I have never been more proud of my oldest son, Marty, than I am right now…but, to reach this point, I had to do the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. This is not me speaking metaphorically. This is the literal truth. Today, I had to turn my back on my son when he was saying he needed me.
As many of you know, my oldest, Marty was diagnosed with OCD last year. What many people don’t realize is that OCD is an anxiety disorder. What is a simple bump in the road for you or me might seem like an insurmountable challenge to someone with OCD. To put it simply, when anxiety takes hold, a sufferer can lose all belief in their ability to overcome the latest challenge. It is not rational. It is not fair. And, it sucks to see your kid go through it.
Today, we helped Marty move into his room at Lenoir-Rhyne to start his freshmen year of college. We did everything right helping Marty to prepare for this change. He worked with a counselor. He has all the supplies he needs. He can have a successful year at college. But there is no denying that a life change of this magnitude is stressful for anyone…let alone someone with OCD. The closer it got to time for us to go, the tighter wound he became. We ended up heading over to the counseling center so he could get some help getting through the panic he was feeling. Marty begged us to come home.
I knew it was the anxiety and panic talking. I also knew that Marty has the skills to have a successful year at school. To enable him to do that, Vic and I had to look him in the eye, tell him that we love him but we weren’t bringing him home, and we had to turn our backs and walk away. I knew I was leaving him in good hands. The counselor was sharp and she was committed to getting him through this. Despite all that, I have never felt more horrible and have never felt more like I was deserting my child. To put it bluntly, it SUCKED.
I stressed the whole way home…and it turned out to all be for nothing. By the time we got home to Cary, we had a phone call from Marty. If you didn’t know what he had been through, you would have thought he hadn’t a care in the world. I know he is still stressed and anxious but he said that if he can make it to this time next week without a major meltdown then he thinks he can do it.
I have never been more proud of him and the resilience he is showing. I love you Marty and I can see great things happening for you.