I hear this a lot from Polyamorous people: “I totally understand cancelling if you don’t have the spoons to hang out, but like. Give me a reason and not some sketch bullshit!”

Yeah. That’s paraphrased. But I have directly seen someone looking askance at someone’s presented reasoning for a cancellation while saying they would certainly understand if that person explained it to them using a reference to energy level for chronically ill people that *I* found online years ago and don’t tend to see people who have disabilities talking about (spoons) as much as I see random people who may or may not have a chronic illness talking about.

If someone needs to couch their explanation of what’s going on for them (with their mental health/life issues) PERFECTLY for you to understand them….

That’s not fucking understanding. That’s actually the OPPOSITE of understanding.

And it’s extremely harmful. But I don’t see a good way out of it.

It’s … hard being there for someone when they don’t know what’s going on. The things that make things right for us aren’t necessarily going to be there making it right for someone else if we try to do the same things. Even if we *DO* understand disability or mental illness.

I don’t have a good idea of how to better go about dealing with all these things. But I do know it isn’t to say we understand something we don’t.