The last 9 weeks for me have been all about me. They have needed to be. They have saved my life.
However I am acutely aware of how many sacrifices have been made around me by those I love. My wonderful husband has kept the house together, made sure there was always someone there for the kids when they needed it. Kept things as clean as he could and juggled as many of my regular balls as he could manage. He’s done a brilliant job. My parents have helped him with all that too. Including providing meals and doing the washing (which would never have been done otherwise!) and also giving another option to the kids for someone to spend time with. School stuff has been taken care of including birthday parties being attended, notes returned on time and ensuring Jesse has handed in his homework. Jesse and Jadis have had their birthdays while I’ve been here which has ripped out my heart. But they still got their celebrations including Nathan bravely hosting a sleepover party for Jadis. Nathan’s parents have also been fabulous helping out whenever asked, as have my siblings who have given the kids good things to look forward to and also allowed Nathan to visit me without the kids.
But there are some things that only I can do. And today I saw a visual reminder of that. And it was gutwrenching to say the least.
For those who don’t know Jadis has autism and one of her issues is her hair. She dislikes the sensation of brushing and washing it and struggles every day even with my help. She also fears having it cut. Always has done and probably always will do. It’s just her. For the last week I’ve been hearing how bad it’s been getting and how much anxiety it’s been causing her with the knots becoming matted and beyond rescue. Nathan has done his best to try and untangle them but all it’s done is cause her hours of anguish and so much anxiety that she hasn’t wanted to leave the house.
Today she got the offer to be taken to the zoo. Which she would have jumped at as she loves animals and wants to be a vet. But she wouldn’t go because of her hair. So Nathan and her made the decision to let the boys go and he would take her to the hairdressers.
This picture is of just one of the incredibly huge matts that was chopped out of her hair. It’s seriously like a birds nest.
And I felt guilt. Guilt that I’ve been the only one able to tame the anxiety surrounding her hair. Guilt that I’ve never been able to teach her to manage it herself. And guilt that in the 9 weeks I’ve been away, it’s got so bad that this was the result.
Lucky for me now her hair is cut (and very short as it was that bad), and that she is happy. And I’m confident she will be able to manage a whole lot better. At least I can get home to again help her.