Isolated But Not Alone

“Look at our happy, well-adjusted 1.5 kids happily going off to school so we can get back to work!” is what you get bombarded with on social media this time of year.  Not so much do you see the single parent of multiple kids contending with severe neurodivergent conditions, under 24/7 stress and pressure, while trying to single-handedly work to support everyone, while severely sleep-deprived and socially isolated.

Few people can do much about ” Headed for a nervous breakdown, I just want to give up.”  The ones who empathize are eyeball-deep in their own crises, with no time or energy to spare, even if geographically nearby.  Or they’re irrational nutcases and conspiracy theorists.  Or, we want to help and are available, but inadequately equipped for the specific needs and logistics.  (That last would be me.)

It’s not the sort of dilemma you can just throw money or babysitters at, even if you had the resources.  What you need is partners, or clones, or nonexistent time for additional therapy sessions and meetings and support groups and paperwork, or drivers, or errand-runners, or house maintenance, or someone else qualified to manage a pack of crazies while you grab a desperately-needed nap or timeout with a friend.

No one human, even one as responsible, understanding, and long-suffering as my son, can carry all that alone for long.  It’s not humanly possible.  Our f—ed-up society puts us in that position and tells us we should be self-sufficient, then leaves us with no resources to juggle it all.  No wonder even conscientious, mature, stable, hard-working people like my son might be driven to desperation or feel like a failure.

Not all the meds or therapy or caring in the world are enough to make this problem “go away”.  It seems insurmountable, but I have to believe that over time, solutions or alleviations will present themselves.  I’m sure right now my son sometimes feels like he’s just treading water and barely hanging on.  I know I myself feel inadequate and not always part of the solution.  I’m just writing this to let him know he is seen and loved and amazing.



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