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Myth Busting -Snuffing Out Gaslighting
Episode 264th May 2023 • Be #PeopleSmart • Jodie Greer
00:00:00 00:39:25

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Be #PeopleSmart Founder, Jodie Greer chats with Madeleine Nicholas, Founder of LighteningUp, about living with a rare disease, self advocacy for young people and how the medical profession can create barriers as well as solutions.

Jodie and Madeleine are busting the myths that:

"People in wheelchairs can’t walk,” and

"A child who cannot articulate their symptoms is attention seeking." 

Madeleine is using her lived experience to support young people in Australia. Find out how, the difference Lightening Up will make to many young people, and why Madeleine feels so strongly about educating medical practitioners on advocacy and the harm gaslighting does.

You can find Madeleine on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

If you would also like to support Madeleine to publish her memoires, please check out her Go Fund Me page.

Find out more about Be #PeopleSmart via our website.

Accessible transcript documents, with thanks to our partners Just: Access, are available via our podcast web page.

Please leave us a rating, we love to know what you think. And why not subscribe? There are even more great guest speakers to come.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

Music Playing and recording [:

Be #PeopleSmart, enabling organisations and individuals to be disability inclusive and accessible.

Jodie [:

Hello everyone, and welcome to today's podcast episode. As always, I'm Jodie Greer. I'm the founder of Be People Smart, and I am your host and we are here to bust more myths. And when I say we, I've got another wonderful guest speaker with me today. So joining me all the way from Australia, that's quite exciting. I think that's the first one, we have Madeleine Nicholas. So Madeleine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?

Madeleine [:

Thank you for having me today, or tonight actually. From a very young age I inspired to work in the youth sector, helping to foster knowledge and confidence. So in 2022 I decided to be, I needed to be the change I wanted to see in the world. So I created my business LighteningUp a micro enterprise to promote self-advocacy. LighteningUp delivers youth workshops to the youth sector as well as NDIS participants. NDIS is our disability scheme in Australia. Throughout my life I've grown up and lived through situations that many of the workshop participants will have relate to. I understand that everyone's experiences are different and unique to their circumstances, but many have experienced around health and disability issues.

I hope to strengthen and empower the next generation to be the best versions of themselves without being overwhelmed by negative society pressures. I have always been passionate about helping young people. Having gained qualifications in youth work and community services, I'm drawn to helping young people because I have difficult experiences in the health and education systems. Being a powerful self-advocate from day one is vital for mental and physical survival in combating society's pressures and judgments. Unfortunately, when I was younger, self-advocacy was not taught in schools and therefore there was no resources and programmes available for my family and me to access. If I had known what I know now, when I was younger, things could have been so different for my family and me.

Jodie [:

I love that, and for anyone who's a regular listener or follows me on socials, you probably know I'm also really passionate about trying to reach young people when it comes to, you know, advocacy and awareness and so on. So I'm really quite excited to be not only introducing Madeline, but to introduce LighteningUp. One of the things I will tell you, first of all, of course, the myths that Madeleine and I are gonna be busting, even though, as always, there's probably gonna be more in the conversation. But the two we're primarily busting today are that people in wheelchairs can't walk, and a child who cannot articulate their symptoms is not attention seeking. And I think, Madeleine, you kind of touched on this already, in a sense, with your intro. So I really like to now delve in a little bit and learn more about you personally. So I know obviously we've spoken before, but you have a rare disease, don't you, which can have its challenges literally, because it's rare. So when were you diagnosed?

Madeleine [:

I originally was diagnosed at four with a condition called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda [inaudible], which is a very rare condition, that no one knew about.

Jodie [:

I don't know how you say it?

Madeleine [:

It's practice, practice makes perfect and getting sick of waiting for people saying, Can you say it again? Like can you spell it? Yeah.

Jodie [:

So what did that mean?

Madeleine [:

It basically just meant that my joints were compromised and I couldn't -- so my mum would struggle dressing me, things like that. I couldn't lift my arm on top of my head. And that's when my journey in the hospital system kind of began.

