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Personal Stories - “Mics”


By Nancy G. (parent)

“Overnight my 10-year-old daughter became an anxiety factory.”

We are a whimsical family. Her little ways of doing things had been dubbed, “egg yolk traditions,” and they seemed nothing more than amusing. But overnight my 10-year-old daughter became an anxiety factory. Was this O.K? Was that O.K? Was it yes or no, black or white? There was no tolerance for a middle ground.

“May I confess something,” was such a frequent utterance that we used the acronym, “mics,” pronounced, “micks.” Some days I thought I would go nuts with trips to private rooms for a “mics.”

Then we had to say things the “right” way. Then shoes and socks didn’t feel right. Not so amusing anymore!! What was going on? At the same time, she had developed some coughing, snorting, and blinking which we assumed were symptomatic of some form of allergy. So, we spent $400 to have her tested, but no allergies.

Providentially, as the former leader of our home education group, I received a newsletter for home educators of “special needs” children (which I always promptly threw away. Ha!). In it, the book, Teaching the Tiger, was reviewed. This is a workbook for teachers of children with OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and ADHD. Something in that review rang bells for me, and I purchased the book. When I looked over the symptom lists for OCD, TS, and ADD, I knew what we were dealing with.

One month later, my 6-year-old son was climbing up on my lap when his leg accidentally bumped the coffee table. He promptly got off my lap, went back to the table and purposely bumped his other leg. Groan! I knew. He couldn’t get into the kitchen, because he couldn’t get both feet to touch the threshold at the same place and for the same amount of time. Back and forth over the threshold he would go; it was horrible to watch.

“I realized that my eldest also had some of these symptoms and I recognized how much of this I had struggled with myself over the years.”

I realized that my eldest, also had some of these symptoms and I recognized how much of this I had struggled with myself over the years.

Four years later, we are all on medicine, all using behavior therapy, all familiar with living with OCD and living with others with OCD. It’s not a terrible life; it’s just not what I expected. But we are surviving.

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