181: Growing Up Feeling “Other,” Part 2, with Jonathan Joly

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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This is Part 2 of my conversation with Jonathan Joly. If you haven’t yet, listen to Part 1, episode 180. There’s still so much for parents of neurodivergent kids to learn from Jonathan – so much that it’s two episodes. 

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My Guest

JONATHAN JOLY

Jonathan Joly was born in Dublin in 1980. After several torturous years of childhood bullying, abuse and chronic misunderstanding from both adults and his peers, he was sent to a school for children with emotional difficulties. On finishing school, he floated from one career path to the next, eventually landing at university to study multimedia. It was here that he met Anna Saccone, and in 2009 Jonathan and Anna started creating YouTube videos about their lives from their small flat in Cork, Ireland. Over the next twelve years, as the couple married, had children and moved to the UK, they became one of YouTube’s most beloved families internationally. Across their social channels they now have over seven million devoted followers and friends. All My Friends Are Invisible is Jonathan’s first book.



 

Transcript

Jonathan Joly 0:03

Sometimes we can't verbalize how we feel to another physical human, because for whatever reason, we don't want to, but there is a sense of like, you can call it a spirit guide. You can call it whatever you want to call it. But to me, I call them invisible friends, and it's just a way of constantly feeling surrounded by an energy that actually cares.

Penny Williams 0:24

Welcome to the beautifully complex podcast, where I share insights and strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started. Welcome back to the beautifully complex podcast. This week, we have part two of my conversation with Jonathan Joly, the author of all my friends are invisible. If you haven't yet listened to part one, I encourage you to go back to Episode 180. And listen to that first, so that you have some good background for this second part of my conversation with Jonathan. And Jonathan is an adult who has ADHD and dyslexia, and also grew up with some gender identity questioning, and really grew up feeling other into his adulthood. And that's what we're talking about. Even more in depth this week on this podcast episode, when we left off last time, we were talking about how your story, Jonathan is so relatable for our listeners, as their kids face many of the same issues that you did growing up as an adult looking back, what advice do you have for our parents listening now? parents of kids with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, like dyslexia, anxiety, depression? What can you tell these parents to really help them understand their kids better, right? describe that feeling of growing up other

Jonathan Joly 2:12

Do parents who have children and you're thinking and you're worried about that child, you don't need to worry about that child. You know, my wife is like most people a conformist, right. She's very, very just, a conservative, and she's just really like, all about, angel on the outside devil in the inside, it's all about protecting and you know what I mean? And so you know, us together, we're such a unique pair, that I feel like we bring that balance. And when she worries about things, I say they're not things you need to worry about, don't worry about the different thinking, what you need to worry about are these kinds of things. You know, what I mean, to worry about the anxiety and stress on a child because the child realizes that they're being valued on something that they can't do, and then suddenly, they think, like, the only thing that matters is I, I get grades, right? But grades don't matter.

They matter for a tiny proportion of your life. But if you have social skills, or you're a nice person, that's going to get you further in life, than just because you went to the right school, and maybe the right school gets you to the right college, maybe the right college will get you into the right job. But there's going to be a point in that person's life where they're going to sort of wonder what's it all about, whereas maybe the neuro diversion person, Hmm, I've written and said a lot of things in my career. So I don't know where it was along the route. But somewhere I said that we live in this ready made world and you know, the fastest way to die between life and death, the shortest distance is a straight line. And if we joined a ready made world and ready made world for us was going to school and then go into college, and then meeting somebody and then getting married and having a baby and having a job retiring and dying, and it's like, well, I don't want to live in that world. Yeah, I'd like to live in the world that has many, loop de loops and all sorts of stuff, and, and what that brings with it is lots of

Penny Williams 4:12

And more joy.

