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Ronda insists that her son, Grayson, and daughter, Michaela, follow her strict rules of cleanliness.

"Mom's rules [range from] normal things like take off your shoes when you come in, [to] shower constantly," says Grayson. Michaela says she has to wash her hands—and sometimes even shower—before she can use her mother's computer. Ronda even gave away the family pet, a dog named Delilah, because she couldn't tolerate her shedding.

Despite their best efforts to live by her rules, Ronda's family is seldom clean enough for her. "I can't bring myself to hold my daughter's hand, so I will hold her by the wrist," Ronda says. "I wish I could change, but I don't know how."

"She doesn't hug me," Michaela says, "but I wish she would. She probably just thinks I'm dirty." Grayson also misses physical affection from his mom. "Sometimes," he says, "you need a hug."
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FROM: The Mom Afraid to Touch Her Own Children
Published on October 19, 2006

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