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52. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria – A Personal Story With Tammie Ray

On this episode of The ADHD Mums Podcast, Jane is joined by Tammie to discuss her journey of receiving a late-stage ADHD diagnosis at the age of 40.

Tammie shares her experiences with different medications, highlighting the positive impact of Dexamphetamine and the challenges she faced with Vyvanse, as well as how Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) became instrumental in managing her ADHD-related struggles.

Tammie shares on how Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria has impacted her life and how she manages it day to day.


Hello and welcome to the ADHD Mums podcast. I am back and I just started to feel like it had been a while and I realized that it had been September school holidays and then I had a recovery phase after that, which was needed and we've kind of jumped straight back in. Who we've got today is we have a personal share on RSD, which is something that a lot of us. I've got in my own episode out on RSD and a share that I did at work that backfired completely. I think I actually cried during the podcast. It's one of the ones I always talk about taking down. And, but it's also, I've received a lot of DMS about it. And I thought. Gee, people are relating to this. This is a podcast that's about relatability. So I've brought in somebody who's offered to share about how that is, has impacted their life. So Tammy Ray was diagnosed with ADHD at 40 years old, which was one year ago. She has two daughters with ADHD and ASD and she grew up with brothers diagnosed ADHD as children. Tammy uses photography in a way to express her creativity. And she has had a really up and down roller coaster ride, I suppose with late stage diagnosis and dealing with how that's impacted her. So welcome to you, Tammy. Thank you. Thanks for having me, Jane. I'm excited. So I picked up Sammy from a Facebook ADHD Mums group that I like to sit in and commentate, ask questions, and it's just always interesting. And Tammy responded and said that she'd be willing or interested. to share her story. Can you tell us a little bit about why you were interested in, you know, you even responded to the Facebook post in the beginning. I guess with ADHD, it's becoming such a high topic now that I like to share my story. I'm very open, very honest about My struggle with ADHD, things that I've put in place. So I just want to, I guess, share a few things that I've been through, things that affected my life, my children's life, my whole family really. So yeah, I like to be an open book and it's, I guess it's just one of those things that it's come to me so late for myself, but I know so much about ADHD that I really just wanted to. Show up from a different perspective. Yeah, beautiful. Okay. So do you want to give us a little bit of an overview on you know What was your life like up until your diagnosis? How did all that, you know kind of happen? I'm everyone always wants to know kind of our stories around that Yeah, I guess as you said in my intro I grew up with brothers with ADHD, especially my younger brother He was diagnosed in the 80s at about four or five Even back then, my mum had a lot of struggles trying to get him, you know, the, the help that he needed throughout his, his life. But me being, I guess, I was able to go to school and concentrate. I was sort of left behind. Yet, now that you see all these other things with RSD and, you know, being inattentive and all those things, you're just like, oh, wow. So, you know, I've been through that with my life. When my eldest daughter, who's about to turn 20, was about five, I saw it in her and I knew straight away. You've got ADHD and we got her, you know, we went through that process with her and hers was really simple. It wasn't until my youngest who is about to turn 12 was diagnosed and I knew she was autistic. I, you know, that's just what it was. But when the pediatrician said, oh, she's ADHD as well, I sort of went back at him and said, no, no, no, she can concentrate. She sits in class. Okay. And he's like, no, no, no, look at all these other things. And, you know, it got me thinking, well, that's me. That's what I do. So I went on this bit of a path that like, oh, hang on, maybe, maybe I'm the same. And one of my closest friends, she's not diagnosed, but she, every time she sees me, she's like, oh my God, you were so ADHD. Can you please go and get tested? So, you know, I've sort of lived with it my whole life without. And the last 12 months for an adult with ADHD has been such an education. I've been really blessed to know so much about childhood ADHD and how to manage things around that. But yeah, coming into adulthood and trying to figure out myself as being complex, so yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at with it at the moment. I'm just, I'm still educating myself and trying to figure out where I am. I was very blessed with my diagnosis. I have been through a lot. I had an ex husband from the military who ended up becoming a narcissist. So, you know, I had to deal with that with rejection sensitivity disorder, which wasn't very pleasant. And then I've been seeing the same GP for about, since my youngest was born. So about 12 years, I've been seeing her and it was. I got into a new relationship about two years ago and he started really going, this is just not right. This is just not right. There's something wrong. You need to go talk to your doctor. So, you know, I've gone in there and we had a chat about ADHD and she goes, you know what? You meet every single category. I was very blessed then to get straight through to her psychiatrist who was about to retire and he took one look at me and my family history and I didn't have to do any testing. I was really lucky that. We went straight into diagnosis and straight into medication. He, you know, he could see from my whole family history and everything. So, for that side of it I was really, I was really blessed that I, I didn't spend thousands and thousands because of my massive family history. And the fact that I had the same GP, the same psychologist, they were able to, Get all the information and just be able to straight away go bang, yeah, you're right. Okay, so are you still on medication? Like how has that journey been? People always want to know about, you know, what you've tried and how it went. So with my children, I sort of knew what did and didn't work with them. So I sort of went straight away to the, you know, concert is not going to work. This isn't going to work. So I went straight to Dex and it was incredible. Just straight away. I was like, Oh my goodness, the voices have gone. I can concentrate. I can sit. I'm not stressed about every little tiny aspect of my, my life at the moment. And I, and we did that for a month and it was really great. I would, I take three tablets in the morning and took my lunchtime, which gets me through the day and it was really good. But then the doctor's like, I really want you to try Vyvanse. Went on Vyvanse and it was horrendous. It actually destroyed my relationship in the end. The come downs at the