The Great Nappy Debate

To finally have this issue discussed on daytime TV on one of the biggest ITV shows was very exciting to me (I must get out more)

So, you can imagine my disappointment when the debate they were talking about wasn’t the one I had presumed it would be.

To me, the great nappy debate would be about why disabled children have to lay on toilet floors to have their nappies changed, and why disabled adults don’t even have that ‘luxury’.

It turned out what they considered to be “the great nappy debate” was simply one mother choosing to change their baby in a public area.

Her choice to change her baby in front of people was met with outrage and people were up in arms.

The poll went crazy, over 1000 people commented on the Facebook post and everyone on my newsfeed was talking about how outraged they were.

Really?  Outraged to hear that one mother didn’t have access to a baby changing facility one time, in one place?

People were shocked that a mother would not be able to change her baby because she had twins and couldn’t fit the double buggy into the room where the baby change facility was.

There were numerous comments from people saying that the mother did the right thing as she couldn’t be expected to lay her other baby on a toilet floor or leave it outside.

What would their reaction be if they knew that parents across the UK have no choice BUT to lay their disabled children the toilet floor and face this exact issue every single time they leave the house?

Not just in one place, on one day, one time.

Would they be as outraged to hear that families of disabled children face this inequality every day when away from home?

Or that they face the same issue if they have more than one child because it is impossible to fit a wheelchair and several children into a disabled toilet and still have space on the floor for the disabled one to lay down?

I would hope they would be as outraged about those ¼ million people as they are about this one baby.  But experience tells me otherwise.

This is the REAL great nappy debate.  The one that should be being discussed on mainstream, daytime TV.

This is the debate that people should be outraged by and want to do something about.

But in reality, it isn’t glamorous or interesting enough to be on daytime TV because disabled people don’t bring in the viewers.

Unless of course you call them “inspirational” and talk about how they have overcome adversity.

The real life, nitty gritty, and harsh reality of having a disabled child, or being disabled is not deemed as newsworthy, or interesting to mainstream audiences.

As long as we don’t discuss it, it won’t affect us.

And on the odd occasions it has made mainstream news, such as when it was discussed on Channel 4 news last year, or BBC News earlier this year, the reaction isn’t outrage.

It is quite the opposite.

The people who were outraged that this mother had to change her baby in a public place, would probably be outraged that disabled people would expect to have facilities to allow them to have their continence needs met.

We know people expect baby changing facilities to be provided.

We know people would think it essential and entirely appropriate for all shops, restaurants and public buildings which provide a toilet to also provide a baby changing facility.

But for some reason, most people who would consider those facilities essential, would say we can’t expect the same places to provide something similar for a disabled child or adult.

Because we can all empathise with someone needing to change their baby.  It’s a normal thing, people have babies and they need to be changed.

We understand it.  We know how to fix it and we expect businesses to understand it too.

But disability is not the same.  Unless you are disabled or have a loved one who is, then this issue is probably something you’ve never even imagined happens.

You have probably never even wondered how a disabled person goes to the loo, I mean, they just use a disabled toilet right?

But this is an issue that happens every single day.

And it needs discussing.

People need to know about it. And they need to do something to change it.

It’s time to be outraged for the ¼ million people who find themselves in a similar position every single day.

The ¼ million people who are too disabled to use a disabled toilet.

A standard disabled toilet is only usable by someone who can transfer themselves to a toilet.  If you cannot do that, then you cannot use a disabled toilet.

If you cannot stand to remove your clothes and/or pad or nappy, then you cannot use a disabled toilet.

If you need to lay down to be cleaned and dressed after using a toilet, then you cannot use a disabled toilet.

If you require a hoist to lift you from your wheelchair onto the toilet, then you cannot use a disabled toilet.

You would need a facility known as a changing places toilet.  A facility which includes an adult sized changing table and a hoist as well as a toilet and basin.

If my disabled child had needed the toilet in the same café as the lady discussed on Loose Women this week then I would have had to choose between laying him on the toilet floor or leaving completely.   because I would not have had the option of changing him where she changed her baby.

Because he is 8 years old and it would be completely inappropriate to undress an 8 year old in a public area where you might consider changing a baby.

So, this is the REAL nappy debate:

Should all large buildings which provide toilets to the public also provide a changing places style toilet to ensure that everyone’s continence needs can be managed in a safe and dignified manner?

