Hi Everyone. Firstly, thank you all again for your continued support of lovepda, and to the new subscribers. You can follow the blog if you have a WordPress account, or you can join as an email follower. By following, you add credit to this blog and support PDA awareness.
I am motivated to keep writing when I hear daily of reports of professionals turning parents attempts to talk about PDA, into dust piles with simple throw away comments such as “I’m skeptical about PDA”. “PDA is not recognized here” or “PDA is controversial”. Like PDA is just a diagnosis, when, in fact PDA is the person, it’s their brain type, it’s their way of being. By saying you are not convinced, you are saying that you don’t believe in this person, and to be honest, that’s really offensive. We have to keep the fire burning because it’s so easy to feel extinguished and that just is not helping our families and children.
So, onto the topic I wanted to talk about. Expectations. Primarily around special events, specifically about holidays, or vacations. I have written about Christmas, please have a read of that one if you can as it has explanation around why special times can be the most upsetting.
I have been noticing how many posts on our support pages are asking for help or sharing emotions around holidays. In the UK it is holiday time and great expectations are formed around this time. Expectations are feelings that have not yet been experienced, yet hold excitement and hope for future feelings that we desire. Drawing on past happy experiences, future, similar experiences are looked forward to. Huge emotions are experienced during the lead up to holidays and, for neuro typical people, can be as equally enjoyable as the actual real time experience itself. Previous holidays can be recalled to memory, which adds to the excitement of the up and coming holiday. Emotions from past, present and future, all roll in to one and expectations ( hopes for another great experience) are set.
I for one get very excited about travel and holiday. I have a wealth of knowledge behind me with regard to experiencing new things and look forward to all the things that make a holiday great for me. Such as lovely accommodation, the journey to get to the destination, the new foods we will taste, the difference of the weather, the meeting of strangers yet to be friends. The stories of culture and history, the laughter and the relaxation. I love holidays!
Some folks will look forward to relaxing. Some will look forward to discovering new cultures. Some will seek adventure and Adrenalin activities. Some will want to spend time with their family in a different setting from normal so they feel they can appreciate them in a different way. We all have different hopes and expectations of what a holiday will be. It all heightens out emotions in the lead up to the event itself.
I am speaking specifically about holidays but this rational could also be the same for any special occasion or event that is not an every day occurrence. Something new perhaps.
Now I have set the scene and hopefully you guys are nodding and understanding and forming a picture of a great holiday. Just like I have been doing this week in the lead up to a weekend away that I have been planning. Now please stop and think about what you know about PDA and how different these things we take for granted are to a child with PDA. If you are new to PDA, please read all my other posts, all 120 of them!
This evening I had to pull myself up because my excitement about our weekend away was causing a negative effect on my girl. I listened when she said, “Mum, I don’t even want to go to the mountains. I’m not looking forward to it like you are, will you please stop talking about it.”
She is voicing her feelings to me by asking me to stop.
It is in this moment I can chose to say, ‘Stop being silly!” “Don’t spoil my excitement”. “What are you talking about?” “Don’t be ridiculous, you will love it.” Or
I can hear the warnings and change my speech.
If I chose the former, I will be pushing my demand of expected pre holiday emotions onto my demand resistant child. I will think that I’m the boss, that my emotions are more important than hers and I will not be honoring her feelings. I will be disrespecting her feelings and needs.
If I chose the latter, I will be diverting a blow out. I will be respecting her feelings and limitations, I will be growing as a person who is is able to stop her own needs to expand awareness and encourage peace between two different ways of thinking.
I can still be excited about my holiday. But I don’t have to shout it from the rooftops. I can set up a good weekend by not allowing my expectations to drown my girls needs to quietly go with the changes of a different weekend.
I can talk to my girl about what’s coming up and I can ask her how she wants to be part of the plans. I can remind her about previous times away and the happy memories we made on that trip. I can keep myself steady and calm so that I am not the scariest change of the weekend.
PDA is real. PDA is an explanation of a way of mind. People with PDA are so very similar. I am not a Doctor, but I am in touch and in contact with thousands of parents who identify with PDA as a way of thinking and being. We all share the same observations. All we need to do is understand the differences and work out ways to keep everyone content and calm and happy. It can be done, it is being done and it’s not as far away as you may think it is. If you are reading this and you can add to my words to confirm difficulties and strategies around expectations, especially holidays, then please comment below. My hope is that professionals will read our accounts and gain deeper knowledge of day to day differences that, when understood, can be lived in a peaceful way.
I can’t wait for our weekend in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand. The healing energy of nature and the majestic ride there in our old 1970 VW Camper van. We will grab the wee doggy, fill the icebox with special treats and luxury food. We will sing silly family songs on the way and stop off at the famous pie shop for lunch. We will wonder at the size of the snow capped mountains that surround us and we will hold hands and smile as we make the memories that we can refer to when times are hard. But I will keep those thoughts of excitement to myself and to you who are reading now. For my lass needs calm and same and steady and when we are back home again and all back to feeling secure, we will smile and recall and get excited and we will be really pleased we got it all just right.
Cheers . x