|On the left: my son's ear notch birthmark; on the right: MY ear notch birthmark|
So. I have a mostly mild case of OCD. I have the cleanest email boxes you will EVER see, I am constantly organizing and reorganizing things so my brain doesn't explode, and when I'm stressed I get to a point where I am OCD about how I eat and move around in my life. It is VERY mild, and even when I get to a manic point in it, it's still hundreds of times better than what some people have to deal with on a daily basis. Yesterday I almost got pulled into an OCD moment, where my brain was SCREAMING at me that I needed to fix something right then and there and make it nice and neat and perfect and ::just:: so, but I had a friend who probably didn't even realize what was going on snap me out of it with a simple smirk and "I already did it. It's fine." I was kinda frantic (and probably crazy eyed for a moment) but that simple it's no big helped me push it down and move on from it. This friend in particular has unknowingly helped me not get pulled into a handful of cycles by that exact method, and it's nice to know how long I've gone without going into one of my spins. (I've learned it's easier to avoid getting into a spin than to get out of one so that's what I try to do)
My son. My beautiful Monkey, has inherited my OCD. With all the changes that have happened these last few months, he has been clinging to small rituals he can control to maintain his sanity. When giving him a hug or a kiss he MUST have 2 hugs and then 2 kisses. If you deviate you must start over or even it out. (A big thing with me is numbers too, and I can easily get hung up on odd numbered things) Also, I live in a second story apartment, so when he's getting stressed he CANNOT share the stairs with ANYONE. So he'll get to the half way point and then let the other person meet him there, then continue on alone. I have been stressing out about how to deal with it. I don't want it to get worse and I don't want him to feel like there's anything wrong with him and feel shame. I've been at a loss on how to deal with this, especially since he's almost to the age where he'll need to be around kids his own age, and I don't want this interfering with.. well.. anything.
I kinda had an epiphany when choosing (forcing) to let my brain be soothed yesterday. I could freak out about this, or coddle my son when he's insisting OR. I can gently re-direct him and prevent him from getting in a spin. Before we reach the stairs I can ask him to either hold his hand or carry him and let him feel the love of those acts instead of the urge to control something. I can give him extra hugs and kisses and not recite the "poem" of his pattern. And when he is stressed and ::needs:: those patterns we can embrace the familiarities of them, but then add to them to break the cycle. Gentle redirects work. And hopefully he can change his brain patterns. (Me too. I like feeling sane versus slightly insane.)