No, not the cologne from the nineties. The obsession I’m talking about is far worse that those bad commercials.

The objects of my daughter’s obsession change – maybe rotate is a better description. A classmate. Japan. Anime. A video game. Drawing. Finding her birth mother. Something she can’t find – it could be as simple as a scrap of paper – this last one is the obsession that has the worst effect on her life.

Obsession is so disruptive. When my daughter is fixated on something, she cannot redirect. she cannot think about anything else. She cannot function until the obsession resolves or lessens. She doesn’t want to talk about anything else. She doesn’t want to learn about anything else. If she is drawing, she will erase and redraw the same thing over and over, trying to get it the way she sees it in her mind.

When she is looking for something she lost, she often can’t even tell you what it is. She can’t describe it, she can’t answer questions about it so that you can help her find it. She will empty every drawer, box, closet, laundry basket and bookshelf.

She will scream, ‘where is it? I have to find it! I need it!’ Sometimes she just screams – no words. It is not rational. There is nothing you can do to help her find the lost item…even if she wanted, or allowed, you to help.

When she is in this state, it is obvious, when you look at her face, that things are not good in her head. I wish I could describe it better than that, but I have no special insight into her mind. When I see her like this, well, I think I would be terrified to have that insight – looking at it from the outside is heartbreaking enough.

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