S2 E11 - 5:10:20, 2.53 PM
7:01PM May 10, 2020
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Welcome back to this week's episode of all the things ADHD, the podcast where Amy and I Lee talk about and discuss our experiences of having ADHD, among other things, recently diagnosed in our 40s. I'm Lee Skallerup Bessette. I'm ready writing on Twitter. My co host is Amy Morrison she is Digi walk on Twitter. And today we have our third and final episode with Kelly Baker as our guest. The episode opens with the most perfect description of what goes on in my head when I'm in social situations and closes with us talking about the difference of cloud fun and quiet fun and I'm sure people can imagine where I fit in and where Amy fits in and you can see where Kelly fits in on this spectrum of loud fun versus quiet fun and I have to say that this was just such a wonderful conversation and that most of my contribution was just laughing hysterically in the background or nodding vigorously in agreement. So I hope you enjoy this last episode. We certainly enjoyed recording this episode. And if she ever wants to come back on Kelly is always welcome to come and chat with us. So, enjoy this conversation that we have with Kelly, and I'll be back at the end close things up.
There are places that I'm more comfortable, right. So like you said that I do. Okay. In academic settings. Not always well, right. Like there's some sort of working class tensions that I have with academics in general. And but yeah, no, but it's a different kind of experience than me hanging out with other moms that swear I'm like, oh, even like where do I idea No. And then you mean and that's and that's the thing, right? And I think this is the, the anxiety piece for me is then I spin it up in my head. Right? Right. Okay, what am I doing now? How am I supposed to be acting? What should I have done? And where and because this is where I am, I want to come in prepared, right? Like, I want to be ready for what's gonna happen, but like, it doesn't work.
There's nothing more natural than like constant self surveillance and an internal checklist of things that you're going to do like that really comes across as natural in modern social interaction. Let me consult my binder, but what I'm supposed to do at once,
right? Yeah, we're like, frantically flipping it, you know, to figure out like how to do this and
like that, but by then by the time you found it, you've already blurted out the wrong thing. Oh, no, it's all I have the view of the brain that's like, this is not and then you have the mouth that's like, I'm gonna say something inappropriate or like, not socially. It's not even that it's inappropriate. It's just not appropriate for that particular right right situation right? So like, I get along, like, this is why I love coaching. Because like with the swimmers, a I don't have to hang out with the swim parents up in the stands, but B, I know how to talk to their kids way better than I know how to talk to them. Right? Like, I can talk to like 11 and unders, I get it. I get 11 and unders. I like they hit 1213 I'd be start being like, now you're gonna get mean, and I don't really get right anymore. But like, you're still really sweet 11 and under, and excited and like, you know, obnoxious and like, I'm like, all things I understand. So it's like, We're on the same wavelength. Um, so yeah, like, it's it's sort of like it for me now. It's like, well, the the 10 and unders get me so I get out, and they like me because they're kids like me. And so I'm like, that's my past. Like, they like me and accept me because the kids have liked you and accept you when we say that you're a good coach. But if I were to just to approach them as like, swim mom It would be like, No, wait, like, yeah, don't you know? But but because I got their kids to like me first it's like, oh, okay, well, this is she's she's okay that well, we'll, we'll talk to her and sort of, you know, be more almost like be more patient with her because she is so good with our kids, right? It doesn't help that you
have a role like I find. I mean, this is like what another paradox of autistic people is often we're very, very bad at one on one or small group social interactions, but we're really great in front of a crowd, right? Where, like to do presentations or to do performances or that kind of thing can be very, very charming and funny, like Hannah Gadsby talks about this a lot actually, about how it really works great for her that all this stuff is scripted, but then you see her in interviews and like I just love her to bits and I want to go talk with her because I understand exactly what she's doing but like the mystified faces that interviewers make it her a lot when I'm like, Oh my god, she's so funny, but like, that's an autistic way of listening I guess but but to have like a role where it like you are the coach. So you get to like, have a very specific set of things that you do with the kids and you get to be very extra with the kids. And you have to yell a lot at swimming pools because it's a very big and echoey space. So like it plays into things that you're good at. And because people get to see you really shining in that role that plays to all of your strengths, and it opens up a space for them to accept your quirks, right in ways that if you just kind of walk up to them, and you're like really loud, and then and have a lot of opinions and stuff like that to
take a step back.
