S3 E17 - 7:8:21, 4.54 PM
9:03PM Jul 8, 2021
Lee Skallerup Bessette
major depressive episode
Welcome back, everyone to another episode of the podcast all things ADHD where Amy and I discuss issues around ADHD and other neurodivergent tendencies. Today is part two of our conversation about negotiating relationships. When one of you has ADHD, and advice resulting for the person who does not have ADHD. In the relationship, we will pick up the conversation right where we left off. And Amy is going to talk about the good parts of discovery that you have ADHD or other neuro divergences and what that can, how that can help the family dynamics. So with that, let's just join the conversation or rejoin the conversation. Thanks everyone, for listening.
My family sometimes used to experience me as constantly cranky and very snappish. But often that was because I was making myself participate in activities I did not want to do or could not handle from a sensory or social or cognitive thing. And so I was cranky, when they brought me to parent teacher night, I was cranky, when I had to go to the dance recital, I was cranky, when I had to do this other thing I didn't want to do, but I should not have done it, right. So when I am relieved of the burden of pretending that I enjoy all these activities that I don't enjoy, or that I'm pretending that I am fine with super loud noises at the karate demonstration. And I am not that was what was making me cranky was the mismatch between what I felt people were expecting of me and they were and what I was actually able to handle with my body. So now I'm, I say no to more things, but but my family does not experience me so much as like a cranky, super negative person. Right. So sometimes when people stop masking, they're like, you know what, I'm gonna not do this activity anymore. Because it just burns me out so much that for the next two days, I'm kind of a jerk in my house, right? So. So sometimes that's a good thing, too. So when the person that you love suddenly seems to be a lot more ADHD, or the behavior is changing they are, if they're in some way, like I was talking about this with one of my queer friends, then like how people once they come out, like get 50 times more queer, and sometimes it lasts. And sometimes it doesn't like they shave the sides of their heads. And it's like rainbow flag, everything. And it's like, all this stuff. Because it's the freedom that comes from accepting who you are right and experimenting with what it would look like to own that identity as a fundamental part of you that you didn't have to be ashamed of, or that you didn't have to hide from others or that it was like something that you thought you could change about yourself. But it turns out, you can't, right. So there's a certain experimentation with like, what would it be like if I didn't stop trying to make my voice sound more manly, so that I would not be read? as queer? What if I use the voice that feels right to me? And so So similarly, like, with people that he What if I just decided that I was going to stand up during zoom meetings, right, instead of sitting down all the time? Or what if I turn my camera off, because I need to fit two people like oh, my God, like after your diagnosis, you really changed. It was like, No, after my diagnosis, I stopped pretending to be something that I'm not in ways that were exhausting, more exhausting for me than they were productive for anybody else. And as a partner to that person, there will be some behaviors that you don't like that are coming out. And it's okay to say like, that's great, Amy, that you've decided, it is not your thing to talk on the phone to people, right. But you cannot ignore when the gas company calls, right. So you have to tell me to take care of it. And like, since I'm taking care of that you are going to like take this one for from me, you can renegotiate that, right? For sure. But yeah, somebody's behavior is going to change. And it might change a couple times, right? It might get more extreme for a bit, and then it might get less extreme, or they might get really sad and pull back from something. But they are getting used to it at the same time that you are getting used to it.
