7:35PM Feb 23, 2022
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hey everyone and welcome to another episode of the all the things ADHD podcast. All the things oh the things. Other things. This is the first time I've ever sung one. I love it. I am one of your co hosts, at least calor up beset.
And I am the other one of your co host, Amy giggles Morris and he goes, I don't know, I feel very silly today.
Yeah, that's kind of a silly day. I got a good solid, like 10 hours of sleep last night. So I was like, I, it was a long weekend for us here in the States as well. And it was family day on Monday, or y'all in Canada, it was Presidents Day, down here in the States. And it just met and I had to go back to the office for the first time yesterday, in like three months, because we were we were told the staff to stay home during the beginnings of the Omicron surge. And then again, they were making prioritizing students and faculty back on campus and so staff and has slowly been trickling in. And so now it's back to twice a week are supposed to be twice a week in the office. So yesterday, it was I was first day back after a long weekend and I zombie walk through the entire day.
I was gonna say are you pooped? I was yesterday, exhausting,
and then went to bed soon after my son did and just like slept like a rock through the night. And I actually haven't I feel pretty good today.
I love it. I was like excited because I slept like a whole six and a half hours last night in a row in a row. Yeah, I felt like another terrible week of insomnia that has diminished my will to live. And so now like it was six and a half hours in a row. I mean, it's not enough, but it's better.
It's better. Yeah. Oh, no, I get it. I totally get it. So what are we talking about today? me other than lack of sleep, which we've addressed elsewhere and could talk about ad nauseum. But let's not this week,
we could. Yeah. So I was talking to someone today. And I had an insight I learned I was 20 years old when I learned this about myself. And I thought we could talk about it together. And it's on the theme of internalized ableism. And listeners to this podcast will have heard me complain at length and stridently about needing to get everybody out of my house so that I could get some work done. Again, right about the disruptions of pandemic lockdowns involving, like people being in the house and making noise and like bothering me and all these things. And it turns out, that's actually not really my problem with having people home. What I have discovered, as I have been working at home this week, and a little bit last week with my insomnia, is that when I am here by myself, I allow myself to sleep in to have an ice cream cone for breakfast, to work for 20 minutes on something and then play the piano for five minutes, and then have a short nap. And then answer a bunch of emails while petting the cat at the same time, and then play some more piano. And I do what I need to do to get through the day. Because when I'm all alone, somehow, I allow myself to listen to what my body and my brain are telling me that I need in order to get through the day and meet the goals that I have. But as soon as somebody else is in the house, even if like say my husband is home working, and he's in the basement, he doesn't even know what I'm doing. I'm on the second floor. I start masking. By myself. I love like I told Tom how much work I have to do today. And I have all these deadlines I have to meet. And if he comes upstairs and I'm like sitting at the piano bench scratching the top of my head and reading Twitter. Like then he's gonna be like disappointed in me or he's gonna know that I'm that I'm lazy or I was lying to him about how important Yeah,
I thought you I thought you said you had worked today. Like yeah, yeah,
exactly. You know, or like I would say like, I'm so tired. And he really well why wouldn't you have a nap? Maybe I'll be like, Well, I'm taking prescription amphetamines, and I can't take a nap. I want to sit on the piano bench with the piano turned on and not playing anything while scratching the top of my head and reading Twitter until I feel a bit better and then I maybe I'll get up but I become so self conscious. And I start second guessing myself. Although you would think with the amount of experience I have, being myself that I would, in the general course of things allow myself to do what I need to do to get through the day that I'm having because the only person who's inside my body is me right the only person who knows what it feels like to not have slept as me the only person who can be like, it's better if I like just really giver in the morning and then work on this stupid 1000 piece brain busting puzzle of Doug the pug. For the rest of the day until I pass out, that that's the best way for me to work. I don't justify it to myself when I'm by myself. But if there's anyone in the building with me, and they're not saying anything,
no, I know. No, they're not. They're totally not saying anything. Yeah, it's somehow
my internalized ableism becomes emboldened by the fact of having, you know, a potential audience in the house and takes over my consciousness, because what I am telling myself is that my ways of getting through the day that I'm having are the wrong ways. They are evidence of character flaws, that they mean, I'm lying to people about how much work I have to do, or lying to people about how hard I am working, or how I'm feeling. And all I do is second guess myself all day, which does not allow me to get any work done. And also it's it's kind of miserable, this producing to be obviously, gas, like, maybe
not, obviously, but like, Yeah, I mean, yeah, it's, yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. I think that that's part of the reason why, yesterday going back to work was so exhausting, right? Because, again, it's sort of there's, there's a certain expectation in an office job nine to five. And we also sort of, you know, I shared office with people, although nobody was there. And so this was a funny thing, the same thing kind of happened to me yesterday is that literally no one in our suite, like, there were people in our unit who were there. But we were scattered across our three different offices, because there's so many of us. And in the suite of offices that I was in, I was literally the only one there. I was sitting behind to locked doors, right. And still was like, part of it is, I don't have my dog with me that I'm so used to now I don't have the couch over there, where it's like, now I'm going to sit and read over there. And it's worse, but I can sit in a spot that's comfortable to be and I can, you know, go get my snacks and myself or but same sort of thing. Or even like so something right, like just quickly. So as seen, because it's like, well, I don't have time to start anything. But I'm sort of still antsy about stuff. So I'll go. So something. Yeah. And so partially, it's the physical environment. Yeah, for like just that off going back to the office. But there is also that expectation. It's like, I literally have to sit here all day. Yeah. And do something. I know what I'm supposed to look like I'm doing something. That's right. Because because that is what it means to go to the office.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So there's like two things at play there. I think. So like, in my case, my environment didn't change, right? It's the people in the environment, but the people in the environment are not even bothering me. Right? Yeah. What's when it's just when the people are in the environment, for me, the environment becomes a less safe place, it becomes a place where now I'm much more self conscious about how I am spending my time and I'm second guessing all of my decisions, because of how they might look to an outside observer. And I don't think about the outside observer when no one is here. Right? Yeah. And in your case, you had to leave an environment in which you have become comfortable, and in which you have a certain number of kind of, like, you know, fidget things, like your sewing and your dog and you know, like comfort items, and you have like a second location you can go to and you have your groove and you don't feel like you're being observed. Even if you're in a building where like, essentially, you're the only person behind to lock doors. The environment is producing in you a sense of your own inadequacy, right. Yeah. And lack of coping. And so both of us there are being cued into feelings of inadequacy, self doubt, shame, confusion, and upset by messages that we're reading that are maybe not the ones that are actually being sent by anybody. So the call may be coming from inside the house. Right? So you know, we're hearing voices like in the voices are never like your greatest, right? Oh, isn't it actually like, make a mess on your desk today? Because nobody is here at the office with you. This is great. You're just thinking like, I'm at the office, I have to be an office person office, people are not me. I'm the worst, I hate myself. And I'm like, other people are in the house. Oh, no, now that people are in the house, and they're going to observe what I actually do during the day, they're going to know that I'm an imposter and have been for, you know, 100 years, and oh, my God, everything is ruined. And I'm the worst, I hate myself. So it's like we're crafting those narratives for ourselves out of the most minimal environmental cues. Like, don't get me wrong. There's a number of ways in which like, the social model of disability is quite real. The environment does put barriers in our way that we don't need. But the barriers we're going to talk about today are the ones that exist inside our own heads.
Yes, yes, definitely. And I, and I think that that's, you know, the voices are coming. It's true. The call is coming from inside the house. But yeah, it's an echo of calls that we've heard most of our lives. Sure, sure. Right. It might not be the immediate people it might not be your husband and daughter. Yeah, but it's the teachers its former bosses. It's, you know, well meaning acquaintances, and colleagues, you know, teachers, you know, it's it's parents, even siblings, like it's all of those explicit and implicit messages we've been getting our entire lives about, we've talked about this before, the way we do things is wrong. We don't do things the right way, the proper way. You know, so that this is, you know, it's, we've internalized it, we've heard so much. And, you know, we're with it's like, it's like water, it's like the fish don't even know they're in water. We don't even know we're in this. Until, again, we have this kind of opportunity to take a step back and say, you know, yes, the voice is coming from inside the house. But like I said, it's an echo of that voice that we've been hearing externally. For a long time. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think sometimes if you've received a diagnosis later in life, as well, and you've not kind of had a frame to understand your own difference. As as not a character flaw, right? That's one part of it, right? Because everybody's always been telling you your whole life that you should just try harder. You're not living up to your potential if you could just stay focused. If you could stop making so much noise like that part. What
is wrong with you?
What is wrong? Like? I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. Like, what is wrong with me is something that I say a lot now, right? And but the other side of being late to a diagnosis is that you have your whole life to sort of absorb ableist cultural narratives about those people. Right? Yeah. Those people of which you have never been one until suddenly you are like, you're just I'm a bad person. And if I could just change then like, I would be, I would be okay. You know, but those kids with ADHD, man, they've got serious problems, right. Like everybody is like you learn about like, it's overmedicated. And it's about like, high achievers, and they're just really getting stoned. It's because their parents won't set boundaries for them or like, their teachers don't know how to.
They just want to do really well on the test. Like, isn't that the only reason why you would take the stimulants, they're just
fun to do really well on the test, right? So we absorb a whole lot of a whole lot of ableist messaging before that we know that we ourselves are disabled, right? And so sometimes, like, we get the diagnosis that we've talked about here, it's quite freeing, but it's also quite shocking at the same time, right? Because I was just reading another story about this was like, in shoddily magazine, or something was this woman talking about it was like, about her giving up drinking. But like how she took up drinking when she was in her early teens, because it like unleashed her social self and she felt less awkward. And then, you know, later in life, she had this baby and the baby was like, just a screamer all the time. And then the he got diagnosed with autism. And then she thought, Oh, God, I have to like, tone down my drinking, like so I can take charge of this. It's really hard to parent this kid. And then all of a sudden, I discovered I'm autistic, right? Maybe autism isn't as bad as I thought that it was like all this. Like, you can hear this narrative a lot. Like, oh, I had no idea how hard it was for disabled people until I became disabled. Right? I didn't realize like how ablest all that was, until I became disabled, which like, just goes to show you how pervasive the the hatred, like I will say, of disabled people, it's like, Why are they always asking for stuff? Like, do we have to make the success? Why don't they change my website, you know, for this person. And then like, I get eye surgery, I'm like, I can't see a fucking thing. Right? Like, I would love to read your website, but is low contrast. And I cannot make the size any bigger because of your style shooting issues. And I'm like, Oh, I guess lots of people, like need to have alt text on stuff is like, Oh, how come I never thought of that before. And the reason like everybody has to undo that usually by having their own experience in which like, their profound, like physical or mental difficulty with something runs smack up into their preferred learned narrative of disability, which is you should just try harder. And they're like, oh, like, maybe that was a lie. Right? So when you've had like, 40, some years of thinking in particular ways about what particular types of neuro divergence means or doesn't mean or what people are getting away with, or like, what their tragedy is, you don't have a lot of mental resources to be kind to yourself, right? You still have that internalized ableist voice saying that you shouldn't have to ask for help and you're not like those other disabled people. You could overcome it or like why am I like this? And I've just been really, really surprised this week to discover how much I'm doing that to myself and then play kept bugging published critical disability scholar, right. That's what I do. And I would like burn the whole university down to take care of my students, but like, Yeah, but I for myself, I'm still like, so we had this other discussion, Tom and I this week, we're thinking about changing our cleaning service because they're differently quite able to tell us when they're going to comment, it just disrupts everything around I don't know