It's really hard. But yeah, one of my main like tricks for for socializing with people has always been to like volunteer for stuff, right? And then like, Mm hmm. Right. So I always had more fun as a camp counselor than I ever had as a camper for you. Yeah, it was much easier for me or, you know, I like, you know, volunteer to be in charge of things or volunteering to do presentations or like having some kind of role where my presence is required. And there's a series of things that I have to do. I'm never guessing what I'm supposed to do next and they can be helpful. tend to add it. And then that opens up space for me to have interactions with people that can sort of develop past my weirdness point into something that feels a little bit more authentic. I think that's a pretty common strategy for neurodivergent. People, actually.
And I think this is why I like Twitter so much is I feel like you get a sense of what my personality is before I meet a lot of these people. Yes, face. I was gonna say that to you that it that it makes a big difference where, because what you get on Twitter is pretty much the sort of randomness of my Twitter stream is sort of the randomness of interacting with me because I really, really am that like, squirrel, and then I'm like, oh, there's one other thing that I really want to tell you right now. And I know it's not related to anything, but like you need to know right? And so my family is pretty used to this. And oftentimes, I can remember as a kid, they would be like, track it back for me, right? When my parents would be like, yeah, where did this come from? And I'm like, Oh, hold on, right. And I could like track it back where I had sort of done this. And so I feel like for me, it's been really nice to be able to do that kind of thing on Twitter where I feel like in a lot of ways, in some ways, high stakes, but a lot of ways. It's lower stakes. So my opinion on Lilo and Stitch in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter that much. You know, it's fun. It's fun, right? And it shows that I have a personality beyond work and these other things beyond
white supremacy. And so,
because I know, right, I've got to pick something happy. At some point, maybe I don't, we'll see. Um, but I feel like that's helped me a lot because people interact with me better after they've kind of followed me on Twitter. Now, some people haven't, right, because they that kind of weird like, want to approach you as a brand instead of a person, which I don't appreciate and which happens, but I think for me, it like helps with the social situations where I go in and I'm always so nervous when somebody's like, Oh, I'd like to have coffee with you. And it was like, Well, today is the day they realize that I am not at Good, I am not fun. I mean, because that's the kind of the internal commentary that I have where I'm like, Oh, they wouldn't have coffee with me. Oh, God, you know, What will they think of? Oh, right. And so I always have that like nervousness of like, Well, today's a day, they're gonna find out that I am just maybe accidentally funny. Twitter or I'm not really as clever or you know, but I feel like if you've kind of experienced what I've done on Twitter, and I've experienced what you've done that that sort of gets away from some of that. Because those social interactions, again, are the kind of lower social stick ones that build a relationship, instead of me going in and being like, Hi, you know?
Yeah, I mean, Twitter, you go on and you make a statement into the void. Mm hmm. You're not trying to initiate an interaction with a specific person which feels fraught but if like I have a thing I want to say or picture my cat I want to show or like a photo, I want to reproduce. Okay, cool. I'm just going to put it on Twitter. And if people are gonna like it, then they liked it. So it's low stakes for me in the sense that there's not a lot that I post that would enrage people. Right, right. There's stuff they might not find interesting. And then don't follow me cool, right? Or don't like it or whatever. But the people for whom the content hits, right. They like it, and then talk with me and then I feel okay, interacting with them. Because like, I'm very genuine. Online, because I'm a blur and I can't be different from who I am. That's like a fake. And, and so yeah, it diminishes my nervousness when I actually meet them. Because I'm like, Well, if you've seen me on, on Twitter, that's actually what I'm like, right? Yeah, the things I'm going to say. Those are the kinds of jokes I'm going to make. That's the kind of interaction I'm gonna have. And if like, you know, you saw the picture, that's what you're gonna get, right? Like, it's not one of those like fake listings on Etsy or it's like, you're going to get a reproduction share. And it turns out that reproduction for a dollhouse, like, it's not that great, like, it's exactly what you're gonna, what you're going to get and that like, I find that very soothing. I find them very soothing. Make some people say like, I can't believe you would, you know, share that kind of stuff online. You should save that for your friends like, but actually that's how I make friends. Yeah, it is it
totally is. That's how we all became friends. Yeah. Like, honestly, this is literally how the three of us became friends.