Yeah. And I think that there's something and again, it's being able to articulate that, like you saying, I'm not going to go to the karate, but also being able to say because it is overstimulating and so that it's not like because that's, that's the other catch. 22 right. If before you had said I'm not going to karate, that would have been like that. Yeah, yeah, that you don't love me and don't want to see or be proud of me in my Yeah. You know, and, uh, you know, I get that too, right. Like, it's, it's, it's, but when you've got it, and then and then it becomes a negotiation where it's like, okay, you know, I tell my kids this, what is the most important stuff? Right, tell me and I think we've talked about this before, to tell me what the most important things are. Right. And I will show up to those. That's right. And we'll, you know, we can negotiate that but I can't do all of them. You know, cuz it's too much. Yeah. But like, I will prioritize those things that are most important to you, right? So it's like if a if you're pretty is not great at office parties, right? And you have to do like 27 office parties a year for whatever reason, because you're in like a weird, you know that. That's what the Yeah, well, I mean, even for me, it was an extrovert to be like, oh, chill out like, don't but but again have those it's like, okay so you know if you notice that I'm miserable, or I always run off and hide and then we enter an argument because you think I've been rude and all that, you know, let's pick out what are the what are the three that are most important, like, we got to go to the Christmas party, we got to go to the end of the year, but you know, whatever it is, you know, I'll go to those and then, you know, I won't go to the other ones. And we can come up with a cover story if you're not comfortable sharing that you know what it is and what the reason is. But then again, it becomes a lot more pleasant, because then it's like, Alright, I don't resent having to go to this because it's my 26th. You know, and so there is there is that, because that's a that's a that's one of the one of the advantages, as you said, of getting diagnosis is that you have the language to articulate it. Right. That's like, No, I understand why I hated the product. No, I understand why I hated going to 27 office parties, right? As opposed to just being like, why are you so cranky, and just being like, I have no idea I just write. And if we
I was thinking again, want a big Tara Parker Pope kick right now, who wrote the art of gathering and it's been on every podcast I listened to. And she talks about how we get tied up in the form of things. And we forget why we do these things like why do we have baby showers, we have baby showers, because it used to be that people had babies, they were much younger, and they did not have access to all these things. And that's why there had to be gifts and this type of thing. But if we want to celebrate the imminent arrival of a baby, we do not have to have the party in this way anymore. Because it's serving a different purpose than it used to. So so we can think about this too, in terms of like, you know, do we have to do the Christmas thing where we go to five parties in five days? Because that's what everyone expects? And do we have to like travel to visit the parents and like, and to say instead, like, I think we would all enjoy it more if we did it like this, because the value that we have for this particular occasion is that we want to feel peaceful, and we'd we're not feeling peaceful, the other way, right? Or, you know, going to all these parties like, well, it's really important, I want you to know, my colleagues and I, you know, I get to know all of their spouses, and I wish that my colleagues have to know my spouse, because they Oh, well, could we have the poll for like, one couple or two couples at a time for a dinner party? Because I could do that, right? So you think about what was what sort of exigence whatever the activity is, was meeting like, you know, going to karate, because like you want to, you know, wash your kid get their belt, like, well, I can't go because it's in a gym, and it's so incredibly loud. They're like, well, what if you were your place? Like, okay, oh, yeah, you know, been to it, like wearing orange foam earplugs in my head, because like, it's so loud. And I skipped the potluck portion of it, because I can't talk to people in that, in that sort of, Oh, yeah, curry gym. Yeah. But like, if I want to be there to watch the demonstrations, then I will come a little bit later in my own car, and I will wear the foam earplugs. And so you know, the exigence of of being there when my child does something so that they can see that I support them. And I do want to see how skilled they become. So I can lavish praise them after, I don't have to go to the potluck Park, I don't have to like try to talk to other adults and like the worst possible sensory situation for myself. And my husband doesn't mind that stuff. So he does the first bit and he's got no ego wrapped up and we have to come in the same car. So you've been very accommodating about even when he says like, that's not a problem that I have. But that's a problem that you have. And like Sometimes he'll say, like, I don't understand it. But I believe you. Right when I say like, this thing is challenging for me. And that's like probably the most powerful thing because I can't explain it to a certain thing to him like 500 different ways. And he's like, that is so contrary to my experience. Like I'm having difficulty understanding it, you know, but I believe for you. Yeah, I will support you. Right. And that's, that's pretty huge. That's probably the biggest support is have someone affirm that you're not like, quote, unquote, trying to get away with something or like, that doesn't make sense to me. You're like, you know, but you're so successful, like all those ways that people think they're being supportive, but they're contradicting you telling them what your reality is, is actually not supportive. Right. It's just much better to say, That's not my experience. But I acknowledge that that is your experience, and how can we both have the experience that we want to have together? Right? Yeah.
