A strange post title, I know. I’m just warning all that I am going to start punching people in the nose, or maybe mouth, depending upon how good my aim is.
People act strange when they find out my grown children are living with me. I don’t see it that way. We live with each other. They contribute as much if not more than I do at times. The rent and other expenses just happen to be in my name, that is all. They also wonder why my son is not working his own job and express confusion as to why he is not on his own. I mention he struggles a lot with OCD and is trying, but it is a battle. Most greet that with an eye roll and mention of just having to deal with it as everyone has something or another these days. You get the picture, right?
One very memorable example is one year I was getting my taxes done. The guy asked why I am claiming my grown son as a dependent. Surely, he worked at least? I explained that no he didn’t and briefly touched upon his OCD and depression. I don’t know why I feel a need to explain, but I do. I got the familiar eye roll and he snorted, “Everyone has some excuse these days, don’t they?”
I don’t think I’ve ever been so mad in my life. It took all within me to not just punch that f****r right in the face. I think it showed in my expression because he looked a little alarmed and hurried to change the subject. I should have walked out right there. I should have made a complaint to someone in charge. I can tell you that these days, I don’t put up with it. If you don’t have a knowledge of what severe OCD and depression can do to a person, then keep your trap shut! That’s my new motto.
Yes, OCD can be treated and believe me my son has worked HARD to just be able to even leave his bedroom and function a bit in the world. He is now 31 and still struggles so hard! We can’t afford therapy, so we just do the best we can on our own. Even the sliding scale fees a few therapists offer are way out of our financial ability. He has applied for disability but was told OCD isn’t really a disability. That was 2 years ago. He is trying again, but I don’t think the result will be any different. He just wants to be able to get help so he can work. He had a couple of jobs but within a week he was mostly in his room holding his head in his hands and so miserable he couldn’t function and was sick. He did try! The second job he had was a nightmare. He went 5 days with no sleep. He is not lazy at all and he is smart. It breaks my heart.
Most people just don’t understand the struggle. For me, it is much easier than for my son, but it can be exhausting at times! If the people I work for knew exactly what goes on in my mind most days, they would never let me watch their kids! I am good at what I do, and the kids are safe, but boy am I tired at the end of a day. Mostly, just struggling and fighting with my own mind.
Just one simple example: Last night we are grocery shopping. So many cans are upside down in the stores. I have an overwhelming NEED to put them right side up. It’s almost a physical pain to see them upside down. Most of the time, I can pass it up, but it takes a lot out of me. I fight the urge to buy at least 2 of everything because, well, odd numbers are just evil. I like even numbers. I grab 2 if I know I will use it and can afford to. We get to the check-out and we go to line #6. That’s good! But then, my son notices that line #5 is a lot less busy. I try to convince him to stay at 6 but he moves our cart. I don’t say anything but fear creeps in. My brain starts telling me that since I’m in an odd numbered line something is going to go wrong. I will forget my PIN for my card, or won’t have enough money, or…..anxiety creeps up and I have to take lots of deep breaths to get through it. I know it’s silly but that doesn’t shut up the unwanted thoughts at all.
I do this all day long. Stopped at a red light while driving, I’m SURE the person in the car behind me is mad because I’m not going and I feel the need to get out and run or to just run the light to get out of the way. Opening a jar of peanut butter (or any jar) and someone is near so I can only do it once. SHIT something is going to happen! Getting bread out and trying to close the bread so I can get some air in the bag is a nightmare. I have to make sure a little air is in the bag or I feel out of breath for a while and am sure the bread is suffering. This goes on all day long. It is exhausting and some days I’m just so done with the fight.
Today is one of those days. I am struggling and depression has greeted me. “I’m back, did you miss me?”
No, I did not.