They can’t control it, but you can/should control your reactions.

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And we’re back! Thank you to those who have continued to support this blog. As I mentioned before, I do not want to come here and post a blog just to say I did, or stay on some sort of schedule. I feel like that really bogs down the meaning of this blog. With that said, you may see these long periods of time between posts.

I am posting today because I have seen a disgusting amount of posts on social media platforms regarding the way family members, friends, and even spouses handle living with someone with TS. It not only breaks my heart, but lights a particular fire in me that I can not sit by and idly let burn on its own.

Disclaimer: I am not here to tell someone how to parent their child, etc. I am simply here to provide you an internal view of how certain actions effect the person in your life with Tourette’s. I can only speak form my personal experience, and the reactions I see from my peers in the TS community. This might get a little rant-ish, so bear with me.

Let’s get this out of the way: Living with someone with Tourette’s is not always an easy thing. If anyone understands that to the fullest, it is we who have the disorder. Day to day things are always changing, whether it be our tics or how we are handling them.

With that in mind, it is ON NO OCCASION ok to punish someone who has TS for having TS related symptoms or comorbidities! NEVER!

I saw a post the other day that almost made me sick to my stomach about how an individual said she found the cure to her child’s tics by “accidentally” breaking his Xbox so he can’t play his games any longer. It was clear she was implying if the child stopped ticing, then she would the repair or buy him a new one. This is one of many posts I have seen from individuals who punish/shun people with TS to other rooms and so on.

Let me explain to you why this punishment tactic seems like it works, but it actually doesn’t. You are now telling that person/child/etc. that on top of suppressing tics at work/school/in public, you now expect them to do so for YOUR comfort. And it may work at first, because no one feels worse about being disruptive than we do! But eventually, the urges will boil over. When they do, they are often 10 times worse, and cause other comorbidities to strengthen such as anxiety because we are afraid to be punished for what we cannot control. Furthermore, a resentment will grow. A realization will start to become clear that we are not being accepted for who and what we are, and I can speak from experience that a wound like that can take decades to heal, if ever.

The reasons actions like the ones mentioned above are unacceptable would take me days to cover, but the number one on my list is that there are easily found and professionally laid out resources for family members related to helping them learn to cope with this diagnosis within the family. The Tourette’s Association of America is always a great place to start, and they have an entire portion of their website dedicated to this subject. I’ll even make it easy for you to find/share with anyone who may need it. Just click HERE.

Be kind to one another. Be supportive of solutions to disruptions, instead of authoritative about something that you could never command away. We really are all in this together!

See you all here next time!

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