Jonathan Joly 4:13

Yeah, it's like, I'd rather be happy. You know, I think a lot of people miss value success, especially nowadays, I see a lot of 20 year olds who are panicking because they're not entrepreneurs. They don't have Bitcoins, and they haven't, like, made made a million or 1020 3040 $100 million, or something by the time they're 25. And they're all stressing about it. Because, unfortunately, as incredible the internet is it does echo these ideas that we're all not good enough. Yeah. You know, and I know that I have learned after writing the book and hearing what people were saying about it and reading reviews, I've realized that oh, okay, so just a lot more people. There's a lot more conformists out there, and there's a lot more People who are hiding behind the conformist, but they'd rather suppress me, then realize that they're the same as me. Yeah. Because they know that if they put their hand up and say, You know what, I'm like you the trouble that's going to bring in their life, you're putting up a mirror. That's what I always say about children. They are your mirrors.

Penny Williams 5:21

Yeah, they tell us so much about ourselves. It is unreal. And, the ways that we interact with them, the ways that we react to them reflect so much about ourselves and about the struggles that we had, that maybe we haven't resolved, or the things that are important are of value to us, but not necessarily important or value to our kids. Right. And we have to be so careful.

Jonathan Joly 5:48

Yeah, like my second child. She's a she now but he was born a boy. And I remember the day I still remember the day when I kind of looked at her, and I realized that she was reflecting the inner girl inside of me, in the boxes for it was Giselle, it was a way that in my imaginary world, I was a girl and everyone else was girls. And I got to live life as a girl an entire life existence inside this world of donde while on the outside, I was this I refer to as a skin machine, because that's all my body was to me, it was a skin machine. And when my child came, and then I taught, oh, boy. Like, yeah, I never really dealt with that one, you know? And then you're right. Like, that's what they did they kind of they challenge you. Yeah, well, by doing nothing, they challenge you in other ways to Okay, I have four children. I know what they challenge you unbeknownst to themselves. They reflect back all your bad traits and all your good traits, and then you look at it and you're thinking, wow, oh, my, okay, so I didn't deal with this, or I didn't deal with that. Or, you know,

Penny Williams 6:51

I want to take a minute to circle back to one idea that you spoke about before we close, which is this idea of sort of escaping, you're putting up a facade. But in my mind, as I listened to you, I was hearing that you were creating a world for yourself where you could be yourself and be comfortable. And I think a lot of our neurodivergent kids do that as well. You know, I've seen that in my own son who put on a persona online when he's like online gaming with friends, that doesn't seem authentic, but it's what he feels he can share, if that makes any sense, it probably makes a lot of sense to. So he sort of changes his persona with different groups of people. I've noticed he's 19. And he says that it's what he feels comfortable sharing of himself. And I find that really interesting. And I've actually had him on the podcast once before, and we talk about having him on again, and he wants to talk about the idea of escapism, and how, you try to sort of figure out how to be what people expect you to be.

Jonathan Joly 8:10

Yeah, no, I totally relate to this.

Penny Williams 8:12

And then when that doesn't work, you want to change yourself, you want to change who you are, because people are rejecting who you actually are. And, I've just had many sort of aha moments with that in talking to you and, and I work so hard to see my son and to let him know that he is absolutely free to be himself and that we really want him to be himself. And he still struggles with that, right? He's still trying to find his footing out there in the world and the messaging that he's getting and finding where he fits, I hear some of that, I think, in your story and your history as well.

Jonathan Joly 8:55

I think, it doesn't matter how much the people around your son will tell him, that everything's okay. And it's okay. You know, it's like, at some point, our children are able to read the world. Yeah, and they can see, what the conversations that are happening, they see what the trending topics are, they see, things might come up on their tic tock or an Instagram or something like that. And they'll see to be like, Oh, I relate to that. And then they read the comments, they'd be like, so I don't want to relate to that, though. Because, there's so much toxicity in that, and I think there is, with the internet, it's like, there's so much misinformation and political agendas and cultural things, and there is sort of, I don't want to, stir up and get in trouble here, but there definitely is it sort of in irresponsibility from the government sometimes, they definitely say things, and they're making policies in order to get votes, but they're not really considering the people on the ground or how they're being affected by that.

