I am tired of seeing people (esp rich white cis men) pitch ADHD as a gift/superpower, when there are so many other variables at play that enable them to embrace and be celebrated for the strengths of ADHD. It's so disingenuous.
I'm still critical of framing ADHD as a curse to be cured, but claiming it's a superpower is not an alternative I support. It implies people's experiences of ADHD are totally within their control, and that they're individually to blame if they're not thriving with their "gift".
In reality, the extent to which your external context accommodates and accepts you will deeply impact your experience of ADHD. Money = better access to accommodations. And whiteness= greater acceptance for neurodivergent behavior.
I could literally proofread something 10 times, and I'd still make a mistake somewhere. I know this bc I often DO proofread things 10 times, to no avail. It's crushing when people interpret this as carelessness, because I am SO careful. It doesn't make a difference.
I often think, "do the people who see my work as messy or rushed, ever notice how painstakingly slowly and carefully I do everything?". I might be the only person in the world who knows how careful and intentional I actually try to be each day.
Usually at work I'm doing things that have a built-in peer review and proof reading process. ATM I'm doing stuff that doesn't have that, and working harder than ever only to have everything be riddled with more mistakes. It's heartbreaking.
From now on I'm going to be proactively blocking people who follow me and then get aggressive with the people I retweet. These are real people, and often people I really respect and/or have friendships with. It feels really gross to know I'm risking them being harassed.
This seems to be a really fucking problem in the ND community on here recently, and I'm over it. Being neurodivergent doesn't mean that you get to define and break boudaries, or that you're entitled to treat people like shit. Of course there should be consequences for that.
I want to be able to retweet stuff from NZ twitter, as well as other smaller ND accounts without people jumping onto it and getting belligerent. This sucks, because retweeting is one of the ways I show support, but I don't know if it's safe for me to do so now.
Perhaps my least favourite quality in a person is when they relentlessly pursue a positive outlook on everything. I’m relatively reflective I think, and I like learning and growing, but not every experience is good or useful. It’s okay to call a spade a spade.
Idk, I guess I just don’t see critical as being the same thing as negative, and it annoys me when people hear me thinking through something in a critical way, and assume that I’m being pessimistic, or that I haven’t seen the “good” in it.
It just feels patronising tbh. I’m self-aware enough to determine whether something is harmful or helpful for me, and deserve to act accordingly.
If people knew what ADHD actually was, I would disclose it all the time. What's difficult to navigate (esp in professional spaces) is working out what assumptions people already hold about it and will project onto you.
I talk about ADHD at work now, mostly bc a lot of people told me their own suspicions about being neurodivergent after I privately shared with them, and I feel like being visible is a way I can tangible help them. I do well enough at work that there isn't too much risk for me.
But, I'm also always wondering "what does this person think ADHD is, and how do those beliefs shape how they see me?". Do they notice my small mistakes more now? Do they think I'm lying because I'm not stereotypically hyperactive?
Unlearn the idea that oppressed people standing up for their rights or addressing how you are hurting them is a personal attack. It's bigger than you.
I get it, it sucks to feel like you've been misunderstood, or like you've fucked up. But it's not about you. I literally repeat that to myself over and over when I cause hurt, and it helps me remember that I can choose btwn being defensive or learning and growing and restoring.
The world is racist and ableist and homophobic and sexist and classist and transphobic and oppressive in so many ways that OF COURSE you are going to hold some behaviours and beliefs that are harmful. People pointing out where these manifest helps you be better.
Hey twitter, someone has brought my attention to the potential racist associations with the word "niggly", which I used in a recent thread. I hadn't made that connection and I'm genuinely sorry about using the word. I've deleted the tweet, and won't use the word again.
It's a relatively common word in my country for irritating and it's roots aren't connected to the n-word (as far as I can tell from googling). Regardless, it's close enough in sound that I should have noticed the potential association between those words before now.
Not making that association is totally due to the detachment from racism and anti-Blackness I have bc of my whiteness, and I'm really sorry for any harm I've caused here, regardless of my intent. I back the person who raised this, and am happy to remove it from my vocab.
Being neurodivergent is so bizarre, because you often excel at tasks others find hard, but struggle with what others find easy. People will see you do something complex really well and then assume you can easily handle all the "simpler" tasks- but often those are harder for us!
I'm starting to realise how many assumptions I've internalised about what difficulty different tasks are "supposed" to be. My job has involved more admin than usual recently and I keep beating myself up for struggling with something so "basic".
The thing is, it's not basic for me! It's requiring me to follow lots of really niggly and detail orientated processes and document everything I'm doing in a communicable way...ADHD makes these things really really hard.
It's amazing how much less "social anxiety" I have now that I don't force myself to interact with people I don't get along with. I always thought it was nerves I needed to push through when in reality it's often my intuition saying "you're not enjoying this situation or person".
It's just ridiculous that we are all supposed to be super social with everyone we meet in every circumstance, and if we don't want to do that then there must be something wrong with us, and the burden is on us to fix it.
The amount of social events I would brute-force myself into, and then spend the whole time biting my tongue, being bored, and escaping to the bathroom for breaks is...honestly a bit heartbreaking upon reflection. Worse are the ones that involved people who actually harmed me.
I know this is not something everyone agrees with, but I genuinely sometimes like how much ADHD makes me overthink. It can be debilitating, and I hate that, but I also think the intense self-reflection I fall into supports me to grow and be a better person.
When I'm well supported in meeting my needs (financial, health, emotional), all of the overthinking I do legitimately helps me understand myself better, and reckon with my position in the world and what I should be doing with it.
I'm not saying I always like it- I don't, and the RSD self-critical spiral is horrible. But I also do think I've grown a lots in my adulthood, and that's due to really thinking about who I am, and who I want to be, and learning how to be honest with myself about when I fuck up.
