“Victims” standing up for themselves

Kinda had another fight with my sis a couple of weeks ago. She, a regular person, is of the opinion that our society is a big meanie that doesn’t leave any room for people with mental disabilities (syndromes, abnormalities, special snow-flakeism, whatever) like ADD/ADHD. Me, having ADHD, well I got my feathers quite ruffled. While I have no problem with calling my mind abnormal or saying I’m disabled or that I have an attention deficit, I have a big… no a HUGE problem with people trying to put me in the role of the victim. So not only are you telling me I’m not normal, you’re telling me I’m sub-par (which isn’t the same) AND I’m a poor helpless little thing who can’t function unless the cream of society enables me to do so? Well, screw you very much.

A couple a days ago, there was another “incident” at work. I work on a bench opposite to the section chief. When the section chief is done pouring batter into about 20 cake-pans, he starts pushing the pans in the oven 3 at a time and he expects someone, ANYONE in the room to notice and wordlessly run to help him.

Not only that, he sometimes decides it’s a good idea to shout at the closest person (usually me, but only because of the working place arrangement, it’s not personal) when they fail to help him. So I was dividing my sparse focus between what I was doing and my wandering mind – sometimes I notice him, sometimes I don’t. Last week I didn’t. The colleague working behind me actually did (!) and promptly helped him. Not happy enough that he was getting help, my section chief, imagine that, started shouting at me for not helping him (!): “It’s amazing! It’s amazing how you fail to help! Just look away and screw the rest! Can’t count on you for help!”

This sort of daily abuse is especially hard for someone with ADHD and anger issues, but it’s still abuse. Well, my meds were actually working fine that day, so instead of unbearable anger, I felt deeply annoyed at the most, shrugged and told him “I’m totally focused on what I’m doing, didn’t notice.” which prompted my colleague into joining the bullying “Sure you are, where as I’m totally unfocused on my work and notice stuff like this!”

Fuck…

I kept my jolly face and admitted my mistake with sarcasm “Of course you are unfocused. I wasn’t trying to imply anything else!”. Still, my section chief kept angrily yapping at me, about my excuses, about this, about that, so I turned to him and said in the most jolly tone of voice I could muster “Look, you’ve known me for MONTHS now. How can you still expect me to notice? How can you still think I’m doing it on purpose, really?” eventually, the chief kept going on with his angry banter, but a friendly grin had creeped onto his face. Crisis averted. With a lot of nerves and effort. And ritalin.

Here’s the thing: the ADHD patient in me is annoyed and insecure because, once again, I didn’t notice something obvious that someone else in the room noticed. I felt that I wasn’t dealt a whole hand for this game. Again.

But the human in me can’t help noticing that f***ing asswipe of a human being would rather open his mouth to humiliate someone instead of opening his mouth to ask for help. And THAT has nothing to do with me, ADHD or society’s ability to accommodate any sort of minority.

Advertisements

Dare to be pink

“She’s too pure to be pink”

I love the movie Grease and I love the line – Rizzo, member and pretty much boss of the mean-girls “Pink ladies” said it, my favourite character. I love pink in all shades, but I especially love bright pink or the very opposite “old pink”.

Sitting in front of me on the bus today, a granny sat with her grandkid. Her grandkid was wearing a very kitsch cappy with pink-shaded mice on it, sneakers with pink highlights and a bright pink jacket with a light pink cross-stitch heart-pattern on it. Her grandchild, about 5 years old, would not give up until it made clear to granny, physically and verbally, that it felt an extreme wish to climb onto granny’s lap, despite the kid being at an age where kids are supposed to start wanting to act grownup. It breaks my heart to see little girls dressed like this. I broke my heart twice as much because her grandkid was a boy. Yes, I’m (almost) sorry to point out a difference between sexes when it comes to wearing a colour, but I do, and let me explain.

