Photo: Vesna Mitrevska

I’ll sit with you in the dark. Waiting for others to believe you. Waiting for insurance approvals. Waiting for evaluations. Always waiting to hear what you already know.

I’ll sit with you in the dark when you feel alone. When others tell you they’ll pray for you. When they tell you stories of how they know someone who knows someone. When they tell you that God gives special kids to special people. When they tell you, “But they’re so cute” or “They’re so smart” —like it’s a constellation prize.

I’ll sit with you in the dark when friends and family slowly drop off when things get harder. They’re “There for you” until they aren’t. Because the reality is too hard for them to grasp so it becomes only your burden to bear.

I’ll sit with you in the dark when you’re so tired of speaking and not being heard. When you repeat yourself into a void and then you’re told “You never said that.” When you cry yourself to sleep every night and no one even notices—I do, because I am you.

I’ll sit with you in the dark when other’s don’t know how dark the dark can be. When you pretend everything is fine when it’s far from it. When you fight for services. When you fight the school system. When you fight your own family who refuse to see things for what they actually are.

I’ll sit with you in the dark when the cuteness starts to wear off. When things that were shrugged off as, “All kids do that” and become, “Why does your kid do that?” I’ll sit with you in the dark when you start to drown yourself in wine and food and try to sleep as much as you can so you don’t have to think.

I know this happens. I know because it all happened to me, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. I’ll sit with you in the dark when the sadness of, “Why my kid?” slowly turns to the anger of, “Why not my kid?” and you realize how important inclusion and acceptance are.

You are not alone, ever, even in the dark.