One of the more surprising things I’ve learned in my years as a marriage and family therapist is that pets are more than just “man’s best friend”—most families see them as *actual* members of the family system.
The thing that finally made me see it clearly was grief.
Time after time I’d be bopping along helping a family (or individual) with transitions or communication or whatever else, and a pet would pass and the work STOPPED. Like, full halt, unable to move forward, capital T trauma kind of stop.
The grief was too REAL. (2)
Jul 19 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
Something I learned after my mom died to soon (of early onset alzheimer’s):
When it comes to getting footage of your family on video as a parent, it’s *way* more important to record YOURSELF than to record your kids.
I have tons of footage of me and my siblings growing up—hours of concerts, assemblies, sports and Christmas mornings. And while that’s nice, I would absolutely kill for just one video of my mom that lasts more than 3 seconds and doesn’t involve her shooing the camera away. (/2)
Nov 1, 2022 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
One helpful thing I realized about #ADHD time-blindness/inaccurate time estimates is, yes, of course this means that we often WAY overestimate all the things we can get in during the “15 minutes before the meeting” time slot. BUT it actually goes the other way too! /1
In other words, when I have two hours ahead of me, I actually have little to no idea what *that* time slot means either, and for some reason I tend to UNDERestimate how much time that actually is!
This is very helpful to recognize because /2
Sep 22, 2022 • 108 tweets • 20 min read
Today I want to tell you the story of when I was coming home from my two-year Mormon mission in Venezuela and instead got detained in the country for a month. It was SO WEIRD in so many ways and I still don’t even know how to categorize it all. /1
It was January of 2002. When 9/11 happened not long before, most people there seemed very sympathetic to Americans, but by this point Chavez-based politics had created a distinct Anti-US vibe in the state (that has ended up lasting for many years) and a mistrust of gringos. /2
Sep 11, 2022 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
I have been getting a surprising amount of feedback from neurotypical folks saying their ADHD loved ones are angry and depressed BECAUSE they read my threads about #ADHDtrauma. These NT folks are upset and demand I tell them how to fix the loved one that I “made depressed.” /1
Hopefully most of you can see the obvious—my threads didn’t *make* these ND people depressed. They provided *language* that allows them to express the anger and depression they have felt all along. They provide a re-contextualization of early life events that /2
Sep 6, 2022 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
The following is a MAJOR misconception parents/adults have about kids with #ADHD
Adult: I know this kid really well, and you’re wrong about them. It’s not just that ADHD won’t let them do what they’re asked. That’s just an excuse. They’re actually *choosing* not to.
Me: How do you figure?
Adult: *laughs* well you should see them when it’s something they wanna do. If *they* want something, they’ll bend over backwards. They’ll move heaven and earth to make it happen with so much motivation! They work harder than anyone I know. But /2
Aug 3, 2022 • 40 tweets • 10 min read
The level trauma of being a neurodivergent person raised in an ableist world is absolutely underestimated. Many of the clients I encounter have levels of trauma that could qualify them for a diagnosis of PTSD.
We need to reframe this completely. /1
Part of the problem is that the way adults respond to symptoms of #ADHD (and other neurodivergence) in kids they are in charge of is perceived by NT people as “appropriate,” while being experienced in the mind and body of the kid with #ADHD as physical or emotional abuse. /2
Jun 12, 2022 • 26 tweets • 6 min read
People keep asking “if we aren’t supposed to say “you have so much potential” what ARE we supposed to say? Before I go off on this bit, please know I recognize this question is coming often from parents who REALLY want to learn how to do right by their kid, and I respect that BUT
if you are asking this question, you have probably missed the WHOLE point.
You are basically asking me something like: “if I can’t help motivate my child with THAT phrase, what phrase can I use to get them to improve” and what I need you to understand is that you NEED to stop
Jun 8, 2022 • 67 tweets • 16 min read
A message I want to share with adults who work with #ADHD kids is: pushing them the way that you push neurotypical kids harms them for life.
Here’s what I mean.
When I start working clinically with an adult who has ADHD, one of the first things we do /1
is we start to map out their trauma history. And I don’t mean non-adjacent childhood traumas (which are also relevant, but we get to those later) I mean their #ADHD-specific, childhood-based traumas that result from having ADHD while growing up in an ableist society. /2
May 16, 2022 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
may all the therapists have full offices of willing clients ready to heal this summer
and may all the writers write what is in their hearts
and may their books and poems and stories be published in varied, delicious venues, reaching all they are meant to reach
and may the bus drivers drive in the summer heat with the cold air blasting and may their passengers all find seats to rest, sweaty and happy and still-masked and healthy
and may the musicians book show after show, and share the gifts they honed in the quiet of their bedrooms
Dec 10, 2021 • 26 tweets • 5 min read
My marriage to my husband strikes a deft blow to the patriarchy, and actually lessens the power of the religious leaders who spent over 35 YEARS trying to convince me that the way I love is abominable.
Let me explain how.
Remember how during the “debate” about marriage equality tons of churchy leadership folks spent millions of dollars legislating against and predicting the destruction of society if LGBTQIA folx had the right to marry?
Turns out they were right to be afraid.
For themselves. /2
Oct 21, 2021 • 24 tweets • 4 min read
1/ I grew up being taught that sex between a man and a woman was the only good, pure and “real” sex out there—but my time as a professional helping religious folks with sexual issues showed me why that’s a total crock of crap. Let me tell you why.
2/ It turns out, behind closed doors, that religious-based hetero sex is likely the most selfish, the most demanding, and the most imbalanced sex framework out there. (Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions to this on an individual level. But I am speaking generally.)
Mar 5, 2021 • 21 tweets • 2 min read
(1) I am a gay man who was raised in a heteronormative world. A part of this world I have always been baffled by is "modesty" culture.
(2) The main premise of "modesty" culture is that women need to dress in a way that doesn't provoke sexual response in men. Which is insane.
Dec 27, 2020 • 25 tweets • 5 min read
Happy no-man’s week! If the final days of the holidays have you feeling numb, exhausted, purposeless or triggered (this time can be very triggering of past trauma) take a moment to reflect and listen to your past versions of self. Is there a part of you that needs to be heard?
2/ Is there a child or teen version of you that feels neglected or hurt or has unresolved feelings around holidays of the past? Was being with (or not being with) family particularly hard this year? Or has a recent loss or life event changed what you knew as normal this year?
Nov 4, 2020 • 14 tweets • 3 min read
Trump might not win, but it is so close that I have a few things to say tonight.
In Donald J. Trump, white people are paying the price of our forefather's inhumanity.
Oct 4, 2020 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Please miss me with the sanctimony about how I “should” feel about Trump’s diagnosis. People’s lives will *literally” be saved because of this development.
2 If I knew him personally and interacted with him human to human, I would meet him with empathy and love as I would any other human.
Jun 5, 2020 • 12 tweets • 2 min read
White people: it is time to let out outrage show against even the smallest micro-aggressions. It’s time to get fucking outraged.
(2)White people are accustomed to deference and respect. Our intentional anger at racism is not violence; it is a weapon in our arsenal to break through white “niceness”.
Apr 12, 2020 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
good day here is my brothers dog scooby falling in actual love with a bearded dragon named carrie fisher
Emerged to grab take-out so I could support local Asian businesses while isolated. Came in hoping to be in and out quickly but had to wait about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, a STEADY STREAM of customers have passed by to be seated. I live in WA state. (2) I am blown away by this. I am 30-45 minutes away from the epicenter for the #coronavirus in the US and people are just walking past me like “table for six!” This is the period of highest social impact and these folks are like “hey I know, let’s eat in public for hours!”