Basically, this image represents how my week has gone so far.
My husband had to go out of town for work for the first half of the week.
Work trips used to be no big deal for me. Frankly, they were almost a relief or a kind of “vacation”—yes, I had to take care of the kids, but we had more flexibility in timing of meals and activities, I usually got them to bed earlier and faster, and then I could get in jammies and watch whatever I wanted to until going to bed. It was like girl vacation slumber party time, only with just myself. (Which, as an introvert, was perfect).
Then the OCD invited itself to the party, and since that fateful work trip last December wherein I had a total meltdown and had to go back on fluoxetine, work trips have not been something to which I look forward. More the opposite.
This work trip was no exception, and it didn’t help that it got rescheduled twice, so basically I had been anticipating it for the entire month. Plus, my OCD has been making a comeback, so I also had that to think about.
The first day was fine until my son had to go to the bathroom. He tried wiping himself and then a brown stain appeared on his shirt sleeve.
The next day my daughter got out of the shower and sat on the bathmat. She got up and there were brown stains all over the mat where she had been sitting. I threw both the mat and her towel away and made her sit on the toilet, trying unsuccessfully to poop. It was a tense night.
The next day, I took my daughter shopping and looked at her at one point, standing in the shopping cart, and noticed that she looked odd. I asked what was wrong and she told me she made a stink. I checked out and took her to the bathroom. Sure enough, there was poop in her underwear. I was there, in a grocery store bathroom with my (potty trained) four year and poopy underwear with no change of clothes, no extra underwear, nothing.
I wiped her, put a paper towel between her undies and her pants and some toilet paper between her bottom and her undies and told the customer service clerk what had happened, leaving the cart with him. I stripped her car seat and sat her on a Target bag on the plastic of her booster seat. When we got home, clothes went in the trash, carseat got sanitized, and I tried to hold it together. Mostly unsuccessfully.
I hate how OCD figures out when you are exhausted, vulnerable, and tired. It’s a bully. It’s not terribly original but will push you where it knows it will get a reaction (kind of like a child, really). Why were my kids having these issues out of the blue when things like this haven’t happened for about a year or more? Why now? Why when I’m already on edge? Or maybe it’s because I’m already on edge.
Even now, as I write this, my son is playing chicken with me while on the toilet, pooping or “trying” to poop. I wiped him, then he said he needed to poop more, so I left. Then he said he didn’t so I went back in to help him, then he said he did. It’s ridiculous. I’m so tired. I think I’ve said it before, but I used to hope that I would become too tried to deal with OCD and do the compulsions. It pushes, pushes, pushes. It’s like a dependent child that convinces you to keep going and working and doing those compulsions, over and over again until you want to scream and cry and make it stop somehow.
It threatens relationships and demands to be the most important thing in your life.
Like I said, it’s a bully.
I’m working on it but it’s hard. It’s exhausting, and it’s difficult to make progress on something when you are exhausted. We’ll see how things go when I’m not a temporary single parent anymore. For now, I’m just trying to survive.