I tell him he’s grounded from screens for a week if he isn’t in the van in less than a minute. He drags himself out of bed and looks at me with those sad eyes that are begging….please mom, please let me stay in bed!
I pretend I don’t see those sweet sad eyes. But I do see them. They pull at my heartstrings. But he has to go to school, so I have to look away.
His sandwiches and snacks are in the same spot on the counter every morning. If they aren’t, he immediately assumes that his sister did something to them and refuses to touch them. It really doesn’t make sense if you think about it. She could have touched them when they were in that spot. But his therapist has told me not to try to make sense of OCD. You can’t.
The 10 minutes in the van are horrible for all of us.
When she moves, he yells at her. If she talks, he yells. If she is chewing, he yells. If she coughs, he yells. If she breathes, he yells. Okay, so maybe the last one wasn’t true, but I do tell him often that it seems that he’d prefer it if she didn’t breathe.
Meanwhile, I’m agitated. I’m sure every mom can identify with the frustration of dealing with misbehavior in the vehicle. You can’t send them to their rooms, you’re stuck with them!
But hopefully most moms don’t have to deal with keeping one hand on the door lock so that if your child tries to quickly unlock and open his door, you’re one step ahead of him.
It happened once. We were turning a corner and he managed to get his door open. And I kid you not, I flipped out more than I’ve ever flipped out before. I screamed at him and started crying. I was a mess. I had to pull over to control myself. What if he had unbuckled his seatbelt too? He would have gone flying out of the van, because remember, we were turning a corner!
But anyway, back to mornings. Every morning when we get to school, his sister gets out of the van and runs off happily to meet her friends. He glares at her, then he slowly gathers his things and heads out the van door. His shirt comes up over his nose, and he’s ready to face his day – or at least as ready as he can be.
And every morning I literally breathe a sigh of relief. We made it to school in one piece. God’s mercies are new every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness!