An Update on the Poodleface

My Figaro boy is doing great. He passed another obedience class and I just started working on target training in my spare time. Our teacher  said he was one of the smartest dogs she’s ever seen. I felt pretty proud to hear that, even though it’s really his accomplishment, I’m glad he’s my dog. Unfortunately, sometimes he uses his smarts for evil, not good, but that’s just something to be worked on.

It’s odd talking about him, because even though I’ve always been an animal lover, I adore Fig. he is my light in a world that sometimes seems pitch black and I’m so thankful everything lined up correctly for him to be my dog. Our relationship is just different from what I had with Kesha, my family’s late Samoyed and she was the dog that got me through high school.

In about two weeks, Figaro is headed with me for his first time in a college class and I’m excited and nervous. His down is near perfect, but I’m going to visit for a few days before class to get him used to the building. My teacher has been nothing but supportive, which is just great. Figaro is going to do a few tasks for my project on ableism, and I’ll be talking about workplace discrimination against people with disabilities, along with focusing on some of what service dog handlers face.It’s a small class, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay.

In other news, I started on a sleeping pill recently and now I’m kind of pissed at my other doctors who wouldn’t prescribe one before. My energy levels and general quality of life have improved so much. I actually feel happy. For me, that’s always been a rarity. I so wish that my ADHD and other conditions had been known about in high school. I’m rather certain it would have made a big difference. I guess I have to let that go, but I do dwell quite a bit on what could have been. I’ve always had trouble with that, especially when it comes to things that happened in the past and how people might be judging me for it.

Os, I’ll try to be happy and to keep things up with Figaro, because things feel good right now, better than they have in years. Perhaps I’ll even be able to look back on this time in bleaker days.

It’s easy.

(Trigger warning for violent imagery.)

It’s easy, you tell me. It’s just a phone call. Just pick up the phone and dial. I finish, shaking, wanting to crawl out of my skin and you say, “That wasn’t so hard, now was it?”

For you, it’s just a phone call. For me, it’s an excellent time for the monster to come out and play. It’s never just a phone call, it’s a glance of the edge of the abyss and if I make one false move, say one wrong thing, I’ll fall in. Once I fall, I can’t be saved. Instead, I get to hit the bottom and feel every bone shatter and figure out how to find my way out again. Somehow, when I’m climbing back out, I have to make sure you can’t see me bleeding.

When you assume that something that’s simple for you is going to be simple for me, you’re making many assumptions about my ability level. Just because I look like you doesn’t mean I am like you. When you belittle the struggle the making a phone call or looking you in the eye is, it’s like a slap in the face. Just because you can’t see the fight doesn’t make it not real.

Logically, I know that no one is going to laugh at me for me speaking on the phone, to spread gossip and find ways to pick at me. Logic doesn’t work with monsters, they operate on a different plane. Telling me to be realistic isn’t going to help, because when I know people are going to laugh at me, that they hate me, I know that on a different level. It isn’t like how I know the sky is blue. It’s a separate truth.

Everyone doesn’t function on your level, myself included and no, being smart isn’t much help in this case. Assuming everyone can and should function on your level is just reinforcing that there is right way to be human, to be normal. I don’t think there is. If you would listen, you’d know that I’d have rather sent an email and I wouldn’t have spent the afternoon recovering from that phone call. I had other things I wanted to do.

I’m aware that I’m not average, but I wanted to cope, to interact with the abled world, but the way I choose to do it is put down as not good enough. It’s good enough for me and people understand what I need to communicate to them. Isn’t that enough? I know it doesn’t have that curtain of normality to hide behind, but it works. That’s all I want.

Wouldn’t society be a better place if we tried to work with others in a way that works for them? Conflicting needs might make it impossible in some cases, but I think it’s something worth doing. I think it’s the right thing to do.

The Eternal Child

Do people with ADHD1 grow up? I’m under the impression that we’re all children, if a look at book titles is any indication. I wanted yo find information on how to help myself, but all the highly recommended books are for parents. I was able to find a few books that seemed to fit, but some weren’t even reviewed. I feel a bit like I’m searching in the dark. I’m seeing the same issue with dyspraxia.

I am an adult and book telling my parents how to help me cope with birthday parties isn’t much help I’m afraid, although I’m glad their are resources out their for parents who need them, I feel a bit invisible.

I’ve noticed the same thing with a lot of the not so great service dog programs that have been popping up lately. In contacting a few of them and talking to others who contact them, many refuse to even work with adults who need service dogs. This seems off as a service dog is supposed to help increase one’s independence, so one would think that adults would have more need of that then children, who still generally have a parent or guardian to rely on.

I wish there was more recognition of the fact that people with ADHD, dyspraxia, etc, do grow up. Some of us even could use help learning to do things expected of adults, like having a relationship, if we want one, working, dealing with intimacy, remembering things that are important to others and such.

So, we do grow and change, and some of us get married, have kids and all that jazz. It would be great to see advice and guidance in relation to that. I know cute, troubled kids are great way to pull in donor money, but kids don’t stay kids forever.

1. What I’m typing about is applicable to a lot more than ADHD, but as that’s what I stumbled across this with, ADHD is what I’ll be referring to in this post.

On work.

I’m not sure I’m really qualified to write about working, what with my longest official job lasting around 6 weeks.  I didn’t get fired, but it was seasonal.

My doctor’s don’t ever think I’ll be able to work full time. and stay sane. I mean that literally, not in the cutesy sense people like to use the word sane. I’m still figuring out what I want to do. I’m considering switching my major to disability studies or graphic design, but I’m not sure what I want to do just yet.

I’m also, and I hate to admit it, a bit scared of the fact that I’m going have to ask for reasonable accommodations under the ADA, but it is necessary. It’s not as if a work place is going to believe that Figaro is a service dog on my word alone.

To be honest, because I can pass sometimes, even if it does take up spoons, I’m not sure I want to bring him to interviews. It feels dishonest to spring him on the employer once I’m hired, but I at the same time I don’t want to be counted out because of assumptions. Of course, it’s just a function of my privilege that I can hide sometimes.

I’m not sure where I stand on passing right now. I can’t pass as white or male if I wanted to, so it feels odd to have this option of passing in the context invisible disability. I never really passed as straight, but I can do it if I put effort into it, like when I’m in my hate filled home town.

Passing in order to get privileges is just very interesting to me right now, especially as it relates to work and school.  A good part of my failure for the last two semesters can be traced to my urge to pass and refusal to use accommodations that I need. I’m still struggling with identifying as disabled in meatspace, even though I’ve been this way since I was a toddler.

Thus, I work on how feel and keep mulling things over. This didn’t turn out as quite the post I wanted it to be, so I’ll write one that is a bit more generalized latter this week.