Yeah. And I think that that's, I mean, that is, it's, it is I like how you said that the point because it made me think of like, and this was before the first time would have been reformed. Maybe not, I don't know. Time has no meeting. But like, I remember when we planned our trip to go to Disney. Right and we were going to do all the parks and you know, it was like Monday to Friday, we get arrived late My name was didn't matter. When we planned it out, because I knew that my son, my, you know, my little ADHD introvert was going to be overwhelmed. It was going to be too much by Wednesday afternoon. And so we planned it around like, okay, we'll get up and go to Epcot in the morning, do a couple things at Epcot, then we'll head back, have a really chill quiet afternoon, go back for dinner. And that'll be fireworks night, right? That'll be the night that we stay out later. And the other nights and we'll explain. We'll explain, you know, we'll, we'll go and do these things. And so and it worked out perfectly because it was like, because we were at a resort with a pool. And I'm like, okay, the kids want to go to the pool. They were both like in bed, just like no, we're good. And I knew and if any again, like my my tendency is maximalist. Right where it was it like we are, we are a Disney and we are going to do all the Disney things. And we will do and it drives, it drives everywhere to my family nuts in a lot of cases, because I will be like, we have to do this, and this and this, and let's go here and there. And, you know, no concept. But like, again, why are we doing this trip to Disney so we can all have fun as a family and make good memories. Right? Okay, what's it gonna take to make good memories? Well, we are going to schedule it so that at the midpoint of the week of our time there, we are going to schedule a break and schedule a day that is less stimulating and less frantic. Right? Yeah. where it's like, I know we can get through day one, because the excitement of being there will be enough to like, get the adrenaline of that'll carry it through. Right. But the midpoint of day two, and it's going to be done. Right. Yeah. And, and that's exactly what happened. And it and you know, everybody was like, really you did that? And I'm like, yeah, and because nothing drove me crazy. And I've seen this so many times this lesson with ADHD, but just like sort of thinking it through. But like, I used to watch when I was a kid in Canada, everybody gets a year off for maternity, right? Or women do. I think men can take a parental leave. But anyways, I didn't get that. Right. And living in the States. I didn't get that I also lived in when my kids were very, very young, a very rural area. So there wasn't like a there wasn't a million mommy and me courses of like every single kind where it was like the pressure to like, and I would stay on Facebook and like and hear from friends and they're like, Okay, well, my kid was screaming today on the way to like gymboree class and the like, is so frustrating. I'm just like, then don't go. Yeah, right. Like, seven classes today. Like they're, they're not even a year old. Like just or like they're, you know, 18 months or whatever. I
can't focus all the way yet.
Let go. They just five words, right. Yeah. Yeah. And it's just sort of like, like, Who
are you doing this for? Yeah.