And I think that's very relevant today in America, and it definitely here in the UK as well in other countries where people are making decisions because they're leaning into the angry mob, because they know that the angry mob are already geared up and ready to cancel everything, you know. So it's like, you can either lean into that mob or you can end up having to fight off the mob, and they might come for you. And it's really sad to watch. And that's why when my own children when I saw these kinds of struggles happening, I decided to embrace it and try and protect them. And then what happened is my children are not the ones who are getting the attack aids me, I am the target. Yeah, of all the hate. You know what I mean? And I say, like, look, my life is, filled with that, it's like, I brought out a book and talked about the struggles in my childhood, only to be met by those struggles in my adult, echoing the same things. And it's so ironic. And, what we understand now is non binary, but we didn't you know, not only that, like having an identity that was Nonconformist, a mind with ADHD, I was dyslexic, so many troubles, and then as an adult, to come out and say all that only to be met with the same deck, nothing has changed as much as we've evolved, and things have gotten shiny. And there's a whole lot more of us in the world than there was 40 years ago. But the mainstream opinion, yeah, is if you feel queer, or if you feel, need aversion, or if you're different, the best thing to do is to suppress that and hide that. Yeah, otherwise, you're gonna have a very difficult life. And that's such a sad message.

Penny Williams 11:29

So sad, you know.

Jonathan Joly 11:30

I put my story and my book out there, and I tried to talk about it in my content in my online space, but it gets so heated, like, and people really want to shut that down. You know, and I'm like, I thought we were evolving to being like, more like, empathetic society where we're going to, like, everyone's values were going to be equal. You know, it didn't now it just seems like somebody's you know, going backwards here.

Penny Williams 11:55

Yeah, we've definitely taken some steps backwards. Unfortunately, if we all had a little more empathy, how different the world would be right? And if we all could just open our minds and our hearts, how different the world could be like, when you talk about your childhood, I think about, you were dancing all outside the box, you didn't fit in the box, and you didn't want to be in the box, right? It wasn't you. But culture says that we're supposed to stay in that box, we have to fit in that box. And that's the rub for everyone with any differences. And I think, the world is full of differences. We all have things we struggle with, and we all have things that are our strength, and we don't celebrate that enough for our kids. And, you're right, we we have been more open about conversations.

And now we have more of a culture of neurodiversity. You know, we're talking about the fact that the world is neuro diverse, but there are so many people and ideas and cultures that still haven't accepted that yet. Right. And that's, I think, where all of this friction is still coming from. And it's hard as a parent, I, myself have a lot of anxiety, social anxiety school was very hard for me, because I was basically terrified of everyone all the time. And so I know what that feels like myself. And I had to hide that, right? Because that seemed really weird. And I didn't really know what was going on with me as an adult, obviously, I can look back and go, Oh, that was a lot of anxiety. But we have to sort of change that narrative, right? And the more that people like you share your story, the more anyone with differences shares their story, eventually, we're gonna get there, right?

Jonathan Joly 13:47

Honestly, I don't know. Because you don't know. I just don't I don't know, since you know, I told the story. And then, people went on a, I don't know what the term is, but they just tried to cancel it, they tried to kill it, and even on Amazon, if you go to Amazon, and all the reviews at the top are like so brutal. And then if you change it over to verified purchases, they're all glowing. Because anyone that bought the book, has read the book and taught, oh, my goodness, this is an incredible story. And they felt it and they cried with me. And they laughed at me and they went on the journey with me. But as the book has been out in the UK in February, it's coming out here now in America, and I was like, I'm concerned that you know, people are just going to try and hide this story.

