by PJ’s brother
I’m sitting at the computer in the living room and my little sister is standing on the rug in the foyer. We had come home from school and she hadn’t even taken off her backpack because she thought everything in the house was dirty. OCD had taken over and we didn’t even know what it was yet. She was screaming so hard it hurt to hear it and my mom couldn’t contain her frustration. I had been on the computer for almost ninety minutes. We were never allowed on the computer that long before. My dad wasn’t even home yet, but I wished he was home. Then maybe he could make it better, or at least he would hang out with me. All that my mom wanted was for my sister to come off the rug. All I wanted was for it all to be over. I wanted my sister back. Since OCD had taken over, I barely had any time with my family.
Before OCD, things would have gone like this:
- We come home and barge through the door.
- We empty our lunchboxes.
- My mom asks if we have homework
- If the answer is yes we do it then go outside, if the answer is no then we go straight outside.
We’d go outside and play…getting dirty and having fun.
My sister was my all-around pal. We would run around outside, getting dirty and having fun. We would never think twice about running into the house when mom called us for dinner. Now my sister couldn’t even move two feet into the house.
After we started seeing Dr. Shank, we realized that we could all help stop OCD as a family. So we did. We made up silly songs about her beating the OCD, and we made up dances to go along with the songs. I watched my sister face her fears. I wrote her a poem to show her I was there for her:
Loud with pink,
Beaming, shining, smiling
My sister, the only one. She is my favorite.
Laughing with her is her
Today, life is almost like it was before my sister’s OCD. The only difference is that maybe once a week she has “OCD moments” which go like this:
- She tells us that she is having an OCD moment.
- She tells us her strategies (ignore, do the opposite, 54321 Redirect).
- It goes away, for the most part.
As you can see, a lot has changed over the course of ten months. Dr. Shank, has taught us how to help my sister. I have my sister back, and we are a family again.