Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have been overwhelmed lately. A feeling of disconnection has come over me and I am struggling to make sense of it and to feel connected once again. The irony is that this disconnection evolves from our modern world with its sophisticated and savvy technological advancements that are intended to keep us connected at all times. I have texting on my cellular phone, email retrieval on my I-Pod Touch, voice mail at the home phone, internet on my laptop and wireless throughout the house. So much information is coming at me -- bombarding me at all times reminding me to check my Facebook account or text a fellow mom about coffee or reply to a volunteer email or a beep from my I-Pod alerting me of new email. At times I just want to turn EVERYTHING off and hide. Shut it down. Be free of the constraints of it all. I want to disconnect.

On a much smaller scale, I think it gives me a glimpse of what Sean must feel many times throughout the day -- a lack of connection and belonging -- snowballing into a feeling of isolation and a need to be alone. I think my son isn’t unaware of his feelings or input from the world, but rather, he is overwhelmed and scared from the amount and the constant activity. He wants nothing more than to belong and yet the rules of the game require so much commitment and knowledge that it is just too much for him bear. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not that he is sometimes alone in his own world entirely by choice but maybe more because it’s his only sense of wholeness, it’s a tactic for survival.

My sister said to me the other day on the phone, “Perhaps Sean is a reminder to all of us to slow down, to take a deep breath and to just be.”

I think that’s true. I sometimes find myself wide awake at 3 a.m. torturing myself with all that I haven’t accomplished, deadlines that I have missed and paperwork that remains undone. And then I think about what I am going to do the next day and began to make mental lists in my head, meanwhile robbing myself of any sleep or peace. By morning I am a shadow of the person I need to be and I’m trying to operate in a fog as the demands keep growing. Check the email -- 40 unread messages. Voice mail on home phone hasn’t been checked in days and I can’t even find the cell phone.

Maybe Sean has it right. Maybe he and other children like him are shouting silently to the rest of us to Stop! Take a step back. Give ourselves a fresher perspective. Hold in our hearts the things that really matter (and which are not things). Life shouldn’t feel like a dizzying merry-go-round, our feet kicking up dust and our hands chasing after something to hold onto, to pull us aboard so that we can move in circles. Maybe the secret is only to simply be still and let the world unfold in front of us, to slowly drink it all in and to just be. Maybe the bells and ringtones and alarms are distracting us from what matters, deafening us from hearing the strong, almost silent beat of the heart.

So today I am trying to rise above the noise. Who is to say that this world we live and work so hard in is “normal.” Maybe Sean’s approach is normal and it’s the rest of us that could use some help. Now wouldn’t that be ironic!


suelmayer said...

I love this post. I often reflect on what Sam's life is trying to teach me. Who is to say that our lives are better or richer, I often feel Sam enjoys his life more than I could ever attempt to.

Kathryn said...

Hi Katie,

This one made me think of Kristen, and smile. I think she believed that Sean, and Nico, and probably all kids to some degree, are here to teach us how to be more "here" in the world. She certainly lived her life at a different pace from most of us, and "disconnected" from a lot of the craziness. I could imagine her writing that last paragraph. Sending you big hugs, Kathryn

Katie Donohue Bevins said...

Kathryn, I think of Kristen a lot with matters of the heart and Sean. She gave me some of the best advice up at Park City and I think of it often. I wish the world was filled with more people like her -- it would be a more thoughtful and kinder world. Thank you. Katie

Cinda said...

Yes, yes and yes!!

Jayme said...

Just read what you wrote on "dreams" and was so impressed I had to check out your blog. I am on teh journey of rainsing a son with aspergers, his "typical" very active little brother and big sister with sever Cerbral palsy. I was so happy your story ended with the blessing of a good husband. It gave me relief to know you have one! I have similar dreams and similar blessings! Keep writing. It is beautiful.

Katie Donohue Bevins said...

Jayme- Thanks for your kindness and sharing some of your story. How lucky your children are to have such a compassionate and strong Mom. Sending good warm thoughts your way, Katie

Cecile said...