They're going to try and kill the story before it even has an opportunity to get into the hands of the people that need to hear it you know, and that's why I tried to talk about on my socials you know, I tried to say like, this book is not for the mainstream conformist. This is for people who are like me who spent their entire like your son, who spent their entire life pretending to be like every But he helps. Yeah, because they realize it's less friction, but then feeling really empty and sad. Because you can never be you know, and I'm like, I want to show you I'm gonna stand up and be brave and say, hey, look, this is what happens when you actually tell your truth. And then I was like, wow, so you guys are gonna just destroy this. Like, why? That's why I wonder like, I don't know if we will evolve, like, maybe we've hit a wall or something. I don't know what it's going to take, to kind of get us back.

Penny Williams 15:31

Yeah, certainly a whole lot of time. I mean, not in our lifetime, which is that, which is sad, I'm so sorry, Jonathan, I want to apologize for all of humankind. It's so awful. And yet, it's the world we live in, right? Like we're trying to figure out how to navigate it. And then then we wonder why we have so many mental health problems. Why, the suicide rate is skyrocketing. Why most teens are struggling in some way with mental health? Well, it's because we keep telling them, they're not good enough. And they can't be themselves. Yeah. When are we going to stop doing that? Right?

Jonathan Joly 16:08

And what makes it worse is when they're gonna say things and get in trouble. But like governments and things like that, yeah, there's so much divide inside of governments, because every person is flawed in their own way. And individual, but, it's like, in Ireland, if you read the book, it talks about a lot of the laws that were just insane that were in Ireland, divorce was a legal, the laundries where women were sent, if they bam, had a baby, because abortion was illegal, and, and all these different laws and rules, and women weren't allowed work after they got married, and these were all laws up until the 90s. You know, these weren't like, prehistoric laws, like, these were relevant, you know.

And these were all decided by kind of like, men like middle class men, all these Yeah, all these decisions, and I look at today, it all the different places where laws are decided, I'm not going to get into the conversation of diversity, but there might be diversity in terms of race, and there might be diversity, in terms of other elements. But when it comes to the narrow diversity, and identity, and, it's like, the people who are making all the decisions and are standing on the podiums are not people who are being affected by this, ya know, like, I knew what it felt like, to grow up the way I grew up. But two years ago, I found myself at a trans child, and I never, ever knew what that felt like. And now I do. And now I know how brutal that is. And that really worries me for my child's future, because right now, it's like, they're at home. But you know, in 10 years time, they won't be at home, there'll be out in this world, and as the parent, you feel like, I need to fix the world, I've got 10 years to fix this world. Yeah, I don't want my child out in this world today.

Penny Williams 18:04

And it's so natural to feel that way, and to fight with the really strong drive to want to protect our kids. You know, I remember, and I'll admit this openly, when my daughter was in middle school, she wanted to go through a goth phase, right? She want to dress in all black, and I can tell her, everybody's gonna judge you and they're gonna miss judge you, just by looking at you, they're gonna miss judge you, they're not gonna get to know you. And I sort of squashed what she wanted. And it was really just hurt, experimenting, and trying to find herself and who she really is authentically, and that overwhelming desperation to protect her took over. And again, that was my stuff, right? Like, because I had social anxiety. I wanted everybody in middle school to like me, and want to be around me. And so there I was protecting myself but I was also sort of squashing her exploration and it was so not the right move, right? But I've grown as a parent, fortunately, right? But that friction between protection and having our kids just be out and proud and totally who they are, and share everything, not holding anything back. That's a real struggle. Because as you're saying, we know how painful the world can be right? And we want to protect them from that. But we also want them to be who they are. It's hard. It's hard.

Jonathan Joly 19:34

You know, my wife went through that, my wife grew up was born in Baltimore. She lived there till she was eight. So maybe it's an American idea, but she's the same as you when my daughter started wanting to get all black clothes and be gothy. And she was all like, No, you have to be learning for the same reason that you are concerned about, public opinion or snap judgments being made. Yeah. About your parenting or about the child's valves, Miss judgments? Yeah. And you're trying to tell them that like, with my other daughter who's a trans daughter, it's like you say to him, like, no, you need to be yourself, but then you have to, like, follow that true outside of the house as well. Because then when you start telling them was like, Hey, look at home, you can be one way and on the outside, you're another way. Yeah, and I'm like, but that's very conflicting. And then they'll head off into life with these ideas that you're putting into them. You know, it's hard to know, really.

