This blog is dedicated to my sister, best friend and the reason behind the name of my page, Matilda.
As I have gone into occupational therapy and have got older, I am more aware that having a disability has an effect on other non-disabled siblings and I know that over the years my needs have meant that I have had to have more attention than my sister. But I’ve never heard Matilda complain once about this! Matilda does things to help me that I could never do for her, this is a bit disheartening at times because I’m the older sibling and I should have been the one looking after her instead of her looking after me; this has only brought us closer together.
There is 15 months between myself and Matilda, which meant that due to my CP we reached quite a few developmental milestones at around about same time, for example walking and due to this, it made us closer. Matilda and I have always been close, and we always will be, but we are closer because we’ve had to deal with quite a lot, some of which most sisters won’t have to deal with in their lifetime, therefore these experiences only make our relationship stronger.
As a young girl I’d always envisaged that I’d be the one doing Matilda’s hair and makeup, and that I’d be the one painting her nails; then I came to therealisation that, that was never going to be reality and that in fact, it was going to be the opposite. Matilda has always helped me to achieve these activities rather me helping her, and I will never forget this.
Rather than me teaching her how tie her shoe laces she taught me, and she would always stop to watch me try and conquer whatever task big or small, even coming up with ways to make the task easier! Just recently she bought me chunkier brushes to help me with my makeup,she saw me struggling and then acted upon this, and I will be forever thankful for this. These little gestures mean the most.
The police came into her college recently and did a talk about safety regarding contact-less cards, and they got given a cover to protect their cards; Matilda came straight home and said that I could have hers because I’m a much more ‘vulnerable’ target (we did the air quotes over vulnerable but unfortunately it’s true). She thought of me and put my needs before her own, she probably thought this gesture was nothing, but that gesture made my day that day.
I’m lucky to have this amazing support network around me, with all my family members not just my sister; I don’t give Matilda enough credit, she never asked for this life! Yes, I understand it’s a different situation because she’s never known any different, but I will still always appreciate how she’s dealt with what’s been thrown at us. Having a disability doesn’t just affected me it’s affects the whole family dynamic; Matilda has just accepted this dynamic and embraced it. Yes, at times, I may make her do my makeup when it’s the last thing she wants to do, but we make this fun she always finds a way to distract me so that she can do my mascara and those fiddly aspects! At the end of the day she takes my bracelet off and this is means a lot to me, more than she will know.
I studied psychology at A-level and Matilda is currently studying psychology and whenever she asks me for help with revision, and I get excited than most because I am actually helping her with something.
I am very fortunate to have a little and a big sister all in one as not many people can say this! I have always used this term and Matilda uses this term for me too as it does tell people a lot about our relationship, however our relationship isn’t just made up of Matilda helping me out, we do have laughs and jokes too just like a normal sisterly relationship!
We do spend a lot of time together, and like any other relationship our time a part is good too because we still have our disagreements. I know that at times I perhaps rely on Matilda to much; then other time she can almost insists ‘Georgia just let me do that’ (knowing full well that I’ll be trying for half an hour). I’m so thankful we’re close in age as I don’t remember life without my sister helping me, even though I do wish I could be more of a big sister to her, I wouldn’t change our relationship because this is what makes our relationship mean so much. Matilda, is the first person I talk to in a morning and the last person I talk to at night, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Thank you for reading,