end of the day were horrendous for me as a person. I know it's worked, I have a co worker who Vyvanse is amazing for her, but for me personally it was those come downs at the end of the day that were just horrific. I was a complete mess. So I went back to the doctor and we went back to Dex. With that as well, I, I have PMDD as well I'm assuming. I, you know, that's from what I've read and how I feel about myself. I was noticing that week before my period was due was just, don't be near me, I'd stay away. So I actually went on a low dose of Zoloft as well, so my doctor put me on that. We were just going to do it for the week of the period to see if that would help. It ended up being really good that it's mellowed me enough every day, so I take that as well now, plus all the different vitamins, magnesium, fish oil, all those things. My next step is to work on my diet and try and get that. So that it's, you know, I'm eating foods that help the brain basically. So yeah, so Dex for me now, I don't think I'll change, I'm quite happy where I am. It's, I was binge eating a lot. I, I work, you know, on computers and I sit at a desk all day. So I was finding, I put on 30 kilos over the years. And Two years ago, I've lost 30 kilos in the last two years. First year. Wow. Congratulations. Oh my God. That's huge. Yeah, it's great. And being on decks has really, it sort of not, not only does it, it doesn't take away my appetite as such, but it stops me from binge eating. So I'm not sitting at my desk all day and just eating. Crap all day. I'm actually at lunchtime. I'm like, Oh, I'm hungry now. I'll have lunch, have my medication and that'll generally get me through. I mean, I still, I don't know about many other people, but I have a really bad Coke zero addiction. My daughter finds it hilarious, sends me. You know, Tik Tok's about it all the time and stuff, but that's my vice and I need to drink more water. So I need to figure out how I'm going to do that. Oh, look, it's always a stepping stone, isn't it? It sounds like you've done incredibly well to find the right medication, get diagnosed. I mean, look how far you've come. You've lost, what did you say? 30 kilos. Yes, I was only looking at a photo the other day from 20 to now, and I'm like, wow, it's not even the same person anymore. I'm hearing, you know, massive weight loss as well, and I know that this is an RSD episode, but people will want to hear this, that's for sure. How do you think that ADHD has impacted your eating and then, you know, being from non medicated to medicated, you know, do you think that was part of it or how did that work? Absolutely. So it, I was a massive binge eater. I would, anytime that I felt any type of stress or anything. I need chocolate. I need this, I need that. And I would be straight into it. And it was, it was really out of control. So when I went on the decks, that was actually the first thing I noticed was that I'd sit at my desk and I'd get my work done, but I wasn't. Um, opening the drawer for a snack or, or whatever was next to me. So when I, when my brain was like, Oh, you're hungry. I actually would just go and eat properly. So, you know, I'd have a salad for lunch instead of going, ugh, I can't do this and race down to McDonald's and get whatever. So I've, I've found that it's, it's helped me think first. Cause generally I'd get overwhelmed and go, I can't do this. I'm just going to get us takeout or whatever. So. It's just changing those little things in my head that I can slow down and go, okay, I've got food here. I can eat that. And that's, that's what I find. I need, I actually need to remember to eat. So before I take my meds in the morning, I make sure I have. Something to eat. So I actually, you know, TikTok's been so great for my diagnosis, but I pre make most of my meals. I, I live alone generally, my daughter and I, she's 50, 50 with her dad and I. So I pre make a lot of meals and have them in the freezer ready to go. I find that it's a really helpful thing, especially in those nights when you're home alone and you're just like, Oh, screw it. Uber Eats is so easy. I can just jump into the freezer and grab something out. So, you know, I'll write a list every second Sunday of things I want to eat during the week and I'll chuck them in the freezer ready to go. So that's been really, you know, helpful. The medication really did. It's been a life changer for my diet in that sense. You know, I have up and down moments where I'm not doing great and I'll just be like, screw it and, you know, have a binge. But I think that's just part and parcel of life. Instead of getting upset at myself, I just, you know, have to go, okay, well, it is what it is. You make up for it. It's all good. So yeah. Yeah. Diet's been probably, yeah. One of the biggest changes in my life. And. You know, you're working from home a lot and you finally go into the office after a while and people are like, holy, you've got, you know, you're looking great. It's, you know, it's a, that's a dopamine hit that you need for the day. So that's always a really nice thing. I really like going in and you know, I like to op shop as well. So we, you know, I'll go find something nice and new there and wear it to work and you know, you get complimented on how you're looking. It's a really nice feeling. Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. There's a couple of things in that. I just wanted to pull apart what you said because it's so interesting. In regards to the pre made meals, I thought that was really interesting comment because I noticed, or I, this is my opinion with ADHD, it's very difficult to actually break down those steps because if you think about what it takes to buy the ingredients, put together a recipe, cook it. Put it into containers and put it into a freezer. Those are actually, there's a lot of executive function in those steps. And I was wondering, is that because of medication that you've been able to figure out how to do that? I think therapy. I do a lot of DBT, so Diabetical Behaviour Therapy. I think that's been a real game changer in my life. I find that I write lists. So, the medication helps me with the fact when I'm up and I'm ready, if I've, and I can sit down and write a list. Generally, if I sit down, I turn the TV on and I don't move, but if I'm medicated, I'll know I'll write my list and then I'll, you know, start moving throughout the day. So it does help, but for me, from that point of view, if I've got a list in front of me, just step by step, even if I don't get through it all, I'm okay. But mine was more probably from a therapy side than a medication side that has helped me because if I don't get through it or I'm not stressed about it, it doesn't matter. But lists, I have lists everywhere. Everything's a list. My daughter's got lists, checklists for school. I've got everything sorted. So even, even my medications on a, on a list so that I can remember because I have, that's something that I struggle with is. It's remembering things and doing things. I have to have it written down visually so I can have it blaring in my face. So yeah, the, the list is, is my thing. So you know, I write what I want, what I want to make, what I