White Knuckle

Yesterday, my daughter, Shantel, had to be at school at 8:00 a.m. She said she wanted to leave between 6:30 and 6:45 so she could go to McDonald’s to get her coffee and apple pies. I agreed. However, at 7:00, Shantel still was not ready to leave. I told her she better hurry up or she would not have time to stop at McDonald’s and make it to her 8:00 class on time. At 7:10 Shantel said “we’re ready” I said “I’ve been ready since 6:00 and have been waiting on you.” I told her it takes me 40 minutes to get her to school without any stops, and that I don’t like feeling like I have to rush to get through traffic because she can’t seem to get herself out the door on time…

As luck would have it, a train was holding up traffic which caused our first delay. When we finally were able to get moving again, I told Shantel she probably wouldn’t have time to go to McDonald’s now because it was 7:45 and we weren’t even half way there yet. Shantel said “just keep driving and we’ll make it.” So I took her to McDonald’s, where we found seven people in line ahead of us… but, we got her coffee and apple pies and headed out the door at 8:05 on our way to her school. As we were walking to the car  I told Shantel I don’t like being late and I don’t like waiting on other’s who think it is OK to be late. I said if you are supposed to be in class at 8:00 it’s not going to look good on you to walk in this late with McDonald’s coffee and apple pies… I said if I were your instructor I would not be happy with you disrupting my class just to have your MacDonald’s… Shantel said “Oh, mom, the instructor is late herself a lot.” I drove her to school with “white knuckles” all the way thinking to myself “when I was managing people in my corporate career, I would never tolerate employees who thought it was OK to be late as they are walking in with their McDonald’s…

An even bigger “white knuckle” issue we deal with at our house is Shantel, has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She knows it, and anyone who has spent any length of time around her knows it. I know exactly when, and how, it began, and who caused it, which is why I try my absolute best to live with it, even if I have to “white knuckle” my way through each day…but believe me it’s not ever easy. I’ve watched this OCD take its toll on Shantel, my husband, Bill, and myself, ever since Shantel was in middle school.

Shantel will wash her hands until they crack and bleed. She goes through 3-4 rolls of paper towels a day. An example of how the OCD affects Shantel is: She will wash her hands to put her ear rings on then, wash them again. She will take a Lysol wipe to clean her cane, throw that away, wash her hands again, get another Lysol wipe to clean her purse straps, throw that away, wash her hands again, go in her bedroom to put her shoes on, wash her hands again, get a Lysol wipe to clean her phone, throw that away, wash her hands again, get her money for Dial-a-ride, wash her hands again, put her lipstick on, wash her hands again, get a drink, wash her hands again… this goes on all day and night until she finally goes to bed…It’s tormenting to watch, but Shantel doesn’t think it’s a problem… which is in fact part of the problem.

We have been through two counselors seeking help but I have not seen any improvement. In fact, both Bill and I believe it’s getting worse. And, the more we try to get her to stop the excessive hand washing, the worse it gets.

To make matters worse, Shantel is afraid to put her used paper towels in the trash can. She just opens her hand and hopes they float into the trash can. She also will not push the used paper towels down if they do get into the trash can so they build up until the trash can is overflowing…  The picture below is what OCD looks like up close and personal in our home. It is something thousands of people suffer with, and I’m just trying to bring awareness of how hard it can be not only for the person who suffers from it, but also for those who love them and are helpless to help them…This was the third time this trash can had been filled up in less than 24 hours.


Anyone who knows me knows I am very picky about how my house is kept. I clean my own house, and all I ask is that those who live here help keep it clean. I did a whole blog post on that very subject not too long ago.

This is how I keep my bathroom:


And bedroom


So you can just imagine how I “white knuckle” it when I walk into the hall/guest bathroom and find paper towels all over the floor and piled up over the toilet…

If I could love the OCD away for Shantel I would, but I can’t, so I’ll continue “white knuckle” it to love her through it, like this…


I went to see my mother today which proved to be yet another “white knuckle” event… I decided I would stop and get mom a McDonald’s Caramel Frappe. She loves them, and it is a treat I bring that usually brings a big smile to her face. When I arrived at the care center, mom was in the activity room. I walked up, hugged her and gave her the frappe. She did smile and said she loves them. As we were sitting there talking, another resident came over to the table to say good morning. Mom showed the resident her frappe and told her I brought it to her. The resident said “Someone must really love you.” Mom said ” oh, that’s questionable.” I didn’t say anything but had “white knuckles” it under the table. My mother and I have never had a real close relationship, we tolerate each other at best… so, her comment didn’t surprise me all that much. I know some folks find that hard to deal with, but it is what it is… not all family relationships are like “Leave it to Beaver…”, and my blog is just documenting what our daily lives are really like…

Not long after that resident left, another resident was coming in our direction and mom turned to me and said “if she comes here don’t start talking to her.” I asked why, and mom said “because I can’t stand her voice.” I didn’t even know what to say to that so I just turned to look out the window. At that point mom said “is it time for church service yet?” OMG, talk about “white knuckles…” it was all I could do, but I managed to smile and say “yes, mom, I’ll take you over to church service now.” I took mom to church service, gave her a hug, and said “I’ll see you next week.” Then I drove all the way home with “white knuckles.”

Sometimes it all feels like a lot of pressure , especially for someone who is fresh out of a year and a half of psycho therapy!!!

Stay Tuned.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill Kirnberger
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 23:44:47

    You deserve to be white knuckled today, this is the most frustrating thing we go through in our daily life in this family. Remember we always have each others back, and you are my hero for doing what you do for this family ever day of the week.

    Love You

    Your Bill


    • beyondcinderella
      Nov 14, 2013 @ 00:46:19

      Thank you Bill. I so appreciate your continued support, and that you took the time to leave your comment. According to my blog stats…many people read my blog,.. but only a few, who I know I can always count on, actually take the time to leave comments… Life is not all a bed of roses…, I’m just trying to keep it all real regarding our daily lives… XXOO your Girly


  2. gotham girl
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 00:41:14

    Oh dear…I had read this earlier on facebook…but when I read it again and read what my bro wrote…I have tears! So LOVE you two!!!


  3. katsbynp
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 00:27:15

    Thank you for opening up and giving us an insight to your world. Reading Bill’s comment brought goose bumps and tears. It is so wonderful to have such support. Thanks for a great post.


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