Sisyphus Is a Woman
World + People, The Other School

Sisyphus Is a Woman

Caring for a Child with a Disability
Dorota Danielewicz
time 4 minutes

You’ve learned to treat these reactions with indifference. You’ve learned to smile in every situation, and at the point of conflict, to use the stronger ammunition of words. People who have known you and your child for years don’t know how you cope. With the awareness of the child’s illness, with the difficulties of daily life, with the drudgery of housework, with doctor visits, the constant lack of time for yourself… not to mention finances. They don’t know how to ask – they’re afraid to ask – and when they get the simplest answer, they shake their heads in disbelief, saying: “I don’t know how you do it, I could never manage, I think I’d die.” These are the replies of women, because the men usually just freeze in fear and don’t say anything. Generally, they don’t even ask questions; that exceeds their abilities. Here ends the strength of the so-called stronger sex. And onward you push the stone of the everyday, like Sisyphus on that huge mountain – you, a woman, the mother of a child who will never be independent.

Mother of a child who will never be independent, you are more of a mother than others are. Not because you want to be; you just don’t have a choice. Where do you get the strength? Do you belong to the select few, to those who can bear more than others? People rise to the challenges life throws at


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