For all the Misunderstood Girls and Women with Autism

I watch you smiling and nodding at all the right moments and I know that inside your brain is working overtime trying to work out if they are even talking to you, talking about you, or even talking at all.

It’s all a jumble. You think no-one sees but I do.

To me, you are not misunderstood – I see your autism.

I see the anxiety when you have to come out of your routine even though you smile and act like everything is fine.

I see your fingers stroke your hair nervously as you walk into a new building or get onto public transport.

I can hear your heart beating fast though you try breathing normally praying no-one can see the sweat drops on your forehead. Some see a little anxiety in you and think maybe you are just a little nervous.

But I know.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I see the ornaments placed just ‘so’, the cushions on your sofa all facing the same way, the curtains at your window sitting exactly how they should be. I know the comfort you find in this.

I watch as you only ever sit at the same seat at the dining table because the sun shining in annoys your eyes otherwise.

I understand that there is only one pencil or pen that feels just right to write with even though to others there are many just the same.

Some see OCD tendencies and think you are a little quirky perhaps and fussy. You are not.

I know.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I watch you jump when the phone rings even though it is right in front of you. I see the panic in your eyes at the thought of having to form words to reply to the caller.

I see you scan that number in your memory wondering if you can simply ignore. I know your hands are sweating and your pulse racing even though the number is that of someone familiar.

Your mind is franticly trying to remember the simple everyday small talk that comes effortlessly to others but to you it requires so much thought and processing. I know how hard this is.

This is not social anxiety or fear of people. This is much more.

I get it.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I see you biting your lip and moving nearer as the group with you chit chat. I see you looking into the distance feeling so uncomfortable and stressed.

You observe what every other person is doing and try to mimic. You dread them asking your opinion because you can hardly keep up with the voices swirling round your head so fast.

You like the less social activities with rules, turn taking or no need for language like the cinema and bowling but this standing around talking confuses you so much.

I know you are lost in your head and bewildered at why they are all laughing.

You think they must be laughing at you so you check your body for blemishes and your clothes to ensure they are all still on and fastened.

You are trying; trying so much harder than anyone else to fit in. I know that.

I am proud of you.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I know you struggle to drive when the radio is on in the car. It distracts you so much because you prefer to focus on just one thing at a time.

I know you have to finish one thing before moving on like waiting until a programme on TV is completely finished before using the bathroom or putting the kettle on.

I know you struggle at school and college and work with the constant demands placed upon you and the moving from one place to another. I know that makes you panic so much.

I admire the strategies you have put in place to calm yourself and blend in. You are doing so well.

But still I see you. I see your autism.

I see your autism because I have a daughter just like you. She is not misunderstood to me and neither are you. You amaze me. You give me hope.

I see beyond your autism and I see you.

Can I tell you what I see? What I see is someone beautiful, wonderful and lovely. Don’t hide your autism my friend.

I understand you and you are perfect to me.

Global Development Delay: The 2 year Review

Sydney is a neuro-typical toddler in every sense of the word. She is everything that I used to read about in those Baby Centre milestone emails that I subscribed to when I had her brother Brody.

Before I started to delete them.

She is every toddler meme that I’ve seen on my Facebook newsfeed. She is every status that I’ve read over the years from fellow mum friends.

She is totally different to what I am used to as a mother.

I stopped measuring and charting her head size in the red book and worrying about the next list of milestones quite a while ago now. Sometimes I still can’t believe that.

When she was born, it consumed my thoughts as I didn’t want to miss anything.

Sydney’s review brought back memories of how much I dreaded any review meeting with the Health Visitor when Brody was her age. And how much I hated the red book with its list of expectations.

It felt as though it was there purely to point out what professionals thought was “wrong” with Brody. It made me feel like a shit mum and as though my child was being judged on his abilities when he was amazing no matter what he could or couldn’t do.

As expected, Sydney’s review was a totally different experience.

Both had questions like

“Can your child run?”

“Can your child recognise themselves in a photo?”

“Can your child put two or more words together?”

But both had completely different answers.

And I admit, although I felt guilty about it, I was relieved.

This time, there would be no follow up until preschool. There would be no referrals made. There would be no appointments to health professionals that I hadn’t heard of.