and like like our public Castro car seats like our plug
Yes, exactly. At this time, and like, you just be more resilient. And I'm like, No, I can't. And then we're talking about switching services and like the different costs and stuff. It's like, well, what do you think if we like did it ourselves, because it seems really stressful for you to do this. And I, like I clammed up immediately, because I thought what kind of person when their husband is offering to like, let's do the house cleaning together says I can't do it. Because I know he can do it, he does a really good job with it. And when we didn't have a cleaning service for several months, because of the first wave of the pandemic, we split the tasks. And I it's not that I, I find it difficult to clean, or I don't know how to do it. I just could not keep up with his kind of executive function around planning when he was going to do it, and then motivate himself to do it. And he was doing like the harder stuff. And I was barely keeping up. And I hated myself. And he was gonna get resentful. And I was like, I wish I could be different than this. But I can't. And like so I sent him this. I'm like, No, I don't want to clean our own house because I I just don't, I don't, I'm not ready. It's not that I don't want to like scrub things. It's that I just feel like if I put one more thing on my schedule, and one more obligation for something I Loki really don't enjoy doing. And also we're doing it together. So I have to match your level of good cheer, accomplishment and task orientation. I'm like, I just can't handle that emotionally. And I. It took me probably an hour to get that out of my mouth. Right? Because I knew it was true. I knew it. And the minute he said, Oh, yeah, why don't we do it ourselves? Like
it was? Like, that's it? I like as soon as you said that. I was like God, no, don't, don't, I can't No, same thing. Just like I can't do this. I can't do this.
And I was like, on the one hand really proud of myself for knowing immediately. While my boundary was right. It was okay cleaning my own house when I lived by myself, because if I gave up on life, I could just have a really dirty bathtub
for a month. I didn't know the only one that was here. Yeah, yeah, that's right. It'd be
like, I'm going to clean the entire house top to bottom over three days. And then I'll keep that up for two months. And then I won't care for three months. Like that's kind of how it goes with other people. And that matters, which means now I'm trying to make myself fit somebody else's schedule. And the answer to that, for us was like, have a service that comes in but like Tom was quite reasonably saying, like, we could do this ourselves, because it's stressful to have them come especially when they're not like predictable, and stuff. And I was really proud that I knew right away that I had to say no. And I knew exactly why. But I was ashamed to have to say it out loud. Yeah, that was the hard part for me. So Hurray, like, I know that I'm not the kind of person that can be reliable on that. And then also, I will be resentful, and cranky, and I might put it off, or I might try to get away with something, but I'll hate myself the whole time. And I'm just not going to do it. But to say to him, like I'm trying to avoid us having fights about this. I'm trying to avoid a situation in which I fail at this. Right? And because he's not saying this to me, but in my head I'm hearing Well, Amy, like if you can lay out so clearly, exactly what's going to go wrong. And why aren't you nice? Why can't you? Yeah, like, if you can see it's going to happen? Can you stop it? And then I hate myself? Yeah. Right. And like, that's the kind of of quandary I've been in lately is, is it's taken me a long time to learn how to acknowledge my own boundaries, or my own limitations or my own feelings and like what I can and cannot do. And I'm like, happy that I avoid some disasters that way now, but I find that when I have to express them out loud, to other people, I hate myself because all I can hear is that ableist voice inside my head saying, isn't that just an excuse? Yeah, right. Or like, God, you're such a delicate fucking flower. Right? Yeah, you can vacuum once a week. Oh, my God, what a burden. Right? Yeah.
But there's also there's also a gendered component to this too. I mean, the example you've chose is housecleaning, right? A typical feminine activity the thing that we are expected for me it's cooking. Yeah, right. Like, right. Yeah, I hate like, I can do it. I hate it. I'm not very good at it. I don't like it. And I have spent and part of that is my ADHD and paying attention and following directions and exactitude and like yeah, not just forgetting that you've left the you know, a bottle of honey in the pot and hot water and then multimodal pot down. Like I mean, yeah. And so maybe part of it is also past trauma around it where I'm just like, avoid this but, but again, like there's, there's all these things that are that are very, that are very gendered around this too. And this is where kind of gender and disability intertwine because women generally even without a disability, aren't expected to speak up, particularly in a family situation to say we are supposed to subsume ourselves or the need Have our family write the needs of our husband to the needs of our children. You know, that is the kind of cultural expectation that we have. And that, you know, if we are not fulfilling these things, there's the ableist. And then there's also the gender of like, I'm a failed woman. Right? I have failed as my role is as Mother, you know, no parent, but Mother, mother and, and wife, not spouse. Why? Yes. Like, it's, it's so it's, there's all of this I was, we were saying I was saying before is, you know, partially I stopped doing yoga at home. Because, you know, I don't feel bad working. You know, I'm okay with that. Like, it's my job, you got to do this. And, but when I would do yoga at home, like the kids, the noise would bother me. But it wasn't that I was like, God, damn, I wish the kids would stop making noise. It's still maybe it'd be less now. But it was still like, Are the kids okay, what's going on? I mean, yeah, I
should be. I should
be paying attention to them. I shouldn't be like, locked up in my room. And so you know, people might be saying yes, but now you like hide out in your basement sewing all the time? And I'm like, yes. Because my my kids hide out in the rooms. Right now that they're teenagers. So maybe it would be different now. But I remember when my kids were younger, and there just was no way. There's no yoga studio, because I was in the middle of nowhere. And I would try to do yoga at home. And it just did. My I couldn't stop being a mother. Right, so
to speak. And that is easily destroyed. Yeah, right. Exactly. You could not shut up that voice inside your head that was telling you that you didn't deserve that time to yourself that you should be doing something else. Right. And it makes it impossible.
