Dedicated to the One I Love

Its 3am on Sunday morning. My husband is not with me tonight. He hasn’t been with me for 2 nights now. He’s in the hospital. An emergency arising from the stress we live with has taken him away from his family for the foreseeable future. 

As i sit here wedged between two very wide awake children, Jesse playing tubby-custard on her iPad and Cody grunting the Looney Tunes theme tune i think of all the ways Lees absence affects us. Not just as a family but as an individual too.

When we were rushed up the hospital on Friday i don’t mind admitting i lost it. Big style lost it. I mean panic attack, sobbing like a baby, mini mental breakdown! I could only imagine the fall out from it, and it weren’t pretty. I imagined Cody and Jesse distraught at Lee not being present in our routines. The hardship of trying to cope with them both in one long continual meltdown until Lee was home again. Sheer panic like I’ve never felt before on top of blind worry for Lee. I kept begging him not to do it to himself, not to stay over night, discharge himself, come home…

My mom and dad have moved heaven and earth to help us and all the hard work they’ve put into really getting to understand the kids and develop a relationship with them has really paid off. The kids are so comfortable with them and there aren’t many people besides us that can now confidently interpret their needs. They’ve asked and we’ve explained how to connect with them both and its showed in the happy contented children I’ve had the last few days. I’m very very eternally grateful to them both for not only supporting me but supporting the children to. Without them we would have been up the proverbial creek!

I’m so proud of the Cody and Jesse too. So proud of them. They’ve coped with the dramatic change really well. Although we’ve made a strong effort to stick to the routines they trust, changes have obviously had to take place like nanny and gan-gan getting them from nursery. But instead of freaking they’ve thrived from the stimulation the change has given them. They’ve enjoyed being around nanny and gan-gan and that’s helped tremendously. Its obviously affecting them, hence the reason they’ve both crashed my bed at 3am but nothing like the fall out i imagined. We’ve deliberately not said the word “daddy” in 3 days and im sure if we did all hell would break loose but their ability to adapt has been gobsmacking. I haven’t taken much time to dwell on the fact that by now a muggle child would be bombarding mommy with questions of daddy’s where a bouts , or the fact that they say autistic kids don’t have the emotional attachment that a neurotypical child does. I’ve just accepted that they are bloody incredible little human beings!

So that just leaves me. My reaction to Lees absence? Like someone reach inside and removed half of me. You see, Lee and i have always been your good old fashioned soul mates. as Cathy in Wuthering Heights utters about her Heathcliff:  “Nelly, I am Heathcliff”, and I am Lee. We don’t always see eye to eye but we don’t row either. We just know each other so perfectly and for that he is my rock. I didn’t realise how much i depended on him, how much he did, how much I needed him. And not to run around after the kids but to support me. So many people have to do this alone so i know how unbelievably honoured i am to have a man who stands by me and our children. Gives up his job to raise them right. He gives them his whole heart and would without doubt give his life too. But aside from all that he looks after me. He gives me the strength to become better everyday, even at the detriment to his own health. Lee cant crack like I did on Friday. He is the glue that holds this family together. Im sure people think its me but its not. Without him I couldn’t be. Be the advocate, be the writer, be the mother I am. 

I’m coping looking after the kids with him not here…not without enormous help mind you but i feel like my wingman is missing. Half of me is gone and until its back I’m not the strength I can be. Without him I’m just going through the motions but with him I’m “being”.

“he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same;.. My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.—My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath:  Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: .. as my own being.”


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Donna Street
The story of a mother and her Autistic children.
Donna Street


The story of a mother and her Autistic children.

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