I love a man who dares to wear pink – or anything feminine like a braid or some kind of bag because they want to carry more around than the clichéd “keys and a wallet” bulging out of a buttock. I love a broad shouldered man with a bright pink shirt; a business man with a pink tie or a light pink shirt with his navy-blue suit. I love the kind of man who can wear something that many think of as girly, like it’s the most natural thing in the world and he can still knock any woman out of her socks (yes, I enjoy being surprised and uplifted by other human beings and if they’re human beings I’d like to f*ck (in my case, men), so much the better. Damn my raging hormo—uuuh PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY!!1!). I like a manly man in pink, yes, a manly man who can wear pink and still not fall into the ridicule of making preposterous comments like “I’m in touch with my femininity”.

But a kid is not a man. Ok, so the darned kid likes pink and wants to wear pink. But did I mention I cringe when I see little girls wearing only pink? A girl wearing lots of pink is tasteless enough, but a boy wearing all pink screams “look how in touch I am with my child’s wishes!”. Jesus, if the boy wants to wear a pink shirt, let him wear a pink shirt, but try and teach the kid not to be so darned tacky! Has anyone taught these parents that they’re supposed to raise their child? And that that means not giving into every whim? Jesus christ, a boy wearing tons of pink is a sign of trying to break with societies conventions, sure thing, good enough. But would you please not use you child as an accessory to do so, you irresponsible, know-it-all, asshole excuse for a parent?

Seriously, this whole gender mainstreaming is going way too far (if it helps, I have gay friends who would frown upon a little boy dressed like that). If I ever have kids, I’ll never point out that these people are wrong because pink is for girls and not little boys, no. But I WILL read between the lines and explain my kids that some people are very much capable of living in society but refuse to do so and try to stop everyone around them to do so so they won’t be so lonely in their fucking misery.

It takes two to tango – my beef with compromising

I filled out personality tests for the dating site experience I had a while ago. Now mind you, I won’t even for a second try to justify matchmaking based on personality tests, but I did take similar tests YEARS ago when taking vocational tests for career choices and I know for a fact that they are, most of the time, eerily accurate. Most of the time. One of the things that shocked me about my results was how it pointed out that my ability to compromise with others or adapt my habits to others was bellow average. Which, you know, I think is kind of bullshit. As an example, they said

“when a partner can only sleep with the window open, you have a hard time accepting to sleeping with the window open”.

I’m sticking to the window example because I couldn’t care less. An open or a closed window is something that, to me, quite depends on circumstance and mood. Now, who is this partner and why does his need of sleeping with an open window trump my need of sleeping with a closed one? How is giving into the habits of others a form of compromise? You see, I’d think a fair compromise would be something like “Ok sweetie, but I’m going to have to sleep under an extra blanket” But giving into others is perceived as weak when you do it and as a lack of ability to compromise when you don’t. Seriously, when you’re in the middle of a fight with someone, how often has the other person said “You are so stubborn!” although they are insisting on a particular something as much as you? It’s like a battle of let’s-see-who-calls-who-stubborn-first. I’ve been, for a long time, replying to that silly comment with “No more than you.” It takes two to tango. In every sense of the expression. With the people I know, sometimes one side wins (i.e. makes the other one give up) and sometimes the other does. I guess if my family and aquaintances took the personality test, they would all be under average when it comes to compromise. And I’m wondering: who are these awful doormats that are being balanced against me and my peers to estimate an average? And what’s their life expectancy?

Eating veggies for the sake of eating veggies

DISCLAIMER: If you belong to one of those “bloggers” who are stalking particular tags in order to try and sell anyone oil-snake or oil-snake-related “literature” on “health” and “diet”, “fitness” and such, please spare me your likes and your follows. I will most likely >unknowingly< check your page, but you will get nothing else from me, only one more page-view that might just give you enough page-views to support your dishonest job of trying to fool people who are in need of real help. You are the cancer of the blogosphere and you should roast in a hell where you’re fed your own feet deep-fried in your own previously hydrogenated body-fat.

——————–

“May I?” my friend pointed at a strip of bell-pepper on my cutting board last week, while I was preparing lunch for us. I said sure, go ahead, and she gladly munched away at the raw strip of paprika and added “Yum! Bell-peppers are like the potato-chip of vegetables!” Well…. hmpf.

