I was born within fifteen minutes after my twin brother. And I grew up like any normal child in those late sixties, early seventies.
At first nothing seemed wrong but soon problems started to appear, I couldn’t sit still (read my Blog ‘I CAN’T SIT STILL!‘). And if that wasn’t all, my behaviour as a child became worse over the years. Little was known about ADHD in those days and it didn’t even have a name (except ‘Disobedient’), let alone the abbreviation ADHD nor the description ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ was invented. In those days I was just a ‘difficult child’ as opposed to my twin brother, who seemed to have it all.
This disorder haunted me for all my life. Only in 1998 I was diagnosed with ADHD and I got Ritalin prescribed. But the damage was done, I never got over the countless poundings, pummelling, fights, humiliations, abuse and disappointments that occurred during school time. I never got a chance to go to college due to this ADHD and in adult life it became like a brand mark visible for everyone to see. If my handicap were of the physical kind, then there would have been understanding, comfort, help and maybe even friendship. But since ADHD is a handicap of the brain, behaviour and personality it is for a lot of people a shameful display and reason for scorn, humiliation and eventually abandonment follows.
I got used to being on my own long time ago as a child, I always played with my own toys in my own room. I wasn’t happy but at least the feeling of having my own possessions made up for that a little. They didn’t understand me. Later in life the loneliness was aching continuously and ever present. “Adults tend to develop coping skills which make up for some or all of their impairments” can be read on Wikipedia. I did. As I had to survive mainly on my own in most places I developed a way to make myself laugh at incidents in my life that could be funny if they were told the right way. I found that writing down these stories and anecdotes was a way to deal with my own impairments thus turning the situation around and making ADHD my strength instead of my handicap.
There is not much room in society for imperfect people. There are numerous measurements for people who’s handicaps are visible and need adjustments to make them cope with it. For those with impairment of the brain, a broken personality, depression or otherwise having a psychiatric disease, there is left intolerance in a lot of cases. Their handicap often not recognised or accepted, instead they are left alone, like I was. And for them wounds may heal a little but scars will remain always visible for those suffering the invisible handicap even though they look like perfect people on the outside to others. Until the obvious signs of their impairment and then they leave. Then new wounds are inflicted and it never stops.
I am imperfect in a world with mostly perfect people. They think. But in reality, no one is really perfect and we all have to live with our own shortcomings. And we all need each other, we do not want to be left alone. We do not endure humiliation freely, not as a child, not as an adult. Wether it be at school or work, we are no lesser people than all others that make up for a perfect world. When you really listen, you see there is a human being that just wants a little friendship. That friend doesn’t need to be perfect, it is alright if it is you, or him, or her over there. That’s all. And only then we are all perfect people.
Read this blog in Dutch (unless you don’t know any Dutch): Volmaakte vrienden