Yeah, for like yoga supposed to be relaxing. I was not relaxed, I was stressed out and on the verge of tears. Like I'm defeating the entire purpose of this particular exercise at the moment.
Yeah, this is like, I can't win, like, so what we find ourselves in is this can't win. It's like, well, you know, I'm being asked to do something, I want to do something. And it's, it's my own ableism. Like it's or other people's ableism is like, kind of holding me back from, like, I'm either gonna fail right now, because I'm going to say why I can't do this thing. Or I'm going to fail later, when I try to live up to the expectation that I should be able to do these things. Right. So it's not like a, you know, let's just avoid this misunderstanding by having a good chat before it starts. It's like when you open your mouth to say, like, what it is that you're struggling with, you've already lost. Yeah, right. And like, obviously, that's an impossible situation, like, it's an impossible situation. If I, if I try to act like a regular office worker, when my family is here, even though they're not checking up on me, because I'm going to look, you know, it's like, I can pay attention, or I can look like I'm paying attention, right, I can be working, or I can look like I like doing writing. So I will feel too uncomfortable to work the way that I will be most productive working. So I will spend all of my energy looking to other people who are not even checking on me, like I am working and I will be tired, and I will get nothing done. So that is not, there's no way to thread that needle where you don't lose, right. Similarly with like, Should We Hire different housekeepers? Or should we? Should we do our own cleaning? It's like, well, if I admit why I can't do this, I lose. And if I tried to do it, pretending I'm a different kind of person, I'm going to lose that way, too, right? Like if you could say, I don't want to work at home all the time. So I need to see my colleagues, and it's a little bit boring. And then you go to the office, and you're like, yes, but now I'm feeling oppressed by the office, even though no one is here. Like, there is not a way to win, that the only way to win at that, I guess would be to try to drown out that voice in our head with a little bit more confidence, like in what we need. And part of that's going to have to come from like having experiences where our boundaries are respected, and it works out. And I don't know how we're going to get that.
Yeah. Well, I think that it's also extending ourselves. Like you said, you said it yourself, you would do anything for your students. And if they if there was, if a student came to you with the same two scenarios that you're talking about here, you know what your answer would be? Moi. Right. And you would be I would be there to advocate, you know, and, and whatever you need, and you would tell them not to feel bad and you would tell them all this, but we You said so we don't do that for ourselves. No, we don't. Right. And so it's unlearning and relearning, but also thinking and treating ourselves the way we would treat the people that we care about. Yeah, like our students, our own children. You know, loved ones really close friends, Ray, like your best friend. To deal with this same situation, you know what your answer would be, but we're not our own best friends. We're not we're not we're not best friends in any way, shape or form. And so this is, this is part of it to where yes. Society needs to respect our boundaries. And, and provide and normalize even just being able to ask for different kinds of boundaries, right? That's not normalized, right? It's the ableist. One size fits all. Right, if you can't work nine to five in an office, then you're shit out of luck. Yeah, right. So, so there is that side of it. But then there's also on the other side is we try to negotiate through the day to days because I think this is what happens is that we don't have the strength to be able to fight the fights. And you know, I hate to use sort of the language of violence, but it's their battles, right? They're fine. They are, um, you know, and, and it's exhausting. But we are so tired from beating ourselves up.
We are. But you know, I, here's another thing, this is not super flattering to us. But I think it's true. I think part of the way that the internalized ableism manifests too is that in some ways, we do think that we are not like those other disabled people. Yep. Right. Like, I will advocate to the death for my students. Because they need the help. Right. But when I will not advocate for myself, what I'm basically also saying is, but I don't need that. Right. So even if I had the same,
is it that you don't need it or you don't deserve it? Um, well, it's a little bit of both,
right? Because, like, think about, I just saw this. There's like, funny tweets thing. And it was like somebody saying, like, oh, no, I think it's one of my ADHD groups. And somebody said, like, Yeah, years before I was diagnosed with ADHD, some friends and I took some Adderall at an outdoor Yes. Right. Yeah. And they were all like crazy and dancing around, you know, wildly in house like, suddenly seems reasonable the senators tree and answer a bunch of text messages calmly. And I was like, right. And like so you see, you see tweets like that a lot. Or you see people like, Oh, I like I'm calmer. But you know, often like people who take their meds, and it works are like, I should stop taking these. Yeah, right. Like, if you even have the experience of like, my life improved dramatically when I took my meds and then think, Well, isn't that just cheating, like, and we're saying it to ourselves, like we don't deserve the help. But also you know, if we can function this well with the meds then clearly we can function as well. So we should not take them anymore. Like this is endemic in people with sort of, like chronic, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to like, I'm feeling great
depression as well. And depression. Yeah, I feel better now.
