Stuck

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“My name is Cinnamon and I have Obsessive –compulsive disorder. This sounds like a disease but it really is not. I often get anxious and sometimes my thoughts seem unreasonable to me, my fears and obsessions often cause me to repeat my actions and I really can’t help it.

Sometimes, I even try to ignore them but I can’t. When my parents go to work in the morning or leave the house I tell them over and over again that I love them and will miss them until they come home at night. Thinking that they might not have heard me or need me to repeat my good thoughts to keep them safe, I tend to say the same things again or in different ways in order to make sure they are safe. I am really quite smart and I am totally special.

But, like most kids I get frustrated, confused and angry. If anyone touches my stuff, moves things out of their correct positions, changes my routine by doing one of my jobs or chores, I have to start over again making sure things are done my way. When I speak to my sister or my parents if they use words that I feel do not fit into the sentences that they are saying or are not the right fit for me or do not sound right to me I ask the person to repeat it until I hear what I want to hear and the words that make sense to me.

If I had to explain this disorder I would say it centers around the fear of getting dirty from too many germs. In order to ease my fears I wash my hands until I think they are really spotless and clean. These symptoms as many would call them are repeated, unwanted ideas, thoughts and images that cause me to sometimes feel different from most kids my age. I am seven you know. I have a strong attachment to my toys and my art supplies. My drawers are overflowed because I never throw away things that are old or even worn. But, I am not alone, there are many other kids and grownups that have this problem too. Just ask this reviewer and she will tell you, no, I will tell you what she told me about her brother. I am sure she won’t mind.

Her brother has OCD and he does not like when anyone cleans the kitchen, moves things around or even dries them. He often rewashes the floor and counter tops until he feels they are spotless. For those of you that have ever watched Monk, that famous detective on television you know that you are not alone. I do not like shaking hands with other people and I dislike touching strange objects or things that other people have touched before me. I worry that something will happen to my parents on the way to work and when we go to church I often worry that I might not say the prayers the right way and I make sure that I think only good thoughts to keep everyone safe. Even when I think I hate my sister, Annie, I take a breath and tell myself that I love her and I get rid of the negative thoughts. Some adults that have OCD can’t remember whether thy locked their front door or car doors. Others are fearful that they might not have turned off the stove.

I feel upset or you might say stressed out when objects are not arranged in a orderly way and facing the way I feel is right. I hate too much activity and noise. If I am in the middle of doing something and someone asks me a question or tells me to do something else, I GET STUCK! I feel like I have to go back to the first thing and complete it and then do the rest after. I often forget or cannot remember if I even completed the precious activity. Interruptions create doubt and confusion and upset my routine and orderly way of doing things. There’s a lot more you can find out about me when you read this book by Rhonda Martin MA and the amazing pictures of me, my family and my room illustrated by Denis Proulx who brings me to life and helps the author tell the story.

Walking on the white squares in the hallway and not on the cracks is not uncommon and I don’t know what will happen if I walk on the black ones. Do not think I will find out. Mr. Monk touches parking meters and counts them and if he misses one he goes back to the beginning or the previous one to make sure he does not miss one. Stuck: that’s what happens when things get confusing, I become afraid that things will hurt me, things are too dirty or   someone says the number six. But, there are many things that make me feel safe, great and wonderful too like my pink chenille blanket. The rest you need to read my story to find out. I am excited about going to an amusement park with my class. I know that there will be many things that might frighten me or make me feel insecure. But, I am not going to think about them. I am going to think about having fun. I know that I must get Stuck or feel stuck at times but I know that everyone reading my story will understand that I cannot help what I do or feel. I know that my family, teachers and friends will understand and I want to thank Rhonda Martin for telling my story. I am sure that there are many other kids and adults out there that get Stuck on things, feel afraid or cannot help redoing things until they feel they are just right.

So if your child washes his/her hands too much and won’t stop until they feel they are clean enough and cannot turn off the water you need to understand. Sometimes I rub so hard my hands are raw and red. After eating you know that I am going to wash off any food that might have touched my fingers or hands. Sometimes I even have to rush to get to school and I do not like touching doorknobs or handrails. I do not want to catch any diseases. I often check my schoolwork over and over again to make sure it is always correct. Neatness counts you know. I am lucky because some kids have to hide their habits and worry that people will think they are weird, strange or even crazy. I am so lucky to have parents that do understand and I hope after reading my story other parents and brothers and sisters will understand too. I am looking forward to my school trip and maybe the author will write another adventure for me to star in so that everyone will find out just what happened on my school trip. For those of you with OCD you are not alone. Parents need to find out more about how to help their children deal with this disorder. This review understands with a brother with this disorder she knows first hand what the true meaning of the word Stuck is.

So, until next time. This is Cinnamon: Think good thoughts and great things will happen. Getting Stuck: is okay: You can work it out! “ The author really brings to light an important issue that teachers, parents, children and all adults really need to understand. This is a great book for every classroom library, church group, guidance counselor and parent to read to their children to understand OCD.

This book gets: FIVE CINNAMONS.

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