The Trifecta Of Terribleness

Terribleness might not be a word. It works here, though.




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I’m feeling the tension between posting happy shiny things and hard dark things. I think there must be a happy medium. Sometimes I write encouraging things when I’m sad because I need to preach to myself. Sometimes I come with no resolution, only a mess of questions.  You find both here because that’s the honest reflection of real life: lots of joy interspersed with fear and doubt that I’m cut out for the task.

If you read my post about anxiety last week, you might be wondering how we’re doing. Or you might not, but I’m going to tell you anyway 🙂

We’re okay. We’re just in the middle of what I am not referring to as the Trifecta of Terribleness. Oh, you’ve never heard of it? Well, I’ll be happy to explain it to you. The Trifecta of Terribleness happens when these three things are happening all at once: OCD + beginning of puberty + mom starting perimenopause.

Any one of those things can be a load that is hard to handle. Mix them all together and you’ve got something truly amazing.

These days, our brains are in fight or flight mode about 70% of the time.

OCD doesn’t look the same in every home, but in ours, it manifests in my child needing reassurance about thoughts that are disturbing. Now, I know there are parents everywhere who say, “I wish I knew what was going on inside the mind of my child,” and I get that, but I’m on the other side and I just want to tell you in the most gentle way, “NO YOU DON’T!” There is a reason why God made our thoughts to go silently through our heads with no one seeing or hearing them. Sometimes they are irrational, bizarre, not based in reality, not something you truly believe, or not completely fleshed out.

For much of last week, anytime my child had time to sit quietly and think, they would come and tell me thoughts they had. Some things were easily dismissed as not a big deal. Other things scared me. Things that made me question if my child had been hurt. Terrifying things.

On Sunday afternoon, I was so tired and desperately needed a nap, but I knew Nathan was about to take one of our kids somewhere leaving the other one with a quiet house and too much time to think. That meant there was about a 95% chance my drowsy, exhausted self was going to have to deal with reassuring someone about thoughts that were making me equally alarmed. Nathan saved the day by taking both big kids with him. I would have laid in bed, bracing myself for the next incident if he hadn’t.

One evening last week, as I was getting ready to fall asleep, I whispered to Nathan that I didn’t think I was going to survive this stage. I told him that if my brain was going to have to listen to every fear or intrusive thought brought on by the hormones of a child with OCD going through puberty, I was going to need some strong medicine. And then I started sobbing. Not sweet quiet tears, but an ugly-cry that wouldn’t stop once the flood-gates opened.

I know I will likely figure out a way to deal with this. I know this is the combination of misfiring brains, my child starting puberty and my own 40-year-old hormonal changes (yep, I’m going through peri-menopause earlier than many folks do). We’re just not there yet. In the meantime, it’s difficult. Our Trifecta of Terribleness.

Actually, as I think about it, it’s not a trifecta, because there is a fourth factor at play. It’s easy to discount the spiritual aspect, but it’s definitely a part of the mix. Satan likes to capitalize on situations like this.

Thankfully, we’ve had people praying for us. Yesterday, I was able to have some conversations that brought some peace and every day brings us a little closer to our therapist appointment. I am so grateful for wise mental health professionals.

Thanks for reading and for caring about our family.

One thought on “The Trifecta Of Terribleness

  1. Hi Amy! I found your post on Hope Writers. I just want to let you know that I’m praying for you and your son! I will soon have a teen in my house and I’m almost 45–it’s not easy. Praying that God gives you peace and strength.

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