I can. Like as if, like taking the meds that allow you to function was only a temporary stopgap measure of emergency measure that like, once the emergency has passed, well, you just have to do it all on your own again, it's like a kind of disavowal of the kind of, of the fundamental chronic ill nature of of your illness or difference, which means like, you're always gonna need help with this. Like, I can't just say like, oh, you know, I you know, I can I can see things really great with my reading glasses on right so I guess I don't need them anymore. I'm gonna take them off and not use them because I you know, I should be able to read without them or like, if I just try hard enough, like I'm
just squint it might
be better. That's more honest, like putting glasses on like, I'm giving myself a wrinkle. I look angry all the time. Yeah, to get stuff, I could just get a really bad headache, get really bad headache, right? You're like, but other people don't need glasses. And I probably don't, I'm not like those other ones too. Like there's a certain way like, in the Autistic community too. There's like often this like running battle between the high functioning and low functioning designations, right? Because it's yes to split people up into people who are valuable and people who are not valuable, right. And, and also some people who continue to say like, oh, well, I'm Asperger's not autistic, right? Because you don't want to be that disabled. You don't want to be that different. And I think when we, when we're like, this happens with kids a lot like I've pretty much every parent of a disabled kid that I know, is like, by the time they kids in grade six, they're just like, at their wit's end saying, like, but he won't use his accommodations, like she won't get the extra help,
she won't use a laptop and I'm living that right now. i We all live in that right now.
Right and with my own kids, and is, is that these kids have learned that to be disabled is a bad and stigmatized thing that any right thinking person would choose not to be and so they're choosing to not be disabled, right? And even though they have these accommodations available to them, like they're right, there's probably a social penalty from being marked as different but like, are you willing to eat the cost of like never learning how to read because you won't use your daily math? Right failing math because you won't use your accommodations. And so it says something, it's like a little bit, a tiny bit of arrogance associated in that, like, not me. And I'm going to brute force my way through this, like I want, like we see in our ADHD all the time.
Yeah. But like, I
just go ahead.
No, I was gonna say, Well, this system is set up. I mean, our entire medical culture is not, it's about curing. Yeah, right. It's all about curing. Mm hmm. Um, you know, the chronic things, scared like it physical, you know, physical ailments, mental ailments, whatever it is chronic is just like, as people with fibromyalgia, as people with, you know, Crohn's, or Crohn's or anything like that, like, chronic Nobody. Nobody really is good. And the meta within the medical system is good with chronic, right, we all want to cure. Yeah. And we all have a cert like that, you know, my daughter never wanted accommodations, until we went through the whole drama with math at the beginning of the academic year. And she finally like exhaustively acquiesced to a 504 plan meeting, right? And they said, No, she doesn't need a 504 plan. She just needs a math tutor. And never before Yeah, I was. I also hadn't slept in like a week or anything like that. I was so you know, yeah, I wasn't, you know, um, but as soon as she found out, she was not going to get one. She's never wanted anything more in her life. Right. Like, but she's also seeing her friends. And I mean, she's at an age where the different results are seeing her friend. Absolutely thriving. Yeah. And then wanting to claw back. Yeah. Because they're like, well, you're doing well. So like, clearly, you don't need all of this stuff anymore. And it's like, no, I'm doing well, because of these things. Because of these things. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of these things. Like it's it. And that's, and that's the kind of, again, the sort of narrative that we've learned our entire lives, right, you cure things, you cure
things, you and also, that there's something wrong with you. That's more wrong, if it's not temporary, do you know, like, you can be sick and have people or have to bring you soup, because you got COVID, or whatever. And like, that's a short duration. And then you don't want to like to put too much debt on yourself from relying on the kindness of strangers, as they say, but like, you know, we tend to think like God, like, It's so pathetic, that I can't function without my prescription amphetamines, like what kind of terrible person am I am broken? All these things? Like instead of thinking, like, Isn't it amazing that we live in a time that this difficulty that I have, you know, can largely pharmaceutically be obviated, and now I can function, like at a level that other people are able to function while still bringing my gifts. Like we talked about, like earlier, a couple episodes ago, we're talking about, like, trying to get into the work not trying to get out of the work. But people somehow become quite ashamed of themselves when, when their medication works. Right. Yeah, they're like, I rely on drugs to do this. We have people rely on chemotherapy to get rid of their tumors, you know, people, people rely on all kinds of drugs for all on insulin. Yeah, like people rely on. People rely on epi pens. Yeah. Right. And I always I always give the example of, and there's something I don't know. And
like diabetes is sort of an interesting case where I talked about, it's like we don't. And again, it's usually like juvenile diabetes. We're like, oh, and then there's type two diabetes. We're like,
well, that's your fault. Yeah. But type two diabetes is your fault. But juvenile diabetes is not your fault. Yeah. But But
again, and our medical system does tend to cut them off. Like I've got, I have friends who have, you know, have to go off of their parent's insurance of diabetes, they can't find any, because they have this pre existing condition. Yeah, right. That without the insulin, they will literally die.