Jodie [:

And how did that impact you for school?

Madeleine [:

It impacted me a lot because I couldn't run, play with the other kids. And often times I was in 10 out of 10 pain. So I would have to be sitting out on a bench because I just couldn't join in the kids and then the kids didn't really understand my circumstances. So often times I was segregated.

Jodie [:

Yeah, I hear stories like this a lot, and it's interesting because, of course, we're on others, you know, opposite sides of the planet, and I think the situations are pretty much the same. So it is really interesting to me. So there's two sides to this of course, there's the medical side and support there and an understanding there, and then there's schooling. So just going back to the medical side, I guess it's even more challenging with a rare disease, because how well do doctors actually understand it?

Madeleine [:

Not very well, to be honest, because no one really understands rare diseases or knows they exist, really. So unless you have, like a doctor that has experience in rare diseases or wants to actually understand different sides of things, it's quite hard to kind of see doctors really, because often times when they don't know something, they gaslight because they are ashamed of their lack of knowledge.

Jodie [:

Yeah, and it's, that's almost a shame, because at the end of the day, doctors are human beings, too. So, of course, it's frustrating as an individual, if you haven't got a human being who understands your condition and can help you and provide, you know the support you need. But they kind of need to put their big person pants on and, you know, be open about that.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, they really do. They need to understand that they're not perfect, everyone makes mistakes but being more accountable in society, for those people, like in the medical industry, being more accountable for their mistakes because those little mistakes that they make might not be big, in their kind of, they think that those mistakes aren't very big. It could be huge. Life changing mistakes for other people.

Jodie [:

Yeah, absolutely. So were you fortunate, did you find medical help that actually worked for you?

Madeleine [:

To be honest, not really. Not until I was at least an adult, when apparently I was telling the truth because adults are kind of more believed than children. And I guess that's why one of my myths today is a child who cannot articulate their symptoms is not attention seeking, which often times, doctors just assumed I was attention seeking child because they couldn't explain the pain and the issues that I was facing.

Jodie [:

I think that's such a powerful thing. And I think there's gonna be a lot of people out there that, you kind of not only open up minds, but you're also getting parents, for instance, to think exactly that, because although some parents may also struggle to understand their child, because they don't understand the, you know, the issues or what the child is trying to tell them. But even if they do, they're then fighting to try and get medical practitioners to listen and to, I guess, investigate, because if you don't know, you need more help.

Madeleine [:

And you try and seek medical advice because you know something's wrong with your child. But when your doctors and the medical community don't believe you, it's very hard to kind of believe yourself, because you're like, Well, if they don't believe me, then I must not be telling the truth. When reality was, I was telling the truth my whole life and it was society's problem, not believing me, it wasn't mine.

Jodie [:

Yeah, absolutely, and I love the fact, especially now, looking back, you can resonate that, and you can recognise that it wasn't a Madeleine issue, it was a societal issue. Can I just ask, your parents, once obviously, they understood more about you know how you were feeling, what you were going through. How did they try and navigate, because they were the adults, but were people listening to them?

Madeleine [:

I think with parents was something in Australia is, parents were often mistreated and like saying, If the doctor doesn't believe the child, then the parents get mistreated, and that seriously needs to change there needs to be a society where we don't gaslight each other and make each other's lives more painful. Like if you don't know something, say, I don't know what this problem is. Don't just assume, put pressure on the child, but own it and the parents and the family. It’s a really toxic culture, and it really needs to change.

Jodie [:

Yeah, and I guess especially for a young person, so talking about children specifically, it can be hard enough sometimes to articulate anything, just because you know, you haven't developed all the language skills, whatever that could be. You literally don't know how to share certain things. So the frustrations must, you know, I'm making an assumption I know, but the frustrations inside must be so acute because, you kind of know what you want to tell someone, but no one seems to be listening, and maybe because you don't know how, is that how it felt?

