When a neurodivergent person seems controlling, they may just feel unsafe

Listen to this post ...
Saying someone has, “control issues” is often a misnomer.
 
For neurodivergent folks its often an issue with anxiety.
 
Feeling confused in a fast, noisy world demands you find something you can hold onto. Something to help you feel safe.
 
It can be a collection, a routine, a mantra, a person whose word you depend on.
 
My oldest used to get pissed at me when he was 5 or so and I’d estimate travel time wrong.
 
He’d want to know exactly how long it would take to get somewhere. If I was off by a few minutes he’d call me a liar, begin screaming and kicking my seat violently.
 
That’s how anxious and out of control he felt. I understand this now in retrospect. He’d become just as upset with his teacher when she didn’t keep to the schedule she laid out at the beginning of the day.
 
In one sense this behavior looks like OCD or inflexibility. To a degree executive function challenges play a role here.
 
I suspect your neurodivergent nervous system having difficulty adjusting quickly to uncertainty knows it. Which is why you feel so threatened by it.
 
I’ve become better at handling change over the years because my wife handles it so well. She’s an adventurous, go with the flow person.
 
I’m more a, “what’s the plan” kinda guy. I need some degree of certainty so I have something to hold onto. My anxiety is through the roof otherwise.
 
It’s a fact you and I have disorganized, highly sensitive nervous systems. No amount of meditation, medication or intervention can change all that.
 
They help!!! A lot 🙂 But they don’t eliminate the challenges completely.
 
But you must honor the thresholds of what your mind, body and emotions can withstand without causing you to meltdown or shutdown.
 
Take some time to reflect upon your tendencies to want to be in control of things. See if underneath it you actually feel unsafe.
 
We both know having control isn’t really an option. So what else will help you feel safe?
 
➡ Being with someone you trust?
➡ Knowing you’ll be okay whatever happens?
➡ Having the option to stop and leave if it becomes too much?
 
Create a list of options. In some cases, having the list is enough to lower your anxiety because its like having a map to the emergency exits in your pocket.
 
Give it a go and let me know if it helps.

Helping your neurodiverse child stop tuning you out

Listen to this post … Hoping our kids learn important lessons through lecture is a fruitless strategy. All your kid really gets better at is tuning you out. I’ve learned (especially with ND kids), introspection is a more powerful teacher. But ND kids tend to avoid introspection. Their self-consciousness and inner critic make it something they want to

Read More »

A useful way to manage anxiety

Listen to this post … Let me tell you something about anxiety. Anxiety is stored up energy for action you can’t take. When you fret about the past, thinking about how it should have gone, what you should’ve done – you’re suggesting to yourself another course of action is possible. Your subconscious mind thinks, “Yeah, let’s do

Read More »

Getting beyond RSD with ADHD

Listen to this post … I have an idea about RSD (Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria) experienced by many with ADHD. I’ve noticed those that experience it perceive relationships in an all or nothing way. You’re loved or unloved, given attention or ignored, you’re happy when they’re happy. When in a relationship it’s often co-dependent. Wanting constant access to the

Read More »

He’s going to be an adult someday so he may as well learn it now

Listen to this post … “He’s going to be an adult someday so he may as well learn it now.” This is a concerning belief in the mind of many parents raising a child with neurodivergence (ND). It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding about how our kids learn. Believing a consequence needs to be harsh and effective the first

Read More »

One tip for you that can transform how you think about life

Listen to this post … I have one tip for you that can transform how you think about life. I was talking to a friend this morning who was unaware just how disabled I am by my health conditions. She was surprised by how positive I was able to be regardless of the challenges I experience every

Read More »

A secret for becoming less reactive…

Listen to this post … I’m going to help you learn to be less reactive by teaching you something about how the Neurodiverse brain works that no one ever taught you.Conventional wisdom tells you you have the power to choose your thoughts. If you’re feeling a certain way, just change your thinking and all is

Read More »
%d bloggers like this: