I am a month into my diagnosis of ADHD.
Fom Healthline; ADHD was first mentioned in 1902. British pediatrician Sir George Frederic Still described; “an abnormal defect of moral control in children.” He found that some affected children could not control their behavior the way a typical child would, but they were still intelligent.
(you’re asking us to sit still in stagnant rooms with no air flow and shit lighting;
demanding that we swallow your doctrines built on severance from nature and source;
you’re asking us to pass energy and yet ignore how we feel;
you’re comparing our functionality to systemic social compliance;
you’re ignoring and demeaning immense sensitivity;
you poison soils, feed us sugar, give us stimulants but shame the natural frenetic kinetic needs.
that learning to harmonize in rhythm
with the frenetic kinetic
makes the most sense
when I am watching how animals move)
I think of all the years I spent ‘masking’ symptoms to sustain the heteronormative / neurotypical ‘girl’ social structures and the countless, unknown hours of hiding and recovering and listening deeply to what I was noticing in/about others and feeling in myself to touch a certain, self-soothing stability. Days of rest to function in some task. It is not perfected or refined. Every day is different: every day has a whirlwind to navigate, requiring great mental strides to be in the world. The amount of focus it would take to move / walk with a measure of coordination, or to curb the prominent impulses. I found ways of ritualizing areas of my life to hold space where I needed to give. Growing up, I thankfully had creature comforts provided and the instinct to tune into what fed my excitements, to dive fully into the details of subjects that were pleasurable and sustainable to depths that others did not, or could not, touch. But my family never knew. I certainly couldn’t identify it either. I celebrate what I have found on my own for stewarding with emotional regulation and awareness before my therapist fit this puzzle piece in place once the stories could flow at this adult age. I think of all the ways I have had difficulty keeping up with friendships and staying in relationships and curated a wrongful myth for those reasons. I think of the spiritual magnitude too. I think of how I always had the arts to express and expand. I think of how the term psychic empath is a joke to many, but very real to me (and other spectrum beings), and how I programmed myself to adapt into what I was witnessing around me to be fluid and safe. That finding internal pathways to connect and ground through have had favorable, even if inconsistent, results. That genetic and environmental factors have been triggers and that I have given myself the breadth of space to trace triggers (especially when it comes to RSD) and with a hypersensitivity to touch. That I could trust my own guidance before I knew that other resources were / are available, even if that road was jarred and scarred with great trial and error and secret grief.
I am a month into learning how to address, own, and honor myself in the dimensions of neurodivergence.
I am glowing in the relief of this.
It is digestible. It gives foundation.
It took me a while to fully accept it. I wanted to explore and research. I carried a bit of embarrassment but only at first; embarrassment for past behaviors that were inexcusable or confusing and a resistance to accept it because of previous shames of ‘being too much’ and that has its own complications that reach deep underground. But then – it just clicked. Shit – this isn’t something to be embarrassed about. This is liberation. This is a reason.
That even with my fuss around labels overall, that this is a wor(l)d I can comfortably exist within, and look objectively at all the colorful threads that spin and shine here. It fits. It makes sense. And it brought great relief to my mother when I finally remembered to tell her. Her response alone was bigger than my own slow nuance of acceptance. She’s witnessed the struggles and struggled too; has witnessed my whole life.
I am further exploring the importance of honing in on a spiritual persuasion in this spectrum too. How I have been called a gifted channeler and a monster all in the same breath and how valid and simple and also loaded these terms are. I think of the ways that I have accessed personal healing with neurodivergence and helped others to heal with this different kind of mind and haven’t even gone as deep as I could go. Yet.
That it’s fathomless. Infinite. Bigger.
Neurodivergence, now, there, here, like a river, sings more like a super(natural)power ~
And that all the years where I felt alone and estranged and made assumptions and made evasions and found dimensions
(and how underdiagnosed women are for ADHD)
is linked up with a greater network after all
and finally, finally
there is a way forward:
where the mind can open to other things
and less on the fixation of fixing
what can’t, and doesn’t need to be, ‘fixed’.
My friend and I were listening to a podcast episode from This is Really Happening: What if the family glue came undone?
It is a woman’s emotional but calculated recounting of her sister becoming a paranoid schizophrenic and the ways that she navigated that harrowing experience.
In the story, her sister encountered beings who were otherwise invisible. She would carry on conversations into thin air and became violent on occasions. There was no mention of family history with this condition.