Madeleine [:

Yeah, well, I ended up getting post-traumatic stress disorder, because of people's mistakes, and it's taken me a long time to heal and recover from that because gaslighting is a trauma. It's a significant trauma, and there's not a lot of understanding around it. And there's no real laws because you can't really charge someone for like emotional trauma. You can kind of charge them physical, but emotional is not really understood as much. And yeah, so it's very hard, and I just, I really hope by me sharing my story, by writing a book that I'm planning on publishing one day, that I, and then sharing my story over and over again, will hopefully create change that I want to leave this earth with.

Jodie [:

I think that's wonderful and I genuinely believe that you are gonna make a difference. So I do want to actually talk about your book, and I'll come back to that. But I just want to reverse back a little bit to your school days, because I don't know exactly what the education systems like in Australia. But in the UK, it can actually be really difficult to get any support in school without effectively having a label. Because, you know, children need a statement to get help. How did that work for you then?

Madeleine [:

My primary school weren't that, well at all disability friendly. My mum had to fight essentially for to me to get extra kind of, well it's called, brain training. It's called Brain Gym, and essentially, it's to help with pathways in your brain that are not working well. And it's about like rewiring your brain, with, on the gaps that, like the education gaps that I was having, and that was really amazing. And I highly recommend people if they, if education is not working for them to find other kind of, other ways to make it easier for people, because schools aren't the best with circumstances that young child's experiencing. If that makes sense?

Jodie [:

Yeah, no, definitely it does. So obviously, that's school, then you know, you get your education and you go into work. Was it different in the workplace, when you know, you're an adult and you're dealing with adults? Or were you still coming up against barriers?

Madeleine [:

I think my whole life I've experienced barriers in different ways. As a child in school, and then when I was in education providers, when I was trying to study for my youth work and community services, and then employment. I think employment is a real struggle for people with disabilities everywhere. I don't think there is a place where it's really great for people with disabilities, because society can't understand that people with disabilities, just because you're slightly different does not mean that you are not capable, and intelligent enough, and bring your lived experience to work. You're just as vital, we're just as important.

And I think we're a great, great opportunity for people to learn and to grow if we're just given a chance. And I think that's why I really love codesign, because codesign in my area has kind of flourished because people live with experience of disability, can kind of help showcase their experiences to create change they want to see in society. And volunteer in WA at the moment are currently doing, they currently got a codesign that is shaping how volunteering WA wants to be inclusivity, accessibility, diversity and all of that, and it's really great to be part of that.

Jodie [:

Excellent. So just for listeners, I'm guessing, but you can clarify, WA is Western Australia?

Madeleine [:

Yeah. Sorry. Western Australia.

Jodie [:

What's the codesign?

Madeleine [:

Codesign is basically, like for an example, for support workers or nurses or things like that. It's like a community that the choices that are getting affected by them, they get to make decisions, so they get to make decisions that affect them. So with disability, I am being a part of a codesign that's essentially, being affected by the disability barriers and stuff. And I’m being a part of a community that helps change those concerns and those barriers and things like that, that makes sense?

Jodie [:

So who leads on this?

Madeleine [:

I think it's just, it's a process that just kind of flourishing in Australia. I don't necessarily know where it's come from, but I do know it's happening a lot, and people are really taking it on. And it's a great employment opportunity because, and it helps people grow.

Jodie [:

I think people are gonna love this because, I mean, it's called codesign, but it's very much like, you know, the message we hear a lot of, nothing about us without us.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, and it's, and I really love it. It's the best thing ever, and I'm learning so much and I'm meeting so many people and I'm being validated in a way that I haven't had experience of that and it's really amazing.

Jodie [:

No, absolutely. And I love all the positives, and I'm hoping we can get some positives out of this as well. But the other myth on people in wheelchairs can't walk, is such an important one because this is something that I hear about a lot. So what's your take on, you know, what experience have you had of, I don't know, maybe the shock factor of being able to actually stand up out of a wheelchair?

