Oscar Charles Daniel made my life horrible. It made me not feel ok. I avoided trying new things, I had unhappy thoughts, and I would obsess over my safety. I had trouble falling asleep and being without my mom. I picked and bit my nails, tugged on my hair, and picked at my scalp to the point where I bled. I was afraid of life, death, and being kidnapped. I used to think everything is my fault and it would stop me from doing fun stuff like going to the beach with my friends, hanging out with people, and trying out new hobbies. It made me feel like I was missing out. I also used to feel the need to close all the doors and check things to make sure I am safe.
My treatment has helped me tremendously. I am no longer scared of a lot of things. Some exposure were harder than others but some I enjoyed like scavenger hunts, activities, and going to different places. It feels like a weight has been lifted off of me. I’m very thankful that I can live my life without intrusive thoughts and compulsions. I barely have any bad dreams anymore. I am happy that I am now able to hear sirens, cross streets, talk to people I don’t know, got to sleep with lights out and more. I’m very excited to have a good life and use the skills I learned.
Here is a picture of my monster when I started treatment, and this is how it looks now. You’ll notice in the first drawing that Oscar is big and I’m little in his hand screaming for help. The bubbles around him are the things he made sure he did to make my life horrible. The second drawing is Oscar now after going through ERP treatment. I’m the one who is big and now big enough to flick Oscar when he’s annoying. He no longer controls me.
I also made a vision board to remind me of all the things I wanted to get back doing once treatment was done. It kept me motivated to keep working and challenging Oscar. Now that I’ve challenged Oscar and know how to manage him, I can now get back to going to summer sleep away camp, try surfing with friends, go to the beach, travel, dance, hang out at the mall, and get myself around. I am confident, happy, and proud at where I’ve come. ERP treatment definitely helped me get back to enjoying my life socializing.
-Emma, Age 13