I was just asked if I want to be a guest on a podcast and I had to refuse. It was not an easy decision, if I have to be honest, as I’d love to share my truth as widely as possible, but I’m worried it may all backfire.
I took a part in a podcast in August last year, before I went to Poland to sort out my mum’s care situation. I wasn’t blogging about everything at the time yet, like I do now, so it’s possible that I didn’t mention it. The host was a young guy from US who was focusing on disability and chronic illness and who spoke with some autistics before. As we were arranging things he said that he likes being spontaneous and that worried me a bit, but I thought, if everyone does that this way, then I should get on with it.
He didn’t know anything about me except of my age, name, where I live, that I’m autistic and that I have a website. During the podcast I wanted to tell him about the story with Home Group as I think it is a really interesting one, but at the time I didn’t reveal their name on my blog yet and used to just call them ‘The Company’. And as I was speaking I realised it sounded like if I made it all up. And I didn’t know what to do so I started laughing nervously.
In general it probably didn’t go very well but I didn’t see it like that at the time. I was focused on the fact that I put myself out there and I survived. I thought it can only get better from that time. I didn’t think that if someone would listen to that podcast they may never take me seriously again.
Funnily enough, the guy was meant to send me a link after he gets it online and he never did. As I was dealing with problems in Poland I kind of forgot about that. Only recently, when I came accross a podcast with a lady who communicated in a similar way to how I do when I’m under stress I realised how bad that looks like.
I will not be linking this other podcast here. I reached out to that lady to ask for permission (otherwise it would look like I’m making a fun of her, and who knows, she may as well be undiagnosed autistic) and she asked me not to use it. And to be honest if I was her, I’d prefer it to be taken down entirely!
I will however state here what she said without mentioning her name:
1. She said: I want my clients to keep hiring me so that I didn’t go out of business.
That’s a very direct way of putting it! Of course every business owner wants that, however, when we state it this way it just doesn’t sound good, does it? And I guess even most autistics will agree on that.
2. She said: I have so many talents it’s shocking!
Well, she may in fact have them, but what comes to mind on hearing this is that modesty is on on the list.
3. She laughed as she was speaking about why clients hire her. She was probably nervous but it sounded like if she was laughing at them for needing her. And she just stated marketing as her talent!
I know that I reacted in similar ways in the past at one time or another and I’m thinking how much it had to do with my mum ‘training me’ to speak up. I wasn’t very talkative as a kid when in a company of people from outside of close family and mum found it disturbing. Again, that was probably due to the fact that the child psychologist she took me to when I was 6 told her that I’d grow out of ‘it’ if she just keeps reminding me to behave differently.
To make it clear, I didn’t consider myself shy and if I really wanted to say something, I would. Only that it didn’t happen often enough for my mum’s liking.
So my mum would be like: Omg, just say something! And I’d ask: but what? And she’d say: whatever!
So that’s how I got trained to articulate whatever came to my mind. Mind you, my mum quickly decided that was still better than me being quiet.
I’m really hoping I don’t do that any more but then, who knows what is going to come out of my mouth under stress, during a podcast recording? I don’t feel like my new way of communicating is solid enough yet. So for now I had to say no but the host was very kind so I’ll think about that.