Yeah. Now when they don't sometimes, yeah. And they do and
we don't, you know, we don't say says, just try harder to make more insulin. Right. At least to the kids and then usually, but But you know, it's it's, it's trying to, like certain things are acceptable. Mm hmm. Medically, physically, and other things are not like it. Same thing with cancer, right? Like, oh, and, you know, we get that from cancer but you you recover from cancer
or you I was joking about Steve Jobs last week. I think it was last week where I was like, you know, brilliant man wore the same clothes all the time to save himself some trouble also, you know, thought he could cure cancer with the juice cleanse and died. like great, super. And like, I think I think that's an interesting one too, and I want to think about how like wellness anti Vax stuff like kind of plays into this because this whole sort of wellness movement is often about purity. Right? And if you're a disabled person, or racialized person purity discourse ought to frighten you because it's kind of the root of eugenics as well, this idea that, you know, a human person, here we are. Yeah, you know, yeah, exactly. Right. But like this idea that, you know, we have a natural immune system, right, I don't need vaccines, like, like, somehow, like, getting a, like, the pinnacle of modern science is like that we don't have smallpox anymore, right? Or polio, is amazing, and not be like, wow, like, we are obviously broken as a species that we, we need these vaccines, right? That somehow like a really, like worthy human being would have a robust enough immune system to handle both like polio and wheat. Right? And that, like you just take the right dietary, like everybody like in the autism group. So like my kids just been diagnosed with autism, like what kind of diet ADHD
as well, right, like, natural remedies I tried before
before, like the last ditch medication. So like there's internalized and explicit ableism there as well, to say that taking medication for something is wrong, right. But we will accept sometimes that people take medication for some sorts of things like all the people who seem to be denying the vaccine, when they wind up in the hospital, like give me all the monoclonal antibodies for eight. Yeah, give me like, give me ivermectin like, they'll take some things, right, but not other things. Because like, we're much better at like, somebody is in an actual crisis, like use heroic measures to save them, but not like, every day somebody wakes up and their brain is missing the chemicals that their brain needs in order to make a plan to get out of bed and have breakfast before 1pm. Right? They need help, like, no, because if you were a worthwhile person, right, you wouldn't need a vaccine, you would eat only Whole Foods, and no gluten and everything would be organic, and you would homeschool your children and you would depend on nobody for anything. And also you would be perfectly perfectly healthy because you treat your body like a temple because your body is obviously 100% within your own control. Right. Which it isn't. So yeah, my body is not within my control. I wish that it was my my inability to do my own housecleaning because of executive function issues. Is the only control I have there as recognizing that oh, that's a certain failure for me, right. But But yeah, I think this like kind of wellness and anti Vax, and all of this stuff like my kids been, like, my kid is like, you know, been struggling and it's so terrible and these outrageous tantrums and all the sudden now this kid got this diagnosis, like what if we cut out wheat? Would that help take the fucking meds? How do you hate disabled people so much? To deny your children? Right? Yeah, access to literally life saving, medical treatment, right? Because you hate disabled people so much that you have to think that your kid is not like all the other kids or that I'm not like all the other people, I can fix this right out of myself. That way, I don't have to be disabled. I'm not like those people who are like a drain on the resources, those people who are too dependent on medications, those people have no willpower, and no self control. Like that's your ableist voice inside your head is ultimately that voice and I gotta be like, Why am I listening to that person inside? Well,
and well in the in the medical community isn't necessarily any better without you know, right? Depending on who you go. See, I had a really interesting experience with my doctor, I went in for something and I'm not happy with my blood pressure. And she was Fred tastic about commenting about it and just says, Okay, well, she's like, I'm not happy with the lower number. She's like, so I get to prescribe you something. I want you to take it. And then let's see if that works. I'm really, you know, and then come back and we'll do it again. And I'm like, okay, great. I'll go and she's like, you're gonna take it? I'm like, Yeah, I'll take it. Okay. And she's like, Oh, good, because some people just don't want to take the pills. And then, and I was like, Yeah, I get that. But you know, I'm on any precedence. I'm on ADHD meds, I know that they can help. But then, but then she says, Oh, but you have a PhD? Yeah, I'm like, no, no, it was that I have a PhD. So logic and reason are the things that are like that, like, oh, I said, No, no, like, that is no indication whatsoever. They're not gonna take this
pill. No, absolutely not. Yeah,
I mean, it's like, an ego and I'm like, oh, yeah, that's, that's, that's, yeah,
that's the thing, right? Like, I think I am conscious of the social cost that comes when I express a boundary that sometimes people don't respect or they say like, you're Just trying to get away with something or I'm like, then I cry. I usually cry at that point because I'm like, I am trying to connect with you. I'm sharing something with you. That is hard for me to say, because I don't want to believe that this is true about myself. But it is, and I'm making you the gift of my confidence and my truth here. And you're like, Well, isn't that just an excuse? Right? Or just like, I don't think it's fair to other people that you're like that, and then I cry because like, I know, I can't, I can't win. There. Right. And, and so there is a consequence for listening to your own voice. Sometimes we're very used to listening to the ableism inside our own heads as a way of avoiding having to have that ableism come up in conversation with people we are in relationship with, because that would hurt too much. Right? So we can be vicious to ourselves and self denying right, so that we will avoid being hurt by other people. Yeah, right.
Because it's a disappointment. This is somebody who cares about us. This is somebody who we rely on. This is somebody like, we've disappointed ourselves tons already. Like, that's not news. But this person who I love and who I care about and who I think loves me and cares about me, you know, if they let me down? Yeah. Well, that's new information. Yeah, that they're
saying your account of your own experience in your own capacities. Like I don't I don't believe that. Right. Yeah. That's that's a kind of denial. Right? That's a kind of denial of who you are. That's incredibly painful. And I'd much violence. No, it's a violence. Violence, rather do that to myself. Yeah, exactly. That's why I said all the time. Right. And, and I expected of myself, yeah, yeah, I expected of myself, but when I take the blame, but when I take the brave step of saying, like, look, this is why this is really not going to work for me. And this is hard for me to say, because these feelings produce shame in me, but I'm really afraid that what's going to happen is this. That's very hard for me to do. Like I'm in therapy to learn how to do that. But if I do that, and somebody says, like, well, I don't really think that's fair. Amy. Right. Like that's, that would work out great for you. But like, I don't think that's fair, or like, but you're so successful. Yeah, I'm so hurt. And I'm never going to ask again. Yep. Right. And the internalized ableism. Louder. Yeah. And you're never going to talk about it again. Then it's like, this is a person who I have to work extra hard to mask around. That's right. Right, right. Yeah.