Penny Williams 20:30

I was telling her that wasn't okay to be herself. I wasn't meaning to. But that was the message I was sending. Right? And oh, boy,

Jonathan Joly 20:38

yeah, no, my mom said that. When I wrote the book, I asked her, I shared some of the stuff with her when I was writing with her. And I asked her, I was remembering all the times, I had made it very obvious to my mother, what I wanted. And she said that, she just knew, she said, Look, the church runs this island, and I can't let you do this, like, because you're going to make your life really difficult. You know what I'm thinking, my life is already difficult, like, everyone in school is beating me at home is horrible. My whole existence is horrible. And that's what came to that, when I was nine years old, and I told her, I was like, I think it's time for me to go. I'm obviously born in the wrong world, or the wrong time. I don't know what it is. But I'm not supposed to be here. You know, and that's where my invisible friends convinced me to stay. Yeah, you could say, I don't know.

Maybe I have some other D ID or emotional problems or whatever, whatever was, my crazy mind, saved my life. And it still does today. It's my, somehow my brain realized that the world was never going to heal me. So I needed to heal myself, you know what I'm able to, like, separate my mind because I, I always describe it as a boardroom, I have a boardroom in my head, and there's like, 10 people sitting around a table. And sometimes they're all talking about all sorts of different things, and they don't shut up. Whenever I can get them all focused on one goal. We are just like a superhero unstoppable. Yeah, because I have 10 times in mind of anyone else. So I can multitask at a phenomenal level. What it means that I'm really bad or like, when someone's talking to me, I can't help but automatically, as they're starting a sentence, I can already hear what they're saying predict everything, they're going to say 10 steps ahead of them. And then that just causes like, all sorts of social problems, yeah, I've gotten I've gotten older, and I've gotten better at holding back. I've managed to be married for 15 years, though. So I've got that one done.

Penny Williams 22:40

Yes. That's a feat in and of itself. In our world? For sure. Yeah, we tend to try to close the podcast with one action item for parents. What can they do when they stop listening to the show, in their real life in their day to day with their kids to, in this case, help our kids live authentically, let them know that it's okay to be themselves. And part of what's been coming up for me, as you were talking is that it's not what we say. And this is how we default as parents, we tell kids what to do, right? But it's not really what we say. It's how we make them feel. We have to make them feel that it's okay to be themselves or to make them feel that we have their back. Right that we're in their corner. You know, it's those messages that we're sending, right. So can you give our parents one action item, one action they can take today that will somehow improve the lives of their kids or their family? Or the world?

Jonathan Joly 23:45

Yeah, I think when children look out the window, hypothetically, they look out the window at the world, okay? And they see like what I was saying they hear all the noise, and they kind of see which way the winds blowing. And they're sort of gauging society, and then they have a look into it. And then suddenly, they, they change their eyes, and suddenly they're reflecting themselves back onto the window. And they're looking at themselves, and then they're kind of peering between both of them, and they're trying to see, where do I fit into this world? You know, who am I like, and sometimes what reflects back doesn't match up to what's outside that window. And the first thing they're gonna do is they're going to look to their leaders, which is mom and dad, or mom and mom and dad and dad or whichever.

And being the parent to a child, it's important that you show them that it's okay to be your reflection. You don't need to conform and they know what it seems like. How can you do that? What's the plan like Jonathan, what's the trick? It's a long term plan and it involves a lot of listening and involves picking up on the little tiny things that you might think are inconsequential, the small little words they're using, what they're playing with how they're playing, and you know, you can observe Have a child without a child knowing very easily, and you can kind of like get a sense of if they're fragile. If they're thinking differently, it's sort of like, are they unhappy? How do they feel when they go home from school? Which friends? How many friends? Do they have? Like, who are their friends?