Right. Like, who are you? Who are you really doing this for? And if your child is clearly communicating to you, right, not with words, but with screens? Yeah, it's okay. Right. Like, they'll have lots of time to understand that sometimes you do things you don't want to do. But like 18 months is not really the time for that. Right? Like, not volunteering for like they're gonna get their shots. They're unhappy about that, like, save it for the things that actually matter. Yeah. Well, I
think this, this story about your trip to Disney is like a really instructive one. And I think it shows the advantages of having people with different sort of neurological capacities in a family because everyone then has to be more intentional about the choices that they make, and not just like, Well, every mom I know, is signed up for seven classes every week. So that's just what I did. Right? So when there's that little bit of friction in your life, where two people have quite different interpretations of what is the sufficient volume to put the car radio at? And you begin to make choices about like, you know, at what points in my day, am I making noises out of various stereos? Because it's a habit and does it actually make me anxious to write or, you know, if I go to Disney, you know, we're paying this much for the hotel and we're gonna, like cram it in, like you're, you're in one of those, like grocery store sweepstake, things where you have like a cart and 20 minutes, just like yeah, like maybe your vacation doesn't have to be like that, because maybe you're not actually enjoying it, which nobody stopped to think about until there was one member of the family who was so desperately not enjoying it, that it was difficult to ignore that perhaps the experience was overwhelming for all of us. Right? You know, so if you're thinking like, I have to do all of these things, so that you know, next winter I will have more pictures to look at of the number of activities we did, but I'm not actually enjoying this right now. That's a gift, actually, that the neurodivergent member of your family has different sensory capacities or different cognitive ability. It is a different strengths that, that in that difference that you have from your partner really opens a space for both of you now to be able to articulate, what are sort of your core beliefs, and, you know, what are your, you know, most important habits? Or what are some of the things that that you need help with, right? I think it for the neurotypical person, it opens up that space to look into themselves as well. Because, you know, what the neurodivergent person is learning is that they have the ability to change how they see themselves, and they have the ability to make changes in the things that they do and how they do them during the day to better align with their own capacities instead of this mythical norm that you know, that I hate so much. And in that process, too. I think the neurotypical partner can also sit in that space of like, well, what are some sort of habits I've picked up from the center of the bell curve that maybe are not serving me? either, right? Like, let's think about, you know, does this make my body uncomfortable? Does this make my soul uncomfortable? Does this make my brain exhausted? Does this make my stomach hurt? Right? Oh, we could do this differently. Maybe that's a great opportunity to become more intentional about your daily life about like, where the dishes go, and who puts them there, and also about bigger things like planning a five day trip to Disney World and being maximalist about it or saying like, I also wish to come home, less stressed out than when I arrived. Right. So how can I? How can I make that happen? And I think that's a wonderful opportunity.
Yeah. No, and that's, that's the kind of, that's the kind of thing that like, that's the light at the end of the tunnel, right? Like when you're in it right at the beginning, because everything is so confusing. Everything is changing, everything is just and and your partner Monday volume be able to articulate to you at this point, right? Like, they don't even have the words, they don't even have the language, they don't even have the capacity to tell you what's going on. Right. And yet, depending again, and so that's the kind of light, like I said, the light at the end of the tunnel is that eventually that will come, you know, eventually they'll have the language, eventually, they'll have the the ability, the comfort, the you know, whatever it is to be able to say, you know, this is this is actually what I need. And this is why and can we have a conversation about this? And then, you know, again, like, do you have to go to all 27 of those office parties as well?
Yeah. Right. Yeah. Maybe neither of us has to go to all Yeah, maybe
neither of us asked to go to all 27 of them, like our maybe you're even a bigger extrovert than I am. And that's like, you know,
maybe you could go what I don't have to go.
That's it. Right. Like, maybe, maybe I dropped him off, say hi, and then have to, but, but again, but I think that your point earlier on is that to get to that point, you do have to hold space for the person, and you do have to have that patience, and acceptance of that those changes the not knowing and just be be ready. Yeah, it's not going to be perfect. Yeah.
