I’m so fucking overwhelmed

I’m trying to write more but the truth is, I’m barely fucking hanging on right now. Last night, in a massive emotional outbursts, Emmett ripped up his schoolwork. He wasn’t trying to be difficult or oppositional. He’s so overwhelmed by everything and simply not coping well.

We’ve officially crossed a line with the schoolwork at this point. There isn’t a child in this country who’s education isn’t totally fucked up right now. This is causing my kids far too much distress and me too much anxiety. I’m fucking done.

I’m fighting feelings of being a total parenting failure right now but the truth is, I’m failing either way. If I force my kids to continue doing the busy work, I’m letting them down because it’s clearly not in their best interests right now. If I just give up and put their health and emotional well-being first, I’m failing them in regards to their education. At this point in time, my absolute priority is getting them through this pandemic and honestly, school isn’t even on my fucking radar.

My kids have lost so much in the last year and were struggling to hang on before lockdown. Now it’s infinitely worse for them.

Kids with Autism or other special needs are not going to do well. There are of course exceptions but overall and in general, this is pretty much a worst case scenario when it comes to special needs parenting.

Parents like myself, struggle on the good days and total lockdown due to a worldwide pandemic is not a good day. We’re on day 36 of sheltering in place and it’s getting harder on everyone. The longer this goes on, the worse things get. Unfortunately, there is literally no other option right now. Lockdown is absolutely essential and every single fucking idiot who continues to ignore the stay at home order is literally putting lives at risk.

Stay the fuck home.

13 comments

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    • Tracey Hoff on April 13, 2020 at 8:40 pm
    • Reply

    Hey Rob I totally understand what you are going through. My oldest son is autistic and has mental health problems. My youngest I’m almost certain is autistic but we haven’t been able to get him tested yet. Please stay wel and take care of the kids first. School work can wait.

    1. Thank you Tracey. Are you doing okay?

    • Diane R Gorsline on April 12, 2020 at 2:35 pm
    • Reply

    Hey, keeping your kids safe, healthy, and in some sort of routine is a big accomplishment right now. Unless the school is going to be breathing down your neck about the work, I would go easy on schoolwork. Watch nature videos, read together, journal, etc.

    My adult son is struggling a bit with not being able to go anywhere, but he is really doing better than I expected.

    Take care.

    • Curtis G. on April 12, 2020 at 1:42 pm
    • Reply

    As probably the one of the oldest parents here here of an autistic child, I can say that at one time I had to chose between my son’s education and his emotional and physical well being. There was no internet classes for him in those days and I had to home school him and be the teacher. My wife was concerned with everything-especially his education, which was important, but I had to look at the entire picture of what was and not what should be and saw that at this point in time, the emotional and well being needs far outweighed the educational needs. My thought at that time was although education was important, how important would it be if his mental well being was being destroyed because of the nightmare he had endured in regular school and (extreme bullying at school in our situation) and that was overshadowing his educational needs. I chose to put his emotional well being first and I’m glad that we made that a priority. I retired as a resident counselor in a group home for young adults and adults with both mental health and mental disabilities, including autism, and saw the end results of some young adult people with autism who had received their educational needs but it was the damage to their emotional needs that made it necessary for their parents to have to place them in a group home setting. Sometimes we have to make the decision on our own and our own instincts. A person can always catch up or restart his educational needs but emotional stress has more force and can lie deeper than the need to satisfy the educational requirements. The COVID19 Virus is something none of us, even at my age, we have ever experienced or were prepared for. Hasn’t been seen in 100 yrs. It’s not our fault but we all have to make decisions of how to prioritize what’s important and what takes precedence over certain things. Take care Rob. To me, given the situation we are in, we have to trust our parental judgement. Education can be restarted when the time is right. Good luck and be safe.

    • garviel loken on April 11, 2020 at 7:46 pm
    • Reply

    Hang in there buddy, If it’s any consolation, I’ve recently found out that my 13yo step son and 3yo daughter are both autistic, and finding your blog has really helped me cope with how hard things can get with them. Thankyou.
    Lockdown is hard on everyone, it’s a shit situation and it’s fucked alot of things up. But we’ll get through it. Hang on in there and TBH if school isn’t on your radar right now then it sounds like you have your priorities straight.

    1. Thanks Garviel. How are you holding up?

    • dotdash on April 11, 2020 at 6:38 pm
    • Reply

    I hear you asking for help. Please do not just let this moment pass without accepting some. Do you not have a family member who has been isolated at home for 2 weeks and therefore virus-free? Could that person not come help and give you a chance to get out for a walk? Allow someone to help you. Please.

    1. Hey Dot. Hope you’re well. I’m unfortunately, in a position where there is no help. There isn’t anyone in my family who’s been isolated for at least 2 weeks. I just can’t take any chances. My intention was to vent. There aren’t any solutions at the moment and I know so many others are in a similar boat.

      I tried taking my kids to the Garden Center, assuming no one was there. Gavin refuses to leave the house. He doesn’t want anyone leaving or anyone coming in..

      Part of my problem is that I have to shunt my limited resources to the most important things. Right now, the whole schoolwork thing is creating havoc. Dropping that is an immediate pressure release. I hate doing that and feel incredibly guilty but I don’t have any other options.

      As always, I appreciate you caring. ☺

        • dotdash on April 12, 2020 at 3:43 pm
        • Reply

        Hi Rob, I totally believe that you are managing the best you — or any single human — could. But there are situations that one person simply cannot sustain indefinitely. Is there no cavalry coming over the hill AT ALL in the foreseeable future?

        You should not feel guilty about dropping the schoolwork altogether. The school has no right to insist your kids do things (like worksheets) that make them crazy. I agree with the commenters who suggest more organic types of learning — nature movies or leaf collections or woodworking projects. Do you have a snap circuit kit, for instance? or a robot-building kit? I’d be happy to send one. Sounds as if the kids might have a bent towards electronics…

        We are all in these weird times together. Hang in there and do let people know what they can do to help.

        1. Thanks Dot. My parents check in on me daily over the phone. I have this amazing online community and people like you, who care. As far as having in person relief, it likely won’t happen until this is over. Honestly, dropping the schoolwork has taken a load off. I wrote the principal last night and explained I’m done because it’s just too much. I’ve not heard back yet but he’s a cool dude and we have a good relationship.

          If I’m being completely honest, I miss my wife. Maybe not the person who exists now but rather the person I built a family with. I’m trying desperately to get my kids through this and I just feel abandoned.

          That said, I’m trying very hard to rise above and continue moving forward. I’m tired but we’re healthy. I’m anxious but we’re as safe we can be. There’s a lot to be grateful for. As for the snap circuit kit, that would be really nice of you. The boys would love that..

          I’m trying to make all of this a teaching moment. We have to work on life skills and use things like math when we’re keeping inventory of supplies. Learning hasn’t stopped. ☺

            • dotdash on April 12, 2020 at 7:03 pm
            • Reply

            The anxiety is a lot, hard to face day after day. Your kids have you and that teaches them about stability and perseverance every day. It’ll get better! (Snap circuits and gummy worms kits on their way – hopefully they will be fun.)

            1. Thanks Dot. I tried to email you but couldn’t find your address.

            2. I’m going to dig out your email and send you a proper thank you but for the moment, I hope this will suffice.. Thank you.. ☺

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