I work with autistic adults and we often discuss the cost of emotional labour.
That might look like this: The emotional labour of showing up at work and pretending to fit in and that the work conditions are okay is high. However, the emotional labour of having to talk to the manager about one's autism, about reasonable adjustments, to, perhaps, having to disclosure what you hadn't wanted to, is also very high.
It's not really a matter of which one is better or has less emotional labour attached. It's more about picking one over the other and having to deal with the consequences of this high, personal cost emotional labour.
Often, it seems easier to punish oneself than outing oneself.
Often, it's easier to disregard one's own needs and mental health than to ask for them to be respected by others.
But that's not just relevant to autistic people, is it?
How often do we not contemplate the emotional labour of our choices or demands? Or, the choices or demands that we force on our children? Or on our employees? Or on our clients? Or friends? Or on ourselves?
How often do we check in with others if they have more left to give before piling on our own problems or needs?
How often do we stop others to inform them that we've already done a full days' work, emotionally, and we're off for the rest of the day - clearly stating our boundaries?
Either/or, it'll come with an emotional cost - the guilt, the worry, the overwhelm, the stress, the anxiety, the fear of judgement or rejection.
But why not make the hard choice that safeguards you and your mental health? Your right to have your needs met?
After all, no one is paying you for this kind of labour, so why do it for free?
Your life, your choice.
Until next time, stay safe - and sane - and be kind, to yourself and others.
After all, you're fucking brilliant!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.