I am NeuroDifferent, not Mentally Ill…
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 2, 2011
i wrote this in response to a conversation i had this morning with someone who, by my choice, is no longer on my friendslist.
i have tried for 47 years to grow a thicker skin. if i could grow a thicker skin i would have the skin of an elephant by now. i don’t. and it’s not my failing. it’s because of how my neurons are set up. i am not oversensitive, i am hypersensitive.
i shouldn’t need to feel ashamed of this. i shouldn’t have to feel that there’s something wrong with me because i don’t function like ‘normal’ people do.
i shouldn’t have to feel that telling people that I am hypersensitive (to give them fair warning) and that i expect people to consider this when interacting with me, is wrong.
i can learn how to respond to stuff – outwardly, yes, and i have, i still am, but i cannot be cured of this hypersensitivity.
people who are blind are not told to ‘learn how to see’. people who are missing their legs are not told to ‘stop whining about needing a wheelchair and learn how to walk’. so why am i being told that i need to ‘learn to be neurotypical’?
adhd is not a mental illness or a character trait that can be cured with medicines and therapy or hard personal work. it’s a physical, neurological disability.
for years i have been bashed, beaten and berated for being ‘too much’, ‘too sensitive’, ‘too honest’, ‘too open’, ‘too this and too that’, i have even been bullied for being ‘too intelligent’.
i have lost what i thought were friends, because of my neurological differentness. at the moment i have no friends in real life because of my neurodifferentness. and the number of friends that will accept me as I am, on-line is dwindling. right now i have 6 people whom i trust enough to call REAL friends. the other 40 on my list are nice people, but I don’t trust them – incidentally 4 of the 6 are also neurodifferent.
all i want is for people to accept me as i am, not as they wish i was or under some condition that i might change in the future. because it’s not going to happen.
i have a good heart, a strong and big heart, i am funny and goofy and kind and intelligent, and i should be appreciated for this. not berated and bashed because along with those good traits comes a sensitivity that some times makes me hurt in ways and places that others might not hurt in. no, you cannot anticipate those ways and places – even i cannot do that. what i can do it say that i read things a lot more literal than neurotypicals. and even if i can steer my thinking afterwards to a less literal reading, the damage has already been done, and i hurt in ways and places other might not.
one of the positives with adhd (i think) is that i am quick to forgive once the hurt has been heard. but those of you who know me also know this.