What world does C inhabit? How different is it from my own? How much overlap is there? Can he be in both places at once?
Yes, I'm aware that we all perceive the world in different ways, but what is becoming clear to me is that C doesn't simply have a different perception of the world, he inhabits a different world altogether. C's reality may be the result of mixed signals, tangled wires, a garbled transmission; but his world is as real to him as my own is to me.
He doesn't see his world as unreal or surreal; he doesn't even see it as different. That's my issue, my perception, my desire to have him see things how I see them. (And isn't that what most parents hope for, if they're really honest about it?)
Instead of trying to do some sort of psychic airlift, pulling him out of his reality and into my own, I will try instead to understand his world, and in doing so hopefully help him navigate the one I inhabit.
Wish me luck.