September 8, 2013

My story is a very sad one. The part that makes it the saddest, is that no one knows it. My history and its cruel character is one only I feel. You know when girls get raped, or beaten, it’s easy to relate to them feeling really small. Unfortunately there is nobody in this world who gets me, and I don’t think anyone ever will.

It’s impossible to convey an emotion when you don’t have the words for it. And it’s impossible to convey an emotion when its source is so outrageous that nobody will ever acknowledge it. If you fall, and are in pain, people will console you. If you don’t get what you want, and feel that pain, people will tell you to suck it up.
The pain’s there, but you’re alone with it.

From a very early age, actually as far back as I can remember, I was taught that voicing discontentment was complaining, and it wasn’t okay. Crying, being angry, raising my voice, it was all absolutely forbidden. It was immature and selfish, and I shouldn’t say it out loud. Just find a way to deal with it. Keep it contained though, by all means. Think about others first, they are always more important than you.
I feel spoiled, continuously. And I act that way, even though growing up I wasn’t actually spoiled. But I behave like a first class spoiled rotten child. I’m demanding, and needy, and entitled, and I can’t stand it when people don’t pay attention to me.
Every time I’m not happy about something, I feel guilty. As soon as some kind of wish pops up in my head, guilt comes right after it. Whatever comes at me feels like it should be enough. And when it’s not enough, I struggle to assert my own opinion about it.

It’s easy to make material decisions; I want this bed. I want an iPod. I want a smartphone. I want a tv. I want this and this food. I want to drink this juice and eat these dishes. But don’t ask me what I need from other people emotionally, please don’t ask me what I deserve. Nothing, I don’t deserve anything. Leave me behind, please, I can’t stand this closeness.
People tell me I’m strong, and it makes me tired. I’m tired of explaining that I’m not. Does anyone ever consider how rejecting it is when everyone tells you you’re wonderful? All my feelings and beliefs about myself are being denied. No, you’re wrong, you’re not what you think you are. YOU ARE WONDERFUL WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT.

I wake up wishing I was someone else. I go to sleep hoping I’ll wake up with a new personality trait, or less of the ones I have and hate. I breathe regret, about what I am, did or said. I browse the internet looking at pictures of people who seem happy, sorted, I read blogs of people who have a little house with furniture and projects. Hours are wasted with this sick ritual of peering into strangers’ lives, wishing I could somehow be in there, instead of here. Not because they’re careless, they’re not. I even love their problems, the appeal is in the sheer fact that it’s not mine.
There is no escaping my skin, except for substances. Substances numb the discomfort of my existence.

Abuse is the only relationship I can suffer. It’s the only one that acknowledges me, the way I truly know that I am. The way that everybody refuses to accept me. It’s amazing what the lies people tell themselves, can do to you. Let me tell everyone this; showering someone with compliments is not helpful. It hurts. It puts someone down even more. Disregarding someone’s flaws as if they’re not there, never even naming them for fear of making them real, it doesn’t help anyone. It induces shame, guilt and depression.
The household I grew up in pretends everyone’s perfect. There are no flaws and if they somehow show through the cracks, it’s good form to ignore it. It’s absolutely smothering, and disables any and every opportunity for wholesome acceptance. Both to muster and experience it.

I’m intolerant. I have no patience. I have very little self control. I’m impulsive. I’m very critical of others, and myself. I’m competitive, and get very angry with myself when I’m not the best. Sometimes when my animals do something I don’t like, I hit them disproportionately hard. I’m afraid I will hit my children, like my father did. I’m jealous when I see a beautiful girl, but at the same time I want to be around her to feel that inferiority because I like punishing myself for not being perfect. Rejection drives me up the walls. I treat my mother with utter disrespect, same with my older brother -both are better people than I will ever be. I absolutely ignore my father unless I need something from him. When I’m angry with someone, I enjoy being able to hurt them back. I think in extremes and my understanding of the world is childishly divided in black or white. I tell myself I’m helpful to others, but it doesn’t ring true when you realize I just want to be accepted.

I’m a bitch. I scream it, I wish someone finally believed me. Acknowledged me. Let me exist.



February 11, 2013

When I was 16, I was diagnosed with ADHD; an attention “deficit” with hyperactive behavior manifesting itself. I’ve been going to a science based group that helps hyperactive people to understand themselves and their environment, I’ve taken behavioral group therapy to learn to listen to others, I’ve read a lot of literature concerning the phenomenon, been very alert to anything appearing in the media about it. Unfortunately, it seems many people don’t think it’s a real Thing. ‘It’s been applied so loosely’, used so often that it simply isn’t seen as an issue anymore. “They’re just busy kids”. Well let me try to write down what it’s like to be a busy kid.
Today, scientific research made it clear that we don’t suffer from any deficit in normal circumstances. It’s only in a quiet, demanding classroom that we become apparently maladaptive; our brain cannot push enough energy to the frontal cortex for us to remain concentrated. There’s an equal amount of glucose in the brain, but it’s indiscriminately repartitioned and the consequences of this are well known behavioral problems; unawareness of the volume of our voice, not being able to block out certain stimuli, having a hard time containing our own bodies, …

Only recently I’ve started to consider that maybe something about my lifestyle is an indicator of my cognitive functions. For instance, sitting on my bed, with the laptop on my lap, the tv on (muted, but the moving images reassure me), a cat running around and usually a documentary playing the background of my internet browser, is the only way I can truly unwind. When it’s quiet, I’m uncomfortable and will make all kinds of noises myself. Slapping hands, singing, talking to myself, throwing objects around.
I tried to find a track of music that can even remotely convey how it feels to be in my body. This one comes fairly close, I must say. Let me warn those who aren’t hyperactive; it’s loud, it’s aggressive and it mows down your auditive hair cells. Personally I recommend wearing headphones so the volume doesn’t have to be exaggerated, but it will probably still sound absolutely horrific to most.

