You can pick your “personality traits” up and stick’em where the sun don’t shine – my views on anti-ADHD

The Tag “Adult ADHD” on my reader yesteray made me notice someone who is really hurt by some stuff he or she saw on the internet. Something a friend shared approvingly with him or her. See, the person I’m thinking of has ADHD and the thing on the internet was a blog entry by some Matt Walsh (am I supposed to know who the guy is?…) explaining why he doesn’t believe that ADHD exists. I was slightly pissed at first, when he stated that he would have ADHD if it were a real thing, because most of us who live with it are used to people saying “Well, but I have trouble concentrating too” although they thrive in the private and work life. But then I couldn’t stop laughing and shaking my head. Because this guy, apparently actually has ADHD, but well, that doesn’t exist, so f*** that.

Anyway, what mostly made me roll my eyes were his arguments: links to renowed phsychiatrists that show the syndrome doesn’t exist, the fact that being distracted or socially innapropriate is just a personality trait and his bafflement at the seemingly arbitrary number of “at least 6” symptoms (which he consistently discards as such by using quotes) one must have of a list before the subject is even considered for an ADHD diagnosis. Well, this is just hillarious!

Firstly, the notion that “his” disproving renowed psychiatrists totally beat all the other renowed psychiatrists who proved it – just by his say-so, I wonder?

Secondly, that he tries to show that he is not one of these coo-coo anti-psychiatry people by saying something like “Dementia! THAT is a mental ailment”, apparently totally oblivious that first signs of dementia are a display of personality change – but ADHD “symptoms” are not symptoms, they have got to be personality traits. Who ever heard of personality traits being a symptom? Not this guy!

And third and lastly, his bafflement at the arbitraty number of symptoms required as a minimum is the cherry on top the cake. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, while innatention, irritability and blurting might be personality traits when presenting alone, but when they’re part of a bigger picture, they are most likely symptoms? Hmmmm… I wonder.

I’m not here to prove the existence of any syndrome to anyone, that is the role of the scientific-community. But when someone starts babbling shit like they have all the data and I notice they clearly don’t, I’m gonna go ahead and speak my mind too. This self-important ADHDer in denial actually tossed the typical “kids should have some sense knocked into them and be given place to use up their energy”. This fails to impress me because I am from the generation that got spankings, and I did have place to waste my extra-energy (my parents had a HUGE yard I played on constantly in those sweet technology-free 80’s). In elementary, the one thing I had trouble with was division by numbers larger than 10. My sister’s answer to this was to explain to me how it was done, write me up a block FULL of those exercices to solve, and then she tied my ankle to the dining room table and left me alone for the whole afternoon.

I trust this is medieval enough for “Mr” Walsh (yes, the Mr is ironic). But guess f***in’ what! I solved all all of those bad boys! Half of which were wrong! And despite that, even when everything else went wrong for me at college, maths and physics were the things I got down right on the first try (we didn’t have to use that type of division a single time, that’s why!). And I still have trouble focusing, and I still was diagnosed with ADHD and I still am responding to medication that levels my blood chemistry, as well as working hard at changing habits with the help of people who know that you can’t really tell us “You just gotta focus /you just gotta do it” and expect to see results.

Look, I get it that in the USA (and this is spreading everywhere), everything that is listed as a disability or sickness gets a bunch of benefits and this makes some people squint because there really are mentally disabled people who also are very shitty people (yes, I said it! Mentally disabled people are humans! The shock of it!). I get that these people will walk around saying “Well, my disabilty this and my disability that and you have to do this and that around me because I have a condition and you have to respect it!”. I get that some parents can’t handle their ADHD-free children and think ritalin is a magic pill, but ritalin will actually do nothing for you if you don’t have a chemical imabalance anyway – the joke is on these parents, even if I feel sorry for the kid. But if you have even half a brain like you claim you do, call shitty people on their bad behaviour; call people on their bad parenting; but don’t go around trying to invalidate a whole syndrome with some flawed grocery-store logic.

(Note: I did grossly overstep my self-imposed limit of 500 words, but that guy ranted so much for so long, it was hard to write this any shorter. Oh well…)

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Dear special snowflakes, what’s so wrong about being disabled?

