They Keep Telling Me I’m Not Normal

Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels

Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels

The hardest thing about ADHD and other Personality Disorders is that it’s ‘invisible’ to outsiders.

“I’m so tired of everyone telling me that I’m not normal just because I have ADHD. Who do they think they are? God.” Jeremy said. “I’ve been like this my whole life. Of course, it’s normal. It’s normal for me. Where does he get off saying that to me?”

Jeremy sat on the bench in the courtyard at school. So wrapped up in his own thoughts that he missed the bell to report back to class.

“If I’m so ‘abnormal’ why did they let me come to school? Maybe it would be better if I jumped off the interstate overpass like Jack told me to do. Am I that big of a problem to everybody?”

Bullying About Being Different

Jeremy didn’t know how long he sat on the bench. He slightly remembered seeing kids in the courtyard a couple of times.

A counselor finally came and sat beside him, “Jeremy are you okay?” She asked.

No response. He didn’t even flinch. No eye rolls or side-eyes.

She reached out and laid a hand on his arm, “Jeremy?”

His whole body jumped as he pulled away from her touch, “Don’t touch me. You’ll die.”

“What do you mean,” she said with a wrinkled brow. “Are you going to hurt me?”

“No,” he said turning slightly toward her, “but if I’m as bad as Jack said I must be poisonous or something.”

“What did Jack say to you?”

Jeremy paused, “He said I was abnormal, that I was probably alien and I’d poison everyone who got to close. He told me to go jump off the overpass onto the freeway. I guess I better go do it,” he said as he stood up and started to walk away.

The counselor grabbed his arm, “Can we talk first?” she asked.

Jeremy sat back down, “I guess a few more minutes won’t matter.”

“Tell me about what happened,” she said.

“Well, we were in math class. We got our midterms back. I had 100% on mine. Jack looked at my paper. He started in that I must be a freak or something because nobody gets a 100% on a math midterm unless they’re an alien or something. He got everybody to chanting. I wanted to die. He kept saying that I wasn’t normal. Then, he started saying that I was an alien.”

“Where was your teacher?”

“Somebody came to the door and she stepped outside,” he said.

“Did it stop when she came back in?”

Jeremy nodded as he stood to go.

Plan Interrupted

“Please sit down,” she asked.

“You are different,” the counselor started as Jeremy turned to look at her. “We’re all different. Yes, you have ADHD, which does make you different than some, but that’s not always a bad thing.”

“It’s not?”

“Look at the score on your math test. I’d say 100% is pretty good, wouldn’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess. I never think about it. Math is so easy, but I don’t make fun of Jack because he got a D.”

“What else are you really good at?” She asked Jeremy.

He thought for a few minutes then his face began to brighten up, “I’m a pretty good artist. I guess I’m what you’d call creative. I can think of solutions to problems and put the solution together in my head.”

“You’re right. You are a very gifted, talented and smart person. You can actually think circles around Jack. So, why do you think he talked to you that way?”

Jeremy looked down at the ground for a few minutes drawing something in the dirt on the sidewalk. He finally looked up at the counselor, “Because he was jealous?”

“You are so right. I know Jack. He often tries to put others down or make them feel bad or look bad to the other kids so he doesn’t feel so bad about himself. Don’t let him get under your skin.”

 

ADHD, The Brain Disconnect

“Two brain areas fail to connect when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder attempt a task that measures attention. This is the first time that we have direct evidence that this connectivity is missing in ADHD. The researchers measured electrical rhythms from the brains of volunteers, especially the alpha rhythm. When part of the brain is emitting alpha rhythms, it shows that it is disengaged from the rest of the brain and not receiving or processing information optimally,” stated Ali Mazaheri, a postdoctoral researcher at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and M.I.N.D. Institute.

 

ADHD and Other Personality Disorders

Those who have ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or other Personality Disorder continually tell us what it looks and feels like from inside their box. They say they are tired of everyone telling them they’re not normal. It is normal for them.