The best way I can explain waking up inside my scalp, is to compare it to a continuous impending explosion. My body feels too small for what is happening inside it; I feel a million things, thoughts shoot through me at the speed of light.
These words fail to adequately describe it, this won’t do it. Let me attempt to break it down, for someone who has organized thoughts. This should be extremely difficult, but it could be an interesting exercise (this took me like 2 hours of editing, reading, having it read by my mom and deleting parts that just went off on a huge bender that was neither here nor there).

Although I’m convinced I miss 80% of what happens around me, due to failing neurotransmitters and poorly distributed glucose in my brain, it feels like I see more than anyone. My nerve cells are continuously aroused, they have a firing rate that well exceeds their biologically efficient threshold. My frontal cortex, that should allocate energy to certain clusters of brain cells, does nothing of the sort. Instead, it is constantly focusing on keeping the impulsive, nervous activity of the body contained sufficiently to not get negative feedback. My legs feel like they are constricted in a cage, they need to be kept still. I want to run from one place to another, but know now that it makes me look completely insane and therefore I shouldn’t. Inhibit, inhibit, inhibit. Don’t raise your voice, don’t lose your patience; not everyone is like you. Don’t throw things, take the time to walk to where they need to be and place them -GOD it feels like for ever, WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.
The animal my mind is contained into, is much, much too small for what it’s thinking. My brain has this little monkey-like being at its disposal to externalize some of its thoughts, but it just doesn’t cut it. The monkey gets burnt out very quickly; by 4 PM it’s exhausted, and even less focused than it was in the morning. It gets worse towards the evening; by 10 PM it’s all over the place. Cleaning up its room out of pure despair, in a fruitless attempt to feel tired. Please, be tired!

When I lay down in the evening, the covers feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. My legs want to kick all over the place, and I need to put effort into not moving them around all the time. Try to relax, apply some mindfulness exercises they taught you when you were a child. Don’t bite the inside of your mouth, don’t chew your nails. Don’t grit your teeth, relax your leg muscles. It’s only right before sleep that I realize all the tiny muscles that were still completely locked up.
Watching tv is the only way I can force my brain into a sleep-like state, that can maybe drift off into true rest.

A conversation can be torture. Especially when people are talking in long sentences, or are slow to get to the point. I forget 30% of all the information given to me at all times, if it’s not written down. Especially numbers are usually lost on me. But I can’t force people to speak to me in ADHD-adapted communication, that’s not very realistic. I’ve constructed ways to register, like listening to the tone of voice to know what’s the emphasis, paraphrasing to check if what I heard is accurate. I’ve also taught myself to use empathy to remember what people said; I put myself in their shoes as they speak, and remember the emotion rather than the specific information. Or I play what’s being told in a video in my head, and the image can be kept more easily than the dry facts. It makes it much easier to recall what they meant.

Also, I feel harder, deeper and more strongly than anyone I’ve ever met. This may seem like I’m boasting, but it actually turns me into the least mature, most deficient and least controlled person in the room, so no, this isn’t boasting. The way my emotional curve vibrates throughout 24 hours is like some kind of seismic bulldozer. It’s… awful. Just awful.
Anyone can say I’m just indulging myself, but I have gone through hell and back trying to learn better ways to cope with all of this. I can tell myself a million times that I’ll be calm today, by 10 AM I will still be giggling, talking loudly and disturbing the class. There is absolutely not a single thing that can be done about this, the only solution is to take interactive classes and try to channel the energy into a constructive thing. Like being the student that gets to come to the front after the teacher showed us what to do. By the end of the school year, every teacher knew that they had to let me move around some in the classroom, or I’d be impossibly nervous. There’s no willful disrespect there, it’s something I would change in a HEARTBEAT if I could.
I cannot even begin to explain how many times I’ve gone to bed wishing I was different. Less impulsive, less loud, less of a bull’s eye. But no, these are the cards I’m dealt, my brain doesn’t work like yours. It’s not my fault. I don’t care what the media say, it’s just not.

There are upsides to this; I can get done single handedly what would take 10 non-hyperactive people. And yes, I do finish what I start, generally. There’s obviously always the odd enterprise that never goes anywhere, but like I said, it’s odd.
When I was 17, one day I decided that I didn’t like the floor in my room. I went to a department store, bought wooden planks and put a new floor in there in one afternoon. Sometimes, on a randomer, I clean out, declutter and reorganize an entire room in the house. Other days, all I can do is sleep. There’s no telling.

What I’m saying is, a lot of people seem to think that ADHD is a term we hide behind to justify our busy, impulsive behavior. But it’s also an extremely tiresome thing, it’s like an engine pushes us despite our own limits. When I’m truly tired, it’s even worse! All I want to do, is to fall asleep for 3 days straight, but an energy that seems to be fed externally keeps pushing me. It’s really not all that *fun* or comfortable. Nobody chooses this. The resistance I hit when I walk into a room is not anything you may know. You can just walk in, inconspicuously sit down and do what you intended. It happens to me too, but usually I swing the door open too briskly and it makes a loud noise banging the wall, I sit down with too large a swing and something tumbles out of my purse or I elbow someone, or I walk so fast and so energetically my heels tap the floor like some Godzilla is thumping in –and I don’t even fucking notice the noise. Heads turn, voices mutter things about me, I get shushed. It makes me want to apologize for existing, if I could only do something about all this, I would!!