Yet again the family member has automatically tried to dismiss my Dyspraxia as if trying to play down a giant zit someone has suddenly acquired. They have done this my entire life – before I was diagnosed but knew something was different about me and now even after.
I set my alarm and actually got ready an entire hour earlier than I needed to because I got confused when trying to calculate when was the best time to visit the bloke, how long the journey would take, how long my getting ready would take and what time that I needed to get up at. After all you work backwards when trying to do these things, which can sometimes very difficult for me. So I lost track of 60 minutes somewhere.
Notice I’m using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’ instead of ‘my brain’ because my brain isn’t some dysfunctioning separate entity. So when someone creates a little story explaining – no dismissing – why someone with Dyspraxia or Asperger’s or Dyslexia etc behaves the way they do, it’s essentially dismissing the condition the person has and, in part who that person is. I’m not saying my Dyspraxia totally defines me but seeing as I’ve had it my entire life and it effects the way that I see the world, how I deal with it, my emotions (good and bad), my logic (good and bad), my creativity and empathy, I think it has massively shaped my personality and the person that I’ve become. I’m not me despite of the way I am, I’m me because of the way that I am. To me this is normal.
I wanted to scream ‘will you stop making f*&%ing excuses for me!’ but instead I took a deep breath and with gritted teeth asked “Why do you always dismiss my Dyspraxia, why don’t you ever just accept it’s a part of me?” and the answer which really surprised me was “because then it’s won.” I was pretty gobsmacked at this. I explained to them (as I’ve done a million times before) that Dyspraxia is not a nasty illness that can be or even needs to be overcome, I’m not at war with my own brain, it’s just wired differently (notice I said ‘differently’ and not ‘wrongly’) that’s just the way that I am and have always been don’t you see?
Then I immediately faced the usual avoidant shpeel from them about “Oh I don’t care (about this subject), go away it doesn’t matter, I’m not bothered (about this subject).” to which I replied “I AM bothered!” and then I got the usual fake “Oh, I’m tired, I want to be quiet….blah blah.” from them. All of this basically means ‘No I won’t listen to the fact that my attitude upsets you. No I can’t be bothered even trying to understand your point. No I won’t have an adult conversation about this. I’m going to sulk instead because I can only think about how I feel’. It was like trying to reason with a child that stubbornly refuses to listen because it doesn’t suit them. Honestly, I barley got a grunt out of this person (when trying to inform everyone about other news and general chit-chat) for nearly an hour, they just sat and sulked! When I was leaving they grunted a goodbye to me. At least I assume it was “goodbye”. So now I’m meant to feel shitty for hours about how mean I was to them but for the life of me I can’t think why I should.
It was like they thought I was being ungrateful for not appreciating that they were making the best out of this awful situation. It wasn’t awful though, I was trying to fathom out in my own upside-down style of logic how on earth I’d managed to misscalculate. I wasn’t remotely upset that I have Dyspraxia I was just surprised and confused that I’d miscalculated by an entire hour!?
It’s not like I have some terrible curse cast on me for heavens sake. ‘Ooh let’s pretend everythings fine and politely avoid talking about this terrible thing that’s happened to this poor unfortunate retch.’ Erm, excuse me, I’ve totally accepted and actually quite like who I am, quirks and all, so would you mind not being quite so bloody condescending – cheers!’ If someone repeatedly behaved in a nasty spiteful way people would not automatically excuse it by saying “Oh I’m sure they are just over tired.” So why should someone make excuses for someone behaving in a neurodiverse way, when they that’s who they are!?
Next time I’m just firmly going to say “You’re making excuses for me again, I don’t need any. Thank you.” to try and shut them down before they start with this attitude yet again.
So to everyone who is neurologically diverse and who’s brain and therefor personality works in a rather individual way – you might be awesome or a total dick, I don’t know but either way:
You do not need to be fixed because you are not broken.
You are who you are and there is nothing essentially wrong with being you – ever!
If people can’t accept that, then that’s a problem with them, not you.
You have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
Don’t ever feel like you have to make excuses for yourself.
Don’t ever feel that you have to be submissive/grateful when others are making excuses for you.
Maybe they are thinking Dyspraxia is a terrible illness like MS? The MS just happened to me out of the blue, let’s be honest it’s one of the more worrying illnesses which is often progressive. Where as, being born with Dyspraxia is my version of normal, it shapes the way I think and even feel, my quirky version of normal is very very different to the illness MS. This is the difference between the two things that this person is clearly refusing to understand. I say ‘refusing’ because if you can’t even have a basic grown-up conversation with someone then they aren’t exactly trying to understand are they? Every other person I know seem to just accept that I’m Dyspraxic, just as they accept I’m British and have green eyes.
To anyone who can relate to my point of view or possibly to the other person’s view – then I’d love to hear from you. Teachers noticed something was different with me in Junior school and since high school I’ve been trying to figure out what it is. That’s why it’s so surprising to me that I’ve been trying to get this person to accept I have dyspraxia for nearly four years! So to still be doing a similar thing, with the same adult who should know (me) better is totally exhausting. At least they accept that my Dyspraxia is actually real now – maybe in another four years or so they will come to realise it’s not such an awful curse.