The first day of third grade: I was ready to start school hanging out with my friends but then I saw one of my classmates and something inside me just paniked my brain told me that they were dirty because they looked all oily and sticky so from that day until mid Summer I was afraid. I was afraid of things that reminded me of dirt, oils, using or touching sunscreen, and being contaminated by other people. I didn’t want to go out, hang out with friends or have them come over, and avoided a lot of things that I thought was dirty like school supplies from school or anything that looked dirty or oily.
Mid Summer is when mom and dad started to notice I was hesitent towards some things and outright horrified of others. They asked what was wrong and I lied. I told them I was afraid of corona so they sent me to a therapist. I told her about my classmate but she told no one else. I was sitting with dad later and I told him everything. He told mom and sent me to RFC where I started online for a few weeks. My parents then told me that they were going to come to my house and do some intense therapy. I was not happy because it was starting the next day. I was really scared.
ERP: ERP was really scary. I screamed a lot, cried a lot, and locked a lot of doors but I got through. I started doing therapy five times then three and then two. Therapy 2 times a week was scary still but I got through it. One great day me my therapist and I were doing exposures on the beach when she said that I no longer had to do 2 therapy sessions a week and apparently a week or two = no 2 week sessions forever which meant one time a week which was great. I did therapy sessions and exposure 1 time per week for about 3 months. The last few weeks of session I spent talking of my success and the bully and how I am stronger after ERP treatment.
ERP has shown me that I over react and that I was realy afriad. I guess it made me realize it isn’t as bad even though it took me like 20x to learn that lesson. If it wasn’t for ERP, I’d probably be 6 ft under screaming underneath my bed screaming bloody murder. Because without ERP I wouldn’t have a good time and most likely won’t have a great life because you don’t just get over OCD in a few days. It’ll take awhile and some work.
Here is a picture of the cake I ate for my last exposure. Because my OCD started with a fear of feeling contaminated, I had done a lot of exposures to sunscreen because it made me feel dirty. Now, I can touch the bottle, use the sunscreen, and even eat a cake that looks like the sunscreen bottle I was once afraid of.
Today I am here sitting on floor typing this out with lots of spelling mistakes but I do not care, I am still proud and ready to have fun during summer. I have plans to travel, attend summer camps, spend time with friends and family, and have no problem being social again.
E.B. Age 11