Lately I feel like I am practicing my dance moves, two steps forward, two steps back ,cha cha cha …. But inquiring minds want to know …..Is it working? And how is the Prince doing in the intensive therapy program? As to be expected he hates it, thinks it’s stupid, and doesn’t know why he needs to be there, some days are good, some days are bad, some days are better than the day before. It has been a long, exhausting 4 weeks and 18 days, with many days of leaky eyes (some days his eyes leak …some days my eyes leak) ……... BUT, I think we are making some progress....Of course some days we make way more progress than other days!! But I guess progress is progress.I'm ever so thankful for my amazing support system of friends and family, I'm thankful I have friends that I can just text the F-Bomb to 100 times if I need to, because some days you just gotta scream or text) F**K , F**K , F**K !!! Just to feel better and carry on!! Well and I'm pretty sure they would frown on me screaming it there at the center!! And now I have a gift fairy at work, who drops little fun goodies off for me .... it puts a smile on my face, especially when its been a leaky eye day!! So thank you all for the love and the support ~
I’ve learned a lot of things in the past 4 weeks, and I know that my situation could be so much worse. Everyone’s struggle is different and unique. All the kids at the center are there for very different reasons and everyone’s OCD’s, Phobias and Anxieties are different. I’ve watched the past 4 weeks, as some of the kids have phased out of the program and got to return home, many of the families are from out of state, so I am thankful that I am simply across the bridge!!! And I am hopeful that we too will phase out sooner than later.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the lobby, mainly because the first 2 weeks, the Prince and I would argue the WHY’s he needed to be here and do these things, so I would need to just walk away and let the therapist work with him without me. I spent many times just observing in fascination, some of these other kids, watching what they had to do and spoke to their parents, I want to know about the issues they have, I almost crave the conversation, so I didn’t feel so alone and isolated. But as I said all issues are very different.
Some of the kids we have encountered have been “Shower Girl” she took 3 hour long showers, with the water running ……she would first CLEAN the entire shower, scrub every inch of it, take apart the drain and shower head (I don’t think I’ve ever done that ever) after the shower was clean she would get in, still water running, have to scrub ever kook and cranny plus her very long rainbow colored hair, then she would redo the ritual of cleaning the shower again… yes with water still running for 3 hours!! After she was out of the shower she had about 10 other rituals that she had to do between 500 to 1000 times EACH!! Her mother told me it literally took her almost 5 hours to get ready to go anywhere!!! Her last day after 10 weeks she took a 16 minute shower!! She also could not ride in the car without the window cracked because she had to continually push the germs out the car window…….arms failing about especially when her mother sneezed or coughed! The therapist made them sit in the car with the windows rolled up, so that the germs couldn’t escape ….while the mother coughed and coughed…and not all while NOT covering her mouth.
“Contamination Boy” he won’t touch anything ……..and hadn’t left the house in over 2 years. Simple things like the door knob, picking something up from the floors, walking by people, even people breathing the same air as he, would cause him to hold his breath until he passed out most times so that he didn’t get the contaminated germs. One of the things he was required to do ……..to help get him over his fear of contamination and germs… was stick his hand in the toilet water (several times) and NOT wash it (ewww) and then shake someone else’s hand …… needless to say …. I was sitting on my hands in the lobby that day, not making eye contact because I did NOT want to be that lucky someone to shake his hand!!
Another “Contamination Boy 2” argued the facts about cleanliness for over 45 minutes refusing to participate and why he would NOT sit on the hardwood floor, with the therapist who was sitting there on her knees with palms planted firmly in contact with the floor, then she put her face down on the floor and when she stuck her tongue out to lick the floor, I think he almost past out from that exposure. I am certain that my eyes grew wide just watching!
I sit in fascination watching these events take place, I think that some of these methods are CRAZY ......... but fast forward 5 days later I walked into the center with “Contamination Boy 2” actually sitting on the lobby floor, with his hands palms down and looking at his parents and the therapist and instead of arguing, he smiled and said “What’s next- that was easy”. Next up was to catch a cockroach, I didn’t stay for that adventure as they headed to the stairwell on their search for a giant cockroach (ewwww).
“Hair Eater” he pulls out his hair (eyebrows, eye lashes, head, arms etc.), and eat it, but he also pulled out his mother’s hair (or maybe cut it – I don’t know) while she slept to eat it! His mother had to cut off her hair off to avoid the situation. He also has issues with personal space, rolling chairs and calling mom “Chubby” and squeezing her thighs…. Well among other things.
“The World’s a Virus Boy” from what I can tell he thinks he will catch “Flesh eating bacteria virus” from basically doing or touching anything … he has only been there a few days, today the same therapist that was licking the lobby floor, told him that he probably already had it and he would probably die by Monday ……he laughed and said “I know, I know, but it could happen” and then he moved on to his other exposures for the day.
To watch these kids, and see the struggles that the kids and parents have, it’s been an eye opening experience. I watch with fasciation as one by one, these strange treatment methods have these kids come out of there comfort zone and face their fears. As for Prince Charming …. Some days he works on it, other days he refuses totally, but once he realizes that I’m not giving up and we aren’t leaving until he does his “exposures” then he eventually will get started.
Yes its true some days (ok ….most days) I want to just toss my hands in the air and yell “ F**K it” ~ runaway from reality, take a break and toss in the towel and say your right, you don’t need to be here ~ I’m done~ but then there are days like today, when he did it , he did all of his extreme exposures that make his skin crawl, and put him so far out of his comfort zone like actually walking up to people and speaking to them, while looking at them, playing a game with them and best of all … .doing it all with his hair out of his face, so that he didn’t resemble Cousin It! So with that, comes hope that I am doing the right thing, no matter how painful this process is, I am doing it, because in the long run, it’s what’s best for the Prince.