Happy Birthday Stepson!

We had another birthday this week.

The Resident Adolescent is now 20 years old. Does this mean I need to stop calling him an adolescent?  Perhaps not, I think this stage goes on well into the 20’s for boys and probably even longer for Spanish boys.

We went out for lunch, just the three of us.

I was mulling over what to do about his present as I seriously wasn’t in the mood to buy him anything and yet it felt mean and cruel to give him nothing.

I always have the same problems here with celebrations because things are not done as I would do them – partly because we are in a different country, and we are not in a normal family, and lastly because our particular step-family is strangely devoid of cosy rituals.

Birthdays for me mean

1. A cake – preferable chocolate

2. Birthday cards

3. Birthday presents

4. Singing Happy Birthay at some point in the day

My heart wants to do all these things for him and to make a fuss of him just as if he were my own child.


In our strange little threesome we have these problems

1. Resident Adolescent doesn’t like cake and if I made one there is a strong possibility he would ignore it completely

2. No-one in Spain does birthday cards. He would open it, frown in puzzlement and then drop it somewhere to be forgotten for ever.

3. The only birthday presents he wants are things he choses. Money is best but somehow it sticks in my craw giving him anything when I have never seen him give his father or his mother a single gift at Christmas or for their birthdays. Surely this is odd?

4. People sing Happy Birthday, in Spanish of course, but normally only at a party. The idea of going up to his bedroom in the morning and singing to him is frankly, ludicrous.

So the day passed and we didn’t do anything apart from greet him with a kiss and say Happy Birthday. I felt terrible as usual as it seems so unloving and mean. Yet his father doesn’t make a fuss of him either and after 5 years I am tired of making a huge effort only to be rebuffed in the end.

But we did go out to lunch the day after and it turned out well. I thought about it a lot beforehand and came up with a plan. Here is what happened.

1. We went to a restaurant in the town centre and walked there together – chatting about everyday things

2. I asked everyone to say three words that described how they were feeling at that moment.

Father – hungry, happy, loved

Res.Ad – hungry, hung-over, happy

Me – hungry, happy, anxious

Then I told Res.Ad that I had a quiz for him. He loves games so lit up. It was a series of questions that asked him about facts about me. I was curious to know what he knew about me. We have lived together 5 years but he shows so little interest and I share so little that we are still virtually strangers.  One point for each question answered correctly. what I didn’t tell him until the end was that each point was worth 1 euro. There were 28 possible correct answers. I even gave him a second go after we had told him the answers that he didn’t get right. In the end he had 23 points and got 23 euros for his birthday.

Example questions:

How many sisters and brothers do I have?     He made a wild guess but it was wrong

Can you name one of more of them?       Total failure

What is the name of my friend here?       Failure here too but he knew her husband’s name.

What sort of tea do I like?    A surprise this one – he correctly said, Earl Grey

Have I ever smoked?    Wrong here too, he couldn’t remember that I smoked for my first two years here.


Was good fun and everyone was laughing. I felt quite pleased with myself that I managed to show him I am a person he could know more about, he showed me he noticed more than I had imagined, I felt fine about giving him his prize money and he got a birthday present.

What do you think?  Would you have just got him a present and not made such a big deal of it?  Am I mean to hesitate about giving him a present just because he never reciprocates?

Small steps forward make me feel positive and hopeful but the everyday grind still tires me.

How do you deal with Christmas in a step family?

We have several problems in how we deal with Christmas.

1. I like Christmas but my partner doesn’t. He would love to ignore it completely.
2. Catalan Christmas is celebrated in a different way from British Christmas
3. The Resident Adolescent was brought up with parents from two different cultures so his experience of Christmas was already split between traditions.
4. The Resident Adolescent always says he doesn’t care about anything beyond the presents
5. I am vegetarian so want my Christmas food to be not only British but veggie
6. The Resident Adolescent won’t eat anything apart from meat.
7. Typical Catalan Christmas is spent with various members of the extended family. Neither my partner nor his son nor I enjoy these occasions.

So this year we came away, just the three of us. And as we drove to the mountains early on Christmas day I realised I hadn’t brought along any presents. I thought about the four previous Christmasses spent with this mini family and suddenly I saw why it was so difficult to create our own rituals.
Why it is so hard for us to feel together and happy.

The parents separated around February/March of 2009 and I appeared in his life around September that same year. The first Christmas we spent together was also the first one he had celebrated without his parents together. Somehow as it was so early in my relationship and because the whole experience of being in Catalunya was new for me, I failed to register that this must have been so hard for him.
Hard for them all!
Hard for me because I was not at home in any shape or form.