Truly the biggest hypocrisy of white ND twitter is how often we gripe about neurotypicals projecting intentions onto us, when we do the EXACT same thing to POC on here, especially Black women like René.
Our need to prioritize our own perspective and interpretation is getting in the way of POC being able to feel safe and wanted in our community. Black people and other POC on here do not exist to baby us through unlearning white supremacy. We need to do that work ourselves.
And let's be clear, thinking that we, as white people, know the "true" intent of someone's words, believing that we can know if something is really racist or not, projecting aggressiveness onto POC who are sharing their experiences... that IS white supremacy.
One of the best things I've done is allow myself to have deal breakers and ADHD-friendly standards in my friendships. Get angry about lateness? Dislike non-linear conversation? That's fine, but we won't vibe long term so I'm not gonna twist myself up to meet your expectations.
For so long I felt like the "bad" friend. The person who couldn't maintain messaging over distance, who double booked, who eventually let others down. And tbf, I DID let those people down, because I was pretending to be someone who could do friendship their way, when I can't.
We're sent so many negative messages about our ADHD-related traits. I tried to contort myself into someone who I wasn't, because I thought I needed to be that person to have value and friends. But I could never keep it up! Because it wasn't me!!! I always failed eventually.
For real though, "listening" looks different for everyone. I feel listened to when someone asks lots of related questions, and connects my experience to something they've gone through, or a big picture analysis.
When people just nod and say things like "that sounds interesting" with no elaboration, I end up feeling very unheard. I generally change the subject because I don't know how to keep expressing my thoughts when there's not a response to bounce off.
I've been thinking a lot about whiteness this week, and how white supremacy enables white people to understand ourselves as objective and true, and other people's interpretations of us as subjective and flawed.
I think most of us white people would assume that everyone understands the world that way, with themselves at the center, and everyone else on the periphery. But reflecting, I really do think this is a specifically western white experience.
White supremacy that tells us we are "value-neutral", the "normal" to the "other". When you're constantly given the message that you are the norm, it's easy to fall into the trap of seeing your interpretations as unbiased, as logic, as the natural and obvious perspective.
I think people need to get better at distinguishing between growing visibility of ADHD in their online circles and it becoming "trendy". Nobody irl I know even understands ADHD. People look at me with pity when I tell them. It's not "cool".
It makes me sad bc it's predominantly women, trans and non-binary people, and POC of all genders who are discovering their ADHD themselves in adulthood, bc systematic bias meant it wasn't picked up on earlier by the caregivers around them.
These people then find communities online, and share and learn and connect, sometimes seriously and sometimes with humour, only for this uptick in dialogue to be dismissed as a "trend", and for other ADHDers to gatekeep them bc "that's not what ADHD looks like".
Something I dislike about ADHD is that so many of my mistakes feel the same: like blips, where I can't quite figure out how I didn't notice them at the time. But the consequences are HUGELY different. Figuring out how "big" a mistake is, and what my response should be is hard.
E.g. I often read emails and messages wrong, and reply to the wrong interpretation without realizing. Most of the time this is fine. Sometimes it has been very very bad. So now everytime I do it, I feel the same level of regret and panic, and struggle not to overapologise for it.
To me it makes perfect sense that many ADHDers also have anxiety. It's a shitty feeling to know even when you're careful, and really care about what you're doing, you're likely to just randomly drop the ball, and there's no way of knowing the fallout of that until you get there.
Tbh growing up is just constantly reminding myself that I'm allowed to have different views to those who I respect. I'm always reevaluating stances on things, but have to remember that doing this should come from strengthening my understanding, not trying to make others happy.
ALSO have to remind myself that disagreement and conflict DOES NOT MEAN that those people I respect will lose respect for me. Disagreement is okay, and everyone has different filters that they learn and build opinions through.
This resistance to disagreement is totally a Fawn trauma response, but it's also a White ™️ thing, and I do think that being an advocate would require me to get much more comfortable with disagreement, bc otherwise I'll end up prioritizing civility which I don't want to do.
I've seen too many tweets this week claiming ADHD is actually just a trauma response, so here is a thread unpacking that assumption.
So, is ADHD actually just trauma? As far as I can tell, no. For my reasoning...keep reading. 1/16
For starters, most scientists agree there is a strong genetic component to ADHD, which suggests that ADHD is an inherited neurological difference, rather than a condition developed in response to external factors. 2/16
However, I CAN see how people think ADHD is just a trauma response, bc they have lots of symptoms in common. This diagram from a paper I read is simplistic, but helps demonstrate how one can appear like the other, and how they can look the same from the outside. 3/16
I can feel a long thread about the limitations of neurotypical based therapy for ADHD coming on, but atm it's all just messy thoughts so if someone has already written that thread, please link me and save the angst haha ❤️
There's so much big structural stuff to unpack but today I'm just thinking about my therapist asking me if I had tried taking over mopping the floors and ironing from my partner as a way of "participating" in the face of my chronic illness inadequacy anxiety.
A. My neck pain makes that impossible
B. We both have ADHD...you think we iron our clothes????? You think we own a mop for our 1 bedroom apartment???
Her point was to find new things to replace the old things I did...but like, my partner would never value me doing this anyway?
If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting some Tiles from @TheTileApp for things you use and lose regularly. I have some on my keys, my work lanyard, my wireless headphone box, and this personal details folder I always used to lose.
They have key rings, tiny buttons and wallet cards. If you lose them, you just turn the bluetooth on on your phone, call the item and it will ring if it's close. If it's not close, any time another tile user works past it, it will ping on your map so you can go find it.
If you have bluetooth on on your phone all the time, you can also use it in reverse, by pressing a button on them that calls your phone, even if it is silenced.