Read the early two entries to follow the story….http://wp.me/p12VUh-aR
Week 2: Continuing to sit in the car
I was home again on Monday and Abby continued to sit in the car, but no seat belt on yet as it is a source of large anxiety (over 10 on the scale of 1-10). We would talk about the next step and have her think about touching the seat belt or us touching it as well as have her look at it. We also just spent time in the seat doing something fun, like me reading a story she was writing outloud. The goal being to make sitting in the car a positive easy experience for her.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
She did not move past sitting in the car onto any other steps other than allowing her younger brother to sit in his seat next to her. This was stressful to her at first and he only stayed in the car for part of the time. My husband and I began talking about what we needed to do if she would not progress to a next step. Something we had done a week ago when she was refusing to participate. We had even come up with a drastic plan to not allow her on the computer until she completed a step. Yet, this was her primary way of engaging in life and after many weeks, months really of her not being able to touch her computer unless she went though a long- weeks long washing process but would then not be able to touch it again after bumping something. And so it felt drastic. We also could not agree as I did not want to take Skyping with her cousin away because it truly was the most valuable part of her life right now and the most real part of her life.
And reading my last entry when I wrote how Abby decided to touch her dog after seeing her cousin hugging her dog- over the internet, only reaffirmed my belief that we must keep this precious time on the computer with her cousin intact.
Sunday, the new miracle day
I worked on Saturday but Sunday I only had to go in for 2 hours. I decided to take Jason to the swimming pool that afternoon. We both said outloud that we wished ABby could come with us as she loves to swim.
Abby was having an really bad time because we had told her that I had spoken to my brother about her skyping at first with her cousin in the car so her cousing could help motivate her to take steps to putting her seat belt on and being able to go places in the car. This is something Don and I had talked about and I had spent a lot of time talking to my brother who agreed with me that his daughter could be very supportive for Abby as she wasn’t likely to pitty Abby, something ABby did not want and could remain calm and objective and also help her as they have a shared interest in seeing each other in July- just a month away at the Kids Dog Camp run by my sister (their aunt). Abby was mad about this idea and did not like it at all. She was upset and crying when we left.
Jason and I enjoyed swimming and then I checked my messages before we headed home at 4:45 when the pool closed. I got a text that Abby was in the car with her seat belt on.
Really- did she put it on herself?
Before I could get an answer, he told me that she had given him a big hug! I told this to Jason who got very excited. He has been a big cheer leader for his sister and so excited over the progress she has been making.
I get goose bumps remembering this. She spontaneously hugged her dad. I later learned that he was on the phone with a company getting information on ordering a part for our stove and she just came up and hugged him. He had to tell the woman on the phone to hold on a minute.
I was never so glad to be going home (other than last Saturday) but this time with the potential of a hug from my daughter. My last memory of hugging her being in January when she was in a fit of panic and fear late at night after her worst episode of rage and severe depression. The night we almost had the ambulance take her to the psychiatric emergency room. A very sad yet touching memory of my last hug from my now 11 year old daughter. A girl who just 5 or 6 months ago was sleeping in a bed next to mine and always a snugly, hugging,and loving child had not been able to hug anyone in her family for months.
The best hug ever
We got home from the pool and Abby and Don were outside in the car, showing me that she could sit and put her seat belt on. I changed and approached Abby about a hug. I got the biggest, strongest embrace ever and it felt so good to hold her. I didn’t want to let go. Would I be able to hug her like this again? With OCD, you never know, she might be able to do something one day but not the next. Now I know what I can picture in my mind when things are challenging with her, I will just recall that wonderful long awaited hug. I am sealing it into my memory now as I write this and remember vividly the wonderful hug.
The week continues
Today she awoke very happy and enjoyed time with her younger brother. She asked me about going out to the car. She agreed for her brother to come with us and we all buckled in the car. We talked about the next steps. She decided bringing Olvie in the car was the next step and also she did not want to rush this process. I was eager to work towards me sitting in the driver’s seat while she was in her seat but this is another area of great stress to her. As I write and reread what I am writing, I believe that is Abby’s higher self talking about not rushing it. We are eager but we can breath and take some time as long as she continues each day.
Monday, I often get time to myself. Something I have found a necessity for some time in order for me to refuel and engage in writing and my areas of interest. As an introvert with two very energetic children and a teenager with intense needs, I find it not only helpful but mandatory for me to go out of the house alone and to have time where all I need to worry about is my own needs in the moment. I am not an extreme introvert and so I am often at a coffee house or a restaurant with WiFi with my lap top. On occasion, I have gone to a move by myself, a treat I would never had enjoyed prior to having kids. Today, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to head somewhere outside my usual path. I went somewhere I had been many times before but never by myself. And here I am 6 hours later, still here and having now written two blog entries in addition to working on other things.
Tomorrow will be another day and I will be home with my children and continuing to help Abby to fight her OCD, to push out of her comfort zone and to gain control of her life again so that she can really live her life again.