After my ADD diagnose,  I decided I’d look for people who were facing the same stuff in WordPress Blogs. Well, that was fun. I stumbled upon the same two types of posts over and over again:

  1. I have ADD/ADHD. My life is so f***in’ hard and I’m so worthy of comprehension and everyone should totally adapt to me!
  2. I have ADD/ADHA! I’m not disabled! I do not have a deficit in anything! My thought process is f***in’ special and you either should worship me if you’re normal (ptui!) or I’m going to show you why you’re better than everyone else for having ADD!

This was like a rage trip to me, because well… I had just found out why some things seemed to be so hard for me, and finally I knew what I was up against! I knew what and where to look for the tools to make my life easier! Sure, people around me are entertained by my gripping way of telling stories in a detailed zig-zag fashion to the point where they sometimes don’t remember if they saw it or if I told them about it”. BUT!

Most people aren’t telling you we usually have it rought at work. Damn it, I have it rough at work because I can’t really focus. That doesn’t make me better than others, that makes me a person in a percarious work-situation. Worse: a person who is easily upset and anxious from noticing how bad the situation is.

I’m not bothered by the word normal because normal *drumroll* is the norm We live in a society that, for the most part, actually makes room for the abnormal. I don’t feel at liberty to tell at work that I have ADD, but I told my friends about it and they’re part of *drumroll* society. Two of actually them told me to my face, they don’t believe in my “disability” (seriously?) but they’re so happy that the pills I’m taking are having such a positive placebo effect on me (SERIOUSLY?!) and guess what: we’re all still friends.

Now, I see others insisting that “attention deficit disorder” is an awful way to describe it. We’re neither disabled nor deficient. Guys: normal people have the use of their legs. A few don’t. It’s a disability. Normal people have brains capable of making enough dopamin and serotonin. Some of us don’t. That’s a disability too, ableit less visible.

It’s not helpful for people in wheelchairs to think they’re “just different”. It’s not helpful for us to think like that either. I’m very able to walk up the stairs and they have to find a ramp, yes, they have it rougher than me. But guess what: when they finally get to their deskjob, they sit there and focus on their work. I run to work and struggle to focus on the job.

It is helpful to me to work on this. The fact that it’s helpful for normal people is just collateral.

Pass the passive-agressive, please?

Oh, don’t you just love it? It took me years to truly understand what passive-agressive means, but when I learned for good what it meant, I noticed it it. Not everywhere, but anywhere it popped up. And in my life, that’s everyday life in my line of work.

See, I’m what you’d call “working-class”. And what I’ve been noticing the past few years is: no one in working-class seems to have come to grips that they’re working class. I’m the dumb f***er who was told in kindergarden that all professions are honourable  and actually believed it (and my family kept insisting I wasn’t too dumb for college, ha!). Most other people at work are pretty bitter and I’m the underpaid semi-conservative capitalist who has actually learned to be a cockeyed-optimist (to the point that it makes me a bad judge of character and constantly struggling in bad jobs – but oh, it will all work out. Has to).

So I see people at work making mean jokes at each other, it’s pretty much like the Youtube comment section but like, 8h a day. It’s tiresome. And because it’s not the internet, you can’t very well tell someone to f*** off or close the tab. No, you have to be very good at trolling until the other one looks upset. THEN they tell you, you don’t have a thick skin. You’re so sensitive. And why would you be upset when they’re only joking? Come oooooon, they only said you’re an incompetent bafoon as a joke, how do you not get this? Are you dumb as well as incompetent? Har har.

Look, I’ve discovered today that I’ve become quite good at dismissing passive-agressive with some people, but I’m still annoyed by this puerile form of auto-defense. Yeah, really! It’s childish, insecure and right up there with “if the shoe fits…” and “Maybe you’re projecting?”. Maybe you’re being an asshole and that’s why I’m pissed? Maybe I’m not 5 and I can very well tell when someone is provoking and when they’re just speaking hypothetically?

Ugh. Can’t really have that. I already have to deal with any insecurities my head comes up with. It’s totallty unfair to expect me to deal with everyone else’s.