Yeah, yeah, we're the internet friends,
we are internet friends. And I think that's the
kind of funny piece that I always I always think it's very interesting when people lodge that critique about Twitter in particular, right about the super official illness or the sort of narcissism that people show, right, that they're kind of shouting at people and not doing this or that these aren't your real friends in some sort of way. And I'm like, No, this is actually how I found a remarkable community of people that are sort of similar to me that aren't going to be that I can only find in this kind of space that I'm not necessarily going to find in my rural town.
Yeah, yeah, there's no way meetup
groups for like, you know, your little haired tattooed weirdos edit
like, like a that's too niche. Right.
Yeah. I was thinking about putting a flyer at the local library where I'm like, hey, oh, you know, this could be you. And then they'll be like, this is Kelly trying to start some sort of club, you know, feel like that's exactly what would happen, because that would be so identifiable.
Yeah. I mean, it's funny because like, the kinds of maybe like, the big personalities that we wind up having a, you know, through our forms of difference mean, like, we have to cast a wider net, to find you to find our people, right. Like, I know, I had to share something with my sort of extended family through a Facebook thing, and one of my aunts got really mad at me about it, and she was like, you're doing wrong, and you're oversharing? And like, Are you trying to tell me like, How am I supposed to know bla bla bla bla. And then like, it turns out that was the thing that like I was on national radio talking about a week that I got all kinds of like positive feedback for it. So sometimes it's like I said, the right thing, but not to the right people, right, like and she was trying to say that you shouldn't do this type of thing on Facebook and you're using it wrong and I'm really concerned about blah, blah, blah, and it's like a little bit ashamed of myself briefly, but then I thought, you know, my people and then I blocked her from Facebook. So and I'm happy And then I talked about it on national radio, but like that was so insightful. And we're so glad that we have you here. And I'm like, take that. Boomer answer.
Yeah, no, I think that's the kind of I think that's the interesting piece to me is that is the network's that also makes sense to us. So, you know, I have friends that are like, Twitter is overwhelming, like, I can't leave. And I've talked about this, right, like, I can't do it. And I was like, no, it makes sense, right? It's rapid fire. I can scroll through, I can look at different topics and like, toggle to another I was like, This is made for my ADHD brain, like it is made for it. I'm like, we're on Facebook. I'm like, What the hell is this? Like, how do I like what you know, like, because there's a slow kind of clunkiness to it. And there's the way people comment and then it just doesn't work for me, but Twitter like, as soon as I was on it, I was like,
Whoa, like, this
is a network. That makes sense, right? So I talked to a ton of people Related to that or like,
why, like why would you be on here? Like it doesn't make any sense is like
Twitter and access technology, like for some ADHD people, right? Like as I was already saying, like I put stuff out there and I'm not directing it to any person so it reduces my social anxiety about things wrong thing because I'm saying what I want and then I, you know, make friends that way. And one of my friends put on her Facebook today, Stephanie Kirschbaum was saying that she's really grateful for text messaging, having become a normative way that people interact with each other because it changed her whole social world because she's enough, right? So it was like so text messaging turns out to be like a really important access technology for deaf and hard of hearing people. And social media, which people often slam as being somehow like, but a poor relation to. ization actually allows people with like, various kinds of differences like either identity differences or neurological differences, to find A modality of interaction that minimizes the things that make them anxious or difficult that maximizes their potential for seeing the things that they want to say in the way that they want to see them and also opens up to a much broader range of people from whom they can draw their friends right as that's one of the things that bothers me a lot about how people talk about social media as if it's like, some sort of poor substitution for like hanging out with a moms group that gave birth in the same three weeks as you then went to the same pregnancy class, which feels like a completely random and stupid way to make friends to me right you're telling me that's better than Twitter
when you put it that way? Oh,
I was like yeah, that is really dumb now Yeah.