need to buy and you know, everything down. Do you just do it in an exercise books? Where do you put all your lists? How does that work? I can't do it on my phone because you can hide your phone and I can hide my notepad in my phone. So I'm a paper person. I have notebooks everywhere. I've got one on my desk, one in my work bag, you know, one in my car, one on the kitchen bench, one sitting next to me, things like that. So I generally write them down in notebooks. And then it's visual. I, I like to leave them on my kitchen bench because when I walk through my door, my kitchen's right there and I can see my, my to do. I've got one on there at the moment of things that I need to finish my housework off for the week. So yeah, I am very, I'm very, very visual. I need it. It needs to be in my face or it doesn't exist. Okay. Okay. Got it. And the other thing I was going to say was in regards to, you know, how you were saying that when you get up and you wanting to have lunch, You would actually make yourself proper food instead of like snacking through the day or, you know, driving down to getting some take away. I was wondering again, is that the impact of therapy or medication that you are able to slow down and actually make the salad and then sit down and eat it? Or what do you think has changed there? It's probably, it'd be a bit of both. So the pre made things is what really gets me going. So I spent, as I said before, I spend every second Sunday doing up pre made, not only that though, but I get lunch things ready. So like I've got a big bag of carrots in the fridge that I've cut up and they're ready so I can just take a few out instead of going to the other snack place and finding just a packet of chips or whatever. I'll go there and grab carrots and just some dip out. And that'll be my say morning tea and things like that. So I, I have to be really strict on myself to make sure that I do that. And it's a bit of both. It's some days I don't take my meds on the weekend because I want to give my brain a little bit of a break. But when I know that that Sunday that I need to get things done and I need to really focus, I make, I take my medication that day. Cause it will. Help me focus to get all those little items done for the day. And then it sets me up for the week and I don't have that stress of going, Oh, what am I going to do? You know, even if you get home 15 minutes late, you're just stressed. But, you know, I've already got everything pre made ready to go. So that Sunday is a really significant. It's the Sunday that my daughter's not here. She's with her dad that I just, yeah, smash out a heap of baking and things for myself. I've got, I've actually got it on my phone. I've got an alarm. So like on a midday on that Sunday, the alarm goes off and I know it's time to get moving. Yeah. That's just that little reminder. It doesn't come off. It stays on. Yeah, I do that for my medication as well. I fix my medication every Sunday into my little container on Monday to Sunday. It goes off at 6 p. m. on a Sunday night and I know that it's time to get up and get that organized. The other thing I wanted to ask you about as well, because obviously you were diagnosed at 40 and you had, you know, a brother. Was it one brother or two brothers that were diagnosed with ADHD as kids? I have one officially diagnosed, one probably unofficial, my older brother is only my half brother so I didn't technically grow up with him and we have different mums, but he's definitely ADHD because I'm pretty certain our dad is as well, but my little brother, yeah, he, he was, yeah, yeah, diagnosed around four or five, I believe. Yeah, so my mum went through a lot through this. If he's had the benefit of being diagnosed early and interventions and awareness and possibly medication, like how do you think it's impacted your life not finding out and not making these changes until you were 40? I did go through a time recently where I was really hurt by my family. I just felt that, and even my brothers actually apologised to me one night. Just saying he felt bad that he took all of our parents time because they did put a lot of time into his diagnosis and that and it's not his fault, it's not my parents fault, it just, that's life. But there was a little bit of resentment there on, for my parents because I did always feel like I was left behind and I had to fend for myself a lot of my life and, you know, get, you know, it's, it's hard because I don't want my parents to feel like they're, you know, they did wrong because they didn't really, they just didn't know. And, yeah, so there's been resentment over the last couple of years of me going, you know, it's unfair that I got to adulthood without anything, and I had to do it myself, and, you know, I've got girls and I got them diagnosed young so that I could get them help and make sure that they have the best lives that they can have, but I still, and even till today, I still don't believe it. I've had the life that I could have had. I could have done so much more. I love my life and I, and I love what I do for a living at the moment. It's all those what ifs. What if I could have went to university and studied? Because my big issue is I can't concentrate for too long. I can't, I need visual. I can't sit and listen. I need, I'm always writing and. Things like that, and it's just those little things, and you're just like, Hmm, I could have been, you know, there's just this little part of me that's like I could have been more. And yeah, I get a bit frustrated with my family with that, but you know, it's not their fault. The 80s were a tough time, you know, girls were never diagnosed with ADHD in the 80s. I don't, I don't know anybody that was. So, yeah, it's, yeah, it's tough, you know, I was called an emotional child. You know, I cried, I still cry a lot now, but, you know. I was just emotional. So I guess, you know, that emotional, well, what was it? Now, now I know what it is, but back then they're just like, Oh, you're just a sookie kid. I was a sookie kid. Yeah. It's funny though, because it's, it's a great way of looking at it though, because even if your parents had have taken you repeatedly to the GP or wherever they went, you, they probably would have been told that you were fine. So. It's, it's a really difficult time, I think. Yeah. When I was about 11 or 12, around my age, my youngest daughter is now, I, we moved from Tasmania to Queensland and I went through this really horrible stage where I was getting all these stomach issues and was in and out of hospital and my mum was taking me to doctors and things and we couldn't figure out what it was. But now, you know, I know that, you know, stomach issues can relate back to ADHD because my youngest daughter is the exact age I was and she's having the same thing at the moment. You know, that could have been something that they looked at, that it was more of a You know, it was more of my head than an actual physical illness. So, you know, I had all these testings done. I was horrified. I was 11 and scared. And, you know, they're putting things inside me, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. And, you know, they never, you know, till this day, they