They tell us, on the outside of their box, to accept their behavior as absolutely normal. Yet, those of us who are close to that person have to deal with the consequences of their behavior.

Unfortunately, they never seem to be aware of the cause and effect, the relationship between their behavior and all of the resulting drama. They never seem to have a clue that other people have to deal with problems created by them. I Can’t Really Blame Them.

 

Jeremy Becomes Aware

He didn’t talk for several minutes. Finally, he looked up with a side-ways grin on his face, “He almost got me there. I have an older brother and his friends that always make fun of me because I’m different, because of the ADHD, and I do things differently.  Jack made me feel the same way. I hate that feeling. I actually feel alien or sub-human or something. But…”

The counselor sat quietly while Jeremy was thinking.

“Like you said, ‘Yes, I am different and that’s okay. Sometimes I just don’t get what some people are talking about. It just doesn’t connect right in my head. Now, when I read something or have exercises, like in Math, it is so easy. I could actually make fun of Jack because he can’t get it,” Jeremy said pausing again.

“But it doesn’t feel good to be made fun of or left out of the games they are playing. My brother can have his friends over to the house and they’re playing some kind of game. I ask if I can play, but they start teasing me, telling me I’m stupid and I’d never been able to figure out how to play it.”

Choosing Not To Pay It Back

He laughed, “One time I played the video game after they left. I hear the noise they make about it being so hard, but actually it’s very easy. I aced it the first time through.”

“Here’s a thought,” the counselor said. “Why not get Jack alone, away from his pack and tell him you know he got a ‘D’ on the midterm and ask if he’d like some help with his Math?”

“Are you kidding?” Jeremy said. “Wait, that would give me the upper hand, wouldn’t it?”

The counselor nodded with a grin.

“I’ll do it. When he least expects it.”

“How are things at home?” the Counselor asked.

“Well, it’s okay most of the time. My mom got help from a psychologist who specialized in ADHD to help us develop some workarounds. They have helped.”

“What kind of workarounds?”

“I have trouble organizing things and I have a lot of trouble with time. When I’m working on something, it feels like just a few minutes to me, but my mom tells me it’s been over two hours. We set timers so I don’t lose track of time. I also use To-Do lists that are prioritized so I get the most important things done. The rule is that I don’t go on to something else on my list until the first one is completed. I’m distracted very easily and don’t finish things. We’re working on it. My mom says I’m doing a lot better.”

“Do the workarounds help you feel better about your ADHD?” the counselor asked.

“They do. I know I have to do things differently than other kids, but…” he paused and grinned. “When I stick to the rules in the workarounds, I do a better job than any of those kids.”

After spending approximately 20 years as a programmer analyst working in both the private sector and county government, Dena Warfield returned to college earning a Masters Degree in Psychology and in Creative Writing. Since graduation, her main focus has been on marketing – Direct Sales, Copywriting, and Writing for the Web. She co-owned and managed a direct marketing company with her husband working, primarily, with local newspapers. She managed the business office, human resources, and helped with training and marketing. She also designed their company Web Site plus writing for other web developers. Dena’s years of business, computer programming, and writing have helped to focus her copywriting skills in the marketing arena. Whether she is writing content for websites, emails, brochures, catalogs, or direct-response her goal is increased traffic and sales to your site or business. Education Dena earned her Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and a Master’s in Creative Writing from National University in San Diego, California. She has also completed a certification program from AWAI (American Writers & Artists Inc., Delray Beach, FL.) with a focus in copywriting for the web. Author Dena has authored a self-help book designed to help people become aware of their negative thoughts and core beliefs that keep them from becoming successful. The techniques described in her book were used to help their sales rep to become more successful. Her book is currently on Amazon.com. She also enjoys writing Flash Fiction which can be found on her Facebook page, WarStories by Dena – Flash Fiction with a twist.

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