Like many other UK/US parents I have suddenly found myself with a teenager who is now working from home.
As my newly crowned teenager is on the Autistic spectrum although he is still mainstream educated (or was until he decided a few days before the government that school was too big a risk for the corona virus and declared himself to be self isolating) it means that he constantly interrupts me to tell me his thoughts and opinions, especially if I have gone to the loo, most parents experience this with younger children but I guess I am a lucky mum(?) in that my son is still very dependant. He will hold my hand walking down the street – partly as comfort and partly so I can catch him when he trips, until he remembers that he is too old for that and decides to let go.
Other than school his life has not changed dramatically – he never really went out, apart from for meals or to the cinema so he was frustrated he could not do that, the majority of his time is spent honing his skills on Fortnite or mimicking his favourite Youtubers on Roblox, he already socialises online the majority of the time. The other major change has been the fact that my sone enjoys eating the same breakfast over and over and over and over and over… now he cannot because of all the panic buying, he is adjusting but “that blooming stupid Corona virus!” has become a regular utterance whenever I have to break bad news about his routine.
Add to that the fact that I am trying to keep some semblance of school work going for a child who has had clearly defined boundaries about school work being for school and not home since he was in nursery and this is a big adjustment. Fortunately a class size of one makes for much less distractions and he has not gotten into serious trouble yet! lol.
I have plans to start a couch to 5k app with him as where we are we could walk all day and not see another person let alone get within 2 metres of them, but he has to be onboard to stay motivated as we try and put a loose timetable in place to allow for school and chill time.
I have cut down my social interactions as well but work in an area where I still have to come into contact with families on a daily basis. Sadly I know that I am far more likely to be a carrier than be seriously ill, but I worry for us as I worry for those who are not as fortunate as us to have homes to hide in.
Dee is having to be entirely inside, I see her smiling sadly when I look in the mirror, but with young ears either next door or always on the cusp of walking in I am not going to get any chance to express yself through dressing and I just received my official notification that my GIC appointment has been cancelled – I already knew that it would be, with the best will in the world when faced with a medical emergency on this scale I would have been disappointed if anything else had happened.
The small chink of hope is that I can still interact online as myself and I have just installed a new game that I hope to try towards the end of this week – I cannot really voice chat yet, but perhaps that is a bullet that will have to be bitten.
Morbidly I have been wondering about what would happen if I died, would my sisters acknowledge DeeDee when they came to empty the house or compile my tribute or would they just dismiss her?
If I live, and while I am in a reasonably safe age bracket there are no guarantees with this virus, but will we value our lives more? Will this reminder of how short and precious our time is spur me on to be more of who I see myself as? Will I become more lady and less tramp? Time will tell.
I did read a really interesting blog from someone who was refuting the idea that rapid onset dysphoria was a fad, the idea being that with free access to just about anything online we gravitate to those things that we define ourselves by – (her example was that while perhaps isolated in real life a racist will drift towards racist cliques and transgender individuals will drift towards transgender information) neither one of those things will make someone else become that if they are not already predisposed even if they do not see it when they are looking. Which would have been me. I went blissfully through life until I turned 40 and now I am drifting on the edges of Trans circles and considering whether or not to enter fully, I already think of myself as a stay at home mum even if I never used that phrasing to describe myself before!
Who we are is more inside than out, I want to love me and build myself back up, but all things considered I think that right now, in this moment, I would rather consider myself beautful on the inside than handsome 😉
Take care and stay safe