don't know. But now I'm aware of, you know, this is all an effect of, of that. So, you know, I guess in a sense, mum did try. Without knowing, because you just don't know. Yeah, it's interesting, the, I've done a couple of episodes on recognising ADHD in girls, and a few people have brought up the stomach pains. And I remember going to hospital like three or four times as a kid, and they were always talking about taking out my appendix, but they never did. There was never any, any known cause and still to this day, I always say to my husband, I remember the pain. It was real. It was real. I remember it and I know it was real. So when my daughter lays on the ground with a, you know, a hot bag on her stomach and starts crying and moaning and my husband's like, there's nothing wrong with her. I'm like, well, there probably isn't anything physically wrong with her, but I think her stomach does legitimately hurt. And that's exactly what my daughter's going through at the moment and I, and I hate it for her because I just have to say there's, there is nothing I can do for you love. We have to unfortunately live with this and do our best to keep going during the day. So yeah, she struggles really badly with tummy issues at the moment and it's just not kind. Poor little thing. Is, I always wondered if mine just went back to anxiety. Do you think yours and your daughter's is anxiety or what do you think it is? I think there is a bit of anxiety there. And hers does flare up a lot more when she's anxious. So when she's needing to do things, it's, Oh, my tummy's really hurting. You know, sometimes I'm just like, Oh, you got to suck it up, mate. Cause. We've still got to get things done. It's just unfortunate life. I, you know, I, I try and sort of help her mask it a little bit by, you know, I'll give her like a multivitamin or something. And sometimes that just magically works. So yeah, I think, I think it's a bit of everything, but yeah, there's definitely mind flares up a lot more when I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Absolutely. Okay. So let's go into the RSD. I just wanted to kind of get a general. Overview of, and plus, as I said, people find it really interesting to hear other people's stories to see the similarities and the differences. So in regards to RSD, because you said that's had a big impact on your life. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Yeah, absolutely. So I actually had never heard of RSD until. Earlier this year, so it was even after my diagnosis, they were looking at Borderline Personality Disorder for me as well. And, you know, the correlation between the two is significant. But when I really got into it, the RSD, it's, it's significant in my life. There's many times. I always think about my eldest daughter. We're very, we're very close. I was only 21 when I had her, so she's about to turn 20, and I think about her childhood and how my RSD has impacted her life. So there'd be times where, you know, she'd have a few friends that would hang out together, and she would find out, and she would tell me, and I would feel rejected by that. Like, well, why weren't we invited? What, you know, what have we done wrong? You know, all these thoughts would go through my head, and, you know, to the point where I actually Stop talking to people like there's a lot of people that I had that were friends that I now no longer speak with because of Things like that, where I went, you know, a couple of the kids got together and they had a sleepover. My daughter wasn't invited. They sent her a Snapchat or something like that and, you know, we got offended. And she, she came to me and I couldn't control my emotions either because I was upset. with her, because I'm like, well, why aren't I there too? They're all there together. They're supposed to be my friends. And of course I let it take over and I messaged them and called them and just went, nope, I'm done. And I walked away. So I've lost a lot of friendships in that over the last probably 10 years or so. My relationships, especially the one that I've currently come out of, unfortunately. The RSD has always been really bad with that. I, yeah, that, that one's a tough one. He's a, he's a great man and I adore him, but he, he didn't deal well with my RSD because I have a lot of trauma from my ex husband and I brought that over to our relationship and it'd just be little things, you know, he'd be like, he's got children as well. And he'd be like, Oh, I'm going to go hang out with the boys for a little bit. You know, we'll go down to the skate park or whatever they wanted to do. And I would be like. Why am I not invited? Why can't I come? And I would get, I wouldn't say anything, but I, I'd get, you know, pissed off. And I'd be just like, well, this is just shit. Why, why can't Sienna and I come? Why can't we come and have fun with you guys as well? But it's just him wanting to, you know, just spend some time with his boys. And, you know, and I do that as well. I'll take my daughter out and we'll go out and have fun, but I felt this massive rejection and I would get really angry at him and he couldn't understand it. And neither did I at the time because, you know, after and, you know, hours later I'd be like, Oh yeah, it doesn't even matter. Like he's just spending time with his kids, but it really, you know, it put a massive effect on our relationship because I just couldn't understand why we couldn't do everything as a family unit when really, you know, they just want to bond as, you know, sons and father, which is understandable, but now when I'm medicated, like I can feel it come up, I can feel that overwhelmingness that I'm being rejected, and It was only the other day. I think I was on the train going to work. It must've been Monday or Tuesday last week. And I'd got a message from his, my ex partner, but we still, we're still weird place at the moment. But he messaged me to say that he just needed to spend some time on his own. And he gets like that. He can very much just be on his own and happy. And I got this overwhelming sense of what have I done now? This is. I can't understand why he's doing this and I got really, really frustrated, but I'd only just taken my medication and after sitting on the train, had my music on, probably about half an hour later, the whole sensation came out of my body. And I was like, wow, my meds are amazing. Like that was just one real moment where I realized that my meds have made me go, hang on. He's just wanting to chill on his own. Like, why am I getting so stressed out about someone telling me he wants to hang out on his own for a couple of hours? And you know, I felt it. And in my head, I was like, I can't live without my medication now. I knew in that moment, it was last week, I had just this massive epiphany that I realized that My medication, I have to take it because it's those things like that. Like I can, you know, I can sit in the, I can sit at work and forget my meds and things like that. But it's all that other stuff like the RSD that it really does help me just stay calm and rational. I'm not, I can be really illogical. So those rational thoughts come straight in and they come straight out. But