I just want to share with you that yesterday evening was a monumental moment for my OCD son. As you have known, he has suffered anxiety terribly through the last five years, and more so when he anticipates I'm leaving to go somewhere. All summer, with his new art therapist, we have been working on this area. I would go away into town for just about 15 mins, working up to 30-40 mins at a time. Even when I didn't have a reason to go, I had to just go...for therapy's sake. (There are two other areas that need tackling, but we approached this one first.)
Yesterday evening I had a scheduled mandatory Child Protection Policy training session, an hour+ away from us in the heart of our diocese of Steubenville. I had known I would "have to" attend the session - a month in advance -- and we began to prepare Michael for my going away.
Well, it was successful! I told him, I would be driving with our pastor, (pastor driving), so I could text him on occasion, and could talk on the cell if I had to. I left it at that. All he asked as I was leaving, was to talk to him on his cell for a little until I got to the rectory, where my ride would be waiting. So we did that, hung up, and I didn't hear from him at all! I texted when I got to Steubenville to let him know I was there and the Bishop was now arriving. He texted back that he was fine, and his therapist had called him on his cell and talked with him a while! How great was that?? And you know, he was FINE. We planned it that, although grandma was coming to “sit” with him and his brother, just let the ordinary day happen – if big brother ends up being home, fine, if friends come by and want to play, fine. Just “do what we do.”
I didn't get home until around a little after nine - and the only time he texted me was around 9 o'clock, and I was back in town already. No panicking, no sick stomach....nothing. Like no big deal! (of course, to me, I was a nervous wreck inside the first time attempting this in a long time!)
All summer we have been working hard on this -- and he himself had gotten on his bike and gone to a friend's house for hours.....up to 5 hours he's been away, no fretting, no heart palpitations, nothing. I really think we've had such a breakthrough.
I want to thank you all for your kind prayers the last year as this was such a difficult area for not just me personally -- but my entire family. Grandma, (my mom) staying with my sons last night said she enjoyed every minute of it - saying how different it was, Michael was relaxed and had fun. It was enjoyable for her! ...not stressful. Praise God.
Blessings to all!