The stress is unbearable

We’re waist-deep in teenage and special needs growing pains. One of the more typical problems right now is that our house is way too small. No one besides Gavin really has their own space.

Lizze and I do okay, but Elliott and Emmett are very much struggling right now.

Elliott needs his space and Emmett isn’t adjusting to the change. Wars are waged on the daily, and it’s just getting worse. Their room is way too small for them, and the only actual personal space they have is their beds, and that’s only if the boundaries are respected.

Elliott and Emmett need their own space, and in our current situation, they just don’t have it.

Emmett needs the light on at night, and Elliott needs it off. Portable lighting doesn’t work because Emmett is sensitive to light and also terrified of the dark. He has to have the lights on during the day as well.

Elliott is the opposite and prefers it darker.


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  1. I have one simple solution for your sons differing sleep needs. It’s simple and cheap: a sleep mask. Okay, maybe there could be sensory issues but if you present it as a way to sleep in the dark, it might work. Plus the masks are usually soft and they can be adjusted for the wearer’s comfort.

    My husband and I both wear sleep masks simply because we sleep a bit after the sun comes up. Amazon has ton of sleep masks. The one I’m using now was $9.99 and is made of silk, I believe. There’s a cut out for the nose. I actually wear mine with my CPAP mask and it’s just fine. It’s certainly worth experimenting with.

    ALSO: if noise is an issue for anyone at night, ear plugs are available. I don’t like noise and use them.

    1. That’s a great idea and we’ve tried it. We’ve actually tried a few different ones over the last year or so. The problem is that we’ve not found a material that isn’t “itchy. Both boys are so sensitive to things on their skin, it’s difficult to work with.

    • Kim on July 17, 2019 at 11:47 am
    • Reply

    I have to go along with Pony on this- why not move Elliott into the attic? The bathroom situation is a rough one. And do you not have a shower? I couldn’t deal with a bath only, especially when it comes to washing my hair.

    1. Hey Kim. Even if the attic was setup or remotely suitable for a bedroom, there are city ordinances that require additional work and approval. I have neighbors that went through something similar.

      The other issue is there’s literally no way to get any furniture up there. I have physically squat to get up the stairs. The windows are falling out and they’re no power or heat.

      As for the shower, we have a half working shower stall on the first floor. It’s really tiny and I can’t stand up straight in it cause there’s a very low ceiling. The plumbing is terrible, and so there’s very little water pressure. I had it looked at, and new water lines need to be run. The lines now are like clogged arteries, and water flow is very, very limited.

      The attic is simply not an option. The basement is is not suitable either. It would require a tremendous amount of work. The only other option is the office but the ceiling still leaks, and we’ve been unable to locate the source.

      The other option would be moving Elliott out and Gavin in but there are serious safety concerns and it’s not reasonable. It’s not even worth mentioning other than to show we’ve considered every possibility.

        • Pony on July 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm
        • Reply

        Oh I wasn’t necessarily thinking a bedroom up there, but maybe just clean it up as a space where they could go get some alone time. Time to just chill. Put maybe some books and a beanbag up there or something. But with the problems you described perhaps not

        1. Oh.. I see what you’re saying. The attic really isn’t usable. That said, I have thought about turning the office into a man cave type thing. Set it up in a way that people could escape to it for a break and chill out. Even that would take a great deal of work, but it’s possible. Speaking specifically to the bedroom situation though, the only option is the status quo or move.

        • Nan on July 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm
        • Reply

        I’d be really concerned about a leak anywhere in the house that can’t been fixed. I’ve also often wondered about mold you’ve mentioned being in your basement – terribly unhealthy IMO and possibly a cause of at least some of your wife’s issues, as well as the boys. Sure wish you guys could move!

    • Pony on July 16, 2019 at 5:29 pm
    • Reply

    If I remember correctly, isn’t there a pretty large attic space? And it was all drywalled and such. Wouldn’t it be possible to clean that up and use that as an additional space?

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