No-one decorated the house that year and I assumed this was normal in their culture. I didn’t consider that maybe the mother/wife had done it in years past.

I didn’t know what to do about presents. I saw the boy – then 14 – as being incredibly spoiled and demanding while at the same time extremely unfriendly to me. It was hard to imagine buying him something nice. I am sure I got him something and perhaps it was the year I bought him a hat for skiiing. Anyway I do remember that he never used it and I felt hurt that it was rejected just as I was.

The tradition of the family was to spend the three days of the 24/25/26 with the original family of my partner. Apart from his mother, no-one really spoke to me or showed an interest in who I was. Again I felt hurt and rejected and I didn’t understand why I was being treated this way. It was much later that I heard they didn’t know I was coming or who I was.
I had to host the dinner on Boxing Day, or Sant Esteve as it is known here. The meal was chicken and chips which was the choice of the RA and I felt it was inappropriate for the family but didn’t know how to put forward my ideas. It was a time when I felt very lost and unsupported as my partner also was showing for the first time his tendency to be ill-humoured at Christmas time. He became critical and spoke harshly to be about my desire to use different plates and cutlery. I felt tearful and anxious. Thus began my dislike of Catalan Christmas.

Now I see that the Resident Adolescent also had his trials to endure. He had to balance the needs of his mother and his father and to spend some time with each part of his family. He also had this new girl friend to deal with – someone who was shy and quiet, who spoke no Catalan and hardly any Spanish. Someone who wanted to do things in new and different ways.

He only wanted presents and I didn’t provide the right ones. The house must have felt bleak that year with my partner and I arguing and me in tears. We didn’t know what to give each other. He gave me a woolly cardigan, size, extra large. I said I liked it and politely wore it a few times before discreetly getting rid of it. I had no idea of how to say directly ‘why did you get me this?’

We didn’t know when to give presents. For Catalans the normal time is at the feast on Christmas Eve where you beat the Tio with a stick until it ‘shits’ presents. Not knowing this I didn’t take anything with me to that occasion. But I did feel embarrassed when my partner took second hand toys to give his nephew – somehow it felt mean and strange. On Christmas morning I presented him with a stocking filled with silly small things. I remember his face and the question ‘what is this?’ and how I felt stupid for doing something so childish.

It all went wrong at the beginning really. I feel sorry that I didn’t understand it then and so I judged the boy so harshly. Yes he was bad and rude and churlish and unfriendly but it was so early in his new life and no-one helped him with the situation. Neither of his parents are good at sitting down and talking quietly and clearly about what is happening. They ask questions like ‘how do you feel about this situation?’ and when he shrugs or says ‘OK’ they just let the subject drop.

And I also needed someone to help me understand what was happening. There was no-one who was able to tell me it was not my fault. Many people said ‘ohhhh you are brave taking all this on’ but I didn’t understand how hard it was. I tried to muddle through but because it was so painful, I lost my own sense of self preservation.

Christmas rituals feel good because they are familiar and regular and predictable and safe. For all of us that first Christmas was totally new and unfamiliar and this was stressful and made us unhappy. But we didn’t talk about it or find ways to understand each other and give support. We retreated into our own hurt feelings and I at least felt confused and guilty because I hadn’t enjoyed any of it at all.

Catching up with various changes

Time passes and I haven’t written here for too long.

The RA is now 19 and still lives at home.

The recent change in our lives was that he took a job working on the tills in the supermarket in a nearby town. It isn’t close enough to walk and the buses didn’t fit in with his schedule so his father has been taking him there and back. The contract is for a month initially but here we are at Christmas and he has decided to pack it in, about a week before the end of his term.

Well it was nice while it lasted and gave us all a feeling of hope that he might, just might be deciding to put some effort into his life.

But there are positive changes that I want to describe. He is much more polite at home and will have a conversation with me if I start it up. He is out a lot so there aren’t many opportunities for chatting but I notice this change and it makes my life so much better. In fact I don’t care so much about the odd dish left in the kitchen sink or the occassional hairs left in the bathroom plughole.

I realised a while ago that for me the most important change I needed was that he and I could have ‘good feeling’ between us. Being a step mother to a teenager is such a difficult relationship because right at the time when he is separating from his parents, when he isn’t interested in knowing us or spending time with us, I arrived and wanted to make a relationship with him. I don’t have memories of him going back to his babyhood, I don’t have a history with him of past intimacies, happy times shared, games played, jokes told. I arrived just in time to be ignored along with the rest of them.