when I medicated, they don't come straight up, they're there and I can feel them, but I don't say them. And that's. Where I felt this massive change in my life, probably even just in the last probably three months. I've been living on my own for about three months now. And I've really noticed that I've been able to control that way more than I could before. And yeah, a little bit of dbt in with that. Cause I do a lot of mindfulness and I do a lot of adult coloring and all those things, but it really is my meds that make me sit back and go, okay, process this easier and realize that it's just, you feel rejected when you're not, you know, and social media has been a massive, massive. Massive thing for that. So, you know, you'll see people getting together, even people that I don't even want to hang out with, but I'll see them, you know, they'll tag each other in a photo and just little wave of. Oh, why am I not? I'm not there. That's unfair, but I don't even want to be there. It's a really weird feeling that you feel rejected, but you don't actually care because you didn't want to be there in the first place. It's a really, a really weird feeling. And it, you know, until I had that name for it, and then I was able to go in and have a look and see what rejection sensitivity disorder is. I was like, there are massive light bulb moments and it's really. Just being able to identify it, put a name and a label on it. People are like, Oh, I don't like labels. I love labels. I'm labeling it. This is how I feel. And even when I'm having a rejection moment, I'll actually. Tell the person, look, I'm suffering this at the moment, just give me a minute and I'll get over it. And you know, that's how I'm trying to work my life. I'm, yeah, I do it at work. You know, there's a, Actually, one of the stories I was going to tell and I've just re remembered it. When I first started at my old job, I was at my old job for 15 years and I worked in the state government call center. We get a certain amount of calls listened to per month and they evaluate them and see how we're going. So that doesn't work well for me because if like, if you don't part that, you know, you can pass or fail calls. If you fail, they don't, as long as you're not doing anything wrong, they don't care, but there's certain things that you shouldn't be saying to customers on the phone or, you know, you can, you know, we all make mistakes and things like that. But there was one of the first ones I ever got back. I just looked at it. I was mortified. I, you know, I passed nine of the, so we get 10 calls. I passed nine, but that one call that I didn't pass. It was a mess. I was crying. You know, I just, I lost it. I'm like, why didn't I pass this? I don't understand. This is ridiculous. I, and everyone, you know, my boss was like, it's fine, it's fine. It doesn't matter. You know, we know you're really good at your job and things like that. And you know, I've had that whole time that every time this has happened, I get that straight back on the emails. How have I, you know, how did I do so bad and rah, rah, rah, rah, rah. And now I'm like, Oh, hang on. Just remember that this is. This is RSD, you know, I, I was talking with my boss just before I move. I've moved jobs about three months ago now into an amazing, incredible job. I was talking to my boss just before I left. And I said, it's funny because I'll send you this annoying email going, I can't believe I failed this and then, you know, an hour later I'll be like, oh, don't worry about it. It's fine. And you know, he got used to it cause he knew just to wait until. You know, I come back to him before he actually said anything if I actually genuinely was upset with it or if I just had that emotional reaction. So yeah, it's, yeah, it's affected all means of my life. It's really interesting though to hear someone else talk about it because I was actually thinking of my daughter when you were talking because I always say to my husband, so she's only, she's about to turn eight. And one of my good friends is the teacher's aid in her grade. So I actually have a outsider's point of view. That's a friend of mine that I trust. And then I get the actual version of events from Gigi and Gigi's version of events all the time is just. She will talk negatively about two particular girls who are both alpha females, and she's an alpha female. So she can't handle it, right? She can't handle anyone that's telling her what to do when she's the boss. And, Anyway, it's interesting because I'll mention to my friend, Oh, Gigi's having a hard time because of this and this, and she'll be like, That's really funny that you say that because she plays with this girl and this girl and this girl all lunchtime. She played soccer today. She had the time of her life, but all I hear is these negative interactions, but often they're extremely small and the school is really good because when they sit her down in this little empathy circle that they do, the other girl either has no memory of this occurring or it's so small they barely remember it and they're not affected by it. But for Gigi, it so consumes her, she can't learn. It sounds like RSD, which is, I actually was looking up like negative cognitive bias and all of these psych terms, and now I'm like, this just sounds like RSD. And I look back now and I see that my eldest daughter, and now that I'm more educated, I'm able to handle my eldest daughter. My eldest daughter has RSD quite badly. She's basically me, modified. So, I can now handle her emotional deregulation better as a parent than when she was little. Cause, you know, she still had, she called me the other day. She was supposed to go vote. She's in Sydney and, but her address is still here in Brisbane. And she didn't know where to go and she's freaking out. And I'm like, right, hang on. And she's like, I just can't do it. I can't do it. It was 11 o'clock in the morning. She had all day. So. Normally I would, I would go up with her, so I'd be up here going, I don't, you know, but I was able to stay down and, and sort it out for her. And, you know, I sent her a couple of links to where she needed to go and. It all worked out. But if that had happened a few years back, we both would have just been completely all over the place. And, you know, we can't do this, it's just impossible, but she had the same thing with girls in her grade. So a lot of, she's an alpha male, she'll, alpha male, she's an alpha female, always will be an alpha female. And she's the same in class, you know, she'd have these tiny little bits with girls. And then I'd go to the parents and go, your kid said this about my kid and rah, rah, rah. They're like, I don't, I don't think that happened. And yeah, again, you know, it just caused so much disharmony between people. I think they stopped wanting to be around us because it, you know, I was very defensive when it come to my daughter and I was, I was lucky that I did have a few people in my life that understood us, but in general, yeah, we, we did struggle. Both of us trying to maintain friendships, even to this day, I still, I have a very, I have a lot of friends, but I only have a couple of really close people that I'm bonded with and