Lots of people have been asking about what happened to our band. Yes, we have been on hiatus. But we’re finally back in the studio making music again. It’s a long story…
Our son, Sebastian (then 18 months old), was diagnosed with a regressive form of autism in early 2014. His speech, eye contact, social engagement and sleep disappeared in the space of about three weeks. Our once joyful little man became increasingly compulsive, withdrawn and prone to fits of screaming and crying. It is hard to describe the pain and anguish; ‘devastating’ seems too trivial a word. In short, we descended into hell.
Nobody could tell us what had happened to our precious, tortured little blond insomniac. We just lost him. Then a month later our beautiful little girl, Josephine, was born. Rachel headed home from the hospital a few days early and promptly blew the next few months’ gigs out of the diary as chaos continued to descend. Our life became about survival.
Pouring money into every doctor, specialist and self-proclaimed healing guru we could find, Marty took a day job in Brisbane, worked gigs and did sessions at night in an attempt to cover the crippling medical bills. No one seemed to be able to tell us why Sebastian had stopped sleeping and, instead, lay awake for up to six hours at night unable to fall asleep. If he did manage to sustain a few hours he would scream, cry and writhe in his bed. During the day he was so tired he would walk into walls, hit his head on the ground, stare into space or act in a manic fashion. Meanwhile Josephine was born into a family brimming with unspeakable trauma and, as a result, clung to her mother and cried non-stop. Many nights Rachel literally walked from room to room tending to Sebastian and Josephine’s wakeful cries until finally the sun came up and a new day somehow carried on.
Finally, about six months in, we stumbled on a Pediatrician who curtly informed us that the sleep issues were secondary and the primary issue was a regressive form of autism. Pointing to a picture of an autistic child protégé artist that was framed on her wall, she glibly informed us that we, too, might also have a dysfunctional genius on our hands …if we were lucky. After exhausting all treatment options it was “bad luck” about the sleep, loss of engagement and talking. We were told to try a bit of speech therapy and not to bother coming back.
Not ones to take “no” for an answer, we proceeded down the alternative medicine path after seeing some very minor gains made from dietary changes. Still nothing was able to touch the insomnia. And alternative medicine was even worse than traditional... promising the world, encouraging fear of everything from water to food to the world around us, and asking hundreds of dollars a week in return.
Then, amidst this pain and torture came a glimmer of hope.