So this recent change in attitude has made a big difference to me.
I have worked hard to get here. I won’t deny that prayer played a part. I am not a christian or a religious person but I do believe in prayer to some divine force even though I tend to use it when all else has failed.

I also have tried to use communicative skills that I learnt in books by Marshall Rosenburg. I try to listen to him, to invite him to tell me what he wants and needs, and to create moments when we can discuss things rather than always greeting him with a complaint about the dishes or his messy room or the smell of his cologne.

I despair of his father learning these ways with words. It seems that they can’t talk about anything – from food to music to money to politics – without arguing. My partner likes to tell you what he thinks and if he disagrees with you he will tell you immediately and in strong terms. He has no interest in just listening or drawing his son out about his ideas. I watch them fight it out and usually the RA leaves the house or goes to his room, frustrated yet again.

Actually the longer I live in this situation the more I understand the RA and the more frustrated I feel with his father. If you marry someone with children this is the most likely stage where you will be tempted to leave. If the fathers can’t be creative and open and understanding then the situation can feel quite hopeless.

Why won’t you buy me the thing?

I need it now!  Why won’t you give me the money?

This has been a question that has bounced off the walls of our house for years – the four years since I moved in and for many years before I am sure.

A few days ago it was heard again – less angrily than before, but just as insistent and maybe more open to actually hearing the answer.

The Father was answering it with the usual standard replies:-

You can have it if you work here for the money

If you saved up sometimes then you could buy it yourself

How do I know it won’t be yet another thing that you want desperately and a few months later it is lying forgotten, redundant?

Resident Adolescent repeated the question adding :-

You want to pay several thousand euros for a shit course that I don’t want to do but you won’t give me 40 euros for something that would be really useful – why?

This is where I entered the conversation and for the first time I felt I was listened to, heard, respected and to some degree, agreed with.

Here is what I contributed to this conversation.

1. To the boy – ‘that is what fathers do

You need to understand that your father wants you to have the thing but he is your parent and he is trying to avoid teaching you that you can just ask for anything and it will come  easily.  I know, I know that it doesn’t seem things come easily as you always have to ask loudly and then perhaps do some work to get the thing (and I realise that you don’t ask very often and you do without money most of the time) but you are wrong to think your father only wants to deprive you of things. He wants to give to you but he also wants to help you learn about work and saving and self respect and independence.  He is worried that you haven’t any qualifications, are not working or looking for work and you are still dependent. That is why he is willing to pay for a course and is reluctant to keep buying you things.

2. To the father – ‘tell him how it makes you feel

‘You need to hear that your son is frustrated because he doesn’t understand why you have money for the course and not for the thing. He only hears you tell him he is lazy and foolish and that he must do X in order to receive Y. To him this feels like a commercial exchange rather than a loving relationship between son and father. It is true that he doesn’t receive much from us and he doesn’t ask very often. To help him understand your reasons you need to speak about how you feel’

3. To all of us – ‘this is about much more than the dirty dishes in the sink

Dirty dishes in the sink

I believe that we need to speak about the other issue – the big issue that never gets addressed. We can argue for ever about doing the dishes and sweeping the floors and earning pocket money and sleeping all day. We are all sick and tired of hearing our own voices moaning and complaining but it will never address what seems to me to be more important. That is, that here in this house we are not a happy family. There is tension and distance and it makes me for one unhappy.  There is a general reluctance to give to each other. I believe that we all are generous at heart and want to give to others and help them but we have got stuck in a pattern of withholding and this makes our home feel uncomfortable.  I know your father wants to give you things but he is scared of spoiling you. I know I want to give to you but I am tired of getting no thanks and nothing much in return like smiles or a laugh occasionally. And I know you (Resident Adolescent) are more generous than you allow yourself to be when you are with us. You are a giving person and I don’t understand why you don’t do it here.  What has made you decide to withhold your energy, your fun, your stories, you laughter here at home?

What was amazing was how powerful my voice was – how clear my thoughts.

Also the Father allowed me to speak without contradicting me or interrupting

And the Resident Adolescent looked at me while I spoke. He took it in. He was interested. He had his computer on his lap but he stopped gazing at it and listened.

And now the even more incredible news!

