I don’t want to mum today.

Almost a week of this stupid bug, kids with anxiety so high that even just trying to get to breakfast is an exhausting battle, and having to get through the trauma of the nights (nightmares really high again for one child, crying/defending self in sleep, the other just flat out refusing sleep or help).
I don’t want to be a mum today. I just want to hide. My body is in agony. No one sees this side, everyone just sees my “charming, well behaved, polite and compliant” children. I apparently make up their struggle, or exaggerate it to my own end. “How could they possible be as bad as [I] say they are”. Trauma that’s how, they hold it together in front of everyone else to protect themselves. But at home, in the place they feel safest (not safe, just safest, they still don’t have any reason to trust me to be the mum they need me to be). 
I am burnt out. Caitlin had the same cold as me. For her it lasted 12 hours. For me, a week later it’s still going strong because my body is too exhausted to fight it. So yeah, once again I am sat here, out of energy, depleted of the patience and tolerance I need to get through the day and it’s not even 9am yet wondering how the hell any of us are still going to be breathing at the end of the day. 
I hope I can turn it into a positive day, despite knowing right now I don’t have much hope. But I thought it’d be worth sharing this in the moment because these are the times no one sees.

Real empathy… where did it come from???

So today, I was floored.

A close family member’s leopard gecko died. The children love it – they go straight to the room where the gecko lives every visit and are very excited to handle her. So I knew they’d probably feel sad about it.

Logan is someone who feels his own sadness, usually more centred around what he won’t get to have/do any longer, rather than the actual grieving of it (I’m sure he feels loss but doesn’t understand it as sadness).

However, when I told him today, he broke his heart and said how sad it felt, then just went silent. A look of realisation came over his face, followed by a deeper wave of sadness. Then words came out of his mouth that I was not expecting. “I can’t imagine how Peter must be feeling, he must be very very upset” or words to that affect.

I am so glad I was sat down. I was definitely overcome. The boy who cannot regulate, doesn’t understand physical feelings, let alone emotional ones, and even when it’s pointed out will often chose the self-focused thought over empathy… did he just empathise with someone in the middle of expressing his own sadness? Did he feel and understand sadness enough to realise someone else may be feeling worse than him? I think he did.

So utterly motivated. He still can’t regulate, he still has moments where he’s wetting himself, making himself sweat unecessarily, still not letting himself express illness, respond to thirst. BUT – He just showed real empathy. This is massive. There is hope that we can help him understand emotion, consequences and selflessness. We have seen the first signs. It may not be a regular occurance for a while, but the door is open; we previously didn’t know if the door had been locked, and the key destroyed.

This is massive.