Taste. A matter of taste. The single vegetable I could chomp down on for a while, with no added flavor enhancer or spices, are carrots. Second to that is maize – especially with some butter melting on top, but then that’s flavor enhancement. There’s only so many veggies I’ll eat raw and unseasoned that will really taste good to me. Because maize is awesome, but put some salt on it, some butter and it’s even better. Cauliflower with freshly grated nutmeg on top, my god! Or some ripe tomato with plenty of olive oil and oregano. A salad with some heavy vinaigrette on top of it, yum!

So a few years ago, when my sister said she was going to do an oven-baked ratatouille, I was underwhelmed.

My sister, let me tell you, abhors any kind of fat. And she doesn’t use salt. Or glutamate or any flavor enhancer. On her vacation, she goes on hiking trips to mountains of 4000m/13000ft and up –  (in fact, she is so healthy, that all these healthy vacations have fucked her knees up way more than my obesity has mine, and the fucked up knees aren’t even self-diagnosed)  – when they get to the height when the guides regularly control the blood pressure of the participants, everyone gets salt banished from their food while my sister is basically force-fed some salt by the guiding leaders.

So my very healthy salt- and fat-free sister made an oven-baked ratatouille which is an offense to France and their cuisine. A ratatoiulle is like a casserole of several vegetables that is cooked by adding one vegetable after the other to the pot, considering how long they need to simmer in comparison to the rest, which when mastered leads to a bunch of beautifully seasoned veggies, all cooked to perfection despite the fact that they have different cooking duration. And my sister proudly threw a bunch of chopped vegetables with hardly any salt (“because I know no one but me will eat it if I don’t use salt *scoff*”) and just a spoonfull of oil (so the vegetables wouldn’t stick to the container) into the oven and called it a day.

I kept my expectations of the green bell-pepper low because I usually eat red or yellow ones and I know VEGETARIANS who hate green peppers. Then I tried the aubergine/egg-plant. It was chewy and flavorless. So nope, put the green peppers AND the egg-plant aside. Then came what? The zucchinis. Not my favourite of veggies, but I gave it a try. It was not just flavorless but also soggy to the point that it felt like it was cotton balls infused in water (like the aubergine, but with even less flavour). Ok, so set the zucchini aside. The red pepper wasn’t particularly good, but I’m blaming the produce market on this one. So I ate my meat with some out-of-season bland tomato and onions (can’t go wrong with onions!) and was stunned by everyone eating it and saying “It’s quite ok” (“quite ok” is what my family says when I present them with a professionally made dessert, it’s like the most of support and appreciation anyone will get from my family).

When I had put most of my ratatouille aside, I said I wasn’t really impressed. But I was used to the veggies in Germany so maybe that was why. To which my sis said “It’s not the vegetables. YOU don’t like vegetables, THAT’s the problem!”. I scoffed and fumed. I’m known in my family for not liking vegetables because vegetables don’t count if they have some sort of seasoning on them. Seriously, I only started eating vegetables after I discovered chinese food because the vegetables ACTUALLY are seasoned! My family – as well as many people – only know veggies as a mostly flowerless greenery that you’re supposed to gladly chomp on like your appendix is actually 5 foot long! 

Ya know what? Anyone who knows me would never say I don’t like meat! But I always eat my meat salted and properly seasoned so I don’t see why I shouldn’t go about my veggies the same way. But many people still insist and act like vegetables aren’t worth anything as soon as you put sauce or spices on them. Ya know what? Shout scream and squirm; insult me as a promoter of obesity, but my veggies actually taste good and my knees are fine.

(Oh, and I heard this one on the radio today. I might be making a post about this one, but it won’t be a health post, it will be a post against people who claim the media only tell lies, although they’re usually not smart enough to understand what the media tells them.)

Longread – How getting the ADHD diagnosis changed my life

Almost everyone knows the Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And the wisdom to know the difference.

You’d think I wouldn’t like it, being an atheist and all, but my values are pretty much the same values of any major religion. I do like it. Sometimes, you don’t need a God to grant you serenity. Sometimes something earthly like a diagnosis will do. In my case, my ADHD diagnosis in January (has it only been 4 months?…). Here’s how it helped.