And there would be no confusing abbreviations thrown my way, which of course later would become part of my everyday vocabulary.

When it came to Brody’s 2 year review, I was filled with dread. We’d never been able to tick all of the boxes in that red book and we ticked less and less as he became older.

With time, he was growing further apart both cognitively and physically from his peers.

I knew that he should have been able to do most of the things listed from watching my friend’s children develop and from sitting at baby and toddler groups watching the other children do things with ease.

But some of the questions I admittedly thought were ridiculous. To me, some of that list was child genius territory. Because it wasn’t my norm. And Brody was my first child.

We sat and went through the list in a room with NHS coloured walls. My ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton wool.

My face felt hot from trying my hardest not to cry. And at some point she decided that there was no need to continue.

Then she threw the sucker punch. She suggested that I should consider applying for DLA.

And the tears came.

Disability Living Allowance.

She was calling my child disabled.

It was like going from knowing something wasn’t quite “right” to being told that my child was disabled in one fell swoop.

Up until that point we knew Brody had delays. We had been told that he had Global Development Delay – but nothing else. There were no diagnoses.

But you see, to a newbie in this world that you and I are in, GDD can appear to be something it’s not.

You focus on the word delayed and you cling on to “might catch up”. And when your child isn’t given a diagnosis of anything, you really believe that it might be true.

You try to push aside the stories you’ve found from Google of children who don’t catch up, and think that you might be in that lucky club of parents whose children do.

All the while with a giant knot in your stomach.

Up until that 2 year review, I thought that maybe there was a possibility that Brody would catch up with his peers. But then the word disability was said out loud – thrown into the mix – and everything changed.

Even though in reality it really hadn’t and Brody was still Brody. He had always been disabled. I just didn’t know it.

It was the first time anyone had mentioned disability. And it felt like someone was taking my child’s future away. Of course that wasn’t the case at all.

Looking back, I don’t know what would have made that 2 year review easier. I doubt anyone finds people assessing their child’s development enjoyable. But when it’s not just one box without a tick but most of them or all, it’s hard to stomach.

Not because you don’t love your child. Not in the slightest. But because it’s a whole new world of worry when you’re told that your baby is disabled.

You’re both suddenly faced with a very different future to the one you imagined and you just want your child to be ok and live a “normal” life.

Nobody wants things to be difficult for their child. Things that so many of us take for granted. And the guilt of having these feelings is huge.

But you get used to your new normal and adjust. In reality, nothing really changed that day, except my vision of Brody’s future. He was still my beautiful boy. And a form or a label wouldn’t change that.

Today we stick two fingers up to the red book. We take things at Brody’s pace and we celebrate every mini and milestone.

But although we’ve got a few diagnoses under our belt, we’re still without an overarching diagnosis.

We’re still in Global Development Delay limbo. And I still remember how that 2 year review felt.

I felt completely alone and overwhelmed with sadness.

I hate to think of someone feeling the way I did back then. So if that’s you, I’m sending tons of love your way.

I know some days you might hold your child and wish things were simpler – particularly at all of those hospital appointments.

I know that some days you might look into your child’s eyes and imagine what that other future looked like. Sometimes I still do.

But I also know how much you love them. And that you wouldn’t change a hair on their head.

If you’re without a diagnosis and have been thrown in to the land of limbo that is Global Development Delay, have a little look at SWAN (Syndromes Without A Name) UK.

Because even though you might feel like it now, I promise – you’re not alone.

Special Needs Parenting: Buying School Uniform for a Child with Additional Needs

My almost 9 year old lives in jogging trousers and loose t-shirts. It took us so long to even get to this stage.

At one point he went 378 days in a row where the only top he would wear was his school jumper…all day everyday and even through the night!

He is not able to speak so I had no idea why he did that but now we have the absolute opposite…he screams and attacks us the second he sees his school uniform.

I have had almost seven weeks of respite from it but now I have to get him used to it all over again.

Currently, we are still at the screaming stage whenever he sees so much as the school logo!

He has grown since June when he last tolerated that red jumper and white polo shirt, and I can not get him to try on the next size.

His school uniform is only available direct from his school. It is expensive and can not be returned if the wrong size is ordered.

So I measured him and had to hope that what they have sent fits. I risk being beaten up if I attempt to try it on.

My son is not yet able to independently use a bathroom. In fact he has no idea what to even do.