Um, you know, all of those things. You know, it's I have to work extra hard to mask around them. I'm never going to be able to talk about this with them ever again. For me, you know? Yeah, there is. Now I also have to I don't know that that to me, it like, it's the sort of middle school high school instincts of like, and now I'm also going to have to see and worry that they're saying stuff about me behind my back. And now it's stereotype threat to Yeah, now it's stereotyping. Everybody. Yeah. Yeah. And so there's like, it is it's a it's, it's, uh, you know, I laughed about it, but But it is true, like we, for better or worse. We regularly hurt ourselves, we do. We do psychically, and sometimes physically, says the person doing the repetitive.
Yeah, yeah, I'm climbing the interior of my palm out of my palm currently out of like anxiety. But yeah, it's, it's true. And at least when we are mean to ourselves in this way, we understand the other part of ourselves motivation there, right? We're like, this person's not saying, let's just pretend like we're going to be good at this, let's just pretend that we can do this, and we're going to fail, and we're going to be miserable. And we did it to ourselves, maybe someday we will repair our relationship with ourselves when it's safe to do that, and we're happy to live with lightning happy we are resigned to living with that, because it's better than finding out that somebody doesn't believe your fundamental experiences.
Right. Yeah. It's also I mean, again, it says expression, it's like water, we've never treated ourselves any differently. Yeah. You know, like, maybe we're kinder to ourselves now that we know, or maybe we're just differently mean to ourselves. Now that we know as you said, but it but that it is the kind of thing that we are used to, right like that, that we are used to these kinds of things from ourselves. And so, but we were not necessarily used to it from, you know, certain people we care about. Yeah, right. Like it other people that we care about and who we think care about us sometimes unfortunately, we expected and kiddo try to avoid at all costs, even when their family um, but
you know, and sometimes it comes out in different ways. Like I have been known to just eat my own boundaries so that other people won't know that I have them and I'm afraid I'm going to fail them and I'm ashamed of myself all the time. And like, like, I know, I will wander around my husband and sometimes like Tom said, like, I think you're pretty braggy and I was like, what is like if you keep walking around saying like, look, I unload the dishwasher. Look, I wash the sheets today. Like, look, I vacuum the thing, I'm a good helper, I did the thing. And I'm like, just because I hate myself so much. I'm just trying to keep up with you. It's like, I don't know why you like you're bragging about unloading the dishwasher. Like, I just need somebody to see because my internal narrative is all the things I didn't do, right? All the ways that other people are better at all of these things me and like weirdly sometimes to other people. I come across as overconfident and arrogant and braggy. When really I'm just like, Please don't hate me. Like, here's a gift they give to you of something I accomplished. It was small, I bought stamps, and then put the stamps on the thing that had to be mailed. And then I mailed it. Oh my god, I'm a hero. They're like, I can't believe you're bragging about that. I'm like, I can't believe I accomplished it. And every little tiny thing that I do. I like I feel like I have to flag it because I'm so
unable. Yeah, no, it's the same way. The and the flip side of that I think I've talked about this before, is like all the invisible things we don't do. Mm hmm. Like I managed not to impulse buy this thing today. I managed not to you know, pick my fingers until they bled today. Yeah, I managed, you know? Like those those little invisible things that are really big internal battles. Yeah, no one notices them. And if you say that if you say it out loud, I didn't pick my fingers today are not as bad as I did yesterday. My hair great lather, did I? Yeah, seriously, right. Like I like, look, my scab healed. Like so. What your body does just like not mine. Not mine.
Cuz. Long enough for that? Yep. Yeah. So it's like the things we want to like, I think we talked about this, like in a different episode to like, the things that we're most proud of are like the stupid things that other people don't struggle with. Right? Yeah, like, oh, exactly. I handed a foreman on time I paid a bill. I paid a bill on time, or like I answered the school survey about something for my kids next year classes, like in people like Well, good for you. Like I did that seven times before breakfast. I'm like, I've been avoiding this for two months. So they're like, Yeah, you're both good. And I'm like, I know. But also like, I can't go out tonight, because now I'm too tired. Because I answered one email. Yeah.
I made a phone call.
I made a phone. Oh, my God. No, I didn't. I absolutely did not. I don't
mean, you got to draw the
line somewhere, please. Right. But it's just exhausting. So sometimes people misunderstand that we're bragging about stuff, when really we're like, I am so unworthy, that I need to notice every little thing that I did in the hopes that you will not abandon me for being completely useless is the opposite of arrogance, right? It's a deep, deep insecurity mixed in with our own ableism, which sometimes is a protective strategy, right? Because other people will be able Listen, it's good to cut that off before it happens. But sometimes, like when my family is here, and they actually don't give like one shit what I am doing, why am I spun it with anxiety, right about how I'm presenting is working or not working? Like that's maybe a spot where I could do some work to undo that for myself. But like, I understand why people have this internalized ableist voice. It's self protective, mostly. Yeah, but it's also self limiting.