Madeleine [:

It's honestly, it's like you just get stared at, when I'm walking around, and I just, people like, people just can't seem to understand. Not everyone in a wheelchair needs to stay in a wheelchair, or they can walk, like there is such a wide range of people in wheelchairs, and people need to understand the wheelchair sign needs to get, they need to get rid of it because, like it's so outdated and inaccessible because not like, sign needs to realise that not everyone in a wheelchair stays in a wheelchair. I'm a wheelchair user, but I'm more than capable of walking down the street with my dog and like, it's yeah, it really drives me nuts.

Jodie [:

But that's such an important message because I hear this so often, and actually, the reason I say get some positive out of it is more around education, because the negativity people experience on a regular basis, it still blows my mind. So I know people that, you know have got out of cars in accessible parking spaces, many times and literally been abused unless they only get out of their car seat into a wheelchair. Yeah, it is about education, it's a massive thing, but I agree with you, the symbol doesn't actually help, but still, it's about humanity getting with the programme. What's your experience like?

Madeleine [:

I think, especially with ACROD bays, or that's what we call them. I think that's what UK call them as well. It's kind of like if I'm not in a chair, or if I'm parking with my support worker who's often times a young person. It's often they get, we get abused because like, You can't park there because you're not disabled. Well, what's your definition of disabled? Because obviously it's really skewed because you're not, you don't have any experience and it's -- I think I believe that disability awareness training needs to be implemented in schools, everywhere because I think then we would have a lot less problems. Now, when people are older, parents would have less issues with trying to explain it to kids. And it would be a very kind of less barrier society if we had the education in schools.

Jodie [:

So I'm really pleased you picked that as one of your myths to bust, and I completely agree. And I think people have probably heard me say this many times. It has to start younger than the workplace. We have to start with disability inclusion and accessibility learning in the schools. Which kind of flips me back a little bit. I feel like I'm ping ponging our conversation, to LighteningUp, because you gave us a bit of an intro into LighteningUp. But you know, you're looking to support young people, which I think is going to be so important and make such a difference. But what's the kind of realities? How will LighteningUp work?

Madeleine [:

Well, one of the main goals of LighteningUp is to help young people in Australia, to grow as individuals and live fulfilling lives. LighteningUp offers one-of-a-kind workshops to power young people, specifically adolescents with disabilities to advocate for themselves. Today's young people face more challenges with social media pressures, bullying, peer pressure, lack of friends, mental health concerns, gaming, social media, addiction, drinking, et cetera. I've created workshops to help them combat these pressures. Over two in five Australians from 16 to 85, 45.7%, or 88.6 million people have experienced a mental disorder at some point.

Anxiety is one of the common groups of 12-month mental disorders, 18.8 or 3.3 million people. Mental health struggles among young people are on the rise. I believe, more than ever that having excellent skills to combat insecurities, asking for help, talking to adults, so many more barriers that young people face. Indeed, something LighteningUp is working towards, making the next generation of Australians future, robust, powerful and confident individuals.

Jodie [:

I think that's absolutely wonderful, and I think it, like I've said it, but it's gonna make such a difference. So what advice will you give to young people who encounter the same disbelief that you did?

Madeleine [:

I recommend learning self-advocacies to improve your knowledge about your body and your rights, finding self-advocacy resources online or in person, and seeking professionals help that works for you, only talk to someone who makes you feel validated, heard, seen and emotionally safe.

Jodie [:

Yeah, I think that's really, is gonna help. Will you also be speaking to parents, because, of course, they're a big part of that journey. Or are you specifically just speaking to the young people?

Madeleine [:

That's my niche at the moment, but I'm 100 percent, I think self-advocacy needs to be for everyone. And I hope that I can expand over time. And once I get the hang of things and then I can kind of branch out.

Jodie [:

Yeah, no, I think yeah. So many people are gonna get helped. So obviously there's so much in this already. But what message would you love to give to all medical practitioners so that they can actually help people in a similar position to you?