This means traditional school trousers are not suitable as we need extra room for bulky NHS nappies. He has never once in his life tolerated smart trousers anyway due to sensory difficulties which mean they actually feel painful to him to wear.

He will be happy to know he gets to go to school in black jogging trousers again. My problem is he needs some new ones.

Have you ever tried taking an uncooperative, severely autistic, non verbal child into a changing room to try on clothes? Actually just getting him inside the shop in the first place is traumatic enough.

So I buy the size above last year and hope for the best once again.

Socks? Well, he won’t keep those on anyway so I can just buy and pray. I will even try characters I think he may recognise but I already know that isn’t going to actually help.

He will scream at the very sight of them like I am trying to kill him.

Shoes? Oh my word! I don’t even know where to start. I ‘sort of’ know his shoe size but as yet in almost 9 years no-one has ever properly managed to fully measure his feet.

He is not going to stand on any measure for anyone and not even for me at home. Shoe shops are his idea of utter hell. I cheat and check the ones he (sort of) wears just now and buy a pair the same size from the local supermarket.

I buy and hope.

It is truly all I can do.

I can’t even think about a coat, or a bag (he will never pick one up or put on his back so it will just be handed to his taxi) and I am eternally grateful there is no tie or formal shirt at his special needs school.

I sat his uniform out to start preparing him. He tried to throw it out the window. Then he tried flushing it down the toilet. Then he opened the front door and put it outside.

I sense a battle ahead.

If I thought buying the uniform was tough then actually getting it on him is going to be even worse!

I wonder if I could just send the uniform into school in the bag he doesn’t want either for staff to try?

I’ve bought it all. I just doubt he will wear it.

That’s the challenge of school uniform for some special needs families.


Special Needs Parenting: How to Survive the Change in Seasons

I’m not great with the change of seasons.

I love the sunshine.

It lifts my spirits and makes everything much brighter, including my mood.

But no matter what we do, autumn will be here officially before we know it and then the winter and those dark cold nights will set in again.

We all moan about the weather in those long seasons but as the seasons change it is important to remember all the wonderful things that these winter months will bring us.

Bonfires and fireworks, festive fun, woolly jumpers and delicious winter comfort food.

Here are a few ways to try and ease the change of seasons and make it a little easier to bear:

1. Make the Most of the Good Days

If an unexpectedly sunny day arrives, don’t waste it. Go for a walk or have lunch or dinner outside. Soak up the vitamin D we lack so much in the UK while you can.  Make some memories in the sunshine so you have something good to look back on when it’s dark and rainy.

2. Write a Bucket List of everything you want to do during the Autumn and Winter months

Then spend the coming months ticking them off the list.  Whether it is places you want to visit, people you want to spend time with or things you want to do, this is a great way to plan some things to look forward to.

3. Use the Winter Months Wisely

Whether it is to get fit for the summer or to learn a new skill, those dark evenings can be spent in better ways than simply watching TV under a blanket. When the spring arrives, you’ll be glad you did it.

Many people associate smells with seasons so think about what makes you feel good in the winter and light a scented candle to make you feel good.  I like cinnamon scents which are very autumnal and festive so I have my house filled with those kinds of scents in the winter.

4. Bake or Cook some of your Favourite Recipes

Foods that remind you of happy winter memories are a great way to lift your spirits when you are feeling seasonally sad. I’d bake gingerbread or cook a delicious roast to share with my family.

5. Book a Holiday

The winter is the best time to book a holiday as it gives you plenty of time to plan and gives you something to look forward to.

Special Needs Families: What You Really Say Whenever You Tell Your Child that You Are Sorry!

Difficult because the children are home 24/7.

Because they need you to meet their needs.

Because you don’t get that much needed time to do all the things you would usually do when they are at School.

Because you are juggling meeting the needs of your disabled child(ren) with your non-disabled child(ren)

That’s some of the reasons why the holidays are hard.

So it’s only natural that you overreact to situations that normally wouldn’t phase you.

You’re tired, out of routine, constantly on call and, you’re human!

You find yourself snapping, you lose your temper, cry or walk away to another room or you might say something you don’t mean either directly or indirectly to your child!

And your little ones are either your target audience or they over hear a conversation and from that, they construe a whole different meaning about what they have just heard.

They do this because our children’s world is infinitely smaller than an adults world, it has less power and less access to information to decode what they have heard.

So often your child will assume that the reason you are cross is because of something they have done or can do something about.

Most of the time it isn’t!

Yes, there will be moments when you might be genuinely cross at them for something that has happened but usually, our anger is about how we feel about situations.

An example of this might be that your child has spilt milk on the carpet and  whilst you might feel annoyed, it is more likely that your annoyance is related to having an extra job to do!

Not to mention, the potential for the milk staining the carpet and creating a horrible smell in a few days time whenever you realised that you’ve missed a bit in your cleaning up process.

Emotions are like a recently boiled Kettle!

This is where Sorry becomes essential and I don’t mean a quick, ‘Sorry about that!’

I mean a, ‘let’s-have-a-debrief-when-it-is-safe-to-do-so’, (for everyone, especially if tensions are running high.)

You know when you have boiled a kettle and you go to reboil it a short while later, it boils much more quickly, doesn’t it?

Emotions are very much like that – they need time to fully cool.

This could take 15, 30, 60, or 90 minutes or it might mean that you revisit the next day.

Whatever is needed by everyone is the most effective way to have a successful outcome – if you are ready to apologise but they are not ready to receive it, or vice versa, you will risk reboiling the kettle and provoking another difficult situation.

Five Steps to an Effective Reconciliation:

  • Cool down – Allow everyone to cool down and become calm
  • Communicate – Let everyone know that you will deal with this situation when the time is right but do so at the first opportunity
  • Co-operate – Ask if you can have everyone’s cooperation to reconcile the situation – Don’t assume or force people to take part – that’s dictating and is likely to be unsuccessful
  • Be genuine – Don’t pretend all is OK if it isn’t, children are highly perceptive of other people’s feelings even if they are yet to fully understand them. Tell them you felt upset, sad, frustrated about what may have happened and reduce language where you need to – you know your children the best.
  • Move on – Once the apologies are done (and everyone is happy with the outcome), move on – don’t keep going back to what happened as that will recreate the situation – If your children do, gently remind them that you were sorry but that you are human and we all make mistakes. Tell them you love them and draw a line under the incident.


By using these techniques you will be equipping your children to deal with conflict in many situations – not just at home.

Remember; it will almost certainly take practice so keep on trying.

Special Needs Parenting: Back To School

I will then take him to the school wear store and repeat this except I will hope that he doesn’t have a growth spurt within the first term of the school year. I will buy everything half a size too big for him, experience has taught me well.

I will then take him to the shoe shop and repeat this.

He will argue over wanting runners rather than shoes and I will tell him the school rules state he must have both.

I will complain about how much all this costs while threatening him to mind his belongings for the school year.

I will remind him to try new things but not to expect me to fork out any extra money until he is sure he enjoys the sport, club or whatever he takes a shine to.

I will complain with other parents about the cost of back to school but secretly, I don’t mind. I am thankful I have a child that requires all these ‘average’ things and more.

I won’t acknowledge the sadness this brings me.

There is a sadness that most parents like me carry when it comes to ‘typical’ parenting issues, like going back to school.

The sadness is heavy but one parents like me are excellent at hiding.

I won’t ever be doing any of these things with my eldest son.

There is no book list, there are no extra curriculum activities for him to try out when he gets back to school.

There is no need for me to buy his clothes in bigger sizes as he doesn’t grow much.

His shoes are specially made, handmade to fit his tiny feet. I don’t choose his shoes, I just show up for the casting of his feet.

He will never refuse to wear what I buy.

He will always need me to dress him.

He won’t fight with me over runners nor will he debate having long hair with me unlike his younger brother.

There is a flip side to all this sadness I feel at this time of year.

I enjoy school shopping with my middle guy. I enjoy the eye rolling, I am happy he can voice his wants to me. I like being able to argue with him.

And, truthfully, I like being like every other parent, even if it is for one afternoon.

Sometimes I think that sounds daft but I believe parents like me will understand the perspective having a child with such complex medical needs brings.

So this year my middle guy will start secondary school. He’s 12.

Ethan is 15 and isn’t in a mainstream school.

This is the first year I will have a child in secondary school. It is odd when people ask me about my kids and their ages, they all presume my eldest is doing his junior cert or has it done by now. Sometimes I nod and change the subject other times I let them know my eldest is in a special school; and that he is unable to sit a state exam.