Like was also the reason that I joined one of those and then instantly was like, no one out there. work by Yeah.
Yeah. Well, I think that there's also this idea of it. Again, being frivolous, right, and and like this is a frivolity. This is a distraction. This is like a All of these kinds of things, and it's, and again, it's one of those questions of like, just because you don't get it, right doesn't mean that there isn't something to be gotten. Right? Like, it's like so much like, and in this conversation, so much of what's considered normal, quote, unquote, doesn't make sense to us. Right? Right. And yet, we're told Well, you have to try to make sense of it. Right? Whereas it's like, but there are things that do make sense to us. And you're gonna shit on
them. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So like acceptance only and one directions, right. So like the people who deviate at least one standard deviation from the center of the bell curve are expected to be flexible enough to go back to the middle where everybody else's, but everybody else in the middle is not expected to be flexible enough to adopt anybody else's communication strategies. And we're back to where like Kelly started with later people on the internet trying to tell her some strategies, conferences more, right. That's not the goal here. Right. The goal here is like maybe if you have enough Facebook friends, someday you'll be brave enough to make friends in real life. Right? Like, no, no. Like maybe you prefer meeting people like in your bridge club or, like, you know, there's like, an email list for the people who live on my street and some people seem to really cherish being best friends with people, they happen to be geographically proximate to, like, Okay, I'm not gonna
go and go
hard, fast. I mean, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna deny that those relationships might be meaningful and very supportive for some of the people who really lean into those, but that's not how I make friends. Right, right. And so like, I'm not gonna, you know, shit on there. I'm not going to yuck, they're young. Right? And I don't want them to, to yuck, mine. And I guess like, that's like one of the big things that the sort of neurodiversity movement is like looking at is not squashing us all back to the one right way of doing like, because there's never going to be one right way. Right? It's about being open to a variety of means by which people can achieve social goals that they have. have in common, right doesn't mean that we all have to achieve those goals, in the same way doesn't make anybody less human, right than anybody else doesn't make anybody less socially skilled or less empathetic right then than anybody else. But like the trouble comes from people always assuming that the person with the quote unquote broken brain is the person who has to move themselves back towards normal when we could just expand, like what we consider normal ways of attracting.
Yeah, and I think I mean, and what I would say is that it took me a lot of therapy to get to the point where I didn't fundamentally understand that something was broken about me, right like that. That was like the long standing narrative and not entirely a narrative that I started on my own right, but through interactions with other people where it's like, what's wrong with you? Like what yeah,
that's what I was thinking. Like, why
can't you do this the way
What is wrong with you this,
you know, and I don't even know how often like I heard that from very well meaning people you know, we're just like, I don't understand why you're upset by this. I don't understand what's going on, you know, why can't you handle this in some sort of way and, and it was very helpful when I finally listened to my therapist about this like, I feel like it took like a year and a half before I was like, oh, like she might be right. This is the problem, I think with having a PhD and like approaching this stuff is I was like, No, I got this like, I don't. I will take what I take, and it's fine. I've got this like, I I'm making an A in therapy. I know. I am like, Oh, yeah, that's exactly. When I was totally not right. Like I was really like, probably see minus
some sort of way. I think Kelly is you're supposed to move past the idea of being graded.
It's a running joke in our house, which is I am past it. But every once in a while I come home and I'm like, Yeah, I used it today. I did it. And then other days I come home and I'm like, yeah, I'm not chasing anything. It's cool. It's fine.
