Tourette Syndrome Life's a Twitch Logo


Disinhibited Thoughts #10

Life's A Twitch! ®




If you are a new visitor, diagnosed with a difference, please read this introduction letter to you.

For all other new visitors, Dr. McKinlay also has a special introduction letter to you.


Nix Your Tics! Front Cover image

Nix Your Tics!

The Second
(E-)dition from "Life's A Twitch! Publishing". Click here to learn more.

Purchase, "Nix Your Tics!"

Purchase, "Nix Your Tics!" for Kindle


To watch the Life's A Twitch! documentary via streaming video, click here.


If you would like to reprint writings from this site, please click here.


Before Signing the Guestbook

Guest Book Icon


Nix Your Tics Facebook Group Nix Your Tics Twitter Feed


If you would like to return to the 'Disinhibited Thoughts' archives, please click here.

If you would like to reprint this article, please click here.


Life's A Twitch! Celebrating 15 years.
1998 - 2013
Life's A Twitch! Celebrating 15 years.

 

Family Guilt


"I still cringe every time I read about how your family didn't understand you. It sounds like they were awful............."

My sister wrote this to me in an email recently, shortly after I proudly circulated an article chronicling my difficult youth. I am ecstatic that Heather and I have now, after so many wasted years, gained a measure of comfort with one another -- enough to trust her brother with something so sensitive. Her comment made me pause and consider something I have until now been rather unmindful of: the impact of diagnosis on parents, families and even many teachers can be considerable. Many feel crippled with guilt once they learn that this child or student they have been disciplining for inappropriateness has had a disorder all along. It further occurred to me that I should write something to alleviate that guilt, for it is undeserved.

I can well understand why my sister cringes.........in each of my presentations and interviews I tend to divulge at least some of the wretched private depths I inhabited for many years. My logic is that if I want people who are lost in Tourettic turmoil to believe in their own ability to eventually prevail then it is important to establish that others have done exactly that. After all, it is easy enough for someone who has not been scarred by such unremitting dejection and rejection to smugly suggest you merely "buck up". Easy enough, but incredibly minimizing without any spoken appreciation of what you've experienced.

While I WAS miserable in my youth, and so this work I do provides tremendous personal validation to the emotions I endured, quite honestly I do often cringe myself at those articles. This is because I do not in any way hold my family responsible for their unaware reactions to my TS. It is absurd to have expected them to understand and accommodate for neurology I myself didn't comprehend, and that had gone unrecognized by any professionals they'd spoken to about me (something I have only just learned that they did). If we are to begin assigning blame then I'd better take my OWN place in line as well. By not trusting my family with my "big secret" I decided for them that they wouldn't understand and set the stage myself for further hurt.

To both my family and others burdened with remorse I offer this: what truly marks your calibre is how you've reacted SINCE you've known what was going on, not how you acted BEFORE. You've attended presentations. You've read literature. You've watched videos. You've reached out enthusiastically and supported in all the ways you did not know how to before but wanted to. It is on THAT plane you deserve to be judged.

Just as families like mine should not feel culpable for pre-diagnosis actions, TS'ers like myself should also not cast blame for pre-diagnosis actions. It is very important that we learn to forgive the world for its inadvertent treatment of us, which is a topic I'll broach in a couple of months.

Until next time, my friends!
Duncan

Top of Page


Home

Presentations

Documentary

"Nix Tics!" Book

Accolades Youth Haven

Writings

Ask Dr. Dunc

Resources

Disclaimer

Contact Links

http://www.lifesatwitch.com/dt10.html
Last updated on October 6, 2017

© 1998 - 2017.  Life's A Twitch!® & design are registered trademarks of B. Duncan McKinlay, Ph.D., C.Psych.

All activities related to Life's A Twitch!® are conducted by B. Duncan McKinlay, Ph.D., C.Psych. in a private capacity and do not represent the Ministry of Children and Youth Services or the Government of Ontario.

Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay's Life's A Twitch!® Site on Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders

d