Madeleine [:

If doctors and medical professionals don't know something, often times they gaslight. They put on a patient as being attention seeking or wasting their time. I think doctors and nurses need to be better educated about rare diseases and disabilities to make the health systems a safer place. Gaslighting has serious, long-lasting impacts on people, and I don't think medical people fully appreciate that that's what they are doing to people with a rare disease. It isn't okay and needs to be stopped everywhere.

Jodie [:

Wonderful. I don't know if you've done any research into it, but I'm just curious, if you've got any idea of how much, learning medical professionals actually do when it comes to, I guess, you know, communicating effectively. That might sound bizarre because, of course, they're talking to people all the time, but I guess it comes back to this. It's educating doctors and nurses to have the confidence to speak up or to reach out for more help from their peers and so on. I just don't know if they're taught that?

Madeleine [:

I don't believe they are. I think often times there's no, seems to be no training on how to communicate to people, because I think they're the mistakes being made when they don't truly understand what their words are doing to people and what it causes. Like if doctors had understood what they were doing to me, things could have been very different for me. And I hope by sharing my story, doctors can understand that, stop gaslighting. It's not helpful, it's not appreciated and needs to be stopped because people's lives matter so much more than, so much more than what doctors think of them. And I think they're the ones that are working with young people, and they're the ones that you see all the time, and they're not attention seeking. If a child is coming to hospital, not showing the typical signs of pain, they're not attention seeking. They're just dealing with trauma and, or dealing with a way to cope, and pain is so subjectable to everyone. And I think doctors need to understand that a bit better.

Jodie [:

And just to kind of go one further, with your own pain, do I remember correctly when we were chatting that you said, You're almost numb to it yourself, which is why you wasn't, you know, you wasn't really sharing that you was in excruciating pain because there was just so much going on.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, and as a child who's not listened to or validated or their experiences, they shut off. They shut their emotions because that's the only way to survive. And so I wasn't -- there's actually, there's a pain chart in hospitals, and this pain chart really drives me mad, because it shows how pain, a child should experience pain. And it's so outdated, it shouldn't even be existing in society, because you can't experience, like trauma is not on that page. Or what about someone with like autism, like how their pain is different, like they express pain in different ways, or someone with an intellectual disability. I feel like it's so outdated and needs to stop, like being educated around, or doctors having to like use this chart to kind of understand children's pain. I think it, yeah, it really drives me mad that chart.

Jodie [:

Do you know, I don't know about that chart, so thank you for that. But I think there's a couple of things I take from that as well. One is, from an industry, you know we need to be, and I say, We, as in society, we need to be making sure that the tools provided to our medical professionals are current, they are accurate and they are actually effective. So I think there's a part there, and that includes things like pain chart not just, you know, the really clever technical equipment that they're using. And another thing is, of course, at the end of the day, it is a profession, and people want to be good at their job. They want to be able to demonstrate their professionalism and their competency, and that shouldn't be at the risk of them feeling like they fail, if they don't know something. You know they need to be able to reach out for support without that, you know, reflecting negatively on them. So there's also that part, I feel that, you know, the industry needs to recognise the fact that doctors are clever people. They have a lot of information retained, but they are human beings, and there's always gonna be gaps.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, I think those gaps are really, I'm pushing for equality because as long as those gaps are in play, society's not gonna grow as an equality place. And I think once the society understands that these gaps are happening, that these gaps are real and that, and how we can educate people to say, like, No, we're gonna stop these gaps. And these are how the things we can educate people to eliminate those in society.

Jodie [:

Yeah, definitely. And it's not, it's not even just, you know, making sure that all doctors have the knowledge to fill all the gaps, it's ensuring they've got the support from someone who does have that knowledge. It's not having to do it all on your own. It's about having that network and that collaboration with your peers, where together you can really enable every individual patient to get everything that they need. And there's a lot of power in that.

Madeleine [:

And yeah, I think as we work as a community, we work as a bunch of people getting together. Collaborating like, collaboration is such a vital place. And it's like codesign, and we're working as a community to change things. I think that's how we grow as a society. That's how we grow as people, we grow from our experiences, but we also grow from learning other people's experiences, and then as a group, we can kind of collaborate and make it equality. I feel, yeah, that's my thoughts anyway.

