Super Shredder!

mom shredding paper

Every day brings a new challenge with my mom. Today for some odd reason she began tearing pieces of her diaper off. I had no way of knowing that this was going to be all day long.

I went to the store and when I returned I was met by my son. He said, “Hurry up! Grandma is trying to tear her diaper off!” As I grabbed a bag of groceries and entered the house, I looked at where she was sitting. She had moved from the chair to the couch and all around her on the floor lay balls of cotton.

“What are you doing?” I asked her. She said, “I don’t know!” I escorted her to the bathroom and saw that there was literally nothing left of the diaper she was wearing. Once again I asked her, “Why are you doing this?” As honest as she could be she said, “I don’t know. I’m sorry.”

I felt bad as I looked at her bewildered face. If she didn’t know that she did it, how could she know why she did it?  left the room and went into the kitchen. Every few minutes I looked at her and she was pulling on her diaper again. I had to keep yelling, “Mom don’t do that!” This continued for quite a while and I finally offered up a quiet prayer to the Lord; “Help me to understand why she’s doing this and how to help her.”

Suddenly a thought came to me and I heard the Lord speaking. He reminded me that the same part of the brain responsible for obsessive behavior is taking over right now. He reminded me to think of the things which caused me to be obsessive and how I combatted this in my own life. I realized that she would need a healthy substitute.

I thought that she seems to want to tear things. I walked over to a big pile of papers that I had planned on burning in my fireplace. I don’t have a shredder so thought this would be just as effective. I handed them to her and said, “Can you please tear this up for me? I don’t have a paper shredder and these are important documents. I set them down in front of her and she went to town!

She has been tearing them for hours. She takes each paper and makes them into strips. Then she tears and tears until they are little tiny pieces. She’s being so productive! That’s the most important part of this whole process. She feels productive!

I wanted to share this with anyone who has this challenge with someone. I feel at times that I’m in a blizzard and no one has shoveled the snow. I have to make some steps first and others can follow behind this path. It sometimes seems to be nothing but a huge wall of snow(Bostonians can relate)  and a little bit scary. But just like the old story of ‘two sets of footprints, I know I’m never alone. I hope that my experience can help some of you.

photo (1)

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne Jamis Cain
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 12:40:02

    What a great idea! How beautiful that you found a solution that was good for both of you. xo


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