This is fine your cup of coffee and you're burning it like I did talk about my feelings I didn't want to
know. Yeah, but I think but I think that like narrative and the way people get treated that way so fundamentally rooted and how we think about these things, right? So my friend I'm Katie gasps trial writes a lot about and in her book life of the mind interrupted, writes a lot about trying to get normies to like, understand, you know, like, trying to get people to understand like, No, no, like, there is much more variety, right? There's much more divergence than you understand. And just because this is your way of doing it doesn't mean someone else's way of doing is wrong or broken or these sorts of things. And it is super useful, but it is funny where every once in a while, I'm just like, oh, what is wrong with me? And I'm like, okay, not something that's wrong, right? It could be the structure, it could be like, the conditions that I'm dealing with, could be an environment is really bad for me, you know, and and just kind of now be able to identify those things, I think is the biggest piece is I'm like, Yeah, I don't like these faces because they're like, I went to Vegas for a conference. I thought I was gonna die. Like I hate
mode. Yeah. Oh, it's awful. It's loud. There's so many people, they're not wearing clothes. Like, everybody's drunk. Everyone's drunk, right? Um, you know, I'm just like, I just, I'm in a casino for this stupid conference. And I have to walk through and it's all the noise and all the lights. And I was like, and they make it
so you take it out, right? I'm so terrible. I already have a terrible sense of direction. And so like, I get lost in my own house sort of thing. Like my everybody makes fun of me about that. Like, I have zero sense of direction. The casino. I'm just like, oh,
oh, what do you do, right? I mean, it was just it's one of those things where like about, I mean, it took me a couple hours. I was like, I can power through this sounds great. And I was like, No, this is terrible. Like, this is not an environment that I I'm going to do well in like ever right? Um, and you know, like you would walk through it is the giant TVs and I mean, we kind of made this joke earlier and before we were recording about having to do like blinders now that everyone's home right where you can kind of do but I was literally walking through places in Vegas with like my hands so I could not see except for in front of you because it was just, I was like, No, this is hell, right? Like, I don't I don't know how people handle this, but it is hell.
How good of you to notice that the problem is not you like it's the it's the environment, right? Like, I remember like, I was in my first year at university and I was studying biology because I was good at science and it was like you're good at you're a woman and you're good at science. You should like study science. And I was like, Okay, I'm good student I get a pluses I'm going to do the hardest thing right and get the highest and I was not enjoying it. And I was sitting in this like lecture this 500 person like first your chemistry lecture and I was like, just praying for death. I was looking around me and people actually legitimately excited about it? Uh huh. Do you know and I had this moment, I was just like, I'm never gonna like this, dude. I mean, like, I got through it in high school and I was very good at it. So it's getting all these external markers of like reward for it. And it was like you should you should you should write for all these like various political feminist reasons that I totally agree with, but I didn't like it. Right. And I thought, well, maybe I like it more when I get to university. Right? And I'm sitting less healthy. Well, maybe I'll like it more like when I graduated and get a job or go to grad school or whatever, but it's not that you know what, I'm actually looking around, and there's people who like it right now. Mm hmm. Right. And it's not me. And it was like, such a powerful thing for me to finally realize, like, I was not being authentic to myself, like continuing in that field. And I switched to English and I loved like, I could not stop me from learning stuff, right? And so it's like you with Vegas or like, you know, all of us with like, deciding the kinds of work we can do and can't do in the environments. We can do it in environments, we can do it with a loud noises that we can or cannot handle. The tchotchkes that we have to have all over workspaces are that we do not my daughter just delivered me a muffin. That's amazing.
Oh, it's kind of awesome. I cannot be refilled at a certain point. And I was like, What is that? I'm like dad, like, my office from now completely
distracted. I think the point of my story was like, there's like a lot to be gained from acknowledging to yourself, like, what things about you are going to change? And what things about you are not going to change? And you could push through, right? You could say, yeah, go to that Las Vegas conference, because people really like it. And maybe you enough, I will like it but maybe, right, maybe it's not worth it. You could fake it. But who benefits from that? Not you?
