Thursday, September 02, 2010

Swinburne Exams

I hope today is more successful for S than Tuesday when he drove to the stadium in Brisbane for his exam but did not sit the exam.  He got really mixed up between his diary and computer calendar entry and he had the details for the wrong subject.  He had studied and was prepared for statistics and fronted up to find he was to sit an accounting exam (or was it vice versa?).  Instead of sitting the exam he did not expect he came home.  I guess he was thrown into a spin.  He surely has been unstable in other ways lately.  But it was going to be one of those stressful weeks whether he admitted it or not because he also had his Coast Guard Radio Exam on Monday night.  Also he has had trouble sleeping and he has confronted me again with demands for control over the household here.  It was interesting to see a show on Oprah with Doctor Oz about OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder - and find out that the intense fear and anxiety generated within when one is not in control of the situation is the main cause of suffering.  S (typically) demanded that I turn off the show on TV even after I had headphones on and he could not hear anything.  He cannot bear hearing anything about mental illness.  Anyway the show taught me that fearing germs or repeated outward rituals are not the only signs of OCD.  Ritualistic thoughts/prayers can take place internally for the sufferer in an effort to diffuse a frightening situation.  Also most of these intensely fearful situations are based on irrational thoughts not reality.  One woman had to prepare all her own food because she was convinced she would risk being poisoned if she accepted food from elsewhere.  In therapy she was given something not prepared by her (not under her control) and she was panic stricken because she was being encouraged not to vomit it up.

Maybe this sense of having to take control is what happened with S on Tuesday with his refusal to sit the exam because it was no longer on his terms- not his expectation.  I was out when he came home that day but he had already made arrangements for a stat dec which was necessary for him to be able to resit the exam and, as far as he is concerned, everything is under control again.  He has sorted it out. 

Today he left with confidence for the second exam.  He is happy that he already knows exactly where the building is after the Tuesday debacle.

Tuesday night was not so easy on me though.  He was confronting me as if I was the problem, as usual, and he was yelling out in his room about things that I could not hear and I was really scared he was going to crack and do something.  I don't know what - but when he gets desperate like that, I often get frightened.  Maybe it is because of the past.  The only thing I could do rather than continue with his attempts to bend me into some agreement about letting him take control was to go to bed and I lay in that bed with my heart pumping fast hearing him rave on and hoping he would not come in.  I was really scared until things quietened down.

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