Last Sunday, I posted a painting I'd done of my son, so it seemed only fair that I post one of my daughter this week.
This is also based on a photo of my daughter. It was shortly after she was diagnosed with Autism but before we knew she'd also share my diagnosis of OCD. B has a strong interest in science and math... as well as things being a very specific way... a rather perfect way. You've never met a perfectionist until you've met B. She learned how to use white-out in Kindergarten so she could get her coloring pages just right. I love this photo of her (the one the painting is based on) because you can see so much of how she was. With B, even her weird little quirks are charming and sweet. Her stopping to stare through a magnifying glass was just so "her."
Children change everything... including how you view yourself. I'd been hiding my OCD for twenty-eight years from everyone. Sadly, this isn't so far from the norm for those with OCD. You become adept had hiding the darker side to you... and OCD is dark. It's not clean and precise as Hollywood would have you believe. When we found out that B's quirks were beyond the quirks of just Autism... and that she also had OCD, I knew it was time to stop acting like I had something we couldn't talk about. Since then, I've been brutally honest about my OCD. I never want B to have to hide things like I felt like I did. B changed everything. She made me look at myself and realize that I was hiding things within me that I loved in my daughter.
Raising a child with OCD when you have OCD yourself is a challenge. Our quirks don't always play nicely with each other. She likes repetition. I despise repetition. She has a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into four triangles every day for lunch. I can't follow recipes because making something the same way twice makes me feel trapped. My husband sometimes has to intercede... especially when it comes to homework. B takes a very, very long time to do homework... because it has to be just right. She's gravitated toward preferring math because there IS a right answer. I hate math for the same reason.
Luckily, my husband is as free from quirks as his wife and kids are quirky. If I haven't mentioned this before... I love my husband to pieces. If not for him, I'd be a mess. He can tell when I'm going slowly mad inside from things that probably don't make sense to him. The husband isn't afraid to dive into the chaos that sometimes exists between B and me to calm both our OCDs.
This weekend was pretty chaotic. We had my sister's four kids staying with us. Apparently, my two year old nephew wakes up every two hours all night and decides to play with hotwheels. I was so sleep-deprived by the time my sister picked up her kids this morning... it was just pathetic. Six kids under age ten was a little taste of insanity. One of my nephews got a raging ear infection and my sister had to take a break from her anniversary and run him to urgent care. It was... crazy. Still, everyone survived. We ate pizza. We watched Nanny McPhee. Some of them slept. Some of them didn't. It was fun. Crazy, but fun. My brain feels so incredibly scattered. Still, while we were at church, I kept thinking how blessed we truly are. Even in my sleep-deprived state, I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky my husband and I are. Crap... I don't have to deal with a spouse with OCD so I'm doubly lucky. ; )
I love B... despite and because of her quirks. I feel the same way about T. We've had a lot of stress due to their needs... but the road we're on right now... is a really blessed path. We're very, very lucky in so many ways, and I'd be a fool not to acknowledge it.
If not for B, I'd be still hiding a large part of who I am and that would be a shame because we all deserve to be loved for who we are... and not just the picture we present to the world.
Anyway, I hope you like the painting and have a good Sunday. *waves*