So apparently I was on TV again over the last few days. I didn’t know anything about it. My brother messaged me last night to say that he was going through the guide on his TV and he heard my voice in the background. He clicked over and BAM there I was. I guess is was a supercut from several of the interviews I’d given ABC News in 2020. I don’t know because I haven’t seen it.
I had been hearing from people over the last few days that they’d seen me on TV as well. These are people I’ve never met before and they felt compelled to reach out after hearing me speak.
Everyone was very nice and I love hearing from my readers/followers/listeners. What was a bit worrisome to me was that everyone I talked to mentioned the same thing. They all said that I make being a single Dad to 3 autistic kids look easy. That was followed by them sharing a bit about their lives, which I consider an honor to hear about.
Everyone’s story was different but had the same basic premise. Everyone seemed to play down their own experiences because they assumed that my life was so much harder.
What concerns me about that is I feel like a fucking hot mess on a good day. Hearing people tell me about their lives and then make a statement to the effect of but it’s nothing compared to what you go through is upsetting to me for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I have never intended to send the message that managing my life is a cake walk. I don’t ever think I make this look easy and frankly, I feel like a terrible example most of the time. Secondly, when they make a comment that it’s nothing compared to what I go through I really feel like they aren’t giving themselves enough credit.
If you’ve ever reached out to me and said something along those lines, I probably gently played if off and said something to affect of everything is relative.
By that I mean, as much as you think my life is harder than yours, I might not be able to walk around the block in your shoes. My goal has never been to make anyone feel inadequate or like they weren’t doing enough in their own lives. It saddens me think anyone might feel like that.
Here’s the thing. Yes, my life is challenging. No, I don’t think just anyone could do this. That being said, this is all I know. I’ve adapted to this life and I’ve learned to navigate it over time. The days and nights cycle but the challenge is roughly the same every day. Most of the time, I’m fighting the same or similar battles and so I have had a lot of practice.
This is sort of like watching someone solve a puzzle in no time flat. They make it look so easy and it can be frustrating because we struggle with that same type of puzzle. We might feel like that other person is smarter than us or better at solving puzzles in general. That can lead to us feeling bad or inadequate.