The Father brought up the subject of the money stolen from my credit cards which happened three years ago and he told the boy that I still carry my bag up to bed with me every night because I can’t be sure it won’t happen again. I didn’t take this up as I wanted our talk to be non-judgemental and more an exploration of what is going on. But later in the kitchen when the RA and I were alone I mentioned it again.

I had to swallow and gather my courage before speaking but the doors seemed to be open so I decided ‘What the hell?’

Here is what I said:-

When you took the money from me it caused a big problem between the two of us. It was a lot of money – 800 euros.

He nodded uncomfortably and continued washing his dishes

But I want to put this behind us and move on. I don’t want it to always be there between us, blocking communication. Of course it is still affecting me and it must affect you too, Even if you don’t think about it, it has to.

He nodded and then said

Yes. I’m sorry

WOW!  This is what I was waiting for all these years. It may not seem so much but to have an acknowledgment at last and an apology made such a big difference to me. I told him we must now let it go into history and move on and that was that. Things do feel clearer and although one swallow does not make a summer I do feel, yet again, hope.

I am living with two men and that of course makes a difference to how we deal with things. I am a woman and very used to talking things through. I am also someone from the north living in a Mediterranean country – I shine the bright light of analysis into dark emotional corners. There is no doubt that we northern people think in a different way.  And I am a step-mother – an outsider who arrived late into a multi-layered and quite messed-up family network. Sometimes outsiders see things from a different viewpoint which is a bit more detached and they are able to see the big picture rather than get lost in the details.

So, at last I felt useful and as if my role here includes negotiator and peace-maker as well as intruder and stranger.

Why Won’t He Eat?

When I first arrived in this house of horror there was a very mixed up 14 year old boy who lived half the time with us and half with his crazy mother. Crazy mother would do anything for him including cooking only his favourite things for every meal. If she cooked something and he didn’t like it she would go and make him something else. He was a prince in her home – until she started screaming that is!

Favourite things to eat?

Pasta, pizza, croquettes and chips, fried chicken and chips, steak and chips…. you know the sort of thing

Food he refused to eat?

Everything else!

Especially vegetables, salad, fruit, beans, soup, anything spicy.  He doesn’t like puddings either so no fruit can pass his lips that way.

Then crazy mother upped sticks and went back to Brazil leaving a 16 year old very mixed up boy with us full time.

Up till then we had tried to feed him a more varied diet. Sometimes he ate things like lentils, soup, muesli, fish but he never ate them without a fight. I was new in the home so didn’t interfere too much between him and his father except to protest when the fighting got too loud and unpleasant at the table. There were times that Father put the untouched plate back in the fridge, represented it later, and repeated this Victorian charade over several days. Sometimes the boy ‘won’ and sometimes Father was ‘victorious’.  But actually noone won at all. These were battles of power and there always had to be someone feeling angry and defeated at the end of it.

I hated meal times. Not just because of the battles but also because the meals were like prison visiting hours. Father tried to stuff a whole day of parenting into that hour and would ask questions, critisize, suggest, recommend, instruct and lecture. The Boy would keep his head down, try to say as little as possible and occassionally burst into loud angry rants which would end with him slamming out of the room. Sometimes I tried to make him his favourite things but my position as step-mother meant he would feel duty bound to call it ‘shit’ and leave most of it on the plate.

He was young then and didn’t have anywhere to escape to, except the computer or to his mothers flat.  Then she left.

Now, he is a young man of 19 and things are different but also the same

He still refuses to eat almost everything we offer. All vegetables, all salad, all fruit, anything vegetarian, fish. Potatoes have to be chips or roasted – boiled, baked, mashed are all refused. Pasta has to come with minced meat and at the most an onion. If I made macaroni -cheese for example he would refuse it.  Sometimes he just eats the rice – so long as it is white – rather than touch what we made.

The difference now is that he can escape and that is exactly what he does.

He hardly ever eats at home. He sometimes is here when we eat, perhaps he is even sitting on the sofa with his computer. But it doesn’t matter how delicious it is, how sweet the smell of food, how tempting the sounds of us chomping away, he won’t eat any of it.

Not unless it is pizza, pasta, croquettes, or meat…..which it hardly ever is…..because we tend to be vegetarian.

He does occasionally cook for himself and his father buys meat for him and there is always pasta and tomato sauce and eggs available,  but even this only happens about once a week.

He doesn’t eat breakfast.

He doesn’t eat lunch.

He doesn’t eat dinner.

What on earth is he living on?  How does he survive?

I suppose he is eating at friends houses. He spends most of his time with friends, sleeping out about 5 nights out of 7.