Jodie [:

I think that's really helpful, thank you. And I'm interested to see any feedback we get from this episode as to how different experiences can also be country to country. Because I don't actually know someone in a very similar position to you in the UK, to know what the medical, you know how the medical profession supported them. So it'll be interesting to find that out. But of course, then you've got so many other countries around the world, I just wonder, well, hopefully this will also help, because it'll help them to have the confidence to engage maybe a little bit differently with their doctors, but also, hopefully it can help people who are in the medical profession to seek out support, to speak to their peers, because it's only gonna help everyone, including them.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, 100 percent. And I feel, I especially think people lived experience need to attend hospitals and be part of codesigns because, I think getting people who've got understanding will definitely help doctors. And I think that needs to be a bit more utilised in the hospital systems. I think there would be a lot less gaps if it was, people's experiences are really utilised and understood.

Jodie [:

So I, yeah, I mean, your experiences have been, obviously such a major impact in your life, and anyone who's feeling similar, what kind of coping mechanisms do you, you know, worked for you because they could maybe work for someone else? How did you overcome those frustrations, and a lot of those negative feelings? Because, of course, you are a very positive person. We've spoken, you know, you are smiling, and I'm sure that like everyone, you're not smiling 24/7. But you have overcome so much, what works?

Madeleine [:

Seeking professional help that, but the thing is professional, seeking professional help, it's awesome, but once you find someone who works for you, I think a lot of times you get gaslighted from your psychologist sometimes and finding someone that you feel heard, seen and validated, I think it's essential to heal. And until you find someone like that, it's very hard to heal. But I found when you find them, they're, like, gold. It's like you, I'm so thankful I found mine and I wouldn't be nearly, like I wouldn't have healed as much and grown as much if I wasn't, if I hadn't found her.

Jodie [:

I think the reason I take you as such a positive person, not just because you're actually just really nice to chat to. No, but because, you're taking your own lived experience to help the younger generation, and you know that in itself is a massive positive impact on society. So, yeah, you've obviously you've taken some positives out of this to be able to sort of change Australia potentially, you know, spread it around the world. But I just think it's wonderful that you have found those mechanisms. And of course, that person that you just mentioned who has really helped you. And I just hope other people recognise that if one person didn't help them, doesn't mean there isn't somebody else out there that absolutely can.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, there's so many people that could help you. You just gotta go and look and find and gain, look in your networks and your communities and try and find someone that works for you.

Jodie [:

And I don't know if you've looked for this, but I'm just curious encase there's anything out there that can also help people. Do you know of any online support for people with rare diseases that maybe can be, you know, a port of call for people?

Madeleine [:

I think, rare diseases, it's very hard, especially for my situation. I think everyone's rare illness experiences are different, like when you talk to other people, their experiences are different and I think especially with rare disease, you're dealing with a lot of different experiences, and I think it's hard for some people to really understand, and kind of accept other people's experiences and not just, This is how you're meant to go down the road, you're meant to do these, you're meant to do these treatments, you're meant to like, do this like wheelchair stuff when you like. And that's how rare illnesses goes around.

That's not necessarily the case. I think there's so many components to diet and to healing. And there's so many parts of how rare illness goes and everyone's experiences are different. And I think, I wish I was, but I was able to connect with them. But that's not my experience. And, but I really hope for other people their experiences are different, because having a community is so vital and we all need to feel connected to a society, no not society, but our community. And having connection is a vital part for mental health.

Jodie [:

Yeah, absolutely, and I think a lot of what you talked about today have just reinforced the message that physical and mental wellbeing are so intrinsically linked.