Not me. No, it was it was really funny where I mean, I think I do think I only lasted like a couple of hours. And then I was texting both of my sisters and I'm like, this is a hellscape and I hate it here. I'm like and let me tell you the things that I hate about it. Just Just so you know, I want you to know all the things I hate as I see them and it
good. It was so funny because They were dying, right where I was like, I don't like any of this. I was like, in the next person that touches me, I'm gonna lose my damn mind. Right? And this is super funny, where they were like, these were the best text ever. And I was like, Yes. Because like, it was that or like, curl up on the
on the nasty crust.
Ground right? Um, you know,
like, no one wants to do that. Oh,
nightmares tonight about that. Yeah.
So my husband and I actually went to Vegas for our honeymoon. Because right after we got married there, oh, well, there's a reason. So we'd never neither of us had ever been before. And immediately after we got married, we got into the car from Edmonton, Alberta, and just got on the 15 all the way down to Southern California, where my husband was doing his PhD. And along the 15 as you're going south, you go right through Vegas, right. And so we were like, you know, we don't really get 100 honeymoon. So, you know, hotels are cheap dirt cheap in Vegas. So you know, let's just hate it.
And we actually tried again because we're like, there must be something wrong with us and we maybe August and it was 1000 degrees outside. That's why we didn't like Vegas. No went back to Vegas. We had two nights we left after one we were like this is Nope, we don't like Vegas. Vegas is awful. We hate this place. But like it was, it was funny though, because we did have a moment where we were like, it's us. It's gotta be us. Everybody loves Vegas. We This is the power of the norm. Right? This is the power of like, it's a kind of internalized ableism when you think like when you deny the experience of your own body, right? And if you can see that I am emotionally unhappy. I am cognitively wrecked, right from all the noise and like physically, I'm completely overwhelmed. Hmm, that's not the right reaction. I should not have a reaction, right? Like, like how powerful
I mean Almost like forgive the normie people because they never experienced that friction against it right. But how powerful that encoding must be, even if people for whom it does not work, still try to convince ourselves I should go to Vegas a second time. Right? It's probably an anomaly that I was so miserable. I did it wrong, right. Yeah. Everything in your whole body and soul revolted against the experience of Las Vegas. And like your thought was, I should try again. Right, right. But like, that's so common, like, I think like so many people like partying those diagnosed with neurological differences in adulthood, speak of their entire lives of trying to be like, I guess the problem is neat. Yeah, right. Yeah, I should, I should enjoy this like, because that's how enjoyment works is you can force yourself to enjoy something. Right. And I think we could probably like, you know, your cancer. We're saying if we just all that time we've wasted in our lives of like, be like, I guess the problem is me. I should try harder. To enjoy that, like,
if we enjoyed biology more we could cure cancer,
right? Yeah, if I enjoyed biology Hold up. Oh,
well, I mean, it's funny to me too, because, you know, for a while, I'd convince myself that I was just the one that ruined things right because I couldn't have fun in the same way that other people were having fun. And I was like, here I go again ruining a party because I can't stay here any longer and I'm talking to the dogs
as opposed to being inside and chit chatting with people you know, or I'm the reason we've deleted something early or I'm you know, and just how convinced I was right that this is me, not knowing how to have fun, you know, and I was like, or or now I'm like, that's not fun. Like those kind of parties are terrible. Like, who wants to go to them like if you do fine, but I don't like I don't want to do this right. And, and it's super funny now too, because I'm where I can't handle like the big holiday gatherings like it's just Too many people. It's too much chaos. It's usually loud. Right? Yeah. And then so now my family jokes, right? Well do well, before the current shelter in place, social distancing, who would do this kind of thing, right? It would be Christmas. And they would look around and they'd be like, whereas Kelly, right, like, could not find me. And it's because I've like hightailed it to a room as far away from all of them as I can, because I just need to not have people not to have it loud, right.
I don't know if I've told this story on the podcast. And I've told this story so many times because it is like a perfect microcosm of my son. We were about this story. I felt
the story hard. Yeah.