I learned when to say to myself “f*ck it” and when to think “screw you”

The meds help, they’re a blessing. That hiddeous jolt of bad adrenaline that made my heart race and my hands jitter at just the slightest insinuation that I was doing something poorly is simply not there if I took my pill in the previous 5-6 hours. Today a colleague tried to pin a mistake on me. I know she is one stubborn piece of work and when she didn’t listen to my explanation of my actions, I said “ok” out loud and thought “well f*ck you very much, b*tch”. And I didn’t even smirk when a couple of hours later the turn of events showed loud and clear that mistake had been entirely hers. I learned to identify with which people it’s worth explaining what looks like my fault and is actually not. I learned that if these “trigger-people” are always going to assume the worst anyway, I’m better off doing things my way and with the least effort possible. I also learned with which coleagues I have to take my second pill sooner (with some, it’s enough if I take it when the shift ends. With others…. eeeeeh…. I’m gonna be taking the next one 6 hours after I took the first)

A propos “my way”

I learned that, some things, I just can’t do like the others

It was a strain my whole life, trying to do things like others. I knew something was different and I tried to minimize that by copying exactly other people’s methods. Which is disastrous. In my current job I have to juggle MANY different things at the same time – (I never could multi-task properly, typical ADHD) – two ovens, one of them with 5 slots; several different kinds of pastries: one tray puff-pasty, one tray another sort of puff-pastry; croissants of two different sizes; this cake is to be reheated and put on a wagon, this cake is to be reheated and be put on that table over there…. It probably sounds overwhelming for a layman but it’s not for a professional. Unless you’re me, of course. It took long enough, but when my colleagues now push me to organize all this the way they would do it, I learned to say “Yeah, that doesn’t work for me”. And if they insist, I insist “I have to do it like this, if I don’t, I screw up.”. I still get the job properly done and they still point out a bunch of stuff that I supposedly did wrong. I have yet to hear a complaint from the boss or the customers, and until I do I’m going to refer to my “screw you” thinking technique.

I learned when not to say “f*ck it”

ADHDers are unorganized and always late. Well, kind of. I always hated being stood-up so much that I obsess about time and always plan one half-hour more than I think I will need for a particular trip – this will rarely get me to my destination earlier. I also had some bad experience with being unable to find certain documents, so ever since I moved out of my parents’ house, I bought a big file where I keep all the important stuff, and that file is always near the computer (because you can do so much of paperwork online). This is something I’ve been doing way longer than I know about my ADHD. BUT: My place is a mess. I was always very messy. The cleanliness of my house is…. non-existent, for the most part. I’m working on it by not saying “f*ck it” when a sport I tidied up starts getting cluttered again. Even if I don’t progress in my organizing and cleaning, the stuff I’ve decluttered since my diagnosis has to stay decluttered. It might sound stupid, but before the diagnosis, I actually managed to delude myself into thinking that one day, I’d be all “growed” up and would finally snap out of it and clean everything and everything would be fine the rest of my life, oooooooh it’s just a 20 year old phase (started when I was 13). I now know it’s something I need to work at a bit harder than others, I can’t just wait-and-see.

It strained some relationships

It was, sadly, not all good. But such is life. And having it rough with people certainly made this aspect of the diagnosis understandable, but sadly not bearable.

The first person I told, a sister, was way too overjoyed. She had been telling me for years that “you had ADHD when you were a kid! You bet on it!” and her only proof was that at 11pm I sometimes didn’t want to go to bed because “I still have to play some more!”. The fact that she thinks I had ADHD and that she was actually completely unaware of what the symptoms are on an adult doesn’t matter – we’re an I-told-you-so-family. Now she feels she can psychoanalyze me that much more and some of our conversations are that much harder.

The second person was a friend of 10 years. She smirked in my face and said she doesn’t believe in ADHD, it’s a fake. I don’t know what I was expecting, she doesn’t believe in cholesterol either. Yeah, you heard me. I have to admit, knowing her, I have to admire how this otherwise rough-edged woman tried to spare me and said “The important thing is you are on some kind of medication that you feel helps you.” but I still have to live with the fact that one of my dearest friends now believes that I’m some sort of blind idiot who is being fooled by a doctor and subject to a placebo effect.

