Quarantine Diaries: Part 18 – The Anxiety

After DC got over the initial anxiety of “the sickness” and staying home, I mentioned that I was seeing so much growth in him during the time we have been home.

He would see dishes in the drainer and put them away – without me asking.

He then moved on to just doing the dishes when he saw them; again, without me asking.

Sweeping the floor.

Folding the laundry.

Adding things to his grocery list that we actually need – like his toothpaste or his mouth wash, when he’s running low.

But somewhere around the end of May, things began to shift a bit.

He started by showing me the first Monday in June on the calendar and insisting that “the sickness will be over”.  When I told him that I did not think so, he moved on to the following Monday. This went on and on. I don’t know why June or why Mondays but he was very insistent.

Some of this new-found growth started to shift and some began to morph into obsessive behavior.

He became obsessed with emptying the bathroom garbage pail. Because of the pandemic, we have been using paper towels in the bathroom (and kitchen) for hand drying.

Paper towels were not something I ever purchased because DC would just shred them and they would end up all over the place.

From 2014:

Paper Towels: Paper Towels are for shredding and only for shredding. On the rare occasion that I do buy them, they have to be hidden on top of the refrigerator. Hiding the paper towels makes them not very convenient for me to use and forgettable, so there really isn’t any point  in buying them at all.

I have to say, he is much better about paper towels at this point.

But, back to the bathroom trash can…

He took to emptying it a few times a day; whether it needed it of not. He would use 3 small garbage bags for the contents of the one small can.

I had to hide the bags finally and ask him to just bring the pail downstairs to empty it in the kitchen garbage can.

Where he was once washing the dishes without being asked; he was now only washing HIS dishes. But not ALL of his dishes – just the one particular small white bowl that he uses for his snacks and a small glass that he received as a gift from the theater where he volunteers.

Both of them are washed, dried and put away many times during the day.

He will still wash the dishes IF I ask him to but he no longer washes or dries on his own.

The Grocery List: 

DC will still make the list and he is still good about adding things other than his paper, markers, bananas, garlic and band-aids. A few times, when he thought he had forgotten to add something, he called Doug (who was doing our shopping for us so I would not have to bring DC into the grocery store) to make sure he added whatever it was to the list.

This morphed into calling Doug at times, 2 or three times a day to remind him of things before he even picked up the list. The list was still hanging on the refrigerator at home, but he still felt the need to call Doug numerous time to remind him.

As soon as one list leaves the house, he begins the next week’s list.

Reminding me:

As you know, when DC knows he is going to do something – anything, he has the tendency to “remind me” of whatever he is looking forward to 796 times per day. This is not anything new.

The difference now is that he follows me around angrily yelling at me “I want to go swimming! I want to go swimming!”, as if I hadn’t already told him that, yes he IS going swimming.  This can go on for days. Nothing I can say of do will stop him.

The “angry all of the time” really did not begin until on-line camp ended in August (I will talk about camp eventually) – his last remnant of normalcy, I guess.

I get it, I really do.

He’s has enough. Truth be told, so have I.

  • Being home for 6 months.
  • Trying to keep busy.
  • Not being able to see his friends on any sort of a regular basis (or at all).
  • The storm and power outage (5 days) in August.
  • No WIFI for 3 more days after the power came back.
  • Missing the last week of on-line camp due to the power and WIFI
  • He misses going to his “job”.
  • He misses going to his volunteer job at the theater.
  • He misses Mrs. H.
  • He’s done with all of this.

And… Halloween is coming. He is very anxious about Halloween being cancelled.

I do try to explain to him that it may not be the same this year but we will figure out something.

So… what did all of the anxiety over all of this lead to?

Shingles.

He has shingles.

This was certainly not on my 2020 bingo card.

*****

Quarantine Diaries – all