So I, we were at a wedding and it wasn't a huge wedding. Right? It wasn't a massive wedding. It was outdoors. So there's lots of space as well. And it was almost a really good amount of people that my son knew, right like that. We're all familiar. He was probably five, maybe 556. Not very old. But like a lot of people that he knew a lot of people that he cared about the bride and groom were two people that I absolutely adored like this was like it's close to you could get the family that they've had given that we live in a different country from our actual family. So we go to this wedding, and we're in the tent and there's like a Motown cover band playing like it was amazing. My daughter is eating it up. She's all out there social butterfly and on the dance floor, so my everything. And finally at one point, my daughter though, because this is who she is goes, have you seen him suddenly? Oh, my brother. And I'm like, now she's like, aren't you worried? And I'm like, I'm sure he's fine. But okay, maybe we should look for him. And of course all the little boys like there was a ton of little boys around his height and they all had the same uniform which was shaved head like some sort of check shirt and khaki pants. So you'd walk around going that Nope, that's not him. No, that's not him. And then finally we like sent off like not to worry anybody. We're like, have you seem like no actually haven't seen him. Found him in behind the tent. With a couple of the serving staff are out there having a smoke one with this. Oh,
he just needed a smoke break to
get away who's just like, we're like, oh, Leo, here you are is like what are you doing? He's like, I'm just hanging out talking to my friends. You know, like talking my new friends. Oh, likes quiet fun. Yeah. So Kelly Yeah.
Knowing how my husband describes me because I'm also always saying like, you know, I'm Britta from community. I am vice president of the Runic club. Right. And I know finally go no fun. You guys are like we're just loud fun. And you are quiet fun.
So like, you are welcome to take that into your family as well. And that's been like sort of transformational for me because I do I have fun doing the things that I like, even though people think they're boring, right. And I don't have fun doing things that other people like, which I find loud and frenetic and too many people and people are touching and I don't like it. And so it's not they don't like to have fun. I like quiet fun.
And I think I mean, I think that's also The piece that comes with being a little bit older too, right, like so I'm getting closer to 40. And I think in my 20s, I would be like, Oh, no, what we do is we go to parties, hate parties, wall hate parties, right. And we like sitting around and chitchat with drunk people, which is also not my, my bag in any sort of way. And you know, it's one of those things where everybody's like, oh, we're gonna go to a club, and I was like, I think I lasted once, right? Like, I did that once in college and was like, Oh, no, this is terrible, like. But you know, it was just the people that I miss interacting with, like, this is how they wanted to socialize. And this is what again, you and I was just like, none of that. Like, none of this is fun. And now I can be like, you know what, I actually have to do that thing that someone said, I should like, I don't have to write like, I don't know what to do. And there's nothing wrong with me. I just am not going to prefer this kind of model, right. I'm not going to enjoy a reception in a conference unless I can kind of sequester with someone and chit chat, and a way where it's not loud and it's not crowded, that sort of thing, but I feel like it just took me so long to get there, you know, to a point where now I'm like, No, I'm not doing this.
