I don’t even have the energy to relate to other people’s existence

Today is just too much. I’ve spent the weekend at home with the rest of my family also at home and I’m filled to the extent that I think I’ll explode soon. Filled with sounds, movements, pictures and the plain knowledge that they exist. Because, to me it’s actually energy consuming to be reminded of other people’s existence. It’s very hard to explain exactly why but it’s like I have to do some active processing just to deal with the fact that my kid and partner exist when I’m around them. There’s nothing automatic about it, I can’t relax and get recovery when they’re at home.

When I’ve tried to explain this to people they look at me like they just saw an alien and they sure have no clue what I’m talking about. I remember when my kid was around eight months old and had just started to say “hi” to people we met, even to strangers we passed in the street. Most people found it charming and responded and that was too much social interaction for me. Sometimes the person started talking to me, asking how old my baby was and other smalltalk questions and I had to fight really hard not to start crying. At some point when I was crying in the evening I tried to explain to my partner what was happening and with my desperate, sobbing voice I managed to articulate the phrase “I don’t even have the energy to relate to other people’s existence”. My partner was confused and I guess that was one of those moments where I realized that I am definitely sensitive in a way that my partner isn’t. I didn’t understand much more about it at the time though, it was just confusing and scary.

This morning my kid had slept poorly and he did obviously not have enough energy for preschool. We decided that he can stay at home and not go to preschool and I know it’s the right thing to do. It’s not okay to push him through an overwhelming day and push him into meltdowns tonight. However, I’m crying because I desperately need a couple of hours for recovery after the weekend, and I have a lot to take care of. I really feel like an awful person for wishing they weren’t at home. For not being able to interact with my child and leaving that to my partner. I’m ashamed like hell right now.

The thing is, I’m also exhausted for spending too much energy on trying to make certain healthcare facilities accessible for me and my child, and from all the work with making preschool more accessible. All those emails, phone calls (and sometimes meetings) that I need to spend my very precious energy on because of an ableistic society increases my need for recovery time.

I’m not asking for advice on how to get my alone time, there are a lot of facts I haven’t written about here so please, no advice on that. I just felt like writing about this experience, because I’m trying to understand it.

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