We all deserve a chance to be heard.
I have ADHD and, as a result, my emotional regulation – the ability to control the expression of my emotions – is seriously compromised. I generally have a much stronger (louder, more visible) reaction to things than a neurotypical person would, and, because of that, it has caused many negative outcomes.
There have, however, been positive results from my assertive attitude, but most of the time it’s a case of the inability to communicate the overwhelming tsunami of emotion in words, instead, preferring to exemplify my feelings with actions (yelling, crying, isolating, destroying, etc.), which leads to an affect within my relationships.
Suspecting ADHD in my child, and going through significant ups and downs with her emotional regulation and expression, the two of us in an argument has the catastrophic ambiance of an impending civil war, so to preserve our relationship, she and I went to work on a solution that has proven beneficial to the both of us, and we decided to share it with the rest of the world.
As we go through this uncertain time in our history, where people are isolating in close quarters with their family members, the stress, anxiety and annoying idiosyncrasies will all come to the surface and the potential for negative, harmful situations will inevitably increase.
The potential for ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences – as families struggle emotionally, financially and physically, increases as fuses are short and tempers flare.
Relationships among adults, whether spouses/partners, friends, family, etc. will also be impacted, as panic about physical contact, food supply, employment, money and more creates a heated and hostile environment.
Our .pdf, entitled Tell Your Story, is a simple, yet helpful resource that can be printed out and distributed to anyone, at any any age and of any capability.
The sheet is designed to allow expression through writing, drawing or verbal discussion.
By taking a moment during a particularly stressful time to fill out this sheet, it will allow thoughts to clarify, agitation to settle and emotions to be expressed in a healthy manner.
At that point, users can reflect in solitude, show it to a trusted friend, or discuss it with the people involved. The objective is to take the thoughts out of one’s head and put them onto paper, putting emotions into perspective and making them a reality that is easier to understand and manage as opposed to the multitude of un/reasonable thoughts and feelings swirling around in our heads.
We hope that this will be useful to everyone; parents, partners, employers, therapists, doctors, community leaders and anyone who wants to use it.
For us, when a distressing emotional situation occurs, this sheet is my child’s go-to. It offers a forum to be heard, without interruption, which is a fundamental aspect of resolving any situation.
There are no rules with this tool – circle five different emotions, draw in one box and write in the other – it’s all about everyone’s individual way of expression, and it’s what makes this sheet so effective.
The sheet is available to download for free, however, if you would like to support us (I am a full-time homeschooler with a child under 10), you can make a contribution through the PayPal button below.
Every little bit helps us, especially during this time of financial uncertainty.
Click to view & download the pdf:
Tell Your Story – Here’s What Happened
Tips for Use:
- Print out a few copies and have them available for all members of your household/group,
- Keep printouts in an accessible spot so that those interested can use them without having to ask (it can be difficult for many to acknowledge the need for help),
- Have a variety of crayons, pens, pencils, etc. available for users to express themselves effectively,
- Never ask to see someone’s sheet – the thoughts are personal and the individual may choose not to share. Respect their decision and trust that the exercise is helping,
- If you are unable to print the sheet, utilize the pages as an outline to guide your own therapeutic response,
- Share the link with others who may need this resource.
If you use the Tell Your Story sheet, please let us know how it’s worked for you!