Another one actually used the word “placebo effect”, she doesn’t believe in psychiatry. She believes firmly, because of a bad experience in her family, that psychiatrists will ruin people’s lives by leading people to think there’s something wrong with them. I actually should have seen this one coming, I knew about her issues…

I stopped telling people. Most of my family doesn’t know. One day, the meds had worn off, and I confided (blurted, more like) in my big sister (16 years my senior and practically my mother) that I was diagnosed with ADHD. She flipped! She accused my psychiatrist of being an incompetent fool and misdiagnosing me, that you can’t just see someone once and decide they have ADHD, that it takes months of testing. She too insinuated that I’m under placebo effect. I think this one actually hurt the most. She wouldn’t even listen to me – it’s typical for my family – she wouldn’t hear that I wasn’t diagnosed in one single session and she won’t acknowledge that diagnosing a child (as she would know as a teacher) and an adult are VERY different things (ask a child if they have trouble focusing and they won’t even know what the hell you’re talking about).

It’s too much of a hassle. I’m thankful that my best friend accepted it from the start. As a bonus, she knows the deal: her 14 year old cousin has ADHD so she’s well informed about the condition. I’ll always remember how happy I was when she said “Ha! First thing that came to my mind when you told me was our train-talks. How I’d be talking when we were riding the train and you’d go “I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I totally zoned out!” although you’d been staring at me the whole time“.

And because I have to have some sort of statement on my blog posts: This is NOT a journey! It’s just life. It’s a learning process.

Longread – Lame excuses regarding plus-size

I’m surrounded with plus-size on the internet, particularly the blogosphere. I will, for the most part, silently roll my eyes and very rarely comment on a blog. It’s very rare to find a blog entry revolving about plus-size that I find worthwhile and mostly, the entries just make me either wanna scratch my eyes out or call the blogger on their hypocrisy. The amount of lame excuses is enormous when it comes to plus-size and that  goes for both sides of the equation: the plus-sized people saying you should be proud and the skinny people saying fat is unhealthy. So I’m gonna give the blogosphere my take on the excuses of both sides that, from my point of view, are the lamest.

Since I’m plus-sized myself, I’m arbitrarily choosing to “attack” the fat-shamers first (lest I be accused of being a self-loather by the other plus-sized people)

“Just put the fork down! It’s that easy!”

Oh really? Because that’s something you’ve ever had to force yourself to? No? You never had to force yourself to do it? Maybe because it’s easier for you than for other people? This is the comment that, while not 100% inaccurate, makes me roll the eyes the most. If it was really that easy, there would be close to no fat people in the world. But you truly must illuminated or something. Or maybe you’re not that illuminated, if you’re unaware that inability to deal with emotional problems are a big part of the problem and all.

“My parents are both overweight just like me, so it must be genetic.”

Unless you’re a rat in a lab, that’s highly unlikely. It reminds me of the joke of a Doctors’ facebook group that goes “Obesity doesn’t run in the family. The problem is, no one runs in the family”. Genes aren’t the only thing you can pass along: bad habits are way up there too.

Same goes for the “conditions” and medications that make you fat. It’s true, once you figure out what’s causing it and fix it, the metabolism rate will stabilize, not over-accelerate. Which means you’ll stop gaining weight but won’t actually lose the weight you gained. Yeah sucks to be you, but even with an ongoin medical problem,. the weight loss is just harder, not impossible. I’m not telling you you should be happy about it. I’m not even gonna tell you to lose the extra weight. But the next time someone tells you to put the fork down, maybe consider telling them to screw off instead of playing victim?

“we need to stop promoting unhealthy life-styles”

Actually, the only thing we keep promoting is superficiality and overselling looks – the average consumer just grew up with the notion that superficiality is bad so he turned the focus of the looks towards health. Everyone is still buying into one form or the other of “being unhealthy”- the overly skinny and the overly fat. Don’t bother trying to tell me it has anything to do with health. If you insist upon it, google orthorexia – we have found an extreme right in the middle of everything! Mankind – we are that good! HOLY COW!

“You can be fat and healthy.”

