Friday, June 26, 2009

Tired of Eating Alone.

I talk about Max a lot. I can't help it. He is my first thought in the morning before I open my eyes, my last thought before I close my eyes, and when I wake in the middle of the night, my ears perk up to hear if he is bouncing. If he is, I lay awake, feeling the house shake as he rocks his little body against his padded headboard, and I try to stay calm as my heart aches. If he isn't, I breath a sigh of relief and try to settle back into sleep, saying thank you to the universe that my little boy is sleeping peacefully.

If you don't have a child with special needs, you can't possibly understand what I live with. I understand that. I know that I often make the people I currently work with uncomfortable when I talk about Max. I think there are maybe four people at my current job who don't wince when I bring Max up. Two of them have kids with Autism, one of them is a single mom, and the other…she has 3 boys and a big heart. I don't get invited out for lunch (ever), or coffee. I suppose I am a drag to be around? Or maybe they think having me around is a downer, because I may talk about my kid with special needs. It's okay, I've accepted it, but I do notice it when they gather on Fridays to go out. Clearly an email has been circulating about the details, one that I was not included on. This is actually something that made my decision to leave a lot easier.

At my new job, it won't be weird when I talk about Max. People won't wince when I talk about the hard stuff, the ugly stuff. They will understand the little wins are actually champagne worthy. They will know what to say, and what not to say, and they won't feel sorry for me, which will be a relief too.

I think that one of the gifts that Max has given me is true empathy for all the people that don't "fit". And I have been thinking lately, that maybe being different, not coming in a perfect package isn't such a bad thing. There are a lot of assholes out there who look normal on the outside but are just hollow shells, with no special gift. Maybe it's okay to not be normal, to be wired a bit differently. Perhaps that is where true beauty lies. The only thing that I ever really worry about for Max is that I desperately want him to know love. I want him to be able to experience true friendship and romance, and to sustain relationships, to not ever be alone. Nothing else really matters, does it?

This life, it can be hard. We are all so different, yet so much the same. One thing I know for sure though, is it is better when you love, and are loved in return.

6 comments:

  1. What is *wrong* with people? I'm glad you're going to someplace where you'll have lots of listening ears. I know there have been times in my life when I've been dealing with something so huge that the only people who could listen as much as I needed to talk were other people going through the same thing...but seriously. You're unlikely to be so overwhelming *at work* that people can't just listen, and maybe learn something.

    Bah.

    Keep taking deep breaths.

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  2. Anonymous4:59 PM

    Where you were, and left, is clearly full of individuals that I can only describe like my 87 year grandmother says - "Complete utter, total, discompassionate, unfeeling creatures". Such people are not humans - being human implies you actually have the capacity to care. My son is special needs and my coworkers and I openly discuss my son and I have never been denied an invitation. Your leaving the old job is better for you! To quote my late father: “Fuck them.”

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  3. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Oh honey.

    I feel most alone when I am with people who have no heart. Perhaps these folks will have more heart or develop some heart when they are required to stretch their limits.

    Much is being asked of you in this life, and I know you are learning everyday. Time will come when you have the opportunity to exclude, and you won't do it.

    mb

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  4. it's hard to hear someone complain all the time. it's hard on the heart. i have a friend who is not a friend anymore because i couldn't handle her loads of crap she would pile on anyone and everyone who would listen. she was constantly making herself ill (i think she has munchausen's syndrome) to gain empathy from people, and really, her illnesses were the only things she could talk about.. When she had kids i was like YAY, we could talk about kids. but no, her illnesses continued and her childrens illnesses were still the topic du jour..

    i have only so much room in my heart and my head right now for piles of shit. my piles are so big i have eczema and psoriasis popping up all over my body as a sign that i'm full. it is why i could never be a councillor, i just don't know how to deal with other people's problems..

    i have NO IDEA what the people at your work are like, and you seem to have a good perspective on what's going on, but i just wanted to shed some light from the other side..

    good luck at your new job katrina. sounds like it will be really good for you.

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  5. Tobi - I actually make a conscious effort to be very positive about Max, not just at work, but in general. So, it isn't that I'm complaining, or even asking for support. I think it's just a place where people are wrapped up in their own shit and don't have a lot of time for other people, let alone people with extraordinary challenges.

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  6. Anonymous8:42 PM

    This is such a beautiful post,it really is.

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