I'd I can say that I've experienced this from sort of both sides of the couch. Right. And to my great discredit. When our daughter was quite young, my husband went through a major depressive episode, which I had no experience with, I had no experience, you know, with close friends going through that, or certainly not like a romantic partner. My husband was a little kid at home, and we're all struggling and I didn't cope particularly well, with that. I tried to help, you know, yeah, like, you should maybe get some exercise. Like, why don't you just try to get up in the morning or like, your life is pretty good, like, but I was really trying, like, honest to god my best. But it was the wrong kind of help. Right? It was denying his reality. And then like, what did I do? I asked people, right for help understanding this, and I bought a bunch of books, because that's what I do. And I traced everything down on the internet. That's what I do. And then the next error I made, was laying down everything that I had learned about his medical problem on him and trying to get him to conform to the things that I knew, like, this is very artistic of me. It was a long time ago, cut me some slack. I better know that,
too. Because a couple weeks ago, yes, this is this is how we write. Right? Like, and it was so hard, in the same sort of way that like at the beginning of like trying to help my kids through ADHD. I did very similar things. Right, which, you know, my daughter threw back on my face and was like now Yeah, and I was like, Okay, I'm just trying to help. But, you know, it was also new and I was kind of expecting her to be as excited. I don't know if it's right, right word. I'm broken. Like, I guess fascinated with it right where it was just like his again is that kind of academic side is like there's the academic part. To me, it's like, whoo. Oh, okay. Look at this, like, look at that isn't that this is exactly isn't this? This this is so much you just like no, I don't like it's not all at ADHD mom, like just leave it alone. Look,
I tried to get my husband who is in the midst of a major depressive episode to read the noonday demon, which is like, hundreds of pages your heart as we say here. I know and densely academic when he could like hardly read the instructions on a package of Tylenol. Do you know what I mean? And yeah, so. So something I would caution partners against is, do not become your partner's doctor or life coach. They're not asking you for that. They feel very dodgy. I do think it's great that this listener emailed us, right? It's like, I'm listening to the podcast, that's a good first step, right? You're learning about stuff. And you're asking people who are similarly affected. So you're not putting that burden of teaching you on to the person who's newly diagnosed. But but the the dangerous flipside of that is like, I've read 45 books about this, and you're doing ADHD wrong person with ADHD, this book says, right, that you should. So it's good to get informed, I encourage everyone get a bunch of books. But then, you know, let that information come out, when it's relevant, do not recommend books to your partner unless they have asked you, right? Because, or even this podcast, or even this list, they have asked you, right, right, like just don't don't do that, because it will feel very constraining, to someone with ADHD. And also it will feel like their autonomy is being taken. And they're already worried about like, my brain is broken, I have no executive function, I'm impulsive. Like, that means I'm the type of person who can't be trusted with things. And now you're saying like, you've read all the books about ADHD, and I have to read them and I'm doing it wrong is like just compounding the error. But I think it's very important to get yourself informed on as wide range of issues about the disorder as possible, but then let your partner lead you through their experience of it so that you're not going to be like, wait, wait, wait, aren't those drugs addictive? Right? You can learn about that on your own, so that you don't like say something stupid or ablest? Right? Yeah, there. So you can be informed in a minimal way about like the gendered issues around who gets diagnosed and who doesn't. Or you know why there's a sudden explosion of adult women diagnoses or what medication treatments are available and how they work. You can learn all of that on your own. You can read memoirs, you can read blog posts, you can follow Twitter stuff and you can become an academic or like, you know, a special interest expert on ADHD but you are still not the person who has ADHD and you have to refer to that person's experience.
Yeah, there's a great when you're talking about your own experience, and there's actually a really, really great depiction of that on the show that was on FX x or FX I don't even remember what it's called now. Least down here in the States. I don't know what it aired on in Canada, or if it even aired in Canada, but it's called You're the worst. And the the male that already Oh, no, it's so good. It is so good. It is just to like it takes place in LA, which is all you need to know but not in like proper la like the fringes of LA. And she's like a low. A low level PR flack for a middling rap group. Um, yeah. Gretchen and he is a British expat who had one minor publishing hit, and is now sort of just, you know, trying to write his next book, but thinks he's better than everybody else sort of thing. Anyways, they meet and that and it is they're like the worst, but they're also like the best, but I don't remember if it's season one or season two, but Gretchen the main character, she has a major depressive episode. There's a major depressive episode and, and he tries to fix her, right? He doesn't understand it. And she literally tells it don't fix me, right? This is I've been through this before. There's literally nothing you can do. This is who I am, right? Like this is never gonna go away. Like, I mean, that particular episode well, but like this generally won't go away. And, um, but he tries, he tries. He's just convinced that like, I can make this better. And it's really a great arc like it is in terms of like drama, if you're watching it. And it isn't until the end that he finally listens to her and she builds like a pillow for it. And no, she does. She just like builds a pillow for it. Because it's gotten so bad that she can't even move. Right. She just she can't even move. And so she builds this pillow for her. Maybe she falls asleep and he builds the pillow forward around her and gets in there with her. Oh, that's all you want. Yeah, and that's it right? And so it took an entire season to get there. And it took a lot of growth on the part of his characters part obviously because he's he was a self that they were both self centered assholes. Basically, that's why they were the worst. And it's absolutely hysterical. But it's, I recommend it, but that particular arc is just so relatable. And familiar. And also just beautiful. Because he, you know, he's coming from, like, you were saying he's coming from a good place, right? He wants to help her. You know, he aches too. Yeah, right. But like, yeah, it's just he's not a buddy. But in as a result, he refuses to listen to her because she is literally clearly articulating what it is she needs.