they just understand. I think we're all the same. I think we all congregate together for a reason because we understand each other. Yeah, it's, it, well, yeah, you're probably neurodiverse all of you together, which I tend to hang out with neurodiverse people as well. That's right. We say, you know, we mean it in a funny way, but you know, crazy loves crazy. So. One of us will, you know, we've got a tribe, so we've got a tribe around us. So my, my best friend, she's actually a foster parent and she's got seven children around her at all times and a lot of them are on the spectrum. She actually diagnosed my youngest down to the T of exactly what she had. She knew everything and I, I disagreed with her and she's like, no, I know. And yeah, doctors proved her right. So she likes to tell me that she told me so, but she's got a. 10 year old foster son and my 11 year old and him, they're like two peas in a pod. They've got the same autistic interests and things like that. So Sienna doesn't, my youngest Sienna, she doesn't have a lot of friends at school cause she doesn't relate to people her own age and you know, we're trying to get through that struggle at the moment, but out of school, she's got, you know, a couple of kids that are just like her and she can go off and do her own thing. So I've really mellowed a lot with her and found her a tribe that she can go and be with. Which has been a real blessing for her. Whereas I don't try and push the friendships at school, where I did with my oldest Maddie. I, you know, I took her to school things to try and push the friendships. But with Sienna, I can see that she's a bit different and she's happy being in the library with the librarians in lunchtime and has her friends out of school. So she's quite a, she goes to high school next year though. So that'll be a whole new thing. A mum told me about a year ago, I thought it was really good advice. She said to me, You want to spread out the friendships with girls, particularly, and she's not, this is just her perspective, right? This is just her as a mum. She's got two girls. And she said to me, you know, if you're going to join Nippers, join, don't join the one that's attached to the public school, if you're at the local public school. Join the one the suburb over. If you're going to join netball or hockey, go to the one that's a little bit further, because if a fallout happens at school, it won't consume them, because they'll have other friendships. But if everywhere you go, those same kids are there, It's so triggering for the child. I thought that was really great advice because their out of school friendships can be really important to break up the intensity. Absolutely. So my eldest daughter did all star cheerleading for eight years. So when we were having issues at school, she had her, what we call her cheer friends, which were, we call it a family. It was a cheer family. So she, you know, she had those two different worlds. And that, you know, thinking that way, that worked really well because, you know, if she didn't have someone here, she had someone over there. So that was always really great for her. So yeah, that is really true that, yeah, don't try and mix school and well, you know, I think about it too. I don't, I mean, I've started a new job, but I don't generally have a lot of friends that I work with. Like they're, they're coworkers and things like that, but I don't generally hang out with them out of work. I've got my friends. Thanks. That understand me and understand my quirks and things like that. So that's how I put it to my youngest daughter that. You know, she, she's going through a real, she, she's probably got a little bit of RSD at the moment where she's feeling a bit rejected by the girls at school and she's not understanding why they don't want to like the things that she likes. You know, I'm trying to explain that, you know, sometimes the things that you like aren't exactly what the normal. You know, 12 year old girl will like so, you know, you've just got to find your right people and you found them out of work, out of school, you know, I don't talk to people at work, out of work often. So it's the same type of deal. So I'm trying to get her through with that. But she doesn't have the RSD side as heart bad as what my eldest daughter and I do. And I do wonder if maybe I push the RSD on my daughter with the way that I would Transcribed React when she was little so that she then felt that impulsiveness that I was feeling, you know, just thinking about it now out loud, you know, I probably did and I'm trying to sort of change that now, but she has a lot of that. I don't have any friends and you know, this is happening and it's not fair. So I can see a lot of me and her now that I'm diagnosed and I'm educating myself more. So that's been really, that's a bit tough for me that I've put something on my kids because I never wanted to do that because I always felt it. That's what happened to me as a child. I didn't get that type of privilege where I could give my kids everything. That didn't make any sense. I, I didn't get a lot as a child, so I try to give everything to my kids. And yeah, I look now and think, wow, I did put a lot on my daughter, unfortunately. And yeah, it was really due to. Undiagnosis and education, you know, even with, without the diagnosis beforehand, I had already started looking things up, but the RSD never came up until yeah, earlier this year, I just, I was reading up on something and the words came up and it just, it, yeah, blew my mind. I'm like going through, I'm like, Oh yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. That makes sense. And it's just those overwhelming feelings that, you know, you're not wanted and everybody hates you. And it's just. It's a horrible feeling to have, and you do, I, you know, I went through a stage a few years back where I just stayed home. This is when I was quite overweight. I didn't go anywhere. I didn't want to see anybody. Because I didn't want to be rejected all the time, because that's how I felt. I was gonna go somewhere and do something. They were just going to, you know, not want to be near me or I didn't even try for new jobs until this year due to that fear of not getting it because I get so overwhelmed and upset that I just didn't even want to apply for jobs. So I stayed in the same role for 15 years, even though everybody there said, Oh, you know, I needed more because. I love the job, I just, I needed more out of my life, but I was too scared of rejection to go forward with it. It wasn't until I got a bit of a mentor last year and she really helped me through and helped me start applying and push me to apply for things. And even when I did get rejected on those roles, like I still get upset, but I just had to realize, you know, there's something out there for me. I'll get there. I just, you know, you need more time instead of before I would just be, I would, you know, I'd go into this. Big depression for weeks on end feeling worthless. So, you know, I, when I finally got the role I've got now, you know, I felt, you know, grateful that I finally found my feet and where I'm going, but I could have done this years ago and I didn't