Over the last few days nature has been providing its very own washing service.

Many people are doing more and more washing over the last six months. Especially hand washing. That’s certainly the case here in our little corner of the world. Since about the age of 6 son has had anxieties relating to touching unclean objects. This would result in fairly frequent hand washing exercises. Thankfully only a few seconds of soap and water was sufficient to calm the fears.

That all changed in 2016 when his mum died at a relatively young age. Suddenly the world was filled with uncertainty and unseen dangers. His hand washing rapidly spiralled out of control. It became more frequent and went on for up to a minute at a time. Thankfully he started working with a wonderful nurse counsellor who over a couple of years brought his hand washing back under control. He was taught to wash like a nurse and get it done in under 20 seconds.

Then a pandemic hit. All the reassurances, all the hard earned confidence was blown out of the water. His fears re-emerged worse than ever. Life is now an ‘avoid touching anything and hand washing’ fest. He will wash his hands several times an hour. When he starts washing, he will wash for anywhere up to 5 minutes. All without trying to touch the tap and only using elbows (usually my elbow).

Any delivery or letter has to be taken into the garage for several days of quarantine before it is opened. After I have touched the item then I need to change my clothes completely and be seen to wash my hands. If I venture out then almost full decontamination procedures have to be followed.

Welcome to 2020.

This time it feels different. More engrained. The health professionals agree. All we can do is try to manage the situation until he sees that the pandemic is under control. A vaccine works and he has had it. But even then there are no guarantees. His fears and anxieties may never truly fade. Maybe they will but only until the next killer bug emerges. The future is uncertain. It is uncertain for many.

62 thoughts on “Uncertain

      1. I had tae smile cos truly the original side by side that was in the house when we bought it?? It broke on Christmas Eve. The following year, the dishwasher broke about two weeks before xmas and we got in smart, got a new one delivered and all but the team that brought it? They couldn’t fit it..so that xmas day we had two dishwashers in our kitchen neither of them working, as opposed to the year before when we had a free standing fridge and a free standing freezer lent us, standing along with the side by side. (Fortunately we have a somewhat large kitchen) Last year I had this feeling the cooker was gonna go Christmas Eve. But it never. It went a few weeks later, spectacularly. So now? Now all that is left of these appliances that were already installed when we came here is the washing machine… (Shhhhhh…..)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hell….sounds like here. That dishwasher we bought was crap and it broke the week after the warranty expired… Ashamed to say, that if we cout what was already here we are now on our 3rd fridge freezer and dishwasher and our second cooker in the space of 6 years…….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can’t think of any make that hasn’t broken. Just glad to see it is not just me cos I ahve a terrible rep with hoovers. The present one is held together with tape…talking tape! The best time though was one where the base plate all broke. It was in the dining room of our last house where the actual door to the house was, with a small level up to the dining room — the original washhouse. Anyway the floor was stone underneath the tiling and the damn plate smashed. Well, it was under guarantee so out came the repait guy . He was my hero when he said, these plates on the hoover base were abos rubbish and he was aye fitting new ones cos of course everyone was saying I was just a hash. But roughly? Since I got married?? It has been 2 hoovers a year.


  1. Your lad is also still very young. How much research is ongoing? Maybe that is a silly question, although perhaps somewhere in the world it’s being done and perhaps there will come a better understanding of where the fear come s from or why it becomes so ingrained? Of course I am a total ignoramus. Trying to find hope for your very very hard situation. It is well meant, if naive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dunno, would wearing thin washable cotton gloves give a little bit of skin respite? With a bucket to plop them into each time instead of hand washing? Would the 4 questions thing of Byron Katie help? Oh man alive, I feel for the beloved boy, as fears are so dilibitating.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Not a great day for me today. No yoga, a lot of sleep, no jobs. I’m thinking I’m burning myself out in the week with work and then struggling on a Saturday. Might need to make some changes to my week! X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So many of us are raising kiddos struggling with mental health issues in this pandemic and it is HARD. Mine each have their own challenges but at least their therapists have moved seamlessly into online counseling sessions.

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  4. Okay, is anyone else here anticipating when you can sit around a campfire with your grandkids or otherwise and tell tall tales about this outrageous stamp on history? Because I certainly am. Sending you and your son bunches of love! 💕💚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sure he KNOWS that he’s going overboard, but he just can’t help it. I feel so awful for him. He’s a prisoner of his phobia. Anf poor Dad, doing everything he can to help and just as helpless… it’s tough to watch them so stuck, and in all honesty, it can be extremely frustrating too. The “rules” can be rough when you’re worn out from everything else.

    HUGS!!! 💌💌💌💌💌

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That has to be so scary for you as well. I feel rather helpless (my kids call me Mrs. Fix it for a reason) I wish there were some bit of wise advice or at least a word to bring comfort. You have an awful lot on your plate. All I can say is hang in there, Gary, and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well life itself is uncertain

    And this generation of kids is going to have this in their memories and thoughts

    I don’t know how to help you help him with hand washing ?

    But life is uncertain in all aspects, not just viruses or anything else.

    That’s why every single moment should be cherished and try to live as much as you can, but what that means to someone also varies

    Life can be scary and hard and full of deadly things…

    Just maybe little steps for understanding ? I just think everything – all of it – is uncertain

    Liked by 1 person

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