OCD is a beach

Auggie will Auggie

A day off from work you say? Let’s see the end of the world then! This will be fun and not at all frustrating. Let’s rock!

Nearly every rule I put in place for our trip (all four children) was broken by Auggie and Huggy (Huggy is my youngest daughter.) However, the trip went as well as I’d hoped. I consider myself to be a positive person and find that life feels better with some hope sprinkled in. The first issue was Auggie leaving the surrounding area while I was getting the stroller out and diaper bag ready. He decided then that Huggy should be arm in arm with him. Tiny was my point person staying nearly center to both them and myself and baby. That action caused me to take way more time getting things out because of the whiplash action of constantly looking towards the rascals that were not in the group and back at what I’m doing. After corralling everyone up we made our way towards the pier. The look in Auggie’s eyes was nearly wild. The water, the beach and the people were causing some overload for Auggie. He wanted… no… he NEEDED to touch everything, talk to everyone and hang over the pier every chance there was.

The second major rule was grabbing fishing poles at the end of the pier. This rule came to be the moment I noticed fishing poles. I know Auggie and now, his eyes were wild and he had given all self control over to his obsessive thoughts. So he grabbed a fishing pole. Thankfully, no one seemed bothered. Then, after being told to stop (and stopping) he rushed to the other side and grabbed a net. A woman (who owned the net) told him he could hold it but that it wouldn’t reach the water. He decided to test that theory and nearly did before I was there—

*I need to go ahead and let everyone know that’s reading this that pushing a large stroller after an eleven year old super human through a crowd on a pier that’s less than ten feet wide is an adventure in itself and not one I suggest if you’re the only shepherd.

— Once I gathered all the babies into a seating area, we had another conversation which detailed again the dangers of separation and falling into the water. Auggie was immediately tortured by not being able to fish because, according to him, I said we’d go fishing as soon as spring came. His mind was in full obsession mode at this point.

Pinched

A person with OCD has, at times, a moment by moment struggle. That which NEEDS to happen MUST happen OR… The emotions range from anger, frustration and even extreme sadness. In their mind, for the world to continue, this obsession must be fed and not feeding it becomes a form of torture. Auggie, when he’s made to stop an action, will wince in real pain as if he’s being pinched. You could say, “that’s not normal,” and you’d be correct. That’s why it’s labeled as a disorder. When he’s locked into something as simple as finding a matching sock it can make him physically sick if he doesn’t find it. The longer the search the more intense the need to find it—

*This is why I get frustrated when people confuse quirks for an OCD. I won’t go down that path today. Just know, it bothers me.

— On the other hand, if Auggie is made to stop then there is an intense struggle to change course. I will (I’m not sure any way is right but this is what I do) hold him close and tell him he’s obsessing. Then, I will bring new thoughts in. Drawing, writing, school, friends etc. There’s no perfect solution but this technique has had success before. Sometimes… the urge is just too strong though.

Auggie and Huggy

We all went down to the water before leaving. I was carrying Grey at this point so he could see the water too. Auggie, Huggy and Tiny beat us there by a mile. The one rule? Do not get into the water. Why? They were all coughing. I’m not a scientist or a medical professional. Can that make them sick or sicker? I don’t know that but I do know it can’t hurt. What did I find when I got to them? Yep. All three had there shoes off. Tiny (the defacto leader) was only there to make sure they were safe and not going any further according to her. Smart little lady (this future lawyer always has a logical explanation. Scares me at times.) Auggie took the blame for coercing Huggy and at that point it was time to leave. Auggie believed it was because he broke the rules and in part it was but that was the smallest part. The main reasons were this…

I was alone and didn’t think far enough ahead as to how difficult it would be to keep eyes on all of them in such a vast space.

It’s a two hour drive.

I was by myself.

Should be smarter

Did I mention that I was the only adult? I know, cheap laughs are just that. I’m not saying that I went as the only adult for any recognition. I genuinely fell in over my head with each new danger. I do not suggest doing that without help BUT… man… I want them to see the world. I pray a lot. I pray for their protection and peace. I’m thankful they had a great time and I’ll do it again. Now I know exactly what to expect from them. They all enjoyed themselves though so it was a success.

“They had a great time? Enjoyed themselves? But you said Auggie thought ya’ll were leaving because of him.”

