My mind has not been cooperating with me at all lately. It’s incredibly frustrating. I have been trying to put into words who or what is my imaginary enemy. When I came up with that new title, it was because, although I believed my undiagnosed ADHD was my imaginary enemy, I knew it was so much more than that. I wanted to be able to widen the scope of this blog.
I needed to figure out exactly who this enemy was. So as I walked through each day, I had an “aha” moment. And each day, I could not put it into words. One day it was the autoimmune illnesses that have basically made me a punch line. “Oh you have Chronic Fatigue, I’m chronically fatigued too, hahaha.” Another day I believed it was childhood trauma. And yet another day, I thought it was the loneliness of being judged and misunderstood. On the final day, I decided it was ME.
I suppose in reality, it’s all of those things and none of them. I truly believe that having ADD made me lose faith in myself; so everytime someone judged or mistreated me, I somehow thought I deserved it. I knew in my heart that there was something “wrong” with me, but had no clue what it was. As a child, although I did well in school, it was made very clear to me at home, that I was at the core of me, “bad.” But I was smart too, so I decided to camouflage it with “crazy.” Fun, silly, irreverent, crazy. It was a pretty good plan, except it left me feeling very alone. No one knew the real me, because I didn’t believe the real me was lovable.
I want to share my story, not for a boo hoo, but so that others might feel less alone. Everyone is different. Some of us have brains that work in a quirky way. Many of us have illnesses that are mocked and dismissed. Others have history with well meaning parents who hurt us deeply and did not give us the coping skills to negotiate the complexities of life. In the end, for me, it’s all those things.
This week, someone unexpected looked me in the eyes, shared their story, and smiled. When I told him I had ADHD too, his eyes twinkled and he said “I knew there was a reason that I always felt a connection to you.” He touched my hand and that touched my heart. He is half my age but wise beyond his years. He did something for me that no one has ever done. He shared his truth and in doing so, made me see that the part of me that I thought was ugly is beautiful. This post is for you Shaun.