With a nod to my seventh grade self
Don't Worry, We're Going To Start Reading Thucydides Soon

The OCD Merry-Go-Round

It's become all too clear that 2012 will go down for us as the year none of us slept or not with any sort of routine.

Charlie did sleep in till almost 10am Sunday and on one of three walks I had the thought that his anxiety is playing as big a role as anything in his insomnia. For around the past two weeks this has manifested itself in what I've started calling his McDonald's or death demands when he gets an idée fixe in his mind and not till hell or high water is it shaken free.

The moment of his doggedly insisting we go out because he had to go came earlier Sunday, after lunch. His wanting to accelerate the pace of things is generally more intense on Sundays, as if he wants to finish off the weekend to get to the routine of Monday and the school bus. He had started asking to go to Jersey City on Saturday night and the asking started Sunday early afternoon. We said we'd go in an hour and Charlie looked stricken. He sat in his brown chair and got his iPad and deleted several albums and asked me to restore them. I did so as he waited on pins and needles (it takes about ten or so minutes to sync the music via iTunes).

That went on four times. As in, no sooner did I hand Charlie back the iPad then he deleted a bunch of songs again. I suppose you could say it was as if he were driven by his anxiety-fueled OCD to create more problems for himself in what could be called a self-destructive manner.

The hour passed and we went to Liberty State Park and had a great time and got him Vietnamese food and went home and, as it was just after 6pm, we waited for Charlie's anxiety to ratchet itself up again. It did; our anticipation that it would helped. Knowing he would likely ask for the Golden Arches, I made rice and vegetables. Charlie ate the former. He looked nervously around the kitchen and I opened the dishwasher where I used to hide things like brownie mix in the infamous red box. No more! The cards are laid out and better for Charlie to know, no one is hiding anything from him.

If it is not apparent to you from my daily dogged blogging for the past seven years, I have more than a few obsessive tendencies myself. I'm sure I've always had such in me but things got more intense when I was thirteen. I've had thirty years to try to let go and let be; never underestimate the potential of cognitive-behavior therapy. Jim is also very good at reminding me when I'm on 'the merry-go-round' of my obsessions and Charlie likes it not at all when I'm on that ride.

And if we're going to require that he let go of his OCD, shouldn't I first distangle myself from mine?

(Though let me tell you, applying hindsight, I can see how often I indulged my obsessive tendencies in the name of helping him, zealously over-studying and doggedly championing therapies, protocols, opinions about autism.) (Well, I don't regret being obsessive in disputing what has been called 'anti-vaccine lunacy.')

Charlie figured out how to put his iPad onto shuffle for the songs and had a good time running around and listening to those before going to sleep around 9pm. I think he may be waking up now after five hours of sleep (it is after 2am) but that is already more than he's had for many a recent night.


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