It made me think of this young man I knew in Kentucky named Alex who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. I had met him through the graffiti scene and I enjoyed the sort of wandering and esoteric conversations that sparked around the bonfire. I have a fond memory of sitting on milk crates in his kitchen, an apartment that was provided through the government treatment program he was enrolled in, listening to Cocteau Twins and painting werewolves on bent canvases with materials he had pulled out of the dumpster. His room was situated with strategically placed broken mirrors and owl statues, all found objects like the rest of his meager and eclectic belongings: arranged accordingly to persuade positive, protective, energetic flow. His own crafting of protection. That same night I brought him out to the land where my parents lived, some 17 acres of country out in Shelbyville, and we wandered the swollen creekside in the moonlight and talked about spirits. At some point something huge and cumbersome crashed through the brush on the other side of the water and it scared us so bad that we went running to the car and hauled ass back to the city, where I dropped him off, and went home to my own apartment just up and around the street from him. To this day I couldn’t tell you what it was. We assumed a fantastical being because nothing as big as what we heard could possibly live in those woods. We surely chattered and howled over it on the drive: just one of those thin-veiled evenings in some haunted woods.
It was a long time before I saw him again. Eventually I heard a story that he performed some outrageous acts after not taking his medication and had been incarcerated.
When I did see him again, it was unexpected: he was loitering with a backpack at the corner just up the street from a tattoo shop I briefly apprenticed at in downtown Louisville. I was on my way to the drug store to pick up paper towels when I ran into him there. I was uncomfortable and he could tell immediately. I pretended that I wasn’t and told him that I was glad to see that he was okay. That part was true. But where was he going to go? He didn’t know. He didn’t have a home no more. I couldn’t engage with him any further and made the excuse that I was on a time crunch to get these materials back to the shop.
I never saw him again.
My acquaintance with him was when he was medicated. I never felt unsafe. Rather, I was curious, and I trusted that his ability to be in tune with the super natural was as legitimate as words woven for story and relate-ability could contain. It was his story, after all, and his interpretations were not out of the ordinary.
I remember the sort of topics we covered in that very narrow window of time: he proclaimed that he could see things and that he was visited by entities. It was why his room was arranged in such a specific way, and why he didn’t like taking medications. The unfortunate part is that the behaviors he exhibited when he was not in treatment were dangerous and strange. But I also observe the system that punished him: locked up without any real guidance in the world when he was released except to report to an officer and take his pills. Abandoned.
I’m contemplating the common thread of these stories in regards to the kind of experiences I have not only witnessed but have heard by people who hone in their supernatural gifts with worldly mysteries: the presence and influence of spirits or the familiar embodiments of energetic forces. And how much further that can really go: how all things are communicating in some degree, in some way, on some spectrum, through projection or otherwise ~ and how desensitized we make ourselves to those subtle signals. Some of us just pick up on it stronger. And if we are interpreting these communications through not just our bias, but the bias of what we are raised in ~ that can jar the signals too.
Would Alex’s circumstances been more favorable if he had been raised in a place where he could safely explore what he was capable of – without the pressures of family and friends who discredited such things, the pressure to denounce the ‘reality’ of it ~ the medications that soothed the neurological hotwires of his brain but didn’t address the sensitivity of his body? Nor did they account for environmental factors? Under the influence of programs that didn’t take those concepts seriously, built on punishment and shame, lacking in spiritual nurturing, lacking in the right language to fully open a safer passage into that doorway that was perpetually swinging awry in his life?
“It’s all in your head” is what we were told in those days.
I do not fully agree with that statement.
I get the concern of escapism that exists in these topics of spirit. Not just escapism, but fraudulent proclamations for control and genocide; the very flawed, unbalanced, man-made institutions ~
When someone announces that they are atheist,
they are, in the high percentage, identifying a separation from the church-ridden God; the white man’s God; the systemic God; the invented God; the spiteful control in the name of God. They are assuming in the clinical labeling. Their need to claim sovereignty from the fixated and toxic mindsets that have sparked so many problems is valid.
But to assume nothing and not embrace mystery?
To not teach people how to grieve, how to accept death?
How to be sensitive, how to receive, how to balance?
How to give reverence, how to have reverence for nature?
That is a false security.
That is illness.
An element that surfaced in the This is Really Happening story with the sister was that her fragile mental dimension shifted after she had children.
I do observe that the tools available and encouraged for women and spiritual language has been predominantly stronger. To have a womb, and to give birth, to be a portal ~ is an intimate proximity with not just Creation, but death too. That women have carried more in the mystery and had that wisdom buried in obscurity. That doesn’t make it only exclusive to women. It’s available to everyone, everything. But in the specifics of this narrative I am looking at the severance of spirit through the sculptures of the gender binary.
What did Alex have? Lostboys and street life and a broken home, an identity crafted through the fractured lens around him. A natural drive for hyperactive expression with no healthy outlets. A gift for voices and psychic insight with no safe place to hold space to explore it.
I imagine that these circumstances would be vastly different if there was a healthy acknowledgement and relationship woven with these things before they crippled under the pressures of conformity.