themighty logo

The Connection I Feel to Music on Drives Home With My Chronically Ill Child

It’s 3:20 a.m. and I just left the emergency room with my child, again. And once again, I have been told to “watch and monitor.” Urgent enough to get sent in, but not urgent enough to have a tangible solution. This is the life you live when you parent a complex child.

Driving home it’s quiet on the road, and it’s just me and the music. It’s reminiscent of a life I used to know, only then I was a skinny punk. Now I am just on the skinnier side of middle age. But for me the themes are the same. Music then was never about relationships breaking up. It was about the emotional bonds and connections between humans that break down over unavoidable differences; about the hate and isolation that accompanies growing up and wising up.

Not much has changed in that regard, only now the authority figures I have grown to distrust are the few I had respect for. It’s about learning that the institutions (and those who run them) put in place to guard people are also human. It’s about fights and breakups with therapists, school systems and doctors. The people you thought were on your side fighting for your child, but you realized are following a script that often excludes your child.

If you thought the pain was intense when you were 16 and “emo,” wait until you feel the pain of an institution attempting to devalue your child and his or her needs. That type of pain is unexplainable, except in the words of your favorite artists.

Somehow, in the quiet night, your favorite artists know what you can’t say. Just like old times.

Photo credit: wellesenterprises/Getty Images