because I was too scared because I didn't want to be rejected and feel stupid and that's how I felt my whole life that, you know, I didn't. You know, even school exams back when you were in high school, I didn't even do half of my exams because I thought I'd fail. So I may as well just fail. So why, why go and do these exams when, you know, it doesn't, you know, you're not getting anything out of it because you're just going to fail it. So yeah, it consumed my whole life. It's very upsetting now when I look back that I've got to 41, I'm only now starting a career. All my managers are younger than me and I feel influenced by them and I'm like, hang on this, also they're in their 30s and I'm in my 40s and you know, I've just got to remember that, you know, I'm still young, I'm 40, 41 and I've still got a long time left, but it's just all those years and you've got to, I think you've got to sit down and really. And this is what I'm trying to do in my life at the moment is, is mourn that, mourn what could have been. And that's what I've been going through the last few months. It's just mourning the life I could have had, the people that I've let go of my life that, you know, maybe I, I shouldn't have all because I wasn't diagnosed with something that I could have been as a child and really got the help for. So that's been really tough this year. A lot of people, a lot of women that I interview talk about unfulfilled potential. Is, is really the thing that comes up. It's, and some of them are successful, you know, they're, they're not, they're nothing to say that they haven't done well, they have done well, but for them with what they know they could have achieved and the people around them watching them go higher or, or get a, get a different path that they could have had. That kind of seems to be a lot of the grieving is that it's not that they're not successful, that it just, they could have been more. Yeah, I feel the same. Like, it's not that I haven't been unsuccessful, I've owned a home, you know? I've traveled the world, you know, my children have everything they could possibly ever want in their lives, but it's still that extra part where you're like, I could have, I could have done more with my, you know, I could have felt, I could have been so much more and I could have given more to the world like I am now. And I'm, I work for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander housing and in their projects team. And I absolutely love it. I'm, you know, I'm down low. But they know that I want more so they give me more and I'm, I'm very blessed that they're very, I'm very open about my ADHD there and how I communicate and things like that. So I'm very, very lucky to be in a role where they're really open and honest and, and I'm just grateful that they, you know, they know that I'm, I'm better than the role that I'm in. I needed a stepping stone. So I'm just grateful that I'm, I'm making that opportunities happen for myself now. But if you had have told me two years ago, I would still be stuck at my old job, just doing the same thing day in, day out and hating it. So it, it sounds similar again in the themes of the other women that I interview in terms of awareness, like being diagnosis in my mind, aside from medication, one of the largest major advantages is awareness of who you are and how you operate. Do you think it's the internal awareness or do you communicate the awareness? Like how does, how have you managed to Um, or positively manage your RSD. It's probably a bit of both. So I can, I think living on my own has really helped because before there was somebody already there and I would just verbal it straight out that what, you know, the RSD was doing and, you know, it'd be all negative and horrible and just ruin everything, but now that I'm by myself. I can take a minute and go, hang on, why am I feeling so overwhelmed? And then I'll, you know, I'll either leave it because it doesn't matter, or I'll go, oh, hang on, maybe it's a little bit more, or I'll, I'll tell people. I'm pretty good at telling people, like, I had to, I got some bad feedback earlier in the year from my boss. I wasn't in a great place that day to begin with, but I really took it really badly, and I just had to say to her, I said, it's actually not you, you're not actually doing anything wrong, it's just my emotions. I can't control this at this moment. I said, you know, don't feel like you're doing anything wrong by giving me bad feedback because I can take it. It's just that I need to have this moment in this moment, unfortunately. So I'm pretty good. I'm very open about it. If I'm having one of those moments, I'll tell people, just give me a second. I need a moment and I'll, you know, I'll either walk off. So I'm more self aware than I've ever been. I mean, it's still slow process. It's only been probably the last six months that I've really started to. Understand RSD and really work it. And DBT is just phenomenal for that. I'm very blessed that my psychologist was able to do that one on one with me. She's amazing, but that, yeah, just stopping and just breathing for a second and, you know, giving myself that moment to whether or not, which way I'm going to go, but I think, I think telling people makes people more accepting. So, you know, in the past, people just think I was, as I said, as a kid, I was emotional. No, I just felt rejected and, you know, that was my feelings. It wasn't somebody else's feelings and it didn't mean that anyone was doing anything wrong because they weren't. It's just. How I felt, but I didn't know that at the time and now I do. So it's, yeah, it's really, it's a difficult one to, to process and it, and it's still, you know, a lot of people don't understand it in my life and that's okay, I try to educate as much as I can, that this is just who I am or who my children are. Sometimes we can't, can't control it, but no one's perfect. And there is going to be times where I don't, and all I can do is just say, look, this is what it is. I'm putting a label on it, I can apologize, but I can't, I physically can't take things back. So it is what it is, I guess for me, I'm, yeah, if you can't accept that part of me, then I can't really have people in my life. And I've, I have removed a significant amount of people out of my life recently, even, you know, you do your Facebook and like I did a massive cold cause I was just like, I don't actually need these people around before. I was like, Oh, I have this many friends on social media and la da, because to me that was a dopamine hit. But now. I just don't need it. I don't need all these people knowing things about my life and, you know, I just want to keep my, my, my circle how it is and small and, you know, talking to those that genuinely. Want good for me and my children. So that's yeah, I think I went on a whole journey there. Oh, no, I loved it I was gonna ask you one more burning one and then we'll finish up I wanted to ask you if you start to feel the sensations of the RSD coming on like let's say you receive a message you Get a phone call something happens And you start to feel it. Let's say this is best case scenario, right? Like I understand good days, bad days, you