PLEASE STOP referring to every emotional outburst as a meltdown

Parents and Teachers!
PLEASE STOP referring to every emotional outburst as a meltdown.
➡ A child bursting into tears when criticized IS NOT having a meltdown.
➡ A child going to their room, slamming the door and cursing is not having a meltdown.
➡ Punching or throwing something out of anger isn’t a meltdown either. It’s an impulsive act.
A child having a meltdown is experiencing rage or terror. They’re in extreme fight or flight. They lose control in a way that can be dangerous for themselves and others.
It’s like an emotional seizure, where the threat signal keeps firing and our nervous system keeps reacting with extreme intensity.
Until the trigger stops, significant calming measures are used or exhaustion occurs, it’ll likely continue.
I encounter too many Neurodivergent people (especially teens) whose parents criticize them for their emotional sensitivity by exaggerating it, calling everything a meltdown.
“There you go melting down again.”
“Don’t have a meltdown over this.”
It’s gaslighting to do this intended or not.
We need to help our kids improve their emotional intelligence and resilience. We do that by helping them understand, express and move through our emotions smoothly.
You need to know how to do that first. If you’re triggered by your child’s difficult emotions, I suspect you’re uncomfortable with your own as well.
We have work to do.

People with Neurodivergence shouldn’t have to tone themselves down for others….right?

People with Neurodivergence shouldn’t have to tone themselves down for others….right?
This is a common assertion from many adults living with ND. I have a position on this issue many of those same people find upsetting.
You see, I don’t consider any of the characteristics of ND to be who I am. I consider them to be things my brain is doing.
➡ I tend to talk louder and louder when I’m excited about a subject.
➡ I tend to default to an all-or-nothing way of thinking.
➡ My emotions can be all over, sensitive and intense at times.
➡ I can be forgetful and scattered.
These are realities of the Neurodivergence I experience.
None of these are static qualities. I’m not saying everyone has the same degree of flexibility and potential. I’m suggesting folks not use the label as a defense against doing the work.
If you come to me and say you’ve tried as hard as you could and still struggle, I’m not going to argue with you. That’s not the point of this. Some people become paralyzed and learn to walk again, others don’t. Everyone has their unique circumstances.
Like any other human being we can learn new skills and acquire new knowledge.
One reason many adults may adopt the position that everyone else do the changing. Is because growing up we were usually the only ones (or so it seemed) being corrected.
We were encouraged to make adjustments for everyone else but they weren’t asked to meet us half way. That’s a mistake and must change.
As adults, I don’t see a path forward in reversing the unfair treatment we received throughout life and putting it back on others.
That’s the same all-or-nothing, win-lose thinking we know doesn’t work.
I have found greater success in pursuing a win-win with people.
Regardless of whether you have labels or not I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to acquire more knowledge and skill.
Is it fear of failure, criticism, rejection? I get it, I experience it, but I promise you, none of that has to stop you.
The solution to that isn’t to stay exactly how you are and expect everyone else to change so you can remain safe while taking fewer risks in life.
I’m working for an inclusive society where we recognize each others needs and seek a balance so those needs are met as best as possible.
Here’s an example of what that balance looks like. My tendency to talk loud when I’m excited about a subject is a result of poor self-awareness. I can improve that with mindfulness and feedback from others. And why wouldn’t I?
I ask others to help me monitor myself by saying things like, “I can hear how much you care about this subject.” Because I asked them to say that as a prompt, I know exactly what it means and don’t hear it as a criticism.
They help me which in turn helps them, win-win.
The alternative is to insist I be permitted to talk as loud as I do and expect others to deal with it. Cause I shouldn’t have to tone it down for them, right!
It’s a double standard to expect others to refrain from things that might overwhelm me while I reserve the right to overwhelm them.
I realize this is a complex, emotionally charged issue.
I also want to emphasize that I don’t believe I have the “correct” perspective on this, I’m just sharing how I think about it.
The way I approach it has led me to close, trusting loving relationships.
I’ve found greater peace, self-awareness, self-acceptance, compassion, you name it.
The very brain you’re looking to have acceptance for is also feeding you some lousy intel. That’s a reality, and needs to be considered.
Recognizing how pervasive all-or-nothing thinking is in your brain is a good start. It really muddies up your perception of things.
Then, working to find greater balance in your perception of things is how the world becomes a less threatening place.
That’s what I’ve learned and what I teach. With life changing results.

Coming to terms with being forgetful

Accepting I’m forgetful and writing things down, instead of anxiously fretting over how important it is not to forget something.
Has been a big relief and made a noticeable difference in my mental health.
Trying to remember to improve my memory is like trying to improve my color blindness by looking at more color.
My brain doesn’t do it. The ADHD prevents it. That’s the reality.
Once I accommodated it by writing things down, the pressure was off and my brain could rest.
It’s also important to let go of the “like everyone else” criteria when seeking a solution for yourself.
They don’t have any skin in the game, if their way doesn’t work for you who cares how they do it.
Accommodation often requires innovation, which means different.
Remember, the ones doing things differently aren’t necessarily the ones incapable of keeping up with the others.
They notice the ones who realize those running maintain the status quo.
Your job is learning the tools and strategies to increase your flow.
So you can show the world more of what you know.

The more I healed, the more happiness I remembered

One of the gifts from healing my own Gremlins, is remembering good things from my childhood I’d forgotten about.
When you walk through life wounded, your mind keeps front and center the info that’ll keep you safe from more harm.
It’s plan is this. Let’s be on alert for the possibility we may get punched in the face.
To do that we’ll keep punching ourselves in the face to remember what it felt like, not simply that we didn’t like it.
Living on defense is exhausting. That’s what anxiety is, a defensive neurological state.
I remember telling stories of my unhappy childhood over the years. I can understand why some might think there was no happiness at all.
But as I progressively quiet the mental preoccupations with painful parts of the past, I’m able to see life with a wider lens.
When you heal life becomes both clearer and bigger. Bigger in terms of the number of things you’re aware of and feel connected to.
You’re able to experience life in a more balanced way. Versus having your baggage on your lap everywhere you go.
It’s a powerful journey to take yourself on. It’s one of my favorite things to do with others. We’re all in this together.