Yeah, I mean, the only thing worse than going through a major depressive episode is going through a major depressive episode and feeling like you are disappointing, a loved one who's trying to help you, but it's not working. Right. Yeah. And the only thing worse than going through sort of out of control. ADHD is going through out of control, ADHD, and disappointing your romantic partner who keeps trying to help you make lists. Right? Yeah. So you feel both suffocated by their lack of understanding of what your problem actually is. And also, like you are disappointing them, like their their attempts to help you, you want them to be successful. Because Yeah, you know that they love you and you hate yourself for not being able to get better using like, and no buddy, who loves you would do that to you on purpose to make you so miserable in that way, because they are honestly trying to help. But that help is not simply not productive. It is counterproductive and produces just a lot of terrible feelings of shame, and self loathing first and maybe anger. Secondly, could you just listen to me? It's like, yeah, I wish this would work, like, and I feel like a failure because you're trying to help me and it's not helping therefore, and I
keep trying, and I keep trying harder and harder. Yeah, harder I tried, the less it works, the less, which is equally frustrating. And, you know, and I know, it's frustrating for the other person too, because they watch you try and fail. Right? And yeah, you know, you don't want your partner to fail. Right? That's, I mean, normally, and if you do, then maybe this is not a good relationship. But like, you want the you want the person that you love to succeed, you want them to be successful, you want to see them happy, you want to see them thriving. And it's not.
Sometimes what you need is a partner to say like, I want to see you succeed, and I want to see you thriving, and you're not, but that's okay. Yeah, you're right. That's okay. For right now, we'll get through this because I, you know, I know that I had placed a lot of pressure on my husband and I have felt pressure placed on me from others is to get better quicker, right? Because if people are trying to help you at a certain point, if it's still not working, you're afraid that they're going to stop trying to help you. Yeah, right. And right. Yeah, right. It's like, what if you just could abide? Right? What if you could just be near me, for however long it takes to get through like this depressive episode or, you know, a roller coaster of medication side effects while we ride it out, and just sort of say like, This, too, shall pass. And you don't have to be better today. And tomorrow doesn't have to be better than today, right? That's like my grief process to last year is that my husband just made space for me to feel really terrible for months and months in a row without any expectation that today was going to be better than yesterday. Right? Yeah. Like, it's going to take the time that it takes, and I'm going to hold this space for you. Right. And I, you know, you don't have to get better for me, right, get better for yourself, and you don't have to rush it, it's going to take the time that it takes, right and that that psychic space that that opens up for the ill person or the newly diagnosed person or the grieving person or the depressed person to just let their own healing takes take place because they're freed from the expectations of others and other people's timelines, right. really allows that healing to happen. Instead of I have to pretend that I'm okay. I have to figure out a way to get out of bed every day, I have to figure out a way to get these things done because everyone wants me to be better so badly that I feel they will abandon me if I'm not better right now. Yeah. Right. Well, I
think that that's a really that's a really big deal for neurodivergent people because let's face it, we have been ditched. Right? Yeah. Like, you know, the the number of the number of people that we have alienated or accidentally for about because we have ADHD and so violated some social norms that we didn't even know we were violating and then texted while not texting to pass them a note six months later, I don't know how did we do this before? I don't know telephone calls? Yeah, I guess not called there we go phone calls like we didn't. We used to have to call people if we wanted to talk to them. But, but that that that never goes away, right. It that you have been told, often explicitly, you're weird and strange and not right. And that people have sometimes often ostracized us because of it excluded you because of it tried to include you thought, This is way too hard and then exploited you because it was just like, we can't deal with with this. Um, and so it's it's a really, you know, we talk about a space of vulnerability again, but it's like, there is always that fear. Yeah, there is always and again, I don't, you know, not knowing the individual history, but chances are and all the narratives that I've heard from other women who have been diagnosed later as ADHD, this is a common theme, right that we were, we didn't fit the norm. We tried really hard to fit the norm. And that just made us weirder. Because we had to try and we can see everybody could see you're trying and it's like, why is this so hard for you? And you'd be like, I don't
know. Why are you so cranky about going to a party?
Yeah. Or like, why can't you? You know, and, and for me, it was like, even just enhanced because kids can be crappy, but like, even just not having good fine motor skills. Yeah. Right. I the worst handwriting of any of the girls in my class, right? And even worse than some of the boys. And it was I mean, and this was for typing, it was ubiquitous. So it was a big deal. Right, like you got graded in penmanship. I know, right? Yeah. And I never I was never good at it. It hurts. It took me forever, like, I would just barely get a C in it. Right? I'd be the last one finished. And I do the least amount. Like we used to have to copy out sentences in French. We just have to copy out sentences in French over and over and over again. And it got worse over longer. Yeah, no, this was still printing. This was still in second grade where I was just reading. So we had to print it. We had our little nice book where we had to get our like, really sharp pencil out. And we would write it and you had to you how much I don't even know how much time we had forever. I felt like but like you had a certain amount of time. And you had to try to get it to like six or seven different copied out. And you had to at least get to four in the amount of time and I would always barely get to four. If I was lucky. It was always still like super big and like, well, it should only take you three lines to write the sentence and I'd be like writing on the third line, like trying to get it like I can't do this. And like it was but I mean, you know, I just said it was just I have shady penmanship like I just wouldn't really
surprise you to know that I got perfect marks and penmanship.
And there you go. Like, obviously, Cassie, Cassie has gorgeous handwriting. She loves it. She taught herself cursive, right. My daughter taught herself cursive when she was like four. Or like maybe she was like, but
I am determined. We are going to limit this to one episode that might be a bit lengthy about this topic. So like maybe the last thing I'd want to follow on from what you were, you were saying about about being rejected for being weird is that one thing that is sure relationship poison, is to fight and use the words ADHD, right is to sort of say, like, you know, you told me you were gonna mail that thing. And you didn't do your ADHD blah, blah, blah, right? So do not diagnose people's behavior, like, you know, don't say like, baby, like, if you didn't have this disorder, you would be able to blah, blah, blah. And I'm mad about that. Don't throw somebody's diagnosis back at them in a moment of anger and frustration, because that feels like a character assassination. And it's also dehumanizing, right? Because it says the person does not have agency over their own behavior, right? They would say like, my ADHD is a reason. It's not an excuse, but also can we just deal with the behavior, right? Do not diagnose like, oh, you're just, you know, you did that because you lack empathy, because you have autism is a great way to both lose an argument and a relationship. Right? Yeah. So that is experienced as a kind of very profound sort of rejection. That dehumanizes right. And even if you're doing it in try to be helpful, like, Oh, you know, like you seem to be, but you're not really good at throwing that baseball is that because you're autistic? Maybe like, don't let me make that connection. Right. Let me like I have like lousy motor skills, maybe because of these things, but maybe I'm just clumsy. So nobody really likes to have that diagnosis. Nobody likes to be thinking that they are being viewed as a collection of potential symptoms. Yeah, by people that they love, right? They want to be treated like a whole human. And if I say, you know, I'm really bad at this particular thing, because I can never read intent probably because of my autism. That's one thing, but not say like, you got suckered by that joke, because you're autistic is Yeah, yeah. It's like so many things that we're learning about in culture. Right now as if you are a member of the impacted group, you can say it. And if you are not shut up, right,
