I've written about my granddaughter Faith's obsessive/compulsive disorder before. She became sick at 4 yrs. old when she got hysterical about an elevator ride. There was a huge screeching noise and it terrified her. This fear generalized to many other things, especially wind. Her father had the same fear in his childhood. The doctors said she understood death, which she shouldn't have been able to until much later in life.
Even if there was a small breeze she would start pacing the floor, crying and sometimes screaming. She got so she didn't want to leave the house. She had to quit school. She couldn't be around a lot of people. No one was allowed to clean her room. She had to sleep with her parents. She started sleeping all day and staying up all night because she felt someone should be awake in case anything happened. But if it got a little windy at night she would wake her mother and ask her to drive her around in the car. It was the only thing that calmed her. Many times Christine would be out driving in a storm in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, this has been so sad for our family. When we all went to Disneyland, Faith only went on one or two rides. The crowds upset her and she had to leave. She spent the whole time in the RV with someone taking care of her. She wouldn't get out of the car at the ocean to see the sea lions or walk on the beach. She missed so much.
But just as the doctors predicted, during the years she was 12-13 she got a little better. She stopped sleeping with her parents. The hysteria slowly lessened. She stopped pacing in the bathroom all night. The crying stopped. She started leaving the house more. Crowds didn't bother her as much.
Today, a wonderful thing happened. Her friend Ryan was visiting. They have known each other since they were babies. The wind was blowing very hard and I went and asked Faith how she was. "Fine," she said. Then she and Ryan went for a walk. In a wind storm.
Faith told her mother that as they were walking she thought, "I'm walking in the wind and I'm not afraid. "Who am I now? Who am I without my OCD?"
I guess this new stage of her life will be an adventure in finding out who she is.