Our daughter, Kirsten, is 39 years old and has been a member of a Camphill Community since she was 7 years old. Kirsten has thrived in the routines that are built into the Camphill ethos and we have seen her flourish over the past 32 years. Then Lockdown happened!
At the beginning of lockdown, we had 5 dogs, 5 adults and a new-born baby in the house. Life was very full on and time flew past. At the end of May Kirsten’s sister returned home, so now we were 4 people and 4 dogs. And this is when things started to go wrong.
Our busy household was not quite so busy. Kirsten struggled to focus on activities and, in all honesty, we were struggling with them too. Kirsten’s mental health deteriorated quite quickly and medical intervention was required. This helped and we all carried on as best we could. Unfortunately, a few weeks later her mental health took another turn for the worse and we needed help again.
I always knew she needed consistent routines, but lockdown has shown just how dependent she is on them. Kirsten has floundered without them and become totally obsessive about her soft toys. The only routine we have for Kirsten are Zoom calls twice a week with a local charity. We also Facetime the craft workshop every Thursday so that Kirsten can say hello to all her friends. She misses them all very much and it can be very cheering for her to see everyone and say hello.
Despite these activities we are still struggling to make a structure to the days for Kirsten. Her obsessions have increased and as I write this she has refused to get ready this morning. No bath, teeth brushing or hair washing. The need to deal with the soft toys now overrides personal care and meals.
Eventually, I know, everything will return to normal or as near to normal as possible! I am sure we will make it through but some days we do start to doubt ourselves and I am sure we are not alone…