I wrote this post over 3 years ago. I never published it. I am going to share it as I wrote it. It feels unfinished at the end and that is exactly how our life felt at that time. I am happy to say that Abby is now functioning like a typical 14 year old for the most part, or at least like a typical unschooled 14 year old. She has overcome so much and come so far in 3 years. Whenever I stop and think about this, I feel speechless,breathless, amazed at how she has overcome such a severe disability. And then I breath out as reality brings me back to my current life, because we are now going through similar issues with our youngest child. Somehow, my husband and I have two children with OCD. We both feel compelled to help others who suffer, Don, with his coaching business, and me with my writing. We know how isolating having a child with OCD, or any mental illness can be, and we want others to know, you are not alone, there is help. Don has recently written an ebook on OCD. His website
I woke up this morning and my little one was still asleep. I checked my phone and saw my husband’s text: “Left at 6:50, she was still sleeping”. I stayed put checking email and facebook on my phone until my youngest woke up at 9:30.
We then headed downstairs to check on my daughter, Abby, asleep on the couch.
She said she had been up for a while but was curled up and calm. (Thank God!)
I went in the kitchen and got her supplements and a new glass of water and a fresh straw.
I brought them to her and gave her the supplements one at a time, dropping them into her mouth and waiting for her to reach her body across to the table where her cup sat and drink from the straw.
I then started breakfast. I heated up pancakes for the kids as I started some hot water. I got pancakes ready for my 4 year old. He wanted a special cup for his juice and so I told him to get out the one he wanted which he did. I then started sausages and then brought my daughter’s plate of pancakes, with syrup and cut and the box of spoons to her in the living room where she sits watching TV. I set down her plate and opened the box of plastic spoons, moving the lid out of the way for her to reach in and take one. I pointed out how many spoons were left and reminded her that we will not be buying another box of spoons.
I went back to the kitchen and started my breakfast, cut up apple, and quinoa and got it cooking on the stove and used hot water to make myself tea. Jason was done eating now and so I got his vitamins out.
The sausage was done and my daughter was now in the bathroom. I called up to her but she said she was too full for sausage. I put them away in a container and labeled it “Abby” and then I put on some other sausages that she doesn’t like but Jason and I will eat.
Then she called me upstairs to help her wash her hands. I pumped soap into her hands and then turned on the faucet, waited for her to finish, and then turned faucet off for her and went back downstairs to kitchen to finish making my breakfast.
Jason managed to play by himself and things were relatively calm. It’s easier when only two kids are home. My oldest had spent the night at a friend’s house. And my husband had an all day workshop and wouldn’t get home until after 6pm.
I managed to eat, and make a batch of nettles (I soak dried nettle leaves in hot water to make an infusion which we then let cool and freeze in ice cube trays to use daily in smoothies and to drink. Nettles are full of minerals and great for allergy relief.)
Keep in mind that my 4 year old talks almost continuously and comes in frequently to tell me or show me something or requests me to come see what he is doing. Abby and Jason managed to play together briefly but it ended because Abby made too many rules and Jason came to me crying. He desperately misses playing with his sister but it is not easy to play with her because he can not touch her or her spot on the couch and she does make a lot of rules when they play. Abby tried to negotiate with him asking him which rules he didn’t like, but Jason was done.
By now it was about 10 am and so I reminded Abby that she was supposed to be Skyping with her cousin at 12. Her cousin lives in PA and about 2 times each week they chat on skype or Google Chat. They are working on a story together and building a house for the imaginary family on Google- Auto Desk Homestyler.
I ask her if she has a towel to use after she showers and clothes to wear. I go to the kitchen to finish cleaning up, unloading the dishwasher etc. She finally decides she needs to wash clothes and her towel as well as sheets. she goes upstairs to get her clothes and comes down, “Mom, I need you to open the washer”.
“Just a minute” and then I head down and open the washer, she drops clothes in and I tell her to get more and then I start the washer and add the soap. She brings a few more items down and her towel but tells me she can only wash the clothes she is going to wear today. And I tell her she needs to wash more because I can not wash clothes for her every day. She gets mad and huffs off.