To Whom This May Concern

Look, am I okay? No. No I’m not. I imagine if I asked you the same question (and I do almost every single night on Twitter), many of you would answer the same way. The world is absolutely crazy right now and a lot of us aren’t doing okay.

I’m not a unique case here. So many people are struggling right now. The big difference is that I’m openly sharing how I feel. Not everyone is comfortable doing that and that’s okay.

My kids and I have been staring at each other for 37 days now. The house feels like it’s shrinking and I’m exhausted. There are times that I really struggle and there are times that I’m doing okay-ish. At least as good as one can do under these dire circumstances.

Do I feel alone? Yes, I absolutely feel alone. I was still coming to terms with my sudden, unexpected divorce, as were my kids when all this happened and it’s thrown me for a loop. So yes, I feel alone and I’m allowed to feel that way. Being on lockdown doesn’t make that any easier. Being on lockdown doesn’t make depression management any easier as well. In fact, it seems to fuel my depression and that’s probably pretty common right now as well.

I’m tired, overwhelmed, emotionally drained, frustrated and even scared. Who isn’t right now? I sorta feel like, if you aren’t scared, at least to some degree, you aren’t paying attention.

We’re all going through this, or at least some version of this right now. What makes my situation different than most is the added challenge of being a special needs parent. The many Autism or Special Needs families out there right now trying to make it through this difficult time, are really struggling. Again, this is not unique to me.

People are more aware of my situation because I openly talk about it. I talk about it here, on Twitter, my podcast, and in interviews (most recently ABC News and BBC World). I have a platform that many other parents in similar situations don’t necessarily have.

6 comments

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    • BJW on April 13, 2020 at 8:28 pm
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    Rob, do you have links to your 2 interviews? I’d like to hear them. And I hear you about how hard this is. Harder for you with three children. I had plans this year after my knee surgeries, and now are more difficult. But really, the goal is to stay alive through this not very sexy disaster.

    1. Are you referring to the ABC and BBC stuff? If so, I don’t have access to the BBC segment, although I never asked. The ABC is pinned to my Twitter profile. twitter.com/theautismdad…☺

      Amen Becky. I hope you and you’re are staying safe. ☺

    • Grace on April 13, 2020 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply

    Can you put masks on the kids and take them out for a remote walk in an area away from other people? It’s hard for kids to be indoors for 37 days straight. I understand not being around people, but there is nothing wrong with being outdoors.

    1. It’s not quite that simple. We live in a bad neighborhood and my oldest, who’s immunocompromised, is not comfortable leaving the house. We can go into the yard sometimes but just as the most recent example, the was an attempted murder last week, roughly 2 doors down and it happened while we were outside. This guy poured gasoline all over a car, and set it on fire, with his girlfriend inside the car. We got to witness that because we were simply out in our yard.

      My hands are tied in many ways right now. Yes, I know it’s had for kids to be in the house for 37 days but my options are limited and my priorities have to center around safety. I’m trying to get Gavin to be willing to just go for a drive but he’s not budging.

    • Diane R Gorsline on April 13, 2020 at 1:47 pm
    • Reply

    Most days I have been okay, but not so much today.

    • Curtis G. on April 13, 2020 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply

    Well said Rob and should be easily understood, especially by parents on lock down with autistic children and if they were in your personal situation. You all stay safe and do the best you can, as we all are forced to, under these terrible situation the world now finds itself in. That’s all any of us can do until this madness passes.

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