can't always be perfect. In that, what would be the best case scenario for you for like for someone listening who might want to work towards, you know, making some changes in RSD for them? What could you recommend doing? I think if you can, and sometimes it's hard in the moment, but it's just to take a breath. And I know people say that all the time, Oh, just deep breathe. And my daughter hates it. She hates being told to breathe. She just wants to punch people pretty much when someone tells her to breathe. So I think if you can just step away from the moment and if you're in a place, it's just to write down how you're feeling. This is what my psychologist said to me because when I have that overwhelming feeling. I need to get, I have to get it out of my head. It can't stay up here. So I'm either going to verbalize it or send a message or do something to somebody. But what I do now is, I write it down. This is where I do use my notes on my phone. So I write it, instead of writing it as a text message and verbal diarrhoea ing to somebody, I just write it in my notes, at least then it's out of my head. And hopefully by then, and I've got through it, I can realize the process that hang on and that even if I do need to send it, what I've been doing now is I'll write it all out in my notes and then I go through and I actually go, Oh, that doesn't need to be said. And I remove it. That doesn't need to be said. And I remove it because I like to, when I tell a story, it's got a backstory to the backstory to the backstory of why I am where I am. So, and I, I do that, I, I, pardon me, I was doing that at work as well, and it wasn't until one of the ladies at work said, we don't need a novel, we just need, we need this, not this. Like, you know, you need smaller, not bigger. So it's, so it's me, it's, you know, I have to, I have to backspace my life is pretty much what I say. So, you know, I've just got to delete the words that don't. Does it matter to the story? And my psychologist actually said to me, instead of writing a paragraph, dot point, so I, I dot point, you know, down the things and then I'll, you know, go up and go, okay, that doesn't matter. That doesn't matter before I'll send things through 90 percent of the time. I've got really good at it. If I'm really overwhelmed. No, it just goes out as verbal diary. You know, I had that this week. I just, I got overwhelmed this week and verbal diary it out. Shouldn't have. Yeah. But I can't take it back, you know, I'll come, you know, I've, I've left that parked it for now and I'll come back to it. You know, I like to concentrate on work during the week. I'll come back to it on the weekend and go, okay, this is where I went wrong and data, data, data, and sort that out. But for now I'm just leaving it where it is. So yeah, it's a, it's, it's always going to be there and it's always in the back of your head so you, you can, if you can feel it and I've been blessed now that I can feel it coming, that I can start learning to control it. But it doesn't always work. But yeah, taking that step back and trying to, yeah, write it down or walk away from the situation is probably the best part. It's not always possible, especially if you're dealing with another person with ADHD and you're just going backwards and forwards and getting nowhere. That's. It's not always pleasant, but in general, yeah, I would just try and take a second to myself. I do the breathing. My kid hates it, but I like it because it just gives me that minute to stop. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Look, that's, that's great advice. And I think you've come such a long way, particularly with the food as well, which we talked about earlier and also the RSD and you know, having two girls with ADHD, ASD is, you know, a ride in itself. So I think you're doing an incredible job. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you. I appreciate it. No, it's been good. Yeah, I'm, I'm, I feel lucky to have ADHD to be honest, because I can. I use it in my work. I found a job where I can have a lot of things on the go. So I'm really blessed that it's my, we call it, and the lady, the person I work with, they say, you know, it's our superpower, so let's use it to our benefit. And so we can incorporate that in our work. And that's what I've tried to teach my kids. Find a job. That you can incorporate what people would see as a, you know, a negative, turn it around and make it a positive. And that's what I'm trying to do now and just use it for good. Yeah, we actually had a session with our psychologist that comes over. He's mobile, thank God for him. And he does kids and everybody. He's great. He's a busy man on those days. But he came over and he had a chat with my husband and I yesterday. It was really interesting because he said with my kids, and I assume this would be his blanket for any kid, Right? You want to embrace their strengths and celebrate who they are, and then try and cradle the world that can be in a way that can accept them. And that's absolutely what we have the freedom to do as adults. We can find a job that suits, we can find a lifestyle that suits, but when you're in a schooling system, that can be a really hard thing to navigate because the box is pretty inflexible. So we were talking about how we can get them to embrace their strengths, but still survive in the box that is school, it's a hard one. That is a hard one. And that's probably a whole other kettle of fish on its own. There is just the, yeah, education. I mean, we're lucky that my daughter's school is quite small, so she has a really great network to be able to. Do what she needs to do, but my eldest daughter did not have that. And she was highly intelligent and bored out of her brain. So at ADHD, it just wasn't great. She ended up homeschooling. That's a whole year. So, because it just, yeah, I've opened up the schooling box. Sorry, Tammy. But I just was, when you were talking about embracing who you are and using it. I was just like, yes, the world, the world should be friendly enough for everybody to embrace their strengths, neuro typical, neuro diverse. Why can't we create a environment that suits everybody from any race, gender, ethnicity, like all, like what, why can't we, anyway, whole nother thing, Tammy. Let's finish up because I'm going to try and keep under an hour, but thank you so much for your time. You've been so good. I really appreciate how open and honest you've been. Thank you. I appreciate your time. Okay. And for anyone listening, if you love this episode, please go and give a review on Spotify or Apple podcasts. The reason that I ask is that it makes it easier for people to find the podcast in Australia. So the more ratings it's got, the higher it comes up on the list. The reason why I say that is because we've still got a lot of UK and US podcasts coming in over the top. And then I hear people say to me, Oh, I didn't know that you existed because I've been listening to all of the ones internationally. Nothing wrong with them. Don't get me wrong, but I think Australians, there's something special about hearing from Australian women about Australian women. So I really want to get that message out there.