Why do they like it? You know, it's about listening to all these little cues, because children are constantly telling you who they are. Yes. And then someday, when they become teenagers, they will stop telling you anything. Yes, so you have a small window where you have to try and just sort of understand you don't, I mean, try and put all the pieces together before the world gets ahold of them. You know, I would say, to any of your listeners, this, it sounds like a plug, okay. But I think on Audible, you can get a free chapter or something, I think, or even on Amazon, I think you can read the first chapter or something. And veer reader or listener, I do think, if you get an opportunity to maybe try sample my book, or if you like it, buy it or listen to it, because I didn't hold back when I wrote it. And it does talk about the subconscious of what a person like me thinks about, and about the world, and maybe some of your listeners, children are living in these worlds right now. Yeah, and you might think that you're just daydreamers.

Or you might think that they're weird. And then you start to notice that all of their toys have names, and there's some toys have, really identifiable names, and these toys need to go everywhere with them, and then they keep mentioning, and that's why my sister laughter wrote the book was telling me that she was like, Oh, my God, that's what this was, and used to always talk about this person. But like, yeah, that's because I was talking to them. Yeah, me, but I was good at not getting caught. Well, I wasn't as good as I thought. But you know, so I had all these relationships, because I didn't know how to create physical or social relationships. I didn't understand people because to me, people didn't understand me. Yeah, so I was just like, I couldn't formulate relationships. So I'd make relationships with invisible friends.

You know. And that was like a huge thing that like nobody picked up on it was only because I was eventually almost kicked out of school. And then my mom caught me into this sort of like, it was an experimental school in the late 80s. In Ireland, there was only like a couple of kids there, ma'am. It's in the book, and they talk about it. And that's where they figured out that like, wait a second, Jonathan's not a typical, like, they are the first people to ever take the time to like, just try to have like, listen to me. Yeah. So that was my hope for writing the book. You know, a lot of people are interested in making sure that no one ever reads the book. So if you can get your hands on a copy, yes. And we'll link it up. I think it's not just for the kids, it's like, I'm a 40 year old. And if I found that book, I would be like, Oh, my God, they know. Somebody, it's not just me. Yeah, that's what you feel like you always feel alone.

Penny Williams 27:50

I think, a lot of your story and your messages relate for those of us adults, too.

Jonathan Joly 27:56

Yeah, because we were all kids once, yes.

Penny Williams 27:59

And we all grew up in this culture that said, you have to be this or your other. So even if, it wasn't necessarily neuro divergence, or gender identity. But we all I think, have struggled at one point or another with being okay with showing every one our true selves, even if it was just a little blip in, life trajectory, I think that that experience is pretty common in one way or another.

Jonathan Joly 28:29

Or even if for people who right now might be feeling, I we're all adults, I assume people listening in adults, and you know, there's a lot of stresses that come with that being parents and mortgages and pensions and life. And you know, what I mean, the ever increasing cost to just be alive today. And I still think that, the relationship that you can have with invisible friends, it's, it's just a way of just sometimes we can't verbalize how we feel to another physical human. Because for whatever reason, we don't want it. But there is a sense of like, you can call it a spirit guide, you can call it whatever you want to call it. But to me, I call them invisible friends, and it's just a way of constantly feeling surrounded by an energy that actually cares. Yeah, because life can be so smothering, and you feel like no one's listening. And there was a time where you could go on the internet and talk, but now that's become very toxic and dangerous. So it's like, where do you go now? And I'm like, so I want to share my invisible friends with people, and I know it makes me sound crazy, but that's okay. No, because it's worth it.