He doesn’t have any money so can’t be buying himself food or contributing to his friends kitchens. Since he left school he has neither studied nor worked and he won’t do anything in the house to earn any money either so his resources are very slim.

His major resource is his large and supportive group of friends.

It is all such a mystery and I don’t know if we have dealt with it very badly, quite well, just as others would. I really have no idea what would be the best way to respond. But I worry and I hate the feeling that we have this boy – still very mixed up of course – who doesn’t feel he can eat at home, or enjoy what his family make for him or even ask for what he wants. He seems to have decided the best option is to escape as much as possible and to take his needs elsewhere. It shows a great deal of courage and of self control but I still wonder if it is covering up a deep chasm of misery.

He came in about an hour ago. Grabbed his epilepsy pills. Threw a few words at his father just to say he hadn’t gone for a job interview today after all and then he left. Everything done on the run. No time to ask him anything or offer anything.

He is running now and we are just watching.



When there is Hope

Today my stepson went out for some shopping. He had a little money from his father to buy some wheels for the roller skates.

It is market day in our town and as yesterday was the day of the lovers, or the feast of Sant Jordi, they were selling off the roses which were left from the night before.

Do you know what he did?   Can you guess?

He bought some roses and brought them back for us – he even said – they are for both of you!


If you have ever lived in a step-family or you know what it is like to look after a teenager who doesn’t want to have anything to do with you, then you will understand how incredible this was. I have never known him to get a gift for any of us or even to show much interest in birthdays or Christmas apart from what it brings him. He has spent the last few years – the only years I have known him – distancing himself, refusing to communicate, rejecting all my attempts to befriend him.

So the day when he comes home with four roses is a day for celebration. I feel at last there is hope.

What has changed?

  • He is now 19
  • For his birthday I paid for him to have a massage from a woman who is a bit of a shaman
  • We were firm and didn’t allow him to stay here when we were away for a week.
  • I wrote him a long letter explaining why we couldn’t let him loose on the house yet again after so many disasters but I also said I believe he is good at heart and understands much more than he shows.

Something has shifted for the better and although I know it is still a slow process I am so glad of this glimpse of light


Amazing results!

The day after we got back from holiday, the Resident Adolescent arrived home. I was in the bedroom when he came upstairs with his bags and he called out ‘hello’ as he went into his room. Encouraged by his friendly tone I went in to greet him and he offered his cheek for a kiss and asked me how my holiday had been.

This was amazing!  After reading my letter and after being forced to find refuge with friends while we were away, he was transformed.

We were having a large family lunch as it was Easter Monday and as there was still a lot to do we asked him to dust the front door. There was a slight protest but he went off quite willingly to do it.


Then as I was setting the table I asked him if he could get three more chairs. I didn’t have to ask more than once. He went immediately.


And during lunch he was chatting and laughing.

At one point I looked over at him and thought ‘Of all the young people here I like him the best!’



Phew What a Relief!

We got home today and the house was just as we left it.

The great news is that in spite of all the worry of leaving the Resident Adolescent out on the street as it were (not really of course but that is how it felt to his anxious father) he survived and he spoke on the phone tonight without rancour or complaint.

I said to his father that I felt it was a great step forward. Setting limits has always been his problem area ( and was for the mother too when she was around) and they almost felt that to make the boy unhappy was to put his life at risk. Obviously with epilepsy this can be a worry with reason but you can’t forever let someone do as they like because you are scared of what may happen if you stop them.

So, he was given the option of coming on holiday with us or staying with friends. He finally chose to do the latter, but only when he finally realised he would not be allowed to stay at home alone. And it seems it went alright. He had money to pay his way. He had time to pack his things. He had friends who were happy to have him staying.

I have noticed often before that when he has been treated firmly but fairly, even if he doesn’t like it and protests loudly, in the end he behaves better than when he is given endless freedom to be a complete pain in the arse.

I don’t feel that my letter did much to help or hinder but at least I expressed myself for once and who knows, maybe it showed I cared enough to take the trouble to write.

We will see how he is when he gets home. Tomorrow probably or later tonight. But meanwhile, huge sighs of relief that he survived.

i think his father has learnt something powerful as well.  And me too. I didn’t really believe he could carry it through but he did.

You cannot stay here – letter to my stepson

Dear Resident Adolescent

I am writing as it is hard to find a time when you are here for long enough to speak. Do you read emails? It’s a bit long for a Whats App.