Acting Goldilocks with people

When people hear about ADD/ADHD, they immediately think about nervous people who have to keep moving and can’t focus, but I got my ADD diagnosis from a psychiatrist after I explained him about my short-temper with people. Most people are annoyed when someone is rude, but they don’t feel a jolt of adrenaline and the inability to stop thinking about what a f***ing moron that rude person was. For hours. The rest of the day even.

I thought I was immune to blurting things out (another symptom), but I’m not, I just don’t blurt out loud. When a stranger acts rude on the street, my head goes “You asshole!” but I pause and firmly say “What do you want from me?”. And then I go to friends and family and can’t stop venting. The problem is when a friend or a family member does something annoying and I vent about it to other family members and friends. It’s bad manners, right? I know it is, and you know it is. It’s a work in progress.

But I’m a good friend and the thing all my friends and family have in common is: they know I talk a lot of shit about people I love when I’m upset. They’re good at reading between the lines and know this isn’t something that afects them or our relationship. When I read about how ADD patients have difficulty maintaining relationships in and outside of family and read about common friend reactions, I thought “Sheesh! Who are these morons? I truly am blessed.”

Yesterday, a friend of mine (fresh friendship) called on my behaviour of dissing people I openly call good friends. It made her wonder, which is legit. I cried and apologized. Explained why it’s this way and that I’m working on it. No one has to live with someone who vents like me and those who don’t want to are pretty good at avoiding me, and that’s fine. But she decided it was better to tell me how much I hurt her (WTF?) and how that thing I said made her feel used (Used? Seriously?) and I did something I hate: I explained her word by word why and how she had misunderstood me, qed. She got it, but it took me a lot of time and effort – you know, turning “asshole” into “what do you want”.

Today I woke up still rather upset. I feel kind of violated. I feel like this friendship forced me to act like someone who I’m not. And while I’m more than willing to do this in society – almost everyone has a face for society and another in private – I’m not willing to do it with close friends. She put her need to feel reassured over, well… everything. I don’t like people who are too agressive. But I also don’t like people who are supposedly so fragile that they badger me into walking on eggshells around them. I’m kind of Goldilocks with people.

Is that bad?

Grimaud, Mousqueton and Bazin. And then Planchet came along

I wonder… do you know who I’m talking about? It really would make me so happy if you do.

I once searched for a certain classic novel in my native language and had a hard time doing so. Only children’s versions were available, but I eventually lucked out and found a volume and I gulped it down. And then I gulped it down again. And again. It’s such an awesome book, I have to read it at least once every two years. I was once laughed at for sharing how awesome the book is: “I read that as a child!” Well, you read the kiddy version and you’re an ignorant and an idiot.

Athos, Porthos and Aramis. And then D’Artagnan came along. Do you know who I’m talking about now? Well, of course you do. You probably read it as a child too – the kiddy version. Or you saw one of many hollywood versions. If you’re lucky, you’ve seen Athos depiected as an alcoholic – but you have no idea why he is one. If you’re lucky, you’ve seen the version where they try to retrieve not a necklace from London but diamond pendants, but you’ll never know that the diamonds weren’t returned in the knick of time; you’ll never know that the cardinal actually got what the musketeers went for and you’ll never know the most fabulous comeback of the queen during the ball when she’s supposed to prove that she has all the diamonds.

But what really sucks is that, even if you were lucky to see a version with Planchet, you’ll most likely never know who the fuck are Grimaud, Mousqueton and Bazin. They weren’t four in these adventures, they were eight: each had a servant and by the way, when D’artagnan started up as a guard until an opening in the Musketeers came along, he was advised by his friends not only to get a servant, but to give him a good beating first thing, so the servant would know who’s the boss. And the deal with the diamonds was less than a quarter of the story.

The Three Musketeers is not just a period novel nowadays. It was a period novel back when it was written. And it’s a book no one should miss. I hope I peaked your curiosity into reading it, if you never did. Me, I’m just glad that I did and that everyone in France has – I checked with a french guy.