Penny Williams 29:36

Yeah, no, does not sound crazy at all. And I think that a lot of us listening are probably recognizing that and their kids. I'm recognizing it in mind. I thought he was talking to himself and I think that he was probably talking to these invisible people who would listen and accept him and he could So be free with, right, that freedom that you were talking about earlier.

Jonathan Joly 30:04

And it's not something you have to give up, as well as an adult. You know, my wife often says that to me, she's like, Who are you talking to? I'm like, Oh, just the usual should like, alright, just kind of got used to it, you know? And you could easily you know, make a joke about that and stuff. You know what I mean? But, to me, it's like, I don't really care anymore. What people think of me? Yeah, no, it's like, it makes my life better.

Penny Williams 30:26

It's the magic of 40.

Jonathan Joly 30:27

Yeah, it is.

Penny Williams 30:29

There is definitely something magical about turning 40 I'll tell you, because that shifted for me to my anxiety got a lot better because I was like, I don't even care, or what they think I just want to be myself. Yeah, yeah. Well, we're going to spread the message far and wide here. And, I'm hearing that we really have to listen, or really have to listen to our kids and be very open and willing to hear whatever they're trying to tell us.

Jonathan Joly 30:56

And it's not easy. And it's, it's okay to admit, as well. Yeah. Cuz Parenting is hard. You know, and listening to your child, does it slamming a door and telling you you've ruined their lives? Yeah. I'm just trying to listen to you. I get it. You know, we're not I'm not I'm not sitting here saying, Hey, I'm a perfect parent, nobody, I don't know, I've got four kids. They're all a nightmare, but they're all my problem, okay. And I'm just trying to do my best to try and like, help them because they're gonna go out into the world, what I mean? We're populating the next law makers, and, people are gonna make big impact. So we have to, like, start now, raise our kids, right? And then at the next generation, it'll be better.

Penny Williams 31:38

Yeah, yeah. Maybe the shift starts, starts with our kids, for sure.

Jonathan Joly 31:42

About 90 though, but you know, yeah.

Penny Williams 31:46

I cannot thank you enough, Jonathan, for sharing so much of your time and your experience, letting us all peek into your world, and learn from you. And I honestly feel like I've actually grown just in the last hour of talking to you, and really feel like I see my kid even a little more. And I have worked really hard, right to see him and I do the work I do. Because I had this kid who was struggling and, so much time and energy over the last 13 years I've spent doing that. And yet every day, I still learn more about him, I still get, another glimpse into his mind or his world or what his experiences. So I know that everyone listening is very appreciative of you sharing your time and your story here as well. And we will definitely link up the book and the book on Audible and all of Jonathan's social media, and ways for you to learn more from him and be more inspired by him and your family. I saw that on Instagram. It's it's a family affair. Right? And, and it's so fun. I love watching the videos that you guys put together. They're amazing. They're a nice, light bright spot, some of them in a tough sort of world. You know, that little break of it's all going to work out?

Jonathan Joly 33:18

Yeah. Well, we hope so. We hope so.

Penny Williams 33:20

Our kids are going to be okay, we hope so. Yeah. I've learned to be an optimist. I didn't start there. But I've learned that I have to really grab on to as much as I can not in a way that I skirt reality.

Jonathan Joly 33:33

It's definitely getting harder to be an optimist.

Penny Williams 33:37

It is it is because like you said, we're sort of sliding backwards a little bit. But yeah, we have to do the best we can to make as much change in the world for our kids. Our kids are accepted and able to be themselves. So all those links, they'll be in the show notes, you can go to parentingADHDandautism.com/180 for episode 180. Make sure that you connect and learn more of Jonathan's story and then grab the book and read it and support. We all need to support everyone else, have a support each other's journey for sure. So thank you again. With that. We'll we'll end the episode. And I will see everyone next time. Take good care.

Jonathan Joly 34:23

Thank you. Bye.

Penny Williams 34:25

Thanks for joining me on the beautifully complex podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses and parent coaching at parentingADHDandautism.com and at the behaviorrevolution.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

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