Sure thing. Fat people just usually aren’t. Doing yoga and posting it on youtube is definitely very awesome and it makes me very jealous (I’m more the “skip-the-bus-and-walk-the-8-bus-stops-instead” kind of person) but it doesn’t necessarily make you healthy. And yes, my skinny sister who has a fatty liver because her sparse bodyfat decided to say “F*** your thighs, I’m hitting your liver first!” is kinda screwed, but she is also the exception. And why is everyone so obsessed with health around food anyway? Could it be another attempt to legitimize your very own opinion of what is beautiful? Hmmmm…. bonus round: this actually went both ways.

“Fat people are just unattractive.”

No problem, look at skinny people. There a lack of naked skinny people around you, honeyboy/girl?

“Real women have curves”

Yes they do – sometimes in the most perfect body parts, sometimes in the most obnoxious body parts. But there are plenty of real women with no curves. Those skinny models are real women too, ya know?

Personal afterthought:

I’m never gonna be proud of being fat. Because, here’s a funny little story, I’m only proud of achievements, and gaining weight was not one of the things I worked at in my life, go figure! I also can lose a ton of weight over the years and still feel antagonized by the war of the BMIs (as if the war of the sexes weren’t enough!) because, like a lolcat once said: what has been seen cannot be unseen!

I’m also never gonna be ashamed of being fat. When naked in front of a mirror, you’ll most likely find me poking my belly and saying “boing! boing! boing!” – ya know, not something I would do at the supermarket, but far from crouching in a corner and crying.

I’m quite sure anyone who reads this and regularly uses one of these excuses will not change their minds and be quite baffled and pissed off at “how dense she is”. But maybe, just maybe, a couple of bloggers will see themselves in this entry and like it and comment or even share. And that would be more than ok, that would be perfectly awesome.

Snake-oil bloggers

Oh dang it! Here’s another rant for you!

I’m quite aware that I pass the image of a very bitter person. This is mainly because

a) all I do is complain in this blog (well, mostly, anyway)

b) all I do…

ah, screw it! Read my About page and you’ll see this forum is a platform for the outflow of my bile when needed! I’m not this negative all the time (I’d be institutionalized by now), but when I’m being positive, I’m usually watching a good movie or taking a walk in the park, not WRITING about it. Maybe I’ll give THAT a go someday, but right now, I’m just gonna go with “NAH!”.

I have very few followers, for which I’m still thankful – some will even like a post once in a while, so I’m happy to know I landed in YOUR reader (yeah, YOU! Think I didn’t notice?) instead of being a random follower to get me to look at your page, which I always do.

And because I always do look at the page of people who started following me, I notice and get annoyed at the snake-oil bloggers. Every once in a while – must be 3 or 4 of them by now – I get a follower, go to their page, and what do I find? Sales. Worse! Self-help sales! Is there a worse kind of help than the stranger imposed self-help? I mean, seriously! SELF-help is SELF-explanatory. It’s the kind of help that has to come from within, or else…. where the hell is the self part?!

I’ve had it. I quickly checked and noticed that, on my blog, you don’t get to see who else is following, and that is good! No way those a-holes will make anyone curious about who else is following me and get yet another hit on their view-counter. The next step is telling them on their comments section that they can kindly stick it where the sun don’t shine – sure it won’t show on their comments, but I’m hoping they have to read everything before they approve the two or three thankful comments that show up (some really seem to only thank out of politeness, it looks like they didn’t even notice what kind of blog they landed in)

And yes, I know some people have to make money somehow, but I cleaned toilets for a living, once upon a time. It’s a decent, hard-working job. Anyone trying to make an easy buck from a low-morale job is telling more about their personality than I am about mine with this blog. I hate seeing people being abused for their vulnerability, and sadly, snake-oil sellers will always manage to get a few. I wish I could do more than telling a few of them that they’re no better than vultures and missed me as a target.

So anyway, here is a big thank you to the few followers who have me on their reader – and even to those who don’t, really. Thank you for not trying to sell me anything.

(I have one blog post every day now. The skies really need to clear up and gimme some sunny weather for my daily strolls in the park again!)

(and yes, this shows I’m unhappy with the image I’m giving of myself on a very anonymous blog. It should also show that I’m EVEN MORE unhappy with snake-oil sellers, don’t miss THAT point before you comment)