Friday, 12 September 2008


Joe: Mummy said “Do you want to go to Grandma’s & Granddad’s house with me for a few days?” I said “No” ‘cos I thought I might be bored ‘cos Mummy can’t take us out anywhere & I didn’t want to leave Daddy on his own. But Mummy said “Granddad will take you out & I’ll be able to play with you more ‘cos I won’t have housework to do all day.” Daddy said that he would only be a little bit lonely & anyway he’d join us a few days later, so I said, “Ok.”

Orla: Mummy say “We go Grandma’s, see Rafael & Sachin & Auntie Kim & Auntie Karen & Granddad & Annie [Granddad's dog].”

Left to Right; Auntie Karen, Raphael, Grandma,Sachin & Auntie Kim

Joe: I hate going to Grandma’s & Granddad’s in the car. It takes hours. I say to Mummy “Are we nearly there?” lots of times & she says, “For God’s sake Joe, just be patient.” When we got there, Granddad took us to the beach.

Orla: I see Raphael. She a baby. Mummy say “Raphael not ‘she’ Raphael ‘he’, he boy”. I say “No him girl. All my babies [her dolls] girls.” Auntie Karen not let me hold Raphael on my knee. She say Orla too small. I crying. Granddad say “No more crying”, he give me weetie [sweet]. Raphael crying. I give her dummy.

Joe: Orla was naughty & wouldn’t go to bed for Mummy for a long time.

Orla: Dora [the doll which shares Orla’s bed] not here. Orla want Daddy put me bed. I crying. Want my Daddy.

Joe: Granddad had to go out sometimes & Mummy played with us. We did drawing & painted & did craft things. It was good. Then Granddad took me & Orla to the beach. I got lots of shells to show Daddy when he comes. We did lots of digging and found loads of interesting things lying on the beach. There were lots of people on the beach & Granddad talked to lots of them. Some of them were funny & some of them were boring.

Orla: Orla like go beach with Granddad. It very fun. Joey not nice to me. Him shout at me, I crying. Granddad say “You be nice to Orla, Joseph” & him give me weetie.

Joe: We went out with Auntie Kim & Sachin. It was a bit boring. But it wasn’t very boring. It was ok really.

Orla: I play with Sachin & Auntie Kim. Auntie Kim got dogs. I not allowed play with them. Auntie Kim & Sachin very fun.

Joe: When Daddy came, we went out every day. We went to the Sea Life Centre. I liked the sharks best. Daddy likes stingrays. I liked the octopus too. There were cool rides there. My favourite was the Tug, which swings fast & turns around at the same time, and the ride which takes you up high & then you drop down. It made me tummy feel funny. We made an ornament out of coloured sand to take back to Mummy.

Orla: I like sea horsy. It funny. I like pink fish. I like funny fish swim up to my finger. Them not eat it! We go on boat, it go round fast. I scared but Daddy hold me. Then it fun. Orla only little bit scared. I like seat go up & down. It very fun, tickle my tummy. I like roundabout.

Joe: One day Grandma took us into town to see the Olympic medallists. I don’t really understand the Olympics but it was fun to be with lots of people waving flags. Then we went to McDonalds and got a free toy. Daddy met us & we went shopping for school clothes for me and Orla. Daddy gets them because Mummy has agoraphobia. Sometimes she orders them from the internet. We were looking for a jacket & shoes & socks for me. I got nice shoes, they look like trainers. I liked a blue jacket but Daddy said that it wasn’t warm enough. Grandma saw a black jacket but I didn’t like it even though she tried to get me to like it. So I didn’t get any jacket at all but that’s ok ‘cos it’s not very cold yet.

Orla: Grandma get Orla flag same as Joey’s. Grandma give me weeties & toy in Mitdonna’s. Daddy get me jacket. It purple. I wet myself in big shop, only little bit.

Joseph looking after his little sister on a ride at Adventure Wonderland

Joe: Daddy took me & Orla to Adventure Wonderland. We left even before Mummy got up! It was quite a long journey & Daddy told me not to say “Are we nearly there yet?” all the time. I tried not to, but sometimes I forgot. Adventure Wonderland is wicked! It has cool rides & I could go on all of them. Even by myself! The roller coaster train was a little bit scary & Orla didn’t like it & the swinging boat went really high & Orla didn’t like that either but I went on them loads of times! There was a big indoor play area too with guns that shoot plastic balls and big slides. We had lunch in the café & even ice cream. And I liked the maze. We got lost. We stayed all day & I didn’t even get bored! We got home quite late & Orla was asleep in the car. It was the best day of my life!!!

Joseph goes on the swinging ship by himself!

Orla: Mummy not go with us. Joey say her have aggafofey [agoraphobia]. Me not like twain [train roller coaster]. Me not like boat swing iva [either]. It scare Orla. Orla like teacups & flying effelants [elephants] and lollipops [a swinging chair ride]. It very fun. Orla not like twain. I not wet myself.

Orla goes on the lollipop by herself

Joe: Granddad took us to the beach next day & then we went home.

Orla: Granddad good boy take Orla beach. Mummy and Daddy and Grandma good girl. Orla good girl too.


maz said...

Aw Robert sounds like they had a good time!
(((Hugs)) to your kiddies

maz x

Barbara said...

Hi Robert!
Have just found your blog which I intend to read from time to time, hopefully I will get through it all in due course....!
My son has agoraphobia and has done for roughly ten years. He is now 40. He lives with his partner but the problem is not getting any better even after all kinds of treatment. I hope to find some answers as to how I can help and not hinder him in this massive struggle....
Hope you won't mind me popping by from time to time.
You have a beautiful family by the way. Take care and I look forward to reading your story.

Bsquared86 said...


I followed your advice and started reading your blog from the "Background" post with the intentions of bookmarking where I stopped and coming back on another day/night. Needless to say, a couple (perhaps, a few) hours later I can now proudly say that I finished your beautiful blog in one sitting!

This blog is a perfect depiction of unconditional love. Thank you, for opening up your life to us out in cyberland . . . I feel like I know you, Marie, Orla, Joseph, and your assorted family members. I do not suffer from agoraphobia nor do I know anyone w/ agoraphobia but I have always been fascinated by the condition. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to write a fictitious case study involving an agoraphobe much like your wife for a Sociology of Mental Health course. Through blogs like this, as well as forums, chatrooms, groups, etc. I was able to get a glimpse of what it felt like to be an agoraphobe. I only wish I would have stumbled upon your blog then! Honestly, I never put much throught into the very real changes that a caretaker and loved one would have to go through. My heart goes out to you and your family! The thing that I loved most about your blog and others is that it showed that people suffering from anxiety disorders are still PEOPLE and not statistics on a chart or subjects in a case study-- they are living, breathing, loving, hurting, and quite real people.

While reading I thought about some of my own anxieties and fears and how sometimes I feel so alone with them-- this blog has helped me lose some of that loneliness.

I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Sarah♥ said...

Hope you are well!!!

Kit Courteney said...

Your children are very lucky to have such a wonderful, loving family. Both you and your wife are obviously doing a grand job!

Sounds like they had lots of fun!

Robert said...

Thanks for the comments everybody. Sorry for taking so long to acknowledge them!