Madeleine [:

Yeah, they really are. And I really hope, by sharing my story, if any young person is hearing my story, or you're experiencing something, seek answers, don't give up. Self-advocacy is vital for everyone, especially young people with disabilities. We all deserve love, connection, employment, travel and opportunity to live our best lives. I invite everyone, especially people in the medical and educational fields, to educate themselves in regards to rare diseases and disability awareness, and diversity training equalities for every one of us.

Jodie [:

Absolutely. I think that's brilliant. Do you have a way of people finding out about LighteningUp?

Madeleine [:

Yeah. So I've sent you the links and, they'll be attached with this podcast. And I would love it if, people could share my GoFundMe and support me to create my passion project for sharing my lived experiences to the world.

Jodie [:

Wonderful. Thank you. I will absolutely make sure I'll put them in. One thing I have to ask you as well, because I ask absolutely everybody, because I'm a mad Harry Potter fan, I think, but also because I love the answers is, if I give you a magic wand and don't forget it's magic, there's no limitations, and you can change one thing to make the world more inclusive, what would you do?

Madeleine [:

A cure for my rare disease and a hospital system much more educated about chronic pain and rare diseases. That's a true passion of mine to make the hospital system more equality for everyone. A culture where young people are believed and gaslighting of patients is not tolerated. And that everyone with a rare, undiagnosed condition. I've got a condition, because there is so many undiagnosed people out there. And I think we all deserve a diagnosis, especially Lyme disease, which currently doesn't exist in Australia.

Jodie [:

Oh, really?

Madeleine [:

Yeah. There's Lyme disease, technically doesn't exist, but I don't be, like I know people that have got Lyme disease and it 100 percent exists. But at the moment, yeah, they can't get a diagnosis from Australia.

Jodie [:

Oh, wow. I have no idea about that. But I do love your answer. And I would love to give you that magic wand, of course, but by raising awareness, by doing what you're doing, you're certainly starting to build the world. That's something that is happening. So, I'm sure a lot of people will be very grateful for that. So yeah. Well done for everything, that obviously you've done already, and certainly what's to come. What would you and I know you've already told people a lot, but what would you really like people to take away from this episode?

Madeleine [:

That gaslighting needs to stop. And if you hear yourself, not validating someone's experiences or ignoring their stories and stuff, stop that. Educating yourself about gaslighting and understanding that it stops, you need to stop it. I think not, if every one of us understands that gaslighting needs to be stopped and they understand, I think we would be in a much better place.

Jodie [:

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think that's actually a brilliant takeaway. So, Madeleine, you've been so open with us, I wanna say thank you for that. I certainly will share the links we just mentioned with the episode. How do people connect with you?

Madeleine [:

You can find me on social media. So I've got my, Instagram LighteningUp Advocacy. I've got my LinkedIn, which is Madeleine Nicholas. And then Facebook is LighteningUp Self Advocacy workshops.

Jodie [:

Great. I've got all of those links which you may have sent me, I will make sure that they're included. So thank you for that. And yeah, I mean, I've eaten into your evening and I've learned more from you today again, since we've, you know, chatted before. And it has been an absolute pleasure for me. So I'm genuinely so grateful that you took the time out to come and speak to me. But, of course, to share with the listeners as well, I have no doubt that they would have learned a lot from you. And you're probably gonna find people popping up in your messages. But I just, yeah, a massive thank you.

Madeleine [:

Thanks for having me.

Jodie [:

And I hope to have, I just wanna say I hope that you've actually enjoyed sharing and that you've taken something from this yourself. But the reality is, I think we get a lot more out of it.

Madeleine [:

Thanks for having me. And I'm more than happy to share my story, and educating, and bringing society, understanding society's kind of gaps. And I really hope it brings people a lot of confidence that I believe you, and that your story is real and validated. Even if society don't believe you.

Jodie [:

That, well, what a powerful episode. So I've said thank you to Madeleine. And now thank you to all of you that have taken the time to listen today. Do reach out on socials, do take a look at all of the links that I share, for Madeleine and LighteningUp. Of course, you can reach out to me as well. So enjoy, digest, and until next time for some more myth busting, take care, everyone.

Recording [:

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