I have been reading books about having and living with ADHD. I am at a loss for words. I am struggling to wrap my head around the fact that so many of the characteristics I thought were just part of my personality, many of which caused me great shame and pain, are all because I have ADHD.
While I wish I would have known earlier in my life, I am thankful I know now. After 49 years, I think it is understandable that I fluctuate between curiosity, feeling overwhelmed and saddened all wrapped up in a blanket of ADHD fog.
I am angry thinking back on all the people who criticized me, and put me down time after time about things I would or on the flip side I couldn’t do. They would crush the already vulnerable sense of self I have, causing irreparable damage to my psyche. Especially because I know that while they were doing this, I was visibly upset, I would try at times to explain my feelings thinking if they knew they were causing me pain, they would stop. It rarely if ever worked.
These feelings of shame only increase my desire to be further away from them and others, anyone who I perceive to be a criticizing/judgmental threat. I find myself avoiding social situations, people and circumstances where I could be vulnerable.
Feelings of being vulnerable to more shame, can be paralyzing for a person like me. It is a constant struggle between wanting to be “social”, “Friendly” and not isolate, and protect myself.