yeah. Yeah. And I think that that, like, the last thing I'm going to leave with is because I think we've shown this, you're gonna make mistakes. Oh, absolutely right. You're gonna make mistakes. And the thing I would say is apologize. Sincerely. Don't say the word. But afterwards Yeah, right. I saw I don't even remember where I heard it from, I think was a movie or something like that, where it was, like a father had to say that if you say something, and say, but, and then say something else, you've completely negated everything that comes in before the but you know, just just apologize sincerely and ask, you know, ask what you can do differently. Right? Um, and and actually listen to it. And, and, you know, don't don't make it about you. Yeah, which can be really hard, right? Um, you know, you have to make space for your own emotions and your own processing. Not saying, like, negate yourself completely to, to this, but like, you know, apologize, sincerely, listen, and find, find the space and better ways to communicate with your partner who has ADHD, what you need as well. That's right. Like, the, you know, if if the dishes literally keep you up at night, because they're there for whatever reason, then that needs to be something that's negotiated because it doesn't actually help the relationship if you're now up all night stressing and they're sleeping soundly. Right? Like that doesn't that that is not helpful to the relationship, right? So it's like, so then it's so it really does become this thing where, you know, they're gonna make mistakes, you're gonna make mistakes. This is a process that goes through but you know, and, you know, apologize openly and sincerely and make space for when everybody is calm down. Right? When when this it took to make space to say, Okay, how did that make you feel? This is how I was feeling. What do we do about it?
Yeah, it's not always about the neurotypical person has to change everything to accommodate the neurodivergent person, right? It's a process of mutual accommodation, and increasing understanding, according to everybody's abilities, and needs. And it's a constant negotiation, that renegotiation and if you love each other, then you'll do that work, right? It's it's an opportunity, the diagnosis is an opportunity to recalibrate everyone's expectations, and behaviors, everyone, right? That the affected person, the partner of the affected person, and it's going to go on for years, probably forever, and just listen and keep trying. get informed and follow the lead of the diagnosed person.
Yeah. Good luck.
Yeah. Good luck.
I mean, it's, it's not easy. It's, it's not easy, but, I mean, I guess my thing is, like, no relationship is right. Like, yes, just Blitz just differently challenging. Yes. Right. It's, it's really is just differently challenging because I
like differently abled, right. Yeah.
So kind of using Yes,
your relationship as a neurodivergent person is just differently challenging.
I love that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the episode title differently to the challenging Yes. Let's do that. Um, so yeah, so we'll keep it at it at an at about an hour. Actually. We we did it we did it. And and we will this will, this will air probably like a month from now because that's how many episodes we have.
Robocop trivia I had to share. Did you did you like my way? That was like, great. 80s dystopian, bro, dude. Yeah, and I like it's a completely different set of people that are retweeting that right than usual. So I see it's like my media studies people are on that one I'm like, Oh no. Oh, no, it's not what do you think we're on slide Jerry
it's not these are not the bots you're looking for. The droid sorry, these aren't the droids I've got all the stars people
not the droids you're looking for. Okay, we
got to go
out right now so let's so as always you can email us as you tell we answer the emails we do episodes because of it. So and it but if you sent me one a year ago asking me to do an episode on something, you might want to resend it because like yeah, we just I am answering emails. Unless I unless we do it within like one week of getting the email is gonna get you suggested something a year ago, or even two years ago and we didn't get to it. That just that stuff happened and like stuff got lost. So just resend it and we'll be happy to do it again, You can also go to our website all things ADHD calm. I'm ready right in on Twitter. Amy is did you get Twitter? And yeah, share the podcast with your friends. Um, you know, maybe not even as an ADHD podcast just like two slightly strange hour long conversations that you can listen to verbose and prolix at once. Yes, exactly. Alright, let's say Goodbye, everyone. Goodbye, everyone.