I’ve posted a lot lately about the start of the year we’ve had. Downstairs lights going, washing machine leaking (or pipes as it now seems), Jane going into hospital for her tonsillectomy, my dash to A&E for a heavy nosebleed, then Jane following suit the following weekend with bleeding from her wound that resulted in a litre of blood being lost. Its all been a huge strain on everyone.
The boys have coped fairly well on the surface, but I know how worried they’ve been. They’ve been so controlled, particularly Daniel who is so volatile at home. He’s kept it all in at home as well as at school where his behaviour is excellent. But keeping it all in when he gets home has been difficult, but he’s done it out of concern for Jane. This week the strain finally began to show when Jane got home on Monday. Every night this week at bedtime, he’s been incredibly difficult to handle. Initially I thought he was just playing up for me, but last night it dawned on me that it wasn’t me, but Jane he was getting at. He wasn’t doing it purposefully, but he had his mummy taken away from him for a few days, and it scared him. He didn’t know how to deal with missing her, nor did he know how to vocalise how he was feeling. But now that Mummy is home and safe, the worry over her is gone and he now is able to release the pent up feelings that the stresses of the last two weeks have caused.
Matthew has been feeling it too, and to be fair on him, he has been fantastic. He’s taken it upon himself to make the coffees each day (we’ve got a Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine that only needs pods inserting and a button to be pressed) and has helped me with the washing (at least taking it down to the kitchen.) But as the last two weeks have progressed, he’s been getting increasingly waspish with Daniel. He is stressed, and the only target he has to take it all out on is Daniel. He’s been more and more unpleasant towards Daniel (its not constant I should add) although most of the time they are reasonably happy together. They’ve been collaborating on Angry Birds Go on Daniel’s iPad and that has brought them closer together, and has also helped them through the last two weeks, particularly when Jane was in hospital.
For me, I now see what Jane does at home. Its non-stop. I tend to panic under pressure – even the slightest thing – and stress isn’t good for me. I’m wondering if that’s what my nosebleed was all about. A warning that I was getting too stressed, as my blood pressure was very high when I presented to hospital. Suddenly with Jane away, the easiest things, like preparing the tea, become majorly stressful activities. Then there was the washing to contend with while I was concerned with the leaking washing machine. All while I was to-ing and fro-ing from work. Thankfully I was allowed time off or allowed to work from home which made life easier. But the stress told. I was even more short with the boys which is unfair on them as they were already stressed with Jane being away. Its just that the pressure continued to grow and in the immediate term there seemed no way out for me. I think the shock of high BP has told me its time to find ways to control the stress. We’re already looking at diet, and putting in place strategies for me in dealing with the boys. Getting angry with them only helps fuel any meltdown they descend into, prolonging the stress for all of us.
We’ve all been affected in our own way, and ultimately haven’t dealt with it too well although we’re starting to come out the other side. Its an eye-opener when your own mental health fragility is brought out into the open. Maybe all too often we try to control those feelings and do our best not to let them out for fear of what others might say. Its stupid though really. We are all human, and at least 1 in 4 suffer from mental health issues. Its up to us all to be more understanding of others, but to also recognise when we aren’t coping too well. For us, its been a warning, and its down to us to try and help ourselves. If we aren’t willing to do that, then why should anyone else be willing to?