Yep. Oh, definitely. I mean, it's, it's one of the things that I'm trying to be very conscious of as a parent, is letting my kids work the way they want to work. Mm hmm. Right. And, you know, it can be frustrating sometimes to, but that's, I mean, I want I don't want them to feel bad about that. Yeah. In a sense. But can I can I tell? Can I tell one story that doesn't have quite, but it gives me it gives me hope. I'm good. So no, it does. So I told you. So to go back to last week's episode about my son trying to make his decision. So he decided to quit swimming, he came down, we negotiated something but then he came down and Mum, I hate swimming. He had he admitted to me that he hated swimming, which must have been the most difficult things in the universe for him to do. And then said, I don't want to swim anymore. I hate swimming. And as you can imagine, this was a lot of feelings inside of me as both to say I'm so happy for both of you. I know. I know. But and I just said right away. I said then we're not swimming anymore. Right? Like I didn't even blink. It wasn't like I knew I knew him coming. And I was just so proud of him that he came down and he did this. And I was so you know a lot of other feelings to you read about it on the blog. I wrote about it. Not not the ADHD one, my ready writing one, but anyways. And then this is like last week was heavy. So like there was that that happened, okay. And then. And then my daughter, she's doing sonnets right now. Because they're about to do Shakespeare and so they're doing sonnets and it was, you know, she's like you You're good at this right? And I'm like, sure, but I'm, I've always been shit at poetry. And so I actually interpreted the first lines of this exactly wrong.
Ah, it was pedagogy.
Yeah, it was it was so yeah, gotcha. She's like, I'm not allowed to cheat. And I'm like, I am some meaning of this on it. Yeah, like on my phone. I'm like, you're not cheating. You're asking me for help. And I asked, and I'm looking it up, looking it up. But then once I got I could explain everything. And so they're about to start Romeo and Juliet. And so the teacher asked the class, do parents have a right to dictate who their who their children date or marry. And she went off in class, good for her. And she was like, she was like, parents do not own their children. And then the children don't owe their parents anything. And they shouldn't they don't have a right to say who to date, who to marry, what to wear, what they study, what they anything, they don't know, like, the judge, she just went off. And, and then she says he's like, and you might be saying that you're protecting us, but we have a right to make mistakes because how are we going to learn otherwise? And like, you know, and she just went on and on and on and like the teacher was taken aback and everybody in the class was like, What the hell was that? Um, and, and I just, you know, I'm sitting there and she's sharing this with me unflinchingly. Right, right unflinchingly sharing this tirade that she got from parents. Right. And, and part of me is like, who was that teacher? Think of me. Right. But also, and I remember, like when she said it, and it was unprompted, because of course, she went on a tirade, and I just sat
there. Yeah, just Hi, Rabia. Yeah,
that's fine. She's talking to me. I'm in a room. She's let me know. I'm happy. Right? Yeah. So. But the part that struck me was about, I'll be allowed, I should be allowed to make a mistake. And how am I going to learn? Because I remember thinking that exact same thing at her age and being so frustrated that and I couldn't articulate it, I thought it but I didn't said anything. I wasn't allowed to say anything about it. Like I wasn't all of those things I wasn't allowed to do. I'm just like, oh, like, Oh, my God, like, how did this happen? Like this is?
This is amazing when parenting was like,
it's, you know, a lot of feelings. Like, that's also the reason I was exhausted come Tuesdays, because I'm still processing all of these things. But it was just like, it just gives me so much hope. Because it's like I we've, you know, we might be we might be beating and beating ourselves up. But I think we're doing I think learning these lessons and having these conversations is we're making a difference in our kids lives.
God, I think so. I think it's amazing, that, that you have created a family vibe, where Leo can negotiate something with you, and then come back and say, like, actually, I hate swimming, I don't want to do it. That's, that's amazing. Like, that's amazing. Because he knows that it means something to you. But also you're a safe person to say that he trusts you. Right? Yeah. And, and I'm so proud of you too, for having all of your feelings and and letting yourself have all of your feelings, but then doing the right thing. Right? And like, Sure, Cassie is going off about like, parents are the worst, and you can't control me. But like, where did she learn that? She learned that from you? And then she came home and said it to you? Which which means that like, you're not the one she's complaining about, right? But she's like, I'm going to tell my mom this. And my mom was gonna agree with me that children are not property, right, that people have to make their own mistakes like you made that happened. Right? Like you struggled with that. Like, I think we it's great to have those experience where you're like, Oh, I am not replaying a generational trauma here. Yeah. Well, that's, that's good. Yeah. Congratulations.
Thank you. I mean, again, it's sort of like no, I'm bragging but at the same time, I think it's, it matters, right? Like it matters that the work that we do the conversations we're having here that we bring in you know, we got an email I didn't share this one with you. But we got an email from from well, it was really short. And any any key noises? He listens to podcast, his son has ADHD. And and he's like, No, he like blurt out what he learned from us. And he and his son rolls his eyes as a teenager. But then he says he's like, I appreciate that. You're making the effort to try and understand this. Right? And understand and I'm just like,
that's something like No, listen, look, you're living your values. Like we're both living our values here. It's hard but you're doing it so like, you're like, hurray, my son quit something. Right? And then Hurray, my kid like put their teachers on blast and had a speech level tantrum in English class, bravo, right. Like these are not the values that everybody has. But they're the values that you have. And you've successfully like work with your children to build those values in them as well. And you're like, you're not like, Oh, you said like, oh, what will the teacher think of me, but you don't care? Like you don't I can tell you. It was
a little part of me going like, oh, yeah, all right. But at the same time, I was like, what a victory.
What a victory for you that like not only are you parenting the way that you want, and producing the kind of the children you're like, helping them grow into the types of people that you're most hoping that they could be. But also that that what you're trying to do is different from what other parents are trying to do. And you're okay with that wouldn't be nice if we could just be okay with all of our values. Yeah, we're not,
we're not so. Well, I think I think that's the tension with my daughter. She said, Okay. But that's almost 15. Right? Like, that's the teenager. I have my worldview and I'm going to stick in it. But you know, but anyways,
it's such a great hopeful place to start. Yeah.
That's why I wanted to share it. I wanted to share it as a hopeful place to stop and that thank you so much for listening, everyone as always. We will be back out week.
Shout out to our listener from the zoo, you know, yeah. Or
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