Having ADHD has been a very difficult road filled with rejection and dysfunction. Time holds these memories that burn when they resurface. People who have loved me tended to want to reason or talk sense to encourage my optimism when I became overwhelmed in grief. I’ve been accused of being petty or too sensitive for not just getting over the pain of heartbreak or disappointment. The problem is, I have an executive dysfunction that impairs the way I regulate my attention away from something like rejection, which carries a weight packed on by decades of experience.
Emotional regulation is another difficulty that adds to the torment that circulates my head when I come across a very likely reminiscent scenario. Getting along socially is filled with little cues that someone like me may miss or overstep on. Impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and distraction become barriers in maintaining social relationships long term. You’d think that with so much rejection in someone’s life they would be used to it.
What happens is I shut down and withdraw. I spent years locked away from the world, refusing calls or even leaving the house. Learning about the facts has helped me find ways of forgiving myself and has given me the courage to keep reaching out. I study up on all the ADHD materials trying to find the right words to explain myself to family and friends. It hasn’t always been easy for people to empathize with something they can’t imagine force of will not fixing. Some of my family has been quick to dismiss me as being overly dramatic or seeking an excuse to get off easy, as if any of this has ever been easy. Some even angry that seeking professional help hasn’t “fixed” me.
I would like to end this with a happy note about how I developed a way of preventing these difficulties from interfering with my life and other people’s life who come into contact with me, but the truth is I will never be fixed. I will always make some uncomfortable and frustrated by my involuntary reactions. The severity of backlash isn’t as detrimental as it once was though. Instead of lashing out with anger and blame when I’m rejected by someone I have an emotional attachment to, I now retreat to find some solitude while the demons in my mind circulate and the pain overflows, reminding myself that it’s temporary. I end relationships with people who perpetuate abuse and I surround myself with people who are understanding and love me despite my differences.
If you suffer with this, know there is hope. It doesn’t get easier but you do get stronger. We live a unique life that is challenge to exist with but it is an existence worth experiencing. Love and happiness hits a little harder for us too and that is just around the bend.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit more about me and maybe a little bit more about you. I’m grateful for having your attention and support if you graciously afford me that gift.