People’s reactions can vary; most ask follow up questions while the odd few tell me I am lucky that I don’t have all that expense and worry.

The second is offensive, in case you were wondering.

I am not lucky.

I have often imagined Ethan as a regular teenager, something parents like me are not supposed to admit to, but I have and I do.

While I will be just like every other parent this back to school season, I also won’t be.

I will be the one making the appointments for new casts for feet that don’t work as well as they used to, a cruel reminder of Hunter Syndromes’ plans.

I will be buying Ethan a new school uniform for no other reason other than because I want to.

I will buy him a new bag whose main function will to be to hold a lunch, medications, change of clothes, changing gear and still have space for shoes or AFOS

I will also be the mother arguing with her almost teenager over what’s an appropriate coat to buy, shoe to wear or school bag to get.

I will enjoy it but yes, there is a sadness there and it never goes away; it simply gets easier to hide.

Special Needs Family: Accepting Our New Normal

But I also think it is healthy to do a little comparing and a little wallowing.

Usually this kind of sadness hits me out of nowhere.

I’ll be driving a long, just fine and then boom, sorrow.

On this occasion we have Velcro and straps to thank. You see we recently got Amy’s second pair of AFOs (ankle foot orthotics/splints).

Most parents whose children wear splints will tell you of the arduous task of buying shoes that accommodate the AFOs and also how much extra time it takes to get ready in the morning and ensuring they are on properly (and indeed on the correct feet. oops.)

As I put them on her feet I couldn’t help thinking how much hassle this is.

Amy has a lot of sporadic movements (dystonia) and kicks her legs with great regularity (and also with vigour I have learned).

So getting them on is equivalent to a 10 minute workout at the gym at times.

I finished fastening all four bits of Velcro and then proceeded to get her into her wheelchair.

I fastened the Velcro strap on her sling and then moved into her lap belt and 4 clips on her chest harness.

We left the house and I started to get her into the car up the ramp. I then put on the brakes, attaches all four hooks and fastened her seatbelt.

I got into my car, heart beating fast, and slumped over my steering wheel for a moment, exhausted.

I mean… how much Velcro?

How many straps?

All of that… just to be secure.

As I began the 8 mile drive to school I passed several mainstream schools.

Child on scooter, child running, child holding hands with friend, child carrying book bag. Free children. Able, free, unrestricted.

At this moment in time I’m not sure Amy cares about the differences between herself and her able bodied peers and for this I am grateful.

For it is to better to be blissfully unaware than it is to constantly compare and feel isolated. I don’t want her to ever ever feel like that.

I am angry with myself for being upset that she needs all of this equipment.

Quite often we find that not only do we need the equipment… we need every additional wedge, strap and fastening that can be added, and sometimes I hate that.

I think this sadness stems from the fact that I know we are approaching the time in our lives where I can’t carry her as much as I used to.

The gap is growing between being a small baby that can be held, and turning into an amazing but albeit heavy and wriggly little girl.

The hoist tracking has been ordered, the slings aplenty.

I know this will be our new normal and I love the cheeky grin on her face when she is being hoisted and swings from side to side loving the motion (little thrill seeker).

For that moment stuck in traffic, watching those children running by… I felt a twang of sadness, quickly followed by the usual accompanying emotions of jealousy, anger guilt and despair.

After a little cry on the way home when I was alone again I gave myself a little pep talk. I gave myself a little slap on the knee and said to myself “you got this”.

This new normal is fine, we can do this. Velcro isn’t the enemy here, nor are straps, clips, wheels and wedges.

All of these things serve to GIVE freedom, not deny it. I must keep reminding myself of this.

Recently on a day out with a friend she said how sad it made her feel that everything our children encounter either has to be brought to them, or we have to take them as close to it as we can get. I totally empathise with that feeling that she had.

I also know that this feeling probably disappeared again soon after, closely followed by the reminder of how incredibly lucky we are that we have the equipment we have and that we have such amazing children.

I will always try and put a positive spin on things, and I realised recently how happy I actually am in life and how lucky we are, but sometimes, I really feel it is good to address those raw and underlying emotions and to suppress them is probably unhealthy.

Wishing you all great mental health and minimal Velcro-themed hassle!