Okay, so… another aspect of OCD that you must know and this will help you tremendously is if Auggie is told to stop doing something that is triggered by his OCD and is punished for continuing that’s not super bothersome for him as long as he completed what he needed/wanted to. In other words, discipline hurts less than not fulfilling his obsession. My brother was the same way. My dad was the same way. My mother was that way as well. I didn’t allow him to believe he was the reason either. I am not a monster! Maybe a little. Auggie has the tendency to be negative so he’ll blame himself quickly (Maybe that’s another aspect of acronyms but I’m not medical person.) Huggy blamed him too I suppose. That sweet little five year old lady said, “this was supposed to be the most beautiful day!” She’s a character. That really brought laughs around as we were leaving.

So, I should be smarter. I need to plan better. Either way, they get only one childhood and going on adventures is a must. When my body gives out… hopefully Auggie will be old enough to drive and he can continue the tradition of poorly planning and not being completely prepared. Oh, the memories.

Thank you for reading and if you’re rearing children with acronyms (and no prior family experience) then I hope this finds you and helps you.

God bless and I hope you have enough.

Just Jared

*The picture posted isn’t a sad Auggie. He wanted to know how far down the water was. I wonder why? I don’t. I know why. Thank you again!

Bonnie Raitt said what?

Last Sunday’s late night conversation with Tiny will be another one that sticks with me forever. She was fairly reserved for about an hour before we parted and just all around not saying too much. When I was almost at the vehicle to leave she bolted outside for one more hug (common theme now that I do not discourage.) This hug was different.

Tiny has always had issues with being too close to someone physically. She gives one arm hugs or will literally turn to the side when getting a hug. She can’t tolerate someone’s face being close to her face and will literally start believing that she can’t breath. Yelling out that you can’t breath is a quick way to get your personal space back (free advice, no charge.) She’s not one to be held down or grappled and will become a furious fighting force if that occurs. But… this hug was different and I immediately knew it. Another point of reference concerning Tiny is that she HATES crying. She’s tough and has always been tough. I’ve encouraged her to cry numerous times and attempt to hold her in a way where her face is hidden. Otherwise, she’s gonna bottle those emotions and get vintage dates stamped on.

She grabbed me with both arms and squeezed me tightly. A few seconds passed and she was still hugging me. No brainer… I asked, “what’s going on, baby?”

She released her death grip and looked at me, “do we have to talk about it?”

“Talk about what, darling?”

Her eyes began to water and she began studying the ground, “divorce. I cry when I talk about it.”

“Well… I might too. We don’t have to talk about it but you can ask me anything. You can always talk to me. ”

She began to cry and spoke through her sobs, “I don’t know who to live with,” she said quickly as if time was an issue before wrapping me in another hug.

“Tiny girl… you’ll spend half your time with me and half with your mother. You don’t have to choose anybody. Were you afraid of having to hurt mine or your mother’s feelings?”

She wept for a few moments before shaking her head yes.

“Baby, me nor your mother could stand being away from you for too long so we have this system for everybody to have equal time. Why did you think you’d have to choose?”

“My friend at school said she’s picking her daddy because he’s nice. I thought about (her personal thoughts on me) and (her personal thoughts on her mother) so I don’t know what to do and I’m scared.”

“You don’t have to choose, darling. You’ll stay with both of us at different times but never too long away from the other. Aren’t you glad you talked about it now?”

She nodded her head, set her tough meter to full and smiled at me. “I love you Da-da. I’m going back in. I love you goodnight.”

I was able to say the same before she ran though the door. I’ve learned a lot from my children. Tiny is a wise little lady that thinks deeply but she doesn’t know everything. I often forget that. We have discussed the divorce multiple times but aspects, such as that she brought up, totally eluded me. I assumed Tiny knew the system in place was the system. If I can be any assistance to parents out there in a similar situation (children with acronyms going through a divorce ((friendly)) it’s that talking about it must happen. Whatever IT is, it needs to be aired out.

This was a short entry, I know. There are things going on in my life that require more attention than my blogs. One of those things pertains to writing which I’ll discuss more in depth later. I am planning on getting back to a weekly pace AND if you have any questions for me about being Auggie’s Deddy feel free to ask. Thank you for reading. Take care and I hope you have enough.

God bless,

Just Jared