Letter to The Ugly Face

You are not welcome. You are an intruder in my home. You are a bully. You crept into my son’s life surreptitiously, by stealth. You are a brain hiccup. Your proper name is OCD but Jake calls you The Ugly Face. When he was younger he called you The Devil Monster – a name more befitting the confusion and misery that you inflict. If I could I would shoot you to oblivion and smash you to pieces. What parent wouldn’t try to protect their child from a tyrant?

You visit Jake at bedtimes .My son is upstairs now, desperate to go to sleep but instead of resting in his bed playing with his PSP, he is washing his feet 310 times. Under your orders he has checked light switches numerous times and he has washed his hands until the skin is raw and bleeding. You are persistent. You are insistent and you have robbed my son of his peace of mind. He is distressed, more than distressed, he is desperate. We, his parents, are bewildered and you, you just carry on hiccupping and as you hiccup, you wreak havoc, you inflict misery.

Jake has just started a bout of CBT but since starting the treatment you have hiccupped and raged and Jake’s bedtime compulsions have mushroomed. The book we’ve been recommended to read tells us that we should tell Jake that you are an intruder, a bully, that you don’t make sense, that by not doing what you command you will get weaker. The crux is that Jake is the only one who can ‘zap’ you. This is such a hard thing for my son, who has just turned 13, to do. He is just a child. While you, you are a master of subterfuge - you distort, you trick and you lie.

When you are not hiccupping in my son’s brain, Jake enjoys his life- he laughs, he plays with his friends and he loves football. I am so proud of him. I rejoice when he does impressions of his teachers or when he tells me jokes – I rejoice because, at those times, you aren’t here and Jake is free of you. The other day Jake joked that our cat has OCD because she licks herself all the time. We laughed at that for a long time.

I look forward to the day when you are not here, in Jake’s life.

You will not be missed,

Jake’s mum


Sarahhello,  January 18, 2011