The relation between the female butt-shape and pseudo-scientists

I consider myself quite science-oriented, even so many years after abandoning my engineering degree. I believe in love – all other valid forms of love aside, I mean the love that makes you desperately want to have sex with a specific someone else and yet somehow still accept it when and if that’s not possible for physical or moral reasons. I believe this kind of love starts with a flow of hormones and other chemicals through your body; I believe it is something you develop through getting to know someone and working at it if you deem the other person deserving of your unique way of affection. For this reason, I don’t believe in love-at-first-sight. I jokingly say I believe in lust-at-first-sight. But yes, I do believe you can form bonds and grow to love someone you’ve had that “lust” experience with. With that said, I wonder…

what kind of moronic pseudo-scientist do you have to be, to go around saying

For your information, you don’t feel with your heart!

and

THIS ♥ is not a heart. THIS *insert pic of pig’s heart* is!”

Do hey really think this makes them sound cool or intelligent? Really, it makes them sound like they know neither science nor fellings and that doesn’t put me in awe of someone, it doesn’t even make me feel sad. First it makes me mad, as you can probably tell. Then it makes me chuckle.

For your information, dear pseudo-scientists, if you think your cardio-vascular system isn’t going to feel a thing when hormones rush through your bloodstream, I sure hope you’re flunking freshman-biology.

For your information, dear pseudo-scientists, this ♥ represents the shape of the female butt (though I could name a few men-butts who would certainly classify as well), first used by an Italian if I’m not mistaken. If I am, it still represents the hindquarters of a female about to get it stuck into her nether parts (been dying to use the word “nether” since Amy said it on Big Bang Theory), something people might want to do even more so when they’re, oh say… in love.

Yes, we’re back to lust! And does it get more biological than that?! My heart does race when I’m in love and I will write a ♥ on Facebook everytime I mention an actor (TV series, whatever) I adore. And that doesn’t make me an idiot.

The only “lovey-dovey” expression I have a problem with is the “butterflies in your stomach” thing. Like the German say, bless them: “if you want butterflies in your stomach, shove catterpillars up your ass. Now pass the ibuprofen please, I have a headache.

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The Mozarella induced self-expression – Blogging vs Blog reading

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Morton’s Fork.”

Well, the question was: if you could only do either one or the other, would you rather be allowed to write a blog or read other people’s blogs? To me, hands-down: I’d rather write. Let’s assume all the narcissistic reasons for it are there and dig deeper for the rest of the reasons, shall we?

  • Practical reasons: While reading blogs is a means of expanding your horizons and learning new points of view, it is by no means the single one: there are newspapers, magazines and books, to name only a few. Let’s not compare the price of books with the price of self-publishing one book, ok? And where else can you write this extensively and get such a broad public? You can only write so much on public toilets, and then you’re mostly stuck with a single gender…
  • Personal surroundings and feedback: No one ever told me I have to read more (I do, quite a lot) but more than one person insisted I should write and spread my gospel. True, most are overly-eager good friends and members of the family who can’t seem to grasp the fact that just because they love, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will. But they’re not the type of people who will tell everyone “ZOMG! Yuo need t00 express ur-self! Life iz art! w00T!” so I still count that as a reason.
  • The right prompt: 10 years ago, learning German in a Summer course in Heidelberg (Germany), I asked my handsome literature teacher if he’d ever let me read his short-stories. He promptly agreed on the condition that I let him read my works first. “But….” I said “I don’t write. I’ve never written anything outside of school.” He was shocked and urged me to write because “you have the gift of word”. He said when I speak, people hang on my every word. Honestly, to this day I think the class only paid attention to my stories because they found it weird that a 23 year old from ANY country in Europe wouldn’t be allowed to date and they liked to hear my antics on how to fool my conservative mom while I dated and screwed around. That, and that the teacher was trying to get in my pants and not trying nearly hard enough.
  • Because Sex: Don’t ask me what it has to do with my writing, but sometimes I feel like sex is everywhere, so I’m gonna leave it here. Plus, the warm breath of that literature teacher while he obscenely wispered in my ear in front of everyone “Rosaleen, may I offer you a mozarella-tomato bagel?” still buzzes from my ear to my stomach sometimes, even after ten years. So maybe that too.