Here it is...day 1 of 2013. We have a LOT to work on, and a LOT that we have overcome.
2011 was a very bad year...very hard...full of information overload.
2012 was hesitantly better...full of goals and achievements...regression and accomplishments.
But what will 2013 bring us? We are very optimistic!
Here are some goals for us though:
1. Technology & social media are an OCD nightmare. Texts must be answered, and teenage girls who send a thousand texts a day make our lives really difficult. When obsession with texting or Facebook becomes too much, we take them away for a while so that Bren's brain can calm itself. Unfortunately that means a period of freaking out because there are unanswered messages out there that drive her crazy thinking about them. If only I could tell those girls to STOP texting so much, to realize that questions like "do you think he likes me" or "what did he say when you skyped with him" cause Bren great anguish when she chooses to answer those and engage in silly conversation rather than being with family or completing daily tasks. Once an honor student, your stupid texting craze has single-handedly taken out a brilliant little girl, and I can't tell you what you're doing wrong because teen girls can't be trusted to understand real problems and keep them secret. Soooo, we are creating a "Texting Hour." Once every night, there will be an hour set aside...after ALL other things are finished...in which my daughter can engage in silly, teen drama through texts and Facebook.
I hate you Mark Zuckerburg.
2. We have to get Bren focused on school again. She is in all honors classes and she is doing ok, but her potential is not being met. She is far too intelligent for the grades she's pulling.
3. As with all obsessions, Bren has latched onto the theory of "what it means to be a teen" and is running with it. And only an OCD parent will understand what I mean. Many of you will say oh that's normal, most teens push the limits, test boundaries, etc. And I agree. However, when you have an OCD child, they up the ante on you. Bren has taken all that she has learned about teen behaviors and she takes them on herself. She actually tries to push limits or test boundaries, and she does so because she is...well...a teenager. When we force her to talk about her actions she'll respond very confused "but isn't that how I'm supposed to act, I'm a teenager." She literally changes from one day to the next as she tries out new tactics. One day she hates doing family stuff, the next she's mad because we aren't doing anything as a family, the next she looks through you with complete disdain, and the next she's wanting to talk about everything in a calm manner and tell you in a very mature way that she's sorry and she's just tired of trying to figure it all out in her head. The best way I can describe it is that she feels she needs to behave in certain ways just because she's a "teenager." She doesn't want to necessarily, and if it gets too intense she will immediately change and move on like "that wasn't working so let's try something new." There's a war constantly going on in that brain of hers as she tries to fight what's normal and what's obsession.
We still have our work cutout for us, but we're doing so much better and I'm learning immensely! It's sometimes an unending puzzle, but I'm getting a little better at solving it. As for Bren's father...well that's another post entirely. :(
I encourage all of my fellow parents of OCD children out there to continue learning, keep setting goals, and maintain the fight! Happy New Year from our family to yours!