Well, and that's a great thing now about, like, having that realization and being able to parent with that knowledge. Mm hmm. Right, where it's like, ya know, cool. You want to hang up behind the tent? Just let us know next time. Okay, so that we're not worried about you? Yeah, like, you know, like, that's just that's all I mean, I'm not saying you have to come and join the party. I'm just saying, I'd like to know where you are. Because you're six. Like, I just I feel like maybe I should know where you are. He's like, all right. Um, but but it being able to sort of have these kinds of conversations with your kids and be like, Look, if you don't like it, like yes, sometimes you're gonna have to do things that you don't want to do, because that's just frickin life. But I don't have to force you to try and have fun. I don't have to force you to be like smile and have a good time or like, yeah, you know, like we can. We can have conversations around like what it is that you don't like about cars. Go or what it is you don't like about coming to the wedding? Or what it is that you do like about it right? Like, yeah, that that these are the things that that you really do enjoy. Well, that's okay. And you you know, my daughter likes, like super organizing birthday parties and like super a type personality kinds of ways and my son's just like, we're gonna watch movies and play video games. And I'm like, that's great. You're both having a birthday party that you both like really want to have. And I'm, I'm happy with that, and that I don't have to plan anything for either of them. But
this is the great power that as parents we can unleash in the world is that it won't take our neurodivergent children right 30 years on this earthly plane to understand their own needs and desires. I mean, this is what the big autistic advocacy movement pushback against ABA therapy is about because ABA teaches you that the most important thing is that the people around you think that you're normal, right? So it teaches you exactly, to not listen to your body's cues. About This is too loud, this is too hot, this is too itchy. I don't like you, I don't want to be touched, it teaches you to disregard all of those signals that your body gives you about your preferences, your needs, your sense of safety, your sensory overwhelm, and teaches you to squash all that down, and then do whatever it takes to make the adult in front of you happy, which like leads to a lot of conditioning for abuse, right and stuff. And it also like takes people's power away in the world because you wind up dis regarding and silencing your inner voice on any number of fronts. So you don't even know who you are. And you have to expend all this energy, right trying to stay at the party when what you really want to do is sit behind the tent, right? You don't want to say like, Mom, we have to go home. You just like I'm perfectly happy. Back here by myself. Why do you need me to come back? Right dance, right, like, do that.
And I'm like, I don't I just need to know where you are.
Yeah. And that's great. I mean, that's like an amazing journey that we can give our kids is to say like, I hear you, right? Your experience is different from my experience, but your experience is valid and you're preferences are important and if you are allowed fun person, okay, great. I'll be over here with my noise cancelling headphones on because I'm a quiet fun person, right like to teach that kind of tolerance in that kind of capacity to listen to your inner voice means that you become a grown up who doesn't go to Vegas twice? To find out? Like, how much how much could we do in the world if we weren't so busy silencing our inner voices for most of
us are and questioning them, too. I mean, I think that that's the other thing that we give our kids as well as is that it's like, I believe you, and I validate it, and I take it seriously right? Now, that doesn't mean you're going to necessarily again, get everything that you want. Right? Right. Because, you know, there are certain things that we have to do and there are certain accommodations that are just, you know, like, we just can't right. But to be able to take it seriously and explain why Okay, well, here's what we can compromise on are like, listen and take it seriously and believe them and then you know, have those kinds of conversations with Whichever level is appropriate with the age depending and feel to say look, right, like, okay, here's Okay, so you don't have to do this. But we really need to be able to do this. So can we figure out a way that we can at least do this thing that has to be done? Right? For whatever reason? You know,
I love that. That's like a conversation around access needs, basically, right? It's mutual accommodation, and very on brand for me, it would be to keep talking you guys forever because I like it. It's not awkward. Is it? Kelly? It's
awkward at all. We're
internet friend right now. We're having a good time. But I don't like 100%. miss my next appointment if I don't stop recording this podcast right now. Yeah. And that would be very much on brand for me to do that. Except my husband is going to be there and I would prefer to stay married.
I understand. Yeah, no, this was lovely. I'm so glad that you had me on and I got to have a conversation with you.
Great. And with that, we say goodbye. To Kelly, and hope you really enjoyed these past three episodes. Like I said, are we I know we enjoyed recording them. Really and truly. So as always, you can email us at all the things at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at all the things adhd.com I always get really mixed up when I'm doing these outros like today. I feel like I'm repeating myself. Anyway, I'm ready writing on Twitter, Amy's Digi wank. Thanks again to Kelly, hope you had a great time listening. And we will see you next week. Probably hopefully, if all goes well with yet another guest. Maybe we'll talk for another two hours and Amy will have to run off. And then I'm gonna have to cut all this stuff down again, which is fine. I like doing it. But until then, who knows? And I hope you look as forward to seeing what's going on. happen next as we are Take care everyone. Bye