I want to tell you why I don’t believe we can leave you alone in the house over Easter. I am leaving the decision entirely to your father but of course I do agree with him that it is better you either come with us or stay with friends or family.

I imagine you see it as a punishment or an attempt to control you or make you unhappy.   For me it is not this at all.

The fact is that you don’t seem able to take responsibility for looking after a home.   You don’t take care of your own space, nor help with the rest of the house; when you cook you often have to be reminded to clean the cooker of oil or to wash the pans. You don’t empty the dishwasher without having to be asked or wash your clothes (See washing line –  I have just done yours!) or hang them out , nor remember to bring them back inside when they are dry.   Unless someone else reminds you.

These are things that you are physically capable of doing – a ten year old could do them – but emotionally you are not yet mature enough to take responsibility for them. I am not trying to judge you – only naming what is clear from the facts. I don’t know if you forget, or if you just want to be looked after like a child still.

This is why I believe you are not able to look after the house alone.

Last summer you invited many friends here to stay and when we returned the whole house was dirty, messy and uncared for. You may say that you were trying to clean it but were interrupted by an attack. However, you only gave yourself an hour or two to clean and it actually took days. And where were all those ‘friends’ who had been staying here? They helped create the mess but disappeared when it was time to clean it up.  Your friend David came back to help cleaning when you were in hospital and I asked him did he think we were crazy to have left you alone here. He said that leaving a group of 18 year olds alone in the house for so long was a bad idea because all you were interested in was playing games and smoking etc. His word to describe the house was a ‘disastre’.

But I never heard you apologise for this or recognise that you had not looked after our home properly. Again it seemed that you were too young (or perhaps too angry with us in general) to take responsibility for your own actions.

Even now when you could say to us that you know you fucked up last year and you are sorry but you have changed, you say nothing. As if you still don’t care.

I know you have changed in many ways since last summer and that you have tried harder to clean up after yourself. But it is still only at the level of a 12/13 year old. You are a young man of 19 and yet you still want to behave like a child in many ways. Growing up is part independence and part responsibility but the only part that seems to interest you is the freedom to do as you please.   Everyone makes mistakes but the hard part is to admit them, apologise and then move on. That never stops being difficult to do but it is the only way to grow up.

I feel sorry that we can’t trust you to stay here alone or with a couple of friends. We can’t trust you to take care of the cat, to feed her and change her litter tray and give her love and affection. I would love to be able to have this trust in you as it would be better for you and much easier for us. If you feel I am wrong then please tell me your version of the truth!

Hope you understand a little of what I say

Although you may not believe it I do wish you the best,



I sent this email to him a few days before we set off for our Easter holiday. He having refused to come with us was off to spend the week with various friends. He didn’t want to do this – he insisted that he could and would look after the house but we have been there and done that so many times before. there must come a moment when you face reality and accept someone’s limitations. I felt bad because his father wasn’t explaining it all – just saying he couldn’t stay in the house. I am so tired of never being able to communicate with him more than a couple of words as he escapes from the house without pausing to speak.  I have no idea if he will manage to gain entry but at least for once – we were firm and determined to show him that actions (or non-actions) have consequences.



5 Thoughts on an Ordinary Day

  • Holiday season approaches and I am wondering if the father will manage to sort out what his son is going to do while we are away. He is invited to come with us but of course doesn’t want to. I feel resigned to the fact that he will stay at home and yet again fill up the house with friends who leave it in a smokey greasy mess. But the father insists that ‘He will not stay here”  We will see !
  • Recently he has had about four epileptic fits. Sometimes we find out and sometimes we don’t. It is triggered by staying up all night, not getting 8 hours sleep even in the day time, not taking his pills regularly and refusing to look after himself
  • I am getting him a massage treatment from someone who comes very recommended. He is supposed to go today. this is the fifth attempt as he has cancelled all the previous appointments even though he says he wants to go as he has a painful knee.
  • Yesterday I read about a doctor who has researched the health – mental emotional and physical – of people who were separated from their mothers in the first days of their lives. He asserts that this lack of skin to skin contact and the absence of the oxytocin smell results in poor connections in the forming brain. cortisol is too high leading to stress and aggression and lack of ability to relax and connect with others. It is rather like saying – Bad luck son – you’re fucked!   I chose to believe that with healing it could be at least harmonised to make life easier.
  • I came out this morning to work in a cafe because when I got up early in order to get things done in peace at home, I found the Resident Adolescent on the sofa playing computer games. I don’t blame him – it’s the best place for wifi and he too needs peace and solitude sometimes.